Middle East update

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Wed Oct 18 12:20:26 PDT 2000

[from Sam Smith's Progressive Review - anyone know anything about MiddleEast.org? the advisory board looks respectable]

BBC: Israeli TV has reported what it describes as a "secret security agreement" at the Sharm el-Sheikh accords which promised "immediate war" in response to the threat of terrorist attacks. The five-point agreement is also said to have called for the re-arrest of the Hamas leaders released by the Palestinians. The TV quoted the clauses of the agreement as follows:

* Immediate war will be waged against the threat of terrorist attacks. * All 14 senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists who were released, including Muhammad Dayf and Abu-Hannud, will be re-arrested. * The Palestinian police will be immediately ordered to hold their fire. * All incitement broadcasts will cease. * The sides acknowledge that the only armed Palestinian personnel are to be the Palestinian Authority's policemen. The TV added that the understanding of the last clause was that the Tanzim militia would be disarmed. The Tanzim is an armed group associated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah organization . . . The claims of a secret agreement were immediately explicitly denied by the Palestinians, who described them as "fabrications." But BBC correspondent John Leyne said that various attempts have been made in the past to set up meetings between Israeli and Palestinian security chiefs under the chairmanship of CIA head George Tenet. Mr. Tenet was reported to be in the region at the time of the summit, and our correspondent says it is quite possible that such a meeting did take place. It is more doubtful whether the detailed understandings which the TV reported really were an agreement or simply matters under discussion.

MID-EAST REALITIES: This BBC article is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The reality is that ever since Oslo, Arafat's top people have been trained, and infiltrated, by the CIA, as we have reported. At first the CIA was primarily involved in training Arafat's people to make sure they could take charge and to keep Arafat alive. Then the CIA began to infiltrate the territories with the help of Arafat's "Authority". Then the CIA's role was extended to make sure Hamas and the "terrorists" were kept either in Arafat's prisons or on the run. Then at Wye River the CIA was essentially told to take more responsibility for all that is going on in the Palestinian areas, and to bring the parties together to prevent "terrorism" and "control" the Palestinian streets whenever things threatened to get out of hand. And now, at the Sharm summit, the CIA has been given still more personnel, money, and authority.


REUTERS: A UN investigator to the Palestinian territories said the scale of Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israeli forces during a wave of violence over the past 20 days was "unprecedented." Giorgio Giacomelli, an independent rapporteur mandated by the UN Commission on Human Rights to monitor the territories, also expressed concern about what he called Israeli settler "paramilitary" who he said were responsible for at least five Palestinian deaths in the West Bank . . . The report on his Oct 11-15 mission, which said Israeli killings of Palestinians exceeded the first four months of the 1987-88 intifada, was issued to the UN human rights commission Tuesday at a two-day special session in Geneva.

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