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Israel severes all ties with Palestinians
ERUSALEM: Israel suspended all contact with Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority on Wednesday after the assassination of Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi, saying it would not resume ties until there was a complete halt to "terrorism," Israeli public radio said.
"All political contacts with the Palestinians are suspended until acts of terrorism cease," the radio said, with no other details.
Meanwhile, Israel's internal security service, Shin Beth, said in a rare statement on Wednesday that it "vowed to work night and day to find the murderers of Israeli minister Rehavam Zeevi and bring them to justice." Israel also re-established an army roadblock between the West Bank town of Ramallah and the Palestinian Bir Zeit University on Wednesday, following Zeevi's murder.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said on Wednesday that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat bore full responsibility for the killing of Zeevi, claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
"Only a regime which preaches the destruction of Israel can harbour assassins of this kind, and Arafat bears full responsibility because he launched terrorism, although he knew the consequences," Sharon told a special session of the Israeli parliament.
Arafat's Palestinian Authority condemned on Wednesday the killing of Zeevi, saying it opposed "all acts of assassination," including by implication Israel's policy of eliminating alleged Palestinian "terrorists".
However, the PFLP, part of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) headed by Arafat, said it assassinated Zeevi in retaliation for the killing in August of its leader Abu Ali Mustapha in an Israeli helicopter gunship attack.
In response, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon issued a warning that a "new era" had begun with the assassination of his ultra-nationalist tourism minister.
"We will wage a war without mercy against the terrorists" Sharon warned. "Only criminal terrorists could dream of assassinating elected members of a democratic state," he said. ( AFP )
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), October 17, 2001
"Meanwhile, Israel's internal security service, Shin Beth, said in a rare statement on Wednesday that it "vowed to work night and day to find the murderers of Israeli minister Rehavam Zeevi and bring them to justice."
I wonder if the Israelis will bring the perpetrators to trial, or simply murder them?
"Only criminal terrorists could dream of assassinating elected members of a democratic state," he said."
But it's ok to assassinate the leaders of groups that one accuses of terrorism, without the need to prove any of the accusations in an impartial court, eh, Sharon?
-- neil r (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 18, 2001.