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Crisis in the Middle East: Arafat Claims Fulfillment of Agreement with Israeli GovernmentAired November 3, 2000 - 7:39 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: But right now, we've got some news out of Jerusalem.
We join CNN's Rula Amin, who just came from a meeting with Yasser Arafat -- Rula.
RULA AMIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually, we are in Gaza and we have just met with the Palestinian Authority president in his office, where he told us that he has fulfilled his part of the agreement that he had made with the Israeli government, and now he is waiting to see what is it that Mr. Barak will do to fulfill his obligations.
And Mr. Arafat said that by yesterday -- when he made that statement yesterday in the name of the Palestinian leadership, which he is -- the Palestinian leadership called on Palestinians to resort only to peaceful means in their attempt to protest, or when they want to express their aspirations, that by doing that Mr. Arafat was fulfilling his part of the agreement.
He said that he was still waiting to hear from Mr. Barak the same announcement. He said that he was still waiting to hear a report that a complete withdrawal of Israeli tanks had took place from the outskirts of Palestinian towns and villages. He said that he was promised that if this agreement is to go ahead, also, Mr. Barak is going to lift the closure on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including what Mr. Arafat terms as "the siege" and the cutting off of the roads between Palestinian towns and villages.
Now, the Israeli side is saying that Mr. Arafat has not fulfilled his part because their agreement was that both leaders will make their statements on television and that they would read the statements themselves. Mr. Arafat denies there was such an agreement. He said a written statement on behalf of the Palestinian leadership is more than enough, and now he wants to hear the same words come from Mr. Barak.
As we were meeting with him, Mr. Arafat was getting reports every 10 minutes, there was a report coming to him on Israeli moves, whether they have pulled away their tanks are not. He pointed to us that in certain towns and villages in the West Bank, like Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem, Israeli tanks were still deployed, there were certain roads that were still blocked, and he considers that a violation of the agreement. But yet, he said he was still waiting and that he was hopeful that this agreement will hold.
Back to you.
LIN: All right, thank you very much, Rula Amin in Gaza.
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