PLO man fears new massacre

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

A SENIOR PLO adviser warned on Thursday yesterday that there could be another Hebron-style mosque massacre unless Palestinians win get more protection, from the Israelis, Reuter reports. Dr Nabil Shaath, who was in London for talks with Mr Douglas Hurd, After talks with Britishwelcomed an offer by the Foreign Secretary , Douglas Hurd, Dr Nabil Shaath welcomed Britain's offer to send international observers to the occupied territories. Mr Hurd said:after meeting Shaath that Britain would be willing to send international observers to the occupied territories. 'I am thinking of individuals and civilians rather than armed units.' he said. He said Britain was determined that the Hebron massacre should not derail the Middle East peace process. Mr Shaath, senior political adviser to the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) chief Yasser Arafat, said Jewish settlers had to be disarmed. after one killed some 40 Palestinians in a Hebron mosque last week. 'We need to do something about the settler violence, settler extremism and settler terrorism,' he told reporters. said.' The amount of international protection needed really depends on how much you curb settler violence by the Israeli government.' Shaath's tour is part of a PLO diplomatic drive aimed at securing Western support for a strong UN Security Council stand on the Hebron mosque massacre.

Of the massacre, he said: 'It is probably the first serious event of its nature but it might not be the last unless we do something about it.' Shaath said a peace agreement would have been signed very soon had it not been for the Hebron massacre.

'It is not our desire to stop the peace process. . .but it is absolutely necessary after the massacre that we provide security for Palestinian people,' he said.

Shaath is due to fly to Washington later on Thursday for similar talks with Dennis Ross, Middle East peace talks coordinator, and other officials of the US administration.