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CHN NEWS "UPDATE" 11-18-98
Commentary by Sal Smario

Greetings Watchers!

Good News!

The Knesset approved the Wye Accords, and the first redeployment and prisoner release were begun today.

Ariel Sharon met with Abbas, about the framework for the final status talks, and everything was warm and friendly. They know it is going to be hard but they are keeping it, for now anyway, on a basis of " mutual respect and trust". The mood was "open and serious". Although a speedy conclusion of the talks is not generally expected, they are slated to be completed by the end of the interim framework, including the Wye accord, on May 4, 1999.

Please Lord, let it be by then!

According to this years Jewish feast calendar, Pentecost falls on May 31, 1999. That means that Ascension day is the 21st of May. . . . . . Could this be the window?

All we can do is watch and Pray

And were Watching Lord!

Luke 12:37

Here's today's confirming news articles.

KNESSET APPROVES WYE Mideast Dispatch 11-18-98

The Knesset has approved the Wye agreement by a vote of 75 to 19 with 9 abstentions. Seventeen Knesset members were absent at the vote which turned into a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister. Only 33 of Netanyahu's right wing colleagues in the coalition supported the agreement.

Two NRP [National Religious Party] cabinet ministers, Yitzchak Levi and Shaul Yahalom, voted against even though it was also a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister.

Just before the vote was taken, Members of Knesset from the right tried delaying tactics, arguing that the withdrawal map showed only 2% of the 13% pull back.

Netanyahu countered that he did not present any maps at the Wye River Plantation and that Israel was entitled to determine where the pullbacks will be. {KOL ISRAEL 11/18 H|P}

 

First Wye pullout to end by tomorrow
By DANNA HARMAN

KEY STATEMENT: "I think I speak for both of us when I say that our direction is forward, and we do not want to deal with what was in the past," said Sharon before the meeting in Jerusalem. "We want to find the best solutions, solutions which are good for us and good for the Palestinians. I intend to make every effort to reach this sort of resolution." Abbas stressed the need to go about the process with "mutual respect and trust."

After the meeting, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the discussions had been "open and serious," and that another meeting would take place soon, hosted by Abbas.

JERUSALEM (November 19) - Sometime tonight or tomorrow, IDF liaison officers are expected to hold a brief ceremony with their Palestinian counterparts. They will hand over maps, point out the cement blocks and the new road signs, shake hands, and go home. The first withdrawal under the Wye Memorandum will then be complete.

"This will not be a complicated procedure," said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's communications director, David Bar-Illan. "The area we are to withdraw from is almost completely barren, and army bases will not be removed. It is not like redeploying from Nablus."

The whole redeployment, which is in the Jenin area, should take only a few hours, he said.

The pullback could still be delayed, however. The cabinet is to convene today to assess Palestinian compliance with the Wye accord and then, depending on its assessment, vote on whether to move forward. The Palestinians have said that all that is incumbent upon them to do has been done or is being done.

The Palestinian Police said yesterday that the order to begin confiscating illegal arms has been given, while other Palestinian officials said the anti-incitement decree is being drafted.

The pullback consists of 2 percent from Area C (Israeli controlled) to Area B (joint Israeli-Palestinian control) and 7.1 percent from Area B to Area A (Palestinian control). Other key Wye-agreement sections to be implemented before the weekend, if the cabinet gives its go-ahead, are opening the airport at Dahaniya and releasing 250 Palestinian prisoners from its jails.

A problem over the prisoners is brewing, with Palestinian officials insisting they want only political prisoners to be released, while the government has lists showing that over half of those to be let out are criminals.

Palestinian Minister-without-Portfolio Ziyad Abu Ziyad reiterated the PA's position that the release of criminals is unacceptable. "The prisoners we want are our prisoners of war. We are not interested in the drug addicts and car thieves that the Israeli government wants to flood us with - you keep those," he said at a Hebrew University conference on peacemaking.

"The Palestinians can write up whatever lists they want," said Bar-Illan in response, "but we will release who we see fit to release."

A top American official said that problems may also arise with the opening of the airport. Even if the green light is given, he said, Dahaniya is not yet ready for operations. Night flights, for example, are ruled out because the necessary equipment has been held up by Israel in Ashdod Port.

Nonetheless, there are said to be plans for US President Bill Clinton, who is to travel to the region in early December, to land at Dahaniya.

Meanwhile, independent of the cabinet decision, Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian negotiator Mahmoud Abbas met to discuss the framework for the final-status negotiations. This was the first official session since the ceremonial opening of the final-status talks in May 1996. Although a speedy conclusion of the talks is not generally expected, they are slated to be completed by the end of the interim framework, including the Wye accord, on May 4, 1999.

"I think I speak for both of us when I say that our direction is forward, and we do not want to deal with what was in the past," said Sharon before the meeting in Jerusalem. "We want to find the best solutions, solutions which are good for us and good for the Palestinians. I intend to make every effort to reach this sort of resolution."

Abbas stressed the need to go about the process with "mutual respect and trust."

After the meeting, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the discussions had been "open and serious," and that another meeting would take place soon, hosted by Abbas.

In the past weeks, Sharon has been carrying out a series of consultations with top Foreign Ministry officials to identify and sharpen Israel's positions going into the final-status talks. Discussion papers on water, refugees, Jerusalem, and the settlements - which were prepared months ago - have now been dusted off and debated.

Sharon is to travel to the US at the end of the month to represent Israel at the convention of donors to the PA and to meet with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other officials to discuss the final-status negotiations. Before this trip, Sharon said he hopes to take the Foreign Ministry officials involved in final-status matters on a field trip to the West Bank to better acquaint them with the "intricate problems and the possible solutions ahead."

CHN NEWS ‘UPDATE' - 11-17-98

Commentary by Sal Smario

THE MIDEAST MARCH TO PEACE

Greetings Watchers!

Today's the first milestone of the Wye Accord was reached. The Israelis ratified the agreement, and by a wide margin, giving the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a vote of confidence.

As seen through "Daniel Glasses", that means we are one step closer to the Rapture.

And , while you still got your "glasses" on, another thing happened today of significant importance - the final status talks will move ahead regardless of cabinet approval, this week. Minister Sharon meets with Abbas this afternoon, opening discussions on the framework of the talks.

That's another step forward! With all this forward motion, one might think there was a hook in someone's jaw, and they were being towed along. Praise the Lord!

The King has had his miracle, and will be home soon. His hair, beard and eyebrows will be grown back by Spring, so he will be dashing in his Kings garb for the obligatory pen in hand signing the treaty photos. When that happens we're gone!

Lord, if it could only happen that fast! But, that's what to watch for. Forward motion, more of it each day, if they are going to get it done by Pentecost in the spring.

That's the window of opportunity for this year, for the Rapture to occur on ascension day in the Spring.

So, keep your eye on the progress of the final status talks. You know Satan will have a hand in delaying it to it's final moment. His death scene is getting close ! But we know that God is in control, so all we have to do is watch, and do as Paul said . . . Rejoice! And comfort one another. We are not "people of the dark". We can see it coming. But only if you know what to look for. Daniels prophecy & Revelations points us directly at the historical stage of the Mideast today.

That's where we're watching Lord, and it's getting easier to see everyday!

Stay with us now folks, it's getting exciting!

Got questions? email us chn@chn-net.com

Luke 12:37

Here's today's confirming news article

Knesset approves Wye accords
By NINA GILBERT and DANNA HARMAN

KEY STATEMENTS: In his concluding address to the House, Netanyahu said that although he knows that many MKs do not want to give up parts of the Land of Israel, "we need a political agreement with our neighbors to bring peace for ourselves and for our children."

One thing that will be going forward regardless of cabinet approval this week are the final status talks. Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon is to meet with Abbas this afternoon in order to begin discussing the framework for the talks.

JERUSALEM (November 18) - The Knesset ratified the Wye Memorandum late last night by a wide margin comprised mostly of the Left, paving the way for the government to move forward with the peace process with the Palestinians.

The vote, 75 to 19, with 9 abstentions, was turned into a motion of confidence in the prime minister after Moledet leader Rehavam Ze'evi proposed a no-confidence motion, which would have put the vote off until next Monday.

It was noted for the absence of seven cabinet members, including Likud ministers Limor Livnat, Silvan Shalom, Moshe Katsav, Yehoshua Matza and Tzahi Hanegbi, in addition to Tsomet leader Rafael Eitan (Tsomet) and Yisrael Ba'aliya's Yuli Edelstein.

The two National Religious Party ministers, Shaul Yahalom and Yitzhak Levy, voted against the accord, which could serve grounds for their dismissal from the government. The rest of the NRP MKs also voted against, as did Likud MKs Ze'ev Binyamin Begin, Uzi Landau, David Magen, David Re'em and Reuven Rivlin, Tsomet MKs Moshe Peled and Haim Dayan, and Michael Kleiner (Gesher).

Before the vote began, Labor whip Elie Goldschmidt called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to "give thanks to Labor Party leader Ehud Barak," without whose support the accord would not have passed.

In his concluding address to the House, Netanyahu said that although he knows that many MKs do not want to give up parts of the Land of Israel, "we need a political agreement with our neighbors to bring peace for ourselves and for our children."

The vote culminated a two-day debate by the House, and took place only after MKs were shown the redeployment maps yesterday evening.

The defense establishment and the ministerial maps committee concluded the final preparation of the withdrawal maps at the Knesset in a meeting with settlement leaders. The Defense Ministry said that of 117 reservations submitted by the settlers, 61 were accepted.

The maps only show the 2 percent of the first phase of the 13% withdrawal from the West Bank, comprising 2% of Area C becoming Area B, and 7% of Area B being made Area A. Settler leader Pinhas Wallerstein said the withdrawal would be a "death blow" to 10 settlements, six of which would be 500 to 1000 meters from Palestinian-controlled territory.

Earlier in the day, Edelstein resigned from the committee, saying that it only met for the first time yesterday, and that he "would not be a rubber stamp for the maps."

Only a handful of MKs arrived to view the maps in a side room in the Knesset under heavy guard to prevent the media from getting a glimpse before they are then passed on to the Palestinians.

A total of 100 MKs spoke on the accord, mostly before an empty House.

Earlier in the day, MKs had called for a halt to the debate since the MKs had not viewed the maps. MK Alex Lubotsky (The Third Way) argued that the maps were not a part of the agreement, and therefore should not be a factor in the Knesset voting on the accord.

The redeployment, which was expected tomorrow, will now take place either Friday or next week, officials at the Prime Minister's Office confirmed yesterday.

The new delay comes after the special cabinet meeting which is to decide whether or not the Palestinians have carried out their obligations under the Wye accord, was postponed until next week. This was done, according to a statement from the Prime Minister's Office, "in order to give the Palestinians more time to fulfill their commitments." Netanyahu briefed US special envoy Dennis Ross last night on this decision, and on the process in general, before Ross left the region. His deputy, Aaron Miller, is expected to stay here through the weekend.

When ratifying the agreement last week, Netanyahu had stipulated that before any Israeli action, the cabinet would convene to assess Palestinian compliance with its part of the deal. The government is now waiting for proof that the PA has:

€ arrested 10 out of the 30 listed fugitives.

€ issued a decree against incitement.

€ set up the framework for the collection of illegal weapons.

€ reaffirmed the nullification by the Palestine National Council of sections of the Palestinian National Charter calling for Israel's destruction.

The Palestinians insist all these have been done, or are in the course of being carried out.

On Monday, Netanyahu had said that in addition to these conditions, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat would have to retract his bellicose statement regarding raising arms to protect Jerusalem, and the statement of intention to declare a Palestinian state this May. Otherwise, Netanyahu warned, there would be no implementation of Wye.

Arafat, in response, made several attempts at rectifying the damage done over the past days, until Netanyahu, yesterday, accepted a semi-retraction.

"I stress... that we are protective of the peace process in the Middle East and all the peace agreements we signed with the Israelis. Peace is a strategic choice of the Palestinians," Arafat said at a press conference yesterday.

"We stress that concerning any differences in final status negotiations, we want to solve these issues by peaceful means, through negotiations, and not in any other way." Although Arafat did not entirely drop the possibility of declaring independence in May, when the current peace accords expire, his call to solve final status issues, including permanent borders, was viewed as backing down.

Netanyahu told parliamentary reporters yesterday: "I certainly view in a positive light the statements made by Chairman Arafat. I think that the statements that the Palestinian Authority is committed to negotiating the permanent peace agreement with Israel through peaceful means and them alone - the rejection of violence as a means of negotiation and the commitment to cooperate against violence and terror - these are positive steps, and we view them accordingly." Not only the redeployment is on hold. Until the cabinet agrees to go forward with implementation, nothing can happen. This includes the opening of the airport in Dahiniya, and the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners. Internal Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani and senior Palestinian negotiator Mahmoud Abbas met yesterday to discuss the prisoner release program - only to discover they were holding very different lists of prisoners.

The government has promised that no security prisoner with "blood on his hands" will be released. However, security sources say, there are not enough of "the other kinds of prisoners," to make up the numbers Israel has agreed to release.

This is expected to become a bigger problem in the future when the Palestinians demand the release of the full number - 750 - agreed upon. Meanwhile, however, Kahalani said that both criminal and security prisoners would be released in the first batch.

Palestinian negotiator Hisham Abdel Razek said such a mixed released was, "unacceptable," and constituted a violation of the Wye agreements.

"We won't even talk about such an option," he said.

A Palestinian security source said the PA has no interest whatsoever in securing homecomings for "murderers, rapists and car thieves," and would insist upon receiving what had been promised.

One thing that will be going forward regardless of cabinet approval this week are the final status talks. Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon is to meet with Abbas this afternoon in order to begin discussing the framework for the talks.

The US administration expressed relief yesterday at the resolution of the latest Israeli-Palestinian crisis and said it hoped that with the war of words over, the Knesset ratification of the Wye accord would be imminent and Israel's implementation steps could proceed.

State Department spokesman James Rubin noted that Netanyahu regards "as a positive action" Arafat's pledge yesterday to resolve disputes through negotiations alone.

"We hope very much, and expect, to see a strong vote of approval in the Knesset today... for the Wye agreement. And we are very hopeful that in the coming days the Israelis will be fulfilling their part of their obligations under the Wye agreement. And we think this issue is behind us," Rubin told reporters.

Hillel Kuttler, Liat Collins and Mohammed Najib contributed to this report.

CHN "News Update" 11-15-98

The Mid East March to Peace

"This moment... reaffirms the fact that an honest leader, who governs by love, not force, can make even a personal celebration a national event," Samih Bino, Jordanian State Minister......

As Jordan celebrated the King's birthday into their second day, the overwhelming theme of "love for their King", who governs them by love not force, is further evidence of the credentials that he will present to the world when he is hailed as the "Man of Peace" and "given his crown" in fulfillment of Rev.6.

Quoting todays JT, [furthering the King's credentials] :

"His endeavours at the political, economic and social levels, coupled with his democratization initiative, promotion of political pluralism and 'respect for human rights' have won him and the Kingdom international respect while making Jordan the envy of its neighbours".

The phrase "respect for human rights" is the key to why this world will so willfully and whole-heartedly welcome their new found savior......who scripture calls the Antichrist.

The world will soon "hail" their Antichrist......Jordan's King Hussein !!!!!!

And to our "watchers", we remind you that even though we are now "watching" his rise, we will not be here for his coronation ceremony. For the Church will be Raptured just prior to his "crowning"..!!!

If you have any questions please ask: chn@chn-net.com

We'll keep "watching"...

Jesus is Lord...

Luke 12:37

Jordan Times 11-15-98 Editorial:

Ample reasons to celebrate

Key Statement: "This moment... reaffirms the fact that an honest leader, who governs by love, not force, can make even a personal celebration a national event."

JORDANIANS HAD good reason to celebrate the birthday of His Majesty King Hussein, not the least of which was his announcement that his treatment for cancer has been successful and that he will be returning home soon.

King Hussein has led Jordan through turbulent decades of conflict and struggle in the Middle East to the emerging peace and stability wrought by the Jordan-Israel peace treaty of 1994.

His endeavours at the political, economic and social levels, coupled with his democratization initiative, promotion of political pluralism and respect for human rights have won him and the Kingdom international respect while making Jordan the envy of its neighbours.

We take special pride in the fact that the sea of banners wishing a happy birthday and a safe and healthy return to the Jordanian family and the profusion of photos of our King are an expression of our heartfelt feelings, rather than political pretense. As Minister of State for Prime Ministry Affairs Samih Bino said yesterday, “This moment... reaffirms the fact that an honest leader, who governs by love, not force, can make even a personal celebration a national event.”

The days since King Hussein's departure for the U.S. have been long ones, with the international community speculating much on the future of Jordan. While Jordanians' celebrations were solely for their King, they also hope that yesterday's festivities, which included Jordanians of every political, social and economic stripe, were a message not lost on the international community: the Jordanian people are solid and united for the future of their country. Through His Majesty's efforts, our society has been endowed with the tools to shape its future.

For all these reasons, we wish His Majesty many happy and healthy returns

 

Reuters Sunday, November 15, 1998

Jordanians celebrate monarch's birthday

Key Statement: "I have missed you and my time abroad has been too long but God willing I very soon will be with you again," he said. He said doctors confirmed there were no longer any signs of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a type of cancer affecting lymph glands. The king's illness was his second bout with cancer in six years.

AMMAN - Thousands of Jordanians paraded across the country in nationwide festivities this weekend to mark King Hussein's 63rd birthday amid relief over his successful treatment for cancer.

Car processions carried Jordanian flags and pictures of the monarch. Parades and fireworks displays were staged across the kingdom in streets decorated by a sea of banners adorned with birthday wishes for the king. "The patron of our progress, 63 years of giving," said one of hundreds of banners hung from lampposts in the capital.

The king told Jordanians late Friday that he had been successfully treated for cancer and was longing to return home after a four-month hospital stay at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

"I have missed you and my time abroad has been too long but God willing I very soon will be with you again," he said. He said doctors confirmed there were no longer any signs of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a type of cancer affecting lymph glands. The king's illness was his second bout with cancer in six years.

 

CHN "special report" 11-14-98

The Mid East March to Peace

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KING HUSSEIN.....!!!!

Today is King Hussein's 63rd birthday, and true to his benevolent manner he gave his people a birthday gift. His personal confirmation that he is cured......

In an interview with Jordanian Television, he confirmed earlier reports that his chemotherapy treatments were successful and that he is completely cured of lymph cancer.

"The situation is excellent. Chemotherapy is over and, thank God, there is no trace of the lymphoma."

"Although stages of treatment were quite hard and difficult they were nothing compared to one's morale."

"Thank God that everything is proceeding in a good manner. By God's will, this will be the final stage after which I will return home," said the King.

His return home will be delayed until just before Christmas because his doctors now want to do a marrow transplant to ensure that no traces of lymphoma may recur. [...you take good of the King now fellas...]

So, the country of Jordan is in full celebration today and Sunday for both the King's birthday and his personal announcement of perfect health...

...and soon the whole world will be celebrating with the King when he is honored as the "man of peace" that finally brings closure to the problems between the Arabs and the Jews. We're speaking of the signing of the seven year agreement that will come at the conclusion of the "final status" negotiations...

We will keep "watching"...........

Jesus is Lord...

Luke 12:37

JORDAN TIMES 11-14-98

King completely cured from lymphoma

AMMAN (J.T.) — His Majesty King Hussein on Friday confirmed earlier reports that he is completely cured of the lymph cancer that he fought against for the past four months at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

“The situation is excellent,” the King told Jordan Television in an interview last night.

“Chemotherapy is over and, thank God, there is no trace of the lymphoma,” the King said.

He added, however, that his doctors are planning a marrow transplant to ensure that no traces of lymphoma may recur.

Expressing his anxiousness to meet his people, the King said: “God willing, I will be amongst you in the near future,” noting that the last course of chemotherapy has ended 10 days ago.

The King said that his treatment has been carried out smoothly although it was quite difficult and hard.

“Although stages of treatment were quite hard and difficult they were nothing compared to one's morale. Thank God that everything is proceeding in a good manner. By God's will, this will be the final stage after which I will return home,” said the King.

Asked if he were watching Jordan Satellite Channel, King Hussein said he was and from time-to-time makes suggestions to improve its performance to enable it to reach all parts of the world in an effective and efficient manner.

A statement issued by His Majesty's physicians at the Mayo Clinic on Friday reaffirmed that the King was cured from lymphoma.

The statement, a copy of which was obtained by the Jordan Times, said:

“His Majesty is in complete remission from lymphoma. During the sixth, and final, treatment cycle which will start before the end of November, His Majesty's doctors will do an auto-transplant of His Majesty's own healthy stem cells which is a standard procedure to ensure a permanent remission.”

Information Minister Nasser Judeh told the Jordan Times in an interview: “We are extremely delighted by the wonderful news about His Majesty's health and we should expect him back home in the last 10 days of December.”

JORDAN TIMES 11-14-98

Jordan celebrates King's birthday

AMMAN (J.T.) — Jordan today celebrates His Majesty King Hussein's 63rd birthday, an occasion marked with a public holiday and ceremonies all over the Kingdom involving different social and cultural activities organized by public and private institutions.

The streets of Amman and the other Jordanian towns and villages are bedecked with the King's portraits, the national flags and posters expressing good wishes to the King on his birthday and hopes for his quick and safe return home.

HRH Crown Prince Hassan, the Regent, will attend the main celebration at the King Hussein Sports City where he will make a speech to the nation.

The celebration at the Sports City includes artistic and cultural programmes as well as an air show and music performances by an army band.

Accompanied by Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh, ministers and officials, the Regent will later tour parts of the Amman Governorate where he will inaugurate a number of projects.

Nearly 20,000 students and representatives of various public and private organizations are taking part in the open celebration at the Sports City.

A special ministerial committee which had been entrusted with preparing for the celebrations said that the Ministry of Culture will hold a folklore performance at the Sports City Saturday under the Regent's patronage. The King's birthday this year brings about double rejoicing for the Jordanian people who are delighted by reports of their leader's complete cure of his illness and his imminent safe return home.

The Jordanian people have already expressed their wishes to the King for a happy birthday and a safe return home through letters, banners and signatures on a huge 250-metre greetings card.

Since May l953, when he assumed his constitutional powers, King Hussein has been leading the Kingdom through turbulent decades of conflict to achieve peace and stability for the region.

For over 45 years, King Hussein has been striving to serve his people and has succeeded in accomplishing many achievements at all levels and in all domains.

His endeavours at the political, economic and social levels coupled with his drive towards promoting democracy, political pluralism and respect for human rights have won him and the Kingdom high esteem at the regional and international levels.

Led by King Hussein, Jordan has succeeded in bolstering its ties with Arab and foreign countries and has maintained unique relations with the Palestinian people who the King has pledged to help regain their rights and their homeland.

On this happy anniversary the government declared Saturday and Sunday public holidays.

For the occasion His Majesty received congratulatory cables from Arab and foreign heads of states on Friday.

The King received cables from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Sultan Qaboos Ben Saeed of Oman, Algerian President Liamin Zeroual, President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Zayed Ben Sultan Al Nahayan, Bahraini leader Sheikh Issa Ben Salman Al Khalifeh and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, German President Roman Herzog, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu as well as UAE and Palestinian senior officials. In their messages, Arab and foreign leaders wished King Hussein continued good health and happiness and praised his supportive stand of Arab causes and his endeavours to establish peace and security in the Middle East region and the world at large.

CHN "Late Breaking News" 11-11-98

The Mid East March to Peace

9:00 PM PDT

As expected, the Israeli cabinet approved the Wye agreement while attaching a string of conditions. Ministers voted 8-4, with five abstentions. At the top of the list of conditions was that the PNC convene and vote to repeal the anti-Israel clauses in the covenant.

When Yasser Arafat was told of the vote he was said to have flashed a big smile and gave the "thumbs up" signal at his Ramallah headquarters.

True to his commitment to fulfill the agreement to the letter, Arafat met with a specially invited group of Israeli journalists in Ramallah last night and told them that the Palestine National Council will vote to repeal the anti-Israel clauses in the Palestinian Covenant next month. He is determined not to let anything stand in the way of finalizing the withdrawal agreement.

The agreement will now be presented to the Knesset on Monday for their approval... There still hasn't been a date set for the start of final status negotiations. According to reports last week, Ariel Sharon was scheduled to travel to the US on conclusion of the cabinet vote to present the final status agenda to the Americans. We'll watch for more news on this.

So, slowly but surely progress is being made, and confidence and trust between the parties is building.

Next stop is Monday's vote in the Knesset and then hopefully the date to open final status talks will be announced......

We'll keep "watching".......

Jesus is Lord...

Luke 12:37

 

Reuters Wednesday November 11 4:32 PM ET

Israel's Cabinet Backs Wye Deal Conditionally
By Jeffrey Heller

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's cabinet approved a new land-for-security deal with the Palestinians Wednesday but set a string of conditions that could block full implementation of the U.S.-brokered accord.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also threatened effective Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank if the Palestinians make good on their pledge to declare an independent state on May 4, 1999 in the absence of a permanent peace accord.

Ministers voted 8-4, with five abstentions, to back the interim agreement Netanyahu signed with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat at the White House on October 23, the Israeli leader's office said.

``The government approved the Wye Memorandum this evening,'' Netanyahu said before reading off a list of Israeli conditions he demanded the Palestinians meet.

But the breakdown of the vote showed that in effect, Netanyahu failed to win the support of a majority of ministers in his right-wing cabinet.

Netanyahu, raising the next hurdle in the deal, said the bulk of an Israeli pullback from 13 percent more of the West Bank was conditional on a PLO vote to annul clauses in the Palestinian charter calling for Israel's destruction.

``The fulfillment of Israel's commitment according to the agreement is conditioned on a properly conducted vote at the Palestine National Council (PNC),'' a cabinet statement said.

Palestinians note the Wye deal makes no mention of a ballot when the PNC and other Palestinian bodies convene in Gaza next month to reaffirm previous nullification's of the offending provisions. President Clinton will attend the meeting.

``We don't operate under conditions but according to signed agreements. We respect every word in those agreements and we reject the setting of new conditions,'' Hassan Asfour, a senior Palestinian negotiator told Reuters.

In Washington, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said through a spokesman that she welcomed the cabinet decision as an important step forward in the peace process.

``With that decision having been made, she believes all concerned must now proceed to implement the agreement as quickly as possible,'' State Department spokesman James Rubin said. He made no reference to the Israeli conditions.

At a news conference, Netanyahu said Israel would take unilateral steps of its own if Arafat declared a Palestinian state next May, when both sides are supposed to reach a final settlement under interim peace deals.

``We reserve the right to apply Israeli law to the security areas, to the Jerusalem area and the area of the settlements and to other things accepted as vital national interests of Israel,'' Netanyahu said, referring to parts of the occupied West Bank.

Permanent borders and the final status of Jerusalem and Jewish settlements are among the issues to be determined in so-called ``final-status'' negotiations.

Israel captured the West Bank, including Arab East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war. It annexed Jerusalem shortly after the conflict in a move not recognized internationally.

Israel is scheduled to begin the first stage of a three-phased West Bank pullback on November 16, but has said the withdrawal could be delayed by several days.

As the cabinet voted, thousands of ultra nationalist Israelis protested against the deal in Tel Aviv. ``Bibi, you sold us out,'' read one sign, using Netanyahu's nickname.

Netanyahu said the cabinet would convene before implementation of the other withdrawal stages in the 12-week process to determine whether Palestinians were fulfilling their commitments.

Israel had held up cabinet ratification of the deal, which will be presented to parliament Monday, to demand an ``all-out'' war by Arafat's Palestinian Authority against anti-Israel violence.

Going down his roster of conditions, Netanyahu said the next interim Israeli withdrawal, after the pullbacks set in the Wye Memorandum, would not exceed one percent of the West Bank -- a figure sure to fall short of Palestinian expectations.

However, Netanyahu said that starting next week, Israel would release a first group of a slated 750 Palestinian prisoners who will go free under the Wye agreement.

 

Jerusalem Post Thursday, November 12, 1998 23 Heshvan 5759

Arafat: PNC will annul anti-Israel clauses
By JEFF BARAK and DANNA HARMAN

JERUSALEM (November 12) - The Palestine National Council (PNC) will vote to repeal the anti-Israel clauses in the Palestinian Covenant next month, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat told a specially invited group of Israeli journalists in Ramallah last night.

The cabinet ratified the Wye Memorandum yesterday evening, setting the stage for a 13 percent withdrawal from the West Bank by the end of January.

In a vote of 8-4, with five abstentions, the cabinet declared Israel's intention to proceed with implementing the accord - but left open the option of halting the process if certain conditions are not met.

These conditions are:

* that the PNC convene and vote to repeal the anti-Israel clauses in the covenant;

* that the third redeployment not exceed 1 percent;

* that the cabinet meet at each stage of the implementation process to assess the PA's fulfillment of its commitments, and reserve the right to halt progress if not satisfied with Palestinian efforts;

* that retain the right to take any action it sees necessary, including annexing sections of the West Bank, if the PA unilaterally declares a state on May 4, 1999.

On hearing from an aide that the cabinet had ratified the Wye accord, Arafat broke into a huge smile and flashed a thumbs-up sign to all in the room in his Ramallah headquarters.

Speaking before Jerusalem announced the conditions the cabinet had placed on ratifying the agreement, Arafat also said that May 4 does not necessarily spell the end of the Oslo process.

Asked what he thought would happen on that date, he said: "May 4 is the end of the five-year period we agreed upon in Oslo. If there are other ideas, I'm ready to listen."

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat belittled the cabinet ratification, telling The Voice of Palestine last night that "this ratification had come two weeks late" and that the conditions are absolutely unacceptable.

"We hope that the ratification will not be with no implementation, because the implementation is the base," said Erekat.

"These are not new conditions," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a press conference after the cabinet endorsement. "We have asked for nothing above what was promised at Wye, and we will be satisfied with nothing less."

Netanyahu said he would permit the opening of the Palestinian airport next week and would also begin releasing Palestinian security prisoners at that time. In all, 750 Palestinians being held for security offenses are to be freed by January.

To sweeten what many on the far Right consider a very bitter pill, Netanyahu indicated that the tenders for building on Har Homa would be issued soon.

"Look at the papers this week," he suggested, when asked when this would happen.

In addition, the security cabinet is to meet today to discuss beginning construction on 12 new bypass roads, including the Arub road - which will mean the confiscation of much Palestinian land.

Over the past two weeks, with Netanyahu postponing the cabinet debate three times, and halting it completely after Friday's bombing in Jerusalem, the US has urged Israel to try and stick to the original timetable of the agreement.

And while some US officials privately expressed something akin to incredulity that the government would set conditions to an already signed agreement, which officially went into effect last Monday, the official line is that the US is pleased with the progress being made on the Israeli side.

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in a statement, welcomed the cabinet's decision as an important step forward in the peace process.

"With that decision having been made, she believes all concerned must now proceed to implement the agreement as quickly as possible," State Department spokesman James Rubin said. He made no reference to the Israeli conditions.

US President Bill Clinton spoke with Netanyahu on Tuesday night about the agreement and about the US showdown with Iraq over weapons inspections.

Margot Dudkevitch adds:

As the cabinet announced the ratification of the Wye Memorandum, thousands of demonstrators gathered in Kikar Rabin in Tel Aviv to declare their opposition to accord, under the slogan "Faithful to Eretz Israel."

Hundreds of buses transported people to the rally, which was organized by the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the Land of Israel Front, Mateh Ma'amatz and other right-wing movements.

Habad adherents were urged by their leaders to attend the demonstration.

"The Wye team will no longer lead the nationalist camp in Israel," declared Uzi Landau, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

MK Rehavam Ze'evi (Moledet) chastised the government for turning a blind eye to its brothers and sisters in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and accused it of attempting to dry up the settlements and ignore the murders of innocent people.

"Bibi went to Wye and came back with Munich," he said.

 

CHN "Late Breaking News" 11-11-98

6:00 AM PDT

The Israeli cabinet is in session at this time, and ratification of the Wye agreement is assured, but with "strings" attached that could cause new disruptions and threaten implementation in the future.

A key Israeli demand concerns the procedure for revoking clauses of the PLO founding charter that call for Israel's destruction when the PNC meets in mid December with President Clinton in attendance. But it is now being learned that the US has quietly resolved the issue by having the parties agree to vote by a show of hands.......

The Wye agreement stipulates that the first Israeli troop pullback would be implemented by Nov.16 and that date is still attainable if the Knesset were to vote on it by then. A Knesset vote of approval is also assured so the pullback could take place immediately thereafter....

The Ha'aretz Daily News is reporting that President Clinton spoke to Netanyahu prior to Bibi calling his cabinet into session and informed him that the United States was encountering problems in the Arab world with its policy of being tough on Iraq because Israel had not moved forward on its implementation of the Wye agreement. Bibi then called the cabinet into session implying a direct link...

Oh, the "tangled web they weave"...!!!

So, all that's left is to await the cabinet's announcement of their approval some time today and the date of the Knesset vote.....

We'll keep "watching"..........

Jesus is Lord....

 

Associated Press Wednesday November 11 7:29 AM ET

Israeli Cabinet Meeting To Go On
By LAURIE COPANS Associated Press Writer

Key Statement: "....An Israeli official said the United States let it be known that its policy of being tough on Iraq was encountering problems in the Arab world because Israel had not moved forward on its implementation of the Wye agreement...."

JERUSALEM (AP) - After two weeks of repeated delays and bitter disputes with the Palestinians over security issues, Israel's Cabinet convened today to ratify the Wye peace accord.

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attached several stipulations to the land-for-security agreement that could cause new disruptions and threaten implementation in the future.

If a slim majority of the 17 ministers approves the accord, as is expected by tonight, parliament could vote on it Monday, and Israel might still be able to meet a key commitment, an initial troop pullback Monday from 2 percent of the West Bank.

The Cabinet discussed the accord for one day last week, but Netanyahu called off a second session last Friday when Islamic militants carried out a suicide bombing in a Jerusalem market. For several days, it was unclear if and when the ministers would reconvene.

On Tuesday evening, Netanyahu announced that the Cabinet would meet Wednesday to conclude its debate and vote on the accord. It was not clear whether he made the announcement before or after receiving a phone call from President Clinton.

U.S. officials said the two leaders discussed the ratification process and the U.S.-Iraqi showdown over weapons inspection.

An Israeli official said the United States let it be known that its policy of being tough on Iraq was encountering problems in the Arab world because Israel had not moved forward on its implementation of the Wye agreement.

Late Tuesday, the Cabinet meeting was once more in doubt when Palestinian militants ambushed an Israeli military truck in the West Bank, injuring two soldiers, including one who was seriously wounded. However, Netanyahu in the end decided to move ahead.

The United States has urged Israel to stick to the original time table of the agreement, despite the repeated delays.

Under the accord, Israel is to hand over 13 percent of the West Bank over 12 weeks, in exchange for a Palestinian campaign against Islamic militants.

Netanyahu reportedly intends to attach four new stipulations to the accord that seem to be aimed mainly at winning the support of hard-line Cabinet ministers. At least four ministers plan to oppose the agreement, with only nine in favor and four abstentions.

A key Israeli demand concerns the procedure for revoking clauses of the PLO founding charter that call for Israel's destruction.

The Wye agreement says that the Palestine National Council and other Palestinian organizations will convene in mid-December to ``reaffirm'' a January letter by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to Clinton that lists the clauses considered annulled.

Israel insists that the Palestinian delegates hold a vote and Netanyahu said Tuesday that the agreement would only be carried out if the Palestinians comply. Palestinian officials have said only approval by acclamation was required.

The Maariv daily said the dispute has been resolved quietly by the United States. Under the compromise, the delegates will vote by a show of hands, but not all members of the PNC, the Palestinians' parliament-in-exile, will have to be present and there will be no need for a two-thirds majority, Maariv said.

The Cabinet will also insist that in an additional troop pullback, Israel will hand over only 1 percent of the West Bank and that the Palestinians will refrain from a unilateral declaration of statehood in May, at the end of the five-year autonomy period.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said he hoped the Cabinet would ratify the accord on Wednesday.

He said Israel was already behind schedule on several issues, including opening a Palestinian airport in the Gaza Strip, and establishing a land route for Palestinians between the West Bank and Gaza.

Erekat was evasive when asked whether the Palestinians would agree to hold a vote on the charter, saying only that they would meet all their obligations under the accord.

 

Ha'aretz Wednesday, November 11, 1998

Clinton called Netanyahu, who then called cabinet for vote today on Wye
By David Makovsky, Ha'aretz Diplomatic Correspondent

Almost immediately after U.S. President Bill Clinton phoned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the premier's office announced that the cabinet would meet to approve the Wye Memorandum.

Officials in the Prime Minister's Office discount any link between the two events.

There is unconfirmed speculation that Clinton last night told Netanyahu that the Israeli cabinet's failure to date to ratify the Wye Memorandum has made it difficult for the U.S. to win support from Arab states for military strikes against Iraq.

After delays of 10 days, senior officials said that they expect a cabinet vote today and a Knesset vote tomorrow. Assuming that the agreement is approved, U.S. special envoy Dennis Ross will arrive here to oversee implementation by the week's end.

The Wye agreement is expected to pass the cabinet with nine ministers' support, and four in opposition, and as many as four abstentions.

The Prime Minister's Office statement adds that in the event that the Wye Memorandum is accepted, the cabinet will add a condition that implementation of the agreement will be linked to an actual vote of the Palestine National Council on cancelling segments of its charter.

While there has been an implicit linkage between Israeli and Palestinian performance on Wye, the linkage has never been made so explicit.

When asked to comment on the latest statement from the Prime Minister's Office, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, "I urge Mr. Netanyahu and the Israeli government to ratify the agreement and to make up for the lost time.

"We need to see the opening of the [Gaza] airport, and the opening of the southern route of safe passage. These are overdue." He added that committees must also be convened.

"We urge him to refrain from the 'conditional' language of last week, so we can get the trust level up and create a new relationship. We owe it to Israelis and Palestinians, so we can give them hope," Erekat said.

"We will fulfill the Wye framework to the letter, but nothing outside it."

Officials in the Prime Minister's Office say that they are convening the cabinet amid fresh reports that the Palestinian Authority is fighting terrorism and its infrastructure.

However, more senior Israeli officials deny this, saying "there are no new reports.

The view of the professional echelon is that "the PA has been acting for almost two weeks now against terrorism, demonstrating the sort of 100 percent effort that we have always insisted upon." The cabinet is expected to ratify the agreement, which will then go to the Knesset.

 

CHN "special report" 11-10-98

The Mid East March to Peace

In our "special report" on 11/5/98 entitled....Rumblings of the forth coming "uprooting" are presently filling the air.... we updated the situation that is developing between Daniel's "little horn" character [played by his majesty King Hussein] and the "three horns" that he will uproot [played by Iraq, Syria and Libya] in the scripture of Daniel 7:8....... and we said that we would bring updates to this situation as needed....

Well, it's already time for an update.......

It is now being confirmed that the six countries of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council [Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman....which interpolates into lots of Arab money] which on 11/5 publicly wouldn't agree to allowing their bases to used to strike Saddam, has now agreed that if Saddam doesn't back off of his stance on noncompliance with UNSCOM, then a military strike would have to be considered appropriate.....

Saddam, in response, has come out with "angry words" toward the GCC for allowing the US and Britain to even visit their countries on the matter, let alone hold conversations regarding military action against him. And then agreeing to "strike" him...!! So, his "anger" is escalating....... That's horn #1..

Now, on the Jordan/Syrian front, [Syria being horn #2] the tension has escalated to the point that Murbarak of Egypt is intervening to mediate the dispute and has told journalists that "[Egypt] is talking to Syria and Jordan as brothers, and [Egypt] hopes that their [Syria and Jordan] differences can be reconciled. They won't be reconciled, but we'll watch the pot boil.......

Horn #3 is Libya, and there is no direct news related to the trouble Kadahfi is up too, but he is always ready to jump into the fray...........

It is now being reported that the King is due home by the end of the month to open the new session of congress, and then he will begin to enter into the scene directly, once again....!!!!

So, as we wrote in the previous "special report", that if you are familiar with our explanation of Daniel 7:8, and you relate it to the time table of the peace negotiations, it is very relevant at this time that these "kings" are creating "negative vibrations".

And as we said......We will continue to follow these "vibrations" as they unfold, full well knowing that "if" this next window is "the Rapture window", then the uprooting by the "little horn" is in fact lining up....

We'll keep "watching"....

Jesus is Lord....

Luke 12:37

Jordan Times 11-10-98

No date set for King's return, reports 'inaccurate' — minister

AMMAN (J.T.) — The date of His Majesty King Hussein's return to Jordan will be only decided by doctors overseeing his chemotherapy treatment at the Mayo Clinic in the U.S., Information Minister Nasser Judeh said Monday.

Judeh said reports carried recently in the local press about the King's return were “inaccurate.”

“Either King Hussein or an official designated by him will announce the date of his return,” Judeh told correspondents at a weekly press briefing.

Local newspapers quoted several officials this week as saying that the King was expected to return at the end of this month and address Parliament in his Speech from the Throne on Nov. 30.

Judeh also said Parliament would probably convene on Dec. 1. The Constitution sets Oct. 1 as the opening date of an ordinary session, but the King has the power to postpone the convening of Parliament for up to two months.

Asked if there were plans to hold a Jordanian-Egyptian-Syrian summit in Cairo soon, Judeh said that the Kingdom maintains continuous contacts with the two countries and that no meeting had been scheduled.

During a recent visit to Jordan, Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Musa reportedly offered Egyptian diplomacy to defuse tensions between Jordan and Syria and improve “the general Arab atmosphere.”

Following a visit to Egypt by Syrian President Hafez Assad on Oct. 31 to discuss the Middle East peace process, Egyptian President Mubarak told journalists that “[Egypt] is talking to Syria and Jordan as brothers, and [Egypt] hopes that their differences can be reconciled. Their differences are few and the two countries are solving their problems among themselves.”

On the Iraqi front, the minister said Jordan is “worried” about the recent developments following Baghdad's decision to halt cooperation with U.N. arms inspectors. He stressed the importance of reaching a solution to implement U.N. resolutions that would allow the sanctions on Iraq to be lifted and added that he hoped dialogue would continue between Iraq and the U.N.

On the Wye River accord, Judeh said that Jordan is looking forward to seeing the implementation of the deal on the ground and that the Kingdom will not spare any efforts in helping end the deadlocked Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

Reuters Tuesday November 10 7:19 AM ET

Iraq Speaks Out Against Gulf Arab States
By Hassan Hafidh

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq turned its anger on Gulf Arab states Tuesday for allowing visits by the U.S. and British defense ministers drumming up support for possible military action against Baghdad over U.N. arms inspections.

The official al-Qadissiya newspaper accused British Defense Secretary George Robertson of issuing ``silly threats'' against Iraq during visits to Kuwait and Bahrain Sunday and Monday.

``His threats will not force Iraq to change its position,'' it said.

The newspaper al-Iraq lashed out at Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states for allowing Defense Secretary William Cohen to visit the region last week.

He toured the six GCC countries -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman -- to gain support for possible military action against Iraq in response to Baghdad's refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors.

``How is it that Arab states allow and provide entry visas to a Zionist like Cohen to issue threats against Iraq,'' al-Iraq said.

Baghdad announced on October 31 it was halting cooperation with the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) charged with monitoring and dismantling weapons of mass destruction until the U.N. Security Council reviewed sweeping sanctions imposed on Iraq after its 1990-91 occupation of Kuwait.

Iraq has also demanded the removal of UNSCOM Chairman Richard Butler and rejected a Security Council call to rescind its non-cooperation decision.

Baghdad however has allowed teams from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, and UNSCOM technical experts to continue operating and servicing surveillance equipment.

A U.N. official in Baghdad said five IAEA inspection teams were out in the field Tuesday.

Twenty monitors have left Baghdad over the last few days and 10 more are due to leave Wednesday and Saturday. The U.N. said this would leave about 100 UNSCOM staff in Baghdad, enough to resume monitoring operations as soon as this was possible.

The British defense secretary, in Bahrain Monday, accused Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of triggering the worst crisis since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.

``He is a man of deceit, he is a man who cannot be trusted,'' Robertson said. ``International patience is wearing thin with Saddam.''

The official Iraqi news agency Tuesday quoted Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf as saying Baghdad was not seeking an escalation of tension with the U.N. inspectors.

``We are not seeking any escalation. Our demand is clear and legitimate,'' he said, adding that Iraq was looking for a political solution to the crisis.

``The use of military force against Iraq would not lead to any solution but will lead to a deteriorating and serious situation in the region,'' he said.

Sahaf said that Iraq was making contacts with France, China and Russia to resolve the crisis. China and Russia, while supporting the Security Council resolution on Iraq, have spoken out against the use of force.

 

CHN "News Update" 11-9-98

The Mid East March to Peace

"The King is responding extremely well to the treatment and the latest results are far beyond expectations.....the results confirmed that the King's body is free from any traces of cancerous cells."

The King is cured..... Long live the King.....!!!!!!!!!

The Jordan Times in todays edition is reporting that King Hussein is cured and free of cancer....

At the completion of the fifth chemotherapy treatment his tests results are 100% negative.....no cancerous cells in his body........

He will remain at the Mayo clinic and complete the sixth treatment as originally planned just as a precaution which means he won't be home for his "Birthday Bash", but his subjects will celebrate his "miracle"..!!!!

Hundreds of thousands of Jordanians have signed his 750' birthday card that will now be submitted to the Guinness Book of Records as the longest birthday day card on record...

So the King will be a record holder......... as well as a "man of destiny"......!!!!

May he live at least seven and half more years....

......and we'll be "watching" as long as we're here......

Jesus is Lord...

Luke 12:37

 

Jordan Times 11-9-98

King reacting 'extremely well' to treatment

Key Statement: "....Jordan's ambassador in Washington, Marwan Muasher, meanwhile said the results had "confirmed that the King's body is free from any traces of cancerous cells." ..."

AMMAN (AFP) — His Majesty King Hussein, who is being treated for cancer of the lymph glands in the United States, is responding extremely well to his chemotherapy, Information Minister Nasser Judeh said Sunday.

“The King is responding extremely well to the treatment and the latest results are far beyond expectations,” Judeh told reporters.

Jordan's ambassador in Washington, Marwan Muasher, meanwhile said the results had “confirmed that the King's body is free from any traces of cancerous cells.”

“The King will undergo the sixth [and final] round of chemotherapy just as a precaution,” Muasher told Sunday's Al Dustour newspaper.

The King has completed the fifth round of treatment at the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where he checked in on July 14 suffering a fever and cold sweats.

 

Jordan Times 11-9-98

Minister, Petra staff sign letter to King

AMMAN (J.T.) — Information Minister Nasser Judeh and staff of the Jordan News Agency, Petra, Sunday signed a message of loyalty to His Majesty King Hussein on the occasion of his birthday.

The document, prepared by the Jordan Society for International Culture and Peace, was signed by hundreds of thousands of citizens across the Kingdom, who expressed their gratitude and wished the King a speedy recovery and safe return.

The 250-metre-long by 70-centimetre-wide letter is expected to be registered in Guinness Book of Records as the longest of its kind in the world.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet on Saturday approved the programme of the main activities of celebrations marking the King's birthday, which falls on Nov. 14. The major activities in Amman are scheduled to be held next Saturday at Sports City.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hassan, the Regent, will open the ceremony, which will include an Armed Forces' military display as well as air and folkloric shows. More than 25,000 citizens are expected to attend the celebration. Similar activities will be held in all governorates.

Local newspapers reported that some officials said King Hussein, currently being treated at the Mayo Clinic in the U.S., is expected to return at the end of this month.

According to the sources, the King is expected to address Parliament in his Speech from the Throne on Nov. 30.

CHN "Late Breaking News" 11-8-98

The Mid East March to Peace

Monday mornings Jerusalem Post's lead story is confirming that the Israeli cabinet will be resuming their Wye agreement ratification debate this week and probably bring it to the Knesset for their approval on Thursday. This would only be a day later then originally planned. Upon approval by the Knesset the door would then be open for the final status negotiations to get under way.

As we mentioned in a past report, Ariel Sharon, who will be heading up the Israeli negotiating team, has been working diligently on the agenda for the negotiations. So, barring any further unforeseen catastrophes, by Thursday we should be reporting on the Knesset approval and subsequently the starting date for final status negotiations.

This should be an interesting week.......

We'll be "watching".....

Jesus is Lord...

Luke 12:37

JERUSALEM POST Monday, November 9, 1998 20 Heshvan 5759

PM searching for 'creative' Wye solution
By DANNA HARMAN

Key Statement: "....According to the official, the cabinet will probably resume ratification discussions later this week, and the memorandum will be brought to the Knesset for its approval on Thursday - only a day later than originally planned. If this happens, Israel could still theoretically begin it's first withdrawal, scheduled for November 16, on time...."

JERUSALEM (November 9) - After announcing over the weekend that the cabinet would not ratify the Wye agreement until the Palestinians meet certain conditions, the Prime Minister's Office is now searching for a "creative" solution which would allow the process to move forward, a top government official indicated yesterday.

According to the official, the cabinet will probably resume ratification discussions later this week, and the memorandum will be brought to the Knesset for its approval on Thursday - only a day later than originally planned. If this happens, Israel could still theoretically begin it's first withdrawal, scheduled for November 16, on time.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu halted the cabinet debate on ratification Friday - after the Jerusalem suicide bombing - calling on the Palestinian Authority to show seriousness in the fight against terror. However, there already had been talk about delaying ratification because of statements by top Palestinian officials regarding the Palestinian National Council meeting scheduled for December.

Netanyahu maintains that ratification will take place when Israel receives assurances on both the PNC vote and the fight against terror.

The Palestinians say that all necessary assurances on security matters have already been given, and that the Wye agreement does not call for a vote. Hence the need for "creative solutions," said the official.

Meanwhile, Palestinian intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Amin Hindi and preventive security chief Col. Mohammed Dahlan met with General Security Service head Ami Ayalon Saturday to discuss cooperation in capturing the masterminds behind the Friday bombing.

The IDF set up roadblocks throughout the West Bank yesterday, forbidding residents from leaving their homes for several hours, and searching Kabatiya for the Islamic Jihad leaders suspected of masterminding the attack. Palestinian Security forces arrested some 20 Islamic Jihad members in the Bethlehem and Jenin areas. In addition, the PA continued to crack down on the opposition.

According to Palestinian sources in Gaza, the PA arrested several members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

According to a source in the Prime Minister's Office, some sort of acceptable clarification from the Americans regarding Palestinian commitment to fight terror is in the works. This was agreed upon in a telephone conversation between Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Netanyahu on Friday.

If such a US assurance is received, this will still leave the perhaps more intractable PNC question.

Both sides, in public statements, continue to make opposing pronouncements on the matter.

Netanyahu claims there has to be a PNC vote for the 26 sections of the Palestinian Covenant to be nullified. The Palestinians maintain that there will be an "affirmation" of the nullification, but not a vote.

US officials say that this is a matter for the parties to work out between themselves and that no further clarifications on the matter are planned.

"We understand the political pressures on Netanyahu," said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. "But it is about time he stopped dealing with us as if we worked for him. We signed an agreement, and we are partners, but so far there is no sign of Israel acting in the partnership spirit."

Erekat said that the Palestinians have so far done all that was required of them in the Wye agreement: presenting the security working paper, naming interim committee members, and reaffirming the nullification of the offending charter sections in the PLO executive committee.

In the future, Erekat added, the Palestinians have every intention of honoring the Wye Memorandum "to the letter and in accordance with the time frame." He would not, however, refer directly to what would happen at the PNC convention.

The government differs with Erekat's assertion that the Palestinians have been fulfilling all their commitments, and its press office put out a document yesterday contrasting Palestinian commitments with public statements on such matters as fugitive arrests, confiscation of illegal weapons, and reduction of the police force.

CHN Commentary 11-8-98

The Mid East March to Peace

Just as the Palestinians are meeting the demands over the latest security issue of Friday's Jerusalem bombing, they will find themselves confronted with yet another demand by Israel of the most serious nature, which is more to the heart of the matter.

And that is the basic matter of "outlawing" the military wings of two radical Islamic groups ... namely, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Arafat says he has done this in 1996, but David Bar-Illan, a top aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu counters with,

"Why did Mr. Arafat agree in the Wye accord to outlaw them if he has already done it?'' .

The Wye memorandum states that the Palestinian Authority "will inform the United States fully of the actions it has taken to outlaw all organizations (or wings of organizations, as appropriate) of a military, terrorist or violent character, and their support structure and to prevent them freedom of action in the areas under its jurisdiction.''

Bottom line.......... we will shortly be reading of Arafat's compliance with this requirement..

Nothing is going to stand in the way of Wye, and getting to final status negotiations... You can hear, see, feel, smell and taste the reality of this "new commitment" of cooperation that exists between Likud and the PNA. Wye was the final "stop of commitment"..... The parties declared to the world and to the terrorists, that the battle lines have been drawn..!!! Peace will prevail......!!!

In the past, Arafat saw terror as a legitimate instrument to pressure Israel and achieve his goals. This is not the situation today. Arafat now has an interest in preventing terror attacks, and is showing signs that he is taking real steps in this direction.

He is openly calling on the Israeli public to join him in his fight against the extremists on both sides that are intent on preventing peace. His call for the uniting of their security forces to combat terror is unprecedented, and very confirming of the "on the ground" reality that is taking place in order to get into final status negotiations [where the real trouble of terrorism awaits them all].

We can relate it to the feeling even we would have if we joined forces with a previous enemy of ours to combat a common enemy of both of us. The cliché of "two heads are better then one" would be a strong bound between us.

But even stronger, in their case would be.... "two fists are better then one"...!!!

This is what we will begin seeing demonstrated by both sides... a coordinating of the security forces against the enemy of terror. And this bound of coordination will grow as the serious business of final status negotiations commences. It will take all of their combined strength to fight off the attacks that are "lurking" in the dens "of the demons of iniquity".

As for us, we must maintain our spiritual overview of these "on the ground" happenings and realize that Satan knows his time is short, and getting shorter by the day... His response will be as a roaring lion in the "on the ground" scene that continues to play out. Therefore, we are expecting to have to continue reporting on more bloodshed and violence with each passing day.

This is God's word coming to pass in the "last days".....and it's not gonna' be a pretty picture. We all know the scriptures and we know the governing theme is "a time of sorrow like no time in history"...

This "peace" will have it's price.... But God has commanded us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

What we [the Church] must realize is that in His command to us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, God has simultaneously placed the promise to the Church to "watch our redemption draw near" by means of the escape route of our Rapture..!!!

Therefore, the closer the peace...the closer the Rapture...!!!!!!!

We will keep "watching"...

Jesus is Lord....

Luke 12:37

 

AP Sunday November 8 7:54 AM ET

Israel Wants Factions Outlawed
By JACK KATZENELL Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) - Setting the stage for a new quarrel over how to crack down on militants, Israel is demanding that the military wings of two radical Islamic groups be outlawed, while the Palestinian Authority insists it has already banned them.

Implementation of the Israeli-Palestinian land-for-security accord, signed Oct. 23 in Washington, was to have begun this past week, but has hit various snags.

Most recently, Israel's Cabinet put off a vote to ratify the accord after a suicide bombing Friday in Jerusalem that killed the two assailants and injured 21 Israelis. The radical group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

David Bar-Illan, a top aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Sunday that Israel expects Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to formally outlaw the military wings of Islamic Jihad and the larger militant group Hamas.

Hassan Asfour, a senior Palestinian official, said Hamas' military wing, Izeddine al Qassam, and the military wing of Islamic Jihad were outlawed by the Palestinian Authority in 1996. But Bar-Illan said the Palestinian legislature had never passed such a law.

``Why did Mr. Arafat agree in the Wye accord to outlaw them if he has already done it?'' he asked.

The Wye memorandum states that the Palestinian Authority ``will inform the United States fully of the actions it has taken to outlaw all organizations (or wings of organizations, as appropriate) of a military, terrorist or violent character, and their support structure and to prevent them freedom of action in the areas under its jurisdiction.''

A Palestinian security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a joint Israeli-Palestinian meeting was held Saturday night to discuss security in the wake of Friday's attack.

Participants included the head of the Palestinian intelligence, Amin Hindi, and the head of preventive security in the Gaza Strip, Mohammed Dahlan.

The idea of outlawing Hamas and Islamic Jihad was brought up in the meeting and also proposed by Netanyahu to Arafat during a phone call, the official said.

The Palestinians said they could ban activity by Hamas or Islamic Jihad that endangered either Israelis or Palestinians, but could not outlaw them outright as political movements.

Friday's bombing led to finger-pointing by both sides. Israel said it showed Arafat's crackdown on terrorists had not been sweeping enough.

The Palestinians, however, have also accused Israel of failing to take at least partial security responsibility for the attack, because both attackers came from Israeli-controlled areas, and had recently served time in Israeli jails.

Israel as a rule is harshly critical of the Palestinian Authority's security efforts when attackers come from Palestinian-controlled areas or have been released from Palestinian prisons.

On Sunday, Palestinian Justice Minister Freih Abu-Medein accused Netanyahu of using the blast as a pretext for delaying implementation of the peace accord.

``This attack is a gift to Mr. Netanyahu,'' Abu-Medein said. ``All the time he is praying to God to help him ... to escape from the agreement.''

Under the accord, Israel is to hand over another 13 percent of the territory in the West Bank to the Palestinians in exchange for various security steps.

Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai predicted Sunday that the Israeli Cabinet would ratify the agreement in coming days. ``I estimate that the government will meet this week and will accept the decision of the majority (in favor of the agreement),'' he said.

 

CHN "News Update" 11-7-98

The Mid East March to Peace

"Hey, any news on the King's health..??"

As a matter of fact...............

The King's son, [and his pride and joy] *HRH Prince Abdullah issued a statement on Friday and we quote,

"....the King's response to the chemotherapy has shortened the duration of the treatment adding that the Monarch will return to Jordan fully cured very soon...."

"Fully cured"....that sounds like it should get him another seven years [or so] of life on this planet, don't you think..?? This man of destiny.........

....and remember, his birthday is November 14............ you don't think he'd come home on his.......na, that's a little too Hollywood [or is it..?]

We'll keep "watching"...........

Jesus is Lord...

Luke 12:37

* His Royal Highness

 

Jordan Times 1-7-98

King reassures Senate members of his good health

Key Statement: "....The statement said the King's response to the chemotherapy has shortened the duration of the treatment adding that the Monarch will return to Jordan fully cured very soon...."

"....Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh told the Senate that tests on the King showed that he is free of any form of cancer and that the treatment was progressing as planned...."

AMMAN (J.T.) — His Majesty King Hussein has sent a cable to Senate Speaker Zeid Rifai thanking him for his earlier cable enquiring about his health. The King reassured Rifai and the members of the Senate that he is in good health.

In the cable, King Hussein expressed his deep pride in the senators and their allegiance to the Throne noting that they have always displayed their affection towards their Monarch.

King Hussein referred to the Middle East peace, saying that Jordan has always sought to attain a comprehensive peace for the benefit of the people of the region and their future generations.

He said his participation in the Wye River negotiations which ended with the signing of an accord by the Palestinians and the Israelis was “an expression of our belief in the need to support the Palestinian brothers in their struggle to regain their legitimate rights on their national soil and a responsible attempt to back international efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive peace that would create an atmosphere marked by stability and security which guarantees the rights of all peoples and restores all parties' rights so that the future generations can enjoy peace that has been lacking for decades.”

HRH Prince Abdullah said that King Hussein will return to Jordan very soon, according to an Al Ra'i Arabic daily report on Friday.

The paper quoted Prince Abdullah as making the statement before chairing a meeting of the board of directors of the Jordan Football Association.

The Prince made the announcement in a press statement distributed by Mohammad Hamdan, the federation's secretary general.

The statement said the King's response to the chemotherapy has shortened the duration of the treatment adding that the Monarch will return to Jordan fully cured very soon.

Also on Thursday King Hussein received a telephone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton who inquired about the King's health and the progress of his chemotherapy treatment.

Meanwhile at a meeting at the Upper House of Parliament, Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh told the Senate that tests on the King showed that he is free of any form of cancer and that the treatment was progressing as planned.

Tarawneh told the Senate Thursday that King Hussein was improving progressively and his condition gives cause for deep satisfaction.

At the meeting, which was attended by several ministers, Tarawneh said his government was keen on maintaining and strengthening relations between the executive and legislative authorities.

He also briefed the Senate on the latest developments in the peace process reiterating Jordan's readiness to pursue support for the Palestinian people.

 

CHN Commentary 11-7-98

The Mid East March to Peace

Immediately following Friday's suicide bombing in Jerusalem, Yasser Arafat was on the phone with Netanyahu condemning the attack, expressing his condolences, and pledging to bring the perpetrators to justice.

It was originally thought to be the work of Hamas, but now it is being confirmed that the militant Islamic Jihad group was responsible. As soon as they were determined to be responsible Palestinian forces began arresting members of their movement.

Arafat then went on Israel's Channel One Television and in a rare direct appeal to the Israeli people said,

"We condemn this criminal act, whose aim is to derail the peace process...we are committed to implementing the requirements of the agreements in pursuing, fighting and arresting these people".

Shortly thereafter it was announced that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had taken a first step required under the new peace deal with Israel to ratify changes to the PLO charter calling for Israel's destruction.

This, coupled with the upcoming December meeting [which President Clinton is slated to attend] of the 700-member PNC, the PLO's widest decision making body, to abolish the offending charter clauses prompted a response from Madeline Albright's spokesman James Rubin to say,

"This process of reaffirmation in our view...will make clear once and for all that the provisions of the PLO charter that call for the destruction of Israel are null and void''.

An "all out war" on terrorism, and removing the clauses of the PLO Charter that call for the "destruction of Israel" are the two main sticking points that Prime Minister Netanyahu/Likud are demanding of Arafat to move the peace process to it's ultimate conclusion. And Yasser is demonstrating his sincerity to comply with these demands.

>From our point of view, who have been "watching" this rhetoric for 20 years, the "tone" of the process this time is leaving no doubt that "this time it's for real", and nothing is going to stand in the way of getting to final status negotiations, and concluding this "peace".......

It is becoming very apparent, that by Clinton pledging the CIA to "run shotgun" on the security issue, that his ultimatum was heard "loud and clear" at the Wye, and "closure" is within "spitin' distance"...

..and some of us "good spitters" can probably get one to land on the calendar right about "Ascension time"......

if ya' know what I mean..........

[and if you don't know, please ask chn@chn-net.com]

.....but we'll all just keep "watching"..!!!

Jesus is Lord....

Luke 12:37

 

Reuters Saturday November 7 5:54 AM ET

Palestinians Arrest Jihad Activists After Bombing

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A senior Palestinian security official said Saturday Palestinian forces had arrested members of the militant Islamic Jihad group in the West Bank after a car bomb attack in Jerusalem.

``We conducted several arrests among Islamic Jihad activists last night in several areas in the West Bank in the wake of the suicide bombing,'' the senior official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official declined to elaborate how many militants had been rounded up and where the arrests were made.

Israel's Justice Minister Tsahi Hanegbi said Friday's bombing, which killed two attackers and wounded 21 in Jerusalem's central produce market, was almost certainly staged by Islamic Jihad.

The Israeli cabinet said Friday it would suspend talks to ratify last month's Wye River interim peace deal until the Palestinian Authority waged an ``all-out war on terror.''

Islamic Jihad, while politically active, had not been known with any reliability to have mounted a major bombing since its leader Fathi Shikaki was shot dead in Malta by two men on a motorcycle in October 1995.

 

Reuters Saturday November 7 5:54 AM ET

PLO Takes First Step To Amend Charter

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said Saturday it had taken a first step required under a new peace deal with Israel to ratify changes to the PLO charter calling for Israel's destruction.

The Palestinian official news agency WAFA said the PLO Executive Committee approved Friday night a letter from Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to President Clinton specifying which clauses in the 1964 charter were inconsistent with Israeli-PLO peace deals since 1993.

``The core of these items belong to an old age, the age of war and confrontation,'' Executive Committee member Asad Abdel-Rahman told Reuters. He said all 13 members of the 18-strong panel present at the meeting approved the letter.

``The PLO Executive Committee decided last night to ratify the president's January 22, 1998, letter to President Clinton on the clauses of the national covenant which were cancelled and modified in accordance with an April 1996 Palestine National Council (PNC) decision,'' a WAFA statement said.

The Palestinian step was taken even as the Israeli cabinet Friday froze talks to ratify last month's Wye River peace deal until the Palestinians wage an ``all-out war on terror'' after a suicide car bomb attack in Jerusalem.

Under the deal, which formally took effect on November 2, the Executive Committee had until November 16 to ratify the letter ahead of a similar vote by the 300-member PLO Central Council slated to take place by the end of November.

In Washington, State Department spokesman James Rubin welcomed the Palestinian move.

``That was not required to be done, according to the timeline, until week two of the agreement but nevertheless they went forward last night and acted,'' Rubin said.

Israel and the Palestinians are at odds over a third and decisive step necessary to nullify the document denying Israel's right to exist.

The Israeli cabinet said Friday that it would not cede more West Bank land unless the 700-member PNC, the PLO's widest decision making body, vote in a December meeting Clinton is slated to attend to abolish the offending charter clauses.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Korei said this week the PNC would not hold a vote at the meeting.

Under the Wye deal, Arafat will invite the members of the PNC and other Palestinian groups to the meeting to ``reaffirm their support for the peace process and the aforementioned decisions of the Executive Committee and the Central Council.''

Rubin said the United States believed ``if this event materializes, if the agreement is put into effect, the Israelis will get what they want.''

``This process of reaffirmation in our view...will make clear once and for all that the provisions of the PLO charter that call for the destruction of Israel are null and void,'' Rubin said.

 

CNN 7 November 1998

Palestinians urge Israel to OK deal despite blast

JERUSALEM, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Palestinians have pledged to crack down on Islamic militants in the wake of Friday's suicide car bomb attack on a Jerusalem market but said Israel should not use the incident to avoid implementing its side of a new peace deal.

Minutes after Friday's attack in which two bombers blew themselves up in a car and wounded 21 civilians at the city's main produce market, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended cabinet debate on the U.S.-brokered land-for-security deal.

Israel said it was delaying ratification of the accord until Palestinian President Yasser Arafat launched an "all-out war on terror." The attack was the third since the signing of the pact at the White House last month.

Arafat said he had telephoned the Israeli leader to express his "deep pain for this criminal, terrorist act."

"We condemn this criminal act, whose aim is to derail the peace process...we are committed to implementing the requirements of the agreements in pursuing, fighting and arresting these people," he told Israel's Channel One Television in a rare direct appeal to the Israeli people.

Palestinian Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nabil Amr said at the close of the weekly Palestinian cabinet session in the West Bank town of Ramallah that the cabinet condemned the operation, but "severely criticised the Israeli...methods of searching for excuses to avoid the implementation process."

The United States intimated it wanted the peace process back on track as quickly as possible.

"It's customary for there to be a short pause in the wake of this kind of attack. It is now the Sabbath. It is important that the Israeli cabinet resume this deliberation quickly and make it possible to carry out the promise of Wye," U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said.

U.S. President Bill Clinton, whose mediation helped clinch the deal at a nine-day summit at Wye River, Maryland led calls from the United Nations, Great Britain, France and Italy for both sides to persevere in their quest for peace.

"It is the best way to safety for the Israelis and the best way to achieve the aspirations of the Palestinians, and in the end the only answer to today's act of criminal terror," Clinton said.

Israeli Labour party opposition leader Ehud Barak called on the Israeli government to allow a few days for investigation and then "immediately after that to resume the political process."

Israel's Justice Minister Tsahi Hanegbi said the bombing was almost certainly staged by the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.

The group, while politically active, had not been known with any reliability to have mounted a major bombing since its leader Fathi Shikaki was shot dead in Malta by two men on a motorcycle in October 1995.

Israeli police earlier said they had received an anonymous telephone call claiming responsibility for the blast in the name of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas but were not sure the claim was genuine.

Hangebi said at least one of the bombers had come from territory under Palestinian self-rule. A senior Palestinian source said one of the men was an 18-year old Islamic Jihad activist from an area of the West Bank under Israel's control.

Friday's attack hit the Mahane Yehudah market hours before the start of the Jewish Sabbath when it was crowded with morning shoppers. Fifteen people were killed in the same place in July 1997 by two Hamas suicide bombers.

 

CHN "Late Breaking News" 11-6-98

5:00 AM PDT

Jerusalem Bomb Puts Brakes On Peace Deal.......!!!!!!!

This is the Reuters headline that we all will wake up to this morning as another act of terrorism has halted the Israeli cabinet ratification process.

Two people are dead and 21 wounded as a car bomb was used for Friday afternoon's attack that blew up on a street corner at the entrance to one of the most crowded alleyways of the main produce market in Jerusalem shortly before the start of the Jewish Sabbath.

One of the dead is a "bomber" and possibly the second. Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attack, but that has not been verified.

Yasser Arafat has condemned the attack and vowed to intensify his crackdown on terrorism.

The Israeli cabinet, while halting their ratification meeting, said the cabinet would meet again to discuss the agreement after it is satisfied that the Palestinian Authority is taking intensive steps for an all-out war against the terrorist groups and their infrastructure.

So, once again the road to peace has been temporarily blockaded by the "prince of the power of the air" and his agents....but God remains in control, and His word says that peace will prevail [a false peace].

We will keep "watching".......

Jesus is Lord...

 

Reuters Friday November 6 6:35 AM ET

Jerusalem Bomb Puts Brakes On Peace Deal
By Paul Holmes

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A car bomb killed two people and injured 21 at Jerusalem's main produce market Friday and Israel responded by suspending ratification of its new interim peace deal with the Palestinians.

Jerusalem police commander Yair Yitzhaki said an anonymous telephone caller to police had claimed responsibility for the attack in the name of the Islamic militant movement Hamas, which has killed scores of Israelis in suicide bombings.

``We don't rely on just a telephone call. We're still checking this,'' he told reporters at the Mahane Yehuda market in West Jerusalem, where the car rammed a market stall near crowds of shoppers hours before the start of the Jewish Sabbath.

Yitzhaki said he believed at least one of the two dead had been a suicide bomber in the vehicle, a red Fiat 127. ``It could be the second one, too. I don't know for sure as yet,'' he said.

One of the wounded was listed as in a serious condition.

The attack was the second of its kind since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat signed their U.S.-brokered land-for-security deal at the White House on October 23.

Minutes after the blast shook Jerusalem, Netanyahu suspended a marathon cabinet debate on the deal that began Thursday.

His office said cabinet ministers had decided not to resume the endorsement process until Arafat launched ``all-out war'' on anti-Israeli violence.

The cabinet would meet again to discuss the agreement ''after it is satisfied that the Palestinian Authority is taking intensive steps for an all-out war against the terrorist groups and their infrastructure,'' Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh said.

He said the government would ``act to strengthen Jerusalem'' but did not elaborate.

The new deal, meant to end 19 months of peacemaking deadlock, requires the Palestinian Authority to crack down on anti-Israeli violence in return for the phased handover by Israel of 13 percent more land in the West Bank.

Its ratification by Netanyahu's right-wing cabinet had already been delayed for a week as the Israeli leader pushed for more specific Palestinian commitments to arrest suspected killers of Israelis and take other security steps.

The cabinet's response to Friday's bombing highlighted how a single attack could jeopardize prospects for implementation.

Palestinian officials condemned the attack as an attempt to wreck the new agreement. Arafat's office urged Netanyahu to proceed with ratification and suggested that the bombing could have been staged by extremists on either side.

``We should prevent the enemies of peace from destroying the peace process, especially since there's a big question mark on those who conduct such suspicious operations,'' Arafat's spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said.

Though Netanyahu had seemed assured of cabinet approval for the deal, he had already been under pressure to back out of it from rightist hard-liners inside and outside his coalition who oppose any further transfer of land to the Palestinians.

Israeli President Ezer Weizman, a supporter of the peace process, urged the cabinet to approve the deal despite the bombing -- even if with a delay.

``If the immediate conclusion of some people is to bury (the deal), no. I am for the government of Israel to decide today, or Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, that it is implementing what it signed,'' Weizman told Israel's Army Radio.

Fifteen people were killed at Mahane Yehuda market on July 30, 1997 in an attack by two suicide bombers from Hamas.

The movement is opposed to peace with Israel and has pledged to continue attacks on Israelis in defiance of the new interim peace accord and any security crackdown that stems from it.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority blame Hamas for a suicide bomb attack in the Gaza Strip on October 29 which narrowly missed a bus taking Jewish settler children to school. An Israeli soldier in an escort jeep was killed.

Hamas has denied any part in that attack. Several of its militants and political figures have been detained by the Palestinian Authority since the new peace deal was signed. Its founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, is under house arrest.

The car used for Friday's attack blew up on a street corner at the entrance to one of the most crowded alleyways of the market. Two bodies, both badly charred, lay nearby.

One corpse was covered with bloodied plastic sheeting. The other, which was exposed, was severed almost in two.

Mordechai Haroush, a 46-year-old delivery man who was lightly wounded in the explosion, described the driver of the car as a ``big guy with a beard.''

``After a few seconds, the entire car shot into the air. Everything blew up and I flew into one of the stalls. I didn't have time to flee,'' Haroush told Reuters in hospital.

After the attack, several right-wing Israeli activists gathered at the scene chanting ``Death to Arabs'' and slogans against Netanyahu. Police said a number of arrests had been made and at least one Arab was injured in stone-throwing.

 

CHN "special report" 11-5-98

Rumblings of the forth coming "uprooting" are presently filling the air....

US Defense Secretary William Cohn is on a whirl wind tour of the Gulf Arab States to get them to back a , if needed, military confrontation with Iraq.

Iraq has broken their UN agreement to allow UNSCOM inspectors to continue their search for weapons of mass destruction.

On the surface, the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Bahrain, etc.. are not agreeing to allow their bases to be used for launching a strike. However, "what you see" is not "what you get" in these dealings... The preparations are under way and Britain is in full agreement that a major world crisis is brewing.

Simultaneously, Jordan has begun to challenge Syria on the issue of the file that King Hussein gave to Syrian leader Assad in 1996 at the Cairo summit. In question in the file is the proven support that Syria is lending to known terrorists operating in Jordan with the intent of "ousting" the Hashemite rule. The King has never received a reply from Assad, and with the "unease" in the Middle East once again brewing vis-a-vis Iraq/UN, Amman wants an answer.

As Daniel tells us, the "little horn" will uproot three of the ten kings in the region who meet to agree on peace with the Jews. If you are familiar with our explanation of Daniel 7:8 then you know that the three kings are Iraq, Syria, and Libya. So, to see these rumblings once again escalating, and relating it to the time table of the peace negotiations, it is very relevant at this time that these "kings" are creating "negative vibrations".

We will continue to follow these "vibrations" as they unfold, full well knowing that "if" this next window is "the Rapture window", then the uprooting by the "little horn" is in fact lining up....

.........and for any of you that are not understanding this concise synopsis, please ask questions via email. Our address is chn@chn-net.com

This is all part of "watching"......

Jesus is Lord..

Luke 12:37

 

Jordan Times 11-5-98

Cohen in Gulf over Iraq crisis; Baghdad defiant

KUWAIT (R) — U.S. Defence Secretary William Cohen tried on Wednesday to whip up support among America's Gulf allies over a new crisis with Iraq, but Baghdad newspapers thundered defiance in the face of possible military attack.

During intense round-the-clock diplomacy to persuade Iraq to reverse a decision to suspend cooperation with inspectors searching for banned weapons, Washington and London repeatedly warned that one option to gain compliance was the use of force.

But Baghdad newspapers said on Wednesday Iraq would not be cowed. “Empty threats...and vicious behaviour there will not force Iraq to reverse its victorious decision,” the weekly Al Ilam said in a front-page editorial.

The press also attacked Washington for whipping up anti-Iraqi sentiment. “Iraqi people and leadership are aware of the U.S. designs and they are confident that they can abort these designs,” the Iraqi English daily Baghdad Observer said.

British Defence Secretary George Robertson, who agreed on Tuesday in London with Cohen that force was an option and told Iraq to back off, said on Wednesday the crisis was grave.

“There is an urgent and serious crisis developing for the world community,” Robertson told a meeting of European defence ministers in Vienna. “With one voice there is one signal to Baghdad that compliance with the U.N. is the only alternative for [Iraqi leader] Saddam Hussein at this time.”

On his crisis mission to rally support, Cohen left Saudi Arabia “confident the U.S. will have the support it needs to take appropriate action.”

Cohen is expected to get backing in Kuwait before visiting Bahrain, headquarters to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, later on Wednesday. He visits Turkey on Friday.

At the United Nations in New York there was general support for a British resolution condemning Saturday's decision to suspend cooperation with inspectors as a “flagrant violation” of a 1991 resolution that set disarmament rules after the Gulf war.

U.N. inspectors in Iraq are overseeing the destruction of weapons of mass destruction as a pre-condition for the lifting of international economic sanctions, imposed to punish Baghdad for the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Two U.N. technical teams in Iraq went out on Wednesday to check monitoring equipment and change air sampling devices for detecting chemicals in the atmosphere. Baghdad has suspended cooperation but is allowing inspectors to maintain surveillance.

“This is a very tiny proportion of the monitoring activities that we would normally carry out,” a U.N. spokeswoman said.

There was to be further closed door consultations at the United Nations on Wednesday over the British resolution which does not threaten force but which aims to isolate Iraq and maintain unity among all 15 U.N. council members.

 

Jordan Times 11-5-98

Groups opposed to peace process smuggling arms into Jordan — PM

AMMAN (Petra) — Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh on Wednesday said Palestinian groups opposed to the Middle East peace process, the Palestinian National Authority and Jordan have been smuggling arms to the Kingdom with the intention of carrying out armed attacks and destabilizing the country's internal security.

“We are dismayed at and strongly reject such an attitude and actions against the Kingdom and believe that such issues can be settled through dialogue,” Tarawneh was quoted as saying in an interview with the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Ra'i Al Aam.

Referring to a file that included details about terrorist acts carried out or planned in Jordan which His Majesty King Hussein gave to Syrian President Hafez Assad at a 1996 summit in Cairo, the prime minister said Amman never received a reply from Damascus.

“We are concerned over this issue, especially as the file contains details of serious cases that should not be allowed to continue and because security relations among nations are of paramount importance,” he added.

Tarawneh said the Syrians froze the work of the joint Jordanian-Syrian committee in 1990 and have not appointed an ambassador to serve in Jordan since 1993.

Jordan does not understand the reason behind Syria's “hostility” towards the Kingdom especially, Tarawneh said, since this attitude had been adopted by Damascus before the 1994 Jordan-Israeli peace treaty. The prime minister noted that the Syrians, like the Jordanians, took part in the 1991 Madrid peace conference.

Tarawneh said the Jordan-Israel peace treaty does not harm Syria's interests.

Referring to Jordanian detainees in Syria, the prime minister said the Syrian authorities are currently holding 500 Jordanians in prison and are harassing visitors at a time when Jordan is hosting 120,000 Syrian nationals who entered and are working in the Kingdom without visas.

“Why are Jordanians held up at the border by the Syrian authorities and accused of being agents of the Mossad or the CIA?” asked the prime minister.

“I suggest that the Syrian leadership put an end to the crisis it has created and instead help maintain good relations between the Syrian and Jordanian peoples, who should not pay the price of wrong political stands.”

On relations between Jordan and Kuwait, Tarawneh said he believed that they are improving.

“We have told the Kuwaitis that we are ready to reopen our embassy in Kuwait and we have exchanged visits by officials. In addition, the Kuwaiti embassy in Amman is open,” he said.

“I believe bilateral ties are progressing and have reached an advanced stage, and it is just a matter of time until these relations will be fully restored,” added Tarawneh.

On the Wye River accord between the Palestinians and the Israelis, Tarawneh said: “The agreement provides for the restoration of 13 per cent of the Palestinian territories and the release of 750 Palestinian detainees from Israeli jails, among other issues. I cannot understand the attitude of the Palestinian extremists who reject the agreement.”

Asked if Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is serious about implementing the accord, the prime minister replied: “I believe that this time he is serious, because despite his earlier adamant stands and his rejection of Palestinian demands, he signed the deal. What is important now is the Israeli Knesset's ratification of the accord.”

Asked about Jordan's stand vis-à-vis final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, he said: “Jordan and the Palestinians are coordinating their positions and actions because our goal is their goal — the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Jordan's position is that every part of Palestinian land occupied in 1967 should be returned to Palestinian authority. However, Jordan has its own interests in terms of security, economic relations and common borders.”

In reply to a question on the prospects of bringing water to Jordan from the Euphrates River, Tarawneh said: “We are considering this project seriously but we are confronted by the U.N. sanctions [on Iraq] and problems which should first be settled in accordance with international legitimacy.”

Tarawneh reiterated Jordan's call for a dialogue between Baghdad and Washington to settle the main issues obstructing an agreement that would pave the way for an end to the sanctions.

In an interview on Jordanian-Israeli relations four years after the signing of the peace treaty broadcast Wednesday on Israeli radio, the prime minister said ties are stable and the basic provisions of the treaty have been respected.

“Israel pulled out from Jordanian territory, the common border has been demarcated and the water issue solved, but on the economic side not much has been achieved,” said Tarawneh.

The prime minister expressed hope that outstanding issues would be settled after the implementation of the Palestinian-Israeli accord, which he said will open the way for economic and trade links between Jordan, the Palestinians and Israel.

 

CHN "Late Breaking News" 11-5-98

7:00 AM PDT

Prime Minister Netanyahu and his cabinet are in session at this time and are engaged in a full debate regarding approval of the Wye agreement.

Approval seems assured, but the debate could take them into Sunday [with a break for the Jewish Sabbath] before the approval is announced. Each minister is likely to speak at length, as they feel that what they say is for posterity, given the importance of the agreement.

One Israeli official forecast nine ministers would back the deal and four oppose it. Of four undecided ministers, some indicated they might abstain.

Because of the importance of the outcome of their meeting, CHN will pass along updates as they occur.

Most importantly for us is to know that God is in control, and to keep "watching" as His time table continues to unfold. This is very exciting......as we continue to watch our redemption draw near...!!!

Jesus is Lord....

Luke 12:37

Reuters Thursday November 5

Israel Cabinet Weighs Peace Deal After Delays
By Howard Goller

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - After three delays, Israel's cabinet began a marathon debate Thursday expected to end in approval of a U.S.-brokered peace deal giving Palestinians a further 13 percent of the West Bank.

Officials said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 17-member cabinet would meet all day Thursday, and Friday if necessary, to ratify the deal.

But with each minister likely to speak at length, a vote may have to wait until Sunday after a break for the Jewish Sabbath, one official said. ``They obviously feel that what they say is for posterity, given the importance of the agreement.''

Netanyahu had repeatedly put off the debate, demanding the Palestinians first supply a clear commitment to arrest 30 Palestinians accused of killing or trying to kill Israelis. Late Thursday he said the demand was met.

Under the deal negotiated with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat outside Washington last month, Israel's pullback will be phased over 12 weeks and matched at each stage by Palestinian steps which have the avowed aim of guarding Israeli security.

Arafat, whose cabinet backed the deal last week, held talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sinai Thursday.

Netanyahu was sure to face stiff resistance to the land-for-security deal from rightist hard-liners but appeared assured of majority cabinet support for the accord.

One Israeli official forecast nine ministers would back the deal and four oppose it. Of four undecided ministers, some indicated they might abstain.

Jewish settler leaders oppose ceding any of the Land of Israel they say was promised the Jews in the Bible.

Netanyahu's spokesman Aviv Bushinsky said the prime minister began the meeting by stating Israel would halt the transfer of land should the 700-member Palestine National Council fail in December to formally revoke clauses in the more than 30-year-old PLO covenant calling for Israel's destruction.

Israel and the Palestinians are at odds over the meaning of the deal's language on the covenant issue.

Netanyahu appointed Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai to head a five-minister team to review an as-yet unpublished draft of a map showing the land to be transferred.

One cabinet opponent, Education Minister Rabbi Yitzhak Levy of the National Religious Party, predicted before the meeting that differences would ultimately force national elections to be moved forward from their scheduled date in late 2000.

Indicative of the huge U.S. effort needed to referee the deal between two deeply mistrustful sides is the fact Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke by telephone with Netanyahu four times in three days to resolve the arrest dispute.

U.S. Middle East envoy Dennis Ross is due in the region by the weekend to shepherd strict implementation of the accord.

Public debate has been rancorous between the two sides.

In a television discussion over the deal's wording, Arafat's adviser Ahmed Tibi called Israeli Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh the ``king of lies'' while Naveh accused Tibi of leading a ''Nazi propaganda campaign'' on the deal's meaning.

The accord has been mired in confusion from the start, with critics calling its language vague and Netanyahu defending it by clinging to several side letters from U.S. officials he insists improve prospects for Palestinian action.

Palestinians accuse the Israeli leader of trying to wiggle out of the deal, the latest interim step in the Oslo peace process Netanyahu reluctantly inherited in 1996.

In a move criticized by the United States, Israel's Housing Ministry issued a tender Thursday to construct an additional 130 homes in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Avnei Hefetz a day after settlers there set up 17 mobile homes.

``It is our belief that the parties should refrain from trying to either establish new facts on the ground or alter existing patterns of settlement so as not to undermine confidence in the peace process,'' a U.S. embassy spokesman said.

The agreement will go next week to Israel's parliament, where Netanyahu can expect overwhelming approval, supported by a safety net from centrist and left-wing parties

 

CHN Commentary 11-4-98

The Mid East March to Peace

In typical fashion, Israel and the PNA are in a sparring match over when Netanyahu's cabinet will meet to ratify the Wye agreement. The latest controversy stems from a list of thirty Palestinian terrorists that Bibi says need to be arrested prior to convening his cabinet to debate the ratification.

In an effort to not give Israel any reason to impede the process, Yasser Arafat has arrested twelve from the list. In conjunction with the CIA, he says he will imprison ten of the thirty each time the Israelis turn over one third of the territory that was agreed upon in the next twelve weeks. The Americans have guaranteed Israel that this will be done, so now Bibi has agreed to convene his cabinet.

The latest news from the Jerusalem Post is that the cabinet meeting should be taking place Thursday, and an imminent announcement is forth coming on the ratification.

Of course, it's the ratification that has been holding up the official opening of the final status negotiations.

However, in an unofficial manner, Ariel Sharon, who will head up the Israeli team in final status talks, has been busy meeting with his Palestinian counter part and laying the ground work for the upcoming negotiations. He has even gone so far as to present a plan that addresses any problems that would impede the process from moving forward once the talks open.

Hopefully then, our next commentary will be announcing the ratification of the Wye agreement by the Israeli cabinet, and the date for the opening of the final status negotiations. But, for any of us who have been following this process for these many years knows, these things take time. And it seems that the "consuming of time" is one of the tools they use in their negotiations.

So, all we can do is keep watching..........

Jesus is Lord...

Luke 12:37

JERUSALEM POST Thursday, November 5, 1998 16 Heshvan 5759 PM satisfied by US assurances
By DANNA HARMAN

Key Statement: "....US officials remained hopeful late yesterday that the cabinet's ratification is imminent, which they said would enable the next steps in the implementation to occur. One official also stated that foreign minister Ariel Sharon has cancelled his scheduled visit here next week due to his illness...."

JERUSALEM (November 5) - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last night expressed satisfaction at assurances given by the US regarding the Palestinians' willingness to imprison 30 fugitives wanted for murder. Netanyahu received American assurances that the PA would imprison a third of the fugitives at each stage of the Wye accord implementation and complete the process within 12 weeks.

Following receipt of the US statement, Netanyahu called a cabinet meeting for this morning to begin debate on ratification of the Wye Memorandum.

Earlier yesterday Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat announced in Spain that the PA had arrested 12 of the 30 Palestinian fugitives wanted by Israel. Netanyahu said that if Arafat's report is accurate, he welcomes it.

"This is exactly what we are demanding: strict observance of the agreement by both sides - the Palestinian and the Israeli," Netanyahu said.

Arafat, speaking in Madrid, said the PA had arrested a dozen Palestinians that Israel has named as being responsible for the deaths of nearly 100 Israelis: "We... have detained 12 of them. They are people who have committed terrorist acts. We will continue to pursue the others," Arafat said in Arabic, which was translated into Spanish. "We will continue working 100 percent, but nobody can achieve 100 percent results."

Israeli security officials said they know of only eight of the fugitives who have been arrested. Officials in the Prime Minister's Office said they had not yet received any confirmation of whether the PA had actually arrested 12 Palestinians suspected of murdering Israelis.

"We know only of eight who had already been arrested and are waiting," said communications director David Bar-Illan. "We'll know before the CIA, but we are waiting for confirmation from them."

He added that what Israel is really seeking is not the arrest of some of the terrorists, but a list of the timetable for their imprisonment.

"The whole thing is embarrassing. It really is," said Bar-Illan. "The requirement is that they give us a list of when they are going to arrest these people."

After postponing Tuesday's cabinet meeting to yesterday, Netanyahu again delayed the meeting, telling US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright - in their third phone conversation in as many days - that he refuses to present the cabinet with an incomplete agreement.

Until the cabinet is convened, the Wye agreement cannot be ratified and the implementation of the accord, for all intents and purposes, cannot begin.

Israeli and American officials thus worked into the night yesterday in an attempt to come up with a document assuring Israel that the Palestinian Authority intends to arrest and jail the 30 fugitives wanted by Israel. An official at the Prime Minister's Office said that a satisfactory, written assurance - which includes both a list of the fugitives and a time frame for their arrest - is being prepared by the Americans.

US Ambassador Edward Walker said in a statement that it is "true that there are some security issues where additional clarification is being sought," and added that the Americans are "discussing these issues with both sides. We expect that this process will be completed shortly."

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, in turn, criticized the US Secretary of State spokesman James Rubin, saying he had changed his stance under pressure from Israel.

"James Rubin's declarations two days ago were good, when he said the Palestinian side had done it's commitments, but we heard today that he changed his declarations, which is absolutely unacceptable," said Erekat.

Hanan Ashrawi, the former Palestinian minister of higher education, accused Netanyahu of trying to get out of implementing the agreement and of killing the peace process, while Palestinian negotiator Hassan Asfour said that Netanyahu, "feels the Wye River Memorandum does not satisfy the extremists, terrorists, and the settlers in Israel."

Other problems with the agreement also arose yesterday, promising to explode if and when the matter of the fugitives is resolved. The main point of contention on the horizon is the matter of the PNC convention, and the nullification of those sections of the Palestinian Covenant which call for Israel's destruction.

The Israeli understanding is that the PNC will convene to vote on the matter of nullification. The Palestinians, in turn, say the PNC will convene to express general "support of the peace process," and that the Palestinian central committee will reaffirm its support for a January letter written by Arafat to President Bill Clinton saying the offending 26 sections of the charter will be nullified.

Israeli officials say the Palestinians are in possession of a letter - written by US assistant Middle East special envoy Aaron Miller and addressed to Arafat - which reiterates the US position on convening the PNC as Israel understands it. While the Palestinians admit they have received two side letters from the Americans on aspects of the Wye accord, they say there is no intention of publishing them. Erekat, however, said that one of the letters confirms the Palestinian understanding of the PNC convention and makes no mention of any need to vote on the nullification of the Palestinian charter.

Industry and Trade Minister Natan Sharansky, who played a key role in negotiations on the charter issue at Wye plantation, said yesterday that the Palestinians are backpedaling. "I was present in all the negotiations on this matter," said the minister, "and it is crystal clear as to what was decided upon. They know exactly what was decided and it is very important that they do not change the story. Only a vote in the PNC is acceptable to us."

A dispute also arose over the terms of the deal for opening a Palestinian airport in Gaza. Arafat hoped to land there today on his return from Spain, but Palestinian Civil Aviation Authority chief Fayez Zidan said Israel had vetoed that. An Israeli official said the facility could not operate without a signed protocol.

The US administration again downplayed the cabinet delay in ratifying the Wye accord, saying it is not a crisis, but at the same time emphasized that the Palestinians have fulfilled what is expected of them in presenting a detailed security plan.

US officials remained hopeful late yesterday that the cabinet's ratification is imminent, which they said would enable the next steps in the implementation to occur. One official also stated that foreign minister Ariel Sharon has cancelled his scheduled visit here next week due to his illness.

For the third consecutive day, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discussed the impasse with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"I think the word 'crisis' would be an exaggeration," State Department spokesman James Rubin told reporters. He said the schedule of implementation "is being met," adding that the Palestinians "have taken the required steps prior to entry into force, in accordance with the agreement." But Rubin criticized Israel's leaking of the names of the 30 Palestinian terrorist suspects whose arrests it is demanding as a "grave mistake" on a "highly sensitive" security issue.

"We do not believe that the Palestinians are failing to act in conformity with the agreement."

"We are sticking to what was agreed at Wye, what was understood at Wye, what we expected to see clarified after Wye. And nothing has changed. We're trying to overcome some problems that have cropped up, but none of that should be a suggestion that we are leaning towards one side or the other on these subjects," he said.

Rubin said the US does not believe that the delay is harming the atmosphere between Israel and the Palestinians.

 

Ha'aretz Thursday, November 5, 1998

Sharon's new plan: Let '67 refugees return
By Akiva Eldar, Ha'aretz Correspondent

Key Statement: "....Emphasizing that "this alternative approach of avoiding crises, a concept of the agreement as 'less than peace' must be considered a position of retreat: if at any stage in the negotiations it becomes clear that the effort to reach a final status agreement has failed, the Israelis and Palestinians could adopt this approach, as a way of breaking the deadlock and reviving the peace process."...."

Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon has recently been touting a revolutionary new plan for preventing a deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, including full territorial contiguity for the Palestinians, return of the 1967 refugees to the West Bank and a two-track process with one devoted to security issues and one focused on what he calls "humanitarian and economic" issues aimed at improving Palestinian living conditions in the territories.

In his six-page English-language plan dubbed, "Security and Co-existence: an alternative approach to the deadlock between Israel and the Palestinians," Sharon says "the unflagging struggle for peace must be central to all our considerations" and that "the Middle East is in the midst of a conventional and nonconventional arms race, and as a country that absorbs immigrants and faces heavy social, economic and humanitarian problems, Israel is not interested in taking part in this race."

In the document, which Sharon has used recently in presentations of his views of the region to various groups, the foreign minister says that "it is possible to reach an interim agreement which is a kind of non-belligerency agreement. This will enable the Palestinians to keep the Oslo agreement and Israel will get the time it needs to test and see that conditions are ripe for a true, lasting peace."

Emphasizing that "this alternative approach of avoiding crises, a concept of the agreement as 'less than peace' must be considered a position of retreat: if at any stage in the negotiations it becomes clear that the effort to reach a final status agreement has failed, the Israelis and Palestinians could adopt this approach, as a way of breaking the deadlock and reviving the peace process."

In the introduction, Sharon writes that "50 years after the establishment of the state, the political landscape of the Middle East is still characterized by hostility, hatred and suspicion. At the most basic levels, the Palestinians and Arabs have not fully accepted the presence of a non-Arab, non-Muslim state like Israel, in their midst ... Do we really have to wait for this attitude to change?" Sharon asks, and answers, "I don't believe so. An unflagging effort to reach peace should be the principle guiding all our judgments."

While noting that "Judea and Samaria are the cradle of the Jewish people ... and no country would give up territory and its historic roots," Israel has agreed to compromise and to make concessions in order to reach peace."

Therefore, Sharon suggests a plan of his own to advance the peace process. The plan includes the following key points:

l Efforts must be made to avoid crisis in the negotiations

l Israel must do all in its power to improve the daily life and living conditions of the Palestinians

l Israel must stick to its strategic defense needs including security zones

l Israel must make its positions clear - what it can and cannot do. (See story page 6)

Sharon proposes advancing the negotiations on two parallel tracks. The first would be the diplomatic track and deal with border security, mutual territorial agreements and other elements. The second track would be humanitarian and economic and would deal with improving the economic climate, incentives, creating mutual trust and more.

 

CHN "special report" 11-1-98

The Mid East March to Peace

Following the favorable news regarding King Hussein's improving condition, The Jordan Star published an editorial focusing on the King's "wisdom", and the part "it" played in the Wye agreement.

One of the key issues the article speaks about was the obstacle of "releasing the Palestinian prisoners", and how the King intervened personally to resolve this issue.

In all of the reporting of how important the King's participation was, we haven't ever been told what it is he did exactly.

We know he showed "courage and humanity", and gave "stern instructions for peace". And by this, Netanyahu was "inspired", and President Clinton was lead to say that just being in his presence made one desire to be more like him. And as the article relates, with Denmark, China, and France checking in, the world wide "praises" for him just keep coming,

So, it would probably be fair to assume that his courage and humanity are linked to the Palestinian prisoner issue, which in turn could mean that he agreed to allow these "despots" to come to Jordan under his responsibility. An act that is not unlike him. You may recall that a year ago he allowed Hamas spiritual leader Yassin to come to Jordan when he was released from an Israeli prison at a critical time in Jordan/Israeli relations.

The point being is that the King continues to be in that key position to always have the answer to the problem that stands in the way of peace. And even more to the point is the "biggest of the big" problems that are yet to come........and that is the problem of rebuilding the Jews Temple on Temple Mount.

And to this problem he, and only he, has the answer and the authority to solve the problem. And the answer he will bring to the peace table will be to "share the Mount". And the authority he will bring for this answer is contained in his peace treaty with Israel, and we quote:

ARTICLE 9

PLACES OF HISTORICAL AND RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE

1.Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.

2.In this regard, in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.

3.The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.

And the scriptural authority we have to say this is Rev.11:1,2 :

"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the alter, and them that worship therein.

But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given to the Gentiles:..."

This is the scripture that defines the "compromise" of the "shared Temple Mount"....

Linking the King's peace treaty with Israel with Rev.11:1,2, it becomes obvious why he is the "man on the white horse" with the answer [and authority] for peace..!!!

And like our Bible teacher always said at times like this, ..."I don't think I'm right, I KNOW I'm right" ...!!!

And the way things are progressing it doesn't seem we will have long to wait for him to bring his "answer" to the peace table....

But remember, the Church will not see the final peace made, as it will be Raptured, so as to allow the peacemaker to be revealed. And we say that on the scriptural authority of IIThes.2:6,7,8.

And if anyone has any questions please ask them. Our email address is chn@chn-net.com.

Jesus is Lord.........

Luke 12:37

 

Jordan Star 29 October 1998

King's wisdom moves the peace process ahead

AMMAN (Star)-The personal efforts of His Majesty King Hussein in the recent Wye Plantation peace talks have been lauded by leaders from around the world. The fact that the Palestinian and Israeli negotiating teams agreed to sign an accord, when there were obvious differences still at hand, has been credited to the sincere intervention of King Hussein.

An agreement was concluded last week, after a marathon nine-day session of talks between the Palestinian and Israeli delegations. During last Friday's signing ceremony in the White House, both the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu expressed deep appreciation for the part played by the King, and said that his efforts were an inspiring example of courage and humanity. The US President, Bill Clinton, also joined in the flood of accolades, stressing that the King's courage and wisdom, along with his stern instructions for peace, were at the heart of the agreement.

Since the signing agreement, the King has telephoned Mr Clinton, and thanked him personally for his valued efforts during the talks. In turn, the President reiterated the constructive role that His Majesty has continued to play in ensuring that the region has a comprehensive and just peace; one that provides security and stability for all. In a statement to Radio Jordan on Monday, the Palestinian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Nabeel Shaath, said that the King had intervened personally when it came to releasing the Palestinian prisoners. "Although His Majesty was undergoing medical treatment at the time in the United States, he still managed to attend the peace meetings, and to play a major role in it's conclusion," Mr Shaath confirmed.

In addition, most Arab leaders in the region have also expressed their appreciation to the King. The Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, reassured his nation of the King's health, and stressed his support for the Palestinian National Authority, and the Palestinian's legitimate claim for their full rights.

Worldwide reaction to the Jordanian leader in the peace negotiations has also been forthcoming.

Denmark paid tribute to the King's "diligent efforts to secure stability and security for all people in the region." The Danish Foreign Minister, Niels Helveg Petersen, said that "Jordan was, and always will be, a shining example in the Middle East for the pursuit of prosperity, freedom and democracy." Mr Petersen will be the first foreign minister from the west to visit the Middle East, early next month, since the signing of the agreement.

Further east, the Chinese government highlighted the crucial role played by King Hussein, and claimed that the invitation itself-from the US, Palestinian and Israeli delegations to contribute in the talks-showed the deep respect with which the world views King Hussein.

Meanwhile, French President Jacque Chirac personally phoned King Hussein to inquire about His Majesty's health, and to express his appreciation of his role in the peace process.

 

CHN "News Update" 10-31-98

King Hussein starts 5th chemotherapy session.......

On Friday King Hussein started his fifth of six chemo treatments at the Mayo Clinic. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hassan telephoned the King to check-in and received reassuring words from the King that the treatment was proceeding very well and that the results of the fourth session were very encouraging and better than expected.

The Crown Prince also had comforting news for the King. He conveyed that the orphans, to whom the King had recently given one of his palaces for their own residence, had gone out into the dessert to pray for his recovery.

"It's a special prayer to implore God for the recovery of King Hussein and his speedy return home," organizer Abdul Razzak Abu Feilat said Thursday.

On their train ride out into the dessert, the children were wearing white T-shirts with the King's portrait and the slogan: "Come back to us safely, you the father of all orphans."

One of the children, Mutasem Hamdi, 10, said: "I came here to beg God for his recovery because I am very sad and worried that he's sick."

"I love our King and can't imagine losing a father again," he added with tears in his eyes.

Rest assured children.....the King will be coming home to you..!!

Jesus is Lord...

Luke 12:37

 

Jordan Times 10-31-98

Orphans pray for King's recovery

JEZA (AP) — More than 250 orphans opened their hands in prayer under a cloud of dust in the desert.

The Muslim ritual is usually performed to beseech God for rain. But this prayer ceremony at a desert town 50 kilometers south of Amman had a different purpose.

“It's a special prayer to implore God for the recovery of King Hussein and his speedy return home,” organizer Abdul Razzak Abu Feilat said Thursday.

King Hussein has been receiving treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, since July.

The prayers were the second case of national well-wishing to King Hussein this week. On Wednesday, a group announced they had collected more than 15,000 signatures on a 228-metre-long birthday card for the Monarch, who turns 63 on Nov. 14. It is thought to be the longest birthday card ever made.

The orphans — mostly of the age group five to 10 — have a special bond with the King. After it came to his notice last year that they lacked adequate facilities, he gave them one of his residences.

In a subsequent Cabinet reshuffle, the King accused ministers of “negligence in caring for our young angels.” He has often visited the orphans in their new home on the outskirts of Amman.

So when the orphans stepped off a train at Jeza on Thursday, they were wearing white T-shirts with the King's portrait and the slogan: “Come back to us safely, you the father of all orphans.”

One of the children, Mutasem Hamdi, 10, said: “I came here to beg God for his recovery because I am very sad and worried that he's sick.”

“I love our King and can't imagine losing a father again,” he added with tears in his eyes.

 

Jordan Times 10-30-98

King Hussein starts 5th chemotherapy session

AMMAN (Agencies) — His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hassan, the Regent, Thursday telephoned His Majesty King Hussein to enquire about his health as he started the fifth of six chemotherapy sessions at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

The King reassured Prince Hassan that the treatment was proceeding very well and that the results of the fourth session were very encouraging and better than expected.

Prince Hassan conveyed to the King the Jordanian people's deep affection and eagerness for the King's safe return.

In a statement Wednesday the Mayo Clinic said King Hussein is responding positively to the cancer treatment he has been undergoing and should complete treatment in three to four weeks.

“His Majesty's Mayo Clinic physicians are very pleased with the progress of treatment, as well as his positive response to the treatment,” the clinic said in a brief written statement. “He has not yet completed his therapy, but his treatment remains on schedule. His Majesty remains in excellent spirits,” it added.

“It's fair to say he could be out in three to four weeks,” Mayo Clinic spokeswoman Jane Jacobs told AFP.

The 62-year-old Monarch has been at the medical centre since late July, receiving chemotherapy treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Also on Thursday King Hussein sent a cable to Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament Sa'd Hayel Srour in reply to Srour's cable of appreciation for the King's role in the Wye Plantation talks which ended with a Palestinian-Israeli agreement on redeployment in the Palestinian territories.

The King played a key role in the nine-day bargaining in Maryland between Israeli Premier Benyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat that spawned the accord and broke a 19-month impasse in the peace process.

King Hussein said in his cable to Srour that his contribution to the talks stemmed from his belief in the cause of supporting the Palestinian brothers to attain their legitimate rights on their own Palestinian soil.

He said his participation in the meetings was part of his endeavour to help achieve a just, durable and comprehensive peace in the region.

 

CHN "Late Breaking News" 10-29-98

The Mid East March to Peace

"...His majesty's Mayo Clinic physicians are very pleased with the progress of treatment, as well as his positive response to the treatment..."

These are the words of the Mayo Clinic spokesman reporting on the King's progress............

Contrary to the recent negative reports on the King's three month life expectancy, this is very uplifting news for all the King's subjects who are preparing for his 64th birthday on Nov. 14. In conjunction with his birthday celebration the people of Jordan have begun a signature campaign for the King's birthday card. The card is three feet wide and 750 feet long, and will hold one million signatures. It was designed by the independent Society for Culture and Global Peace.

``It is a note of love, esteem and loyalty to His Majesty King Hussein, may God bless him and return him safe to his home,'' said Mashhour Sawalha, a member of a group which designed the card.

Isn't this all so prophetically interesting............

We'll keep "watching"......

Jesus is Lord...

Luke 12:37

 

ROCHESTER, Minnesota (Reuters)

 King Hussein of Jordan is responding positively to the cancer treatment he has been undergoing, the Mayo Clinic said Wednesday.

"His majesty's Mayo Clinic physicians are very pleased with the progress of treatment, as well as his positive response to the treatment," the clinic said in a brief written statement.

"He has not yet completed his therapy, but his treatment remains on schedule. His majesty remains in excellent spirits," it added.

The 62-year-old monarch has been at the medical center since late July, receiving chemotherapy treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a type of cancer that primarily afflicts the lymph nodes and spleen.

His treatments are expected to last until at least mid-November.

Hussein left the clinic Oct. 19 to travel to Washington where he was active in helping to the parties in the Mideast peace summit reach an agreement.

AP Headlines Thursday October 29 2:14 AM EDT

Hussein Gets 750-Foot-Long Card

IRBID, Jordan (AP) - It may be the world's longest birthday card.

Some 15,000 Jordanians already have signed a 750-foot-long paper card that wishes King Hussein a speedy return home and aims for a place in the record books.

The card has been open for signatures since Tuesday and organizers hope one million people will sign it.

King Hussein - the longest serving Arab ruler - has been away from home since July 14. He is receiving treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

The soft paper card is three feet wide and has been placed in a red-velvet box with tabs on both sides to flip the pages. It was designed by the independent Society for Culture and Global Peace.

``It is a note of love, esteem and loyalty to His Majesty King Hussein, may God bless him and return him safe to his home,'' said Mashhour Sawalha, a member of a group which designed the card.

King Hussein's 64th birthday is on Nov. 14.

Sawalha said after Hussein reads the letter, he plans to have it registered in the Guinness Book of Records. If accepted, it would be the first entry for a longest birthday card.

 

CHN more "Late Breaking News" 10-29-98

Friday's Jerusalem Post is reporting that after the suicide bombing yesterday in Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu called Yasser Arafat and demanded he "crack down" on the responsible parties.

Because Hamas had claimed responsibility, a most unprecedented "move for peace" took place. Arafat ordered the head of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, placed under house arrest, and also ordered the arrests of dozens of Hamas activists, including Mahmoud Zahar, and Ismail Hanieh Ahmed Bahar and Mahmoud Zahar.

As we said, these are unprecedented moves and are very consistent with the serious mood that exists to get to final status talks.

We will keep "watching" ......

Jesus is Lord....

 

JERUSALEM POST Friday, October 30, 1998 10 Heshvan 5759 PA arrests Yassin after fatal bombing
By DANNA HARMAN and MARGOT DUDKEVITCH

Key Statement: "....The arrest came after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat following yesterday morning's attack, telling him he must wage an all-out war on terrorism if he wants Israel to begin the redeployment as scheduled...."

JERUSALEM (October 30) - In an unprecedented move, the Palestinian Authority placed Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin under house arrest yesterday, after his organization claimed responsibility for the Gush Katif bomb attack that killed IDF Sgt. Alexei Nikov.

The arrest came after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat following yesterday morning's attack, telling him he must wage an all-out war on terrorism if he wants Israel to begin the redeployment as scheduled.

Arafat, in turn, vowed to track down the masterminds of the bombings and "try them for deliberately harming the Palestinians' national interests."

Arafat then immediately convened a meeting with the heads of security at his Gaza office and gave Gaza Preventive Security chief Mohammed Dahlan the green light to crack down on Hamas activists.

As part of the crackdown on Hamas, Arafat also ordered the arrests of dozens of Hamas activists, including Mahmoud Zahar, and Ismail Hanieh Ahmed Bahar and Mahmoud Zahar. In addition, Palestinian policemen conducted wide searches yesterday in Gaza and spot-checked automobiles at roadblocks.

Palestinian policemen set up roadblocks around Yassin's home, motorists were stopped and questioned, and reporters were asked to leave the vicinity.

Yassin, interviewed by Channel 1, said, "The operation today was against soldiers, not children... Soldiers were hurt, not children."

In a telephone interview with Qatari Jazeera satellite television, Yassin denounced the decision to place him under house arrest as "incorrect and unsound."

"This is in the service of Zionism, Israel, and Israeli presence," Yassin said in the interview monitored by the BBC. "Where are the human rights and freedom of expression?"

Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon said in a statement that it had been proved "beyond a shadow of a doubt" that the intended target of the attack was a bus containing schoolchildren.

Sharon demanded that the Palestinians, "not only condemn the attack and those who initiated it... but also work energetically against the terrorist infrastructure, its perpetrators, and those who support them.

Agriculture Minister Rafael Eitan, who has consistently registered his disappointment with the Wye agreement, said yesterday that implementation of the agreement should now be put on hold.

"The terror attack proves that any celebration of this deal was premature," Eitan said. "The ink is not yet dry and we are already being made a laughingstock by the Palestinians. We should delay any implementation until the Palestinians can prove they are able to stop terror."

"If the bus with the children had exploded," a top security source said, "the whole agreement would have been blown up with it."

Last night several dozen right-wing protesters demonstrated outside Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence carrying torches and signs reading "Bibi go home" and "Bibi is a liar." The protest was quiet and when one youth began chanting "Bibi is a traitor" he was quickly hushed up by the organizers.

Arafat said the aims of the Islamic extremists who harm Palestinian national interests are comparable to those of the settlers who kill innocent people.

The aim of the extremists, he said, is to disrupt the peace process and to prevent the return of Palestinian land, the release of prisoners, and the forging of Palestinian national unity.

PA Justice Minister Freih Abu Medein said all the necessary procedures would be taken against those who are linked to the organizations.

Medein stressed it is hard to prevent a suicide bomber from carrying out an attack and heralded the importance of continued cooperation with Israel.

Sufian Abu Zaida, head of the PA's Department for Israeli Affairs, declared that the PA could not know the intentions of every terrorist who plans to carry out a suicide attack, despite the PA's efforts to prevent such attacks.

Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai last night to express regret about the bombing and Sgt. Alexei Nikov's death.

Mordechai demanded that the PA quickly find and arrest those responsible for the attack and fight continuously and comprehensively against terror and its base, the Defense Ministry said.

Abbas said he hopes the security cooperation agreed upon at Wye Plantation will bear fruit and stressed the Palestinian desire for the peace process to progress and lead to better security, the Defense Ministry said.

The defense establishment is not planning on taking any further steps and does not intend to reimpose the closure on the Gaza Strip for the time being.

"Putting Sheikh Yassin under house arrest is a declaration of intent that they will not allow things to get out of control," said Anat Kurz, an expert on the Hamas at Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies. "It is not only sending a message for local consumption, but tells Israel and the United States and the world that the PA is taking matters seriously."

State Department spokesman James Foley said yesterday that he could not confirm Yassin's house arrest, but added that, "if it is true, the reports about the house arrest, that would illustrate the seriousness with which they're dealing with this matter."

"Obviously, we condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the bombing today," National Security Council spokesman P. J. Crowley said earlier of the car bombing. "The enemies of peace will not derail the peace process. The Israeli and Palestinian sides are cooperating today to apprehend the suspects, and this is exactly the kind of cooperation that will make a difference in fighting terror in the future."

Crowley predicted that the attack would not jeopardize the agreement, but, rather, "will have a reinforcing effect" on the confidence between the sides.

"We expected attacks in the aftermath of the agreement. There are clearly strongly held views in the region, and we didn't think the Wye agreement itself would halt terrorism.

"It's not a helpful thing, of course; it's a horrible act. But the response is exactly how we envision the two sides acting. It's exactly the kind of response that's expected under the agreement."

 

CHN Commentary 10-29-98

The Mid East March to Peace

Opposition to the Wye agreement continues at it's murderous pace as a Hamas suicide bomber blew up his car next to an Israeli school bus today killing one Israeli soldier and injuring two others, but no children were hurt.

Yasser Arafat immediately condemned the bombing and promised a continued crack-down on terrorism in accordance with the Wye agreement.

Prime Minister Netanyahu meanwhile is positioning himself for a probable Tuesday cabinet vote on confirmation of the Wye agreement, but has adamantly called for Arafat to present his security plan in accordance with the 'agreement' prior to any vote taking place.

According to the agreement, this Monday is the deadline for Yasser to present his security plan to the CIA, and he has expressed confidence that his part of the agreement will be carried out on time.

The most encouraging part of the ongoing terrorist activity is that neither side is condemning each other and threatening to abort the process. They are condemning the acts and cracking down on the perpetrators..... They all know and stated at the signing ceremony that the opposition would attempt these destructive acts, but that they would now "stick together" to combat them....and it is proving out.

Moving forward with peace in light of continued terrorism has always been the stumbling block, but this time their allegiance to the agreement will get them to final status talks....and that's where ultimate peace awaits them....[albeit a false peace].

There hasn't been an update on King Hussein's condition of late, but rest assured he will recover.

Knowing how God plays on the dramatic, one of our "watcher's" wrote to us recently to say that she sees the King completing his chemo treatments in November, returning to Jordan not having shown any improvement, and then sometime after that, as if by a "miracle", he is diagnosed in remission.... We couldn't agree more...!!! HE WILL RECOVER...!!!!

The most important thing for us to watch for now is getting to final status talks, and both parties are committed and they know there is no turning back.........so, we'll keep "watching"..!!!!!

Jesus is Lord....

Luke 12:37

 

Reuters Thursday October 29 5:47 AM EDT

Bombing Puts New Strain On Mideast Deal
By Danny Gur-arieh

KFAR DAROM, Gaza Strip (Reuters) - An Israeli soldier was killed in the Gaza Strip Thursday when a Palestinian suicide bomber tried to blow up an Israeli bus taking Jewish settler children to school under army escort.

The car bomb attack, in which none of the children was hurt, immediately raised doubts about the solidity of a crucial new land-for-security deal intended to reinvigorate the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel Radio said the Islamic militant movement Hamas had claimed responsibility for the bombing. It said an anonymous telephone caller had described it as a ``wonderful operation'' against Jewish settlers.

A senior Israeli army officer put the death toll at two -- the soldier and the driver of the car -- and said two soldiers had been wounded.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the bombing underscored that the deal he signed with the Palestinians at the White House last week could not be implemented unless the Palestinian Authority cracked down on violent extremists.

``The Palestinians promised a total war on terrorism and they know that without this they will not receive any territory,'' Israeli cabinet secretary Danny Naveh told Israel Radio.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat condemned the attack and pledged to bring those behind it to trial, saying their actions caused ``deliberate damage to the interests of the Palestinian people,'' the Palestinian WAFA news agency reported.

Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai said he had met Palestinian security chiefs to discuss the attack and they had ''promised to act immediately'' against those responsible.

``A disaster occurred here. It could have been a far worse disaster,'' Mordechai told reporters at the scene.

The attack took place on an Israeli-controlled road that cuts through Palestinian territory in the center of Gaza, most of which is under Palestinian self-rule.

Israel's army commander in the region, Major General Yom-Tov Samia, said a car packed with explosives blew up close to a bus carrying elementary school children from the Kfar Darom Jewish settlement in Gaza. An army jeep that was providing an escort took the force of the blast.

``We have one person killed in the jeep who was close to the focus of the explosion, another casualty in a serious condition and a casualty who was very lightly wounded,'' Samia said.

All that remained of the bomber's car was the engine block and a heap of mangled metal. The attacker's body was covered with a blanket at the side of the road where Israeli forensic experts examined what remained.

The scorched and blackened wreckage of the army jeep stood about 100 meters (yards) away, where a soldier's helmet lay on the ground amid the debris.

The Israeli army said it had imposed a closure on the Gaza Strip, preventing Palestinians there from entering Israel.

Witnesses said shots had been fired by Israeli and Palestinian forces near the scene of the attack, apparently during a search of fields. A Palestinian police officer said at least one Palestinian was wounded by gunfire.

The bombing was the first since Israel and the Palestinians signed their landmark deal at the White House last Friday.

The Wye Plantation accord provides for a phased handover by Israel of 13 percent more land in the West Bank to Palestinian self-rule in return for measurable Palestinian security steps.

The deal has been condemned by Hamas -- the prime focus of provisions for a Palestinian crackdown on militants -- and by Jewish settlers living on Israeli-occupied land.

They have vowed to topple right-winger Netanyahu, whom they accuse of betraying what they see as a Jewish birthright to the biblical Land of Israel.

``These people are victims of the so-called peace,'' settler spokesman Aharon Domb said in reaction to Thursday's attack.

Earlier this week, Netanyahu postponed indefinitely a cabinet session that was to have met to ratify the deal Thursday, saying the Palestinians had not yet presented a detailed plan for fighting ``terrorism'' mandated in the deal.

President Clinton, whose personal involvement was crucial to success in nine days of summit talks that preceded signature of the deal, urged both sides Wednesday to stick to the agreement's timetable.

``I think the important thing is they all made commitments to do certain things on a certain timetable, and no-one should slip off of that,'' Clinton told a news conference. The deal is due to enter force on November

 

JERUSALEM POST Thursday, October 29, 1998 9 Heshvan 5759

PM wins Likud show of support
By SARAH HONIG and MICHAL YUDELMAN

TEL AVIV (October 29) - The message to the Palestinians is "loud, clear, and as simple as can be," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last night told a largely friendly crowd of Likud central committee members.

"If the Palestinians give, they will get," he continued. "If they won't give, they won't get."

The audience loved it and responded to Netanyahu with rhythmic chants, especially as he launched one of his most stinging attacks yet against Labor Party leader Ehud Barak. He also heralded the creation of a new leadership team: himself, Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, and Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai.

But MK Ze'ev (Benny) Begin later slammed the Wye Memorandum, calling it a horror, idiocy and an "agreement of defeat." He also termed Netanyahu "Arafat's friend."

"If the central committee approves the agreement, the Likud will lose its heart and soul, its image, ideology, faith, and raison d'etre," Begin said.

The committee did not vote on the memorandum. Justice Minister Tzahi Hanegbi, who chairs the body, said there was no point in holding such a vote since the Palestinians had not yet come up with a security plan.

Netanyahu said that he brought back from Wye "tremendous achievements" and that he is proud of what he and his team accomplished.

The assembly at the Cinerama Auditorium in Tel Aviv was a mixed lot, as in most Likud central committee forums. As is the Likud practice, entry was not limited to members only and in the audience this time were many settlers from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza who are not Likud members and stood out in their crocheted kippot.

Some were quietly ejected during Netanyahu's speech when they began to interrupt him. In all, however, the members were on their best behavior and proceedings were calm, especially given the emotive subject. A few home-made signs saying "A bad agreement" were hoisted.

Netanyahu and Sharon excited the audience, while Mordechai largely bored them.

Netanyahu said that, "despite the Left's denials, the Palestinians expected three 30% withdrawals, leaving 90% of the territory in their hands before the final-status talks. We had to lower these expectations. We found an expanded accordion and had to squeeze it back to 10% and a further three as a nature reserve, in which we have full military control and which they cannot populate or build in," he added.

Barak, Netanyahu continued, now says that "he would have gotten a better deal and ceded less. This man has no shame. Months ago when there were only rumors of US proposals, he demanded that we automatically accept whatever the Americans decree."

Netanyahu asked: "Could Barak withstand pressure in the final-status talks? Who could conduct better negotiations - the Barak, Yossi Beilin, and Yossi Sarid team, or interchangeably the Barak, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, and Ronni Milo team?

"Compare these combinations to Arik [Sharon], Itzik [Mordechai], and myself and tell me who will negotiate better, who will safeguard Jerusalem, the settlements, the land?" he asked.

The committee audience answered with a standing ovation and chants of "Bibi, King of Israel." They were just as enthusiastic when Sharon mounted the podium. He came despite being ill with the flu.

Sharon began with a long, semi-poetic description of historic sites in Judea and Samaria and of the settlers. He remarked that his own "mother and father looked the same. This is how it all began, the entire Zionist endeavor, this is how Eretz Yisrael was built. You are the fortress of the entire state," he told the settlers.

He, too, listed the accomplishments he said were achieved at Wye and went on to charge that "our political rivals want to bring this government down, not in order to win more for Israel but to yield more to the Arabs."

Mordechai described the "relentless battles by the prime minister and the team for every clause and detail. It was a brave battle to fix what was wrong with Oslo... Eretz Yisrael is holy to us all, as is our history and heritage, but we must pay heed to today's reality."

Begin said to Netanyahu, Mordechai, and Sharon: "Arafat has wrapped you around his little finger," adding that Netanyahu is "Arafat's friend."

"You say [rejecting the agreement] will bring the Left to power? The Left is already in power. Two left hands signed the agreement and turned the Likud into a contractor of the Labor Party," Begin said.

"Netanyahu is lying once again. In fact, he has transferred 27%, 800 square kilometers of Judea and Samaria, to the Palestinians. Israel now depends on the good will of the Palestinians. If they want to, they'll cooperate, if not they'll give a green light to terrorism and terrorists will emerge from the mountains which this government is giving them," Begin said.

Begin's angry speech, which many took to be a sign he had decided to quit the Likud, was scheduled towards the end of the meeting, after the Channel 1 Mabat news, and was made after many had already left the auditorium.

Liat Collins adds:

A spokesman for Barak responded to Netanyahu's speech saying the prime minister "lied as usual to save his seat."

"Barak never demanded the US initiative be accepted as it was. On the contrary, Barak warned that Netanyahu would give in to the US as indeed happened. Barak would have achieved a better agreement earlier and will achieve a better final-status arrangement," the spokesman said.

"Leaders do not lead by whining and crying. Netanyahu would do better to start acting calmly as his job requires and not pulling the wool over the eyes of his voters having lied to them."

Meretz leader Yossi Sarid said: "Netanyahu has for the last few days played the role of the victim of incitement, but [at the party conference] he showed for the umpteenth time that he is the national inciter."

 

CNN October 28, 1998 Web posted at: 8:21 a.m. EST (1321 GMT)

Arafat confident despite latest Mideast snag Netanyahu wants Palestinian security plan

GAZA, Israel (CNN) -- Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat said on Wednesday he was confident that the newly signed land-for-peace accord with Israel would be implemented, despite the Israeli government's renewed criticism of the Palestinians.

"I think that what has been signed will be implemented accurately," Arafat said, when asked about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision not to present the accord to his Cabinet until he sees a Palestinian plan for fighting terrorism.

Returning from a tour of Arab states, where he sought support for the agreement signed in Washington on Friday, Arafat noted that the deal had the backing of U.S. President Bill Clinton, who brokered the agreement at the nine-day Wye River summit.

According to the Wye River Memorandum, a security plan developed by the Palestinians will be "shared" with the United States and "thereafter implementation will begin immediately."

Delay amid demands

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to postpone the Cabinet meeting scheduled for Thursday in which the ministers were due to ratify the agreement," a Netanyahu spokesman announced on Tuesday.

The spokesman said the Palestinians had agreed to present a draft of their anti-terrorism security plan within a week, but had failed to do so.

Netanyahu said Israel would check Palestinian progress according to a strict timetable. If they do not stick to it, he insisted, "They will not get anything."

The Palestinians said the delay was technical since the head of Palestinian security in Gaza was in Europe.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Hassan Asfour rejected the Israeli criticism and said the Israeli government's delay was "an indication of Netanyahu's political cowardice."

 

JERUSALEM POST Thursday, October 29, 1998 9 Heshvan 5759

PA: Security plan will be presented Monday
By DANNA HARMAN and HILLEL KUTTLER

JERUSALEM (October 29) - The Palestinian security working paper is near completion and will be given to the CIA on Monday, in accordance with the established timetable, Palestinian officials said yesterday.

"We will be sharing our security paper with the Americans when the implementation period begins - Monday - as was agreed upon," said negotiator Saeb Erekat. "There is no need for the Israelis to make a fuss. We will honor the Wye Memorandum to the minute and in accordance with the time frame."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's spokesman Aviv Bushinsky said that while Israel had understood the plan was meant to presented tomorrow, it would be welcome on Monday. "As soon as it is presented to the Americans, we will convene the cabinet for ratification of the deal," he said, citing Monday as a possible day for the meeting.

"They give - they get. They don't give - they don't get," Netanyahu told reporters yesterday. "That's the way it works, that is how it [the agreement] is built, and that is the way it's going to be from now on."

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, who returned to Gaza after a short tour of neighboring Arab countries, expressed confidence that both sides would keep their promises. "I think that what has been signed will be implemented accurately," he said.

Arafat added that he is not concerned about the postponement of the cabinet meeting.

Although the paper will only be presented - probably verbally - on Monday, Israeli and Palestinian security teams are to meet Friday to discuss some of its aspects, said Erekat.

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, meanwhile, has telephoned Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, and Arafat in recent days to emphasize the importance of beginning the implementation of the Wye Memorandum on time.

According to State Department spokesman James Rubin, President Bill Clinton has already accepted an invitation to address members of the Palestinian National Council when they convene - according to the timetable - in December.

Rubin urged that no one "exaggerate" Netanyahu's delaying the cabinet vote, saying the US has an understanding from both the Palestinians and Israelis as to their next steps. Seeking to quickly defuse the situation, he arranged an early morning conference call with Israeli and Arab reporters to emphasize that the US knew all along that such "bumps along the road" would occur.

That view was underscored in a 90-minute meeting Albright hosted later in the day with a group of more than 20 Jewish- and Arab-Americans. She appealed for their backing for the Wye deal, and urged the Arab-Americans to drum up support among the states of the region, according to Larry Rubin, executive vice chairman of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

The US's special Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, who also addressed the gathering, "expressed confidence the sides will be able to work it out," said a participant.

"With respect to the idea that is now out there that this agreement is in jeopardy - we do not agree with that," Rubin told reporters. "As a result of those conversations, we believe that this agreement will go forward. On the Palestinian side, we have been assured that what needs to be done in the coming days will be done. And on the Israeli side... [Albright] has confidence that Prime Minister Netanyahu will get the necessary approvals of his government in the coming days."

While the agreement states that the Palestinians' security plan will be presented to the US by November 2, when the accord takes effect, "there was an understanding that the necessary work would be done by Friday," Rubin said.

"Let's be clear. Both leaders took very, very tough decisions... at Wye. This isn't easy for either of them. We recognize that there are going to be bumps in the road during the course of implementation of this agreement. The US intends to be involved... to ensure that bumps and ups-and-downs that are inevitable, are resolved. And we think that this is a manageable problem in the coming days."

 

CHN "News Update" 10-26-98

The Mid East March to Peace

"Thou hast rejected the word of the Lord and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel," Moledet leader Rehavam Zeevi, donning a skullcap and quoting from the Book of Samuel, said in parliament in reference to Netanyahu.

But apparently the Lord hasn't as yet rejected Bibi, as the no confidence vote taken on Tuesday in the Israeli Knesset was soundly defeated. The Left provided an expected safety net for the accord in the face of opposition from right-wing MKs. The vote was 21 to eight with 15 abstentions.

Although the Wye Memorandum was the main focus of the debate, the vote on that will take place next Wednesday. If it is then confirmed, the ten day implementation period will begin culminating in the commencement of the final status negotiations.

Additionally, the opposing forces are calling for early elections perhaps in February or March. At this time that doesn't look very promising, but that is a long time away.

Tension is running at a murderous pace already as two killings took place today. An Israeli and a Palestinian were killed in apparent tit-for-tat attacks.

Also, today Madeline Albright took the offensive with the friendly Arab States and informed them that they have a part to play in promoting Middle East peace.

Quoting Madeline and other senior US officials:

"The peace process is not a spectator sport. They have to get on the field and play a responsible role."

"Arab states should do more to normalize their relations with Israel, assist the Palestinians economically where possible... and participate in multilateral peace process tracks."

"The Arabs have to stop blaming Netanyahu and recognize that he made some very hard decisions last week."

"They've got to put their money where their mouth is...,be a part of the international donor conferences and contribute to specific Palestinian projects."

So, after only one day back on the job, there is considerable movement taking place to keep the momentum of the Wye Agreement moving forward and get the parties into final status negotiations.

At this point it looks very promising........

We'll keep "watching"..!!!!!!

Jesus is Lord

Luke 12: 37

 

Netanyahu survives no confidence vote

October 26, 1998

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday easily defeated a vote of no confidence in a challenge by hard-liners opposed to the land-for-peace interim peace accord signed with the Palestinians last week.

However, the pressure by those seeking to unseat the Israeli leader was far from over. A bill is still pending that calls for early elections to be held -- a demand which Netanyahu repeatedly rejected.

The no-confidence motion was submitted by the ultra-nationalist Moledet Party but was soundly defeated with 21 votes against and eight in favor of ousting Netanyahu, who stayed in power with the support of the main opposition Labor Party.

"Thou hast rejected the word of the Lord and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel," Moledet leader Rehavam Zeevi, donning a skullcap and quoting from the Book of Samuel, said in parliament in reference to Netanyahu.

Netanyahu did not attend the vote.

Earlier in the day, legislators succeeded in keeping the pressure on Netanyahu.

The Knesset's Law Committee voted 9-7 to hold a first reading on a bill to disperse parliament and hold new elections within 100 days.

It could provide an opportunity for Labor and Netanyahu's new foes on the right to move elections forward from their scheduled date in 2000.

The bill was supported by coalition hard-liners opposed to the agreement for further Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, and by dovish opposition legislators hoping to bring down Netanyahu.

Committee chairman Hanan Porat said the first reading could be held within two weeks. A bill requires approval in three readings before it becomes law.

Opposition leader Ehud Barak said he was trying to topple Netanyahu without hurting implementation of the peace agreement over the next 12 weeks.

Tit-for-tat killings fuel tension

Tension was also high elsewhere in the country on Monday, as two men -- an Israeli and a Palestinian -- were killed in a apparent tit-for-tat attacks.

An Israeli security guard was shot in the neck and his dead body was thrown from a moving car in Hebron in an apparent attack by Palestinian militants.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the slaying.

Several hours later, police found the body of a Palestinian man near the Jewish settlement of Itamar in the West Bank.

Israel radio had received an anonymous phone call from a man speaking in Hebrew who said a Palestinian had been killed as an act of revenge for the Hebron murder.

"Searches were undertaken and a body was found in the area. Police and army forces are on their way to the area," said police spokeswoman Linda Menuhim.

 

Jerusalem Post Tuesday, October 27, 1998 7 Heshvan 5759 No-confidence bill easily defeated
By NINA GILBERT and LIAT COLLINS

JERUSALEM (October 27) - The Knesset yesterday easily defeated a motion of no-confidence in the prime minister over the signing of the Wye Memorandum, as the Left provided an expected safety net for the accord in the face of opposition from right-wing MKs. The vote was 21 to eight with 15 abstentions.

Among those who voted for the motion were Michael Kleiner (Gesher), who heads the Land of Israel Front, National Religious Party MKs Zvi Hendel and Hanan Porat, and Labor MKs Ephraim Oshaya, Shalom Simhon, and Sofa Landver.

Oshaya explained his vote by saying the opposition must exploit every chance to topple the government. "It's illogical for the Labor faction to act to move up the elections, while at the same time not voting no-confidence," he said.

Although the Wye Memorandum was the main focus of the debate, the vote on that will on take place next week. Yesterday, Knesset Speaker Dan Tichon said the debate would start Tuesday and the vote be held Wednesday, giving every MK a chance to speak. The vote will be part of the prime minister's political address to the nation, which was rescheduled from last week.

Moledet leader Rehavam Ze'evi, whose faction submitted the motion, accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of lacking a connection to the Land of Israel.

"For you and many of your other friends, this is not a homeland, but pieces of land which can be traded and sold in exchange for something, or given up entirely as if part of a land deal," said Ze'evi, who noted that Netanyahu had made the same statement regarding the Labor government in June 1995.

"You [Netanyahu] claim that you received a difficult inheritance from your predecessors, and that you have supposedly reduced the damage and made unprecedented achievements. This is not true, and the agreement you signed is a document of surrender and defeat," he said.

Deputy Minister without Portfolio Michael Eitan (Likud), who responded to the motion on behalf of the government, said the Wye Memorandum is another chapter in the Camp David process. He temporarily replaced Science Minister Silvan Shalom as the liaison between the cabinet and Knesset, as Shalom said he is not sure he would vote in favor of the agreement.

"We inherited this agreement," he said, "but we said we would not take the same path, but would make changes. We are acting as we promised - to bring peace and security. This agreement is entirely security oriented." If security commitments are not implemented, he said, we won't make concessions.

Eitan's speech was repeatedly interrupted by catcalls from party colleagues Ruby Rivlin and Michael Kleiner, who oppose the accord and accused him of wearing blinders.

He responded by saying that "it is Ze'evi and others who are wearing blinders." Eitan warned Ze'evi against an attempt to topple the government, suggesting it would be a futile attempt to try to form a more nationalistic government, a strategy that has failed in the past.

Shlomo Ben-Ami (Labor) said Netanyahu deserves praise and encouragement for the agreement, "even if he reached it as a religious penitent, adopting the way of Yitzhak Rabin." He noted that people whose hands were tied were sent to Washington, and then performed a Houdini act and freed themselves of handcuffs.

Amnon Rubinstein (Meretz) said there was no choice but to support the Wye accord, because it is "better than a collision course." He added that the "Likud cannot make peace without us, but we made [peace] without it." At the same time, he faulted Netanyahu for "not knowing how to conduct negotiations, losing his mind, being a serial panicker and untruthful."

At a Labor faction meeting earlier in the day, faction whip Elie Goldschmidt launched a very strong attack on the prime minister, saying, "He has no respect for truth. He has no respect for public integrity. Ultimately, he has no respect for the people he is meant to lead."

Labor Party leader Ehud Barak called Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon "the midwives of the Palestinian state." However, he added, the Wye Memorandum had been sown with land mines to provide an excuse for later freezing it.

 

Rueters Monday October 26 7:30 PM EDT

U.S. Tells Arabs To Rethink Relations With Israel
By Jonathan Wright

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States told its friends in the Arab world Monday it expected gestures toward Israel in recognition of the commitments Israel made in the agreement signed with the Palestinians last week.

Washington wants the Arab states to rejoin multilateral talks, help the Palestinians economically and restart the process of normalization which most have abandoned, State Department spokesman James Rubin told reporters.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, after nine days mediating the talks which ended in last Friday's agreement, thinks that the Arab states also have a part to play in promoting Middle East peace, a senior U.S. official said.

``The secretary is slightly tired of the fact that they (the Arab states) are not coming forward and working to recommit themselves to the peace process,'' the official said.

``The peace process is not a spectator sport. They have to get on the field and play a responsible role,'' he added.

``Secretary Albright does believe that with the peace process now reinvigorated, Arab states should do more to normalize their relations with Israel, assist the Palestinians economically where possible... and participate in multilateral peace process tracks,'' Rubin said in a statement.

At a meeting at the State Department Monday, Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk conveyed the message to the ambassadors of Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

Albright Monday spoke to at least one Arab foreign minister, Amr Moussa of Egypt, about U.S. expectations that Arab states will reconsider their attitude toward the Middle East peace process, officials said.

Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia have diplomatic ties with Israel but relations have not been friendly since Benjamin Netanyahu became Israeli prime minister in 1996 on a rightwing platform hostile to territorial concessions.

The Gulf states Oman and Qatar allowed Israeli trade missions to open in the first flurry of optimism after Israel and the Palestinians reached the Oslo accords in 1993. Oman has frozen ties with Israel but the office stays open.

The Arab states have argued that Netanyahu's attitude to the Palestinians made good relations impossible. They have reduced contacts with Israel, while urging the United States to lean on the Jewish state to change its Palestinian policies.

Fresh from diplomatic success at the Wye River talks, Washington is trying to recruit Arab support for a new mood.

``The Arabs have to stop blaming Netanyahu and recognize that he made some very hard decisions last week,'' said the senior U.S. official, who asked not to be named.

The Wye agreement includes Israeli withdrawal from a further 13 percent of the West Bank and increased Palestinian control over another 14.2 percent -- significant gains for which Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat fought long and hard.

But Arab reaction has been muted, mainly because of accumulated distrust of Netanyahu and his government.

A U.S. official said Washington did not expect instant unilateral gestures from the Arab states and would welcome even offers dependent on future Israeli steps, such as implementation of the Wye agreement.

The United States is also refraining from asking for specific measures from the Arab states. ``They just need to be prodded into an understanding of the importance of their role. It's more motivational,'' the senior official said.

But the United States is frustrated, especially with the low level of Arab economic support for the Palestinians.

``They've got to put their money where their mouth is...,be a part of the international donor conferences and contribute to specific Palestinian projects,'' the official said.

Arab aid would give Palestinians the impression that peace has economic benefits, while gestures toward Israel would encourage Netanyahu to make more decisions like those he took at the Wye peace talks, the official said.

 

CHN Commentary 10-25-98

The Mid East March to Peace

So where do we go from here......???

The Wye agreement was signed on Friday and now it's Sunday... where do we go from here..??

Well, President Clinton went to California to raise money. But in his first speech since the signing, he once again reminded the world of the part that King Hussein played in the Summit by calling his efforts "heroic".

King Hussein went back to his Washington residence to rest and bask in the warm glow of the lingering images of the "standing ovation's" he received in the East Room of the White House on Friday. {Does anyone else sense a "spirit of pride" beginning to enter into the King..? Watch out 'Hussie', that aphrodisiac is addictive....]

Yasser Arafat went directly to Austria to address the European Community to thank them for their backing and declare that a Palestinian state is coming soon, by the May, 1999 date. "We hope that it will happen according to the agreement between us and the Israelis," he said.

He then traveled to Cairo, Algeria, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, saying, "This is a quick tour so I can talk with Arab brother leaders regarding these latest developments.'' So he's been a busy boy.

Binyamin Netanyahu stayed in the US on Saturday, and went back to Israel today. He is expected to bring the agreement to the cabinet for ratification later this week. Pending ratification, implementation of the agreement is to begin in 10 days.

Bibi's government is expected to be challenged immediately upon presentation of the agreement to the Knesset, but plans for his survival are in place with the backing of the Labor Party.

As soon as the agreement is ratified, final status negotiations will begin, and be led on the Israeli side by Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon.

So, the answer to the question of "where do we go from here" .........FINAL STATUS NEGOTIATIONS..!!!!

Needless to say...we'll be "watching".....

Jesus is Lord...

Luke 12: 37

 

CNN 10-25-98

Clinton praises Hussein, calls for support for Netanyahu

Key Statement: "....The president also reiterated his gratitude for the "heroic" efforts made by King Hussein of Jordan to keep pushing the talks last week that led to Netanyahu signing an agreement with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat...."

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- President Clinton said Saturday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a "tremendous risk" for peace in the Middle East and expressed hope that he will not be punished politically for doing so.

The president also reiterated his gratitude for the "heroic" efforts made by King Hussein of Jordan to keep pushing the talks last week that led to Netanyahu signing an agreement with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

While in Los Angeles for Democratic fund-raising events, Clinton spoke with Hussein in a three-minute telephone conversation in which, according to White House spokesman Barry Toiv, the two men thanked each other again for the roles they played in helping broker the accord between Netanyahu and Arafat.

For his part, the Israeli prime minister stressed in a telephone interview that the latest negotiations with Arafat were an obligation he bore under the Oslo accords reached by previous Israeli governments and said it was not easy to give up more land.

"Every inch of land that we cede to the Palestinians is painful to me to cede," he said. "It is part of our homeland. We did not choose this agreement."

He spoke Saturday night in Washington shortly before boarding an airplane for an 18-hour flight back to Israel.

Asked whether he is confident the Palestinians will carry out their part of the bargain to take steps to combat terrorism as a way to provide additional security for Israel, Netanyahu said he subscribes to the adage President Reagan used in negotiations with the old Soviet Union. "Trust but verify," Netanyahu recalled.

He said Israel will watch the Palestinians carefully and "if they do not do their part we will not do our part."

"We still oppose a Palestinian state," he said, reiterating an Israeli position that he said is rooted largely in concern that such a state might have strong ties with Iran and Iraq.

In Los Angeles, Clinton referred to the "flowering of this peace process under the most difficult circumstances imaginable,"

"The heroic, periodic intervention by King Hussein, grappling with his own serious illness and reminding Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat and all the other people there including a lot of people who had been involved in the wars that the Israelis and the Arab peoples of the Middle East had fought with each other what the purpose of life is all about, represents in my view, in a larger sense what ought to be the mission of America and the mission of public service," Clinton said.

Turning to Netanyahu, Clinton continued: "We're not out of the woods yet. The agreement still has to be implemented and I hope that in Israel the people and the members of his political coalition will support Prime Minister Netanyahu. He took tremendous risk, given the nature of his political support, to sign an agreement. ... To me this is what politics is all about."

 

JORDAN TIMES 10-25-98

Palestinian independence 'coming very soon' — Arafat

Key Statement: "....I would say to all the leaders and the people of Europe: thank you, thank you, thank you," he said. "It is not by chance that immediately after signing the accord I came directly to speak to European leaders, my good friends...."

"They were my first port of call," he added.

POERTSCHACH — Palestinian President Yasser Arafat said Saturday he was confident that his people will win statehood “very soon,” after the interim peace struck with Israel in Washington.

Speaking after briefing European Union (EU) leaders on the peace deal signed Friday, he reiterated that he could proclaim independence when the Oslo peace accords expire next May, although he said he hoped to able to do so with Israeli consent.

“It is coming very soon,” he replied when asked when Palestinians would have an independent state, noting that the 1993 Oslo peace accords run out on May 4, 1999. He has previously threatened to unilaterally declare independence.

>From that date “we have the right to declare our independent Palestinian state. We hope that it will happen according to the agreement between us and the Israelis,” he told a press conference.

He was speaking after briefing EU leaders at an informal summit in southern Austria on the interim Middle East peace accord signed at the White House with Israeli Premier Benyamin Netanyahu.

“I would say to all the leaders and the people of Europe: thank you, thank you, thank you,” he said. “It is not by chance that immediately after signing the accord I came directly to speak to European leaders, my good friends.

“They were my first port of call,” he added.

The Palestinians have repeatedly urged the EU to play a greater role in the Middle East peace process, as a counterweight to what is traditionally seen as the United States' ties with Israel.

Arafat also repeated that he considered Netanyahu as his “new partner,” following in the footsteps of former Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.

“I hope this partnership will continue to exist and that all the points we have agreed will be implemented, to further the interests of Israelis, Palestinians and the whole region,” he said.

Israeli and Palestinian leaders signed the accord in Washington on Friday following nine days of drawn-out talks at the Wye River Conference Centre, restoring momentum to the stalled regional peace process after a 19-month hiatus.

It paves the way for a further Israeli troop withdrawal on the West Bank as well as final talks on tough issues such as the status of Jerusalem which both the Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital.

Arafat traveled direct to Austria from Washington, stopping over in Vienna before heading to the lakeside resort of Poertschach to brief the 15 EU leaders, who are meeting until Sunday.

In his hour-long exposition to the assembled presidents and prime ministers, Arafat notably expressed the hope that an airport can be opened in Gaza within two weeks, and that authorization be given for a deep-water port within two months, according to summit sources.

Arafat meanwhile confirmed that a conference of donor states will be held “at the start of December.” The EU is the biggest provider of aid to the Palestinian territories.

In Vienna, a visibly exhausted Arafat had said he was confident the peace deal would be implemented because Netanyahu had become his “new partner”.

“I'm sure it will be implemented,” he said after talks with Austrian Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schuessel, whose country currently holds the European Union presidency.

Arafat will then travel to Cairo to brief Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on the deal.

Mubarak said in Cairo that his meeting with Arafat will take place on Sunday.

The Egyptian leader, whose country was the first Arab nation to make peace with Israel in 1979, appeared cautious about the deal for an Israeli troop withdrawal and Palestinian security measures signed in Washington on Friday.

“We will wait and see,” Egyptian television showed Mubarak as telling soldiers during a visit to army units in the Red Sea city of Suez as part of Egypt's celebrations of 25th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

“I will meet Abu Ammar [Arafat] tomorrow [Sunday], but the important thing is implementing the agreement...There were too many agreements that were never enforced.”

 

JERUSALEM POST Sunday, October 25, 1998 5 Heshvan 5759 Wye deal to launch final talks
By DANNA HARMAN and HILLEL KUTTLER

Key Statement: "....Final-status talks, to be led on the Israeli side by Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, are to begin here within 10 days. US President Bill Clinton indicated Friday he hopes to convene another trilateral summit next spring to mark progress on the final-status talks...."

WASHINGTON (October 25) - Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed the Wye Memorandum at the White House on Friday, capping nine days of round-the-clock negotiations and paving the way for final-status talks.

The long-overdue agreement is to be implemented over a 12-week period, in accordance with a very specific schedule.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was scheduled to arrive back in Israel this afternoon, and is expected to bring the agreement to the cabinet for ratification later this week. Pending ratification, implementation of the agreement is to begin in 10 days.

As the schedule specifies, the significant Israeli pullback will not take place until the end of week six - but maps of the entire planned redeployment will be shown to the Palestinians right after Netanyahu presents them to the cabinet.

Netanyahu also intends to present the cabinet with details of the aid package - thought to be nearly $1 billion - the US has committed to giving Israel to help carry out the redeployment by relocating bases, building new roads, etc.

In addition, certain unpublicized assurances - written and oral - that have been given to Israel by the US, regarding such issues as the third redeployment and the Palestinian plan to declare statehood, are also to be presented to the cabinet.

Final-status talks, to be led on the Israeli side by Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, are to begin here within 10 days. US President Bill Clinton indicated Friday he hopes to convene another trilateral summit next spring to mark progress on the final-status talks.

"In the end, after all the twists and turns and ups and downs, all their late and ultimately sleepless nights, both reaffirmed their commitment to the path of peace, and for that the world can be grateful," a weary Clinton said of his equally fatigued partners, before a packed East Room audience at the Friday ceremony.

After 20 consecutive hours of talks that began on Thursday morning, the deal was finally clinched at dawn Friday, but was put on hold almost immediately when Netanyahu sought Clinton's assurance that he would free convicted spy Jonathan Pollard from a federal penitentiary and allow him to emigrate to Israel.

The noon-time signing was postponed while Clinton and Netanyahu discussed the matter at the Wye River Conference Center. When an understanding was finally reached, the signing was set for late afternoon. By the time the White House ceremony concluded, there were fewer than 10 minutes to spare before the onset of Shabbat - as Clinton himself mentioned in his remarks.

In the end, Clinton pledged to "review the [Pollard] matter seriously," but said he gave "no commitment as to the outcome of this review."

Netanyahu said the Wye deal benefits both sides and leaves him "brimming with some confidence" that Israel and the Palestinians can reach a final accord, though "I guarantee you it will not be easy."

"We are more secure today, because for the first time since the signing of the Oslo Accords, we will see concrete and verifiable commitments carried out," Netanyahu said. "Our Palestinian partners will join us in fighting terrorism. They will follow a detailed and systematic plan to fight terrorists and their infrastructure, to jail killers that have so far roamed at large, to stop vitriolic incitement, and above all, finally, after 35 years, to cancel the articles in the Palestinian Charter which call for the destruction of Israel."

The president also took note of the domestic gamble each man had undertaken in coming to Wye, departing from his prepared text to say that they both expect extremists to undermine the deal and "that in the short run, they themselves may have put themselves at greater risk."

Clinton praised Netanyahu for "having stood so firmly" on behalf of Israel's security, and Arafat for "tenaciously defending the interests of his people."

Clinton called the accord a mutually beneficial outcome that moves them "another step closer toward fulfilling the promise of the Oslo Accords."

"This agreement is good for Israel's security. The commitments made by the Palestinians were very strong, the strongest of any we have ever seen. They include continuous security cooperation with Israel, and a comprehensive plan against terrorism and its support infrastructure," Clinton said.

"This agreement is good for the political and economic well-being of Palestinians. It significantly expands areas under Palestinian authority to some 40 percent of the West Bank. It also offers the Palestinian people new economic opportunities. ... The Palestinian people will be able to breathe a little easier and benefit from the fruits of peace.

"Most important, perhaps, this agreement is good for the peace process itself."

But Clinton also put the onus on Netanyahu and Arafat to "assume faithful implementation" of what they had agreed on.

"It will test whether the Palestinian people is prepared to live at peace, recognizing Israel's permanence, legitimacy, and a common interest in security," Clinton said. "It will tell us whether Israelis are willing to help build a strong Palestinian entity that can fulfill the aspirations of its people and provide both real security and real partnership for both Palestinians and Israelis."

The hastily arranged signing ceremony had the feel of a three-way mutual congratulation society of disaster survivors, with all speakers paying tribute to the others' endurance, determination, and sincerity at Wye River.

Applause rang out often during the 85 minutes of speeches that preceded the less-than-two minutes it took for Netanyahu, Arafat, and Clinton to sign copies of the document.

The emotional high point of the event came during Hussein's address a few minutes earlier, in his first public appearance since coming to the US to begin cancer treatment several months ago. Calling himself "privileged" to have lent a helping hand in the final days of the Wye summit, Hussein had warm words for Clinton and said that in concluding the accord, "We are not marking time, but moving in the right direction. I believe that very sincerely."

Poignantly, the chemotherapy-weakened Hussein joked that the Wye experience had left him with no hair or eyebrows.

"But this is the life in which we live... And no matter where I would have been, if I had an ounce of strength I would have done my utmost to be there and to help in any way I can.

"By the way, many in ... the world have written me off. But I have a lot of faith in God and I believe that one lives one's destiny," Hussein continued, turning sideways to face the seated Netanyahu and Arafat. "And as far as I am concerned, my morale is the highest it has been, and that has been a shot in the arm for me, what you have accomplished today."

For the first time, Arafat spoke of Netanyahu as his "co-partner" in the peace process. He called the deal a "late but an ... important" one that he hopes will herald "new relations based on equality" with Israel.

He also reached out in an effort to convince Israelis that he is a man of peace who will help safeguard them and faithfully implement his new security obligations.

"We are fully committed to whatever is required of us in order to achieve real security and constant peace for every Israeli person," Arafat said. "We will not forget our duties as we underline our rights. ... I will do everything I can so that no Israeli mother will be worried if their son or daughter is late coming home, or any Israeli would be afraid when they hear an explosion. ...

"Your security is our security, and peace for your children and our children," Arafat told Netanyahu. "We will work together through the peace process and negotiations, even though they are difficult, in order to achieve a final solution.

"We will not go back to violence or confrontation, and we together will be the leaders in order that peace will prevail on our land and the land of our neighbors."

 

JERUSALEM POST Sunday, October 25, 1998 5 Heshvan 5759

Labor debates possible unity government
By SARAH HONIG

Key Statement: "....Labor sources said yesterday that uppermost in many Labor minds is the question of what to do if the Likud invites Labor to join the Netanyahu coalition, which they say has become more likely because Netanyahu cannot continue to rely on his coalition. One school of thought in Labor is that Netanyahu will opt for early elections...."

TEL AVIV (October 25) - Following the signing of the Wye Memorandum, the national unity controversy is again raging in the Labor Party, even though Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not yet returned to Israel and no such offer has been made.

Labor sources said yesterday that uppermost in many Labor minds is the question of what to do if the Likud invites Labor to join the Netanyahu coalition, which they say has become more likely because Netanyahu cannot continue to rely on his coalition. One school of thought in Labor is that Netanyahu will opt for early elections.

The national-unity option has several champions inside the coalition, including coalition whip MK Meir Sheetrit (Likud), The Third Way, and possibly Shas and Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon.

Labor's former leader Shimon Peres was sounding out his supporters on the possibility over the weekend, the Post has learned.

Labor Party chairman Ehud Barak issued a statement supporting the Wye deal, saying Labor will vote for it in the Knesset, but that he continues to favor early elections and will reject offers to join a national-unity coalition.

Labor MK Yossi Beilin suggested the party ought to find "a middle-of-the-road solution. So long as Netanyahu appears to be implementing his deal, we should support him. If it takes three months, then we ought to offer him a safety net for that length of time. But we should not join his coalition... we should go to elections."

 

CHN Commentary 10-11-98

The Mid East March to Peace

At our CHN web site [http://chn-net.com/] one of our "Feature Articles" is entitled, The Tangled Web They Weave. It is a very insightful essay that demonstrates how the characters involved in the middle east peace process have become "entangled" in their own deceit and selfish motivations in trying to bring about peace.

On Friday, 10/9, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu further entangled the web of middle east peace as he appointed the notorious Palestinian hating, anti-peace advocate, x-military strongman, and right wing folk hero Ariel Sharon, as the governments new Foreign Minister. The portfolio that Bibi had been holding himself.

Sharon has been a part of Bibi's "kitchen cabinet", or the inner circle of the big four in the government. But his appointment on the eve of the Washington Summit has sent shock waves through all the parties involved in the peace process.

Speculation is running wild as to it's meaning and effect on the peace process.

The accompanying articles will give you a taste of how delicate an issue this truly is, and how meaningful his appointment can be if peace is truly to be made at this time. For, not only will Sharon be accompanying Bibi to Washington for the Summit, but he will be at the negotiating table for these talks, and when the final status talks commence he will be the head negotiator.

Having your most hawkish Likud power broker heading up your final status peace negotiations can only mean that if you are serious about finalizing the peace then it would make perfect sense to appoint him. Because the people of Israel know without a doubt that Ariel Sharon is looking out for the security of Israel, and if he agrees to a deal with the Palestinians, then it's the best that can be had.

On the other hand, if you don't want the peace process to move forward then he is also the right man to appoint, as he is the toughest of the tough at negotiating, and he can bring things to a halt for sure.

The Summit is on for the 15th, so we won't have long to wait to find out how he is going to play it.

And we would be remiss if we closed without reminding our "watchers" that this notorious strongman has taken a real liking to His Majesty King Hussein, as you might recall from some of our recent commentary's. And on more then one occasion has flown to Jordan to consult with the King regarding the process. And in the King's opinion, General Sharon is a principled man of high honor and integrity who can be trusted. This is going to be interesting.

And you know we'll be watching.......

Jesus is Lord..

Luke 12:37

Ha'aretz Sunday, October 11, 1998

Sharon to act as 'watchdog over Netanyahu' at summit
By Yossi Verter, David Makovsky and Nitzan Horowitz, Ha'aretz Correspondents and Agencies

Foreign Minister-designate Ariel Sharon views his cardinal task at this week's trilateral Wye Plantation summit meeting as ensuring that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not make any concessions to the Palestinians on the question of reciprocity - Palestinian fulfillment of their commitments.

Sharon told U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright last week that he intends to see to it that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat honors the commitments in full, including extradition of murderers, impounding unauthorized weapons and annulment of the Palestinian Covenant.

He warned that without the Palestinians' implementation of their undertakings, there would be no cabinet majority in favor of the agreement.

Netanyahu Friday announced his decision to appoint Sharon Israel's new foreign minister. The Prime Minister has held the post since the resignation of David Levy last January.

Speaking at a press conference, Netanyahu said Sharon "will be responsible for running the foreign policy of Israel, including the negotiations on final status - of course in coordination with me."

However, in an interview in Ma'ariv on Friday, Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh said Netanyahu would be the one to conduct the final-status talks.

Netanyahu added that Sharon was the "most appropriate" person for the job, as he brings "a wealth of experience, creativity and a proven track record."

Sharon, who will retain his present post of national infrastructure minister for another three months, issued a statement through a spokesman saying that he would "assist in advancing Israel's policy, which is striving toward peace while maintaining and protecting Israel's national and security interests."

A few hours later, Sharon told Israel Television that he was still "against a 13 percent withdrawal" in the West Bank, and that he would never shake hands with Palestinian leader Arafat, whom he branded a "murderer."

Arafat himself, when asked about Sharon's opposition to a U.S. plan for a 13 percent Israeli pullback, said Sharon should first read the U.S. plan. Arafat had earlier said that Sharon's appointment as foreign minister "is an internal Israeli affair."

Arafat was speaking to reporters in Gaza yesterday on his return from visits to Russia and Scandinavia.

At this week's summit, Sharon is expected to impress Clinton administration officials with the need for funding for a series of roads, bridges, tunnels and overpasses that would need to be built as a result of the second pullback, government officials say.

The officials confirmed that Netanyahu raised the idea of U.S. financial assistance to offset security risks inherent in a second pullback during last week's talks with Albright.

Senior U.S. officials said that if the Wye summit succeeds and agreement is reached on the second redeployment, talks on the permanent settlement could begin "on the spot," given the tight schedule of the Oslo accords.

 

JERUSALEM POST Sunday, October 11, 1998 21 Tishri 5759

Arafat cautious over Sharon FM nod
By DANNA HARMAN, STEVE RODAN, and MOHAMMED NAJIB

JERUSALEM (October 11) - Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat reacted cautiously to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's announcement of National Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon's appointment as foreign minister on Friday.

"This is a pure interior Israeli affair," said Arafat, speaking in Helsinki later in the day. "We don't want to interfere."

Netanyahu made the long-expected announcement at a morning press conference. "Sharon is the man best suited to this position," said the prime minister.

"He has vast experience, and he brings a wealth of experience and creativity... he has known the pains of war, and has also played an important role in harvesting the fruits of peace... I can think of no one better qualified to help me and the government in bringing peace with security to the State of Israel."

The appointment must be approved by the cabinet on Tuesday; it has already been announced to the US and the Palestinian Authority.

Echoing Arafat's position, most Palestinians were cautious in their reaction to the appointment; recalling Sharon's hawkish past, but expressing hope he would help the government carry through its pledge to withdraw from the West Bank." He [Sharon] has a very poor image among the Palestinian public," said PA International Cooperation and Planning Minister Nabil Shaath. "He is identified with the massacres of Sabra and Shatilla... but we will deal with him as any foreign minister... and ask him to respect these [Oslo] accords."

Hassan Asfour, the head of the Palestinian negotiating team, said Sharon will have the opportunity to change his image and work to implement the interim accords.

"Sharon is the only minister who has the authority to agree to a compromise," a senior PA official said. The official said Sharon is seen as the only person in Netanyahu's government who could take difficult decisions - and keep his promises.

Several members of the PA recalled Sharon's decision to withdraw from the entire Sinai peninsula, a step that finalized the Israeli peace agreement with Egypt in 1979. As defense minister, Sharon carried out the Sinai evacuation three years later.

Netanyahu said Sharon would be put in charge of the final-status talks with the Palestinians - if and when they begin. In the meantime, Sharon will be traveling to this Thursday's summit in the United States with Netanyahu - as will the other members of the inner cabinet - and is expected to play a significant role there as well.

Sharon has made it clear however that - significant role or not - he will continue to refuse to shake Arafat's hand. Sharon has also reiterated his position that a 13 percent withdrawal from the West Bank is a security risk, and that he will vote against any such decision if it is brought before the cabinet.

Many politicians on the right, including Minister of Transportation Shaul Yahalom (NRP) and Deputy Science Minister Michael Eitan (Likud) welcomed Sharon's appointment, saying that only he could ensure that Israel's security and national interests are not overridden by the desire to move forward with the peace process.

"There is no doubt that his appointment will strengthen the rightist camp and help the prime minister stand up to the political pressures being put upon him," said Yahalom. Eitan claimed that only Sharon could "square the circle" and achieve both peace and security.

Labor Party leader Ehud Barak, in contrast, said that Sharon's appointment is a sure sign that the government could not, and would not, conclude the final-status talks with the Palestinians. "The appointment... is a sure recipe for the continuation of the freeze [in the peace process]," said Barak.

"What is the point of the whole peace process?" asked MK Uzi Baram (Labor). "We are trying to forge a conciliation between two peoples, and now Sharon has been brought in, and he is clearly not a believer in conciliation.

Meretz Party leader Yossi Sarid further derided the appointment, saying that all it proves is that Sharon is "the king of cynicism and opportunism" and that the whole negotiating process is nothing but a "circus.

Ha'aretz Daily News October 11, 1998 Sharon appointment 'a desperate act'

By Yossi Verter, Gideon Alon and Nadav Shragai, Ha'aretz Correspondents and Itim

Labor Party leader MK Ehud Barak said yesterday evening that Friday's appointment of Ariel Sharon as foreign minister was aimed at enabling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "survive in power" and showed that the prime minister found himself in "dire straits."

Barak said Sharon's appointment "in a far-right government such as this is a sure recipe for a continued impasse and for hastening the advent of violence."

Barak, whose silence on the appointment for more than 24 hours after it was announced had raised quite a few eyebrows - the two are good friends and meet often - added that although Sharon has a wealth of experience, he has vehemently opposed the Oslo accords and the second redeployment.

Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai, in a laconic reaction, welcomed the appointment and noted that the "kitchen cabinet" (of which he is a member) would continue to work on behalf of Israel's national interests.

The head of the ultra-nationalist Moledet party, MK Rechavam Ze'evi, who was a longtime colleague of Sharon's in their army days, said the appointment would induce Sharon to agree to "Oslo 3."

The head of the "Land of Israel Front," MK Michael Kleiner (Gesher), said Sharon has a "historic opportunity to influence the manner in which he will be remembered in the collective memory: will it be as the commander who crossed the Suez Canal [in the Yom Kippur War], or as the dismantler of Yamit [after the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty], as the minister who was blamed for the Lebanon quagmire, or as the person who extricated us from the Oslo quagmire?"

A spokesman for the Yesha Council of settlements said that Sharon's appointment "by the same person who did not want him as a minister in his government is meant to mute the political reactions against the [West Bank] pullback and the dangerous agreement. We hope that the experienced Minister Sharon will not repeat his earlier mistake of razing Yamit."

Meretz leader MK Yossi Sarid said the appointment again shows Sharon's true face as the "king of cynicism and opportunism."

Sharon, he said, despite railing against the Oslo accords and branding Arafat a "war criminal," wanted "all along to become foreign minister."

However, MK Shlomo Ben-Ami (Labor) said Sharon "should be given a chance" to try to advance the diplomatic process with the Palestinians and the Syrians.

"The burden of proof is on Sharon," he said.

A Likud spokesman said that the left's opposition to the appointment reflects its "anxiety that the peace process will be advanced cautiously and with security, and leave the left in opposition for many years to come.

 

Ha'aretz Daily News Sunday, October 11, 1998 Commentary

Follow the bouncing politico
By Yoel Marcus

Arik Sharon is the nahum-takum - the doll that is built to bounce back up whenever it is knocked down - of Israeli politics. Time and again his career seemed to be over, but he always returned alive and kicking to retake center-stage.

Just two and something years ago Bibi wanted to leave him out of the government and finally brought him in only because David Levy went to bat for him.

It is certainly Sharon who is laughing inwardly because he is having the last laugh. After two years in which Bibi abused him and excluded him from the centers of decision making, Bibi has reached the point where he needs him, despite the contemptuous disparagement Sharon has voiced in public and whispered in private about Bibi's leadership ability.

Like everything Bibi does, Sharon's appointment is a multi-purpose gimmick geared to the prime minister's survival. First, it flanks the right wing from the right before it can get into an insurrection mode and topple the government. Who, after all, is the cat that will guard the cream if not the person whose settlement impulse created an irreversible situation in the territories? Second, it neutralizes Sharon as a possible leader of the Land of Israel Front. Third, it anoints the person who is most opposed to withdrawal, who called Arafat a murderer and said he would never shake his hand, as the implementer of the most difficult part of the redeployment claptrap - the 13 percent pullback he has so adamantly opposed. Sharon played a similar role for Prime Minister Menachem Begin in Sinai following the peace treaty with Egypt. Fourth, and this is the sneakiest part of the gimmick, it makes Sharon the target of all the slings and arrows, instead of Bibi.

Say what you like about Sharon's personality, there is no doubt that he is the most experienced minister, soldier and politician in this government; he eats ministers of the caliber you find in Bibi's government for breakfast. But in the final analysis, the move is an admission of Bibi's failure as a leader who does not know what he wants and how he is going to emerge from the permanent solution talks in one piece.

Everyone who remembers the horror of Lebanon, everyone who remembers Sharon as the living barrier to the peace process and as the proponent of Jordan rather than the West Bank as the Palestinian homeland, everyone who witnessed his raptures over West Bank settlements will find the appointment difficult to digest. If Bibi is taken as a chronic liar by the international community, Sharon is not exactly a candidate for the Nobel Truth Prize. The notion that the 70-year-old Sharon, seeking to atone for the sins that led the Kahan Commission to recommend after the Lebanon War that he no longer serve as defense minister, will want to enter the history books as the bringer of peace, is one of those snap theories beloved of commentators. We have to bear in mind that the winner from this appointment is supposed to be Bibi and that nahum-takum is, ultimately, only a toy. If it gets too uppity, Bibi has the option that is available to every kid: to put the toy back in the closet.

 

Sunday, October 11, 1998 21 Tishri 5759 Last update at Sun Oct 11 02:56:19 EET 1998 JERUSALEM POST

The Wyes and wherefores of peace
By DANNA HARMAN

(October 9) -The Big Question: Will the second redeployment be wrapped up at next week's summit in Maryland? We look at the pressures on each of the players and come up with some scenarios.

After barely speaking to each other for a year, Binyamin Netanyahu and Yasser Arafat were sharing kosher humous in Gaza and handing each other Cuban cigars as if they had been meeting like this for years.

If all goes according to plan they will meet again next week on the banks of the Wye River in Maryland for a weekend of intensive negotiations and scenic walks.

The big question is, then what? Will it all lead to a second redeployment?

Certain minor issues - such as the opening of an industrial park, setting up an anti-incitement committee and restarting people-to-people initiatives - have already been agreed upon. In the words of US State Department spokesman James Rubin, they have been nailed down.

All the rest of the major "nails" - among them security assurances, the abrogation of parts of the Palestinian Covenant, the question of the exact breakdown of the second redeployment and, down the line, the third pullback - are still out on the negotiating floor, with the pointed side up.

The Americans would like these remaining contentious issues to be safely picked up, turned around and nailed in as much as possible before next week's summit. Then, President Clinton will take the floor, help hammer in the outstanding matters, stand proudly for the applause and leave the stage ready for the next act - the "final status" scene.

The American interest in this scenario is obvious to all.

With impeachment procedures and Congressional elections racing each other around the corner, Clinton is in dire need of success on a fresh front.

It seems as if Middle East peace - a topic familiar to the American people, involving several colorful players and generally allowing for dramatic segues about the dangers of world terrorism - has been chosen as the administration's main decoy.

Arafat and Netanyahu, on their part, each have reason to move forward at this point as well. To begin with, there are America-related reasons. It is hard to refuse when the president of the US - no matter what his motives are - invites you for a weekend in the country.

This is especially true for the leaders in question, each of whom has had his moment as persona non grata in Washington, and both of whom have healthy egos. It will be equally hard, once they get to America, to withstand the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a weekend in a small room with Clinton, looking out the window at the 500 members of the press corps camped on the lawn.

Then, there are the world image-related reasons. Once you accept such an invitation, with all the hype and spin and attention surrounding it, you don't want to be the one blamed for its failure, and you certainly don't want to allow the other side to get up on the world stage and take sole credit for showing goodwill.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there are also reasons of internal Palestinian and Israeli considerations.

Netanyahu appears to have been playing his cards perfectly, landing himself in exactly the position he wants.

After spending what seemed like an eternity wincing about the percentages of redeployment being suggested by the Americans, and finally agreeing to the proposal - as some observers believe he had always intended to - Netanyahu has reaped an enormous amount of credit for his "concessions" in the process.

He is now trading in this credit for the right to make demands.

Some analysts - the skeptics - say Netanyahu is not serious about actually signing the agreement - although such a scenario seems doubtful.

"He can go to Washington, make his demands, hear them rejected and come home a strong-principled war hero," said one critic, who was involved in negotiating the Oslo Accords.

Third Way MK Alex Lubotzky has likened Netanyahu to a man who has walked into a fish market. He has bargained and bargained, and brought the price way down. Now what would he get if he just walked out?

Elections are scheduled for November 2000. If Netanyahu can reach that moment and be able to say, "I was able to fulfill our obligations to the Oslo agreements with the least possible harm done to Israel," he would likely win reelection.

He would come off as the reluctant but effective peace man to some (centrists), the tough negotiator to many (his natural right-wing supporters) and still the only option for others (those on the far Right).

There are a number of analysts - the cynics - who predict that Netanyahu will sign an agreement, but will find some reason not to fulfill it. This is an altogether more likely possibility, they say.

"I expect them [the Palestinians] not to do anything they are supposed to do and with that we will be released from our commitments. We are not going to be tricked," said a top official in the Prime Minister's Office.

The agreements on the second redeployment, once signed, are meant to be carried out over the course of three months, ending on February 1, 1999. According to the timetable, Israel is to transfer 2 percent of Area C to Area B, while the Palestinians - almost simultaneously - are expected to arrest dozens of Hamas members and confiscate several thousand Kalachnikovs. Then Israel would be expected to withdraw from another, say, 1% of Area C, while the Palestinians muffle a few hundred outspoken imams, and so on.

The set-up seems ripe for failure, some observers say. Netanyahu would certainly be faced with harsh criticism and a variety of political threats from far right-wingers once he begins giving back parts of the Land of Israel. But, insofar as the land to be handed over will be carefully chosen so as not to contain any settlements, and since the far right-wingers are not a majority, he is likely to survive the criticism.

Arafat, on the other hand, has to fight against a large number of his own people. It is clear to all involved that he will have a harder time keeping his side of the bargain. Arafat himself knows this, and it is the main reason for his battle over decreasing the demands in the security working paper.

Once Arafat were to accept such demands, which he basically has no choice but to do for a deal to be clinched, he would have to confiscate weapons, fire policemen, drag hundreds of people into jail and keep them there, raid dozens of arms caches, strip Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders of their authority.

Any of these actions could lead to a Palestinian civil war. Therefore he may find many of them too difficult to carry out from a political standpoint, Palestinian observers say.

There is also always a chance that any efforts that Arafat does make to contain terrorism will not be enough and that Israel will again find itself under terrorist attack.

Netanyahu, if he wants (and probably without looking too far) would likely be able to find any number of pretexts to accuse the Palestinians of not fulfilling their part of the agreement vis-a-vis fighting terrorism. He could respond by halting implementation of the withdrawals.

According to this scenario, despite the lack of an Israeli pullback, world sympathy would swing to the side of the Israelis, who would be said to have done their best. And if the Palestinians actually declare statehood a few months later, they will have lost some international support for the move.

A third group of analysts predict that Netanyahu would not only sign a redeployment agreement, but also fulfill it. What he won't do, they say, is move the process any further along.

"This is the end of the game for Netanyahu. He feels that with the second redeployment he will have finished his work and his 'achievement' will stand for years to come," one Middle East analyst said.

It is easily forgotten, what with all the world attention and front-page headlines, that the second redeployment is not important in and of itself.

What is important is the final-status agreement, which would aim to resolve such explosive issues such as the future of the settlements and Jerusalem.

Netanyahu, who insists he is ready to begin the final-status talks tomorrow, knows that these negotiations are likely to be lethal. If Palestinians and Israelis spend 19 months negotiating how to move from Gaza to Jericho, the chances that they will be able to speedily decide about matters such as the return of an enormous number of Palestinian refugees - is slim, to say the least.

Netanyahu knows that the second redeployment - if it comes about - is likely to remain a status quo for a long time to come.

Discussions on the final status could begin but would appear likely to go on for years. In the meantime, Netanyahu may have again staved off the prospect of facing overwhelming international support for Palestinian statehood.

Arafat, for his part, may not have been playing his cards as wisely as Netanyahu. At the end of the interim period, which was supposed to end last March, the Palestinians were meant to be in control of all of the West Bank except for military locations and settlements.

Six months past the deadline, the Palestinians are only in partial control of only 27% of the land. In the best of scenarios, they will be in control of some 42% of the West Bank by the end of the third redeployment.

The Palestinians - who were quick to accept the US proposal for a 13% withdrawal, even though this had been way below their expectations - feel let down. Perhaps they seized the opportunity, never believing that Netanyahu would accept a two-digit redeployment formula.

Perhaps also they envisioned a successful US pressure campaign against Netanyahu which would have culminated with them getting a bit less than they had wanted percentage-wise, but which held the promise of them being crowned as the "flexible and helpful" players.

Such credit could have been traded in for general sympathy for such further decisions as declaring statehood.

The situation did not work out that way, but having stepped into the game and having shown his cards, Arafat cannot really afford to backtrack in any elegant manner at this point.

"There were some miscalculations," one Palestinian official said.

In addition, and imagining that the process moves into final-status negotiations but no further, Arafat knows that he is better off obtaining as much territory as he can get now.

This is one of the reasons the Palestinians want to put off the start of the final-status talks. They want to complete discussions on, and implementation of, the second and third redeployments before getting bogged down in more talks where withdrawals already agreed upon could become material for barter about new questions.

There are still some difficult outstanding issues to be resolved at Wye Plantation and it is conceivable that everyone could go home with nothing. It is important, however, to recognize the internal political pressures working on each of the players - which do seem to point the parties toward signing a deal.

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