Erekat Fears more Violence in Palestinian Territories

Published March 1st, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat expressed concern Wednesday that violence in the Palestinian territories would increase as the Middle East awaited new peace ideas from the US administration. Meanwhile, Israel chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz accused the Palestinian Authority of terrorism, said reports.  

"It might take the US administration months to prepare its position in dealing with the Middle East question. This means there will be more violence in the territories," Erekat told reporters in Cairo where Palestinian President Yasser Arafat held talks with President Hosni Mubarak.  

Erekat also said that a planned left-right national unity government in Israel will paralyze the peace process, reported AFP. 

"The government of national unity will be a government of paralysis and impotence" with regard to the peace process, Erakat said, adding that the words will come from Labor, but the action will be from Likud. 

The Palestinian official predicted an extension of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories and a refusal to respond to the requirements for a definitive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the agency said. 

"Even if Sharon says he is not going to build new settlements, he will allow what he calls the natural growth of existing settlements -- which means a large extension of the settlements and making Jerusalem Jewish to impose a fait accompli," Erakat added. 

Meanwhile, Israeli Chief of Staff Shaol Mofaz said Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority "is turning into a terrorist entity," reported The Jerusalem Post newspaper. 

"The escalation of violence in the territories has reached a point that even senior Palestinian Authority officers are taking part in attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers," he said.  

"The Palestinian government and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat are themselves involved in the authorization and execution of these attacks," Mofaz was quoted by the paper as telling Israel Radio.  

According to Mofaz, the Palestinians are presenting two fronts: they publicly state that they are acting to reduce the level of violence in the territories, but at the same time they are giving a green light to the Fateh and Hamas organizations to attack Israelis -  








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