30 injured in new West Bank clashes
Netanyahu cancels planned trip to New York
June 14, 1997
Web posted at: 1:02 p.m. EDT (1702 GMT)
HEBRON, West Bank (CNN) -- Hundreds of Palestinian
demonstrators using stones and firebombs clashed with Israeli
police in the West Bank town of Hebron Saturday. Thirty
Palestinians were slightly injured by rubber
Also Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
decided to cancel a planned trip to the United States. But
aides discounted reports that the trip was postponed because
of the faltering state of the peace process.
The latest clashes may have been triggered by a non-binding
resolution passed Tuesday in the U.S. House of
Representatives, which called on President Bill Clinton to
affirm that Jerusalem must remain Israel's undivided capital.
The measure also called for moving the U.S. embassy from Tel
Aviv to Jerusalem.
Several demonstrators said they confronted the Israelis to
protest that resolution, which deeply angered Palestinians
who claim historically Arab East Jerusalem as their capital.
The sector was captured by Israel from Jordan in a 1967 war
and is home to more than 100,000 Palestinians.
On Friday night, Palestinian gunmen shot and wounded a female
Israeli motorist at Har Adar, a Jewish settlement in the West
Bank north of Jerusalem, according to Israeli security
sources. The woman was reported in stable condition Saturday.
After the drive-by shooting, Israeli troops made several
arrests in the Biddu village. A curfew was imposed on the
village of Qatannah.
Netanyahu aides: Domestic politics scuttled trip
Netanyahu was to have left for New York on June 21 to attend
U.N. functions. Israel's army radio reported that the prime
minister canceled the trip because he had hoped to meet with
Clinton but now wanted to avoid the meeting due to the
faltering state of the peace process.
"He thought he would arrive ... after a summit, after some
sort of meeting with (Palestinian Authority President Yasser)
Arafat," said Udi Segal, the radio's diplomatic reporter.
But Netanyahu spokesman Ofir Akunis said the trip had been
canceled due to domestic political considerations -- in
particular, pending legislation on who may perform
conversions to Judaism in Israel. Another aide, Shai Bazak,
termed the radio report "not correct."
Resolution contradicts longstanding U.S. policy
The U.S. House resolution contradicts the position of the
Clinton administration and previous U.S. presidents that the
ultimate future of Jerusalem must be determined through
Palestinian leaders warned that the United States is risking
its credibility as a sponsor and mediator of the peace
"If the United States approves this resolution ... the whole
peace process will be lost and we will be pushed away from
this process," said Faisal Husseini, the senior Palestinian
official in Jerusalem.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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