The Words of the Jenkins Family
Palestinians Approve Qureia's New Cabinet
November 13, 2003
Our historic effort to bring the Abrahamic faiths together is developing and the path to peace will be secured. The upcoming pilgrimage and rally is a key component to allow the religious leaders to come together as one and then inspire and support the political efforts that must be made on all sides (America, Palestine and Israel).
A task force is forming world wide of Ambassadors for Peace. Members should plan to depart by December 1st and stay until the 23rd. VIPS, Amb. for Peace and Clergy should come by the 7th and stay until the 23rd. However, there is flexibility to come latter. The Pilgrimage will go from December 18th thru the 23rd. This is the time of the realization of the God's Kingdom.
Peace, Shalom, Salaam Alaikam
Pray for Peace in the Middle East.
Today: November 12, 2003 at 11:11:08 PST
Palestinians Approve Qureia's New Cabinet
By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -
Palestinian lawmakers approved Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia's new government Wednesday, setting the stage for a renewed push to implement the stalled, U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan.
The vote came after Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who appears to have survived the Israeli-American effort to sideline him, joined Qureia in calling for an end to the three years of violence with Israel that have claimed thousands of lives.
"The time has come between us and you Israelis ... to get out of this cycle of destructive war," Arafat said, referring to the violence that buried an ambitious effort to end a century of Arab-Israeli enmity. Israeli officials said they will give the new premier a chance to restore calm, and Islamic militant groups said they will consider a cease-fire. Officials on both sides said they expected Qureia and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to meet soon.
The approval of the Cabinet, which was sworn in Wednesday, ended a two-month stalemate that stymied efforts to implement the peace plan accepted by both sides six months ago.
The plan authored by the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia calls for an end to violence and the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005.
In the interim, Israel is to freeze settlement construction and the Palestinian security forces are to dismantle militant groups - moves that have not occurred.
Qureia broke the stalemate Sunday by giving in to Arafat on the crucial question of who controls Palestinian security and police, leaving the veteran leader effectively in charge of most forces.
Parliament approved the Cabinet despite some lawmaker complaints it too closely resembled previous corrupt governments. Israel and the United States, which accused Arafat of stoking terrorism, wanted the security agencies removed from his jurisdiction. In September, Israel declared it would act to "remove" Arafat.
But Israeli officials - who face public pressure to find a way out of the violence - suggested Wednesday they primarily were interested in restoring quiet.
"If the new Palestinian government is serious about pursuing peace and takes action to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism, they will find Israel to be a real partner," Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said. Raanan Gissin, Sharon's spokesman, urged Qureia to halt militant attacks on Israelis and consolidate security forces under one authority. "We're prepared to give Ahmed Qureia a grace period and judge him by the results," Gissin said.
The two sides reached an impasse under Qureia's predecessor, Mahmoud Abbas, over his rejection of the peace plan's call - and Israel's demand - that the Palestinians disarm and dismantle militant groups.
Israel continued raids against the militants, a brief truce declared by the militants collapsed in August and Abbas resigned in September. Qureia, who was leading a small "emergency government," has said he would use persuasion - not force - to help end militant attacks. On Wednesday, he urged Palestinian militants to end all violence.
Both the Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups - which have staged more than 100 suicide bombings in recent years - indicated they were considering Qureia's call.
Adnan Asfour, Hamas spokesman in the West Bank, said the group "was ready to study any new hudna (cease-fire) offer."
Nafez Azzam, a senior Islamic Jihad leader in the Gaza Strip, said the group welcomes "any dialogue with our brothers in the Palestinian Authority" but believes a truce depends on Israel stopping its "bloody aggression." In exchange, an Israeli official said on condition of anonymity, Israel would be prepared to resume implementing the peace plan and ease its grip on the Palestinians - eliminating many roadblocks, withdrawing from occupied cities and allowing more Palestinian workers into Israel.
In a speech to parliament, Qureia harshly criticized Israel's continuing clampdown but also called for an immediate, comprehensive cease-fire and a return to talks on the peace plan.
"To the Israelis, we want peace and security and independence that will not be realized unless we work together," Qureia said. "Let's help each other stop this cycle of hell." The "road map" does not address issues that helped scuttle past peace efforts: borders, the future of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and Jewish settlements.
Earlier, Arafat called for an end to the violence, saying Israel has a right to live in peace. In comments aimed at Israelis, he said the continued fighting "will not give you security nor give us security nor will it give you just and secure peace."
Arafat has made similar statements before, but he now faces growing international and domestic pressure to make concrete moves to end the bloodshed, which has killed 2,547 people on the Palestinian side and 892 on the Israeli side. The U.N. representative to the region, Terje Roed-Larsen, said both sides must be willing to compromise.
"If the parties move forward responsibly and take the leap of faith ... hope will be rebuilt and without doubt there will be broad popular support among the Palestinians and the Israelis," he said.
Sporadic violence persisted. In the Gaza Strip, an Islamic Jihad gunman was killed after shooting at Israeli troops, military sources said. And in Nablus, a 15-year-old Palestinian injured Saturday in clashes with Israeli troops died of his wounds, hospital officials said.
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