Militants ignore leaders' wary attempt to end the bloodshed

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Sporadic unrest continued yesterday in the West Bank and Gaza as Israel and the Palestinian leaderships made small and wary moves to put into effect the terms of the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement.

Sporadic unrest continued yesterday in the West Bank and Gaza as Israel and the Palestinian leaderships made small and wary moves to put into effect the terms of the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement.

The level of violence was far lower than the bloodier moments of the past three weeks, but calls continued from Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction for the Palestinian uprising to continue in defiance of a ceasefire.Fatah held rallies across the West Bank. In Nablus, one of its leaders, Ali Farraj, told a crowd of about 4,000 at yet another funeral that the intifada, and the clashes, must continue.

To his voice was added that of Khaled Mashal, a leader of the militant Islamic Hamas movement which has a long record of suicide bombings and opposes any peace deal with Israel. He announced that Hamas should continue attacks on Israel despite the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement to take measures to end the violence.

Mr Mashal, whom Israel's Mossad agents tried to assassinate by poisoning three years ago - said that his activists would not confront Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority even though it was likely to arrest more Hamas activists in the next few days under the agreement between Ehud Barak, Israeli's Prime Minister and Mr Arafat, the Palestinian leader.

Mr Mashal saw the forthcoming Arab summit this weekend as crucial, saying Arab leaders - unable to make outright war - would "have to increase their financial and moral support for the guerrilla war of the masses against Israel".

Calls for the battle to continue are not coming from Palestinian militants alone. Several Jewish settlers in the occupied territories told The Independent that the summit was pointless, and that a prolonged conflict was inevitable.

Yaacov Hayman, a Californian born settler in Itamar, near the Arab city of Nablus, said: "I don't see any other way. We will have to do in the next war what we failed to do in 1967. The Arabs will have to be driven out, and that includes Israeli Arabs. They are all the same people."

Comments