Skip to main content /WORLD
CNN.com /WORLD
CNN TV
EDITIONS

Sharon expresses regret for death of Palestinian baby

JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expressed regret Tuesday for the death of a 4-month-old Palestinian girl killed during Israeli shelling of a refugee camp, but he blamed Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat for the violence in the region.

Another death was reported Tuesday. The Israeli army said a Jewish settler was killed overnight in the West Bank. News of that death came on the same day that Iman Hiju, the Palestinian baby, was buried.

 VIDEO
CNN's Jerrold Kessel has more on the preliminary Mitchell report (May 6)

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
 
 AUDIO

CNN's Jerrold Kessel: Israel enters Palestinian-controlled area

1.06 MB/98 secs.
AIFF or WAV sound

Mitchell Report denounces Jewish settlement growth

690K/64 secs.
AIFF or WAV sound
 
 TIMELINES
graphic Recent acts of violence in the Middle East:
 • Bombings
 • Activist deaths
 
ALSO
State Department calls Israeli settlement reports 'provocative'
 

"Children should not be involved," Sharon said at a news conference. He described the child's death as accidental.

"I am convinced the Israeli forces have no intention to hit civilians," he said. Israeli officials described Monday's attack in southern Gaza as retaliatory, following Palestinian attacks on Jewish settlements.

Sharon accused the Palestinians of trying to smuggle weapons into Gaza, a charge rejected by a top Palestinian negotiator.

On Monday, the Israel Defense Forces said it intercepted a boat containing weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles, off the coast of northern Israel, near Rosh Hanikra.

"We know that this boat is the fourth time coming with weapons to Gaza," Sharon said at the news conference. "This time they were caught. ... and that only emphasizes the intentions of the Palestinian Authority."

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat denied Sharon's accusations.

"We don't control the Mediterranean or the shores of the Mediterranean," Erakat added. "Our fishermen cannot even fish in sea of Gaza for past seven months."

While Sharon expressed regret for Monday's death of the baby, he stressed that the responsibility ultimately belonged to Arafat for not controlling mortar attacks coming out of Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian negotiator said the motivation of the Israeli leader is clear.

"I believe that Mr. Sharon is trying to hide his crime and terror when he kills a 4-month-old baby, injuring schoolchildren and now assigning blame and finger-pointing at Arafat," Erakat said.



RELATED STORIES:
Arafat calls for summit to discuss Mitchell report
May 5, 2001
Pope appeals for Mideast peace
May 5, 2001
Source: Mideast report offers 'plenty' to upset both sides
May 4, 2001
Israel's Peres set to meet with U.S. officials
May 2, 2001
One dead in Mideast raid
May 2, 2001
Mideast cease-fire still elusive
April 29, 2001

RELATED SITES:
See related sites about Middle East
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.


 Search   





MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 













Back to the top