U.S. Envoys Want Arafat to Act Soon

JERUSALEM?U.S. envoys urged Yasser Arafat to take harsh measures against Islamic militants in meetings and a phone call hours before a suicide bomber detonated explosives Wednesday outside a Jerusalem hotel, further rattling terror-weary Israelis’ nerves.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said he urged the Palestinian leader to arrest 36 suspected terrorist leaders, while other Israeli officials dismissed Arafat’s arrests of 151 people in recent days as a show.

Arafat countered that he was determined to break the terror networks in the Palestinian territories, but Israeli military strikes and sieges were making the job impossible.

“They have to cool down to give me the chance,” he said.

Israel’s air force struck Palestinian targets Monday and Tuesday, but there were no Israeli strikes on Wednesday in what Palestinian officials said was a lull aimed at allowing Arafat to act.