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Arab League Holds Emergency Meeting - 2001-08-22

At the request of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Arab foreign ministers are gathering in Cairo Wednesday for another emergency meeting.

It is the fifth such meeting for the ministers since the Palestinian uprising began last September.

The ministers are expected to discuss how they can best help the Palestinian cause.

None of the past high-level meetings have led to anything other than public condemnation of Israel and pledges for financial support, and no one is publicly saying this latest meeting will produce anything much different.

So far Arab officials have pledged about $1 billion in support of the Intifada but have stopped short of demanding the Arab world break off all ties with Israel.

Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania have peace treaties with the Jewish state and maintain political ties, although Egypt recalled its ambassador to Israel last November and Jordan's new ambassador has not yet taken up his post.

Wednesday's meeting is expected to produce condemnations of Israel's blockade of Palestinian territories, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians' Jerusalem headquarters known as the Orient House and Israel's policy of assassinating suspected militants.