Mideast cease-fire set up

Associated Press

GAZA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Gaza Strip – In a somber meeting marked by skepticism on both sides, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres announced plans Wednesday to formalize a shaky cease-fire and end a year of Mideast fighting.

But even as the leaders met in the southern Gaza Strip, shooting broke out just a few miles away, killing a 16-year-old boy in the Rafah refugee camp.

And just before midnight Wednesday, four Israeli tanks and a bulldozer advanced toward the Rafah camp, Palestinian security officials said. The camp was shelled and hit by heavy machine gun fire, and the bulldozer began demolishing a house, the officials said.

Palestinian gunmen returned fire. In the exchange, a 23-year-old Palestinian was killed and 11 others wounded, doctors said.

The Israeli army said it was checking the report.

The United States had been pressing hard for the cease-fire meeting, and the two sides agreed to resume security cooperation that had long since collapsed.

“No one came with great joy, and everyone has grounds to worry if this agreement will be implemented on the ground, but it was an important meeting,” Peres said afterward.

One difference quickly emerged: The Israelis want five weeks of calm as a testing period before moving ahead with confidence-building steps, while the Palestinians want to limit the period to two weeks, a Palestinian spokesman said.

In a joint statement afterward, the leaders pledged to resume security coordination, with another Peres-Arafat meeting expected in about a week.

A major test of the truce will come Friday when Palestinians plan to mark the first anniversary of the fighting with marches across the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Such marches often lead to confrontations with Israeli troops.

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Mt. Baker visible from the summit of Mt. Dickerman on a late summer day in 2017. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Hornets pester hikers on popular Mountain Loop trails

“You cannot out run the stings,” one hiker wrote in a trip report. The Forest Service has posted alerts at two trailheads.

A view of a 6 parcel, 4.4 acre piece of land in Edmonds, south of Edmonds-Woodway High School on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Housing authority seeks more property in Edmonds

The Housing Authority of Snohomish County doesn’t have specific plans for land near 80th Avenue West, if its offer is accepted.

Nursing Administration Supervisor Susan Williams points at a list of current COVID patients at Providence Regional Medical Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of Providence patients in medical limbo for months, even years

About 100 people are stuck in Everett hospital beds without an urgent medical reason. New laws aim for a solution.

Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Pilot dead in ultralight plane crash at Arlington Municipal Airport

There were no other injuries or fatalities reported, a city spokesperson said.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
County Council delays vote on requiring businesses to take cash

Concerns over information and enforcement postponed the council’s scheduled vote on the ordinance Wednesday in Snohomish County.

A girl walks her dog along a path lined with dandelions at Willis D. Tucker Community Park on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Spraying in Willis Tucker Park resurfaces debate over herbicides

Park staff treated about 11,000 square feet with glyphosate and 2,4-D. When applied correctly, staff said they aren’t harmful.

One of Snohomish County PUD’s new smart readers is installed at a single family home Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
PUD program seeks to make energy grid smarter for 380K customers

The public utility’s ConnectUp program will update 380,000 electric meters and 23,000 water meters in the next few years.

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

Most Read