what a brave guy - so typical!

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    Last Update: 18/09/2003 08:32

    Arafat offers new truce, says contacts underway with militants

    By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service

    Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's men
    are surrounding his office with women and children
    as a human shield against an Israeli attempt to
    assassinate or deport him, Israeli security
    sources said Wednesday.

    The sources said Arafat's men have asked senior Fatah
    activists and members of the Palestinian security mechanisms to "volunteer" their families for a permanent vigil of women and children, which will
    obstruct any attempt to harm Arafat.

    Since the Israeli cabinet decision last week to
    deport Arafat, many Palestinians and other
    delegations are arriving at the Muqata compound
    in Ramallah daily to support Arafat. Two
    Israeli delegations of Knesset members and
    peace activists have also visited.

    But according to security forces, the PA wants
    to ensure a permanent presence of civilians
    around Arafat and will see to it that women and
    also stay in the Muqata at night.

    A senior Israeli military source said a move against Arafat is "a matter of how, not if." The IDF also intends to continue the assassinations of senior Hamas members.

    Arafat offers truce Arafat offered a new truce to Israel on Wednesday in a series of interviews on three
    television stations, after Palestinian officials said the militant group Hamas has signaled it might agree to stop attacks on Israelis.

    But Israeli leaders say they want to first see Palestinian action to take Hamas and other militant groups out of commission before considering a cease-fire.

    Interviewed on Israel's Channel 2 and Channel10, as well as Al Jazeera, Arafat was asked if there was a possibility for a new truce. "Of course," he said. "You're invited. The announcement was made yesterday," referring to remarks by his security adviser, Jibril Rajoub,
    on Tuesday.

    Arafat said contacts are underway with all Palestinian factions over a cease-fire. "Even the Islamic Jihad said they are willing to respect a cease fire, and we are continuing our contacts with Hamas," he said.

    Referring to the possibility of being expelled by Israel, Arafat said he would be ready to die as a martyr, Army Radio reported.

    "I am a Palestinian soldier and carry a pistol," he said, and added that "there is not one person in Palestine who does not dream of dying as a martyr." and this creep want to die a martyr....surrounded by women and children? Only stuffed up Arabs could accept such a proposition..........Snooker

    Israel has said it will press on with the campaign if the Palestinians don't act to disarm the militants, as required by the road map plan. The Palestinians have said that must be done in consultation, rather than
    confrontation, with the militant groups.

    "Israel does not accept the idea of a cease-fire as a means or as an alternative to fighting terror," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Jonathan Peled said. But he added Israeli sees a cease-fire "as an eventual possibility after we have found a Palestinian partner who begins to fight terror."

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