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The BBC's Stephen Gibbs
"The brutality of Friday night's suicide bombing may mark a turning point in this conflict"
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The BBC's Simon Ingram in Jerusalem
"Effectively Mr Arafat has been set what amounts to a deadline"
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Dr Hanan Ashrawi, of the Palestinian council
"The Palestinians are still under occupation, we are still in a state of siege"
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Former Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu
"Nothing justifies the deliberate, systematic assault on civilians"
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Dr Raanan Gissin, Advisor to Ariel Sharon
"We will never compromise on the security and safety of the citizens of Israel"
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Sunday, 3 June, 2001, 01:29 GMT 02:29 UK
Arafat orders immediate ceasefire
Israeli demonstrators
Crowds of angry Israeli's attacked a mosque
The Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, has ordered his security forces and Palestinian factions to implement an immediate ceasefire on attacks on Israeli targets.

The order came a day after 19 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a nightclub in Tel Aviv.

But a BBC correspondent in Jerusalem says the Palestinian security forces' ability to restrain radical groups that are not under Mr Arafat's control is likely to be limited.

Yasser Arafat
There is concern that Arafat will not be able to enforce the ceasefire
With several of the Israeli teenagers killed in Friday night's blast expected to be buried later on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will come under intense public pressure to strike back at those who carried out the attack.

Despite Mr Arafat's call, which may avert the threat of an armed Israeli response, Palestinians are preparing for possible retaliatory attacks.

Universities and other public buildings have been evacuated and people are stockpiling food.

Mr Arafat ordered his security services to implement a total and immediate ceasefire late on Saturday, after Israel gave him 24 hours to carry out his promise that he would do "whatever is necessary" to achieve a ceasefire.

In a written document Mr Arafat ordered the implementation of the ceasefire "in all sectors under the Palestinian Authority's control, even by force", a high-ranking Palestinian security official said.

Palestinian security said in a statement that contacts were under way with "the national and Islamic factions to obtain an immediate implementation of this decision".

The statement was referring to the Palestinian movements, including Mr Arafat's Fatah, and to the radical organisations Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Joint patrols

Sources say that field commanders were instructed to mobilise joint patrols inside Palestinian territory to take what steps were necessary to ensure security.

The BBC's Kylie Morris in Gaza City says that the challenge now facing these commanders is effectively to implement these orders despite the opposition they are bound to meet from the militant groups.

Deserted street
Amid retaliation fears streets in the West Bank are deserted
But the Israeli Government says that the announcement of the ceasefire does not go far enough.

"The phrasing is not clear enough... the real and only test will be the cessation of terrorism, the arrest of those involved, the inciters, the perpetrators and those behind them," said Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

US concern

US President George W Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell have been pressuring Mr Arafat to exercise restraint and immediately end the violence in the Middle East.

Mr Powell cancelled a weekend trip to Central America to discuss the situation with Israeli, Palestinian and world leaders.

Mr Bush kept in touch with Mr Powell and other national security officials from the presidential retreat in Camp David.

"The president is very concerned about the violence in the Middle East and is calling on Chairman Arafat and the Palestinians to take concrete action to end the violence," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

Angry crowds

Israelis have been outraged by the attack on young people queuing outside a popular nightclub in Tel Aviv at the start of the weekend.

Ariel Sharon
Sharon is under immense pressure to attack the Palestinians
On Saturday hundreds of Israelis chanting "death to Arabs" and hurling stones attacked a mosque on across the street from the bomb attack.

At least 17 people were wounded in the confrontation outside the Hassan Bek mosque as Israeli security forces tried to disperse the crowd.

Muslims attacked

Police blocked the crowd from entering the mosque and helped about 30 Muslims who had become targets of the crowd's anger after gathering for prayers to leave.

"They deserve it. Look what they did to us," an Israeli woman standing outside the mosque said.

"The Arabs in there are just like the Arabs who attacked the Jews over there in the nightclub," she added.

The number of people killed by the bomb has risen to 19.

Of the 90 injured by the nails and shrapnel from the bomb 67 remain in hospital. Fifteen of them are in a critical or serious condition.

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See also:

01 Jun 01 | Middle East
Analysis: Sharon under pressure
25 May 01 | Middle East
Blasts test Israel's 'ceasefire'
28 Mar 01 | Middle East
Israel's history of bomb blasts
28 Mar 01 | Middle East
Bomb stokes Mid-East tension
02 Jun 01 | Middle East
Terror at the Pascha disco
02 Jun 01 | Middle East
Israel scorns Arafat promise
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