Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|What goes on in the mind of a cold hearted killer?|
|01/31/02 at 22:24:14|
Well, here is your answer...this is what Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon thinks about.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been strongly criticised for saying he regrets not having killed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Lebanon 20 years ago.
The European Union deplored the remarks, while a spokesman for the Palestinians said they showed the mindset of a gangster rather than a prime minister.
Mr Sharon was speaking to the Israeli newspaper Maariv, during an interview which is to be published in full on Friday.
He was defence minister at the time Israeli troops invaded Lebanon in 1982 in an attempt to drive out Mr Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organisation.
Mr Sharon's reported comments come as Mr Arafat remains under virtual house arrest inside his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah and as Israel debates cultivating an alternative Palestinian leadership.
The remarks also coincide with a new Middle East peace initiative being considered by the EU.
If they [the remarks] correspond to what Prime Minister Sharon has said, I must say that I deplore them and of course they deserve our rejection," Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU, told a news conference.
A Palestinian minister, Saeb Erekat, said the Israeli leader's words were "very dangerous". By expressing regret about not killing Mr Arafat in 1982, Mr Sharon "means he want to fix his mistake," Mr Erekat said.
The United States was more hesitant in its criticism, with State Department spokesman Richard Boucher - when pressed by reporters - only acknowledging that such remarks "can be unhelpful".
In the summer of 1982, the Israeli army launched a massive military incursion into Lebanon.
Operation "Peace for Galilee" was intended to wipe out Palestinian guerrilla bases near Israel's northern border - but as defence minister, Ariel Sharon pushed all the way to Beirut and expelled the PLO from the country.
"In Lebanon, there was an agreement not to liquidate Yasser Arafat," Mr Sharon said.
"In principle, I'm sorry that we didn't liquidate him."
But the prime minister also said he was still prepared to talk to Mr Arafat.
"If Arafat will take all the steps that we are demanding from him, for me he will return to be a partner in negotiations," Mr Sharon said.
His spokesman said current policy was not to harm Mr Arafat personally.
Israel says Mr Arafat will remain isolated until he arrests the militants Israel says were behind the killing of Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi last October.
There has been an upsurge in violence recently with Palestinian suicide bombers attacking Israeli targets and the Israeli army responding with incursions inside Palestinian-controlled territories.
In the latest violence on Thursday, Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinian militants after they allegedly detonated a bomb on a road inside a Jewish settlement in the Gush Katif area of the Gaza Strip.
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