Palestinians, Israelis to Resume Talks Tuesday

Published January 16th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Israel and the Palestinians agreed to resume talks Tuesday on US President Bill Clinton's peace parameters after an emotion-charged day of violence in the Gaza Strip, reported AFP. 

"We have had contact Monday night and it has been agreed to meet Tuesday afternoon to restart the negotiations," Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP without disclosing the meeting place. 

The Israelis had canceled peace talks Monday due to the death of a Jewish settler in the Gaza Strip, allegedly murdered by Palestinians, and re-imposed tight controls on the territory. 

The death sparked a rampage against Palestinian property by some 100 settlers, two of whom were arrested. 

"We have lodged a strong protest with (Israeli Prime Minister Ehud) Barak's office and informed the European Union," he said. 

Haaretz newspaper said that Jewish settlers had been authorized for the first time to carry out armed patrols under police supervision around Hebron in the West Bank. 

The settlers would join the "agricultural civil guard," a force of police volunteers protecting Jewish farms against Palestinian depredations. 

According to Haaretz, settlers' leader Tzika Braha told the radio that it was better that the settlers carry out security operations in an official capacity with the police rather than spontaneously and unsupervised. 

Palestinian officials told AFP that the Israeli side at Tuesday's talks would be represented by Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami, security cabinet member Amnon Lipkin-Shahak and Prime Minister Ehud Barak's senior advisor Gilad Sher. 

On the Palestinian side, Erakat, Palestinian parliament chief Ahmed Qorei, information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo and Gaza Strip security chief Mohammed Dahlan would attend, added the agency. 

Few incidents were reported overnight, apart from a gun battle lasting several hours between the Israeli military and Palestinians near a settlement in the southern Gaza Strip, and sporadic shooting in the West Bank. 

On Monday, a Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in a village near the West Bank city of Nablus. 

Israeli forces had entered the town after a Jewish settler was shot in the hand and Palestinians fired upon an Israeli army officer, said AFP.  

Fighting continued throughout the day in the village, which is in an Israeli-controlled security zone. 

The killing came after the body of Roni Tzalat, who went missing Sunday in the southern Gaza Strip, was discovered in a field in the Palestinian autonomous town of Khan Yunis, said Haaretz. 

Israeli sources said Tzalah might have been kidnapped by Palestinian co-workers at the greenhouse where he was employed. 

Around 100 Jewish settlers struck back at Palestinians for Tzalah's murder, descending upon the Arab area of al-Mawasi near Kfar Yam where he disappeared, said AFP. 

Palestinian witnesses said they burned seven empty houses, 15 plastic-covered greenhouses, 20 beach-houses, farms, fruit trees and two cars -- Albawaba.com 

 

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