Israelis, Palestinians Agree End to Violencegreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
Tuesday October 17 7:10 AM ET
Israelis, Palestinians Agree End to Violence
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - President Clinton announced at an emergency summit Tuesday that Israel and the Palestinians had agreed to call for an end to a wave of bloodshed.
``Both sides have agreed to issue public statements unequivocally calling for an end of violence. They also agreed to take immediate concrete measures to end the current confrontation, eliminate points of friction, ensure an end to violence and incitement, maintain calm and prevent recurrence of recent events,'' he said at the summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
He said the sides agreed to restore the situation that existed before the crisis erupted 20 days ago, including Israel ending the closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and opening the Palestinian airport it closed in Gaza.
Clinton said the United States, along with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, would set up with the two sides a fact-finding committee on the events and how to prevent their recurrence.
He said Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat had agreed the United States would consult with the parties within the next two weeks on how to resume peace negotiations.
-- (email@example.com), October 17, 2000
Hmm, most bizarre. I was just reading the Washington Times on the web from a link Uncle Bob gave on another thread, and there it says that the "mideast summit fails to reach cease-fire deal". http://www.washingtontimes.com/world/default- 20001017233049.htm
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 17, 2000.
No leaders have signed anything and possibly won't. Of course all you folk got those preps. Huh.
-- yadda (email@example.com), October 17, 2000.
Here's more info. . .
Tuesday October 17 8:10 AM ET
Clinton Announces Deal to End Middle East Violence
By Elaine Monaghan
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - President Clinton (news - web sites) announced Tuesday that Israel and the Palestinians had agreed to halt violence, set up an inquiry into its causes and explore a return to peace negotiations.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said Israel had agreed with the Palestinians at a crisis summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to end a wave of violence, but cautioned:
``If it turns out, God forbid, that (the summit) did not lead to a decrease in violence, it is vital for Israel to find any way to decrease the violence. And I say to my sorrow that we will know what to do in any situation that will develop.''
Clinton announced at the end of the summit that: ``Both sides have agreed to issue public statements unequivocally calling for an end of violence.
``They also agreed to take immediate concrete measures to end the current confrontation, eliminate points of friction, ensure an end to violence and incitement, maintain calm and prevent recurrence of recent events.''
The summit was convened to try to stop 20 days of bloody Israeli- Palestinian clashes that have killed at least 103 people, almost all of them Palestinians.
Clinton's statement was a late substitute for earlier plans to draft an agreement that both sides would sign.
Distrust remained so high that Barak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat were not known to have held face-to-face talks at the summit, which began Monday.
Violence flared again Tuesday. Jewish settlers shot dead one Palestinian and wounded three as they picked olives near the West Bank city of Nablus, witnesses said. The Israeli army confirmed a shooting but provided no immediate details.
Some 200,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements scattered among the nearly three million Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
Under interim peace deals since 1993, Israel has transferred parts of the occupied territories to Palestinian rule, but sent troops back into some areas during the recent violence.
Clinton said the two sides had agreed to restore the situation that existed before the crisis erupted, including Israel ending its military closure of the West Bank and Gaza, and opening the Palestinian airport it closed in Gaza.
He said the United States, along with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, would set up with the parties a fact-finding committee on the events and how to prevent their recurrence.
He said Barak and Arafat had agreed the United States would consult with both sides within two weeks on how to resume peace negotiations that the violence has brought to a standstill.
Israel's acting foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami said his country was content with what had been agreed. ``Israel is satisfied. The objectives we came for have been met,'' he said.
But asked whether the deal including disarming members of Arafat's Fatah faction, called Tanzim by Israel, he declined to comment, saying: ``I'm not going into details on the Tanzim.''
Israel had earlier demanded that Arafat disarm the gunmen and order the re-arrest of Muslim militants from the Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups recently released by Palestinian police. Another sticking point had been a Palestinian demand for an international investigation into the origins of the violence. Israel had rejected this as a potential ``kangaroo court,'' saying it would only accept a U.S.-led fact-finding mission.
Ben-Ami said the deal met an Israeli objective to ensure an end to the use of violence for political ends. ``The force of this presidential statement, which in our view holds the validity of an agreement, fulfils this aim.
``Of course, like on every issue, the test will be in its execution, both in strengthening the security apparatus and the security supervision,'' he said in remarks on Israel television.
``It (the agreement) also says that from our side when these things work out the closures will be lifted and I hope that this thing will open a door to a return to normalcy at the very least on the basis of this agreement,'' he said.
Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo said he hoped Israel would act fast to implement the agreement.
``What is important for us is that we have reached a lifting of the siege and a halt to Israel's aggression on the Palestinian people,'' he told Reuters. ``We hope that Israel will implement these measures immediately.''
Palestinian Planning Minister Nabil Shaath said Arafat had agreed reluctantly to Clinton's statement, which he said was vague on several key points. ``We are not happy, but we want to protect the lives of our people,'' he told reporters.
France, which holds the European Union's rotating presidency, welcomed Clinton's announcement.
``If this is an agreement which allows calm to return, then it is obviously very good news,'' French Foreign Ministry spokesman Francois Rivasseau said.
Oil markets inflamed by Middle East tension shed some gains Tuesday after Israelis and Palestinians agreed to try to end their worst violence in years. Benchmark Brent crude slipped almost half a dollar to $31.05 a barrel, leaving a gain of 17 cents, on the news from Sharm el-Sheikh.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose shuttle diplomacy last week helped the summit convene, welcomed the outcome.
He appealed to Israelis and Palestinians and people in the wider world to weigh their words carefully. ``For words can inflame or soothe and everyone needs a restoration of calm or quiet so as to create the best possible atmosphere for a resumption of peace talks,'' he said in a statement.
The summit faced a formidable task. Some leaders have warned that the fighting could spill over into neighboring states or trigger crises in countries further afield if left unchecked.
But thousands of Arabs have taken to the streets of Middle Eastern capitals to protest against a summit they said was aimed at aborting a new Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule.
Many Israelis are also wary, saying they have lost faith in the Palestinians' commitment to peace.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 17, 2000.
Da people in da streets be pissed. Don't expect a peaceful resolution anytime soon.
-- observer (email@example.com), October 17, 2000.
"...But even as the diplomats worked for a deal, a new wave of violence occurred in the Gaza Strip Tuesday. Hundreds of Palestinians threw stones and firebombs at an Israeli border crossing, drawing return fire that injured 10 demonstrators. A Palestinian policeman was killed and an Israeli policeman was critically injured, adding to violence earlier Tuesday that left a Palestinian farmer dead.
Street battles between Israelis and Palestinians continued in the Jerusalem suburbs. Fox News correspondent David Lee Miller was caught in a gunfight during a live broadcast. ..."
Looks like the Israelis and Palestinians are not going to stop. No matter what was said at the Peace Summit.
-- Not now, not like this (AgentSmith0110@aol.com), October 17, 2000.