JERUSALEM (Dec. 30)
Moslem fundamentalists and militant Jewish settlers showed themselves Monday to be of one mind when it comes to the peace process: They oppose it.
Supporters of the fundamentalist Hamas movement succeeded Monday in breaking up a meeting of about 1,000 Palestinian nationalists in the West Bank town of Tulkarm. They used iron bars, chairs, fists and cries of “traitor” to break up the gathering.
At least 15 people were injured in the scuffle.
Palestinian activist Faisal Husseini, whose life has been threatened in leaflets issued by Hamas, left on the advice of his bodyguards before he could deliver his speech. His departing car was pelted with stones.
At almost the same time, a handful of Jewish settlers invaded the popular Hakawati theater in East Jerusalem with the intention of disrupting a political symposium among Palestinians over whether to support or oppose the current peace talks.
The settlers were clearly outnumbered. But the timely arrival of a border police patrol protected them from a physical confrontation with the angered Palestinians.
The rally in Tulkarm was in support of the peace talks in which Husseini is involved.
He is in fact considered the behind-the-scenes leader of the Palestinian component of the joint delegation with Jordan that has engaged in bilateral talks with an Israeli delegation in Madrid and Washington.
He is prevented from being a member because Israel refuses to negotiate with Arab residents of East Jerusalem.
The talks, presently adjourned, are to resume in Washington on Jan. 7.