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>Israel Faxx
>JN Oct. 23, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 181

Arafat: "Let Him (Barak) Go To Hell"

By IsraelWire

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, PLO Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat stated he was continuing his journey to statehood and onto Jerusalem, and Prime Minister Ehud Barak can accept or not. "If he does not like it, let him go to hell."

Barak Plans to Put Peace Process on Hold

By Jenny Badner (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel's prime minister is calling for a break in the peace process to re-evaluate diplomatic efforts after weeks of violence. The prime minister's remarks came as Arab leaders wrapped up a summit in Cairo.

Israel's prime minister, Ehud Barak, told his cabinet that he would declare a "time out" in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Barak said Israel would still pursue peace. But in a statement released after the Cabinet meeting, he said Israel will reassess the diplomatic process after more than three-weeks of violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Some Israeli Cabinet ministers are opposed to the break, saying such a move will lead nowhere and will damage Israel's international standing.

Israel radio reported that Barak did not bring the call for a time out to the Cabinet for approval. He is still trying to form a national unity government with the opposition Likud party's Ariel Sharon.

It was Sharon's visit to Jerusalem's Temple Mount, known to Arabs as Haram al Sharif, that sparked the beginning of the clashes late last month.

The move comes as Arab leaders wrapped up their emergency summit in Cairo to confront the latest Israeli-Palestinian violence. In a statement, Barak praised Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for his summit effort "to maintain a balanced approach, which calls for peace and restraint."

But Barak stressed that "Israel rejects the language of threats and condemns the call for continued violence" that he says is called for in the summit's closing statements.

The Arab leaders declared that they may consider cutting ties with Israel. They also pledged $200 million for the families of Palestinians killed or wounded in the uprising.

Some Palestinian leaders have implied that it did not go far enough to take action against Israel. In a show of protest, Tunisia broke off its low-level diplomatic ties with Israel. Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab nations that have signed peace treaties and have full diplomatic relations with Israel.

Meanwhile, fresh violence broke out in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At least one Palestinian was killed in clashes near the West Bank town of Hebron. More than 115-people, almost all of them Palestinian, have been killed since the clashes began nearly one-month ago.

Arafat Reacts to Barak's "Time Out" Statement

By Shoshana London Sappir (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat reacted angrily to a statement by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak that Israel needs a break in the peace process.

Palestinians reacted in anger to an Israeli statement that a "time out" from peace negotiations is needed in light of more than three-weeks of violent clashes. Israel's Barak said the pause is needed to reassess the diplomatic process, but he did not set a time limit on the recess.

Asked for his response to the Israeli statement, Arafat, speaking in English, told reporters, "Let him go to hell." He was apparently referring to Barak.

Arafat said the Palestinian people would continue their road to Jerusalem as the capital of their independent state.

Palestinian information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo called the Israeli time-out statement "a message of war." He warned Israel against imposing unilateral solutions on the Palestinians.

No Injuries Reported in Gilo Shooting Attack

By IsraelWire

At least five buildings were damaged in the Sunday night shooting attack in the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Terrorists fired automatic weapons four streets, making certain to hit areas that were not fortified by the IDF such as Anafa Street. Following the first shooting attacks, the IDF installed concrete barriers and took other measures to fortify the street against future attacks.

The Sunday night shooting attack must be viewed as continued defiance by the PLO Authority, especially in the shadow of the stern warning issued over the weekend by IDF Colonel Marcel Aviv, the Bethlehem area battalion commander.

Aviv stated that if there are shooting attacks in the future, the retaliatory action would include the razing of the home(s) in Bet Jala from which the shots are fired. He stated firmly that there would be no additional warnings, just a mighty IDF response.

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