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Division for Palestinian Rights
31 May 1997
D i v i s i o n f o r P a l e s t i n i a n R i g h t s
Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine
Monthly media monitoring review
According to Israel’s public radio, construction began on a new network of roads in the West Bank for Jewish settlers to by-pass Palestinian self-rule areas. Israel began building the by-pass roads for Jewish settlers after the signing of the Interim Agreement in September 1995.
Following the lifting by Israel of its closure of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on 30 April, a little more than half the number permitted (around 55,000 to 56,000) came to work. According to Hanna Zohar, director of Kav La’oved, the workers’ hot line, foreign workers got two thirds of what Palestinians get, because Palestinians were paid through the payroll department of the Labour Ministry. Foreign workers work 12 hours a day. Palestinians would have no chance to get jobs in agriculture, where workers from Thailand are employed, and the Building Contractors’ Association said building was slowing down.
reported that President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak and President of the Syrian Arab Republic Hafez al-Assad met at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to discuss “the current impasse in the peace process caused by Israel’s settlement policy in East Jerusalem.”
United States Middle East peace envoy Dennis Ross will travel to the region next week. The Department of State spokesman John Dinger made the following announcement: “The President and Secretary Albright are sending Ambassador Ross back again to consult further with the parties on steps they are prepared to take to re-energise the process.”
The Palestinian Authority said it had banned the sale of land through unauthorised agents in order to counter expansion of Jewish settlement. The ban affected all of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Prime Minister of Jordan Abdulsalam al-Majali said his country would attend a mini-summit proposed by President Mubarak of Egypt. The four-way meeting would involve President Mubarak, Prime Minister Netanyahu, King Hussein and PA President Arafat.
The Israeli Government gave permission to residents of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Barkan to add 150 new homes to the community. The settlement of 145 families is located about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south-west of Nablus.
Israeli soldiers demolished four Palestinian houses in Hebron, saying they had been constructed illegally. The houses were located near the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba.
Around 200 Palestinians demonstrated against the imprisonment by Israel of a hospital director. The protesters gathered in front of the Red Cross headquarters in Hebron, demanding the release of the director of the city’s Al-Ahli hospital, Dr. Samir al-Qadi. The demonstrators said Dr. al-Qadi had been in administrative detention without charges.
The Jerusalem Post
reported that, according to Israel’s Ministry of the Interior, the number of identity cards of East Jerusalem Palestinians revoked since January 1996 was 1,047. The Prime Minister’s spokesman Shai Bazak said the Israeli Government was working on the issue of Palestinian residency permits. Human rights groups reported night-time raids on houses in villages just outside Jerusalem, in which Palestinian identity cards were checked and sometimes confiscated. The Interior Ministry defended its policy of stripping East Jerusalem Palestinians of their IDs. Interior Minister Eli Suissa said his ministry’s goal, acting within the law, “is to prevent a flooding of Jerusalem” by Palestinians and to promote “a rise in the Jewish population.”
(The Jerusalem Post, The Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service)
According to Ali Alatas, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, his country will not establish diplomatic relations with Israel until outstanding disputes between Israel and the Arab world are resolved. Speaking on 5 May at the United Nations Asian Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, held at Jakarta, Mr. Alatas said: “There will be no diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Israel until the Palestine and Arab-Israel problems have been solved. … This is our principle, our basic stand and I believe the world will respect and understand our point of view.”
A meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan was cancelled in a dispute over water. According to a senior Israeli official speaking with
The Associated Press
, Jordan cancelled the meeting after a breakdown in talks on water allocation. Prime Minister Netanyahu called the cancellation a “small breakdown” in relations with Jordan, but said he was confident a solution to the disagreement would be found.
(AFP, AP, Reuters)
Israeli police demolished three illegally built Jewish settler houses at the West Bank Jewish settlement of Yitzhar, south-east of Nablus. The houses were built two years ago by residents of the Yitzhar settlement. After police bulldozers destroyed two of the structures, about 30 settlers closed themselves up in the third building and had to be removed by force. Eighteen Jewish settlers were arrested. A spokesman for the Israeli military administration in the West Bank said the demolitions took place only after the settlers lost legal appeals.
PA President Yasser Arafat and Israel’s President Ezer Weizman met at Erez checkpoint to discuss ways of renewing security cooperation between the two sides. President Weizman said after the meeting: “Talks will be renewed between the security chiefs of the Palestinian Authority and Israel. This was agreed and I hope in the coming days it will begin to work.” According to Yasser Abed Rabbo, a PA member: “None of the basic issues were resolved during the meeting. We clarified and insisted during the meeting that resumption of negotiations will not take place before full cessation of all settlement activities. As for security coordination, Weizman insisted on restoring coordination. We have agreed on meetings at the security level that will be attended by the Americans.”
(AFP, AP, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post)
Foreign Minister of Germany Klaus Kinkel said there was no alternative to the Middle East peace process and that his country was opposed to Israel’s settlement policies. Following his talks at Luxor, Egypt, with President Mubarak, Kinkel said: “We are absolutely opposed to the settlement policies and support the Arab position.”
According to Mohammed Salim, a Palestinian official, who monitors Palestinian house demolitions for Orient House in East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities have demolished 18 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem since the start of the year and another 114 that have received demolition warnings.
Kawthar Sallam, a reporter for the West Bank-based
, was attacked by Jewish settlers of the Beit Hadassah enclave in Hebron. The settlers beat her with their fists and hurled eggs and stones at her. According to Ms. Sallam, the settlers ran away only after other reporters and members of an international observer force arrived on the scene.
US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross held three hours of talks with PA President Arafat in Gaza City, following two sessions on 7 and 8 May with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Ross was expected to propose new initiatives that include Israel’s freeze on settlement construction and resumption by the PA of intelligence information sharing.
said Ross and Netanyahu discussed an Israeli proposal to move directly to negotiations on permanent status. Also on Mr. Ross’ agenda were confidence-building measures the sides were willing to offer to restart the peace process. PA President’s spokesman Marwan Kanafani said Mr. Arafat had stressed to Ross the need to stop all settlement activity before peace negotiations could resume. David Bar-Illan, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s communications director, said on 7 May: “We obviously are not going to stop building in the settlements any more than the Palestinians are going to stop building in their towns.”
(AFP, AP, Ha’aretz, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post)
Jewish settlers occupied a newly acquired house in East Jerusalem to expand a yeshiva. Ahmed Tibi, an aide to the PA President, said: “This is a very dangerous provocation, which will raise tensions and the chance and danger of a clash. It is an attempt to Judaize Arab East Jerusalem.”
Several dozen Israeli soldiers stormed into a bedouin village of Farush Beit Dajan outside Jericho, tore down a number of shacks and severely beat residents who resisted. The army confiscated tents, a farm tractor and three water tanks.
Jibril Rajoub and Mohammed Dahlan, heads of Palestinian Preventive Security in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, met in Tel Aviv with officials of Israel’s Shin Bet.
said the meeting was held at the United States embassy, and that the head of Shin Bet Ami Ayalon did not attend, sending lower-ranking officials instead. A CIA official also attended.
(AFP, AP, Reuters)
Hundreds of Palestinians protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers in Hebron. The clashes erupted when the Palestinians threw stones, fire-bombs and bottles at Israeli soldiers guarding in an enclave of some 400 Jewish settlers. The soldiers responded with rubber-coated bullets. Four Palestinians were reported slightly wounded.
(AFP, AP, Reuters)
Foreign Minister of Jordan Fayez al-Tarawneh said secret meeting between King Hussein and Prime Minister Netanyahu at the port of Aqaba did not resolve an outstanding water dispute.
The statement issued by the Palestinian cabinet called on the United States “to assume its responsibilities for the peace process” and to put pressure on Israel instead of acting as its protector. The statement was released after the Cabinet meeting in Ramallah on 9 May.
Israel imposed a total closure on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on the eve of commemorating its independence day.
US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross met with PA President Arafat in Ramallah on 11 May to discuss the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. US Consul General in Jerusalem Edward Abington said Ross was trying to arrange a US-Israeli-Palestinian meeting.
Following his meetings with a delegation of Italian businessmen in Ramallah, Ahmed Qorei, President of the Palestinian Council, said: “The accords (with Israel) set the interim period as lasting for five years from the date of September 4, 1994. So, the following day we will announce our independent State.”
Germany agreed to give the Palestinian authority a US$42 million grant for use in sewage and water projects. Nabil Shaath, PA Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, said after signing the agreement with the German Ministry of International Cooperation: “The lion’s share of the grant will go into projects for sewage water and their purification in the West Bank.” He added that Germany also agreed to fund a large part of a sewage water project in the Gaza Strip, which would be completed in 2000 and cost a total of US$75 million. According to Shaath, Germany has provided a total of US$90 million for the Palestinians in 1997, including funds given through the European Union.
Israeli army attempted to destroy seven aluminum shacks belonging to bedouin families in a village of Farush Beit Dajan in the West Bank. Dozens of the villagers and members of the local Palestinian committee against settlements lay down in front of bulldozers. Scuffles broke out forcing the army to leave.
Leaders of the seven-nation South-Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), at the end of a three-day summit held at Male, Maldives, adopted a joint declaration, in which the leaders “expressed concern at the setback to the peace process and unleashing of violence against Palestinian people in occupied territories and the resulting threat to the peace process due to policies of the Government of Israel in establishing and enlarging Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.” The SAARC leaders “also called for the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination and the establishment of a sovereign State under the leadership of the PLO, their sole legitimate representative, which could coexist with its neighbours in peace and harmony.”
In a resolution adopted at the final plenary meeting of the World Health Assembly, meeting at Geneva for its fiftieth session, the Assembly noted “with deep concern the current obstacles facing the peace process, in particular the Israeli resuming of settlement policies in the Palestinian territory.” It also expressed concern over “the adverse consequences of the continuous closure of the Palestinian territory on its socio-economic development, including the health sector.” The Assembly called upon Israel “not to hamper the Palestinian health authorities in carrying out their full responsibility for the Palestinian people, including in occupied East Jerusalem, and to lift the closure imposed on Palestinian territory.” Israel’ delegation denounced the resolution as “thoroughly politicized”, while the United States called it “unbecoming of the World Health Organization.”
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the Palestinian consumer price index in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, rose by 1.28 per cent in April, compared to a 0.09 per cent drop in March. The PCBS said that cost increases were led by housing, food and education services. “Prices went up by 6.61 per cent from April 1996 to April 1997, the PCBS statement said.
Israel’s Labour party , at its convention, adopted a new platform backing Palestinians’ right to self-determination and an independent State. Labour delegates voted against the return to Israel of Palestinians who fled their homes during the 1948 hostilities. They approved, however, a phrase supporting the return of refugees from 1948 and the 1967 war to Palestinian areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They also voted to strengthen Jewish settlement in the occupied Syrian Golan.
The Palestinian delegation met with their Israeli counterparts at the Herzliya home of the US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk. The meeting was arranged by the US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross. The Israeli delegation was headed by Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordekhai. It also included Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh and Yitzhak Molkho, legal adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu. The Palestinian delegation included chief negotiator Saeb Erakat and Nabil Shaath, PA Minister of Planning and International Cooperation. Following the meeting, Mr. Erakat commented on its outcome: “What we needed from the Israeli side was a freeze of settlements, an end to land confiscations, and an end to construction at Abu Ghneim. We did not hear it. On the contrary, we heard that settlements will continue.” Saying that the US envoy had focused only on procedural issues, Erakat told
Voice of Palestine
radio: “I believe that Dennis Ross’ current mission has failed.”
(AFP, AP, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post)
The Israeli Government unveiled plans for celebrations in June to mark the thirtieth anniversary of Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories. Hanan Ashrawi, PA Minister of Higher Education and member of the Palestinian Council, representing East Jerusalem, said in this connection: “This is not only an act of provocation, but also of insensitivity. It celebrates illegality and the distortion of reality. It should be a day of sorrow.”
The US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross’ mission ended in a failure, with PA President Arafat ordering his negotiators not to attend a scheduled meeting with their Israeli counterparts in the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. According to officials close to Mr. Arafat, the PA President wrote in a letter to President Clinton that he was disappointed with Ross’ mission and that the mission had failed to produce any results. The letter called for a greater US role in the peace process. It was to be handled to the US Consul General in Jerusalem Edward Abington. On the Israeli side, Danny Naveh, Cabinet Secretary, told Israel’s army radio: “There is an attempt, apparently, by the Palestinian Authority, by its leader, to create an artificial crisis.”
(AFP, AP, Reuters)
The European Union Middle East peace envoy Miguel Moratinos said that it was time for Europe to act to rescue the peace process. Following his meeting with Saeb Erakat, chief Palestinian negotiator, Mr. Moratinos told reporters: “It is up to Europe to work quickly to save the peace process and we will work side by side with the Americans to put negotiations back on track.”
Bulldozers working on a new Jewish settlement south of East Jerusalem seriously damaged the remains of the fifth century Cathisma church believed to have been built to commemorate the Virgin Mary’s trip to Bethlehem on the eve on the birth of Jesus. Zvi Greenhut, an official at Israel’s Antiquities Authority, said: “Despite all the warnings of the Antiquities Authority and specific instructions to the planners, they ignored what they were told and ran over the church and seriously damaged the antiquities. There is damage to the mosaics and the walls.” According to archeologists, the mosaic floors were unique in richness and design.
The EU Middle East envoy Miguel Moratinos said in Cairo that the peace process was in danger and that he would urge Russia to play a more active role in salvaging peace negotiations.. Following his talks with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Amre Moussa, Moratinos said: “The situation has become very dangerous. The peace process must be saved. The European Union will do all it can through diplomatic channels to save the peace process. He said he would visit Gaza, Israel and then proceed to Russia. His visit to Russia would aim to “boost the Russian role at this difficult time.”
PA Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo condemned Israeli plans to demolish hundreds of Palestinian homes in the Israeli-occupied parts of the West Bank. He called the move “ethnic cleansing” aimed at destroying the peace process and likely to spark violence. Mr. Abed Rabbo also said that Israel was practising “a racist and systematic policy … of uprooting Palestinians from their land.”
had reported that as many as 500 homes were slated for demolition.
(AFP, AP, The Financial Times)
Speaking before businessmen in Tel Aviv, US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk said: “The core bargain of Oslo has broken down - Israel was promised security and the Palestinians were promised self-government.’ PA President’s spokesman Marwan Kanafani directly blamed the US Ambassador for the stalemate. He said: “He is the one who has encouraged Israel to continue its settlement policy. The Americans should be telling Netanyahu that confidence-building measures cannot succeed in the light of … the settlement building.”
(AFP, The Jerusalem Post)
According to Israel’s
news agency, the Governments of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia rejected invitations to send representatives to the 1997 technology fair in Tel Aviv in protest to a freeze in the Middle East peace process.
Palestinian Airlines announced that it would launch its first scheduled international flights in June with twice-weekly trips to Jordan.
reported that, at a meeting of Israeli and Palestinian officials held during his visit to the region, the United States Middle East envoy Dennis Ross presented a US study, compiled early this year partly with satellite photography data, showing that some 26 per cent of Jewish settlements in the West Bank are unoccupied. The figure for the vacant settlement units the Gaza Strip is 56 per cent and for the Syrian Golan - 28 per cent. “The United States believes Israel need not expand settlements, because a large part of the housing units in them are unoccupied”, the newspaper said. It also said the US study showed 31,061 of 41,000 settler homes in the West Bank were occupied, with 2,000 homes (26 per cent) empty in the settlement of Ariel alone. The study did not include East Jerusalem. Prime Minister Netanyahu denied the existence of the study. Settler leaders dismissed it as “nonsense”.
Elias Freij, 80, the mayor of Bethlehem and PA Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, said he was retiring after 25 years in the post on the advice of his doctor. Freij, a Christian, has been a member of the Bethlehem council since 1946. He was elected to his mayoral post in May 1972. Freij was one of the first West Bank officials to call for peace talks with Israel. He said he would continue serving as a Minister of State with “reduced responsibilities”.
(AFP, The Jerusalem Post)
Indonesia promised US$5 million to the Palestinian Authority to sustain the peace process. Following his meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas, PA envoy Assad Abdulrahman said: “We are very thankful for Indonesia’s solid financial and economic support”. He said he hoped “Indonesia will reflect regional status in convincing new donors to help the cause of the Palestinian Authority”. Abdulrahman was also expected to visit Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
The US Consul General in Jerusalem Edward Abington challenged Israel’s settlement policy saying there was no need to expand Jewish settlements while a quarter of the housing units stood empty. He said: “Based on what we’ve seen on the ground, the figure of 25 per cent vacancy rate in settlements is more or less accurate. There is no need for natural growth of settlements if there is such a high vacancy rate.”
In response to the US survey made public on 20 May by
, Salai Meridor, head of the Jewish Agency’s settlement department, said there were hardly any empty homes in the territories. According to
, data from the Central Bureau of Statistics indicate that some 12.1 per cent of the housing units in the Jewish settlements are empty, well below the figure of 26 per cent in the United States survey. Peace Now spokesman Mossy Raz said that figures his organization had were “somewhere in the middle “ between those cited in the US report and the settlers’ leaders claim that there are hardly any empty apartments available.
(Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)
At an inner Cabinet meeting, Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructures Ariel Sharon, proposed that large tracts of the West Bank land containing water sources be annexed. According to Sharon, to implement this Israel would have to annex some 50 per cent of the West Bank. His plan also calls for maintaining control over enough land around the water sources to be able to protect them.
(AFP, AP, Haaretz)
Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the appointment of his foreign policy adviser Dore Gold, 43, as Israel’s new Permanent Representative to the UN.
(AFP, The Jerusalem Post)
The US Department of State spokesman Nicholas Burns said in a briefing that US diplomats would hold discussions soon with the Israeli Government on the findings of a US study on the occupancy rate in Jewish settlements.
(Haaretz, US Department of State)
Israel’s Ministry of the Interior issued a statement approving the construction of housing for Palestinians in the village of Sur Baher adjacent to Jabal Abu Ghneim. The announced construction plan includes granting permits for the private construction of 3,000 housing units and building a 400-unit public housing project.
The UN Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People concluded its work at Amman. The theme of the meeting was “Promoting Palestinian human development”. The seminar was organized by the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
The Palestinian Council approved a 13-article budget law, setting the framework, within which annual budgets were laid out. The Council expected an US$866 million budget for 1997 to be approved next week. Salam Fayyad, IMF Director in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, said it was “an extremely important step since it is the first budget to be approved. A US$51.8 million deficit is forecast. Both the PA and the IMF expect donor countries to cover the deficit. The PA has already secured external financing of US$10 million for the deficit. According to Fayyad, the deficit was reduced from last year’s US$95 million due to improved revenue administration.
reported that Ami Ayalon, head of the Shin Bet, the General Security Services, proposed to turn over responsibility for Palestinian-ruled areas in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to army intelligence. According to the newspapers military correspondent the reform in the security service would mark a “revolution” in Israel’s approach to the Palestinian areas. “Ayalon has thrown a bomb’, he said, noting that the proposed reform would grant de facto foreign-State status to the Palestinian self-rule areas.
The survey published by
showed that 56 per cent of Israelis felt Prime Minister Netanyahu’s handling of the peace process with the Palestinians and Arab States was increasing the prospects of war. Among those who identified themselves as supporters of the Prime Minister, 37 per cent think a new Middle East war is likely in coming years. The poll was conducted among 491 Jewish Israelis and had a margin of error of 4.5 per cent.
President of Egypt Mubarak and Prime Minister of Israel Netanyahu concluded their summit meeting at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, aimed at reviving the Middle East peace process. No breakthroughs were reported.
British Deputy Foreign Minister Derek Fatchett became the first foreign government minister to have visited the Jewish settlement construction at Jabal Abu Ghneim. While at the site, he said: “We see the settlements as illegal. This settlement is a roadblock in the peace process.”
Israel’s inner Cabinet for the first time began discussing proposals for a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s inner Cabinet is composed of Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordekhai, Foreign Minister David Levy, Minister of Public Security Avigdor Kahalani and Minister of National Infrastructures Ariel Sharon.
Israel’s Treasury announced it was transferring some US$16.5 million into further development of Jewish settlements. Eli Yosef, a Treasury spokesman, said: “We are transferring 56 million shekels to the settlements, as part of the Government’s decision some time ago to grant favoured development status to these areas.”
published a front-page map of what it said the West Bank would look like under a new Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan to transfer less than 40 per cent of the land to the Palestinian control during the permanent status negotiations. According to the paper, one of the unique elements of the plan are roads or “corridors”, which both sides would use to move between their respective areas. The Palestinians would have no land link between the northern and southern parts of their territory in the West bank. Israel would keep a wide land area in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley along the Jordanian border and around Jerusalem. Prime Minister Netanyahu commented on the report: “There is no basis to that report because I did not show to anyone (a map) nor did I draw a map.” Saeb Erakat, chief Palestinian negotiator, reacted: “This is not acceptable. He is negotiating with himself, or rather with himself and other extremists in his Government. He has forgotten that he has a partner.”
(Haaretz, AFP, AP, Reuters)
Israel rejected a mission to the country by a UN Secretary-General’s representative to look into Israel’s plans to build a Jewish settlement at Jabal Abu Ghneim. Yigal Palmor, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said: “There is no reason for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to send an emissary since Israel has totally rejected the UN resolution adopted in April.” Palmor added that Israel was willing “to invite an envoy from the UN Secretary-General to discuss a series of issues concerning the region.”
The PA accused Israel of dumping chemical waste outside a refugee camp near Bethlehem.
On 8 May, the UN Secretary-General wrote to Israeli Government about his plans to send an envoy charged with verifying that Israel ceased building a new Jewish settlement at Jabal Abu Ghneim [
in accordance with operative paragraph 9 of General Assembly resolution ES-10/2 of 24 April 1997
.] Fred Eckhard, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said at a daily press briefing that the Secretary-General had written to Israel on 8 May declaring his intention to send an envoy consistent with the Assembly resolution. There had been discussions with Israel in New York, but the United Nations had not yet received a formal response on that matter. Informally, Israel had said that it would welcome an envoy to discuss a wide variety of matters, as had been reported by new agencies. Asked by a reporter who would be the UN envoy to Israel, Mr. Eckhard said the Secretary-General intended to name someone soon.
Israeli troops clashed with some 500 Palestinian protesters in Bethlehem after a rally in memory of Khaled Abu Daiyeh, a Palestinian who died in Israeli custody. Israeli troops fired tear-gas and rubber bullets. Witnesses said two Palestinians were wounded in the shooting. Earlier some 1,000 Palestinians assembled in the city’s central square to protest Abu Daiyeh’s death.
Israel’s Minister of Public Security Avigdor Kahalani told
that the 1993 agreement with the PLO was a “mistake”. Kahalani said: “I think the Oslo agreement, all the signing of that, was a fundamental mistake. I think it is a disaster from the point of view that this Government must implement something that it does not believe in, and I think also the prior Government, if it had to implement the Oslo agreement, would not have been able to.”
300 Palestinian worshippers held a silent prayer, led by the Mufti of Jerusalem Ekrima Sabri, at Abu Dis, a suburb of East Jerusalem and a site of water reservoirs being built for the settlement of Maale Adumim on confiscated Palestinian land.
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