Newsletter : 1fax0828.txt
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>JN Aug. 28, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 147
Israel Faxx will not be published from Aug. 30 to Sept. 12
Israel Kills PFLP Chief
By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel has killed the leader of the radical Palestinian faction,
the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Abu Ali Mustafa, chief of the PFLP, was killed when missiles fired by
Israeli combat helicopters slammed into his office in the West
Bank town of Ramallah. The attack blew out windows and blackened
the outside of the building. Inside, broken bloodstained furniture
and shattered glass littered the floor.
The PFLP is a militant faction of the Palestine Liberation
Organization that opposes peace talks with Israel. Mustafa is the
highest-ranking Palestinian official to be killed in a targeted
Israeli attack since the current conflict began 11 months ago.
During the period, more than 50 Palestinians have been killed in
operations by the Israeli military. The Israeli army said in a
statement that the PFLP is responsible for a series of attacks on
Israelis, including an attempted car bombing in Jerusalem last
Israeli government spokesman, Raanan Gissen defended the decision
to kill Mustafa. "We have a policy, which is actions of
self-defense that we take when we see that there are terrorists who
are planning, instigating, terrorist activity. He was not taken out
because of just past events or past terrorist activity, but the
fact that he was planning, while he was sitting in his office,
additional car bombs."
The Palestinian Authority said in a statement that Israel "has
opened the gates to an all-out war" by killing Mustafa. A spokesman
for Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, Nabil Abu Rudeina, called
Israel's policy of "assassinations, very dangerous. This is a
real murder. This assassination is a dangerous escalation and the
situation will become definitely worse and worse."
Mustafa replaced George Habash as the leader of the PFLP last year
and had been second in command of the group when it drew world
attention to the Palestinian struggle by hijacking planes in the
1960s and 1970s. He returned to the West Bank from exile in 1999,
and was described as one of the top figures in the PLO.
U.S. Repeats Opposition to Mideast 'Targeted Killings'
By David Gollust (VOA-State Department)
The Bush administration has repeated its opposition to so-called
"targeted killings" by Israel following the rocket attack Monday
that killed a senior Palestinian figure in the West Bank.
Officials in Washington are monitoring the clashes with growing
concern and with State Department spokesman Richard Boucher saying
the escalation of recent days threatens to "overwhelm" any chance
of restoring calm and getting the parties to implement the peace
blueprint of the Mitchell committee.
Briefing reporters, Boucher said both sides know exactly what
needs to be done to end the confrontation - and that "above all"
the Palestinian Authority needs to take "sustained and credible"
steps to pre-empt anti-Israel terrorism and arrest those
He said Israel for its part must take the economic and security
steps necessary to alleviate what he termed "pressure, hardships,
and humiliations" of the Palestinian people.
The spokesman said Israel has a right to defend itself in the face
of terrorism but that both sides must avoid actions that make the
"We think Israel needs to understand that targeted killings of
Palestinians don't end the violence but are only inflaming an
already volatile situation, making it much harder to restore calm,"
said Boucher. "We're deeply troubled by the fact that civilians,
including more than 20 American citizens - some of whom were
children - were living in the building which was attacked over the
Boucher had no reaction to a call from a PFLP spokesman in
Damascus for attacks on American interests in the Middle East after
the killing of Mustafa.
Powell Won't Attend Racism Conference
By Jim Malone (VOA-Washington)
The United States says Secretary of State Colin Powell will boycott
the U.N. Conference on Racism beginning Friday in South Africa
because of what it calls offensive anti-Israel language in the
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the exact nature
and level of U.S. representation, if any, is still being
considered. Boucher also said that last minute attempts by
conference organizers to remove the offensive language from the
agenda are not enough. In an apparent reference to Israel, Boucher
said the agenda still refers to the racist policies of one country.
In Johannesburg, U.N. Human Rights High Commissioner Mary Robinson,
the secretary-general of the conference, said that the
controversial language equating Zionism with racism has been "done
She called on all countries to attend the conference at the highest
level possible to help in the fight against racism. Israeli
officials said Monday that Israel will likely boycott the Durban
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