Israel dismisses Security Council warning, Arafat says Israel aims to eliminate PA
Israel rebuffed Saturday a United Nations Security Council warning not to go through with its threat to exile Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, saying its national security was at stake.
The UN Security Council's 15 member-nations warned Israel on Friday against implementing the decision to remove Arafat, setting an open debate on the crisis in the region for Monday.
"Council members expressed the view that the removal of Mr.
Arafat would be unhelpful and must not be implemented," said a statement read to reporters by Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry of Britain, the council president for September.
"With all due respect, Arafat is a master terrorist. We will not abjure our right to self-defense," said a source close to Sharon on Saturday.
"No country would allow others to dictate how its should protect its citizens," said Ra'anan Gissin, an aide to the prime minister. "Arafat is a terrorist leader. We have no war with the Palestinian people and their aspirations."
Meanwhile, Arafat on Saturday urged Israel to return to peace talks.
As thousands of schoolchildren rallied outside his battered headquarters, Arafat told visiting foreign diplomats that the Palestinians were facing their most difficult moment since the Oslo Accords were signed Sept. 13, 1993, on the White House lawn.
"The problem is not just my problem and the threats that Israel has made to eliminate or remove me," Arafat said, according to the AP. "The problem, the real danger, is the intent of the Israeli government to cancel the Palestinian partner and to eliminate the presence of the Palestinian Authority." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)