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>JN Nov. 6, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 183
Israeli Forces Withdraw from West Bank Town
By VOA News
Israeli forces have withdrawn from the Palestinian town of Qalqilya
in the West Bank, but they remain nearby and still encircle four
other Palestinian-ruled towns.
The Israeli army has made clear it is ready to send forces back
into Qalqilya, near the Israeli border, to prevent any anti-Israeli
attacks being launched from the town.
Meanwhile, the U.S. ambassador to Israel is urging Palestinian
leader Yasir Arafat to get tough with extremist groups, saying
words are not enough to prove that he is against terrorism.
Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer said the challenge now is whether the
Palestinian Authority is ready to shut down extremist groups,
arrest those responsible and prosecute them.
The Israeli troop pull-out from Qalqilya went ahead early Monday as
planned despite Sunday's gun attack in Jerusalem that killed two
Israeli teenagers and wounded more than 40 other people. A gunman
from the radical Palestinian group Islamic Jihad shot at a bus on
a busy street in the city's French Hill area before he was killed by
Israeli security forces.
Islamic Jihad says it also was responsible for a blast that wounded
three Israelis Monday in the industrial zone of a Jewish settlement
in the Janin area of the West Bank.
Elsewhere, Palestinians say Israeli bulldozers and a tank briefly
entered Rafah in the Gaza Strip, destroying two buildings and
wounding two Palestinians. Israeli sources said troops were looking
for tunnels used to smuggle weapons from Egypt. Several Israeli
tanks went deeper into the West Bank town of Tulkarm and one
Palestinian was wounded in an exchange of fire.
U.S. to Arafat: Crack Down on Militants
By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)
The U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, says Palestinian
leader Yasir Arafat needs to do more to crack down on militants,
including shutting down some organizations and arresting those
responsible for acts of terrorism.
Kurtzer told reporters the United States is trying to "be more
persuasive" in urging Arafat to take additional steps to prevent
Palestinian groups from engaging in terrorism.
Kurtzer says Arafat needs to "make decisions with respect to
where he stands on questions relating to terrorism. We have had
some very serious conversations with him and communications at a
very senior level with Chairman Arafat; basically saying that words
are not enough to prove that one is against terrorism," he said.
"It requires actions. There are now specific actions that the
Palestinian Authority will need to take as the result of decisions
that we have taken on these groups and I think the challenge now is
whether the Palestinian Authority is prepared to take those steps."
Last Friday, the State Department added Palestinian organizations,
including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine, to a U.S. executive order that lists
suspected terrorist organizations. The United States can subject
these organizations to stringent financial sanctions.
Hundreds Defy Court Order Banning Memorial Ceremony
Hundreds of supporters of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane stood outside
a Jerusalem hall Sunday night to hold a spontaneous memorial
ceremony for him, despite a Supreme Court ruling forbidding a
similar ceremony inside the hall.
The police used clubs and indiscriminately hit men, women, and
children to disperse the gathering, and arrested six people. One
participant, Hagi Ben-Artzi, said "We were hundreds of people,
standing outside the hall, conducting a memorial ceremony for
Rabbi Kahane, may Hashem avenge his blood. There were speeches by
rabbis and public figures, and the crowd was behaving perfectly.
"Suddenly, from out of the blue, without any provocation, tens of
special-unit policemen swarmed down on the crowd, and started
punching and kicking and used violence that can simply not be
described. I was shocked. I simply could not understand why the
Israel Police was doing this to people participating in a painful
memorial, who had caused no public disturbance at all."
Knesset member Michael Kleiner (Herut) addressed the crowd, reaping
praise for his courage in coming to an event that most politicians
prefer not to be associated with. He extolled Kahane for "analyzing
the situation correctly, identifying it before anyone else... He
was a true patriot, a true Jew... He did not know the meaning of
The Supreme Court had ruled that the ceremony was organized by a
"terrorist group," Kach. Kahane family members maintained that
"they" were behind the memorial for their father, but the court did
not agree. Attorney Naftali Wurzberger said that the police were
engaged in "shutting mouths, which is not their job in a democratic
state. The criteria for shutting down an event must be actions, not
opinions expressed there."
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