Arafat Says he is not in Total Control of ‘Angry’ Palestinian Youth
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat acknowledged Thursday that he was not in total control of the "angry" Palestinian youth who have spent four weeks in violent clashes with Israelis.
When questioned in an ABC television interview taped in Jerusalem if he could put a stop to the violence, Arafat answered: "There is no switch for all the people, small children, the youth, the students."
"They are very angry," he added.
US President Bill Clinton on Wednesday also had said that neither Arafat nor Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak seemed to be in total control of their people.
"I think that, you know, there are probably some people within the Palestinian territories, and probably some people within Israel, that are not within total control of Chairman Arafat or even the Israeli government," Clinton said.
"But I do think Chairman Arafat can dramatically reduce the level of violence," he added.
The Palestinian people, Arafat argued, had to be convinced to end the violence "by the peace process, not by tanks surrounding their cities."
More than 130 people have died in nearly four weeks of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians which has continued despite a ceasefire agreed at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, last week.
Arafat, who on Tuesday received a special emissary from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, said he would be willing to meet again with the Israeli leader.
"If it's necessary, why not?" he said.
At the Clinton-hosted summit in Sharm el-Sheikh on October 17, Arafat and Barak agreed to take steps to halt the unrest, but clashes have continued daily since then – WASHINGTON (AFP)
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