Barak: PA must Control Violence in Territories
Barak said Friday that the Palestinian Authority's lack of control over the current wave of violence is unacceptable and it must control its forces.
"We cannot accept this pattern of events, the (Palestinian) Authority must find the way to control its security forces ... in a more effective way," Barak said during a tour of the site of the clashes in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
Israeli TV carried his comments late Friday.
The past weeks have seen a surge of violence in the territories, with four Palestinians killed and hundreds of people injured, including some 20 Israelis.
At least 40 people were injured in sporadic clashes in the West Bank Friday between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers after Palestinian groups called for two "days of rage" in support of Arab prisoners jailed in Israel.
An Israeli soldier was hit by a live bullet to the head and was seriously wounded, two soldiers and one border police man were lightly wounded from stones the Israeli army said. Five Palestinians, including one police officer, were injured by bullets, according to medical personnel.
Barak has said he is considering postponing his trip to the United States because of the rise in violence.
BARAK AND BERGER DISCUSS CLINTON-BARAK-ARAFAT SUMMIT IN JUNE
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and US National Security Adviser Sandy Berger discussed Friday the possibility of a summit between the US, Israeli and Palestinian leaders in June, Israeli public television said.
Barak met Berger at his home in Kohav Yair in the center of the country Friday. Israeli officials said the two men discussed the Palestinian peace process and the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon but declined to elaborate.
Barak is scheduled to meet US President Bill Clinton Tuesday but Israeli officials told AFP late Friday that he was inclined to cancel the trip because of the violence in the Palestinian territories and south Lebanon.
The prime minister himself said early Friday he was considering postponing the trip. He said he was planning to call Clinton over the weekend to discuss the postponement.
Berger arrived in Israel Friday to receive an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University Sunday, an American official said.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority resumed backstairs negotiations in Stockholm Thursday, with the aim of forging a framework agreement on the thorniest issues in the conflict.
The issues include the final borders of a future Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem, the right of return of Palestinian refugees and the future of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The framework agreement, which was supposed to be signed in mid-February according to an interim agreement signed last September between Barak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, is expected to pave the way for the final and comprehensive agreement due to be signed in September – (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)