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>JN May 9, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 80
Sneh: Americans Should Visit Israel
By Arutz Sheva News
Transportation Minister Ephraim Sneh called upon the Conference of
Presidents of Major American-Jewish Organizations to show
solidarity with Israel and to visit it during its difficult hour.
"It's a disgrace that a large share of the cancellations of El Al
trips are by American-Jewish groups. American Jewry must set a
personal example and fly to Israel on El AL."
Jewish Settler Killed in West Bank
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
A Jewish settler killed by Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank is
the latest victim of Mideast violence.
Palestinian gunmen killed the settler, one day after a
four-month-old Palestinian baby became the youngest victim of more
than seven months of clashes. Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon
says he was sorry for the death of the baby, but refused to halt
the expansion of Jewish settlements in exchange for Palestinian
guarantees of security.
Jewish settler Arieh Orlando was shot dead by the gunmen while
guarding empty caravans near the settlement of Itamar in the West
In other clashes Tuesday, about 20 Palestinian stone-throwers were
reported injured after being shot by Israeli soldiers in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, the State Department challenged Israel's government to
explain why it is spending more money on Jewish settlement activity
during this time of volatility. A U.S. spokesman condemned the
Israeli move as "provocative."
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who visited a Jewish settlement
in the West Bank on Tuesday accused the Palestinian Authority of
trying to increase violence by smuggling weapons into the Gaza
Strip. There was also a demonstration of Jewish West Bank settlers
outside Sharon's residence in Jerusalem, demanding more security
against Palestinian attacks.
The Palestinian Authority has denied any link to the boat full of
weapons, which was recently captured by Israel's navy and claimed
to have been sent from Lebanon by a radical Palestinian group.
The U.S. led Mitchell commission into the Israeli-Palestinian
violence has called for a freeze on the expansion of Jewish
settlements, saying this could help reduce tensions.
But Sharon said this was out of the question. He told foreign
journalists in Jerusalem that Jews have the right to live in peace
and security, without pre-conditions from the Palestinians. "It is
very simple. We will not pay protection money. There is no reason
whatsoever to shoot at our people, to kill civilians and we do not
have to pay for it and we will not pay for it," he said. "We have
the right to live peaceful lives, and we do not have to pay in
order not to be killed and murdered."
Sharon: Palestinians Plan to Escalate Violence
By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has accused the Palestinian Authority
of seeking to increase violence by smuggling weapons into the Gaza
Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, Sharon said the Palestinian
Authority is trying to import weapons illegally to escalate the
seven-month-old conflict with Israel.
Sharon said a Lebanese boat seized by the Israeli navy made a
number of trips to the Gaza Strip before being captured. The seized
boat contained anti-aircraft missiles, Katyusha rockets and other
"There is an attempt to smuggle weapons by the Palestinian
Authority. We know that this boat itself, it is the fourth time
coming with weapons to Gaza. This time they were caught on a
routine patrol. That only emphasizes the intentions of the
Top Palestinian officials have denied any connection with the arms
Prime Minister Sharon reiterated that he holds Palestinian chief
Yasir Arafat responsible for the violence. But Sharon said that
Arafat will not be targeted by Israeli commandos.
"We are not taking any steps against political leaders. So if you
ask if he is safe from our side, yes he is safe from our side. But
I do not know if we are the only danger that exists to him," Sharon
Ziad Abu Zayyad, a minister in the Palestinian Authority, told VOA
that Sharon's charge that Arafat is responsible for the violence
undermines efforts to reduce the clashes and revive the peace
"I do not understand why Sharon and why the Israeli government try
all the time to discredit the Palestinian leadership, discredit
Arafat, while the Palestinian leadership and Arafat are their
partners in the peace process," he said. "If you discredit your
partner you discredit the process and you discredit yourself. You
say to everyone that this process is not valid or relevant
Israel and the Palestinians accuse each other of escalating the
violence that has killed more than 500 people, mostly Palestinians,
since last September.
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