Rabin and Arafat set to break deadlock: Leaders prepare to meet in Cairo to show peace accord is on track as deadline for Israeli withdrawal nears
Wednesday 08 December 1993
The readiness of both leaders to hold a meeting - which would be the second since the signing of the peace deal in September - indicates their determination to show opponents the agreement is on track, despite outstanding disagreements. On Thursday, Shimon Peres, the Israeli Foreign Minister, is expected to meet Mr Arafat in Spain.
Israel is due to begin withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho on Monday as a first stage towards Palestinian self-rule. Fears have mounted in recent days that the deadline might be delayed because of differences over the extent of the withdrawal in the first phase.
Both leaders have a strong interest in showing the agreement is holding up. Mr Rabin is keen to demonstrate to the Israeli right wing, and increasingly volatile settlers in particular, that he is serious about withdrawal. And Mr Arafat's supporters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are calling for concrete signs that the peace agreement is to be implemented soon.
Jewish mourners attending the funeral yesterday of two settlers killed in the West Bank town of Hebron on Monday, accused Mr Rabin of abandoning them. The Rabin government has taken an increasingly strong line against settlers. Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement yesterday claimed responsibility for the killings.
The Israeli army arrested 22 suspected members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in the West Bank, Palestinian sources said yesterday. The PFLP oppose the peace accord.
The killing of the two settlers came as the United States Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, returned to Israel from Damascus and Amman on the fourth leg of a Middle East tour aimed at boosting the peace process.
Mr Peres, emerging from a meeting with Mr Christopher, said that the Syrian President, Hafez al-Assad, had expressed his readiness to resume bilateral peace talks centring on Syria's demand for Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
But an official Syrian newspaper, the English-language Syria Times, repeated yesterday Syria's position that the talks could not resume until Israel gave a firm commitment to quit the Heights.
After talks with Mr Assad on Sunday, Mr Christopher announced that Syria is expected to grant exit permits by the end of this year to all Syrian Jews who wish to leave.
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...