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Israel using mafia language, says Palestinian envoy

By Amit Baruah

NEW DELHI SEPT. 15. "Israel is using the language of the mafia," the Palestinian Ambassador to India, Osama Musa, has said in response to the public statement by a senior Israeli Minister that Tel Aviv was considering the "option" of "killing" the Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat.

Talking to this correspondent today, Mr. Musa described the statement by the Israeli Vice-Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, as an "ugly joke." "These threats only show that Israel is not a state, it is actually run by the mafia," a very agitated Mr. Musa remarked. Terming it an act of aggression, he said such statements came very easily to "occupiers."

"They (Israel) have proved that they are a terrorist state," he said pointing out that no Government anywhere had announced plans to assassinate the President of another country.

Asked what would be the response of the Palestinian people, Mr. Musa said they had "nothing" — all the tanks and weapons are in the hands of the Israelis.

"Suppose the Government of Pakistan announced that they would kill your President.

How would that make you feel? We feel the same way," he said. The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, he said, had the aircraft and tanks to carry out the "option" of assassinating Mr. Arafat. Mr. Musa, however, had his own message for Mr. Sharon: "Go to Hell."

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