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Sunday, 8 September, 2002, 04:30 GMT 05:30 UK
Sharon calls for new Palestinian security
Palestinians inspect the rubble of Mohammed Frainah's metal workshop after it was hit by Israeli helicopters in Khan Younis refugee camp
Gaza Strip has recently been engulfed in violence
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said training and preparation for a new Palestinian security apparatus - a key demand of the US and Israel - can start as early as this month.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Sharon dismissed Arafat's reforms as mere "games"
In an interview to Israeli radio, Mr Sharon said Palestinian security under Yasser Arafat had become "terrorist organisations" and that the Palestinians have failed to keep their part of a tentative truce agreement.

He also demanded a total cessation of violence and an overhaul of the Palestinian Authority before the peace process could be revived.

Mr Sharon's comments come after he explicitly rejected the Oslo peace process and amid renewed violence in the Gaza Strip.

Security overhaul

Israel and the US have long demanded radical changes to the Palestinian Authority and its security apparatus.

Both countries have said the various - often competing - security services should be restructured into one unified organisation.

"Training and preparation of a new security apparatus will, I estimate, begin during the course of this month. That's a beginning," Mr Sharon said.

He stressed that, for the peace process to resume, "there must be genuine reform, not what Arafat is talking about at the moment".

"Those are games. There's nothing real there."

Mr Sharon's comments follow heavy criticism from both Palestinians and the Israeli opposition after his newspaper interview on Friday in which he rejected the 1993 Oslo peace accords.

"Oslo doesn't exist any more, Camp David doesn't exist any more, neither does Taba," Mr Sharon told the Maariv newspaper.

"We will not return to these places."

Mr Sharon's statements came hours after fresh Israeli incursion in the Gaza Strip and a spate of attacks by Palestinian militants in which two Israeli soldiers were killed.


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