Jihad, Hamas defy Arafat's call to halt attacks

Gaza City, June 20: The radical groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas today turned down a call from Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for a halt to suicide attacks on Israeli civilians.

Gaza City, June 20: The radical groups Islamic Jihad
and Hamas today turned down a call from Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat for a halt to suicide attacks on Israeli
civilians.

"The statement (from Arafat) was made under international
pressure. We call on the international community to put
pressure on Israel to halt its aggressions," said Khaled
el-Baatsh, a Jihad leader.

"The resistance will continue as long as Israel continues
to occupy our lands," he told a news agency.

Hamas, meanwhile, also refused to heed Arafat's call.

For Hamas, "As long as the occupation is here, our people
have the right to struggle against it," Ismail Abu Haniya told
a news agency, without ruling out any attacks on Israeli civilians.

Hamas carried out Tuesday's suicide bombing on a bus in
Jerusalem that left 19 dead, plus the bomber, and triggered an
Israeli army reoccupation of Palestinian towns in the West
Bank.

"I do not think the Palestinian authority or any other
faction will accept any abuses by the Zionist enemy in our
territories and villages ," he said.

In its bloody aftermath, and that of a second bombing
yesterday that killed seven Israelis in Jerusalem, Arafat
called for a freeze on suicide bombings and shooting rampages
inside Israel.

Bureau Report

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