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Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
Tenet plan open to interpretation
Palestinian gunmen
No mass arrest of militant Palestinians are likely
By Middle East analyst Roger Hardy

After six days of intensive negotiations, George Tenet has managed to win acceptance of his plan to stabilise the current precarious ceasefire.

The Americans have been careful not to publish the details, so each side is free to put forward its own interpretation.

Palestinians demonstrate outside the talks venue
Palestinians may feel betrayed by the deal
The Palestinians say Israel is to start lifting its blockade of Gaza and the West Bank - and eventually pull its troops back to the positions they held before the intifada began last September.

The Israelis have not confirmed this.

Their priority is for an end to the violence - they say even stone-throwing would constitute a breach of the ceasefire.

No arrests

The Palestinian authorities appear to have agreed to gather illegal weapons, halt mortar attacks and curb incitement to violence in the media.

But the demand that they arrest Islamic militants seems to have been fudged.

They will act to stop specific acts of violence, but not make sweeping arrests as the Israelis are demanding.

In the end, the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has decided he would rather risk unpopularity among his own people than say no the Americans.

The fact that both sides have accepted the Tenet plan - albeit grumpily - is a sign that international pressure is having some effect.

The Bush administration has had to abandon its earlier hands-off approach in favour of direct intervention. That is a significant U-turn.


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13 Jun 01 | Middle East
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