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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

November 19, 2002

Arafat slams Hebron plan as 'big crime'
You just have to love it when Arafat takes the high road and denounces crime, immorality. And then funds the terrorists.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat is voicing alarm over Israel's plan to tighten its grip on Hebron by building corridors for Jewish settlers that would snake through the West Bank city.

"This is a big crime," Arafat said on Monday about the proposal, raised by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon after Palestinian gunmen killed 12 soldiers and security men on Friday on an open route settlers use to reach a holy site in the city centre.

Building walled-in passages could entail razing Palestinian homes and heighten tensions, threatening U.S. efforts to keep the region calm as Washington prepares for possible war on Iraq.

In another sign that Sharon would make security his first line of offence with a Likud party election looming against hawkish Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli forces attacked a Palestinian security agency's headquarters in Gaza.

Israel said it found and destroyed an explosives factory in the Palestinian Preventive Security Service building it attacked with tanks and helicopters. Palestinian officials denied weapons were being made there.