Palestinians Urge Israel to Accept Jordanian-Egyptian Proposal as Clashes Continue

Published April 15th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The Palestinian National Authority on Sunday called upon Israel to agree to the Jordanian-Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire and resumption of negotiations, Israeli Army Radio reported, cited by The Jerusalem Post.  

Meanwhile, the Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdul Ilah Al Khatib is due to visit Israel Monday and formally present the plan.  

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's advisor, Tayeb Abdul-Rahim, said the Palestinians have accepted the proposal in its entirety without any reservations, and that Israel should do likewise.  

In the meanwhile, Palestinians stone throwers clashed with Israeli soldiers near the Al Ram junction north of Jerusalem Sunday afternoon, said the Israeli paper, adding that the occupation forces fired back rubber bullets at the protestors.  

Palestinians also hurled stones and nails at the central square of the Gaza Strip Jewish settlement of Neveh Dekalim earlier in the day.  

There were no injuries or damage in the incident, Israel Radio reported.  

On Saturday, a militant from the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas was killed in an explosion in Gaza City, in what the movement called an Israeli "assassination," said reports. 

Mohammed Yassin Nassar, 24, was killed and another four people were wounded, two of them seriously, security and medical sources said, adding that one of those injured was a 13-year-boy. 

Hamas official Abdul Aziz al-Rantissi told AFP that Nassar was killed when his house was hit by Israeli rockets fired from the nearby Karni checkpoint. 

"This is an assassination by the Israeli army against a Hamas activist and we accuse Israel of being behind this attack," he said. 

"The house was shelled by our Zionist enemy," Rantissi added.  

"The father of the dead man informed us that he was sitting at home with his family when two rockets hit the house." 

Witnesses said the house, which was used by the Hamas movement, was destroyed in the blast. 

Meanwhile, Haaretz newspaper reported Nasser was the bodyguard of the movement's spiritual leader, Sheikh Amed Yassin. 

It added that he was killed while preparing a bomb which exploded, rejecting claims that Israeli troops killed the militant. 

Israel's military spokesman, Ron Kitri, categorically rejected any Israeli involvement in Nasser's death, telling Israel Radio on Sunday that "this is not our work, and we know that they were busy with something... that does not hold anything good for us. And they blew up."  

Israel has assassinated around 20 militants during the near seven months of deadly violence, including members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad as well as members of Fateh movement. 

 

HEAVY FIREFIGHT ERUPTS ON EGYPT-GAZA BORDER, 46 PALESTINIANS WOUNDED 

 

At least 46 Palestinians were wounded when a fierce firefight erupted on Saturday following an Israeli army raid in Rafah on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, said reports. 

Israeli tanks shelled Palestinian shops in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip after the army bulldozed a Palestinian security position in the area, prompting a heavy exchange of fire between the army and Palestinians, witnesses said. 

Medical sources told AFP that at least 46 people were injured, five of them seriously, by bullets and shrapnel during the incident, which saw several hundred people involved in the confrontation, dozens of them armed. 

The army operation came only days after Israeli forces attacked the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip in its first major ground assault into Palestinian controlled territory since the Intifada erupted almost seven months ago. 

During the fighting which lasted five hours, Israeli bulldozers destroyed 16 houses along with 12 shops and the security post, witnesses and security sources said, adding that the houses had already been abandoned by residents because of the continuous fighting in the region. 

"The military presence in the area provokes people and escalates the confrontation," a Palestinian security source told AFP. 

An army spokeswoman said Palestinians had opened fire on an army force in the region. 

"A heavy exchange of fire is going on. Palestinians have thrown around five grenades at army forces," she told AFP. 

Witnesses said the Israeli tanks had withdrawn from the area but two combat helicopters were circling overhead. 

 

BOMB EXPLODES NEAR QALQILYA SUNDAY, NO INJURIES 

 

A bomb exploded Sunday morning near an Israeli army checkpoint on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Qalqilyah, said Radio Israel, adding that there were no injuries.  

The explosion was not far from Kfar Saba near the West Bank city of Qalqilya inside the Green Line, where two pipe-bombs blew up Saturday night injuring two people.  

The Brigades of the Martyrs of al-Aqsa on Sunday claimed responsibility for one of the two attacks, said AFP. 

A communiqué received by AFP said the bomb explosion in Kfar Saba was a "riposte to Israeli aggressions against our people in Palestine and south Lebanon." 

The group has claimed several minor attacks against Israeli targets since the eruption of the Palestinian Intifada or uprising on September 28. 

The explosions went off one hour apart from each other, injuring two, one seriously, Israeli media reported. 

The first explosion went off between two parked cars on the northern portion of the busy Herzl Street at 8:15 p.m. (1715 GMT) injuring no one, public radio said. 

One hour later, at about 9:15 p.m. (1815 GMT), a second blast went off on the southern section of Herzl Street just a few hundred meters from the first explosion, seriously injuring one person as numerous police officers and members of the bomb squad descended on the area, the radio said, cited by AFP. 

The injured were taken to a local hospital as a police bomb squad checked the area for explosives, said Haaretz. 

Police sources told the paper that the explosive devices were different to those used in the Sharon area in the last month, and suggested that they were either the work of a new cell that had begun operating, or the work of an operative cell that had changed the explosive devices it was using.  

 

HAARETZ: OMRI SHARON MET WITH ARAFAT AGAIN 

 

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's son, Omri, met Palestinian President Yasser Arafat for the second time last Wednesday, but no details of the meeting have emerged, reported Haaretz. 

According to the paper, these are not random meetings, but a personal channel of communication evolving between Sharon and Arafat.  

Sharon has declared he would not meet Arafat while the violence continues, but seems content to let his son act as a proxy, said the paper, adding that Sharon has reported the content of the meeting to Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. 

In the first meeting about two weeks ago Omri Sharon was escorted by former Shin Bet head Yossi Ginosar and on Wednesday he went with the present Shin Bet chief, Avi Dichter.  

It is not clear if Ginosar and Dichter took an active part in the meetings. In addition to his two meetings with the Palestinian President, Omri Sharon has also participated in a meeting in Vienna immediately after his father took office.  

The meeting was with Arafat's financial and personal aide Mohammed Rashid, former director general of the foreign ministry, Eitan Bentsur, and Sharon's attorney, Dov Weisglass, who is considered the leading candidate for attorney general, the paper said. 

"If Omri Sharon's meetings with Arafat aim to convince the Palestinian leader to bring an end to violence so that negotiations can begin, they do not seem to have had the desired effect," an official said.  

 

 

ISRAEL RADIO: PERES MET WITH ABU ALA 

 

Peres has met Abu Ala (Ahmad Qureia), the Speaker of the Palestinian parliament, to discuss ending the violence and renewing peace talks, Israel Radio reported Sunday, cited by Haaretz.  

The radio also reported that Peres hoped to meet soon with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's number two, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Maazen).  

Peres' bureau refused to confirm the meeting, saying only that the minister was not in the habit of providing information about his meetings, and that when he had something to tell the public, he would.  

 

DAHLAN: ISRAEL TO BLAME FOR 'DESTROYING SECURITY COOPERATION' 

 

 

Mohammed Dahlan, the head of preventive security in the Gaza Strip, has blamed Israel for destroying security cooperation between the two sides, and has said that leading Hamas activist, Mohammed Deif, is no longer in the custody of the Palestinian Authority (PA).  

In an interview with Israel Radio, Dahlan also said that because of the blows the Palestinian security apparatus had sustained at the hands of the Israeli troops, the PA no longer had the ability to stop the violence.  

Dahlan was quoted as saying that it was no longer a matter of "will," but that it was now a matter of "ability." - Albawaba.com  

 

 

© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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