In The News
Bullets against stones
For the first time, Israel’s army commanders are telling soldiers they can fire live ammunition on surging Palestinian stone throwers if the Israelis feel their lives are threatened.
The verbal orders, made quietly Monday after a review of the “opening-fire orders” rule by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, give soldiers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip unprecedented leeway in using force.
Mubarak assails Israel
Showing the bitterness that led him to shun the Middle East summit meeting in Washington, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt took time Tuesday to assail Israel for its “obstinate acts” and the “discouraging” statements of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Mubarak told reporters Tuesday he had urged Netanyahu three times last week to take steps to defuse Arab-Israeli tensions. But Mubarak suggested that his Israeli counterpart had remained as defiant in private as he had been in his public statements.
Israel rejects pullout date
Natan Sharansky, an Israeli Cabinet officer, said Israel has rejected as impossible an American request for a specific date for the pullback of troops in Hebron - originally to have occurred last March. “We say to commit oneself to a date is to create a built-in possibility of the talks breaking down,” Sharansky said.