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From davemull@alphalink.com.au Wed Apr 4 10:25:41 2001
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2001 13:09:33 -0500 (CDT)
Organization: South Movement
From: Dave Muller <davemull@alphalink.com.au>
Subject: [southnews] Palestinians blast US veto as green light to Israel
Article: 117618
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Palestinians blast US veto of protection force as green light to Israel

AFP, 1 April 2001

RAMALLAH, West Bank -The Palestinian cabinet said Saturday it was shocked by the US veto of a UN resolution that would have authorized international observers in the territories, calling it a go-ahead for Israeli aggression.

We are perplexed and shocked by the American administration's use of this veto, the cabinet said in a statement after a weekly meeting chaired by Palestinian Authority chief Yasser Arafat.

Through this veto the Israeli government saw a green light for its aggression against the Palestinian people, added the statement, published by the official Palestinian agency WAFA.

The United States on Tuesday used its veto power at the UN Security Council for the first time in four years to defeat a last-minute resolution to authorize observers in the territories.

On Wednesday, Israeli helicopters raided bases of Arafat's elite bodyguard unit Force 17 after a string of anti-Israeli bombing attacks.

The cabinet had been due to gather in Ramallah on Friday, but had to cancel the meeting after Israel refused to let a number of ministers cross its territory from the Gaza Strip to attend the weekly session.

In its statement, the Palestinian leadership said it sent envoys late Friday to tell Israeli, US and European officials that Israel was not allowing the Palestinian Authority freedom of movement as agreed to under autonomy accords.

Israel barred the Palestinians from crossing after one of the worst days of fighting in months, in which six Palestinians were killed in West Bank clashes.

The meeting, which WAFA said was not attended by several ministers, called for an urgent mobilization by the international community to stop this dangerous Israeli aggression.

It said the government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon bears full responsibility for all the crimes and aggression against our people, and we believe that the regulations on Palestinian life are a dangerous aggression over which we cannot remain silent.

The cabinet also asked the administration of US President George W. Bush to continue its efforts to support the peace process and protect the Palestinian people and help the application of signed accords.

Palestinian information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo had early Friday said the cabinet meeting would draft a response to Bush's call Thursday for Arafat to put an end to increasing violence.

In the first direct response to Bush's remarks by a Palestinian official, Palestine Liberation Organization political bureau chief Faruq Qaddumi said Saturday in Syria that Bush's singling out of Arafat only increased the tension.

Mr. Bush is biased and is under the influence of the Zionist lobby, Qaddumi told reporters on a visit to Syria.