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  Israel Faxx                                      \/ /  \/ /
  July 15, 1994 Volume 2, #130                     / /\__/_/\
  Electronic World Communications, Inc.           /__\ \_____\
  8916 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215             \  /
  Internet: Phone: (513) 563-7424   \/

Terrorists Attack Israeli in Gaza

An Israeli was lightly injured Thursday in a terrorist attack north of Rafiah in the Gaza Strip. Terrorists in two separate vehicles attacked an Israeli car which was bringing workers to the Gush Katif area of the Gaza Strip. One of the terrorists' vehicles forced the Israeli car to stop and terrorists in the second car fired at the Israeli auto. Palestinian police and Israeli civil police are currently searching for those responsible.

Israel Reopens Self-Rule Areas to Palestinian Officials

The last of the four terrorists who slipped into the Gaza Strip with PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat's entourage left the area Wednesday night via the Rafiah crossing to Egypt. Israeli officials warned the terrorist, Jihad el-Amarin, that he would be jailed if he tries to enter the Gaza Strip again. They were involved in the 1974 attack on the northern Israel city of Ma'alot in which 22 Israeli children were murderd. Israel Radio quotes Mamdouh Nofal, one of the terrorists that left the Gaza Strip, as saying that the exit of the four is proof that the Palestinians want to ensure the success of the peace process. Israel is now allowing Palestinian officials to enter the Gaza Strip. A parent of one of the children murdered in the Maalot attack said that he was disgusted by the fact that the government of Israel did not want to try the four for the murder of 22 Israeli children. "The murderers of our children are not brought to justice just so Rabin can look good in the eyes of the world," one man was quoted as saying.

Christopher to Middle East for Shuttle Tour

Senior Israeli officials told Wednesday's cabinet meeting that Syrian President Hafez Assad is waiting for U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher's visit to the region next week in order to progress in the peace process. Christopher is scheduled to arrive in Israel Monday morning and will then leave for Damascus on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Christopher will fly to the site of the Israeli-Jordanian talks near the Dead Sea and may later meet with King Hussein in Amman. On Thursday, the Secretary of the State will travel to Jericho and is likely to meet with PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat. Christopher will then return to Jerusalem to brief Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on his talks in Jordan and Syria and may travel to Damascus for another meeting with Assad.

Israel and Jordan May Open Sea Passage Between Eilat and Aqaba

It is expected that Israel and Jordan will announce next week the opening of a sea passage between Eilat and Aqaba. This issue was discussed during the preparatory meetings for next week's round of Israeli-Jordanian bilateral negotiations. During the preparatory talks it was agreed that Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Jordanian Prime Minister Abdel Salim Majali, who are scheduled to meet during next Wednesday's session of the talks, will issue a joint statement about advancing regional cooperation. The three men may also announce a new plan for development of the Jordan Valley. In addition, Israel and Jordan have made proposals toward building new roads and rail lines connecting the two countries.

Agricultural Trade Between Israel and Self-Rule Areas to Begin Soon

Minister of Agriculture Ya'acov Tsur met Wednesday with Director General of the Palestinian Authority's agricultural office Mohammed el-Rais and with heads of agricultural associations in the Gaza Strip. During the meeting, it was agreed that in the coming days the sides would begin implementing the agreement on opening agricultural trade between Israel and the self-rule areas. Reports indicate that the agreement can be implemented once the Palestinians are able to give assurances that their products meet Israeli standards.

South Korea Joins Multilateral Talks

South Korea has joined the multilateral talks and pledged $12 million to the talks' general fund. South Korea announced its decision at this week's multilateral talks steering committee meeting in Tunisia. Saudi Arabia has also asked to join the multilateral talks' regional economic development working group.

Member of Algerian Parliament to Visit Israel

Ma'hadi Kabias, a member of the Algerian parliament, is scheduled to visit Israel next week. During the visit, Kabias will meet with Director General of the Foreign Ministry Uriel Savir. The report emphasizes that the visit came at Kabias' request. Israel and Algeria have no diplomatic relations.

Brief Faxx

The Supreme Court of Israel ruled against trying PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat on serious criminal charges including the murder of innocent civilians. A petition to try 'the world's leading terrorist' was submitted by a retired IDF Colonel and resident of Jerusalem who was injured in a bomb planted 16 years ago on a Jerusalem public bus. In the ruling, the Court stated the "due to the new political realities, it is not in the public interest to try Yasir Arafat." Opponents of the Rabin government have accused the court of putting aside justice for the sake of politics.

Hussein is Teasing the Syrian Bear by Ya'akov Edelstein

Is King Hussein really ready to free himself from the embrace of the Syrian bear, and even provoke him? This question has come up for discussion in recent days as the pace of negotiations between Israel and Jordan intensifies and enters high gear. This is the first time that an Israeli delegation will hold open discussions with a Jordanian delegation on Jordanian soil. American Secretary of State Warren Christopher will join in the meeting, to be held in Jordan's Palace Hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea. Christopher will interrupt his shuttle diplomacy between Israel and Syria for the Israeli-Jordanian meeting, but it is still not clear whether if this step bodes good or ill for the Syrians. Syria is outraged that Jordan's progress in the negotiations has not been accompanied by what is called 'inter-Arab coordination,' i.e. coordination with Syria. King Hussein responded to this when he said that Syria has not consulted with him regarding the negotiations that it is conducting with Israel. It is clear that moving the talks to the Arava, as well as King Hussein's latest declarations, indicate a change in the Jordanian position: from secrecy to openness. But, such things have already taken place in the negotiations with Jordan. We have summarized, agreed, and signed, but after a short time, it became clear that King Hussein was backpedaling. As the king of a small nation surrounded by countries that are casting their gaze in his direction and trying to undermine his position, he is the Middle East champion at hesitating and balancing. On Sept. 14, 1993, in Washington, Israeli and Jordanian delegations signed an 'Agreement of Principles' to serve as an agenda for the continuation of talks between them. But, after a short time, it became clear that the agreement existed on paper only. King Hussein was threatened by Syria and froze the Agreement. He also has domestic problems, such as the Islamic extremists in the Jordanian Parliament and who oppose any agreement with Israel. More than a few books have been written on the secret meetings between King Abdallah, and afterwards King Hussein, and Israeli emissaries. The meetings were conducted in a good spirit. In more than one instance, agreements were achieved. But afterwards, it became clear that King Hussein was not bearing up under the pressure. He apologized, he squirmed, and he reneged on what had been agreed. He claimed that he was concerned for his personal safety, if he would sign an agreement with Israel. He mentioned the example of his grandfather Abdallah, who was murdered by an Islamic extremist, and everything he had agreed to was as if it had never been. One year ago, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres declared that only a pen was lacking regarding the signature of an agreement between Israel and Jordan. But it has since become clear that much more than a pen is lacking. This is in spite of the fact that the gaps are small. Jordan claims that Israel 'abducted' approximately 235 square miles from it, over the years, in the Jordan Valley and the Arava. This territory is about the size of the Gaza Strip. In contrast to this, Israel claims that these areas were never demarcated as a permanent border, not even in the days of the British Mandate. Israel also has claims regarding ownership of the Naharayim Power Station area that was captured by the Jordanians in 1948, and the Gan Or settlement that was destroyed by the Jordanians in 1948 in violation of an agreement between the Electric Corporation and the Kingdom of Jordan. Other issues mired in controversy include water problems, such as the allocation of the waters of the Jordan River and its tributaries. It is possible that there will be an open summit between Hussein and Rabin in October. King Hussein has declared that he would agree to this meeting an an appropriate date. The Jordanians can be expected to take one step forward and two steps backward in the negotiations. This would be consistent with Jordanian tradition up until now.

Israeli Editorial Opinion

Ha'aretz notes that Arafat smuggled in four terrorists, two of whom were involved in the 1974 Ma'alot killings, as part of his entourage. Dr. Ahmed Tibi, who was chosen to lead the Palestinian side of negotiations, even though he is an Israeli citizen, claims that in general, the PLO is allowed to bring its people into Gaza for a period of three months, and that the entry of those involved in the Ma'alot killings was purely the result of a misunderstanding. The paper denies the plausibility of both of these claims: Israel has the right to deny entry into Israel of specific persons and the Ma'alot terrorists have tried numerous times to enter Israel and each time were refused entry -- and Arafat's plan demonstrates his shadiness. Is it really logical to deny certain 'terrorists' entry into Israel, since so many already reside within the territories and even Arafat himself and other 'terrorists' were considered 'legitimate' enough for negotiations? It is still hard psychologically to accept the fact that terrorists who were involved in extremely bitter attacks might be given permission to enter Israel. Although we are engaged in a process of reconciliation, the time for forgiveness has yet to come.
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