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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Arafat to Ask U.S., Russia To Mediate Over Hebron

JERICHO, West Bank -- Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said here Thursday he will ask the United States and Russia to arbitrate in the deadlock with Israel over an army withdrawal from the West Bank town of Hebron.


"We are asking for an international arbitration from those who signed the agreement between us and Israel in the White House under the supervision of Mr. Clinton," Arafat, referring to U.S. President Bill Clinton, told reporters.


He called for Washington and Moscow, co-sponsors of the Middle East peace initiative, "to push [forward] the peace process and investigate who is behind the delay of the real accurate implementation of what has been agreed upon."


The Hebron redeployment was part of the accord on extending West Bank autonomy signed at the White House on Sept. 28, 1995.


Israel had been scheduled to withdraw from most of Hebron in March, but the pullback has been delayed by the Israeli demands for greater security guarantees for the Jewish settlers in the last occupied West Bank city.


"It is clear that the Israelis are still insisting on changing what has been agreed upon," said Arafat after talks with Jordanian Prime Minister Abdelkarim Kabariti in the self-ruled town of Jericho.


"But I hope that redeployment will take place either at the end of the month or next month," he said.


Kabariti said that Jordan and other countries, notably from the European Union, were trying to break the deadlock between Israel and Arafat's Palestinian Authority.