Two Palestinians killed near Jenin; Dahlan submits resignation; Sharon calls Palestinians to change regime
Two Palestinians were killed Monday afternoon by Israeli fire. According to Palestinian sources, Israeli tanks fired at least six shells towards the Palestinians in the Jenin area. Islamic Jihad announced the dead were its members and vowed revenge. Israeli sources said the two attempted to detonate an explosive device against an Israeli tank in the area.
Palestinian National Security Adviser Mohammed Dahlan has resigned over the slow pace of internal reforms, but Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has yet to accept the resignation, a Palestinian official said on Monday.
"Dahlan sent a written letter to President Arafat in Ramallah, tendering his resignation and giving as a reason delays in the Palestinian leadership implementing security and administrative reforms," the official told Reuters.
The official said Arafat informed members of his Fatah Central Committee during a meeting on Sunday of Dahlan's decision, but did not himself comment on it.
Dahlan resigned as head of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service in the Gaza Strip earlier this year, again citing differences over reforms.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called on Palestinians to overthrow their leadership and predicted Monday that the coming year could bring a turning point in the Mideast conflict.
"Your terrible suffering is needless," Sharon said, addressing his comments to the Palestinians during a speech that inaugurated the winter session of Israel's parliament. "Blood is being spilled for nothing. Change the despotic regime that is leading you from failure to failure, from tragedy to tragedy."
Sharon charged that "murderous terror gangs" have taken over the Palestinian territories with Arafat's encouragement and consent. However, he added: "I assess that there is a real possibility that the coming year will be a turning point. I believe that our Palestinian neighbors will themselves reach a moment of change in their attitude toward Israel."
Sharon said his government would be "alert to any sign of change ... to make peace." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)