Israel Rejects Arafat Truce Offer
Nazir Majally, Asharq Al-Awsat
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat declared a commitment to reaching a total cease-fire with Israel in a letter given to envoys of the peacemaking “Quartet”, Palestinian officials said yesterday.
"Yup. Yup. Us Paleos, we're a peaceful bunch, always lookin' for a ceasefire. We love ceasefires. Why, we musta had 50 or 60 of 'em in the past ten years, loved every one..."
But the letter cited conditions, including an international observer force to help enforce US-led peace moves, that Israel has already rejected.
"Send us American targets!"
Israeli officials swiftly dismissed Arafat’s initiative as a ploy to avoid threatened expulsion.
No buses have blown up since they said they were going to kill him, have they?
The four-month-old road map peace plan sponsored by the international Quartet has been stymied by a relapse into tit-for-tat bloodshed in recent weeks with Washington preoccupied by turmoil in occupied Iraq and a looming election campaign at home. Violence continued heedless of diplomacy by the Quartet, which consists of the European Union, United States, United Nations and Russia, with Israeli troops killing a wanted Palestinian militant in the West Bank yesterday.
In a shootout. After he barged into somebody's house...
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Arafat received Quartet envoys from the EU, UN and Russia in his half-demolished West Bank compound where Israeli forces have confined him for almost two years. “President Arafat handed them a letter in which he said he is committed to a total cessation of violence against Israelis anywhere, provided the Quartet intervenes to revive the road map and sends monitors to commit the two sides to implement it.”
Erekat said Arafat also reiterated his support for the road map, which calls for an end to violence and the start of reciprocal steps leading to a Palestinian state by 2005.
We could tell Yasser was committed to the road map by the elegant way he used it to blow his nose...

Posted by: Fred Pruitt 2003-09-23