WASHINGTON (AP) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres is assuring Yasser Arafat that Israel does not intend to keep its forces in Palestinian areas of the West Bank.
But even as Peres spoke here Sunday and after Secretary of State Colin Powell said he had assurances of a pullback from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon the Israeli incursion deepened.
"We don't have the interest to remain in Zone A and to destroy the Palestinian Authority," Peres told the American Jewish Congress, referring to areas of the West Bank that Israel has agreed to put under Palestinian control.
"Our intention is to help the Palestinian people gain their independence and their freedom," he said.
But Peres demanded that Arafat assert control over terrorist groups, saying words were not enough to counter terrorism. And he said the slayers of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi must be extradited to Israel for trial.
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