Israeli assault in Gaza 'violates accord'

A LARGE-SCALE Israeli assault against wanted Palestinians, clearly intended to 'clean' the occupied territories of gunmen ahead of self-rule, has dampened Palestinian enthusiasm for the new deal and brought accusations that Israel is breaching the spirit of the peace agreement.

On 13 October a joint committee of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation is to meet to negotiate the details of an Israeli military withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho, due to begin in December.

But as Israel intensified its military operations, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have expressed doubts about the government's intentions to withdraw on Palestinian terms.

On Saturday Israel blasted houses in the Gaza Strip with rocket-propelled grenades in an attempt to flush out targets. Two alleged members of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, were killed and 16 suspects arrested, according to the Israeli army. Several homes were destroyed, bringing protesters on to the streets where only three weeks ago they were celebrating the news of an Israeli withdrawal. Yesterday parts of Gaza held a strike in protest at the operation.

As tensions have risen on the streets, a high-level political row has broken out over whether the Israeli action is allowed under the new agreement. But the declaration of principles, under which the Israeli army will gradually hand over responsiblity for internal security to a Palestinian police force, is vague.

The PLO chairman, Yasser Arafat, protested by letter to Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister, about the operations. 'Chairman Arafat considers the Israeli campaign in the occupied territories and especially in Gaza a violation of the spirit of the Israeli- Palestinian accord,' said Ziad abu Zayyad, a spokesman for Mr Arafat in Jerusalem. The PLO feels its crediblity is being called into question in view of Mr Arafat's assurances to Israel that the PLO would renounce violence. and its gunmen would lay down their arms. But some Palestinians believe Mr Arafat may be ready to temper his objections if the targets of the Israeli operations are Hamas.

Israeli army chiefs said yesterday their activities were specifically aimed at smashing Hamas gunmen and not at PLO factions which support the peace process.

Shimon Peres, the Israeli Foreign Minister, yesterday denied that the action was in breach of the agreement. He said there was nothing in the accord to say that Israel should stop its pursuit of wanted gunmen. 'On the contrary, there is an understanding that the PLO would also operate against the terrorists,' he said.

It will be for the new committee on withdrawal to rule on what actions can be taken by the Israeli military inside the occupied territories as autonomy is set up.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions