Israel Warns of ‘Unilateral’ Action if Palestinian State Declaration not Postponed
Israel warned on Saturday that it would retaliate with "unilateral steps" of its own if the Palestinians failed to postpone a declaration of statehood originally set for September 13th.
The warning came from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in an interview with CNN television as the Palestinian Central Council held a meeting attended by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Gaza City to debate the issue.
Barak told CNN that there had been international pressure for a delay, adding: "It's clear that if he (Arafat) breaks all the agreements and goes for a unilateral declaration of independence, then there will be unilateral steps of our own."
Barak also reiterated earlier calls on Arafat to compromise in order to reach a peace agreement.
He said another summit bringing together the United States, Israel and the Palestinians was unlikely unless Arafat showed flexibility.
"There's always a chance (of a summit), but we're realistic," Barak said. "There is a need for major effort, especially on behalf of Chairman Arafat, in order to give it the kind of momentum that will make it an accomplishment within a few weeks." – NEW YORK (AFP)
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