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|Friday, November 03, 2000, updated at 14:08(GMT+8)|
Israel Says to Respect Sharm El-Sheikh UnderstandingsIsrael said Thursday that it would like to stick to the understandings reached last month by Israeli and Palestinian leaders at the Sharm El- Sheikh Summit in Egypt.
Speaking to the press after meeting U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Middle East, Acting Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, who is in New York for a visit, said these understandings were "further underlined and emphasized yesterday" at a meeting between former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
"We are still waiting for the Chairman (Arafat) to come before his people and convey a clear-cut message about the need to stop violence. We expect the Sharm memorandum to be observed the way it should have been done from the very beginning," he said.
Ben-Ami said there was no need for a U.N. force to protect Palestinians as called by the Palestinian leadership.
On the car bomb attack earlier Thursday in Jerusalem, Ben-Ami said the Palestinian Authority had given a "green light" to terrorism by releasing Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners.
"From our viewpoint, it only vindicated the case we were trying to make, and that is the Palestinian Authority has released a number of Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, And this signaled, or gave a green light, to terrorist activities," he added.
Ben-Ami met Thursday morning with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. They agreed on the need to secure the full implementation of the Sharm El-Sheikh understandings and restore calm and create the right atmosphere for the resumption of peace negotiations.
Israeli and Palestinian leaders met last month in Sharm El- Sheikh, Egypt, where they agreed to take steps to end the violence prompted by the visit on September 28 of Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon to a Jerusalem holy shrine. After the summit, new clashes and violence were reported almost every day.
A car bomb exploded earlier Thursday in central Jerusalem, killing two people and injuring nine others. The bomb came just hours after the agreement reached between Israeli former Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to work to end the violence.
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