RealNews

Israel Backs Off Arafat Threat

Israel’s foreign minister said today that his government had no plans to kill Yasser Arafat, one day after an official said assassinating the Palestinian leader was one possible way to carry out the government’s vow to “remove” him. The foreign minister, Silvan Shalom, told foreign journalists that killing “is not an official policy of the Israeli government.” He also said the government would not take immediate action to enact a security cabinet decision made public Thursday in which Arafat was described as “a complete obstacle to any process of reconciliation” whom Israel would “work to remove.” “We didn’t say that we have the policy of killing others. No way,” Shalom said. He added, however, that Israel reserved the right to “do anything” to prevent suspected terrorists from carrying out attacks. Israel has frequently used assassinations, which it calls targeted killings, since the Palestinian uprising began almost three years ago, most recently against leaders of the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas. Full Story

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