International: PA arrests Hamas men
Israel considers legality of expelling suicide bombers’ relatives Cabinet gives go-ahead to complete fencing Arafat urges world to intervene, says Israel planning military rule
JERUSALEM: The Palestinian security services on the Gaza Strip arrested several Hamas members as well as the head of an Islamic party linked to the anti-Israeli group, a Hamas official said Sunday.
“The Palestinian security services have arrested Jamal Saleh, the secretary general of Al-Khalas Nationalist Islamic Party,” which is close to Hamas, said an official.
Israeli plan: The Israeli cabinet decided Sunday to look at the legalities of expelling relatives of Palestinian suicide bombers in a new step to crack down on the attacks, government secretary Gideon Saar announced.
“The government decided to examine the legal possibilities (that would allow) the expulsion of families of those who commit suicide attacks,” Saar told reporters after the meeting.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government gave the go-ahead to complete construction of the first leg of a controversial security barrier along the West Bank aimed at bottling up would-be Palestinian suicide bombers.
Sept 1l-like attack: Israel’s air force is ready for the scenario of a September 11 style kamikaze plane attack on one of the country’s cities, public radio reported.
Troops take Qalqilya: Palestinian witnesses said about 60 Israeli vehicles, including tanks and armoured personnel carriers, pushed into Qalqilya in the West Bank and surrounded two buildings, calling on residents to leave.
A Palestinian policeman was killed on Sunday in a gun battle with Israeli soldiers near Jenin, Palestinian security sources said.
Reservists called up: “Due to the security situation, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) is calling up a brigade of reservists. The call-up begins on Sunday,” an army statement said.
Arafat appeals: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Sunday urged world leaders to intervene swiftly to contain Israel’s get-tough policy in the West Bank, where he said Israel wants to restore military rule.
Butt the Israeli defence ministry categorically denied reports that it was planning to establish a military government in occupied Palestinian towns on the West Bank.
‘Mistakes’ at Camp David: Arafat said everyone, including the Palestinians, “made mistakes” at the Camp David summit in July 2000, in an interview published Sunday in the Haaretz newspaper.
“We made mistakes, but ... remember we continued at Sharm El Sheikh, and Paris and Taba. And at Taba we were very near to each other”, he said. —Reuters/AFP