British and French embassies in Israel attempted to mediate with Palestinian leaders to stop the continued Arab uprising, a senior Palestinian official told Al-Araby Al-Jadid yesterday.
The source, who is a member of the Supreme Follow-up Committee for Arabs in Israel, said that the British embassy phoned the head of the regional committee Mazen Ghanayem.
The regional committee consists of the heads of Arabic municipalities in Israel. The source said that an agreement on a meeting between Ghanayem, the chairman of the Follow-up Committee and the British embassy had been arranged.
In addition, the source said that the Israeli President Shimon Peres and the Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich contacted Arab leaders in Israel to bring an end to the tensions.
The Chairman of the Follow-up Committee, Mohamed Zeidan, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that most of the Palestinian officials in Israel agreed to talk with the Israeli government if it “initiated contact” with them. “Then, we propose the demands of Arabs,” he said.
Zeidan confirmed government contacts have been in touch with Ghanayem, who is due to meet with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni today, to discuss the latest developments. He did not deny British involvement in the issue.
He said that the Israeli government has to stop all forms of “racist acts, bloody incitement” against Arabs in Israel, mainly incitement by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Israeli security forces arrested at least 110 Israeli-Arabs, many of them teens and minors, overnight, following three days of demonstrations against Israeli aggression and violence.