August 3, 1994
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat warned in remarks published Wednesday that further delays in implementing the Israel-PLO peace accord could reignite Palestinian unrest.
He also was quoted as blaming Israel for stirring up trouble over Jerusalem and calling negotiations in Cairo to expand Palestinian authority in the West Bank a "waste of time."
"I am ringing warning bells so that you understand that the present situation can't continue,"
the Hebrew-language newspaper Haaretz quoted Arafat as telling Israeli peace activists.
He noted that Palestinian workers rioted last month over delays in crossing to their jobs in Israel. "This will happen in many other places. It will spread and explode," he was quoted as saying.
Haaretz said Arafat made the comments Tuesday in a meeting at his Gaza City headquarters with members of Givat Haviva, an institute that fosters Israeli-Arab cooperation.
Arafat appeared to be trying to deflect criticism of his handling of autonomy in the Gaza Strip and West Bank town of Jericho by blaming Israel and the international community for delays in implementing self-rule.
Arafat complained that parts of the accord signed in May between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization have not been implemented, including corridors to link Gaza and Jericho through Israel.
"Me, the president of this state, I can't go to Jericho," Arafat said. "What do you think, that I will go get (Israeli) permits every time I want to go to Jericho?"
Arafat was especially critical of Israel's dealings with Jordan.
Israel and Jordan last week signed a pact officially ending their state of war and pledged to cooperate in reaching a full peace agreement. As part of the accord, Israel affirmed Jordanian control over Jerusalem's Muslim holy sites.
The Palestinians considered the move an Israeli attempt to block their demand that Arab east Jerusalem become the capital of their would-be state.
Meanwhile, Arafat rivals in Lebanon seized the two main offices of his Fatah faction of the PLO in the country's largest Palestinian refugee camp, a longtime Arafat stronghold.
A police statement said the gunmen, followers of dissident leader Col. Munir Makdah, stormed the offices in the Ein el-Hilweh shantytown on the outskirts of the Lebanese port of Sidon shortly before midnight.
Arafat loyalists surrendered without a fight.