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Palestinian Editorial Calls for an End to Violence - 2001-08-03


The official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, known to reflect Yasser Arafat's views, has called for an end to armed attacks against Israel. In an editorial, WAFA says throwing rocks and shoes at Israelis is "more effective than mortar shells fired" at Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

The editorial says that no matter how many Israelis become casualties of the current uprising against occupation, the Palestinians "will not be able to win the war." The agency says Palestinians can achieve their goals "by political means…and not using firearms."

WAFA, which generally reflects the views of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, also criticized Palestinians who threatened the United States and Europe. The editorial follows a call from Mr. Arafat for an end to the violence. Mr. Arafat renewed his appeal for international observers to be deployed in the region.

Israeli police say a Palestinian woman tried to carry a bomb into the central bus station in Tel Aviv on Friday. Police say the woman dropped the bomb after being challenged by security guards and was arrested.

Israeli police have been on high alert for suicide bombings after the Islamic militant group Hamas swore revenge for Israel's killing of six activists and two children earlier this week in the West Bank city of Nablus. A suspected Palestinian collaborator was found dead in the West Bank, the fourth such killing this week.

In an apparent attempt to stop street executions, the Palestinian Authority issued a statement Friday declaring it has sole power to act against "anyone trying to violate the interest of the Palestinian people." Recently, Palestinian security courts have handed down death sentences for men who allegedly collaborated with Israel.

In Jerusalem, Friday Muslim prayers ended peacefully after Israeli police banned Palestinian men under 40-years-old from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to prevent riots. Clashes erupted last Sunday at the disputed site, which is known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

The current Palestinian uprising began last September after then Israeli opposition leader and now Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the compound.

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