Israel kills two Palestinian civilians; Sharon says occupation can't continue
An 11-year-old Palestinian boy, Samer Arar, was shot dead by Israeli troops in the West Bank village of Krawat Bani Zeid on Monday evening. Arar was hit in the head when soldiers fired live rounds to try to disperse a crowd of stone throwers in the village, located near the West Bank city of Ramallah, witnesses said.
Earlier Monday, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian adjacent to the Gaza Strip border. Another Palestinian later surrendered to Israeli soldiers, Israel's Army Radio reported. The two tried to enter Israel to look for work.
Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon faced harsh criticism during a Likud Party meeting Monday afternoon in which he defended his cabinet's conditional approval of the road map peace plan on Sunday and his decision to advance the plan.
Sharon responded to his critics, saying the occupation of the Palestinians cannot continue indefinitely.
"It is not possible to continue holding three and a half million people under occupation," Sharon said. "This is a terrible thing for Israel, for the Palestinians and for the Israeli economy. Today, 1.8 million Palestinians live thanks to support from international organizations. Do you want to take responsible for them yourselves? I do not think that it is right to control Bethlehem and Ramallah."
The prime minister added the security situation has far-reaching influence on the economy.
"There will be security, there will be quiet and - with the revolutionary economic steps now being taken - there will be investment in Israel and a resultant flourishing economy," Sharon said.
Sharon maintained that the road map approved by the cabinet poses no security threat to Israel. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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