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Crisis in the Middle East: Palestinian Youth, Israeli Defense Forces Clash in BethlehemAired October 17, 2000 - 7:26 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Much debate about how much impact this agreement by Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat to at least publicly condemn the violence ongoing now in the West Bank and Gaza.
And in fact, this morning clashes continue, this time in the town of Bethlehem, and that is where CNN's Ben Wedemen is standing by.
Ben, what happened there?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This morning there was a funeral for a Palestinian school boy, who was killed yesterday in clashes, and there was a funeral, and afterwards, after the boy was buried, several dozen Palestinian youth made their way to the Tomb of Rachel, which is an Israeli, it's a tomb that is controlled by the Israeli defense forces, and they opened fire just a little while ago with tear gas and rubber bullets. And now the streets are just full of smoke from burning tires and tear gas as well, the smoke from the tear gas, which is quite strong.
LIN: Ben, has word of the results out of this emergency summit in Sharm el-Sheik reached the people on the streets?
WEDEMAN: Some of the people on the streets are aware of it, they heard it on Arabic satellite channels, television channels, they've heard of it. But what I was hearing this morning, as I was at this funeral, was that it doesn't make much difference to them, they were opposed to the summit to begin with, and as far as they are concerned, their uprising, their intifada, as they call it, is going to go on, and it doesn't appear that anybody is making any attempt to stop it here on the ground.
LIN: So what is it that the Yasser Arafat is going to have to do to convince the people to stop?
WEDEMAN: The obvious first step would be to bring in his security forces to try to keep the youth away from Israeli positions, away from flash points. But of course the problem is that many of those Palestinian security forces, themselves, aren't convinced of the wisdom of an end to this uprising. And therefore, it is a bit problematic at the moment.
There are many Palestinian groups, including Hamas, there you just heard a gunshot in the background, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, which would like to see this uprising continue.
LIN: All right, thank you very much, Ben Wedemen reporting from the latest clash, this time in Bethlehem, where Israelis and Palestinians are engaging each other, and you just heard some of the rubber bullets, as well as tear gas being fired into the crowd.
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