Arafat Accuses Israel of Tightening Blockade, Stepping Up Military Action
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on Monday accused Israel of stepping up its blockade and military action against the Palestinian territories, as he arrived in Jordan to address an Arab ministerial meeting, according to AFP.
"We thank his majesty [King Abdullah II of Jordan] and our brothers in Jordan for this meeting, which comes during these circumstances," Arafat told reporters in Jordan.
"The blockade has increased, the (military) escalation has increased but our people are patient and fighters and with God's will we will pray in Jerusalem," Arafat said.
Arafat is expected to address the one-day meeting, which will be chaired by Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdel Ilah Khatib and attended by the Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.
The ministerial committee was set up by the October summit of Arab leaders in Cairo to follow up on support pledged for the Palestinian uprising against Israel, which erupted on September 28.
The Arab follow-up committee groups the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine and the Arab League secretary general.
The ministers are also scheduled to discuss the current situation in the Arab region, solidarity among Arab countries in the face of Israel's continued aggression, as well as aid to the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, said the official news agency, Petra.
In addition, they will review the political situations in Somalia, the Comoro Islands, the Sudanese question and Iraq.
This is the second meeting by the committee, which held its first session in Cairo following the Cairo summit.
At their last meeting in Cairo on May 19, the committee called on Arab states to suspend all political contacts with Israel as long as its "aggression and blockade" against the Palestinian territories continued.
The committee is also expected to review financial contributions to the Jerusalem and Al Aqsa funds, which were set up by Arab countries to support the uprising, said Petra.
The situations in Iraq and Sudan will be discussed by the foreign ministers, and Moussa said on Saturday that Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail had also been invited to the meeting – Albawaba.com
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