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Israel Evicts More Settlers; Peres and Arafat Talk

August 08, 1995| From Associated Press

NEBI SAMUEL, Israeli-Occupied West Bank — Jewish settlers handed lollipops to troops evicting them from a hilltop Monday, pledging to return and continue their campaign against the expansion of Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank.

Their removal came as Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO chief Yasser Arafat met in Taba, Egypt, to try to bridge gaps still blocking agreement on Palestinian elections and on an Israeli troop withdrawal from West Bank towns.

After five hours of talks, Peres reported progress but gave no hint on how long it will take to reach an agreement. He said he will meet with the Palestine Liberation Organization leader again today.

The settlers fear that an agreement will endanger them. Palestinian self-rule is now limited to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank region of Jericho.

The settlers remained defiant Monday evening despite their evacuation by police from an encampment that they had established Sunday near Nebi Samuel, the reputed burial place of the biblical prophet Samuel.

"We are leaving the flags and electricity here because we'll be back," said Ariel Navo, 35, from the Shilo settlement.

Police later removed the several dozen settlers and dismantled electric wires attached to a generator. About 35 men who had chained themselves together were separated and taken to police vans.

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