Israel To Ask For Iran To
Be Branded 'Terror State'

OCCUPIED-AL-QUDS - Israel will ask for Iran to be declared a state sponsor of terrorism following the seizure of a ship alleged to be carrying 50 tonnes of Iranian arms for the Palestinians, the foreign ministry said on Friday.
"Since the ship was carrying Iranian weapons, (Foreign Minister Shimon) Peres will next week call upon the leaders of the international community to declare Iran a terror-supporting state," the ministry said in a statement. It also quoted Peres as saying that "the seizing of this ship is an important turning point for the Palestinian Authority," and that he would make the request "next week."
"They cannot continue playing games, they have to make a strategic decision whether they support terrorism or they are against it," Peres said in the statement. According to Israel's armed forces chief, General Shaul Mofaz, marine commandos boarded the freighter Karine A in the Red Sea on Thursday, and found 50 tonnes of weapons, including long-range rockets, anti-tank missiles, mines and explosives.
Mofaz told a press conference in Tel Aviv on Friday that the ship "belonged to the Palestinian Authority" and was skippered by an officer of the Palestinian navy. The link between the boat and the Palestinian Authority is "evident, clear and brooks no denial," he alleged, charging that it gave the lie to Arafat's protestations of seeking peace with Israel.
"The boat was bought, paid for and financed by the Palestinian Authority -- which gets donations from Europe and around the world -- in order to arm itself to the teeth," added senior Israeli foreign ministry official Gideon Meir. However, the top advisor of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Nabil Abu Rudeina, told reporters that the Palestinian Authority "has nothing to do with" the ship.
"We don't know anything (about the boat), we have nothing to do with this," Abu Rudeina told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. "This is Israeli propaganda intended to sabotage Zinni's mission," he said, referring to the US peace envoy Anthony Zinni who is trying to hammer out a ceasefire between the sides. But Israel rejected the Palestinian Authority's disclaimer.

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