Newsletter : 4fax0918.txt
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Israel Faxx \/ / \/ /
Sept 19, 1994 Volume 2, #169 / /\__/_/\
Electronic World Communications, Inc. /__\ \_____\
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Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (513) 563-7424 \/
Jean Staten, a member of the 700 member First Church of the
Nazarene in Northville, Mich., said the smells of perfume, shampoo
and hairspray used to make her nose so stuffy that she couldn't
sing or enjoy a worship service. Things became more problematic
whenever a strong-smelling church member sat beside her. Now,
thanks to her efforts, she and 15 other churchgoers breathe freely
in the church's new "fragrance free section."
U.S. Officials to Visit Israel to Advance Talks with Syria
Senior government officials said that "it is possible to conclude
an agreement between Israel and Syria in a matter a days if both
sides would be flexible on the three matters which remain
unresolved - a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal on the Golan
Heights, the depth of a withdrawal and security arrangements."
The sources added that these three issues can serve as obstacles to
peace, or can be solved in a matter of hours if both sides take
courageous steps. U.S. Special Middle East coordinator Dennis Ross
will travel to the Middle East this week, accompanied by a group of
senior State Department officials, for meetings with Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. Government
officials in Jerusalem said the visit is aimed at advancing the
Islamic Jihad Gives Tacit Support to Hamas Proposal for Single Islamic Party
Islamic Jihad said that it is not rejecting a recent Hamas
initiative to create a single Islamic party in the territories, but
that they would not participate in a single party campaign in the
general elections. A spokesman for the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza
Strip said that the two groups must coordinate their activities,
adding that issues which separated them in the past no longer
exist. In recent days, Hamas sources have said that the group will
soon declare the formation of an Islamic political party in the
territories which will be open to all factions.
The Chinese Connection
By Hatikvah News Service
Israel is not only thousands and thousands of miles from China
geographically, but light years from that country culturally and
politically. Two items which appeared simultaneously in the local
press recently, seem to indicate that the gap between the giant of
the Far East and the tiny Jewish state in the Middle East is being
First came the news of an official visit to China by Israel
Defense Forces Chief of Staff Ehud Barak. After a review of the
crack Chinese Army division guarding the Chinese capital of Beijing
and watching a demonstration of its fire power, Barak met with the
Chinese chief of staff and his top brass at a festive dinner.
Before inviting his Chinese counterpart to pay a return visit to
Israel, the chief of staff presented his host with a finely
detailed miniature of the Israeli Merkava 3 tank.
The other half of the new Chinese connection was commercial rather
than military. For the first time in the history of the state, a
Chinese ship entered Haifa port. This was the maiden voyage of a
new freighter line connecting China with Middle Eastern and
American ports. The new line offers commercial freighters a
significantly shorter route between Chinese, American and Israeli
ports. Haifa is slated to serve in the future as a distribution
point to Middle Eastern countries of Chinese cargoes.
Israelis Want to Question Palestinian Secret Police Chief
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Two ministers of the new Palestinian Autonomy Authority
were in the news on Friday -- one in a reported dispute with the
Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, and the other wanted for
questioning by Israel.
Arafat's advisers admit the first few months of Palestinian
autonomy have been a time of learning -- learning how to manage the
day-to-day affairs of a government, with its problems ranging from
organization to finance to public image. There were two good
examples of that on Friday.
There is no official confirmation from the Palestinian
Authority in Gaza, but reports from Israel Radio and the Reuter
news agency say Arafat's chief economic adviser has resigned
in a dispute over management of the Authority's finances. The
economics chief, Ahmad Korei -- also known as Abu Alaa -- is
reported to be dissatisfied with the way Arafat is handling
Palestinian financial institutions. The dispute is related to
the demand by foreign aid donors for more accountability before
they will deliver more aid.
The official Palestinian news agency denies the reports, and
Korei has refused to comment. But the stories themselves are
just the kind of thing governments elsewhere must deal with
The other controversy confronting Arafat on Friday was a
demand by Israel to question the chief of the Palestinian secret
police. Israel's police minister wants to question Jibril
al-Rajoub about an alleged kidnapping in East Jerusalem, in which
the victim was taken to Jericho and detained.
Rajoub's agents are suspected in the kidnapping, and in other
violent incidents in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem. The
Palestinian police official says he will not submit to Israeli
questioning and accuses the Israeli police of torturing several
of his men when they were arrested in connection with the alleged
kidnapping. Meanwhile, the alleged victim says there was no
kidnapping at all, and he is in Jericho of his own free will.
This kind of dispute might have erupted into street violence not
long ago, but these days it is just part of the sometimes-stormy
but generally peaceful relationship which is developing between
Israel and the Palestinians. And controversies involving
department heads is yet another aspect of government Arafat and his
advisers are beginning to experience first hand.
Murderers Want to Return Home
By Patricia Golan (Jericho)
Since Israel and the PLO signed an agreement for self-rule for Gaza
and Jericho one year ago, Israel has released about 4500
Palestinian prisoners as part of the agreement. An estimated 6,000
Palestinians remain in Israeli jails. Many of those released have
been confined to the West Bank town of Jericho -- unable to return
to their home villages and unwelcome guests of the local
Israel released the prisoners on condition that they sign a pledge
renouncing violence and backing the Israel/PLO autonomy accord.
The Israeli authorities insisted that about 550 of the released
prisoners continue serving out their sentences in the self-rule
areas, mainly in Jericho, the 36 square mile-governing enclave.
These are men convicted of killing fellow Palestinians accused of
collaborating with the Israeli authorities.
The released prisoners have been put up in makeshift camps and
army barracks abandoned by the Israelis when they pulled out of
Jericho last May.
"Issam," like most of the other men in the El-Bir camp on the
outskirts of Jericho, was convicted of killing a suspected
collaborator. According to Israeli figures, more than 900
Palestinians were shot, hacked or strangled to death by their
fellow Arabs during the six and a half years of the intifada, the
The Israel army says the main reason the collaborator-killers are
not allowed back to their homes in villages still controlled by
Israel, is the fear of vendettas. "Issam" is evasive when asked
how he killed the collaborator. But he admits the man's family
could try to kill him in revenge now that he's out of prison.
But he points out they can kill him in Jericho as easily as they
could in his home village, where he wants to return.
The men's main complaint is the boredom and the searing heat.
Summer temperatures in Jericho are well over 104 degrees.
"Issam" says it's too hot here to do anything. If he is caught
trying to sneak out of Jericho to his village he'll be sent
straight back to prison. Inside the barracks there are about 20 men
to a room. Some have mattresses. Some sleep on wooden planks.
Thirty-year-old "Samir" from the village of Jelazoun has served
two years of a 15-year sentence as an accomplice in a
collaborator killing. He says conditions in prison were better
than they are here. He says in prison he had more room and
Like almost all the ex-prisoners now languishing in Jericho,
Samir belongs to Yasir Arafat's Fatah group within the PLO.
Like the others here he is angry at the Palestinian authorities
because he feels they tricked them. They knew we wouldn't be
allowed to leave Jericho, he says, but they pretended it would
only be for 48 hours. Samir says they feel that they've simply
gone from one prison to another.
About 120 prisoners dumped in Jericho by the Israelis after their
release already have been allowed to return to their homes in the
West Bank. These were men who had served at least two-thirds of
their sentences, and who were not directly involved in killings.
The 14,000 residents of Jericho seem indifferent to having hundreds
of ex-prisoners -- many of them murderers -- dropped in their
midst. But they say they worry about feeding them, and they say
there's already high unemployment in the town.
Jebril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian security services in
Jericho, says the continued stay of the released prisoners is a
major cause of tension in the area. "I think this problem has been
created by the Israelis. We have to deal with it according to our
possibilities, which is too limited.... They are living in inhuman
conditions, and I think releasing them in Jericho is a kind of
punishment sending them to exile, transferring them from jail to
Last week to protest their conditions, the prisoners burned tires
on the main highway through jericho -- prompting the Israelis to
bar entrance to the town for 24 hours.
If the peace process goes as planned, the problem of the released
prisoners will solve itself as the Israeli occupation recedes
from the rest of the West Bank. The men will return to their
villages and towns -- and any vendettas that result will then be
the problem of Palestinian, not Israeli, authorities.
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