Newsletter : 4fax0721.txt
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Israel Faxx \/ / \/ /
July 22, 1994 Volume 2, #135 / /\__/_/\
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Arafat Upset Over Israel's Invitation to King Hussein
By Kyle King (Gaza)
Secretary of State Warren Christopher says he now has a new
understanding of the problems faced by the Palestinians following
his visit to the Gaza Strip for talks with PLO chief Yasir Arafat.
The secretary met with Arafat for about an hour Thursday for
discussions that focused mainly on ways to increase the flow of
international aid to the new Palestinian authority. But the event
has been overshadowed by what Arafat said during his news
conference after the meeting. He was reacting to Israel's recent
invitation to King Hussein of Jordan to come and visit Jerusalem.
"They haven't the right to offer any invitations. It is my duty
and my responsibility to offer the invitations to all my brothers
and my friends to visit the holy city, and the holy Christian
places in the holy city. This is the jurisdiction of the
Arafat's comments on Jerusalem were not the first time he has
sparked controversy on that subject. Earlier he touched off an
uproar in Israel when he called for a holy war to bring Jerusalem
under Palestinian control.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was said to be furious with
the PLO chairman's latest comment. Israeli Foreign Minister
Shimon Peres reacted by saying he did not know that Arafat had a
mandate over Jerusalem.
The secretary travels to Damascus today for a second day of talks
with president assad. Christopher said his earlier talks with the
syrian leader were useful and he appeared serious about making
progress in the negotiation process. However the secretary
acknowledges the issues are complicated and intertwined.
Argentine Toll Reaches 40 Dead, 400 Injured, 70 Missing
By Dawn Makinson (Buenos Aires)
The death toll following the bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos
Aires Argentina this week has risen to 40 and more than 70 people
are still unaccounted for. Over 400 people were injured. A second
bomb threat forced the partial evacuation of a hospital treating
victims of Monday's incident. Argentine President Carlos Menem,
responding to the bombing of the Jewish center, has announced the
creation of a new security force in Argentina.
According to Israel Radio, investigators in Argentina now suspect
that a pro-Iranian terrorist group, possibly trained in Syria, is
responsible for Sunday's bombing. Hizbullah is a prime suspect.
Similar to days following the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in
1992, the Government of Argentina is receiving international rescue
and investigations help. Teams of Israeli psychologists, and
rescuers with sniffer dogs, and special body sensing devices are
working at the disaster site.
Israeli, American and Spanish investigators are involved in what
Menem has said will be a full investigation of the incident.
Various suspects have been detained. And, at the same time, Menem
has announced a controversial new security force to stop future
Surprise is being expressed after the announcement. President of
the Jewish communities political arm in Argentina, Ruben Baraja,
says that although his group wants a full investigation into this
week's bombing, the creation of the new force does not have their
Emilio Mignone of the Center for Legal and Social Studies in
Buenos Aires calls the new security force, the KGB of Latin
America. And President Menem's own circle of supporters also raised
questions about his move.
Legal experts said the president's decision was challenging
because it concentrates power in one department to monitor
activities in Argentina that might be considered subversive. Human
rights groups say that's too broad a mandate, and opposition
politicians and some members of the ruling government are concerned
Menem first pitched the idea of the force two months ago following
uprisings in Mexico. He was forced to drop it because of strong
public and government opposition. But this week's explosion has
changed public opinion on national security in Argentina.
As the international investigation begins, stories continue to
surface about a network of terrorist support groups in Argentina
and other Latin American countries. The president says the
creation of the new security force will put a stop to the kinds
of loopholes that may have contributed to the bombing this week.
Local Authorities, Not Israel Should Protect Jewish Organizations
Analysis by Brig.-Gen. Yigal Pressler,
the Prime Minister's Adviser on Terrorism
How involved is Israel in securing Jewish institutions abroad?
"Security at Jewish institutions abroad is, first and foremost,
the responsibility of the country in which they are located.
Occasionally, Jewish organizations hire local security services, in
addition to the regular police protection. Israel does not protect
Jewish institutions, but it does provide assistance and advice to
organizations, with the consent of the local security
The answer to attacks of the type which occurred in Argentina is
not defensive activity. Another fence, another roadblock, another
guard will not help.
The countries of the world must cooperate intensively to foil
Iranian and Islamic terrorism. It essential to penetrate them, to
collect intelligence, to uncover intentions and to foil attacks.
Cooperation between the countries of the world should be tightened,
and this matter must be significant and important.
At this stage, all of the details of the incident in Buenos Aires
are not clear, although the very fact that the attack was directed
at a Jewish target would seem to indicate that terrorist elements
do not stop at anything in order to attack whomever they consider
to be an Israeli or a supporter of Israel. An attack on a building
densely packed with Argentinean citizens of Jewish origin
constitutes an attack on Argentina's sovereignty, as well as on the
entire Jewish People, not only on Israel.
Peres to Assad: We Haven't Forgotten You
By Kim Reid (Cairo)
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres says Israel will not leave
Syria on the sidelines, despite Israel's rapid strides this week on
making peace with Jordan. Peres met with Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak in Cairo to discuss what he called the next steps toward
Peres looked tired after his whirlwind week of shuttle diplomacy on
the border with Jordan, where Israel made the first public strides
toward peace with its eastern neighbor.
The Israeli official came to Cairo to brief the Egyptian leader
-- a key player in the peace negotiations -- on Israel's progress
with Jordan, as well as recent developments in making Palestinian
autonomy in Gaza and Jericho a reality.
Peres was quick to point out that progress with the Palestinians
and Jordan does not preclude peace talks with Syria.
"Negotiations with Palestinians and the negotiations with the
Jordanians will not postpone our readiness to negotiate with
Syrians. We are committed to a comprehensive peace."
But with the upcoming summit in Washington of the Jordanian and
Israeli leaders, coupled with US Secretary of State Warren
Christopher's shuttle trips this week between Syria and Israel,
Syria may be feeling the pressure to act now, or be left out of a
comprehensive peace deal.
By Adam Phillips (Washington)
It has been a week of historic firsts in relations between Israel
and Jordan. The two nations have been technically at war since
1948, but this week high level officials from both nations gathered
in a tent erected on a rare stretch of undisputed land at their
border to talk peace. Then, on Wednesday, the Jordanian and the
israeli foreign ministers met at the Dead Sea, just inside Jordan,
to discuss water issues and opportunities for mutual cooperation.
First, there were the peace accords between Israel and Egypt in
1979. Next came the famous Yitzhak Rabin-Yasir Arafat handshake at
the White House in Washington last September. Then last week,
President Clinton made a new announcement that could mean yet
another major step toward a broader peace in the Middle East.
"I am pleased to announce today that King Hussein of Jordan and
Prime Minister Rabin of Israel have agreed to my invitation to meet
at the White House on July 25... This historic meeting is another
step forward toward achievement of a comprehensive and lasting
peace in the Middle East... On behalf of all Americans, I salute
their commitment to peace."
There are plenty of thorny issues for Jordan and Israel to talk
about. The two nations have been in a technical state of war since
1948, but their border has been quiet since 1967, when Israel
claimed the West Bank and Jerusalem from Jordan after repulsing an
attack by Jordan and her Arab allies and winning the Six-Day War.
There is no lack of important practical questions to consider.
Water rights to the Jordan River both nations share is a major
issue in this parched region. Jordan claims ownership of 145 square
miles of land within Israel that Israel claims is separate from the
Transjordan borders the British drew back from in 1922, under a
League of Nations mandate that called the whole area simply,
"Palestine." King Hussein also wants Jordanian control of the
prestigious Muslim holy places within the Jewish state.
Even though Jordan's King Hussein and Israel's Prime Minister Rabin
will meet in Washington next week, actual talks between the two
nations will no longer be under Washington's auspices. But neither
head of state seems likely to contradict Secretary of State Warren
Christopher's statement when, on departing for talks with Syria, he
said: "Peace is possible and we must grasp that opportunity as
firmly as we can."
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