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CNN Today

Israeli Prime Minister-Elect Says Peace Talks Must Wait For Cessation of Violence

Aired February 8, 2001 - 1:09 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon says he will not resume peace talks as long as there's violence like today's car bomb in Jerusalem. The bomb went off in a Jewish neighborhood near the old city; at least two people were wounded.

CNN Jerusalem bureau chief Mike Hanna brings us more, now, live -- Mike.

MIKE HANNA, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Natalie, the explosion occurred in mid-afternoon and police said that it was a car bomb. The car in which the explosive device was destroyed was completely destroyed -- the place in which the bomb was placed. But there was little damage to nearby buildings and there were no serious injuries -- two people reported to be lightly injured in the explosion.

The residents of the area, the orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Me'a She'arim (ph) took to the streets straight afterwards in protest against what they said was a lack of security, some shouting out "death to Arabs." Great, great anger in the streets.

And although there were no serious injuries, there could be some political fallout. Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon says that what he calls acts of terror such as this heighten the need for a strong coalition government, a broad-based government that can unite to act against such acts of violence. Mr. Sharon said, too, as to negotiations with the Palestinians, well, he wants to explore the idea of talking peace, but there will be no negotiations whatsoever while such acts of violence continue.

Mr. Sharon said, as well, that the Palestinian Authority must fulfill what he says were its commitments to put an end to terror and to root out the terror -- the very roots of such acts of violence.

So Mr. Sharon talking very strong at the present; he is the prime minister-elect. Ehud Barak is still the prime minister and will remain so until Ariel Sharon is able to form his government and then get that government approved by the country's Knesset, or parliament -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Mike Hanna in Jerusalem; thanks Mike.

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