Israeli Right-Wing Accuses Barak of Making Dangerous Concessions for Peace
Israel's right-wing opposition accused Prime Minister Ehud Barak Thursday of making dangerous concessions at Camp David, where negotiations to end half a century of conflict are to continue after the United States earlier declared the summit a failure.
Ariel Sharon, the hawkish leader of the main opposition party Likud, said it appeared Barak was being outmaneuvered by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat at the US-brokered talks which kicked off on July 11th.
"Arafat is better than the members of Israeli delegation led by Ehud Barak which hasn't stopped making painful concessions at the summit and is conducting the talks amateurishly," Sharon told Israeli public radio.
US President Bill Clinton, who is heading to Japan for a summit of leading industrialized nations, said Israel and the Palestinians had agreed to pursue peace talks after he earlier said the summit was dead, but cautioned that there were no guarantees of a positive result.
The main stumbling block is understood to be Jerusalem, the Holy City coveted by both sides as their capital and the most emotive issue at the center of the 52-year conflict.
"Ehud Barak is putting us in a dangerous situation because he is accepting concessions on Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and on the right of return [of Palestinian refugees]," Sharon said.
"We must eradicate the withdrawal lines drawn at Camp David," Sharon said, accusing Barak of seeking to divide Jerusalem which Israel claims as its eternal undivided capital.
Press reports suggest Barak is ready to transfer to the Palestinians control of Arab districts of east Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967 and which is home to sites holy to Muslims, Christians and Jews -- OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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