Palestinian - Israeli Negotiations Resume In Tel Aviv * 16 Year Old Murdered in Ramallah * Barak: No Unity Government
- Palestinian - Israeli Negotiations Resume In Tel Aviv
[18.01.01] Israeli and Palestinian Negotiators met in Tel Aviv Thursday afternoon
to resume low-level negotiations. At the same time, the Israeli
Cabinet agreed to discuss a proposal to hold talks at Taba
by PNA Chairman Yasser Arafat, made during a Wednesday
meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami
during their discussions in Cairo on Wednesday. Ben-Ami had proposed
MK Yossi Sarid, leader of the Dovish Meretz party, said Israel should immediately accept Arafat's
proposal. According to the radio report, a majority of the peace cabinet members also believe Israel
should accept the offer.
16-year-old Israeli Boy Found Murdered in Ramallah
[18.01.01] The bullet-riddled body of a 16-year-old youth, Ophir Rachum, from Ashkelon was
transferred Thursday from Ramallah to Israel. The body has been identified as that of a boy who had
been missing since the beginning of the week, and is apparently the boy who was murdered Wednesday
near the settlement of Psagot. IDF soldiers noticed a boy and girl Wednesday near the area where the
body was found. It was only determined Thursday afternoon that the body was that of an Israeli.
Dozens of classmates came to pay their respects at his parent's house in Ashkelon. The students, in
the 11th grade, said that he was an excellent athlete who rooted for Manchester United and collected
T-shirts of all the famous soccer teams. He was a "computer freak," and even had his own Internet
site. One of his friends said that in the past month and a half he was involved in a relationship
with an American tourist who lived in Jerusalem.
In response to the murder, Prime Minister Ehud Barak said, "this was a brutal and grave murder. We
will take measures and whoever perpetrated the murder will be brought to justice. These types of
incidents do not contribute to the negotiations. It is hard to hold negotiations in this type of
atmosphere." Likud chair Ariel Sharon said that this murder proves that Barak is holding
negotiations under terrorist attacks, which brings about the weakening of Israel."
The Palestinian National Authority denounced the killing in a statement through its news agency
WAFA, saying it condemned attacks against civilian.
Israeli arrested for helping PA apprehend collaborators
[18.01.01] Israel Radio reported that police arrested Thursday a Jewish citizen suspected of helping
extradite collaborators to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for money.
Shmuel Ashakota, 50, of Holon, brought the PNA a suspected collaborator who had travelled with him
to the territories a few months ago. A Palestinian officer arrested the collaborator, who was
injured and later brought to a hospital in the Hebron area for treatment. He managed to escape from
the hospital and inform Israeli GSS officials about the incident.
At about the same time, security officials were informed by another collaborator about a similar
incident involving the suspect from Holon.
Following his arrest, Ashakota tried to commit suicide, and is currently hospitalized. Police
discovered that the PA gave the man a check for NIS 5000 (about $1200) in exchange for his
assistance, but that the bank refused to honor it.
Palestinian suspected of collaboration shot in Hebron
[18.01.01] A Palestinian suspected of collaborating with Israel was shot by anonymous gunmen in the
Palestinian section of the West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday afternoon, IDF Radio reported. His
condition is not currently known.
Lebanon sentences pro-Arafat Palestinian official
[18.01.01] A Lebanese court Thursday sentenced a member of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser
Arafat's Fatah faction in absentia for threatening to kill a former Lebanese minister and insulting
another in 1995.
Munir al-Maqdah, who lives in the southern Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh, was sentenced
to four and a half years in jail. Fatah officials have received jail sentences from Lebanese courts
in the past but none has been enforced.
Barak: No to Unity Government
[18.01.01] Speaking at Blich High School in Ramat Gan, Israeli PM Ehud Barak, campaigning for
re-election, rejected the possibility of forming a government of national unity after the
elections. He said that such a government "which has too many parts, will never be able to reach any
decisions that are good for everyone. Who among us would not want first unity and then peace? But
then the Oslo agreement, and the peace treaty with Jordan and the Camp David agreement (1978) would
have never happened because Sharon opposed all of them." Barak said that not evacuating the
settlements would heighten the conflict in the area. In addition he added that, "We will pay the
price, as will our children and grandchildren. Under the impression of a cold peace and an interim
agreement we will only bring about war."
He also said that if reelected, he will seek an agreement with the Palestinian National Authority
over a twelve month period and if that yields no results, Barak said "we may have to initiate a
separation, based on security considerations, which will be carried out gradually over a two year
Barak also attacked Ariel Sharon's peace plan, s published
Thursday in Ha'aretz. Barak said, "This thing has no chance.
It would work only if we were God and we could dictate whatever happened here... This is a recipe
for violence." He added,
"Sharon's plan has no grip on reality. His plan has no partner in the entire world, and thus will
stay only an election mantra."
Sharon, who also appeared at Blich High School, confirmed his plan as it was published in the
Settlers' Council attacks Sharon's Peace Plan
[18.01.01] The Council of Jewish Settlements of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza District (Yesha)
attacked Israeli candidate for PM Ariel Sharon's peace plan, as it was published in Thursday's
edition of Ha'aretz, IDF Radio reported.
"Despite our support of Sharon, we oppose any plan that prevents Jews from establishing settlements
in their homeland," said a Council statement.
"After four months of battle in the territories and seven years of failure of Oslo, there is no
logic in awarding to the terrorist Arafat a prize resembling a Palestinian state."