The Qatari foreign minister on Saturday urged both Israel and the Palestinians to stop the violence, during a visit to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
"We all know both sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians, should stop the violence," Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani said at a joint news conference with Arafat in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
"The only way out and the only way for salvation is not through violence but through negotiations," he said on the second visit by an Arab foreign minister to Arafat who has been under Israeli confinement since early December.
However Sheikh Hamad, who arrived in Ramallah on Saturday, said it was clear the Palestinians "were responding to Israeli violence," and urged all parties to commit themselves to fulfilling international and UN resolutions, according to AFP.
"I am sure that once the Israeli and Palestinian conflict is solved, we will have a totally different view of the Middle East," he said.
Arafat described the visit of Sheikh Hamad, whose country currently holds the presidency of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, as a much-appreciated "touch of love and courage", particularly at such a difficult time.
Meanwhile, a Doha-based Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, had said Sheikh Hamad's visit was to show solidarity with Arafat after Israeli helicopter gunships fired rockets next to the Palestinian leader's office on Wednesday night.
Sheikh Hamad said on January 23 that the Arabs could not help the Palestinians and that their only option was to "beg" the United States to intervene to bring an end to Israel-Palestinian violence. (Albawaba.com)
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