Thursday, October 16, 2003

Peace plan causes panic in Israeli government: "Supporters of the new 'Geneva accords', while acknowledging that the agreement is unlikely to persuade Mr Sharon to abandon his militarist approach to the conflict, say that the deal is a breakthrough because it nails the government's lie that there is no one to negotiate with."

"The negotiations were led by another former Israeli cabinet minister, Yossi Beilin, and Yasser Abed Rabbo, a close associate of Yasser Arafat, who is unlikely to have reached such a deal without the Palestinian president's blessing."

"Supporters of the accords plan a signing ceremony in about a fortnight, probably on the anniversary of the assassination of the former Israeli prime minister and architect of the Oslo accords, Yitzhak Rabin. Among those invited to attend is Bill Clinton."

"'The Geneva agreement has caused panic in the prime minister's office because it proves there are Palestinians with whom we can talk, and that there are things worth talking about,' said Yuli Tamir, a former Israeli cabinet minister who was part of the talks."

The peace plan is potentially dangerous because it could panic Sharon and the government into starting another war in order to sideline it, much as the 1982 invasion of Lebanon was motivated by an outbreak of peace among the Palestinians at the time.

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