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Arafat proposes another cease-fire

By Associated Press
Published September 18, 2003

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat offered a new truce to Israel on Wednesday, after Palestinian officials said Hamas has signaled it might stop attacking Israelis.

Interviewed on Israel TV's Channel 2, Arafat was asked if there was a possibility for a cease-fire. "Of course," he said. "You're invited. The announcement was made yesterday," referring to remarks by his security adviser, Jibril Rajoub.

In an earlier interview on Israel's Channel 10, Arafat said contacts were under way with all Palestinian factions over a cease-fire. "Yesterday, I had a meeting with all the PLO factions," Arafat said. "Even the Islamic Jihad said they are willing to respect a cease-fire."

There was no immediate comment from Israeli leaders.

Also Wednesday, an armed Palestinian was killed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Nablus. The army said troops shot the man after they came under fire. Palestinian security sources said the dead man was a member of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, which is loosely linked to Fatah.

DEATH IN RAID: Israeli forces invaded a refugee camp in central Gaza early today and killed a local leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Palestinians and Israeli military sources said.

Palestinians said soldiers surrounded the house of Jihad Abu Shwairah, 34, and exchanged fire with gunmen. Then a helicopter fired two missiles at the house, killing the militant, they said.

NEW U.N. RESOLUTION: Arab countries asked the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday to adopt a resolution calling on Israel to halt threats to expel Yasser Arafat after the United States vetoed the resolution in the Security Council.

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