Newsletter : 0fax0907.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
>JN Sept. 7, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 154
Clinton Meets Separately with Barak & Arafat
By David Gollust (VOA-United Nations) & IsraelWire
President Clinton has held separate meetings at a New York hotel
with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasir
Arafat in an effort to conclude a final status Middle East peace
accord before the parties' Sept. 13 deadline.
The urgency of the talks was underscored by Clinton, who in his
speech to the UN Millennium summit said the time is now for the
parties to take risks for peace and that there is not a moment to
The talks are stalled over the political future of Jerusalem. In
his UN address, Barak called the city Israel's eternal capital but
said his government is ready for a compromise arrangement that
reflects Christian, Muslim - and Palestinian -- bonds to the
"We envision a peace that will preserve the vital interests and the
dignity of all sides but no side can achieve 100 per cent of its
dreams, if we are to succeed. My government has shown in
negotiations with Syria and the Palestinians, as well as in our
pullout from Lebanon, that it can make painful decisions for the
The Israeli leader warned against unilateral actions that he said
could "obliterate" prospects for peace - an apparent reference to
the Palestinian threats to declare statehood next Wednesday,
whether or not it is part of a peace accord with Israel.
Arafat acknowledged in his UN message that some Arab and other
governments are urging the Palestinians to postpone the statehood
move, and that a decision on the issue will be made by the
Palestinian Central Council, which is to convene Saturday in Gaza.
Heard through an interpreter, Arafat reiterated that the
Palestinians want Jerusalem to be an open city but with Palestinian
control of mostly-Arab East Jerusalem.
"We have agreed to share the city, and eliminate barriers and
borders therein - in contrast to attempts at monopolizing it - as
a response to exclusivity and rejection of our rights. At the
same time we remain committed to our national rights over East
Jerusalem, capital of our state and shelter of our sacred sites, as
well as our rights on the Christian and Islamic holy sites."
Clinton urged world leaders - whatever their past attitude toward
the Mideast parties - to help them toward an agreement ending more
than 50 years of conflict.
Administration officials said that while no three-way
Clinton-Arafat-Barak meeting was expected, U.S. diplomats would
shuttle between the Israeli and Palestinian teams at the Waldorf
Hotel in central New York in an attempt to narrow the differences.
Setting the stage for a deal in New York City, U.S. officials
indicated that both Israel and the PLO Authority are closer to a
deal than they were at Camp David II, with both parties now ready
to make compromises.
Hamas Leader Linked to Bin Laden Terrorists
Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheik Ahmad Yassin has been
linked to master terrorist Osama bin Laden despite denying
any contact with the bin Laden organization. Recent reports linking
Hamas to bin Laden were denied by Yassin in the media.
Following the recent clearing for publication the news of the
arrest of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists by the General
Security Service (GSS/Shin Bet) over past months, it was learned
that the link between the terror organizations existed. Israeli
security establishment officials reported they learned of a
conspiracy to perpetrate terrorist attacks against Israeli targets
in conjunction with the bin Laden organization.
According to the IDF indictment against three terrorists in
custody, Yassin did in the past make a $10,000 contribution to
further efforts to carry out terror attacks against Israeli targets by
bin Laden affiliates. Yassin also spoke of working to recruit
terrorists from PLO Authority autonomous areas to enlist them in
bin Laden's terrorist army.
Israel: No New Excavations Under Western Wall
The PLO Authority-appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheik Arama
Tsabari, Wednesday, issued a threat regarding reported
archeological work by Israel on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.
Tsabari warned that the excavations conducted by Israel are
compromising the integrity of the mosques on the Temple Mount and
the slightest damage to any of the Islamic structures would result
in an outbreak of violence and an "explosion" in the area.
Israel Antiquities Authority officials issued a statement denying
the presence of any new tunnel or ongoing excavations in the areas
described by the media.
There is a Second Temple-era tunnel, the existence of which has
been well-known for many years. It served as part of a Herodian
street's rainwater drainage network and both parallel the Western
Wall and runs beyond the confines of the Temple Mount. The tunnel
has been written about in scientific publications, archaeological
reports and tourist guides (including the guide for the Jerusalem
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)