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  Israel Faxx                                      \/ /  \/ /
  August 26, 1994 Volume 2, #160                   / /\__/_/\
  Electronic World Communications, Inc.           /__\ \_____\
  8916 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215             \  /
  Internet: Phone: (513) 563-7424   \/

Some 5,000 people a day visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem daily, according to the first survey organized by the institution. The museum and memorial is visited by about 1.3 million people annually, making it the most visited site in the country after the Western Wall.

Palestinians Take Over School Systems

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Israeli officials handed over control of schools in much of the West Bank to Palestinian officials under an agreement reached last week. Israeli and Palestinian officials decided to begin the expansion of Palestinian autonomy with education because it appeared to be easy and relatively non-controversial. But the handover has instead been a magnet for controversy -- just like almost everything the Israeli government and the Palestinian authority try to do.

A Palestinian education official called it "a great feeling" Thursday when he formally took control of a school in the West Bank town of Nablus from Israeli officials, who shook his hand and wished him "good luck." After the Israelis left, the Palestinians raised their flag over the school.

That brief ceremony was a small part of a much larger process going on throughout the Israeli-occupied territories -- a process some call peacemaking and nation-building and others call injustice and betrayal.

Under an agreement reached on Wednesday, the handover of the education system throughout the West Bank -- except in Israeli settlements -- is to be followed by the expansion of Palestinian autonomy to cover other aspects of life in the occupied territories. Officials on both sides thought education would be an easy place to start because much of the system was run by Palestinians already.

The Israeli government is eager to implement the peace accord although it says the Palestinian authority is not organized or financed well enough to move as quickly as many want.

Other Israelis want to slow or stop the expansion of Palestinian autonomy. For them, what some call the "peace process" is "capitulation."

Yehudit Tayar is a member of the Council of Jewish Communities in Gaza and the West Bank. She sees a threat in the handover of education authority to the Palestinians -- a move officials on both sides believed would be a decidedly non-threatening way to begin expanding Palestinian autonomy.

"For us, it's a flashing red light to hand over authority for an educational system to a group that calls (for) our destruction. We're dealing with a group that is bent on educating toward the destruction of the State of Israel. So, our reaction of course would be: How can you give the reins of educating to a group that is bent on destroying us? We feel that it's a continuation of the steps of capitulation of the government, and, of course, we object to it most strenuously."

What Early Empowerment Grants Palestinians

Yediot Ahronot describes the specific responsibilities which the early empowerment agreement grants to the Palestinians. In education, the Palestinians will have sole authority in staff and curriculum matters. In addition, Palestinian schools may fly the Palestinian flag and display pictures of PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat. The Palestinian Authority will be responsible for the salaries of 8,500 teachers and education officials. The Palestinians will have authority over all aspects of health care, including authority over 10 hospitals in the West Bank. In tax matters, the Palestinians will be responsible for the collecting income and sales taxes.

The newspaper emphasizes that the Palestinians face difficulties in this area since they have no system for collecting taxes. Palestinians will now be responsible for certain tourism matters, including infrastructure and travel planning. In addition, the Palestinians will be responsible for social welfare matters, such as public assistance programs.

Clinton Promises to Compensate Israel for "Strategic Advantages" Given Up for Peace

President Bill Clinton told a B'nai B'rith convention in Chicago that Washington would compensate Israel for any strategic advantages it may choose to relinquish for peace. Clinton spoke to the group via a satellite hookup.

What Hath Camp David Wrought?

By Matthew Schneider (Washington)

On September 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter, Egypt's President Anwar Sadat and Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin began a series of meetings that produced the keystone to the spread of peace in the Middle East. Carter acted as a mediator for 13 days of intense talks at the presidential retreat called Camp David.

When the three leaders returned to Washington, D.C., they announced that they had agreed on conditions that would permit Egypt and Israel to pursue peace. President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin embraced the measure and called the Camp David Accords, a "framework of peace in the Middle East."

At an internationally broadcast White House ceremony, the Egyptian president and the Israeli prime minister praised Carter for his role in their talks. Carter spoke of the victory of peace over war: "Two leaders who will loom large in the history of nations, President Anwar al-Sadat and Prime Minister Menachem Begin, have conducted this campaign with all the courage, tenacity, brilliance and inspiration of any generals who have ever led men and machines into the field of battle."

Carter also said the Camp David agreement was one of the supreme highlights of his presidency. Sadat and Begin shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.

A Day Traveling with Hizbullah

By Edward Yeranian (Beirut)

Israeli troops patrol an area of southern Lebanon which Israel calls its security zone. The area is the frequent site of shelling, both by Israeli forces and the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army militia and by an Islamic guerrilla group, Hizbullah. Edward Yeranian visited southern Lebanon this past week and reports about what remains the last open war front between Israel and her Arab neighbors.

Hizbullah in Arabic signifies the Party of God. Its name is etched in the memories of most Americans for holding hostages and blowing up the US Marine Barracks in 1983.

Since Syrian troops wrested control of Lebanon from rival militias, Hizbullah has revised its strategy. Today, with Syria's approval, it focuses on fighting Israel in southern Lebanon.

The August heat is choking in Tyre, the Lebanese port city 10 miles north of israel. Here we meet up with Mustafa, a bearded, smiling Hizbullah activist, who will take us to the battlefront.

A convoy of UN trucks passes along the serpentine country road from Tyre inland. Only a mountainside separates us from the Israeli lines and that part of Lebanon, inaccessible to us, called the security zone.

Speed bumps and a road block mark the UN Fiji battalion checkpoint. We query the Fijian captain: "Are we far from Israeli lines?" "Not too far. You can see them." "Have they been shelling recently?" "Yesterday." "And what do they usually shell?" "Villages. People. Sometimes they shell us."

Our car struggles up a narrow road before entering the village of Kafra. The distant thump of shell fire comes from positions several miles away, perhaps in Tibnine, another Hizbullah stronghold. Fig trees, olive trees, and pomegranates grow along terraces framed by neat stone walls. Buildings to the right of us are dotted with shrapnel marks from recent shellings.

Abou Ja'afar leads the resistance in Kafra. His balcony shaded by grape vines overlooks the valley. Here, he shares his feelings with us over a cup of Turkish coffee. "We have two choices, no others, either to die resisting or continue life fighting." Ja'afar condemns Israel for occupying parts of his country. Yet he promises peace will come if Israel pulls out. "They come carrying guns, killing our children and occupying our lands. Just let them leave and we have nothing against them."

Everyone, however is not willing to make peace with Israel, if and when it withdraws from Lebanon. Sheik Soubhi Toufayli, the former head of Hizbullah, explained to me in Beirut. "We will continue to fight the Israeli enemy, even if Lebanon makes an agreement, because Lebanon's signature on such a treaty does not obligate us."

In Ya'atar, the village next to Kafra, we meet up with resistance fighters. Ali, a bearded guerrilla carrying an RPG, sports a headband proclaiming he belongs to a suicide unit. I ask him if he is prepared to die. "Fighting brings us courage and exaltation to resist on our land. We will never abandon our land. We'd sooner die."

In a display of bravado, ali offers to shoot his RPG at Israeli lines for us to witness. I tell him "No thank you. I myself am not eager to die."

Three Hizbullah fighters were killed later that day trying to ambush an Israeli patrol.

Brief Faxx

The Romanian Police returned stolen Jewish relics and art worth more than $200 million to Hungarian Jewish officials Wednesday. Ion Pitulescu, Romanian chief of police, said nearly all of the gold and silver religious objects, relics, carpets and paintings stolen from the Budapest Jewish Museum last December have been recovered. Romanian police recovered the trove in mid-June in the village of Dascalu, near Bucharest. Two Romanians, Nicolae Chirita and Emilian Stefan, are being held in Germany and Austria in connection with the theft.

Faruk Kadumi, the secretary of foreign affairs of the PLO, announced that the High Committee of the PLO has agreed not to change its charter which calls for the destruction of Israel, until the PLO has established its state of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. The PLO had agreed to change its charter last September -- but, to date, has not honored that agreement. (The Jihad News)

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