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Friday, October 23, 1998 Published at 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK


Analysis: No deal without support

Jewish settlers in the West Bank town of Hebron pray during a road-blocking demonstration against Israeli troop withdrawals

By Jerusalem Correspondent Lyse Doucet

Mr Netanyahu will try to sell this deal as clear proof of his election promise to bring Israel a peace with security. His key slogan is "reciprocity" - that Israel is only relinquishing more West Bank land because the Palestinians have put forward a convincing plan to improve security.

That is how the prime minister will try to win over wavering members of his own right wing coalition. Some are likely to back him, so will opposition parties who have promised him a safety net and support for the deal if it is faithfully implemented.

Dealing a 'death sentence'

But some right-wing politicians are warning this is a deal which will only bring less peace and more violence. They believe Mr Netanyahu is not only giving up the biblical land of Israel, he is giving the Palestinians a bigger base to launch attacks against the Jewish state.

They will try to topple him and there are already predictions from various politicians of snap elections.

Israeli police are also bracing themselves for more right wing protests. For the past three days Jewish settlers have staged prayer vigils on West Bank roads, blocking Palestinian traffic to send an angry message to the prime minister that this deal is, for them, a death sentence.

Mr Netanyahu came to power more than two years ago, he championed the settlers' cause, declaring that Jews had the right to live anywhere in the biblical land of Israel.

But he also inherited Israel's commitment to the Oslo peace process, which has been in crisis through most of his term.

Many Israelis and Palestinians now wonder if he can achieve the kind of peace which provides the best guarantee of better security.





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