Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Authority leader, ought to act tough and promptly against rampant violence by Palestinian extremists, says Russia. As Alexander Yakovenko, Ministry of Foreign Affairs press spokesman, stresses in a statement circulated today, the Palestine-Israeli situation has again come to an edge, and the developments demand personal response from Mr. Arafat to put an urgent end to terror, arrest and punish culprits, and eradicate extremist organisations. Meanwhile, Israel seeks safety only through an armed rebuff to terror, which brings contrary results encouraging its duel with Palestine, and an exchange of vengeance acts is getting ever worse. Palestinian autonomy is being de facto dismantled to undermine Israeli interests. As it really is, the situation demands an end to conflict escalation in dynamic political efforts to get out of a present deadend. Palestine-Israeli bridges must not be burned under any circumstances lest the road to political settlement is blocked for long, warns the ministry. Russia has joined hands with the USA, the other Mideast peace co-sponsor; with the European Union, the United Nations and other interested parties, and will go on doing all it can to give the crisis a milder form and help the conflicters to get the situation back to normal, says the statement.
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Eyewitnesses said that explosions could be heard in the centre of Kyiv. Smoke was seen rising above Zhuliany Airport (Kyiv International Airport)