Ariel Sharon has declared that the operation against Yasser Arafat in Ramallah shall continue, despite a UN Security Council Resolution ordering Israel to pull back. The USA abstained from the vote.
The UNO instructed the Israeli forces to pull back to positions occupied before September 2000. The motion was presented by the United Kingdom, France, Norway and Bulgaria and was approved despite the abstention of the USA.
The document ordered Tel Aviv to stop the destruction of the civilian facility in Ramallah, where the Palestine Authority President and close collaborators are trapped. James Cunningham, spokesperson for the US State Department, explained why his country had abstained from the vote: “the Resolution did not condemn the Palestinian terrorist groups which provoke so many deaths and which perpetuate the conflict in the Middle East, blocking the reform process of the Palestine Authority”.
The text of the Resolution praised the work of the four powers involved in the peace process, namely the UNO, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the USA. Yasser Arafat called the vote “a step in the right direction”, while Israeli prime Minister Ariel Sharon said “The UNO can ask what it likes. Israel will continue the operation until its objectives are reached”.
Pope John Paul II has called on both sides to initiate peace talks immediately, asking Israel to suspend the attack on Ramallah and expressing solidarity with Yasser Arafat.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru