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PA's Erekat: Terror Down 99% Over The Last 3 Weeks

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said Wednesday that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had personally ordered all of his security forces to aid in efforts to rescue kidnapped Israeli cab driver Eliyahu Gurel, and that over the past three weeks, efforts to curb terrorism had yielded a 99 percent drop in terror attacks against Israelis. Erekat said that in a meeting with all of his senior security personnel, Arafat “instructed that the area of Ramallah and any place in this vicinity should be searched very thoroughly and that the driver must be handed back to Israel.” Israel Wednesday played down the importance of the aid extended by Palestinian security forces in Gurel’s rescue. Deputy Defense Minister Ze’ev Boim said that while Palestinians voiced willingness to help, “you can’t rely on them.” In a notable departure from the practice of recent years, Palestinian officials said Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority General Intelligence Service supplied Israel information that may have helped locate the kidnap victim, who was found Tuesday night. Full Story

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