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Arab League deliberates freezing ties with Israel
The Arab League passed a resolution that recommends all Arab countries with normal ties to Israel to freeze their relations with Israel because of its settlement policies.

The resolution, which was passed during a closed session on Sunday, came after protests by many Arab and Muslim countries over Israel's plan to build 6,500-unit housing project for Jews in east Jerusalem. Palestinians want this historically Arab sector of Jerusalem to be the capital of their would-be state, but Israel still wants to keep the entire city.

After hearing emotional appeals by Yasser Arafat, Arab foreign ministers also recommended the suspension of Arab participation in multilateral peace talks and implementation of an economic boycott of Israel until a "lasting and just peace is established."

Arafat has described Israel's actions as "a declaration of war" and has also criticized the U.S. for vetoing two resolutions in the United Nations Security Council that condemned the east Jerusalem project.

Source : USA Today Online, March 31.

This item appeared in the News section of the April 4, 1997 issue.

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