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 âQuartetâ, Palestinian officials said yesterday.
But the letter cited conditions, including an international observer force to help enforce US-led peace moves, that Israel has already rejected.
|"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..." |
Israeli officials swiftly dismissed Arafatâs initiative as a ploy to avoid threatened expulsion.
|"Send us American targets!" |
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.
|No buses have blown up since they said they were going to kill him, have they? |
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. âPresident 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.â
|In a shootout. After he barged into somebody's house... |
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