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Arafat Calls For Another Million Martyrs


CNN repeatedly aired Yasir Arafat Monday saying that he wants peace with his Jewish "cousins" in Israel - while at the same time he was calling for "one million martyrs" to march on Jerusalem. Arafat made the call while addressing a crowd during his visit to PLO-controlled Shechem. During his Shechem visit, Arafat vowed to continue his battle towards the "liberation" of Jerusalem from Israeli control.

Sharon: No Peace Talks Without Palestinians Ending Terrorism

By VOA News

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he would not resume peace talks with the Palestinians until the PA leadership carries out sweeping internal reforms and ends terrorist attacks against Israel. In an address to parliament Tuesday, Sharon called the Palestinian Authority corrupt and dictatorial and said permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace hinges on "basic structural reforms within the Palestinian leadership."

Once his conditions are met, Sharon said the two sides could work out a long-term interim peace deal, ahead of a final accord that leads directly to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Sharon outlined his conditions for peace talks two days after his right-wing Likud party passed a resolution rejecting the formation of a Palestinian state - either now or in the future.

Sharon did not directly address the Likud move Tuesday. But Monday he said voters elected him to lead and that he would not allow what he called "party trickery" to dictate policy. In the past, the prime minister has frequently proposed an interim peace deal. But the Palestinians have so far rejected the proposal, saying they want to move directly to a final accord.

Poll Finds Majority Of Israelis Would Accept Palestinian State

By VOA News

A new Israeli opinion poll has found that nearly two-thirds of those asked would accept a Palestinian state in a final Middle East peace deal. Results of the survey by the Yediot Aharonot newspaper came just two days after Israel's ruling Likud party passed a resolution rejecting the idea of Palestinian statehood.

Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told parliament he would resume talks leading to a Palestinian state, if the Palestinian Authority carries out sweeping internal reforms and puts an end to attacks on Israel.

Tuesday's poll found that most Israelis, 68 percent, think Likud should have postponed its vote on the Palestinian state resolution, as requested by Sharon. He said it would hurt Israel's relations abroad. Asked who they would like to see as Likud's candidate for prime minister in elections next year, 55 percent of Israelis chose Sharon, with only 23 percent picking former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who backed Sunday's resolution.

In an address to the Israeli parliament, Sharon called the current Palestinian Authority corrupt and dictatorial. He said permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace hinged on what he called basic structural reforms in the Palestinian leadership. After the speech, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said the Israeli prime minister is sabotaging efforts to revive the peace process and has effectively canceled the Israeli-Palestinian agreements signed to date.

Meanwhile, in military action, Israeli forces say they killed two Palestinian intelligence officers today during a raid on a Palestinian autonomous area in the West Bank. An Israeli army spokesman said the raid occurred in the small town of Halhoul, near Hebron. He said both men were wanted for "many attacks against Israelis." The army also said soldiers arrested 14 "wanted Palestinians" overnight in villages in other parts of the West Bank.

Disease Scare in Negev


Mosquitoes infected with the West Nile malaria virus have been discovered in the northern Negev's Shikma Brook, near Kibbutz Or HaNer. The Health Ministry has already begun taking steps to prevent the virus from spreading. The relatively rainy winter and the late rains have led to large ponds and puddles, which serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Israelis Under Arrest in Washington State


Two Israelis were taken into custody last Tuesday in Washington State, after police discovered traces of explosive materials in their vehicle.

According to a Fox News report, the two were stopped for speeding and an inspection of their truck revealed traces of unspecified explosives. The two told local police they were furniture movers. At present, they are being detained in custody for being in Washington illegally.

According to local authorities, the Israelis placed in custody were traveling near the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station near Oak Harbor, Washington. Traces of TNT were found in their rented Budget truck, leading to the involvement of the FBI, the Immigration & Naturalization Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, police.

After bomb sniffing dogs detected traces of explosives on one of the men, high-tech apparatus was brought in and TNT and RDX were detected. One Israeli citizen entered the U.S. legally but was in violation of his visa while the second entered the U.S. illegally.

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