Israel will not accept a situation in which the Palestinian Authority is again ruled by Yasser Arafat or anyone of his choosing, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office said in a statement issued Saturday after Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas submitted his resignation.
United States Secretary for Homeland Security Tom Ridge said that Abbas' resignation would delay efforts to get both sides back to the negotiating table.
According to Israel's Army Radio, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said that the Israeli government will not negotiate with Arafat, because he is "part of the problem and not a part of the solution."
Israel Radio quoted Israeli Health Minister Dan Naveh as saying that Abbas' resignation proves that Arafat's "terror regime" will continue. Israel must expel Arafat immediately, Naveh added. (Albawaba.com)
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