Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority has condemned the Tel Aviv suicide bombing. It was the first militant attack inside Israel since the ailing leader was evacuated from the West Bank on Friday for treatment in France. In his absence, Palestinian officials have continued to run day-to-day affairs. Negotiations Minister Saeb Erekat spoke out about the events in Tel Aviv.
“We condemn this attack as we have always condemned targeting civilians,” he said. “And we call upon the international community to exert every possible effort in order to revive the peace process because that is the only way to break this vicious cycle.” From his hospital bed, the Palestinian president is also said to have condemned the bloodshed. His Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie was reassuring about the 75-year-old’s condition. “He is recovering gradually and he is under very good care and treatment from our friends in France,” he said. While demonstrating that there is no power vacuum, Palestinian officials stress that Yasser Arafat remains in charge. They maintain that they are expecting his full recovery and return. French medical sources are more cautious about the veteran leader’s mystery illness, saying no ailment can be ruled out until doctors complete their examinations.