In Jerusalem, a lawyer has filed a petition calling on Israel’s Supreme Court to stop the army from carrying out a policy of assassinating Palestinian activists. The lawyer, Naila Atiaa, said she was asking for the Supreme Court to issue an injunction until it rules on her petition. She said the killings were against Israeli law and contravened the Geneva Convention. Palestinians say that Israel has assassinated more than 20 activists in the last three months. Israel denies it has a policy of political assassination, but Israel’s deputy defense minister told Reuters that security forces were authorized to “hit precisely those top operatives of terrorist organizations who mastermind and organize attacks on Israel.”
In one of the biggest demonstrations in Jerusalem’s history, more than 200,000 Israelis jammed the streets outside the ancient walls of the old city yesterday, protesting U.S. proposals to give partial control of a disputed holy site to the Palestinians. The protests came shortly after the Palestinian Authority rejected President Clinton’s proposals as a basis for ending conflict with Israel. A Palestinian negotiator said Clinton had failed in his efforts to achieve a final peace because his aides were influenced by Israeli positions that had already been rejected by the Palestinians.