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Sharon warns { October 5 2001 }

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October 5, 2001 -- In the strongest challenge ever issued to
America by an Israeli leader, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
warned the United States yesterday not to "appease" Arab
states at his country's expense.

He compared Israel today to pre-war Czechoslovakia -
which was overrun by Nazi Germany in 1938 after British
and French leaders decided at the infamous Munich
conference to appease Hitler, in a futile attempt to avoid

Israel, he insisted, will not be the next Czechoslovakia -
"sacrificed to the Arabs" by its allies "for a momentary gain."

Sharon lashed out at a press conference two days after
President Bush called for the creation of a Palestinian state -
an apparent effort to rally Muslim countries to the U.S.-led
war on terror.

Bush has also been pushing hard to turn the current truce
between the Israelis and Palestinians - which exists in name
only - into a permanent cease-fire.

The Israeli leader did not refer to Bushís remarks, but made
it clear his country will defend itself - as he blasted Mideast
terrorists for the latest attacks on Israeli civilians.

"Do not try to appease the Arabs at our expense," he told

"We can count only on ourselves. From now on, we will
count only on ourselves. There is no such thing as good
terrorism and bad terrorism. Terrorism blindly kills innocent
people, and I instructed my security forces to take all the
necessary measures to confront the Palestinian terrorists."

After the press conference, Sharon bluntly told The Post,
"When they talk to me about [PLO chief] Yasser Arafat, I
donít want to hear about it anymore."

He spoke angrily of the carnage that took place at a bus
station in the Israeli town of Afula yesterday when an Arab
dressed as an Israeli paratrooper began firing at civilians.

"Three more of our citizens were murdered by a Palestinian
terrorist and several others wounded," Sharon said.

Only a day earlier, Palestinians killed a young Israeli couple
and wounded 15 other people, including a baby, in an attack
on a settlement in the Gaza Strip.

Sharon said his forces will take "whatever steps are
necessary" to protect Israelis.

Strongly suggesting that from now on, Israel will put its own
interests first, he canceled Jerusalemís earlier promise to
suspend military strikes against Palestinians as part of the
truce deal sought by Washington.

Both sides had affirmed the deal last week, under heavy
U.S. pressure, but the violence has not let up. Twenty-one
Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since then, and
five Israelis have died in two attacks by Palestinian militants.

"Every effort by us to reach a cease-fire was torpedoed by
the Palestinians," Sharon said. "The fire hasnít stopped for a

The Palestinians have accused Israel of breaking promises,
such as easing blockades of Palestinian towns and
withdrawing tanks.

In another development, in the West Bank town of
Bethlehem, a suspected Arab terrorist was critically
wounded by an explosive in what Palestinian officials called
an Israeli assassination attempt.

Rami Kamel, 21, an activist in Arafatís Fatah faction, lost a
hand after a device, which was detonated from a distance,

Fatah vowed to retaliate.

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