Barak: Washington meeting aim at halting Intifada; Israel strikes Palestinians cities
Palestine-Israel, Politics, 12/20/2000
While the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza carried out a general strike in protest of resuming the negotiations between the Palestinian government and Israel in Washington, the Israeli occupation forces continued its artillery bombardment against Palestinian cities and villages.
Meantime, the Israeli settlers continued their provocation and aggressions against the Palestinians and this resulted in wounding several Palestinians including 9 students.
In the first Israeli comment on Washington's meetings, the divan of the resigned Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak said that these meetings do not intend to discuss the essence of the negotiations and issues pending between the two sides, rather to halt the Intifada which has been continuous since 3 months.
Observers stressed that amid the continued Intifada and Barak's resignation, and the rapprochement of the Israeli elections it will be very difficult for the two sides to reach an accepted formula over matters they had failed in the past to settle, in remarks to the deep gaps between the two sides which resulted in foiling the Camp David meetings in July.
Observers say that these causes include the situation of occupied Palestine, the fate of the Palestinian refugees, the borders, the future power given to the Palestinian government and the future of Jewish settlements built on the occupied Arab territories.
Meantime, the Israeli deputy war minister Ifraem Senh expressed his hope that the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will result in halting the Palestinian Intifada.
During a tour he made on Tuesday in Haifa, Seneh added it is premature to talk about what he described the possibility of Israel's giving up sovereignty over the holy city of Jerusalem for the sake of making a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
For her part, the Israeli minister of settlement Yuli Tamir said on Tuesday that Israel might give up sovereignty over al-Aqsa Mosque for getting concessions from the Palestinian side on the right of the Palestinian refugees to return back to their territories.
In statements to the Israeli radio, Tamir added that reaching a settlement over occupied Jerusalem has become nearby and that Israel has to agree what she called " very painful concessions," explaining that " it is in a way or another to give up sovereignty over al-Aqsa mosque for getting the most important which is the Palestinians to give up the right to return back for their refugees.
She added that the right to return constitutes the greatest concern for Israel which wants to maintain the majority and the Jewish characteristics, noting that giving up the right of the Palestinians to return back is the only way to achieve that.
Regarding confrontations between the israeli forces and the Palestinians, the Palestinian Intifada youths threw an explosive on an Israeli military vehicle near Barqa village, near Nablus and the car was badly damaged as a result..
An explosive went off near the crossroad of the Israeli settlements in Gaza- Natsareim when an Israeli military vehicle passed by in its was to Gaza to reinforce the Israeli forces at the sector.
In Beit Anoun village in the West bank, 10 Palestinians were wounded including 9 students who were seriously wounded as the israeli settlers opened fire against them.
Palestinian sources said that the settlers who arrived in Keryat Arba settlement near hebron opened fire on a group of Palestinians who were in their way to the village's farms and this led to the eruption of confrontation between the citizens of the villages and the Israeli settlers. In the north of the West bank, eye-witnesses at Kafer al-Dick village said that the israeli soldiers and secret cells broke into seven palestinian houses at the Pretext of searching for weapons.
Three Palestinians were killed on Monday's confrontations
Four Palestinians killed on Sunday's confrontations with the Israelis
Six Palestinians killed in the third Friday of Ramadan
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