Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Middle East Milestone

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Middle East Milestone

Article excerpt

With their agreement to transfer control over much of the West Bank to the Palestinians, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization have reached a major milestone in the journey to peace. Assuming the Israeli Cabinet approves the agreement today, the 460-page document will be signed Thursday in ceremonies at the White House, where the peace process was formally launched just a little over two years ago.

PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin will put their signature to the agreement.

Opposition to the labyrinthian deal surfaced immediately among both Palestinians and Israelis, which means that carrying out its terms will be difficult. The agreement calls for Israel to withdraw its troops from the West Bank urban areas containing the bulk of the Arab population, though only about 30 percent of the territory. In rural areas, Israel and the Palestinians will share authority, and in areas containing Jewish settlements and military bases, as well as unpopulated areas, the Israelis will retain control. …

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