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  Israel Faxx                                      \/ /  \/ /
  July 20, 1994 Volume 2, #133                     / /\__/_/\
  Electronic World Communications, Inc.           /__\ \_____\
  8916 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215             \  /
  Internet: Phone: (513) 563-7424   \/

Maine is famous for lobsters, and now it's a bit more famous. Researchers at the University of Maine have found a giant lobster. They say it weighs about 18 pounds and was hard to lift out of the water. Lobster dinners are popular in Maine, and the giant lobster could have fed a lot of people. But that didn't happen; the researchers set the lobster free.

Search Through Rubble Continues; 28 Dead

By Dawn Makinson (Buenos Aires)

Rescue workers in Buenos Aires pulled three survivors and struggled to pry loose a fourth from the rubble of a seven-story building leveled by an explosion that destroyed Argentina's main Jewish organizations. At least 28 people were killed and 136 injured by the blast that heavily damaged buildings in a block-long area and destroyed nearby cars. Israel blamed the attack, in the heart of Latin America's largest Jewish community, on Islamic extremists sponsored by Iran. Iran has denied involvement.

Rescue efforts continued following the bombing. International controversy is mounting over the incident, which has been labeled as an effort to stall the Middle East peace process. Security in Argentina is being tightened as a team of Israeli investigators makes its way to the city.

Work continues in piles of concrete that were once a seven story building. Buckets of debris were being passed hand to hand by rescue workers. Barricades surround the site after accusations that security was lax. Monday, looters masquerading as journalists infiltrated the site.

A team of special Argentine prosecutors is going through the rubble, hoping to salvage important evidence before it disappears. They are waiting for Israeli agents to arrive and double check the investigation. Two people are being held for questioning; an Iraqi and an Iranian man.

But while this incident has focused international attention on terrorism and the Middle East peace process, Iran has strongly denied any involvement. Shortly after the incident, Islamic fundamentalists were mentioned as possible suspects. Iran said it deplored the act, and any acts of violence against innocent people.

President Bill Clinton called the act cowardly. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin called it a work of satanic terror, and Argentine President Carlos Menem said the bombing was the work of monsters.

Mossad agents from Israel are already on their way to help pick up clues.

The last time there was a bombing in Argentina directed at the Jewish community was in 1992. At that time, the Israeli Embassy was blown up. The subsequent investigation into the bombing was inconclusive, and raised criticism about loose ends and slips in security.

In and effort to stop a replay of 1992, Argentina acted swiftly with various security measures. Tight borders and cancelled flights snarled the international airport in Buenos Aires, but may have prevented any terrorists from fleeing from the country.

President Menem announced a three-day period of national mourning following the explosion. Israeli security sources believe that a terrorist organization connected with Iran and operating in coordination with the Hizbullah is responsible for the attack.

In a speech before the Knesset, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said that Israel will do anything all it can to capture the terrorists who perpetrated the attack.

Minister of Education Amnon Rubinstein told Israel's ambassador to Argentina Yitzhak Aviram that Israel is ready to send psychologists and counselors to schools in Argentina to help students cope with the attack. The London Arabic daily El-Hayat said that Iran was responsible for the attack in Argentina.

Rabin: Attack Was Act of 'Islamic Terror'

By Art Chimes (Jerusalem)

The bombing of a building in Buenos Aires, housing the offices of Jewish groups has prompted reaction in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin described the attack as a work of "Islamic terror," calling it a "cowardly, evil and heinous act."

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said the attackers had both anti-Jewish and anti-Israel motives.

Visiting US Secretary of State Warren Christopher said the bombing is a reminder that peace still has its enemies.

Assad Tuesday; King Hussein Today

By Kyle King (Damascus)

US Secretary of State Warren Christopher met with Syrian President Hafez al Assad in Damascus Tuesday, the second stop on his week long Mid-East peace mission. The secretary is trying to find a way to break the deadlock between Syria and Israel, something all sides agree will have to happen before there can ever be a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement.

During a break in the talks Tuesday, Christopher said his discussions with Assad had been useful. He said they had discussed some new approaches to the dispute and reviewed the latest developments in the region.

The secretary, who held talks with Israeli officials on Monday, said both nations appear to be serious and want to make progress.

Although he once again said he thought the overall conflict was drawing to a close, the secretary was quick to point out that making peace between Israel and Syria will be a complicated process. "Are we going to have difficult times ahead? Of course. Will there be areas where there will be sharp controversy? Of course."

Despite the caution, Christopher said the progress that had been made with the Palestinians and in the recent talks between Israel and Jordan had changed the situation and brought the process to a new phase.

In another sign of the changing political landscape, Christopher will be on hand today for the first ever public meeting between Israeli and Jordanian foreign ministers in Jordan.

Palestinian Say No to Textbook Selection

By Kim Reid (Cairo)

Palestinian negotiators in Cairo say Israel wants too much control over education in the West Bank. The two sides are meeting to determine how the Palestinian authority will take over schools and other civil matters in the West Bank as it has in Gaza and Jericho.

Palestinian legal adviser Jonathan Kuttab says Israel doesn't want Palestinians to control their own education system. He says Israel wants to hand out the textbooks and say what will be taught.

Israeli officials say they merely made a suggestion that Palestinians use textbooks already in use in Israeli-maintained West Bank schools. Israel says the books follow the Jordanian education system, and in no way represent an attempt by Israel to control Palestinian education.

Israeli officials admit, however, that they do want the right to look over what is taught to Palestinian youth, to make sure that the curriculum is devoid of anything that is, in their words, hostile to the Jewish state.

The education debate shows one more facet of the ongoing struggle between the two sides -- which one will determine the future of the region. The Palestinians are using every step in the negotiations to try to claim more control, and to expand an autonomy deal into the beginning of an independent state and Israel is trying to check such aspirations every step of the way.

Dead Sea Meeting Concludes

By Art Chimes (Jerusalem)

Delegates from Israel and Jordan concluded two days of talks at a desert location straddling their border. The two sides agreed on a joint declaration, setting a positive scene for ministerial talks in Jordan today.

The talks went on five hours longer than scheduled. Israel Radio says there were problems in the negotiations about water sharing -- one of the most difficult issues facing the two countries. The two sides considered a proposal to bring in a third party to mediate the dispute.

In the end a joint statement promised cooperation on resolving disputes and to continue negotiations -- first in Israel, then in Jordan.

After the chief Jordanian delegate, Fayez Tarawneh, read their joint declaration, his Israeli counterpart, Eliakim Rubenstein, admitted there are issues still dividing the two sides, but he chose to emphasize the positive. "We are working to the same end, which is, hopefully, the treaty of peace."

These just-ended talks are the first in three sets of meetings between Israel and Jordan, culminating with a summit at the White House on Monday between King Hussein and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Faxx Briefs

IDF Lieutenant Guy Ovadiya from Kibbutz Yotvata was killed Tuesday in a terrorist attack in the Gaza Strip near the border with Egypt. Ovadiya was killed by gunfire that came directly from the Tel Sultan neighborhood in the self-rule area. The soldier was with an IDF patrol investigating an alarm that went off at the border fence. IDF forces searching the area after the attack found a pamphlet from the Iz-a-Din el-Kassam Hamas group which claimed that the attack was in response to Sunday's riots at the Erez Crossing from the Gaza Strip to Israel.

PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat told Arabs in east Jerusalem not to sell their properties to Jews, that the self-rule authorities would buy their properties instead. Senior aide, Yasser Abed-Rabbo was quoted as saying that the Palestinians would regain all of Palestine and fly a flag over Jerusalem's Al-Aksa mosque. When asked about Abed-Rabbo's comments, Arafat responded that flying the flag in Jerusalem was his right.

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