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Yaalon Doesn´t Take Ceasefire Offer Seriously

"The question is not whether we get rid of Arafat, but rather how." So said IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon today.
First Publish: 9/16/2003, 7:17 PM

"The question is not whether we get rid of Arafat, but rather how." So said IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon today, adding that this question is bothering not only Israel, but also the Americans, the Europeans, Egypt, and the Arabs in general. "There are those within [the PA] that are trying to lead an approach of abandoning terrorism, in the understanding that it is in their interest," Yaalon said.

The Chief of Staff said that the Arab offer of another ceasefire, broadcast on Israeli media today by leading PA military official Jibril Rajoub, is merely an attempt to "tempt us with another hudna, because they are afraid of what will happen to them - including Yasser Arafat - if there are more major terrorist attacks."

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met today with the 15 ambassadors of the European Union countries, as well as with the ambassadors of ten countries that are expected to soon join the EU. Shalom told them that Europe must transmit a clear message to the PA leadership that only a government that truly fights terrorists can be acceptable to the international community. The meeting took place in the home of Italy's Ambassador to Israel.