Israeli tanks and troops moved into Ramallah, on March 29, and surrounded the
compound of Yasser Arafat. Meanwhile the Arab nations were voting to commit
themselves to a plan that would allow for normal relations with Israel in return
for Israel returning to pre-1967 borders.
After a cabinet meeting by Israeli officials, the decision was made to isolate
Arafat. Gun battles led to the death of two Israeli soldiers and five Palestinians;
numerous Palestinians were wounded as well.
While Arafat did declare his willingness to initiate a cease-fire, a Palestinian
gunman shot and killed four Israelis in a settlement near the West Bank city
of Nablus. Arafat has made numerous offers of cease-fires and the Israel government
is ‘fed up,’ according to Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Prime Minister
The plan that was approved by the Arab nations was made at a meeting of the
Arab League that is currently meeting in Beirut, Lebanon. The return of Palestinian
refugees and the creation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its
capital are also included in this plan.
The plan was initially proposed by Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. This
proposal, which had the support from Libya and Iraq, is a departure from earlier
Arab peace attempts which included lists of belligerent demands.
The Israeli government has reacted negatively to the peace overture from the
Arab submit meeting (some believe that countries like Libya and Iraq agreed
to the peace overture only because they knew that Israel would never accept
the peace offer.) One Israeli government spokesman refereed to the plan as a
Before the approval of the plan by the Arab League, Prime Minster Sharon said
in an interview that returning to the 1967 borders would destroy Israel. He
claims that while everyone is endorsing Saudi’#146;s plan, no one is asking
Israel for its opinions on the plan.
In Gaza City, a Hamas spokesman, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, said that the summit meeting
will not change anything for his group, which is dedicated to Israel’#146;s
destruction. He says that as long as there is Israel occupation of Palestinian,
there will be resistance.