J E R U S A L E M, Oct. 11 - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he has
gotten senior Israeli and Palestinian officials to agree to meet in the
next two days in an attempt to secure a cease-fire.
Following an intensive round of negotiations, the U.N. Secretary-General
announced today that both the chiefs of security for Israel and the
Palestinian Authority will hold an unprecedented meeting in Israel with
the Clinton administration's CIA director, George Tenet.
The purpose of the meeting, senior U.N. officials tell ABCNEWS, will
be to find a way to bring an immediate end to the deadly violence that has
engulfed the Middle East.
The meeting will likely take place Thursday or Friday in Israel or
Earlier today, Annan met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and
later held a meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Annan's next stop during his third day of shuttle diplomacy in the
region will be a Thursday trip to Lebanon, where he will try to soothe
tensions between Israel and its northern neighbor, home of pro-Palestinian
Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for snatching three Israeli
soldiers during a confrontation Saturday near the Israeli-Lebanon border.
In Washington today, Clinton said he still holds out hope of having a
summit to bring peace to the region.
"I do believe where to go from here must include a resumption of the
peace talks, because that's one of the reasons that we've had things so
calm for so long, that we've basically had these talks going along, moving
in the right direction," he said.
Clinton said the clashes would have been worse if he had not hosted a
summit with Arafat and Barak in Maryland this summer.
"I think if there had been no talks at Camp David, it would be worse
now, because the pressure on the Palestinians to unilaterally declare a
state would have been far worse, because their level of misunderstanding
would have been even greater, because they had never - in all of these
seven years, they had never talked about these big, deep, underlying
issues - not in a serious, formal way," he said.
Clinton's bid to organize a new summit involving Barak, Arafat, himself,
Annan, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, King Abdullah of Jordan and
Russian President Vladimir Putin was put on the hold when Egyptian
officials said Mubarak did not want such high-level talks to be held
before an Arab summit planned for Oct. 21.
But Clinton has not given up hopes for the region. Speaking at the
White House today, the president said that while either he or Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright might travel to the region, a trip was not
"I'm prepared to do whatever I can to help," Clinton told reporters.
"We don't need just another meeting. We need to know what we're going to
do and how we're going to do it."
Clinton also said he had spoken to Annan by phone today and was being
kept up-to-date on the secretary-general's peace efforts.
Boy, 12, Declared Brain Dead
As Annan shuttled between Jerusalem and Gaza City, several dozen
Palestinians threw rocks at Israeli soldiers in the divided West Bank town
of Hebron. The teenagers had broken away from a march of about 500
Palestinians protesting the presence of Jewish settlers in the city. "Down
with the olive branch, up with the rifles" and "Kofi Annan, we want a
state," read two of the banners.
Near the West Bank settlement of Eli, a Jewish settler was killed
when a car, driven by a Palestinian, overturned and struck a group of
Israelis standing by the roadside. Police said they believed it was an
accident, while settler leaders portrayed the incident as a terror attack.
Separately, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Sami Abu Jazar, was
declared brain dead after he was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers
during a clash in the Gaza Strip today.
A photographer on the scene said the boy, who was wearing his school
uniform, was standing well away from the stone throwers and not
participating in the violence when he was shot.
Before the shooting, the U.N. Children's Fund said 22 youngsters
under the age of 18 had been killed and more than 1,000 wounded in the
This afternoon, hundreds of mourners joined the funeral procession of
Hillel Lieberman, an American-born Elon Moreh settler who was killed over
the weekend as he made his way to the Joseph's Tomb enclave in Nablus, a
West Bank town.
After the cortege of buses and cars set out from Elon Moreh, it
passed a Palestinian hamlet south of Nablus. At some point, children from
the village hurled stones and mourners got off the buses, firing shots in
From the Vatican, Pope John Paul II issued an urgent appeal for peace.
"It is with great anguish that we are following the grave tension in
the Middle East, yet again shaken by events that have caused numerous
victims and have not even spared holy places," he said at the end of his
weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.
"Faced with such a dramatic situation, I can only beg everyone to put
an end to this spiral of violence without delay," he said.
"At the same time I invite all believers to pray to God so that
peoples and leaders of the region may see how to get back on the path of
dialogue in order to rediscover the joy of being sons and daughters of the
same God," he said.
'It Takes Two to Tango'
Annan said Tuesday that neither Israelis nor Palestinians could claim
either full blame for the violence or full credit for their efforts to
"It takes two to tango," he said.
Palestinians have blamed Israel for the violence, which flared after
Israeli right-wing politician Ariel Sharon visited a Jerusalem holy site
revered by Muslims as Al-Haram al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary, and by Jews
as the Temple Mount. At least 90 people - mostly Palestinians - have been
And while the top-level shuttle diplomacy continues, the violence in
the region has adopted a different pattern over the past few days. In Tel
Aviv, hundreds of Jews smashed the windows of Arab cars and burned tires.
Chanting "Death to the Arabs," Jews set fire to three Arab-owned
apartments and smashed cars in a mixed neighborhood in Tel Aviv.
The city's mayor asked residents to stay indoors. Violence of this
kind is uncommon in Tel Aviv.
The disturbing new trend came to a head Sunday night when Jewish
residents of Nazareth turned on Arab neighbors, sparking a melee in which
Israeli police killed two Arabs.
The Arabs in the city - who hold Israeli citizenship - turned to the
Israeli police, but the police also turned on the Arabs.
ABCNEWS' Rebecca Cooper at the State Department, N.J. Burkett in
Jerusalem, Bassem Barhoum in Ramallah and Sue Masterman in Vienna and The
Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
Jewish Settlers Look for Revenge
Oct. 11 - The funeral for Senator Joseph Lieberman's cousin, an
American who lived in a Jewish settlement near the Palestinian town
of Nablus, was held today.
Ever since Rabbi Hillel Lieberman's bullet-ridden body was
found three days ago, Jewish settlers have been talking revenge.
There are still more than 100 Jewish settlements on land the
Palestinians believe is theirs. And these places - always among the
most militant - are getting dangerous again.
Today, thousands of Jewish settlers turned out for the funeral
and a procession that took them right past a Palestinian town.
The settlers say the Palestinians threw the first stones but
soon the settlers were on a rampage, attacking Palestinian homes and
then turning on a truck driven by Palestinians.
Israeli soldiers accompanying the convoy did little to stop the
mob. It wasn't long before shots rang out from Palestinians hiding
in the hills, the army says. The soldiers began firing back.
Until now, the Jewish settlers have kept a low profile in this
conflict, but there are 145,000 of them living on land the
Palestinians claim, often right next door to Palestinian towns.
Today, the Israeli army did most of the fighting. At one point,
moving in tanks equipped with machine guns. But the settlers say
it's not enough.
"At a certain point, you don't just defend yourself, you have
to take the offensive," said settler Yacov Haeyman. "People have to
understand that Arabs don't want peace, they want the Jews out of
the land of Israel and that's not going to happen."
Until now, the settlers have kept a low profile. Even the army
worries what will happen if that changes.
- ABCNEWS' Gillian Findlay
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