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  Israel Faxx                                      \/ /  \/ /
  August 8, 1994 Volume 2, #146                    / /\__/_/\
  Electronic World Communications, Inc.           /__\ \_____\
  8916 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215             \  /
  Internet: ewcnews@tso.uc.edu Phone: (513) 563-7424   \/
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Israel's population has reached 5.33 Million. There are currently 5.33 million people living in Israel, of whom 4.34 million -- 81.5%-- are Jewish and 989,000 are non-Jewish. The Knesset's Committee for Immigration and Absorption decided to raise the immigration basket given to new immigrants by 25%. The raise will take effect in early 1995.

Christopher Meets with Assad

By Kyle King (Jerusalem)

Secretary of State Warren Christopher says he will use his meeting with Syrian President Hafez al Assad to try to prevent any escalation of the latest Hizbullah attacks in Southern Lebanon. The secretary made the comments in Jerusalem following talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

In comments to reporters at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the secretary said his main aim is to prevent an escalation of attacks like the kind that have erupted along Israel's border with Southern Lebanon.

Although Syria is not believed to have control over Hizbullah forces in Southern Lebanon, it does have influence and some Israeli officials have said Syria has not done all it could to prevent attacks along the border.

State department officials say that on the way to the region on Friday, Christopher phoned the Israeli and Syrian foreign ministers to discuss the situation and urge restraint. Christopher said such incidents cause difficulty for the peace process and the only way to bring peace to the region is through the negotiation process.

Christopher is also expected to focus on ways to bring peace between Israel and Syria during his talks with the Syrian leader. Since his last visit to the region two weeks ago the secretary has repeatedly said he believes Assad is serious about the negotiations and wants to make progress.

However, Christopher says the only way that can come about is through direct negotiations between the parties. Until such talks can take place he says he will continue to work with the parties.

Earlier, Christopher held talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat in Alexandria.

In a joint news conference with the Egyptian president, Christopher said his meeting was fruitful, and the talks focused mainly on ways to move the peace process forward. Christopher praised what he called the leading role Mubarak has played in the effort to bring peace to the region.

The secretary said they had good talks about Mubarak's recent meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and with Assad. The secretary also took time for a brief meeting with Arafat, for further talks on ways to speed foreign aid to Palestinians in the Gaza and the West Bank town of Jericho.

Israeli Soldiers Killed; Children Wounded

By Art Chimes (Jerusalem) and Edward Yeranian (Beirut)

Terrorists in Southern Lebanon ambushed Israeli soldiers early Saturday morning, local time, killing two and injuring two others. The incident followed a Hizbullah rocket attack into Northern Israel, in which three children were wounded.

The ambush in the Israeli-controlled zone in Southern Lebanon is the latest in a series of incidents along the border between Israel and Lebanon. Israeli military censors withheld news of the incident for several hours, until relatives could be notified.

In Beirut a Hizbullah spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack saying the deaths will avenge the blood of our martyrs. They said the attacks were in retaliation for an Israeli air raid in South Lebanon Thursday. At least seven civilians were killed in the air raid. Israel said it was a mistake and issued an apology.

According to the French press agency, several Israeli children were wounded Saturday morning after Hizbullah fired Katyousha rockets on Northern Israel, hitting a house. Israel and its South Lebanon army militia allies retaliated by shelling Lebanese towns on the outskirts of their nine-mile self-declared security zones in Southern Lebanon.

Israel-Jordan Open Phones and Border

By Art Chimes (Jerusalem)

Israel and Jordan have inaugurated direct telephone links in the latest step on the way to normalized relations. A ceremonial first phone call came on the eve of a visit to Jordan today by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Israel and Jordan agreed in Washington two weeks ago to open telephone circuits, and King Hussein and President Ezer Weizman spoke in the ceremonial first call. The Israeli president invited the Jordanian monarch to visit Jerusalem.

"I want to repeat: you have an open invitation to visit Israel and Jerusalem. I'll take you up in an airplane that time."

King Hussein responded, saying he is looking forward to it.

The airplane invitation was a reference to King Hussein's historic flight over Jerusalem last week, flying to Amman in his royal DC-10 jumbo jet.

On his way home to Amman from Great Britain, Hussein piloted his own plane, flying over Tel Aviv, the Coastal Plain and Jerusalem. The Jordanian plane was escorted by four Israel Air Force F-15s. The shortcut over Israel was requested by the king during his recent meeting with Rabin in Washington. Rabin and IDF Chief of Staff Major General Ehud Barak, spoke with the King by radio during his flight.

The Weizman-Hussein phone call came one day before Rabin and Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan are due to inaugurate a new border crossing between the twin Gulf of Aqaba (Eilat) resort and port towns of Aqaba, Jordan, and Eilat, Israel. More than 100 land mines, in place since 1968, have have been cleared from the site. The Foreign Ministry has prepared several plans for developing the area near the new passage, one of which calls for the construction of a joint port near the mouth of the Jordan River.

After the meeting with Hassan, Rabin will meet with Hussein in Aqaba -- the first public visit to Jordan by an Israeli leader.

American Woman Stabbed In Jerusalem

After being stabbed Saturday night in Jerusalem's Old City, an American woman was in serious condition, police said. The woman, a Jerusalem resident for the last three years, was stabbed in the back by two Arab youths. She was taken to Hadassah hospital. Police unsuccessfully searched for the fleeing attackers.

Pollard Thanks American Jews

Lester Pollack, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and Malcolm Hoenlein, the umbrella group's executive vice chairman, met with Jonathan Pollard last week at his request at the Federal Prison in Butner, N.C., where he has been held for most of the past year.

During a two-hour meeting, Pollard expressed his appreciation to the American Jewish community and to those working in his behalf for their efforts.

He said the motivation for his action was not born of self-interest but of a desire to protect the safety and security of Israel. He said he "did the wrong thing for the right reason."

He told his visitors that does not consider himself a martyr and does not seek to be portrayed as such. His remorse about his actions is best expressed in the letter he wrote to his parents, in which he expressed contrition, and said he failed to appreciate the fact that his concern for Israel did not justify his indifference to the law.

Pollard strongly believes that his unjust life term is far greater than the sentence imposed on anyone else convicted of espionage, including those who spied for unfriendly countries--and believes there are additional facts and new information that warrant a new hearing of his case. He is hopeful that President Bill Clinton will reverse his refusal to commute his sentence.

He was particularly upset when he learned from the Presidents Conference officials that the sentence of U.S. Marine Sgt. Lonetree, who was convicted of passing secrets to the Soviet Union that compromised U.S. agents and may have resulted in their deaths, was reduced, making him eligible for parole after serving only eight years of his original 30-year sentence.

Israel Demands Explanation for Vatican's Honoring of Waldheim

The Vatican's emissary in Jerusalem, Thomas Glickson, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry where Israeli officials demanded that the Vatican explain why it conferred Kurt Waldheim, who is known to have cooperated with Nazi forces during World War II, with the title of "Knight of the Ordine Piano." Waldheim is a former U.N. secretary general and president of Austria.

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