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Hillary Clinton visits dangerous Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY-D) Sunday went to the most-frequently bombed street in Jerusalem and sipped coffee at a fast food restaurant where a suicide bomber last summer killed himself and 15 customers.

The brightly lit glass-walled Sbarro pizzeria was reopened several weeks ago and Clinton went there with Jerusalem's Mayor Ehud Olmert as hordes of security men watched closely.

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"It is especially important that I could come here to Sbarro -- to the heart of the city where so much terrorism has cost so many innocent lives -- to demonstrate that this restaurant is open here and ready for business and the people of Jerusalem and Israel are going about their daily lives despite the threat of terrorism. It is a great lesson to New York and America," she said according to a pool reporter who covered the event on behalf of the foreign correspondents based in Israel.

Mayor Olmert outlined the recent bombing and shooting attacks that killed dozens of people and shattered businesses along Jaffa Street and the neighboring Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall.

"This place here, where so many innocent lives were lost, represents the same kind of outrage and horror that we experienced in New York and the Pentagon ... wherever terrorism strikes that's ground zero. We have to recommit ourselves to do everything possible to prevent terrorism and to root out and to bring to punishment any of those who commit acts of terrorism in our country or here.

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"From my perspective, (Palestinian leader) Yasser Arafat bears the responsibility for the violence that has occurred, it rests on his shoulders, even today he could do more to end the terrorism," Clinton said.

Clinton's program includes also meetings with Israel's President Moshe Katsav, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and dinner with Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in a basement-level restaurant in a nearby area of Jerusalem that has witnessed several attacks. She also met patients badly injured in terrorist attacks at Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital.

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