Table of Contents

Notes on Revelation

Exodus/Sharm al Sheikh

Cheshvan 5, 5761
November 3, 2000

I just finished reading "The Gold of Exodus" by Howard Blum. This book allegedly proves that what we traditionally refer to as Mount Sinai is really a mountain in Saudi Arabia. There are a few things the author wrote about that seem plausible: 1. the two men looking for the "gold" find an oasis of palms (Elim) approximately where they calculated it should be according to the Bible record; 2. an altar with drawings of cows (calves?) on it; 3. stone boundary markers around the mountain they claim as the true Mount Sinai ("And you shall set bounds for the people round about..."), etc. The thing that really caught my attention is the fact that he says they had satellite photographs that show a well-worn path etched into the desert of Sinai that a friend of one of the adventurers, "who had learned his trade in the military," analyzed. Here's what this friend wrote:

"First, there is a clear trail that comes into the photograph from the left side. It is south of the traditional Mount Sinai, and it goes right to the water's edge at the Strait of Tiran, at the Gulf of Aqaba. It is impossible to tell the exact age [of the trail] from the photographs, but it is certainly thousands of years old. That is for sure! It was used heavily, and has some real width to it at parts.

"There are some very large campsites along the way, on the other side of the strait, where it seems to come out of the Red Sea...the trail goes right down the strait and resumes on the other side. It goes about 11 miles south of the crossing site, then turns up north. There are three major campsites, or areas where there were towns or gatherings of many people. I can't tell you what went on there, only that there were large congregations of people. Finally, the trail turns east, about halfway up the gulf, and heads inland, going right to the area you marked on your map as representing Jabal al Lawz [Mount Sinai]. There is a huge, well-used campsite there."

He also had his friend look at photos of the traditional site, St. Catherine's (which was picked because either Constantine or his mother, Helena, had had a vision):

"There are several pathways around that mountain, but no major camping sites. And based on my study of and interpretation of the density of the colors in the photographs, I'd say the trails there are no more than three hundred to four hundred years old, at most. The trails there don't even come close to the size and apparent age of the one that goes into and out of the Red Sea."

The most interesting thing to me was that where the Israelites would have been standing right before they got their feet "wet" crossing the water (which the book alleges could have been easily crossed by walking on the sand ridge they found in the Strait of Tiran) was approximately where Sharm al Sheikh is located; they were standing around crying and grumbling at God for their predicament right there at Sharm al Sheikh if what the "Gold of Exodus" purports is true and the real Mount Sinai is in Saudi Arabia.

What does this mean? I haven't worked it all out in my mind yet but could it mean that the Jews have come full circle since the Exodus? Is the spirit of antichrist playing God at this particular location nowadays with all these Sharm meetings? Is this *just* a coincidence? I don't think so...

Middle East Peace Process

U.S. Embassy's Information Service in Israel

United States Department of State
Middle East Peace Process


Egyptian - Israeli meeting soon

Weekend News Today
By Andra Brack
Source: Arabic News

Mon May 24 , 1999 -- Informed Egyptian sources stated yesterday that Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak plans to visit Egypt after finishing forming his government. The sources expected "convening a summit meeting between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Barak in Sharm El-Sheik City after Barak's visit to the U.S.A and before the visit of President Mubarak to Washington." The sources said, "The summit's discussions will focus on new points that bring back balance and the missing warmth to Egyptian - Israeli relations as well as bringing back trust and joint work for achieving required tasks in the peace process." They added that Barak believes that improving ties with Egypt is the main start for Israel to regain its relations with the Arab states. The sources said in press declarations, "Egypt makes a condition for accepting the Israeli demands: knowing Barak's future plans for implementing the signed peace agreement and resuming negotiations with Syria from the stopping point."


EU sending Arafat letter of guarantee for new accord: envoy

Copyright 1999 by Agence France-Presse

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Sept 5 (AFP) - The European Union will send Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat a letter guaranteeing some points in the accord he signed here early Sunday with Israel, EU special envoy Miguel Angel Moratinos said.

"The foreign ministers of the 15 (EU members) held a meeting in Finland today and decided to give a letter of guarantee to Arafat on several points in the accord, a revised version of last October's Wye River Memorandum."

The letter, which will be sent Sunday, says "the EU undertakes to facilitate the implementation of all the points of the accord."

The European body "supports the implementation of all the interim accords signed independently of the final-status" agreement, which is supposed to be wrapped up in a year.

The European Union also "backs the right to Palestinian self-determination, including the right to a state, while asking the parties to try to reach a negotiated solution," the letter said.

The letter "conforms to the language of the Berlin declaration," it added.

The declaration, adopted by the European Union in March, called for the option of a Palestinian state and the immediate implementation of this right.

"The European Union asks the parties to avoid any unilateral act, especially concerning (Jewish) settlements," the letter concluded.

Arafat and Barak signed the agreement in Sharm el-Sheikh shortly after midnight. It was witnessed by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Jordan's King Abdullah II and Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak.


Ceremony marks Egypt's return as broker of Mideast negotiations

Copyright 1999 by Agence France-Presse

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Sept 4 (AFP) - With Saturday's landmark signing ceremony here, Egypt marks its return as a middleman for Palestinian and Israeli negotiators after being sidelined while Israel's former right-wing premier Benjamin Netanyahu was in power.

Since Prime Minister Ehud Barak took office in July, Egypt worked to bridge the gap between the two sides over implementing the Wye River accord, which Netanyahu signed in Washington last October but then froze.

Egypt was the first foreign country Barak visited after entering office, and Cairo gave him a warm welcome after years of tense relations with Netanyahu.

An Arab diplomat who asked not to be named said the Egyptians had convinced Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to renegotiate Wye, which calls for further Israeli troop pullouts in return for Palestinian security guarantees.

The culmination of Egypt's mediating efforts was being celebrated in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, which was once a battleground before Egypt and Israel signed the first Arab-Israeli peace treaty in 1979.

The chief advisor to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Ossama al-Baz, said Egypt had facilitated the accord.

Egypt's role with the Palestinians was to "reinforce them and reassure them and help them make up their mind and draw upon our experience in negotiations with Israel."

Egypt believes Barak can deliver on his pledges for peace partly because, like his late mentor Yitzhak Rabin, Israelis do not question his security credentials and they have given him a broad mandate for peace, Baz said.

But it remains to be seen how Barak will handle his "awesome responsibilities," he said in an interview with AFP in late July.

Cairo followed the revived peace talks very closely after Barak took office and Mubarak sent Baz to Israel and the Palestinian territories last week in a bid to give them a nudge.

Arafat has also made numerous visits here in recent months, and it was while he was in Alexandria Friday that he announced the accord with Israel.

A major US ally in the Middle East and the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, in 1979, Egypt hosted Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the Jericho-Gaza accord, signed in Cairo in May 1994.

Their interim accord was signed in Taba, Egypt, in 1995.

The Wye River Memorandum, concluded last October in the United States, was the first Israeli-Palestinian agreement after 1993 not signed in Egypt.

"For many years, Egypt has merited the world's admiration as an unwavering and courageous champion of peace. This repuation has only been enhanced by Egypt's strong supporting role in the negotiations just completed," US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said at the signing ceremony late Saturday.

Arafat also singled the Egyptian president out for thanks for his role in bringing about the agreement.

"I would like to express our deep appreciation of the constructive role that has been played by Egypt," he said.

The resumption of Egypt's role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process comes as the United States distances itself somewhat from the negotiations, as demanded by Barak.

While visiting Washington in July, the Israeli prime minister had called for the United States to play an auxiliary role and stop acting as arbitrator, policeman and judge.

The negotiations on revising Wye took place without US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross. Before Barak took office in July, Ross had systematically intervened in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

However, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright did play a last-minute role in the revised Wye accord, helping the two sides to bridge their remaining differences.

But Egypt was able to use its good relations with the United States to reassure the Palestinians, who had called for US intervention, that the US role in the peace process will remain strong.

A US letter of guarantee to the Palestinian Authority will therefore be attached to the text of the agreement signed at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Mussa said.

The letter "had been proposed Thursday in Alexandria (Egypt) during the latter stages of the negotiations. It had been examined by the US secretary of state and was what removed the impediments," he added.


September 5, 2000

Please note this summit was called "Summit of the Peacemakers"; that Clinton signed an agreement with Israel; that it is on the "wrong" side of the Red Sea near Mt. Sinai in the same resort where today's latest agreement was signed; the date was about 3 1/2 years ago (the summit was for only half a day I believe).--Moza

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]
From the 1996 Presidential Documents Online via GPO Access
[] [DOCID:pd18mr96_txt-16]

[Page 481-483]

Monday, March 18, 1996

Volume 32--Number 11
Pages 451-504

Week Ending Friday, March 15, 1996

Remarks at the Opening of the Summit of the Peacemakers in Sharm al- Sheikh, Egypt

March 13, 1996

Thank you very much, President Mubarak. Your Majesties, Your Highnesses, heads of state, heads of government, Foreign Ministers, and Mr. Secretary-General.

I'd like to begin by thanking President Mubarak for his extraordinary efforts in the last few days to convene this meeting, to host us here, and to make us feel welcome. I thank President Yeltsin, my distinguished cosponsor of the peace process, and all the rest of you who have come so far on such short notice to this very important meeting.

From all around the world we have come to the Sinai to deliver one simple, unified message: Peace will prevail. This summit is unprecedented in the history of the Middle East. It would have been inconceivable just a few short years ago. It stands as proof and promise that this region has changed for good. Leaders from Israel and the Arab world, from Europe, from Asia, from North America, 29 of us, shoulder- to-shoulder, joined in support of peace. We have gathered before to celebrate new milestones in our journey; today we join in common defense

[[Page 482]]

against those who would turn us back. We are here because we know what is at stake.

In the 18 years since Egypt and Israel made a miracle at Camp David, Israelis and Arabs have changed the course of history in their lands. Step by step, courageously they have broken with the past, laying down the arms of war and opening their arms to one another. But with every milestone passed along the road of peace and progress, the enemies of peacehave grown more desperate and more depraved. They know they cannot compete in the marketplace of ideas; they know they have nothing to offer but hardship and despair. And so they resort to murderous attacks that are an affront to the civilized world and to the moral precepts that lie at the core of the three faiths represented here, as President Mubarak has so eloquently stated.

In the busy streets of Jerusalem, Ashkelon, and Tel Aviv, suicide bombers launched a wave of terror to kill as many Israelis as possible-- ordinary men and women riding the bus to work, families shopping for the holidays, innocent children in their Purim costumes, murdered for the blood in their veins. Our hearts go out to the people of Israel and to all the victims of these atrocities, which include also Palestinians and Americans. Many of the nations here today have experienced the nightmare of terror. Death does not discriminate among the terrorists' victims. Over the last 2 weeks, as I have said, losses were felt not only in Israeli but also in Palestinian, American, and Moroccan homes.

The hard-won achievements of the Palestinian people are under direct assault. The merchants of terror would sell out their future and trade theirdreams for despair. And Arab mothers and fathers who seek a better life for their children understand the enemies of peace have targeted them, as well.

Let no one underestimate the significance of our gathering here today. Today the wall of division we face is not really between Arab and Israeli. It is instead between those who reach for a better tomorrow and those who rail against it, between those who traffic in hate and terror and those who work for peace.

To the forces of hatred and violence I say, and let us all say, you kill yourselves and others in the aim of killing peace, yet today, as you see, peace survives. And peace will grow stronger. You will not succeed. Your day has passed. You have plowed the fields of hatred, but here we are coming to reap unity and new strength to defeat you and to keep the promise and hope of peace alive.

We who have gathered in Egypt today are committed to the search for peace. Our very presence here underscores the depth of our dedication. But words and symbols are not enough. The world looks to us now for action, and we must direct our collective resolve in three specific areas. First, we must be clear in our condemnation of those who resort toterror. Violence has no place in the future we all seek for the Middle East.

Second, we must reinforce our common search for a comprehensive peace. We must press forward until the circle of peace is closed. And we must work to bring the benefits of peace to the daily lives of the people here, for if people lose their hope in peace, the terrorists will have succeeded. This would be the cruelest victory of all, and we must not let it happen.

Third, we must actively counter the terrorists with all the means at our command, combining our efforts tangibly and joining our strength to defeat their evil aims. Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are responding to that challenge. Each of us here must do our part to help them succeed in their mission. We know we cannot guarantee 100 percent success, but all of us must demand of each other and of ourselves 100 percent effort. The danger we face is urgent, the challenge is clear, but the solidarity of the peacemakers will conquer the forces of division if we will resolve to keep that solidarity. We stand today as one not far from the mount where God gave the word to Moses, the law of humanity, tolerance, and faith that guides our way today. We are the heirs of that moral legacy whether we be Muslim or Jew or Christian. From many lands and many different traditions we come, today allspeaking the language of peace.

In the Bible we are told that when they were grown, Isaac, the patriarch of the Jews,

[[Page 483]]

and Ishmael, the patriarch of the Arabs, met but once. They came together at the death of Abraham, the father they shared, the father of both peoples. Today, the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael have joined together in a spirit of rebirth to secure the shared promise of a life of peace for all the peoples of this region. Those of us who come here today to stand with them must not allow the forces of the past to deny them the future they seek, that we all seek.

Let our charge go forth from the Sinai today. We will win the battle for peace.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 12:20 p.m. in the Orangerie Room at the Movenpick Hotel. In his remarks, he referred to President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, President Boris Yeltsin of Russia, and Chairman Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Authority. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks. ata/1996_preside ntial_documents/pd18mr96.txt.wais&server=1996_presidential_documents/f


March 9, 1996

World leaders line up with Clinton for 'Summit of Peacemakers'

By Terence Hunt / Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- In a dramatic stand against Middle East terrorism, world leaders swiftly accepted invitations Friday to a U.S.sponsored conference in Egypt that President Clinton proclaimed a "summit of the peacemakers."

Russian President Boris Yeltsin, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, French President Jacques Chirac and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien were among 25 to 30 government leaders expected to join Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and PLO chief Yasser Arafat at Wednesday's meeting.

The summit, in the scuba-diving resort of Sharm el-Sheik, was called to demonstrate support from Europe and the Arabs for Israel, badly shaken by a wave of bombings that has killed 61 people since Feb. 25.

It also was intended to take the initiative from Islamic terrorists, who have jeopardized the peace process, and give it back to peacemakers.

The summit will "send a dramatic and powerful signal of opposition" to the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, which claimed the Israeli bombings, State Department spokesman Nick Burns said.

After the conference, Clinton goes to Jerusalem in a personal show of solidarity with Israel. He is expected to make a speech in Jerusalem and visit the grave of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin before returning to Washington on Thursday.

Israeli foreign minister Ehud Barak said the United States and Israel will sign an agreement at the summit on cooperating against terrorism.

The Middle East peace process is particularly important to Clinton, who has made it a showcase of his foreign policy. White House officials believe Clinton's involvement bestows the mantle of statesman and peacemaker for the coming presidential campaign season.

Moreover, the United States wants to give a boost to Peres, the architect of Israel's peace policies, whose Labor government is battling to hold power in May 29 elections.

The leaders of Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Canada said they would attend the summit, along with Peres and representatives of some Persian Gulf and North African countries. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will be the summit host and, with Clinton, its co-sponsor.

"We expect that it will be a day of reaffirmation, both for the peace process and for the need to do everything governments can do in the international community to combat outlandish terrorism," White House press secretary Mike McCurry said.

The message to Hamas, he said, is "they should know they are now isolated in the international community."

Summit organizers raced against the clock to pin down a meeting site, format and other details. It is expected that Clinton and Mubarak will hold a news conference to close the summit, but other leaders also are likely to want the spotlight. Clinton also is expected to hold one-on-one meetings with some leaders at the summit site.

A White House advance team headed for Egypt late Friday.

Secretary of State Warren Christopher extended personal summit invitations by telephone to Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa, chairman Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Authority and other foreign officials.

Arafat and Boris Yeltsin said they would attend. It was unclear unclear whether a representative will come from Syria, branded by the State Department as a sponsor of terrorism but negotiating peace terms with Israel in recent months.

The conference puts Syria and several other states still at odds with Israel on the spot. If they fail to attend, they distance themselves from an international denunciation of terrorism. If they attend, however, they will have to record their positions, and that makes some of them uncomfortable.

At the State Department, Burns said the conference will look for "tangible and practical steps" to counter terrorism. But he said he did not know if specific measures would be approved.

The summit grew out of a search to salvage the peace process after four bombings in Israel over a nine-day period caused support for it among Israelis to plummet. Clinton and Peres discussed the summit idea in a telephone conversation Monday, and Egypt and Jordan came up with similar proposals almost simultaneously, officials said.

The idea picked up momentum Tuesday as Palestinian leader Arafat called for a public show of support for peace. After U.S. contacts with Egypt on Wednesday, Clinton called Peres and confirmed he wanted to go forward with the idea.

The president discussed the summit Thursday in Washington with Jordan's King Hussein, who endorsed it, and then with Egypt's Mubarak, who welcomed the chance to be the host.

The summit was officially announced Friday from Air Force One as Clinton flew to California for weekend appearances.

Copyright 1996, The Detroit News



The government met for about eight hours today to discuss and approve the Sharm a-Sheikh agreement signed last night between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Only two ministers voted against: Natan Sharansky (Yisrael B'Aliyah) and Rabbi Yitzchak Levy (National Religious Party). The Knesset is scheduled to ratify the accord this Wednesday.

Yasser Arafat plans to declare an independent Palestinian state in the course of the year 2000, whether or not he reaches an agreement with Israel on this point. He said that the Americans promised to support this step. He made the remarks in Rome today, following the signing last night of the agreement on the implementation of the Wye Accords. Prime Minister Ehud Barak said at the signing ceremony last night, "The nations of the Middle East are awaiting the rise of a new dawn, that will bring with it a new era. I believe in a vision of peace and security that will guarantee the needs of all the nations in the region."

Reactions to the Sharm a-Sheikh agreement: MK Rabbi Chaim Druckman (NRP): "This is a sad day. The Palestinians are progressing steadily towards their goal of an independent state with its capital in Jerusalem, as Arafat himself announced last night, and we continue to retreat and give in. It seems that we've forgotten that we are talking about our own homeland, and yet despite this, we keep giving it away without getting anything in return. The absurdity is simply outrageous: the Palestinians today expressed disappointment with the agreement, while our government professes to be happy. This is simply Chelm - to give up on land, while the other side isn't keeping promises that it made long ago!"

"Catastrophic, terrible." - MK Moshe Katzav (Likud), adding that this is the sixth time Arafat has promised a total of four Israeli Prime Ministers the same things.

"This agreement shows that behind Barak's guise of a tough statesman, is nothing more than a weak politician who cannot withstand pressure," said MK Uzi Landau (Likud) Asked if the Likud could really afford to criticize Barak for signing an agreement based on the Netanyahu-signed Wye accord, Landau said, "First of all, it's time that the Likud admits that Wye was a bad thing. Secondly, no matter how bad Wye was, this new agreement is even worse."

"Barak missed an opportunity to free Israel from the path of Oslo, and did not remove the dangers inherent in the Wye Agreement about which he himself warned." - The Yesha Council

"This is an important agreement. It's for things like this that we are part of the government." - Minister Yossi Sarid (Meretz)


The first withdrawal of the Sharm agreement is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 15. It will involve the transfer of 7% of Area C (full Israeli control) to B (Palestinian administrative control). According to the original Wye Agreement, only 5% was to be transferred at this stage. Most of the area will be in the Binyamin-Ramallah area, although final maps have not yet been drawn. The next stage calls for the transfer of 3% from C to B, and 2% from B to A (full Palestinian control). In the third stage, scheduled for Jan. 20, 2000, Israel is to transfer 1% of C to A, and 5.1% from B to A.

In total, another 8.1% of Israeli territory will come under total Palestinian control, and another 2.9% will come under Palestinian civil control. This will bring the total of Palestinian-controlled Yesha to 40 % - 18% in A, and 22% in B. There then remains the third Oslo withdrawal - the extent of which has not yet been determined -and then the final-status agreement; the two may be merged.

In addition to the percentages, the location of the land to be transferred to the PA represents another problem for Israel, noted Arutz-7 correspondent Haggai Huberman: "Barak has totally eliminated Netanyahu's idea of 'nature reserves' in the Judean desert - in which the Palestinians would have civil jurisdiction, but no rights to build - which in effect would have limited the true scope of the withdrawal to merely 10% and not 13%. In the 'new Wye,' Arafat will be handed the entire 13% (2% under Netanyahu, 11% under the new agreement) with full building rights. What's worse, the land will be derived completely from the Samarian mountain plateau. The additional 3% represents no less than 150 square kilometers, a concession that will necessarily have a serious impact on access by road to the Yesha communities, especially on Route #60."


Prime Minister Barak's claim last night that the Sharm agreement is "an improved Wye accord" raises the question, "Improved from whose standpoint - Israel or the Palestinians?" So explained Arutz-7's Haggai Huberman today, lamenting, "As one who is very familiar with Wye, and who read yesterday's agreement from beginning to end, I have a hard time finding any improvements. Just the opposite: the new deal has many aspects that are much worse for Israel than even Wye was."

Huberman said that originally, Barak said to Arafat, "'Let's make a deal that will be beneficial to both of us: You waive the third Wye withdrawal for now, and we'll link it to the final- status negotiations. In exchange for that, I'll give you a basket of goodies, such as the Gaza seaport, the free passage from Gaza to Hevron and Ramallah, and more. ' Arafat responded with a resounding No! to the first part, but Barak still gave him the whole package of goodies!"

Huberman enumerated several faults with the new agreement, from Israel's point of view: "The third Israeli withdrawal is not at all linked to progress in the final-status talks. The agreement merely states that the two sides will 'make every effort' to come to a final-status framework. In fact, an accompanying letter of guarantees delivered by Secretary of State Albright to Yasser Arafat states that there will be no tie-in between the third withdrawal and 'various problems that may arise in final- status negotiations.'" [Ed. note: Israeli negotiator Gilad Sher stated today that Albright's letter contained only general declarations, but no guarantees or promises.]

"The original Wye withdrawals," continued Huberman, "were tightly linked to Palestinian fulfillment of their commitments. This was summed up at the time by Netanyahu's pithy phrase, 'If they give, they'll get; if they don't give, they won't get.' This element of reciprocity is lost in the new agreement. Barak succeeded only in spreading out two Wye withdrawals that were to have taken two months -if the Palestinians carried out their side - and divided them into three stages over five months, with no clear mention of reciprocity."

Huberman noted that various dates are mentioned in the new agreement -on September 13, for instance, the Palestinians must present a list of their policemen to Israel, and on October 15 they must report on weapons collection and on arrested terrorist suspects - but no clause states that withdrawals are dependent on the fulfillment of the obligations in question. "By October 15, the Palestinians will have already received another 7%," he said.

According to Huberman, Prime Minister Barak is proud of achieving a Palestinian agreement to work towards the signing of a final-status deal by September of next year. "Until then, Arafat has consented not to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state. But even this is not a serious accomplishment, because if Israel and the PA don't reach a deal by the target date, Arafat is permitted to nevertheless declare his state, with all the territory that he will then control."

Huberman continued to list problems with the agreement from an Israeli point of view:

* Israel's parallel promise not to take any unilateral steps. This means almost a complete freeze on construction in Yesha communities, as well as anend to land expropriation in the area, which in turn means that new by-pass roads for Yesha residents will not be able to be paved. Israel can't build, but when Palestinians build illegally -even in Israeli territory - Israel cannot demolish the illegal structures.

* A date has been set for the beginning of construction on the Gaza seaport - Oct. 1 - even though the necessary security arrangements have not yet been formulated.

* Similarly, dates have been set for the opening of the "Free Passage" routes - Oct. 1 from Gaza to Ramallah, and Feb. 5, 2000 for the northernroute - even though here, too, the necessary security arrangements have not yet been formulated.

* In Hevron, Barak has already partially opened the Shuhada road in Hevron, and agreed to complete the process on Oct. 30 - even though the Wye Agreement made this contingent upon "normalization" of relations between the Arab and Jewish residents there, which has not occurred. He also has committed himself to examine the possibility of permitting PA security forces into the Muslim section of the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Arutz Sheva News Service
Sunday, September 5, 1999 / Elul 24, 5759


The complete agreement recently signed by Israel can be seen at:

The Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on Implementation Timeline of Outstanding Commitments of Agreements Signed and the Resumption of Permanent Status Negotiations

Interestingly, the first line of this memorandum reads as follows: 'The Government of the State of Israel ("GOI").' Goi? This is what the Jews call a non-Jew (and sometimes quite derisively as if it leaves a bad taste in their mouths).


*** Palestinians want full state

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - Just days before the start of talks on a final peace agreement with Israel, Palestinians said Tuesday they will not accept anything less than a state encompassing all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with east Jerusalem as its capital. Negotiations are to begin next Monday and end by Sept. 12, 2000, according to the latest land-for-security agreement, signed Saturday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. They are to tackle the contentious issues of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, the fate of Jewish settlements, and borders. "I hope that we can, by the September 2000 date, declare jointly with Israel the establishment of a Palestinian state, with east Jerusalem as its capital," said Saeb Erekat, the top Palestinian negotiator. See



The special Knesset session on the Sharm a-Sheikh agreement began this afternoon. All 120 MKs are being given the opportunity to express themselves, and a vote is not expected until very late at night. Prime Minister Barak spoke first, and repeated that it is "difficult for [him] to part with portions of the Land of Israel." Barak told the Knesset that the agreement brings Israel closer to a final-status arrangement with the Palestinians. He said that he understands the pain of the Jewish settlers in Yesha, "who came there to live according to the dictates of their conscience and as emissaries of Israeli governments."

Opposition leader Ariel Sharon (Likud)responded with criticism of the new Sharm agreement. He said that the new agreement is worse than the previous Wye Memorandum, in that it forsakes the principle of reciprocity. Sharon added that Israel is now bound by a tight time-schedule, while the PA is not.

Earlier today, the government approved the implementation of the first stage of the Sharm a-Sheikh agreement, including the planned transfer of 7% of Judea and Samaria to PA-civil control, and the freeing of 200 Palestinian Arab terrorists from Israeli prisons. Seventeen ministers voted in favor, while NRP leader Rabbi Yitzchak Levy voted against, Yisrael B'Aliyah leader Natan Sharansky abstained, and the four Shas ministers boycotted the meeting.


For the first time since Israel's withdrawal from the cities of Kalkilye and Tulkarm in late 1995, Palestinian Authority control will be extended to areas bordering pre-1967 Israel. This was one of the main concerns raised by Yesha leaders after they viewed maps of the upcoming withdrawal. "Yesha leaders raised eleven points at the map committee meeting yesterday," reported Arutz-7's Haggai Huberman today. "Of these, eight were accepted by the committee - chaired by Tourism Minister and former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shachak - and three were passed on to the government for a final decision." The government today rejected them. The changes that were accepted related to specific problems of water, electricity, and local roads.

The three unaccepted issues have implications not only for the settlement enterprise, but for the entire country, Huberman explained. "Next week's withdrawal in the area of the northern Shomron will see Area B, northwest of Jenin, extend up to the Green Line," he said. "The area will border the Arab village of Mukabila, an Israeli-Arab village. Until now, Israel was always careful to leave a buffer between Palestinian areas and the Green Line." Ecological concerns were also raised: "Without Israeli supervision, the PA is liable to bring about real ecological damage to the communities of the northern Shomron and of the Jezre'el Valley, the Yesha Council fears. Waste products could be dumped into the Kishon brook and soon threaten towns as far north as Haifa." As mentioned, however, the government approved the transfer of this area.

The terrorist-release committee has completed its work, and the list of 200 terrorists it decided upon will be freed tomorrow. The government has decided to publish the names of the soon-to-be-free terrorists only after their release - in defiance of the wishes of family members of terrorist victims. Among those to go free will be those who aided and abetted the murder of Israelis, as well as those who murdered Arab collaborators-with-Israel.

Yesha Council members are gathered today for an emergency session, in preparation for a massive public campaign against the Sharm a-Sheikh agreement. Council Deputy Director-General Shlomo Filber told Arutz-7 today that though the upcoming withdrawal will not imminently isolate any Yesha communities, the next stage of IDF pull-outs will be very difficult for them.

Arutz Sheva News Service
Wednesday, September 8, 1999 / Elul 27, 5759



Yasser Arafat has rescinded his refusal to sign the withdrawal papers, and has agreed to accept the land that Israel will transfer to him. He was originally upset at minor changes that, at the behest of the Yesha Council, had been instituted in the withdrawal maps. The crisis ended when O.C. Central Command Maj.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon went to Gaza and was able to convince Arafat to sign the papers. Seven percent of Yesha, in the Shomron, will be transferred to Palestinian Authority administrative control on Monday, following the Rosh HaShanah holiday.

An official Likud statement today was bitterly critical of the impending transfer: "Prime Minister Barak is giving away land without the Palestinians having fulfilled even one of their commitments, such as collecting the illegal weapons and stopping the incitement against Israel... The Sharm a-Sheikh agreement returns Israel to the situation where Arafat knows that he is working with an Israeli government that does not insist on anything, gives in to pressures, and gives away land for free."

Arutz Sheva News Service
Friday, Sept. 10, 1999 / Elul 29, 5759


September 12, 1999


"A high level Joint Liaison Committee will convene not later than September 13, 1999 to review the situation in the Tomb of the Patriarchs" (Section 7c, Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum; Annex I, Article VII, Interim Agreement; and as per the 15 January 1998 US Minute of Discussion). Negotiations on the status of the Tomb of the Patriarchs will begin on Monday, 13 September. Israel is liable to concede the "Arab side" of the Ma'ara (Ohel Yitzhak) to Arafat. The Arabs are demanding that Palestinian police partake in a "joint patrol" and participate in security checks at the entrance to the building.

"The wholesale market-Hasbahe will be opened not later than November 1, 1999, in accordance with arrangements which will be agreed upon by the two Sides" (Section 7b, Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum). The Arab vegetable market, located at the entrance to the Avraham Avinu neighborhood occupies Jewish-owned land. Closed for over five years, this market is due to be reopened on 1 November. This site, endangering the Jewish residents living in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood, will promote ongoing Arab-initiated friction in the center of Hebron.

The Jewish Community of Hebron is asking to be joined in prayer Wednesday, 15 September (5 Tishri) and Thursday, 16 September (6 Tishri) regarding this situation, that G-d would intervene and deliver Hebron to the Jewish people, its' rightful owners. Further information may be found at the Hebron website located at: . (HEBRON PRESS OFFICE)


Pope Praises Mideast Agreement

Copyright 1999 by The Associated Press
Sept 5, 1999

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) -- Pope John Paul II met with Yasser Arafat on Sunday, calling the accord the Palestinian leader signed with Israel a ``ray of light'' in a troubled world.

The comment came at a Mass at the pope's summer retreat outside Rome shortly before the meeting, their eighth.

Speaking to the faithful, John Paul said that the ``panorama before our eyes at the close of this century has not a few shadows.'' But, he said, the land-for-security deal, which revives the Middle East peace process, is a ``comforting ray of light.''

After his meeting with Arafat, the Vatican issued a statement saying the Palestinian leader had briefed the pontiff on the agreement signed earlier in the day with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

The statement also said the Vatican was eager to sign an accord of its own with Arafat on the activities of the Roman Catholic church in areas administered by the Palestinian Authority. Several important sites for Christian pilgrims, including Bethlehem, are under the authority.

Arafat was also in Rome on Saturday for a round of high-level meetings with the Italian president and the prime minister, who promised economic and political support to help assure a stable peace.

After the meetings, Arafat flew to the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to meet with Barak and sign the accord. He returned to Italy for his papal audience on Sunday.


PA hands out weapons to released Arab killers

Weekend News Today
By Andra Brack
Source: IsraelWire

Mon Sep 13,1999 -- The PLO Authority (PA) has been distributing weapons, including submachine guns, to the 199 Arab terrorists, including killers, who were released from Israeli prisons last week. Israel Television Channel 2 News (Sept 9) reported that "the terrorists released today by Israel were handed out weapons by the PA when they reached Gaza." The Associated Press (Sept 9) described how Jamal Imtur, who had served 14 years of a life sentence for murder, "got a hero's welcome in Hebron, where PA police outfitted him with a submachine gun and led a 50-car convoy to his village 20 minutes away." The Oslo accords prohibit the PA from giving weapons to anybody except members of the PA police force. The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has demanded that the Clinton administration insist that Arafat stop arming the terrorists. ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: "By giving these released killers weapons and a heroes' welcome, Yassir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are mocking the entire Oslo process, and showing they have no interest in creating an environment of peace and conciliation. Giving guns to killers encourages them to commit murder again, and intensifies the atmosphere in Palestinian Arab society that glorifies murder. The Clinton administration should demand that Arafat and the PA stop arming and glorifying terrorists, and mocking the purpose of the Oslo, Wye, and Sharm el-Sheikh accords."


September 16, 1999

*** Palestinians fulfill peace measure

JERUSALEM (AP) - The Palestinians gave Israel a list of the names of its 30,000 police officers Wednesday, fulfilling a long-delayed provision of peace agreements. Israel wanted the list to ensure that officers armed by the Palestinian Authority are not involved in anti-Israeli acts. Prime Minister Ehud Barak's office said it was checking the names against its own databases. The handover of the list, something Israel has demanded since the 1993 Oslo Accord, comes as Israel and the Palestinians accelerate the fulfillment of interim peace agreements, including the one they signed Sept. 4 at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. That agreement ended a freeze on the peace progress that had begun during the administration of hawkish former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. See


For the first time since Abraham

Weekend News Today
By Andra Brack
Source: Arutz 7

Wed Sep 15,1999 -- Editor's note: The following is an excellent editorial from Arutz 7 in two parts.

ISRAEL HAS ALREADY AGREED -- Good morning and Gmar Hatimah Tovah (may you be inscribed for a good life). [This week] marked the start of the final-status talks between Israel and the terrorists, with great fanfare and celebration, at the Erez Checkpoint in Gaza. The two sides will most certainly come to a quick agreement on two of the subjects to be discussed, since Israel has already conceded them: the fate of the settlements, and the Palestinian state. For Barak and his ministers have already announced their willingness to uproot most of the settlements, as well as their consent to the establishment of a Palestinian state. The two issues are inter-connected: as long as most of the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) continue to exist, a Palestinian state can neither be established nor maintain itself. Palestine and the settlements are mutually exclusive.

Barak must uproot at least most of the Jewish settlement enterprise, if not its entirety, in order to pave the way for a Palestinian state, which is set to be created on the ruins of the former. This may have been Barak's intention when he recently talked about the need to "part from sections of our homeland."

FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE ABRAHAM -- This "parting," however, is a historic milestone, the likes of which have not been seen since the days of our Patriarch Abraham. Up until now, even after the withdrawals of the past six years of Oslo, we have not permanently parted from our Land. According to the interim agreement, even Area A - that which is totally controlled by Arafat - is still formally under the auspices of the Israeli military government. Arafat has received authorities and powers there, true, but the Oslo Agreement clearly states that "the outcome of the permanent status negotiations borders, among other issues - "should not be prejudiced or preempted by agreements reached for the interim period." We are still entitled to claim all Judea and Samaria, and even Gaza.

The fateful step in which Israel, Heaven forbid, will sign away parts of its Land - has not yet been taken. The wise men of Oslo left this for Barak. And here we see a most amazing thing: Throughout the world, there is almost not a single square centimeter that is void of sovereignty - except for Yesha. It's as if it was desired, from Heaven, that the Jewish People be left with the option of reclaiming its Land.

THE HOME OF NO ONE ELSE -- How did this happen? From the day that we were exiled from our Land, it was never the homeland of any other people. It was rather always part of one empire or another - the Babylonian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman-Turkish, British, etc. Only in this century, did the world again wake up to the realization that it is in truth the homeland of the Jewish People, just like France is French. The League of Nations entrusted the land to the British as a temporary deposit; the mandate specifically mentioned "the historic connection between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel, and its right to re-establish there its national home." The mandate instructed the British to allow Jewish immigration there.

In 1948, the British departed, and left a vacuum, which was filled as follows: The State of Israel was formed in what was later known as "within the Green Line;" a Hashemite monarchy was established on the eastern side of the Jordan River; the Gaza Strip was captured - but not annexed - by Egypt, which installed only a military government there; Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem were annexed by Jordan, which was never recognized by our Supreme Court, and which in any event was canceled by Jordan itself in 1988.

Part 2: For the first time since Abraham

Weekend News Today
By Andra Brack
Source: Arutz 7

Wed Sep 15,1999 -- THE OWNERS HESITATED - AND ARE ABOUT TO LEAVE? -- Thus, Yesha remained in an international vacuum - a vacuum which was simply an invitation for its long-time historic owners to reclaim it. But the owners hesitated and stalled, and since Oslo, have been evacuating room after room. Moreover, in about a year from now, according to the Wye-Sharm time frame, the owner is scheduled to transfer the entire ownership of the land to a foreign nation. This will mean that for the first time since the days of Yehoshua Bin-Nun, a foreign nation will have sovereignty in parts of Eretz Yisrael.

The British, or the Turks, or anyone else, have no right to transfer the land to the Palestinians - only the true owners, the Jews, can do this. In this way, we have reached this hair-raising absurdity, that has not allowed me to rest for several years now.

WE LEFT - BUT NEVER WILLINGLY During the course of the long Exile, there was no way for the Jews to give away their Land. I have asked rabbis: Would it have been possible for any community, or rabbi, or Moses, or Maimonides, to give away the Land of Israel in the name of the Jewish Nation? The answer is no. But the Jews finally found a way to be able to do this: With blood, sweat, and tears, they returned to the Land, built a State, and now they have the proper mechanism, a recognized authority, to cede away the Land.

This can be phrased in a different way: The Nation of Israel was exiled from its Land, but never parted from it. This mission seems to have been left to the Barak government. We always returned to the Land, and if we couldn't live there, we at least requested to be buried there. We never parted from the Land in our dreams, on our holidays, in our prayers - our entire national and cultural existence revolved around the Land. Now between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, let our rabbis teach us: Is it permitted for the State to cede its Land? Is it permitted for Torah-observant Jews in the government, the Knesset, the Civil Administration, the army - to take part in the transfer of parts of the Holy Land to a foreign nation, and to take part in nullifying the Covenant Between the Pieces?

Or is it that even the State of Israel is not authorized to part with the Land, and its decisions to do so will not obligate the Jewish Nation - neither those Jews who live here, nor those who reside in the Diaspora? If this is true, then what will be the fate of a nation that does in fact uproot itself from its past and its roots? We will discuss this subject again, for it is at the essence of our very existence.


September 18, 1999

Religion Puts Israel on Two Clocks

Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) _ The switch from daylight-saving time to standard time is usually an excuse to sleep an extra hour.

In the Mideast, it's a political act.

Israelis switched early to promote religious redemption. Palestinians decided to wait two weeks, citing patriotism.

As a result, the region has operated on two clocks _ throwing a lot of people off schedule: Businessmen were kept waiting, peace negotiators double-checked their schedules, diplomats found their parties pooped.

It apparently even muddled terrorists, who killed themselves instead of their targets when their bombs detonated an hour early.

Ahmed Saman, a Jerusalem confectioner, said he was grateful the confusion would end today, when the Palestinians were to switch to standard time.

On Thursday, as for every day in the past two weeks, he had gotten up at dawn to get his kids to a Palestinian-run school, and then twiddled his thumbs at his shop for an hour, waiting for Israeli candy lovers to get their first fixes.

Palestinian cab driver Muawia Bureidi was still seething over a passenger who asked to be picked up at 10 a.m. Bureidi presumed Israeli time, and when he arrived, the client was long gone. ``I lost 150 shekels ($35).''

Israel made the switch overnight on Sept. 2 to accommodate ``Slihot,'' or Apologies, pre-sunrise penitential prayers that run from a week before the Jewish New Year through the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

Orthodox parties in government have for years insisted on a switch that precedes the rest of the northern hemisphere by at least two weeks, saying that 5 a.m. sunrises discourage [illegible] Palestinians chafed at switching early to please religious Jews.

That led to tensions before Palestinians and Israelis talked peace. Palestinians who adjusted to Israeli time were derided by their neighbors for ``living on Zionist time.'' Israeli soldiers would check Palestinian wrists: Timepieces set an hour ahead would sometimes get smashed.

The breakthrough 1993 Oslo peace agreement didn't change much. ``The Palestinians told us it is a matter of national pride, that they have to choose their own time and be seen to be doing so,'' recalled Shlomo Dror, a high-ranking official in the outgoing Israeli administration of the West Bank.

Israeli negotiators understand, he said, but there have been some diplomatic snafus.

``Yesterday we hosted a dinner. Israelis came an hour late,'' said Charles Winnington-Ingram, the British deputy consul- general, who called the problem ``irritating.''

Ask a Palestinian the date of this month's breakthrough Sharm el-Sheikh peace accord, and he'll name Sept. 5, just past midnight. An Israeli will say Sept. 4, just after 11 p.m.

Journalists wanting comment from Palestinian negotiators after a long day of talks would scramble to get them on their cellphones before they went to bed; the Israeli team, by contrast, was likely enjoying a late supper.

Issues of national pride affected preparations for this week's ceremony launching final status talks.

``We agreed that the ceremony should begin at 8:00 and they asked, `Yours or ours?''' Dror recalled. ``So we said, `Ours.' Then we had to fix a meeting of officials earlier the same evening to make the final arrangements. They suggested five o'clock. So we asked, `Yours or ours?' And they said, `Ours.' So we compromised _ one according to their clock, the other according to ours.''

The peace process may have been saved by the gap, when two car bombs exploded simultaneously in different Israeli cities the day after the Sharm el-Sheikh signing _ apparently timed by Islamic militants to scuttle the new accords. The only dead were the three Israeli Arabs in the cars.

One theory reportedly being considered by police is that the Israeli drivers had made the switch to standard time, while the Palestinian bombmakers set the device according to summer time. The cars appeared to be headed toward crowded areas, although they exploded well away from crowds.

The result: no Israeli dead and minimal anti-peace process outrage.

Other effects have been less dramatic. George el-Hadwah, a receptionist at a Palestinian hospital, said he appreciates an easy ride to work. ``When both sides have the same time, the roads are often congested.''

Sister Hortense Nakhleh noticed the effect on her Palestinian charges at Jerusalem's Rosary Sisters School, which runs on Israel time.

``They're happy about the time difference,'' she said.

``They get an extra hour's sleep.''


September 22, 1999


Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat told reporters in Alexandria that Israel has implemented the terms of the Sharm el Sheikh Memorandum "to the letter," adding that "the Israeli side has implemented the first phase precisely and well," THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Arafat briefed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Israel's implementation of the accord and discussed prospects for a final peace treaty. Arafat later flew to the United States, where he will address the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday and meet with U.S. President Bill Clinton in the White House on Friday.

According to HA'ARETZ, a member of the American peace team has told Israel that the U.S. does not intend to add any additional pledges to those the Palestinians have already procured from Clinton in both a letter from the President and during discussions on the Sharm el Sheikh Memorandum.

Since Arafat signed the Sharm agreement with Prime Minister Ehud Barak nearly three weeks ago, Israel has released 199 Palestinian prisoners and transferred civil powers to the PA in seven percent of the West Bank.



September 29, 1999


Foreign Minister David Levy addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations this morning, emphasizing the importance of establishing a culture of peace that entails the end of boycotts, incitement, confrontation and defamation, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL, reported. Levy expressed Israel's chagrin at finding itself confronted with a strident political war in different international fora, including the podium of the General Assembly. Levy stated, "This dualism is inconsistent with the peace process, and is intolerable, as are the extreme decisions taken by the Arab League against Israel, which are not harmonious with the spirit of peace, as expressed in the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum."

Levy also called upon the leaders of Syria to commence peace talks, saying "meetings and discussion are not political sacrifices, they are basic necessities." Regarding the Lebanese track, Levy also said that Israel "will not be held hostage [on the Lebanese track] to a stubborn and defiant attitude for much longer." Levy added that Israel has never had any territorial claims or disputes with Lebanon, saying, "Our one and only interest is to guarantee the safety and security of our citizens."

Regarding the status of Jerusalem, Levy said, "It is so upsetting that even today, 51 years since the independence of the State of Israel, there are still those who would deny our natural right to decide the location of our capital, a natural right given to every nation in the world." He concluded: "United Jerusalem, under the sovereignty of Israel, remains and will remain forever the capital of the State of Israel."

via: Israel Line [which] is a daily summary of major news items taken directly from the Israeli media.


October 21, 1999


Prime Minister Ehud Barak, United States President Bill Clinton and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat are expected to conduct a trilateral meeting on November 2 in Oslo, Norway, HA'ARETZ reported. The leaders will be in Oslo to participate in a ceremony marking the sixth anniversary of the Declaration of Principles and to pay tribute to late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The summit will mark the beginning of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Barak and Arafat have recently accelerated the pace of ongoing negotiations to reach an agreed-upon agenda for the summit. Barak has been consulting with his top advisors to discuss the legal foundation's for Israel's final settlement positions.

In response to U.S. foreign budget's exclusion of aid for implementation of the Wye and Sharm el-Sheikh Memoranda, American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the American Friends of Peace Now recently began a campaign to draw support for the aid in Congress. The campaign has been successful in bolstering the opposition of a number of Senators and Representatives already hostile to foreign aid. In addition, U.S. Defense Secretary Sandy Berger stressed that Clinton has no intention of backing down over his promises to fund the Wye and Sharm el-Sheikh memoranda and said that Clinton will not sign any foreign aid bill that does not include that aid.

via: Israel Line


SOUTHERN 'SAFE PASSAGE' OPENS: The southern 'safe passage' route connecting the Erez Checkpoint in Gaza to the Tarkumiya area in the southern Hebron Hills opened on Monday morning. Any motorist taking more than two hours to complete the 44-kilometer (27.34 mile) journey will be questioned by Israeli security troops at the other end. Those Palestinian Authority (PA/PLO) residents deemed to be security risks by Israel may travel twice a week on special buses which are manned by Israeli security personnel. In accordance with the signing of the Sharm el-Sheik Agreement, Israel is also bound to open a northern 'safe-passage' route which will provide a vehicular route from Gaza to the PA/PLO autonomous city of Ram'Allah, in Samaria. (ISRAELWIRE)

'FINAL STATUS' DATE SET: Israeli chief negotiator, Oded Eran, and his PA/PLO counterpart, Yasser Abed Rabbo, have agreed to begin negotiations on a final peace treaty on 7th November. The decision was announced after the two men held their first negotiating session Friday at a hotel in Jerusalem. On the table are issues such as the final borders of the PA/PLO entity, the status of Jerusalem, the future of Jewish settlements and the fate of millions of Palestinian 'refugees'.

Meanwhile, the Sharm el-Sheik and Wye Agreement timetables continue to roll along. Israel is scheduled to transfer, on November 5, 3% of Judea and Samaria from Area C (under full Israeli control) to Area B (Palestinian administrative control), and another 2% from B to A (full Palestinian control). The army has prepared a plan to fortify some 40 Yesha communities that will border on autonomous areas following the next Israeli withdrawal. The plan will cost NIS 140 million ($32.8 million), and will include, among other things, the bullet-proofing of 200 buses. In Hebron, additional sections of Shuhada street will open to Arab traffic, and the open-air market will also be opened there. By Sunday, Arab traffic will be able to travel freely adjacent to Jewish homes from Beit Romano to Beit Hadassah. (VOA, JERUSALEM POST, ARUTZ-7)

Week ending October 30, 1999
Tzemach News Service



Prime Minister Barak told the government ministers yesterday that UN resolutions 242 and 338 do not apply to the Palestinians. Resolution 242 calls for the "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the [Six-Day War]" and affirms the necessity "for guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area." Resolution 338, adopted during the Yom Kippur War, calls for the implementation of Resolution 242. MK Benny Elon (National Union) praised Barak for his declaration, while Palestinian spokesmen reacted sharply against it.

Aryeh Stav, director of the Ariel Center for Policy Research and editor of Netiv magazine, provided some interesting background information on Resolution 242 for Arutz-7 today: "Barak's announcement [that 242 does not apply to the Palestinians] is an important one, and is to his credit. No other Prime Minister ever said this as clearly. What happened was that after weeks of wrangling in the U.N. [following the Six-Day War], the wording of the resolution purposely referred only to a withdrawal from 'territories' and not from 'the territories.' Then-President Lyndon Johnson commissioned a map showing the minimum amount of territory that Israel would need in order to survive. The map, which is not secret, was attached to the resolution. It includes [as part of Israel] all of Judea and Samaria - although not the Jordan Valley - and it included the entire Golan, 5,000 square kilometers in the area of Eilat, and Sharm el-Sheikh." Stav concluded by noting the ironic development that when the resolution was passed, it was considered very anti-Israel "- and rightly so, but now we find ourselves relying on it..."

Arutz Sheva News Service
Monday, November 8, 1999 / Cheshvan 29, 5760


Opening statment by Israel in the Final Status talks

Weekend News Today
By Andra Brack
Source: IsraelWire

Tue Nov 9,1999 -- Mr. Yassir Abed Rabbo, and the members of the Palestinian Delegation, In the life of nations there comes a time when crucial decisions have to be made and there is nothing to be gained from avoiding these decisions. At these junctures in history, heavy burdens are imposed on the leaders involved and nations are plunged into debate and internal conflict. Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Chairman Yassir Arafat have taken the decision to renew the process to end more than one hundred years of conflict between the people of Israel and the Palestinian people.

This should not be simply an end to a conflict but a fair and just solution for both sides. It has to be a realistic and comprehensive solution, putting an end to dreams and aspirations, which question the very existence of the parties to the conflict. This has to be an Agreement which will create a stable, durable and just foundation to our own lives, as well as to the generations to come in this part of the world. We recognize the enormity of the problems, we are aware of the differences in our position which will reveal themselves in the days of negotiation ahead of us, but we commit ourselves -with no reservations – to holding these negotiations as partners, to maintaining a dialogue based on mutual respect.

After years of strife and conflict we need to listen to each other and to respect each other's points of view even when we disagree. We have come here to negotiate and to reach a solution. No one else can decide for us. Only Palestinians and Israelis can, negotiating between ourselves, reach the solutions to all the issues on which we differ, and I repeat - it is our wish to reach a permanent and comprehensive peace with you as our neighbors. This peace should be based on security - long- term and immediate. The act of terror yesterday serves to refresh our memory and awareness of this requirement. The peace should be based on economic security as well, ensuring a stable environment for economic growth and prosperity. And last but not least, it should be based on mutual respect and partnership.

We have set ourselves an ambitious timetable for resolving the outstanding issues between us and for reaching a Comprehensive Agreement on Permanent Status by the agreed target date of September 2000. In reaching this goal, the next 100 days will be crucial. In this time, both sides have undertaken to conclude a Framework Agreement on Permanent Status.

This Framework Agreement should serve as a road map for the comprehensive Permanent Status Agreement. It should comprise the essential elements of the agreed solution to all remaining issues to be negotiated between us, as stipulated in all our previous agreements. It should address these issues - the most important and complex ones we face - in a definitive way, while leaving the detailed formulation of arrangements for implementation to the Comprehensive Agreement, which should bring about the full and final resolution of the Israeli- Palestinian dispute, in all its aspects.

While recognizing that this is a new phase in our relations, we must first acknowledge that we are marching on a road, parts of which were paved earlier. Both Palestinians and Israelis participated in the Madrid Conference of October 1991. Both concluded the historical document which really ushered us into the new era in our relations - the Declaration of Principles of September 1993. We continued with the agreements of May 1994, September 1995, the Hebron Protocol of January 1997, the Wye River Memorandum of October 1998, and last but not least the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum of September 1999. These agreements and memoranda are based on the mutual commitment of the two sides to Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. They guide us toward the Framework and will lead us to the comprehensive agreement which should bring about the absolute end of our conflict.

The Declaration of Principles of September 1993 and the subsequent documents have created the agenda for our negotiations beginning today. Clearly each side may raise other issues to be included in the agenda. We will together decide how we want to tackle them, but with your permission Mr. Yassir Abed Rabbo, I would like to state that just as you represent the overwhelming Palestinian consensus on the major issues - so do I for Israel. To all Israelis, regardless of their political views, Jerusalem is our capital and it should continue to be so. Under its sovereignty Israel has proven its sensitivity to all religions and to the sanctity of freedom of worship. We therefore maintain that it should remain united, open and under Israel's sovereignty.

Ours is a region of uncertainty, of a volatile nature and of violence. As a nation which was subjected to forceful attempts to bring an end to its existence as a political entity, one can understand our deep concern for long-term, meaningful, non- virtual security, based on borders that are secure and on demilitarization. The pre-1967 lines clearly do not provide for this. Establishing secure borders should equally leave most of the Israelis residing today in the West Bank and Gaza under Israeli sovereignty. We aim not to dominate our neighbors but to live in good neighborly relations and harmony next to each other, with borders which separate us but do not detach us in the various spheres of life. Let me make it clear that in this respect Israel will do its utmost to assist the Palestinians long- term economic stability.

We are not indifferent to the plight of the Palestinian refugees throughout the last fifty-one years. We believe, however, that in order to bring about a permanent and stable solution which does not perpetuate the conflict, this cannot be found within the borders of Israel. Any solution to the refugee problem must create a strong, economic foundation to their well being, collectively and individually, wherever they reside.

Stating our key positions as we enter the negotiations is by no means contrary to the need for both delegations to use every bit of ingenuity and creativity to make it possible to reach a Framework Agreement on Permanent Status. We must promise to conduct our negotiations with an open mind, a sense of partnership, and respect for each other's views and beliefs. We shall need to remind ourselves during the weeks ahead that failure to reach a just and agreed framework may entail the paying of a heavy price by both peoples for many years to come. Since I believe that the path of continued conflict cannot serve the course and interests of either people, it is certain that if we fail this time we may return to the negotiation table – but only after having suffered further pain and agony.

The eyes of the world are focused on us today and will continue to be so for the next few months. Clearly the Israeli- Palestinian conflict is but one of many which draw the attention of leaders of the leading Nations to other areas of tension. We should therefore thank the United States, the European Union and the European Countries, Russia, Canada and Japan for their special and continuing efforts to help us attain a reasonable, stable and durable peace. We welcome the constructive advice of Egypt and Jordan.

Dear Colleague, I was born only five kilometers from where you were born. This symbolizes the roots of the conflict and yet – we are starting out together today on the same road towards a better future. You have my government's commitment - as well as my personal commitment and that of my colleagues - to make every possible effort to reach this goal. It will be an honor to disagree with you - but it will be a fulfillment of a life's dream to shake hands with you at the end of the process and to say "Brother and comrade, we did it".



"Dividing up the Land of Israel is painful and injurious, but no one will be permitted to challenge the authority of the government." So asserted Prime Minister Ehud Barak in Sdei Boker today, at a ceremony marking the 26th anniversary of the death of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion. The next stage of the Sharm A- Sheikh agreement was to have been carried out by Israel today, but Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat had not agreed to accept the areas stipulated by Israel. Specifically, Arafat objected to the nature reserve in the Judean Desert, and demanded area in the Shomron instead. A Prime Ministerial press release announced today that the IDF is deployed to withdraw as planned, but that only further contacts will clarify whether the withdrawal will be today or at a later date.

Though couched in "diplomatic language," the release reflects the tensions that permeated last night's Barak-Arafat encounter, reports Arutz-7's Haggai Huberman. Arafat agreed last night that the lands in the Judean Desert would not be replaced by stretches of land in the northern Shomron and in the Ramallah area, but the story is not yet over. "Arafat's position yesterday was, 'OK, we won't change the maps, but I want Israel to agree in advance that we, the Palestinians, will determine the location of the next withdrawal in January.' But here again, Barak refused," Huberman explained.

Huberman noted that Arafat has a long history of map-refusals in his negotiations with Israel: "At the signing ceremony for the original withdrawals from Gaza and Jericho in Cairo in May, 1994, Arafat initially refused to sign the maps, and then later, at Taba, he actually threw them on the floor."

Government sources observed that Arafat's stubbornness may indicate his mis-reading of the current political map. "He was trying to bring about a crisis," said Huberman, "hoping that he could drag the Americans into the fray, who would in turn pressure Israel to capitulate. My sources told me, though, that Clinton relayed to Arafat last night the U.S. position that Israel has the sole authority to determine the location of the withdrawal. Clinton also informed Arafat that Dennis Ross does not intend to get involved with details of the withdrawal maps during his upcoming visit to the region, and will focus solely on the final status talks." Huberman noted that the U.S. position on this matter should also be understood against the backdrop of Suha Arafat's verbal attack on Israel last week.

Arutz Sheva News Service
Monday, November 15, 1999 / Kislev 6, 5760

Arafat's wife lashes out at Israel in unprecedented scathing attack

Weekend News Today
By Andra Brack
Source: IsraelWire

Thu Nov 11,1999 -- Suha Arafat, the wife of PLO Authority (PA) Chairman Yassir Arafat, on Thursday expressed what is being called an "unprecedented attack" against Israel in a meeting with US First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Arafat stated, "The Israeli occupational forces have poisoned our air with gases that have resulted in cancer and the outbreak of other horrible diseases." In her words, a horrible situation exists in the PA, "After the Israelis have contaminated 80 percent of the PA's water supply. The earth below us has absorbed toxic chemicals which have been inherited from the occupational forces, resulting in serious disease, especially among the women and children."

Mrs. Clinton did not respond to the horrific allegations, but opted to acknowledge the establishment of a fund which will provide $4 million for the opening of mother and well-baby clinics inside PA autonomous areas. There has been no official response from Israel at the time of this report.


Israel, Egypt to cooperate on tourism

Weekend News Today
By Andra Brack
Source: Ha'aretz

Wed Jan 19,2000 -- Israel and Egypt are establishing joint teams to develop package tours that cover both countries. The decision to work together came at a Taba-Eilat tourism conference sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace. The first packages the joint teams are planning would be aimed at the Eilat-Taba-Sharm el Sheikh areas. Other joint projects include the creation of an Internet site devoted to the tourism offers of both countries, joint appeals for financing from European and American investors, and professional exchanges of tourism professionals from both countries to visit the other. The head of the Eilat hotel association, Aharon Dekel, said he envisioned the Eilat-Taba area as a preferred winter destination for Europeans. The head of the Egyptian travel agent association, El Hami al Zayat, said that "in an era of globalization and mergers, it's time for the private sector to start managing things."


ON THE PA/PLO TRACK: With Israeli-Syrian talks on an unexpectedly drawn-out recess, PA/PLO chairman Yasser Arafat received the undivided attention of US President Bill Clinton and his administration on Thursday, as he sought American intervention in the Oslo peace process and support for Palestinian statehood. The Palestinians are complaining that Barak has been absorbed in revived Syrian talks and has not given a mandate for making compromises to his representatives in either formal or informal discussions on final- status issues including Jerusalem, refugees and settlements. The time schedule for completing the framework agreement is by February 13.

Palestinian leaders say they are preparing to declare statehood, perhaps as early as next month, a sign of their unhappiness with the pace of peace talks with Israel. A number of nations, including EU members, Russia and Japan, have committed to Arafat to recognize such a decision at once. Clinton has voiced support for the right of the Palestinians "to decide their own fate on their own land." Barak has not expressly objected to Palestinian statehood. Arafat promised Saturday to declare a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital on 13 September, the deadline according to the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum for the completion of final-status negotiations. Arafat had originally planned to declare independence last 4 May but delayed the declaration so as not to influence the Israeli elections.

In another report, Edward Abington, former US consul-general of Jerusalem, has been hired by Arafat to serve as a Palestinian lobbyist in Washington. The PA/PLO and Abington have reportedly signed a $2.25 million contract. (Even terrorist organization have lobbyists in Washington-ed) Former US President Carter was also previously an advisor to Arafat.

PA/PLO INCITEMENT AND THE CONFERENCE IN SWEDEN ON ANTISEMITISM: "In only five days [from Friday], Prime Minister Ehud Barak and his Minister without Portfolio, Rabbi Michael Melchior will travel to Sweden to participate in an international conference on antisemitism. The program there will focus on how to prevent another catastrophe from happening to the Jewish people, and discuss the lessons of WWII. Today [Friday], the Arafat-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem delivered yet another of his Friday sermons on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in which he called for the extermination of the Jewish state. Our news agency called one of the foreign TV networks with whom our news agency works to check out if there was interest. The response that we got was that this network would indeed feature the Mufti's address and would run a feature on the official incitement that appears daily on Palestinian Authority TV and radio and schools, if the Prime Minister of Israel would say that this is a matter that disturbs the state of Israel. Our agency immediately placed a call to the Prime Minister's office. Apparently catching one of Barak's spokeswomen off- guard, she blurted out that "we don't care about such things". We persisted and called the PM office more than a dozen times, asking for the Prime Minister's media advisor if they would at least issue a statement in this regard. We also called to Rabbi Melchior's office and he was also unavailable for comment, as he has been unavaiable for comment on such matters since he entered office back in July, 1999. Indeed, the Sharm El Sheikh accords signed on September 4, 1999 by Barak and Arafat in the presence of US Secretary of State Albright made no mention of the need for a cessation of Arafat's incitement against the state of Israel. Organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League have asked the Palestinian Authority to stop its incitement, yet such calls have been ignored. However, the man who most ignores the call to cease Palestinian Authority incitement is none other than Ehud Barak, a decorated military officer who may not realize that the tongue can be just as lethal as the sword. That is one of the lessons of the tragedy that befell the Jewish people a generation ago, when many Jews did not take the incitement of Adolf Hitler with the seriousness that they could have. Barak does not have to travel to Stockholm to learn the lessons of what happened to the Jews in WWII. All he has to do is to turn on to the VOICE OF PALESTINE and to listen. And Rabbi Michael Melchior, who is also the Rabbi of Norway, could translate Arafat's official message into every Scandinavian language for everyone in Stockholm to understand the nature of Moslem antisemitism that Israel must now cope with." DAVID BEDEIN, Media Research Analyst, Beit Agron International Press Center

Week Ending: 22 January 2000 / 15 Shevat 5760



A meeting in Ramallah this afternoon between Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat - their second in less than 24 hours - has been underway for at least four hours. Also participating are Foreign Minister David Levy, PA official Abu Mazen, and American mediator Dennis Ross. Ross, taking a mid-meeting break, told reporters that intensive talks between the sides will resume ten days from now in Washington. Barak said earlier today, "We are on the verge of a breakthrough in the negotiations with the Palestinians." Barak and Arafat will meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm a-Sheikh, in the Sinai, tomorrow.

Ross, who returned to the region yesterday after a failed trip last week, brought a new proposal to the effect that the final-status principles will be signed in two months' time, and the final-status agreement itself will be signed in September. Barak and Arafat, meeting in central Israel last night, reached agreement on some of the outstanding issues.

The Likud today said that Prime Minister Barak "is on the verge of carrying out the most grave diplomatic move since being elected, with his intention to give away more than the 1% of Yesha decided upon by the Netanyahu government in the third Oslo withdrawal." Yesha residents demonstrated at the Yosh Junction, south of Beit El - the non-Palestinian controlled site closest to the Barak-Arafat rendezvous - carrying placards that read, "Uprooting Settlements Tears The Nation Apart."

Arutz Sheva News Service
Wednesday, March 8, 2000 / Rosh Chodesh Adar Bet 5760



Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister David Levy met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Yasser Arafat in Sharm a-Sheikh this afternoon.

Attempts are being made to conclude the final-status principles of an agreement with the Palestinians within two months, and the agreement itself by September. Analysts feel, though, that Barak's main goal at present is an agreement with Syria. An Arab-language paper in London reports that the talks between Israel and Syria will resume in two weeks in Washington. This report is bolstered by the fact that Syrian President Assad has apparently agreed to accept Hamat Gader in place of a foothold on the Kinneret Sea. In addition, he is in the process of replacing his entire government with a new one designed to work for economic reform, embrace a peace treaty with Israel, and support his son and heir-apparent, Bashar.

Foreign Minister Levy termed "delusions" the reports that there are contacts with the Syrians. On the other hand, Egypt's Mubarak said today that there could soon be developments on the Syrian track.

MK Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, said today that the Sharm a-Sheikh summit today indicates that the government plans to reach simultaneous agreements with the Syrians and the Palestinians, and to combine the two in one referendum. Lieberman calls upon Shas, Yisrael B'Aliyah, and the NRP "not to close your eyes, and to leave the government at once."

The Golan Residents Committee and the Yesha Council will hold protest vigils in 250 main intersections throughout the country tonight. They will hold signs with their motto, "Uprooting Settlements Tears the Nation Apart."

Arutz Sheva News Service
Thursday, March 9, 2000 / Adar Aleph 2, 5760


Thursday, April 27, 2000

PM set to transfer Abu Dis to PA

Political sources cite Barak's 'seriousness'

By Aluf Benn
Ha'aretz Diplomatic Correspondent

Prime Minister Ehud Barak intends to transfer soon to full Palestinian control the village of Abu Dis, which is adjacent to Jerusalem, as an "advance" on account of the IDF's third redeployment in the West Bank, a senior political source said yesterday.

Barak is expected to bring the proposal for approval by the security cabinet next week.

Political sources said Barak is determined to move forward on the Palestinian track and that in the weeks ahead he will ask the security cabinet and then the entire cabinet to approve "dramatic decisions" which will reflect "Israeli positions that are more far-reaching than in the past" with respect to the Palestinians.

The prime minister apparently intends to pass a resolution in the cabinet that will recognize a Palestinian state if it is established in an agreement with Israel.

The sources said Barak has become much more flexible with regard to the major issues of the permanent settlement, particularly the amount of territory that will be transferred to the Palestinian Authority. The first such decision will involve the transfer of Abu Dis, which is now part of Area B (Israeli security and Palestinian civilian control).

In various scenarios regarding the permanent settlement, Abu Dis has been mentioned as the future capital of the Palestinian state because of its geographic proximity to Jerusalem. The PA has erected a large building there, which could serve as a parliament building. A few months ago PA Chairman Yasser Arafat asked Barak to transfer Abu Dis to full Palestinian control as part of the second redeployment, which was executed in three stages according to the Wye and Sharm el Sheikh accords. When Barak refused, explaining that the transfer of areas close to Jerusalem entailed political problems and that it would be better to wait for the permanent settlement, Arafat suspended the talks with Israel for two months.

Political sources in Jerusalem said yesterday that Barak's proposal to give the Palestinians an "advance" is intended to send a message to the PA that Israel is serious. Such a move will also allay Palestinian suspicions that Israel intends to use delaying tactics in the talks in order to avoid having to transfer significant territory in the third redeployment.

"Barak is serious and truly intends to reach a framework agreement," a political source said yesterday. "In order to calm the Palestinians and encourage them to show flexibility, he is ready to offer a territorial 'advance,' even though this is not stipulated in the agreements."

The Oslo accords state that in the third redeployment Israel will transfer to the Palestinians the areas of the West Bank that are not "specified military locations" or areas the status of which will be decided in the permanent agreement, such as Jerusalem, Israel's external borders and the Jewish settlements.

Based on this, the PA position is that Israel must vacate 90 percent of the West Bank in the third redeployment. Israel maintains that it has the right to determine the scope of the withdrawal.

The government of Benjamin Netanyahu decided that the third redeployment would cover 1 percent of the West Bank and received a letter from the U.S. administration in support of that position. Barak told the Palestinians that he is not committed to Netanyahu's decision but would prefer to have the third redeployment integrated with the framework agreement in which the permanent borders between Israel and the PA will be decided, along with the disposition of the settlements.

Barak's view is that Israel can be more generous in a framework agreement, which involves give and take, and also have the Palestinians participate in the demarcation of the map. However, if an agreement is not reached, Israel will draw up the withdrawal map itself, as it has done in all the interim withdrawals to date.

On the eve of the opening of the Eilat round of talks on Sunday (see story, page 2), the Israeli delegation believes it will be possible to conclude a framework agreement within two months - or, at least, an agreement on the political status of the Palestinian entity, in return for setting the final borders and the map of the settlements.

In the meantime, the talk - in Washington and Jerusalem - about a new momentum on the Palestinian track following the Clinton-Barak and Clinton- Arafat meetings in the past two and a half weeks, has not been reflected in the pace of implementation of the existing agreements.

On Tuesday, the heads of the teams for implementing the interim agreement, Saeb Erekat and Oded Eran, met in Jericho to monitor the progress being made. However, it emerged that most of the open issues remain stalled: the opening of the northern "safe passage" route between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the transfer to the PA of purchase taxes collected by Israel, and the security protocol for opening a maritime port in the Gaza Strip.

Eran demanded that the PA police stop arresting Israeli Arabs, as the agreements totally ban the arrest of Israelis in PA territory. He also asked the PA to hand over to Israel the Palestinian driver who ran over and killed members of the Beit El settlement. id=76578


Mubarak wants imminent summit meeting with Assad

Weekend News Today
By Kelly Pagatpatan
Source: Middle East Newsline

Sun May 7,2000 -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is working for an imminent summit with his Syrian counterpart, Hafez Assad. Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Mussa said the summit would take place very soon. Egyptian sources said the meeting could even take place on Sunday. The Egyptian government Al Ahram daily said the summit was to have taken place this week in the Red Sea resort of Sharm e-Sheikh. But almost immediately after the report in the authoritative daily, senior Egyptian officials began to back down from any commitment of a meeting. They said arrangements of a summit were still being discussed but refused to commit to a date.



An unusual meeting will be held in the home of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef tomorrow. He will meet with former Chief Rabbis Avraham Shapira and Mordechai Eliyahu, who represent the religious-Zionist public, as well as with two leading hareidi rabbis, the Grand Rabbis of Boston and Erloy. All four of the guests are strongly against the transfer of Abu Dis to the Palestinian Authority. Rabbi Menachem Porush organized the meeting.

Housing Minister Rabbi Yitzchak Levy (NRP) said that he is happy about the meeting "of these Torah leaders and giants, and I hope that it will bring blessing to the People of Israel." He said that the talk of a Palestinian corridor to the Temple Mount "shows that we have given up on any hope of regaining sovereignty over the Mount, since if we were planning to, now would be the time to demand it, instead of talking about a corridor for them..."

Over 1,500 people took part in a Zo Artzeinu march yesterday afternoon from Abu Dis - situated some 1,000 meters directly south-east of the Temple Mount - to the Temple Mount area. The marchers began in Abu Dis, passed by Ras el-Amoud and Yad Avshalom as they descended to the Kidron Valley, and then turned back up to the Temple Mount.

Prime Minister Barak hopes to garner the necessary Cabinet and Knesset support for the transfer of full control to Abu Dis and two other Jerusalem- area villages by next week. A mass demonstration is planned by the Yesha Council and nationalist groups in Zion Square this coming Monday night against the division of Jerusalem, the implementation of further "purposeless withdrawals," and the uprooting of settlements in Yesha.

The next round of Israeli-Palestinians talks will take place in Egypt - probably in Cairo, but possibly in Sharm a-Sheikh or Taba. So reports the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram today. The paper quotes a senior Egyptian Foreign Ministry official, who says that for the talks to be resumed, "they must first be rescued from their dead end… Israel must agree to retreat to the June 4, '67 [pre-Six Day War] borders."

Arutz Sheva News Service
Thursday, May 11, 2000 / Iyar 6, 5760


Israel, PA sign agreement for construction of Gaza sea port

Weekend News Today
Lead: Kelly
Source: Ha'aretz

Thu Sep 21,2000 -- Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement Wednesday for the construction of a sea port in Gaza. The agreement was signed by Oded Eran and Saeb Erekat, the chief Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. Israel agreed in principal to the port's construction in the Sharm al Sheikh agreement of 1999. The Prime Minister's Bureau said that following the signing of the agreement, the Palestinians intended to begin construction immediately, and estimated that the port could become operational within 18 months. According to an agreement with the PA, companies from France and Holland will build the port and will be paid $60 million each by their respective governments. The PA reportedly did not intend to invest funds in the construction.


UN warns of all out war in Middle East
Thursday 5 October 2000

Middle East crisis talks in Paris last night move to Egypt today, as UN chief Kofi Annan warned that Palestinians and Israelis were on the brink of "an all out war".

He was speaking before joining the US brokered meeting in Paris between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The talks, chaired by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, were aimed at halting a week of violence, which has left as many as 58 dead and more than a 1000 injured.

Mr Annan stressed the seriousness of the situation. "Instead of moving forward with a peace settlement, we now seem to have almost an all-out war in a highly populated area.

"It's incumbent on the leaders to really do whatever they can to reign in the forces and ensure that innocent civilians are not the ones to pay the price," he said.

After the Paris meeting, Mr Barak and Mr Arafat will travel to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for talks to be hosted by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Dr Albright is also expected to attend the meeting in Egypt.

The talks come during what appears to be an easing in the level of violence, although Israel said the worst may be still to come.

Deputy chief-of-staff of the Israeli army, Major-General Moshe Ya'alon, said an escalation could be expected.

"The climax is still ahead of us and the Israeli defence is ready for any development," he said.

Israel has agreed to reduce its military presence at points in the occupied territories where there have been intense friction. Tanks have been pulled back and other armored vehicles have been positioned so they cannot be seen from the Palestinian side.

But General Ya'alon said the word "ceasefire" was not the right word to describe these developments.

"This is not a case of two equal sides that have to put a stop to the firing between them," he said.

"We are not shooting and taking over territory. We are firing only as necessary and only in self-defence. Since the start of the wave of violence, we have reacted to violence against us and are not initiating any violent operations."

He said Mr Arafat could bring about an end to the violence at any time by bringing into line the Tanzim, the Palestinian political youth movement which has been in the thick of the fighting.

But Palestinian leaders insist they are not endangering the Israeli army, which they say has been using brutal and excessive military power against their people.

"It's not a war," said senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. "We are not shooting them; they are shooting at us and we're dying."

Nearly all of those killed have been Palestinians, many of them stone-throwing youths who were felled by live bullets, and in some cases anti-tank missiles and machine-gun fire from helicopter gunships.

Images of the fighting have promoted the belief that Israel is using excessive force

A missile hit a Palestinian rioter killing him as he stood on a rooftop near the army outpost at Netzarim in the Gaza Strip.

In the frenzy of rage and grief that followed, one of his friends picked up a bloodied body part and waved it widely in his bare hands, as others shouted: "Allahu Akhbar (God is great)."

But Major-General Giora Eilan, Israel's army chief-of-staff, said that the army only used heavy firepower in extreme situations such as at the Netzarim Junction, where soldiers at an outpost are guarding a Jewish settlement.

"We try to use fire only when it is needed but you have to understand that when there is a position or a settlement with a few soldiers that is attacked by hundreds of people, sometimes the only way to defend your life is to use live fire when it happens people are killed," he said.


Albright announces Mideast security committee

Weekend News Today
Lead: Kelly
Source: Ha'aretz

Thu Oct 5,2000 -- At the conclusion of talks in Sharm el Sheikh without Prime Minister Ehud Barak, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on Thursday the United States had helped to set up a trilateral security committee after a week of Israeli- Palestinian violence which has claimed 67 lives. "President Clinton has already announced that the parties have agreed that the United States will chair a trilateral security committee to facilitate the process of security cooperation," Albright told reporters at a joint news conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa


Albright and Arafat to attend Egypt talks; Barak's presence not needed says U.S. official

Weekend News Today
Lead: Kelly
Source: AFP

Thu Oct 5,2000 -- US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright left Paris for Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt early Thursday to hold talks that would be attended by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat but not by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, an airport official said. Albright had chaired marathon talks between the two leaders in Paris Wednesday but they failed early Thursday to reach an agreement to end the violence in the Middle East which has cost 72 lives in the space of days.

Instead of heading for Egypt, Barak flew home and a senior Israeli official blamed Arafat for the failure to reach agreement to stop the violence. However a senior US official said Barak's presence in Egypt was "not essential".



A frustrated and somewhat humiliated Israeli delegation returned home this morning from Paris, after Yasser Arafat did not show up for the signing of the cease-fire agreement on which the Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians worked all night. Arafat continues to demand the establishment of an international commission of inquiry about the past week's violence.

Upon his return to Israel, Prime Minister Barak reported to his Cabinet that despite the lack of an agreement, Arafat had "unequivocally committed himself, to the U.S., to halt the disturbances on the Palestinian side, including shooting by the Tanzim and Palestinian policemen at IDF forces." [The Tanzim is a quasi-military Fatah militia whose members, all of whom were imprisoned by Israel in the intifada, initiate and organize confrontations against Israel, not solely controlled by Arafat.]

Barak also said, "We have witnessed during the past days hundreds of [Palestinian] violations of all the agreements which have been signed with them, starting with the existence of armed militias and ending in the use of live fire... It is not clear whether we in fact have a partner for peace [in Arafat], and unfortunately, the time has not yet come for us to beat our swords into plowshares."

Makor Rishon correspondent Riki Shushan, who accompanied Barak to Paris and back, reported afterwards, "This was a very humiliating night for Barak - no one ever humiliated him like [French President] Chirac and Arafat did last night. Immediately after word of an agreement was released in the U.S. Embassy in the middle of the night, Arafat walked out in anger, saying, 'You're not respecting me!' Albright ran after him, begging him to stay, just like little kids - it was unbelievable. Arafat didn't stop, so then Albright ordered the gates locked so that he would not be able to get out! Later, after everyone had left, they then returned again to the Embassy, where they were all supposed to sign the agreement - they were all standing around waiting for Arafat, but it turned out that he simply decided not to show up! This was a big slap in the face for Albright and the U.S. Chirac and Arafat worked together against the Americans and Israelis." Barak security-aide Danny Yatom confirmed that Chirac had worked to convince Arafat to stand firm in his demands for an international investigation.

Yasser Arafat and U.S. Secretary of State Albright met in Sharm a-Sheikh with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak today - without Prime Minister Barak. No "breakthrough" was reported. Albright has transmitted an invitation to all the negotiating teams to arrive in Washington next Tuesday.

Arutz Sheva News Service
Thursday, Oct. 5, 2000 / Tishrei 6, 5761


Israel rejects U.S. summit proposal

Weekend News Today
Lead: Kelly
Source: Ha'aretz

Mon Oct 9,2000 -- Israel has rejected the U.S. initiative for an emergency summit between Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and United States President Bill Clinton. Israeli and U.S. sources say that the U.S. administration is also unenthusiastic about holding a summit as long as violence in the area continues. Egypt has refused Clinton's proposal to host the summit. Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa on Monday denied reports that a regional summit will take place in Sharm al-Sheikh.

A diplomatic source in Jerusalem said Barak would agree to attend the summit only if it was well prepared, following the failures of the July summit in Camp David and last week's summit in Paris.

Israel gave the U.S. administration two conditions for attending the summit:

* A clear call from Arafat to stop the violence. "Even if it takes some time to achieve total calm, we expect a clear and unequivocal order from Arafat to the Tanzim to stop the violence," said a political source.

* Political preparation to ensure that the summit will end with an agreement. Israel demands that Arafat agree to the U.S. bridging proposals. Barak has undertaken to accept the proposals as a basis for negotiations. The Palestinians have not yet accepted them and object to the main issues within the U.S. proposals, which do not recognize the right of return for refugees or Palestinian sovereignty over the Temple Mount. "We will not attend another summit just to talk, as we did in Camp David and Paris," the political source said.


Information Division, Israel Foreign Ministry - Jerusalem
Mail all Queries to

Press Briefing by Nachman Shai,
Director-General, Ministry of Science, Culture and Sports,
Coordinator of Information Policy
Jerusalem, October 14, 2000

.. Prime Minister Barak would like to take this opportunity to thank President Clinton for his endless efforts for peace in the Middle East, and especially in the last few days, in order to bring about a cessation of hostilities in the region. Prime Minister and Defense Minister Barak would also like to convey thanks to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who has been shuttling back and forth between us and the Palestinians. These efforts finally achieved a summit which will take place this coming Monday in Sharm el-Sheikh.

We are coming to the summit without preconditions, bearing in mind, based on the fact that Arafat dropped all his preconditions. There are no preconditions for the Sharm summit.

Secondly, this summit should put an end to the recent violence which was initiated by the Palestinians. This summit should produce an agreement on the operational steps that Chairman Arafat will take in order to avoid further violence, as we have all seen in the last few days, and also to bring about a mechanism that will be watching and controlling the situation.

There is no room, from the Israeli point of view, for any diplomatic negotiation in the upcoming summit. This negotiation will take place in the future, when there is no violence.

Israel, I repeat, hasn't initiated any act of violence. It only responded - carefully and cautiously, to any violence which was inflicted upon her, and thus, the responsibility for the terrible outcome of that violence so far falls on the Palestinians.

I would also like to take this opportunity to mention the following points:

A. Israel insists that the release of the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad people from the Palestinian jails is against the agreements between us and the Palestinian Authority, and unfortunately may cause more terrorism. We insist that those terrorists will be immediately be arrested and put back in jail.

B. Israel demands that the Tanzim organization and Palestinian policemen either will not carry arms, or will not use them against Israelis. Palestinian policemen are entitled to carry weapons, but they are not supposed to use them against Israelis. The Tanzim is not supposed to be an armed organization, and that is why we insist that the Palestinian Authority will make sure that those arms will be returned to the Authority.

C. Last but not least, there is an ongoing incitement in the Palestinian media, especially television and radio, against Israel. That, again, is against the present agreements between us and the Palestinian Authority, and it has to be stopped immediately by the Palestinians.

For full texts of recent briefings see Foreign Ministry website:


Marwan Bargouthi: Sharm el-Sheikh Summit will Fail, Intifada to Escalate before Arab Summit

By Izzat Ramini - Ramallah October 14, 2000

Secretary of the National Liberation Movement - Fateh, has said that he believed the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit is doomed to failure, describing it as "an American attempt to abort the Intifada," and stressing that the Palestinian Intifada will be escalated prior to the convening of the Arab Summit in Cairo on October 21.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak agreed on Saturday to attend the proposed summit, scheduled for Monday. The White House has confirmed President Clinton's participation in the meeting. Other participants include Jordan's King Abdullah II, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in addition to the host, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak.

"There is an American conspiracy to abort the Intifada in the first place," charged Marwan Barghouthi, adding that such a summit would "protect the rulers of Tel Aviv and abort the Arab summit."

The Fateh official added that "the PNA has been under tremendous pressure to attend the summit, which we consider an obligatory station, which will lead to no agreement as was the case in Paris."

Barghouthi was referring to the meeting between Arafat, Barak and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in Paris following the outbreak of violence in the West bank and Gaza 16 days ago, which led to the death of more than 90 Palestinians in clashes with the Israeli security forces.

The Fateh secretary vowed that "the Intifada activities will continue," saying that "an Arab summit resulting in support for our national rights is our top priority."



Sharon says any move to advance Oslo process will result in moves to topple coalition

(IsraelWire-10/15) Opposition leader MK Ariel Sharon stated on Sunday that while attending the Sharm el-Sheik summit on Monday, if Prime Minister Ehud Barak makes the slightest move to advance the Oslo process, the opposition will take action to topple the administration. Sharon made his comments to a Likud forum in the Knesset. Since the start of the PLO Authority (PA) orchestrated violence over two weeks ago, opposition parties have made repeated statements, indicating their intentions to continue supporting all government actions to bring the state of emergency to an end. On Sunday Sharon stated that this would come to a sudden and abrupt end if Barak uses the Sharm summit to advance the Oslo process instead of seeking an end to PA warfare.


WORKING ON A SUMMIT SUMMARY No pre-conditions, low expectations. This was Israel's position as it went into today's summit meeting in Sharm a- Sheikh. Even a ceasefire agreement seemed this morning to be beyond reach, according to a high-ranking source who accompanied Barak today, because "Arafat is simply not interested in attaining quiet." The official opening of the summit shortly after noon today was preceded by various meetings between the various players, including Prime Minister Barak, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat, Jordanian King Abdullah, and others. UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan said that he had come up with a formula for a ceasefire, and will present it to the parties today.

By late this afternoon, the prospects had not changed significantly, and officials had not succeeded in coming up with an agreed-upon summary of the summit and a ceasefire declaration. Clinton said he would remain in Sharm a-Sheikh until tomorrow afternoon.

For Israel, the primary gain may be made on the media front. Government Press Office staffers have supplied the dozens of media representatives at Sharm a-Sheikh with video cassettes of the Ramallah lynch of two soldiers, hate literature circulated by the PA, videos of PA children being trained to use weapons, and a transcript of the call to murder Jews - "Have no mercy on the Jews... Wherever you meet them, kill them" - during the Moslem sermon this past Friday in Gaza.

Arutz Sheva News Service
Monday, Oct. 16, 2000 / Tishrei 17, 5761


October 17, 2000

Summit tense and difficult, but to continue today

By Nitzan Horowitz, Aluf Benn and Zvi Bar'el
Ha'aretz Correspondents

Prime Minister Ehud Barak asked President Bill Clinton yesterday to postpone the renewal of the diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians for a period of "weeks or months," according to a senior member of the Israeli delegation at the Sharm al-Sheikh summit.

"The correct way to renew the negotiations, if at all, is to examine if the situation on the ground is quiet, and to ascertain where we stand in our relations with the Palestinians. That could take a long time," the source added.

President Bill Clinton announced last night that he was extending his stay at the Sharm al-Sheikh summit in an effort to reach some sort of result on the road to restoring calm in the West Bank and Gaza. Meanwhile, the talks are proving to be a forum in which acrimony and tempers are more commonplace than diplomatic niceties. At this stage, it seems that the original American aims for the summit are being limited to a presidential statement to be made at the end of the talks.

From the outset, the participants at the Sharm al-Sheikh summit took advantage of the forum to vent their anger and frustration resulting from two- and-a-half weeks of violence in the West Bank and Gaza. During a series of bilateral meetings between the leaders, the Palestinian and Israeli sides presented their grievances against each other.

Prime Minister Ehud Barak's day began with a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in which, from the very first minute, the large gap in the positions was clearly evident. The Egyptian leader demanded that Israel agree to withdraw its forces from the territories to positions held before the outbreak of the violent demonstrations on September 29. Mubarak also said that Israel must list the closure imposed on the territories. In response, Barak demanded that the Palestinians cease the violence and agree to a series of measures, such as an end to the incitement on official Palestinian mass media and the arrest of radical Islamic activists recently released by the Palestinian Authority.

The Egyptian president assigned responsibility for the bloody confrontations between Palestinians and Israelis since late September on Likud Chairman Ariel Sharon and his controversial visit to the Temple Mount on September 28. Barak rejected this claim and said that there was no reason for preventing Sharon - a much-hated figure in the Arab world and readily linked with massacres against Palestinians - from visiting the site.

"This was a visit by the head of the opposition in a democracy and there was no way of stopping him," Barak told Mubarak.

"We do not forbid anyone from visiting the Temple Mount and we coordinated [Sharon's] visit with Jibril Rajoub [head of the PA preventive security apparatus], who promised that if Sharon did not enter the mosques, everything would be fine," Barak added.

Sharon did not enter the Al Aqsa or Dome of the Rock mosques during his visit.

The two parties also held a series of meetings with President Bill Clinton, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, King Abdallah of Jordan and the representative of the European Union, Javier Solana.

Around midday, a general meeting was held in which President Hosni Mubarak, addressing the gathered forum, set the tone by referring to "aggression against the weak" and emphasizing that he agreed to host the summit because he feared that the violence would spread to the rest of the region and put an end to the peace process.

President Clinton presented the goals set by the United States for the summit: a cease-fire and an end to the violence, the resumption of the security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians, the establishment of a "fair and objective" mechanism to determine the facts of the events that led to the violence, and the renewal of the diplomatic negotiations.

During the lunch which followed, the organizers ensured that Barak and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat were seated far apart. While the White House spokesman referred to "positive interaction" between those present, there was no conversation between Arafat and Barak, three weeks after the visit by the Palestinian leader to the home of the Israeli prime minister at Kochav Yair.

The meetings were organized on three levels: Barak and Arafat met separately with the Clinton; the foreign ministers met in a joint forum to discuss the concluding announcement for the summit; and the Central Intelligence Agency chief, George Tenet, met with the head of the Shin Bet security service, Avraham Dichter, and his Palestinians counterparts, Mohammed Dahlan and Rajoub.

The meeting of the foreign ministers quickly deteriorated into a confrontation, with the Palestinian representative, chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, and Israel's acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami locking horns over Erekat's accusation that "Israel is starving three million Palestinians under siege."

Ben-Ami said that Israel will remove its forces when the Palestinians cease the violence and rejected the Palestinian demand for an international investigation, calling it "an alibi in order to postpone the [peace] process, and that is a disgrace."

The parties are still disputing Palestinian demands for Israel to take action on the ground before the Palestinians cease violence and for the establishment of an international commission of inquiry into the cause of the unrest. The organizers of the summit decided to continue the drafting of the statement at a lower diplomatic level today.

Israel also rejected a proposed statement formulated by the UN Middle East envoy, Terje Larsen. The document used terms such as "siege" and "withdrawal.

© copyright 2000 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved 0& id=96854


Sharm el-Sheik cease-fire agreement signed

(IsraelWire-10/17-12:49-IST) Speaking at a live press conference from Sharm el-Sheik, US President Bill Clinton announced that a cease-fire agreement between Israel and the PLO Authority (PA) has been reached. Following are the main points of the agreement as explained by Mr. Clinton. The primary objective of both sides is to end current violence to resume peace efforts. The basic objectives are to end the violence and restore the area to it former status as it was prior to the violence which has been ongoing for twenty days. 1) Both sides agree to immediately issue public statements unequivocally calling for end of violence. 2) Both sides agree to take immediate action to end violence and incitement, maintain calm and repeat of recent events. 3) Both sides agree to act immediately to restore area as it was prior to recent warfare. According to the president, steps to be taken include a) Ending the IDF-imposed closure on Yesha, b) Opening the PA´s international airport in Gaza, c) Ending aggression d) The United States, together with Israel, the PA and the United Nations, will establish a fact-finding committee to dissect the events of the past 20 days. The final report will be submitted to White House for publication. Both sides agree there must be a pathway to negotiations with the objective of reaching a final status agreement based on United Nations resolutions 338 and 242. As such, contact will be made by the sides within two weeks. Mr. Clinton announced the parties agreed the statements made would stand on their own and as such, the media was not permitted to ask questions. Following Mr. Clinton´s remarks, the summit was adjourned.


October 17, 2000

5) SHARM CEASE-FIRE AGREEMENT – Prime Minister Ehud Barak told CNN that the agreement signed does not require Yassir Arafat to disarm Tanzim forces.


Jerusalem under fire

(IsraelWire-10/17-14:06-IST) A short time after 2:00pm, shortly following the signing of the Sharm el-Sheik cease-fire agreement, two bursts of automatic gunfire hit the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. The shots struck buildings on Anafa and Almog Streets. The last shooting attacks into Gilo were about two weeks ago. At that time, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert stated with certainty that police and security forces know the exact origin of the gunfire inside the PLO Authority autonomous municipality of Bet Jala. There were no reports of injuries in today´s attack. There were damages to at least two buildings. IDF forces responded to the attacks by firing machineguns mounted atop two tanks that remain stationed in the area. IsraelWire will provide additional details as they are made available.


Israel and the Palestinians reached agreement on security issues at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit, which will be kept secret, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday.

"In addition to the written declaration read by President Clinton, the two sides reached a mutual understanding on security issues that will be kept secret," said the official, speaking on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's plane on the way back from the Egyptian summit venue - TEL AVIV (AFP)


The above should be ample evidence of what the Sharm al Sheikh agreements entail. I don't believe I need to continue, although there is more being added daily.


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