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Wednesday, 11 October, 2000, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
Israel 'reaping Arab whirlwind'
Palestinian demonstrators
"The Tel Aviv rulers sowed a wind" says Damascus
Commentators in the Islamic world say Israel has miscalculated in resorting to military force to quell the unrest of the past two weeks.

The violence between Palestinians and Israelis, but also between Jews and Arab Israeli citizens of Israel, has left over 90 people - mainly Palestinians - dead and scores more injured.

Israel "thought this was a propitious moment to resort to military action to enforce what they failed to achieve through talks," Syrian Arab Republic Radio commented.


Israel can never live in peace with the Arabs

Iraqi deputy premier Tariq Aziz

"However, the magic has turned against the magician. The Tel Aviv rulers thought that the Arabs were not in a situation to make any move because they are divided."

"These perceptions were illusions. Arab solidarity soon proved itself in all Arab states when millions of Arabs in all Arab capitals rose to remind Arab rulers of their responsibilities."

Peace an illusion

Iraqi deputy premier Tariq Aziz said the violence has confirmed Baghdad's view that peace with Israel is not possible.

"Our conflict with the Zionist enemy is one of existence," Mr Aziz said in a report carried on Republic of Iraq Radio. "Developments have shown that we were not wrong in our analysis that Israel would not agree to return the usurped rights to the Arabs."

"This confirms that establishing peace and coexisting with Israel is an illusion." Israel "can never live in peace with the Arabs," the Iraqi deputy premier said.

Israeli tanks and troops block road
Israeli forces "over-reacted"
The Jordan Times newspaper turned the spotlight on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak who, it said, has made several serious policy mistakes.

"Barak, Goliath-like, reacted with exaggerated, unnecessary ... and ultimately ineffective military force," the paper commented.

The Israeli prime minister also "over-reacted" to Hezbollah's abduction of three Israeli soldiers by threatening Lebanon, the paper said.

Explosion of anger

Mr Barak's approach was also "wrong" in publicly giving the Palestinians an ultimatum to stop the violence in two days, the Jordan Times commented.

Mr Barak had not acted "to rein in the Israeli vigilante terror groups that have rampaged against Palestinian individuals, homes, mosques, churches, and property," the newspaper alleged.

Kofi Annan
UN secretary-general mediates
The message now is that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians can hope to defeat the other, it said. The only option was to negiotiate a fair peace, but that process "now needs to be redefined following this explosion of anger and indignity".

Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi warned that Israeli "threats against Syria and Lebanon have created a very dangerous situation."


Israel has come to rely on weapons for its survival

Egypt's 'Al-Ahram'
He said Teheran would "analyse the situation closely and see what role Iran can play to protect the interests of the Islamic countries and the Palestinians."

War crimes

According to the Cairo newspaper Al-Ahram, Israel's actions against the Palestinians "betray a serious personality disorder".

"Israel has increasingly come to rely on weapons, which it considers as the main, and sometimes the only, guarantee for its existence and survival," the paper said.

Israeli tank on border
Hostilities spill across border with Lebanon
"The children of the al-Aqsa uprising succeeded in exposing the true face of the Hebrew state," the paper commented. "It is time we made moves at the international level to demand that Israel be put on trial for war crimes."

Damascus radio said it was clear that Israel's military threats "do not scare anyone in the region".

"The Arabs are ready to use the appropriate language in the face of any aggression," the radio commented. "Israel could now lose the normalisation it had won with certain Arab countries as a result of its ugly crimes."

"The Tel Aviv rulers sowed a wind and they reaped the whirlwind," the radio said.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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See also:

11 Oct 00 | Middle East
Fragile calm in West Bank
10 Oct 00 | Middle East
Kidnapped Israelis 'alive and well'
11 Oct 00 | Middle East
Israel's Arabs: Enemies within?
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