A legal opinion obtained by the Israeli negotiating delegation states that the Oslo agreements concur with Israel's demand that the IDF be permitted to operate in the Arab neighborhoods of Hebron after the redeployment, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL, reported.

The legal opinion bases its position on a section which explicitly states that Israel retains overall security responsibility for Israeli citizens and that Israel has the right to act in order to carry out this responsibility.

However, officials involved in the negotiations said they were not sure if this section of the agreement would resolve disagreements surrounding the redeployment. One week ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his special advisor, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, discussed the issue with attorney Joel Singer, former legal counsel to the Foreign Ministry.

HA'ARETZ reported that OC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Shlomo Yanai confirmed on Monday that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat directed Palestinian Police to block the Netzarim settlement with a convoy of vehicles on Sunday.

Yanai's statement also confirmed reports that Arafat is trying to escalate the situation in the territories in order to achieve political gains. IDF officers are concerned that if Arafat continues to agitate the situation in the territories, there will be no alternative but to resort to extreme measures.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Sunday's intentional roadblock a "provocation" and warned Arafat that such policies will not be effective.

"I hope that no one on the Palestinian side adopts the way of provocation, and if someone believes that the incidents after the opening of the Western Wall Tunnel are the way to continue, they are making a serious mistake.
Political gains will be achieved at the bargaining table, and it is time the Palestinian side understands this."

from ISRAELINE newslist by ICEJ


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