Newsletter : 2fax0215.txt
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>JN Feb. 15, 2002, Vol. 10, No. 32
Police To Increase Manpower on Purim
Police Chief Shlomo Aharonishki announced Thursday that police
would be out in large numbers during the Purim holiday to prevent
any planned attacks.
He added that while the department was taking the cautious
approach, there were no specific intelligence community warnings
regarding terrorist activities on Purim.
The chief called on the public to celebrate the holiday as
planned and not to cancel tradition Purim day parties an events.
Powell: Arafat Accepts Responsibility for Smuggling Weapons
By David Gollust (VOA-State Department)
Secretary of State Colin Powell said Palestinian leader Yasir
Arafat, in a letter this week, has "accepted responsibility"
for last month's failed attempt by Palestinians to smuggle in some
50 tons of Iranian weapons.
The attempt to bring in the arms aboard a small freighter, the
Karine-A, has badly strained an already tenuous U.S.-Palestinian
Powell's remarks were his most detailed thus far about the Arafat
letter, which was delivered to the U.S. consul-general in Jerusalem
last Sunday and is clearly aimed at repairing ties with Washington.
The secretary, appearing before a congressional subcommittee, said
Arafat had reversed previous denials and accepted responsibility,
not personal, but as chairman of the Palestinian Authority, for the
Powell also said there was a commitment that there would be no
repeat of the smuggling incident, though he made clear the
administration is looking to the Palestinian leader to do more
improve the climate for peace-making efforts.
"The evidence," he said, "is so overwhelming that he has to accept
responsibility as the chairman of the Palestinian Authority for
what happened. And we want him to foreswear any acquisitions like
that in the future, and he has said he would on behalf of the
Palestinian Authority. We also want to see more done with respect
to arrests of known terrorists and killers. And he's working on a
list a couple of lists that have been provided to him. And we want
to see these people in jails that are real jails, and not just
revolving doors where they're back out on the street three days
Under questioning, Powell expressed understanding for Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon's refusal to have a political dialogue with
Arafat until he can get "some level of security." However, he also
resisted a suggestion by a panel member that the United States cut
off aid to the Palestinians as a lever to get an anti-terrorist
Powell said, "I don't know that it would change things markedly.
It's a tough situation, because if you want him to act responsibly
and to arrest people and to hold them in jail, and if you want him
to bring security to different places and you want him to have a
police force to do that, then you have to fund it. So by not
funding it, and if the Europeans stop funding it, and everybody cut
off funding, then it would be hard to say to him: now go use your
40,000 man security force to do this, that, or the other."
U.S. economic aid to the Palestinians totals about $130 million a
year and is largely channeled through the United Nations and
Israel Withdraws From Recently Occupied Palestinian Areas
By VOA News
The Israeli army said it has withdrawn from most of the Palestinian
areas it occupied in the Gaza Strip, after an extensive operation
to search and arrest militants who fired rockets into Israel.
Six Palestinians were killed during Israeli raids into the towns of
Deir al-Balah, Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun Wednesday. The army says
soldiers arrested 18 Palestinians. But Palestinian security
officials say 24 people were arrested, most of them relatives of
Hamas and Islamic Jihad members. Late Wednesday, Israeli forces
again briefly entered the town of Deir al-Balah, after mortar
shells were fired from the area at a nearby Jewish settlement.
Israel said it would continue such search and arrest operations
until it finds Palestinian rocket factories and those who operate
them. Israel has accused the militant Hamas group of firing a new
kind of rocket - the Qassam-2 - into Israeli farmland in an attack
Sunday. The rocket has a range of up to five miles. Hamas said it
has the right to acquire whatever weapons it can to combat Israel's
White House: "PA Invites Terrorism"
By IsraeliWire News
While speaking to reporters Tuesday, White House Spokesman Ari
Fleischer grouped the Palestinian Authority together with other
"regimes of terrorism." He included the PA as part of the "axis of
evil" that invites and practices terrorism.
"The President has always been very clear in all the statements
he's made - whether it was about North Korea, Iran, Iraq, or
anywhere - the Palestinian Authority - that it's the people that
the United States is concerned with, that they are victims of
regimes that invite terrorism and that practice terrorism."
President Bush, during his State of the Union Address two weeks
ago, labeled Iran, Iraq and North Korea as part of the "axis of
evil" for their role in terrorist activity.
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