Shorts: Mideast

Israel moves on West Bank outpost

jerusalem (jta) | Israeli police tried to evacuate an illegal West Bank outpost, scuffling with hundreds of settlers.

The move Monday, May 17, to evacuate Mitzpeh Yitzhar came after the High Court of Justice rejected petitions filed by pro-settler movements and required that they pay some $1,200 in the state’s legal costs.

Police said at least 20 settlers had been arrested. Under the U.S.-led “road map” peace plan, Israel is obligated to remove some 120 outposts put up in the West Bank since March 2001. Only a handful have been dismantled.

Bomb maker gets long, long sentence

jerusalem (jta) | Israel jailed a Palestinian bomb maker for 735 years.

Anes Jaradat, who confessed to rigging car bombs used in Islamic Jihad attacks that killed 31 people, was sentenced by Salem Military Court to consecutive life terms for each victim.

He got additional terms for arming five would-be suicide bombers who were captured by Israel.

Arab editor calls on Arafat to resign

jerusalem (jta) | A prominent Arab columnist for an Arabic-language newspaper called on Yasser Arafat to resign.

“It is time to give the wheel to younger hands,” Jihad Al Khazen, a former editor in chief of the Saudi-owned, London- based Al-Hayat, wrote in an open letter to the Palestinian Authority president that was published in the paper.

Khazen, who said Arafat should resign because of his age and his failing health, also accused the Palestinian leader of bringing the Palestinian cause to a dead end.

Calling Arafat a friend, Khazen wrote, “I hope you would leave the presidency in your moment of strength, not weakness.”