A senior Palestinian official said on Saturday that the US stand towards the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) would give Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon the green light to continue military actions against the Palestinians.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a top aide to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, said that the United States "has to understand that such a policy must be stopped," adding that "this policy would only bring more tension to the Middle East."
He warned that any decision to cut US ties with the PNA or PNA Chairman Arafat "would create an earthquake that no one would be able to halt it."
"To ignore the Israeli request to punish Arafat or the PNA would help to resume the efforts to push the peace process forward and save the region from explosion as a result of Sharon's policy," said Abu Rudeineh.
Earlier in the day, Abu Rudeineh told the Palestinian radio Voice of Palestine that there would be no peace and stability in the region as long as Sharon is the prime minister of Israel.
Also on Saturday, Arafat told reporters at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, which has been under the Israeli army blockade since December 3, that "The United States has to intervene to get the peace process back on track."
"In the era of President George Washington, the United States had prepared all arms and used all kinds of weapons to get rid of the British colonization, and then the United States of America was established," said Arafat.
In an interview with the Qatari satellite television Al Jazeera, Arafat said "Palestine is the last country in the world that is still under the occupation, while all kinds of illegal weapons are used against its people."
He urged the international community to help stop the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinians, saying that "an international pressure would end violence within 24 hours."
However, Arafat refused to comment on what US President George Bush said on Friday that he is disappointed with Arafat.
He called upon the US to send its Mideast envoy Anthony Zinni back to the region and help restart the trilateral security meetings in a bid to end the 16-month-old violence and resume the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
(China Daily January 27, 2002)