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September 16, 1994 - Image 54

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-09-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Diplomatic Flap
With Pakistan

Jerusalem (JTA) — A diplomatic
storm erupted this week over
Israel's refusal to allow a
Pakistani ambassador to enter
the G272 Strip because he did not
contact Israeli officials prior to
the visit.
Pakistani Prime Minister Be-
na zir Bhutto reportedly canceled
her plans to visit Gaza as a result
of the incident.
Ms. Bhutto, whose predomi-
nantly Muslim country has no
diplomatic relations with Israel,
had planned to visit Gaza before
attending a U.N.-sponsored world
population conference in Cairo.
Ms. Bhutto apparently had
canceled the visit once last week
after Israeli officials said she
would need their approval before
making the visit.
But over the weekend she ap-
parently changed her mind, and
Mansur Alam, the Pakistani am-
bassador to Egypt, attempted to
enter Gaza for the apparent pur-
pose of arranging Ms. Bhutto's
visit.
The envoy spent some seven
hours waiting at the Rafah cross-
ing separating Gaza from Egypt
before he was turned away on the
orders of the secretary to Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The or-
der reportedly was given with the
knowledge of both Mr. Rabin and
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.
Israeli officials later claimed
the envoy did not follow Israel's
entry procedures.
Israel is sensitive about the is-
sue of Palestinian leaders invit-
ing foreign dignitaries to either
Gaza or the Jericho enclave in the
West Bank. Both areas fell under
Palestinian self-rule in May, but
the autonomy agreement signed
with Israel does not grant sover-
eignty or control over foreign re-
lations to the Palestinians.
Ms. Bhutto would have been
the first foreign head of state to
visit Gaza.
The Palestinian leadership re-
acted angrily to the incident, with
Palestine Liberation Organiza-
tion Chairman Yassir Arafat call-
ing Israel's actions a "serious
(breach) of the peace process" and
warning they would have wide-
ranging repercussions.
But Mr. Rabin took Pakistan
and Ms. Bhutto to task for failing
to abide by proper protocols and
for bypassing Israel.
"First Pakistan has to turn to
us to ask for permission for the
ambassador to go to Gaza," he
said. "The same applies to the
prime minister."
The Palestinian governing
council, which convened a special
meeting to address the matter,
maintained that under the terms
of the self-rule accord, the coun-

cil — not visitors to the Palestin-
ian autonomous areas — is oblig-
ed to notify Israel through proper
channels of any planned diplo-
matic visits.
Chief Palestinian negotiator
Nabil Sha'ath displayed his anger
at the incident by showing up
more than an hour late to sign
the accord for extending Pales-
tinian control over several key ar-
eas in the West Bank.
Mr. Sha'ath described the Is-
raeli action as a big mistake.
The incident constituted a
"gross violation of the (self-rule)
agreement," said Mr. Sha'ath. "I
think it will hurt very much the
attempt by the government of Is-

Mr. Rabin took
Pakistan and Ms.
Bhutto to task for
failing to abide by
proper protocols and
for bypassing Israel.

rael to normalize relations with
Islamic countries."
A Pakistani official said it was
unlikely Ms. Bhutto would visit
Gaza after what took place.
"The treatment meted out to
our ambassador at the border
was not very pleasant," he said,
"so certainly we don't want the
prime minister to face any un-
pleasant situation at the border."
Some Israeli officials were said
to believe the prime minister's
line was unnecessarily harsh and
that a visit by Ms. Bhutto to Gaza
would be good for the Palestini-
ans and for the peace process.
Some also suggested that such
a visit could benefit Israel.

Terrorism Adviser
Issues Warning

Tel Aviv (JTA)— On the eve of
the Rosh Hashanah holiday,
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's
adviser on terrorism issued a gen-
eral advisory to Israelis and Jews
around the world to be on special
guard during the High Holiday
period.
Brig. Gen. Yigal Pressler is-
sued his advisory after two Jews
were stabbed in Jerusalem's Old
City.
The two individuals, whose
names were not immediately re-
leased, had been walking along
the narrow alley in the Muslim
Quarter of the Old City, where
Ariel Sharon has his well-guard-
ed but rarely used house.

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