Israelis, Split on Peace Process, Take to the Streets
Several thousand Jewish settlers demonstrated late Saturday in Jerusalem for a complete end to negotiations with the Palestinians, while an equal number of Israelis protested for peace in the northern city of Haifa.
The settlers gathered in front of Prime Minister Ehud Barak's residence in Jerusalem chanting "Arafat Fights, Barak Surrenders." Some demonstrators held signs calling on Barak to resign.
Barak "is waking up and understanding what the people figured out three weeks ago" at the start of clashes with the Palestinians, said Yehoshua Mor-Yossef, a spokesman for Jewish settlers in the West Bank.
"Arafat is an enemy, and with an enemy you fight, you don't negotiate," he said.
Several buses full of settlers did not make the demonstration due to the continuing violence in the West Bank.
In Haifa, some 2,000 Israelis gathered in front of city hall, some carrying signs reading "A Just Peace for Two Peoples."
The demonstration included members of Peace Now and other peace groups, along with a number of Israeli Arabs, Israeli television said.
"This demonstration's message is that the peace process must be saved," said Israeli Arab MP Issam Mahoul.
During the past three weeks of clashes some of Israel's Arab minority rioted in support of the Palestinians, enraging many Israelis -- JERSUALEM (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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