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>Israel Faxx
>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Israeli forces have withdrawn from the Palestinian town of Qalqilya in the West Bank, but they remain nearby and still encircle four other Palestinian-ruled towns.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

By IsraelNationalNews.com

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 fear."

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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