[R-G] Palestinians fear worsening of situation
mstainsby at tao.ca
Tue Jan 28 21:36:12 MST 2003
AP. 28 January 2003. Palestinians fear worsening of situation with
Sharon's big victory.
RAMALLAH -- Many Palestinians said they feared a worsening of the
current Mideast crisis after Ariel Sharon's hardline Likud party posted
a huge win in Israel's elections, according to Israeli television
projections late Tuesday.
Sharon will have to form a coalition government in the coming days and
weeks, and though its composition is still an open question, it could be
made up of right-wing and religious parties that would seek an even
tougher line with the Palestinians.
Likud won 36 seats in the 120-member parliament, according to Israel
TV's exit poll. The once-dominant Labor won only 18 seats, the TV said.
The centrist Shinui Party was seen as winning 14 seats.
Most Palestinians were resigned to Sharon's expected re-election
Tuesday. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat appeared to make a late
endorsement of opposition leader Amram Mitzna of Labor, urging Israelis
to "vote for the peace of the brave."
Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat believed the situation would
only get worse.
"You have Sharon in a new government, a war against Iraq imminent, the
disappearance of the peace process, all these factors," Erekat told the
In Gaza City, Arafat's political rival, Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin
said a Sharon victory meant Israelis are not ready to make peace.
"The Israeli people are looking for a violent leader who is able to kill
and destroy the Palestinian people, but they will lose," Yassin said.
Futoon Qadri, 27, a resident of the West Bank's largest city of Nablus,
said she didn't think her life could get much worse, regardless of the
outcome of the vote.
"We tried Sharon, and the worst has already happened," said Qadri, an
employee at the British Council in Nablus.
"There's nothing that would give me hope for the future, and that's how
life is going to continue."
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Throw a stone for world peace
In the contradiction lies the hope.
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