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>Israel Faxx
>JN July 11, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 119

Palestinians May March on Eastern Jerusalem

By Arutz-7

The IDF is preparing for a possible eruption of Palestinian violence in Jerusalem. According to a senior Home Front Command officer, the Palestinians will attempt to mass-march towards the Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem - something for which the IDF presently has no response. He said that hundreds of photographers from around the world are preparing to capture these marches on film, and have already rented spots around the Old City from which to do so. The IDF is making preparations to station sizeable forces in the Old City.

Camp David II Welcomes Two Leaders

By David Gollust (VOA-White House)

President Clinton Tuesday begins what is arguably the most difficult and risky diplomatic venture of his presidency -- a three way summit aimed at completing a final-status Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. Clinton will be joined by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat at the Camp David Presidential retreat in Maryland for what are expected to be several days of intensive talks.

Clinton hopes to duplicate the success of former President Jimmy Carter who brokered the historic accords between Israel and Egypt at Camp David in 1978.

But Clinton admits the issues involved in a final status accord -- including Palestinian statehood and Jerusalem -- are more difficult than those of the original summit. And prospects of success are complicated by the crumbling of Barak's coalition government in Israel. The President, none-the-less, says he believes his summit partners have the courage and political standing to close a deal.

"Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat have the vision, the knowledge, the experience and the ability - and the sheer guts - to do what it takes, I think to reach an agreement. And then to take it back to their people and see if they can sell it. And keep in mind, Prime Minister Barak has said that the people of Israel will have their say in this."

The sides are working against a self-imposed Sept. 13 deadline for completing the agreement they first committed themselves to under the 1993 Oslo accords.

Arafat says he will declare a Palestinian state at that time regardless of whether an agreement is struck, while Israel says it would respond to a unilateral statehood move by annexing parts of the West Bank and Gaza.

Some analysts doubt that the eight days tentatively allotted for the summit will be enough time, though Clinton - who is scheduled to leave on a trip to Japan July 19 -- says the issues have been under study for years and the parties know what their options are.

The summit is to open with a mid-morning picture-taking session with the three principals. Camera crews and reporters will then be escorted out of the heavily-guarded compound, and only sparse information is expected until the summit concludes.

Barak Survives No-Confidence Vote

By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)

Prime Minister Ehud Barak has survived a no-confidence vote in parliament and is now heading for a peace summit with the Palestinians in the United States.

Opponents of Barak needed 61 votes in parliament to win the no-confidence motion, but only 54 lawmakers voted to topple the government. Before the vote, Barak told lawmakers he is traveling to the summit with "two-million Israelis...citizens who want peace, who want to give change a chance, and hope for a different Israel, at peace with its neighbors."

The debate came a day after Barak's ruling coalition collapsed when ministers from three political parties resigned from the government. The ministers who resigned say Barak will make dangerous concessions at the summit, which is set to begin Tuesday.

The leader of the Likud opposition party, Ariel Sharon, says Barak is going to the summit without the support of parliament or a government coalition. "Prime Minister Barak is going when he doesn't have the Knesset behind him. He doesn't have the nation behind him. He doesn't have any government behind him. I think that one should understand that one can not make peace among his own people, that can not have peace within the government, I don't think he will be able to bring peace with the Arabs."

A cabinet minister in Barak's government, Yossi Beilin, rejected Sharon's charges saying a peace agreement will have the support of the Israeli people.

"I don't think that Mr. Sharon would have welcomed such a summit. I think that whatever smells of peace is something that Mr. Sharon doesn't like. Mr. Barak has the majority of the people. Once he has an agreement he will bring it to a referendum and will get again a big majority."

A new poll shows a slim majority of the Israeli public believes Barak should attend the summit, and that he has a mandate to make concessions to the Palestinians.

Barak and Arafat face such difficult issues as the borders of a possible Palestinian state, Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, the future of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees.

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