Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak reiterated Sunday his objection to an international observer force deployed in the Palestinian territories, gripped by seven weeks of bloody violence.
"The prime minister reaffirms that in the current situation, Israel is opposed to the deployment of international observers in the Palestinian territories," said a statement issued from Barak's office.
"There is no change in our position, which is that observers can only assist the implementation of an accord after it is signed," the statement added.
On Friday, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he would consult Israelis and Palestinians on sending observers to halt the bloodshed that has claimed nearly 245 lives.
He told Security Council members that his first priority was to stop the violence.
"I appeal to the Israelis to use non-lethal methods of riot control and I appeal to the Palestinians to do all they can to stop the violence," he said.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has urged the United Nations to send a 2,000-strong protection force to the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
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