Israel Resource Review 22nd January, 2001


Official PA radio news - P.B.C. VOP (Voice of Palestine) Radio: January 21, 2001

Summary and Analysis

In its coverage in advance of the talks, VOP underlined comments from PA President Yasser Arafat that the PA would rely on "international legitimacy" regarding all the major issues: refugees, Jerusalem, borders, land and water. The PA officials and VOP are putting the refugee question first.

Similarly, Dr. Saeb Erikat, in an interview with VOP's Gaza correspondent, 'Adil Za'anoun, stressed that Israel must keep its obligations according to UN resolutions.

Ahmad Qreia said there were great gaps that required Israeli decisions (i.e. concessions). Qreia, who led the various PA delegations, stressed four bases for execution of any agreement: the principle, the cost, a timetable, and international guarantees for execution.

VOP also devoted a long and glowing mid-round-up report to the Ramallah demonstration in favor of the right of return-a march staged by the Fatah Tanzim under Marwan Barghouti.

Anchorman Samir Interr, who introduced several other features and interviews on the subject of the right of return, stressed that the Israelis were refusing in their "obstinacy" to accept a refugee return. The features dealt with refugee communities in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, among others and on Israel's stubbornness in refusing their return, while accepting more than 70,000 foreign workers.

Quote of the Day

"We are in contact with our brother Syrian officials and we are making all efforts to strengthen and coordinate Arab efforts." (PLO Political Department Head, Farouk Qaddoumi, in morning interview 7:45, Sunday, describing purpose of visit to Syria of high-level Palestinian delegation, which had first visited Baghdad)

Sunday Morning Round-up Headlines

  • "The marathon Palestinian-Israeli talks get under way today in Taba and will last ten days;
  • The new round of talks represents the last chance to reach an agreement before the Israeli elections on the sixth of next month, and they will cover all matters, including refugees, borders, land and water and other matters;
  • And even with the continuation of talks Israeli measures on the ground also continue.;
  • The Executive committee (of the PLO) decides to continue talks based on the declared positions on the main issues and on international legitimacy;
  • Palestinian-Syrian coordination continues, and the contacts with President Assad are ongoing, and we will hear about them in an interview with PLO political department director Farouk Qaddoumi;
  • The minister of religious properties is visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
  • A new president in the White House: George W. Bush.and his inauguration speech concentrates on internal affairs, while his foreign policy is still unclear."

Morning Headlines 7 a.m. / 8 a.m. / 9 a.m. News Bulletin Headlines

  • "His excellency President Yasser Arafat chaired a meeting of the PLO Executive last night in his headquarters in Gaza;
  • Dr Saeb Erikat, the Home Rule Minister, asserted the National Authority's complete readiness for continuing measures in the marathon talks to be held tonight in Egypt;
  • The Israeli police arrest a young woman Amna Jawad from Bir al-Nabala in connection with the killing of an Israeli youth last week near al-Bireh;
  • Mass demonstrations and activities yesterday in Ramallah in support of the right of return for the refugees;
  • The families of the 13 martyrs killed in the October demonstrations inside the Green Line announce their refusal to receive resigning prime minister Ehud Barak in their cities;
  • Eleven Algerians killed, among them a child, in a massacre by an armed Algerian group in the Algerian capital;
  • The Republican George Bush Jr. is sworn in yesterday in Washington, becoming the 43rd president of the United States and ending eight years of Democratic rule under former president Bill Clinton;
  • A German newspaper says American forces used depleted uranium in Somalia in 1993;
  • The death toll in El Salvador reaches 801 dead, with about 3,000 wounded."

Quotes from Interview with Ahmad Qreia, Sunday Morning, January 21, 7:10 a.m.

Question: "First of all, is there anything positive in any of the recent talks.?"

Answer: "Until now there has been no bridging of the gaps on a variety of subjects. The fundamental differences remain, big differences, wide gaps that require great efforts and decisions by the Israeli side."

Question: "What about the talk that the Israeli side is willing to accept Palestinian sovereignty on the Haram al-Sharif (noble shrine, Temple Mount)?"

Answer: "There has been no discussion of this subject in the last four negotiating sessions. Discussion concentrated on 'land,' including Jerusalem as 'land' (i.e. territory). We didn't get into the Old City etc. until now. Just talking about land. There are a variety of ideas, but there was no concentration on any one subject. However, the subject of land is the big question for discussion..We set forth our point of view which was clear, and they set forth their point of view, clinging to the framework set forth by President Clinton in his papers, but as we told them that framework is not the source authority (for the talks).We told them that the source authority is international legitimacy (i.e. UN resolutions)."

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