Arafat, Arab League Ask for New UN Meeting to Authorize Protection Force
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Arab League Secretary General Esmat Abdel Meguid called Sunday for a new UN Security Council meeting to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people, said AFP.
Abdel Meguid said after talks with Arafat in Cairo that "contacts will start with the UN" for an "urgent meeting of the Security Council to take a decision which would guarantee international protection for the Palestinian people."
Arafat, when questioned on the same subject, told journalists that "he agreed with Mr. Meguid on a plan for international mobilization at all levels -- American, European and Chinese," AFP quoted him as saying.
The United States on March 27 used its veto power at the Security Council for the first time in four years to defeat a last-minute resolution to authorize observers in the territories.
Arafat, who arrived in Cairo overnight, held earlier in the day talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Following the talks, Egypt’s Foreign minister Amr Moussa said that the Palestinians cannot be "blamed for the violence expected" in response to the killing of their leaders.
“Israeli assassinations of prominent Palestinians are an "extremely dangerous issue," days after a Palestinian Islamic militant leader died when the phone booth he was in blew up.
"It's a series that once started will not end. It's an action and reaction. The Palestinians cannot be blamed for the violence that is expected to result," Moussa said.
Before his meeting with the Palestinian President, Mubarak told Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in a telephone call that he will ask Arafat to "calm the situation in the Palestinian territories," reported Haaretz newspaper, citing Israel Radio.
The Egyptian President also told Peres that "even though the situation was very difficult, he should not lose hope regarding the possibility of achieving peace in the region."
In the Gaza Strip, close to 1,000 Palestinians marched to the UN office in Gaza City Sunday, vowing to continue their half-year uprising against occupation and demanding international protection against Israel's crackdown, said the agency.
Mohammed Dahlan, head of preventative security in the Gaza Strip, told the crowd that the demonstration was "proof of our determination to continue our resistance so long as Israeli aggression continues."
Earlier in the day, Al-Jazeera satellite channel reported that a Palestinian was killed Sunday in Tulkarem for "collaboration with Israel."
Ma'moun Freij was shot by three masked men who are members of "Asefa," the military wing of the Palestinian Fateh movement.
The movement "warned those who collaborate with the enemy," and vowed to wipe out all collaborators in the Palestinian lands," a statement, faxed to Al-Jazeera, said.
In the Gaza Strip, Haaretz reported that Palestinians reportedly fired one mortar shell at an Israeli outpost north of the Jewish settlement of Gush Katif block, adding that two other mortars were fired at an army base near the Erez checkpoint, at the northern tip of the Strip.
Explosive devices, said the paper, were also detonated Sunday morning near the Gaza settlements of Kfar Darom and Morag - Albawaba.com
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