Israel isolated on Hebron
Wednesday 13 November 1996
"They could reach agreement in 24 hours, but it could also take two or three weeks," said Robert Pelletreau, the US Assistant Secretary of State, yesterday in Cairo. "It is a question of how much you are going to tie in Hebron with non-Hebron issues, and that hasn't been resolved."
Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, is concerned that the intense international pressure on Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, to implement the present stage of the Oslo agreement will be relaxed if he signs an agreement dealing exclusively with Hebron. He wants autonomous Palestinian areas to be progressively expanded as previously agreed.
The pressure on Israel was evident at the Middle East and North African economic conference which opened in Cairo yesterday with speeches by Warren Christopher, the US secretary of State, and the European Union troika of ministers led by Dick Spring, the Irish Foreign Minister.
The annual regional economic conference, attended this year by 3,500 government officials and businessmen, in the past proclaimed as a sign of Israeli integration into the Middle East, is this year a sign of its isolation. In the months since he took office in June, Mr Netanyahu has presided over a deterioration in Israel's relations with 27 foreign countries says Haim Baram, an Israeli commentator.
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt emphasised his coolness towards the new Israeli government last month by refusing to attend a summit in Washington, called after the violence in September which left 60 Palestinians and 15 Israelis dead. King Hussein of Jordan, at first conciliatory with Mr Netanyahu, has since visited Jericho with Mr Arafat.
Mr Netanyahu is under closer international scrutiny than his Labour predecessors. Labour started the economically devastating closures of the West Bank and Gaza in 1993 and increased the number of Jewish settlers by 50,000 in four years, but did not have to face the same volume of criticism as the present right-wing Likud government.
Mr Christopher, told the conference that "the peace process has shown great resilience". However, Mr Christopher has failed in repeated efforts to broker a peace treaty with Syria, based on an Israeli-withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians on Hebron resumed last night. At issue in the city is the extent of the Israeli right of hot pursuit, the calibre of weapons to be used by police and the use of one main street.
Threat of 'catastrophic cascade of collisions' must be averted, warn scientists
Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Space debris orbiting Earth to be destroyed with giant lasers fired from Australia
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 2 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 3 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 4 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
- 5 Sharknado 2: Former WWE wrestler Kurt Angle to fight second wave of flying sharks
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a leading digital agency bu...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Charter Selection: Global leader in its respective ...
£130 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Do you have a qualificatio...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: The school is much la...