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  Israel Faxx                                      \/ /  \/ /
  Sept 23, 1994 Volume 2, #173                     / /\__/_/\
  Electronic World Communications, Inc.           /__\ \_____\
  8916 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215             \  /
  Internet: ewcnews@tso.uc.edu Phone: (513) 563-7424   \/
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A September 13 survey by Israel television of 1,000 telephone interviews of adult Hebrew speakers including Israeli Arabs found that only 17% support a full withdrawal from the Golan. This represents a major setback for the Rabin government. Results are: Against any withdrawal, 48%; For partial withdrawal, 35%; For complete withdrawal, 17%.

Arafat Tries Hamas Reconciliation

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat has moved to reduce tensions with the radical group, Hamas, by meeting with two Hamas leaders and releasing three of their followers from prison. One of the radical leaders who met with Arafat into the early hours of Thursday (Ismail Haniyeh) said the release "defused a bomb" which could have exploded into a bloody civil war among Palestinians.

The controversy arose after an incident during the weekend in which Palestinian policemen of Arafat's Autonomy Authority stopped a car of Hamas activists in Gaza's Rafah refugee camp and tried to disarm them. A shootout followed, leaving one policeman dead and two Hamas activists wounded.

The police chief in Gaza, Gazi al-Jabali, confirms that three of the Hamas supporters arrested afterwards were released on Thursday, following Arafat's meeting with their leaders.

Jabali says three others are still being held in connection with the weekend shooting. But news reports say they may be released soon.

Arafat has been walking a thin line between controlling terrorists -- as Israel demands -- and not antagonizing his opponents into launching more violent operations.

He did not speak to reporters about the meeting, but one of the Hamas officials, Mahmoud al-Zahar, says there was also agreement on how Palestinian police and Hamas fighters will interact with each other, in an effort to avoid similar violent incidents in the future.

Hamas wants clear acknowledgement from Arafat that its members who are sought by Israel can carry weapons to defend themselves. But the Palestinian leader has not yet decided whether to give that assurance.

Zahar says Arafat promised to respond to that and several other Hamas requests within two days. The Hamas official says agreement could open a new period of cooperation with the Palestinian authority. But Hamas has vowed to continue opposing the peace accord with Israel, which it considers a sell-out of Palestinian claims to all Israeli territory.

U.S. Peace Team Holds Talks in Jerusalem U.S. Special Middle East Coordinator Dennis Ross says that Syrian President Hafez Assad is convinced that Israel is intent on achieving peace. Ross, who traveled to Damascus before coming to Israel, added that the Syrian president is leading the negotiations and is confident with the decisions that he is making.

Assad reportedly told Ross that there is no turning back from steps that have already been taken. Ross, along with Ambassador-designate to Israel Martin Indyk, met with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres Wednesday telling the Israeli leaders that the Syrians have not changed their positions. He reiterated that disagreements on both sides still center on the depth of an Israeli withdrawal on the Golan Heights, the stages of the withdrawal and the normalization of ties.

Ross said he believes the question of dividing water resources in the Golan Heights is critical to the arrangements. In response, Peres said the only solution is to increase, rather than divide, water resources. Ross added that U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher will soon visit the region in an effort to accelerate the Israeli-Syrian negotiations.

Israel Asks Palestinians to Extradite Two Gazans Suspected of Murdering Israeli Last Year

Israel has asked the Palestinians to extradite two brothers from the Gaza Strip who are suspected of murdering Uri Megadish over a year ago at the Gazan settlement of Gan Or.

The request, which was personally approved by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, was delivered to the Palestinians at a meeting of the Israeli-Palestinian liaison committee. The two suspects, Amru and Rajah Sita, are from Rafah in the Gaza Strip and are known members of the Fatah Hawks group.

Has Israel Formed an Elite Unit to Fight Settlers? Hatikvah News Service

A new unit has been formed by the IDF and has already started to train. Its main objective is to fight against the settlers of Judea-Samaria, the Gaza strip and the Golan if it is decided to evacuate settlements.

Members of the new unit were very carefully screened and were required to sign a far-reaching obligation to maintain secrecy. Candidates for recruitment to the unit were asked a number of questions to establish whether they meet three criteria for acceptance to the unit: Their political views must be remote from those of the settlers, they must have no relatives or friends in the settlements of Judea-Samaria and the Gaza strip, and they must have no religious family members or friends.

Evidence received by Ma'ariv indicates that the new unit has started to train. Their training includes commando training, sniping and fighting in built-up stress. Factors close to the unit admitted that its main purpose is to intervene in cases of conflicts with settlers who refuse to evacuate their homes. Government and IDF leaders decided to establish the unit after fears were expressed that in ordinary IDF units asked to evacuate settlements there might be refusals to execute orders.

A number of men asked to join the new unit refused to do so on ideological grounds."

Second Rabbi Held as Terror Suspect
Hatikvah News Service

Police on Sunday night arrested Kiryat Arba Rabbi Meir Koren on suspicion of involvement in a new Jewish terrorist underground, bringing to 10 the number arrested so far. Eight are still in custody.

Koren, 28, a teacher, has lived in the settlement for seven years. One Kiryat Arba source said Koren is not involved with Kach and not known for extremist views. David Ramati, a neighbor, said GSS agents arrested Koren on his way home after Shabbat in front of some two dozen neighbors. He said Koren put up no resistance and was quickly placed in a car and sped out of the settlement.

Ramati described Koren as an "excellent" member of the community and probably the most respected resident arrested so far. On Friday, Haifa District Court Judge Micha Lindenstrauss rejected the appeal of Kiryat Arba brothers Eitan and Yehoyada Kahalani against the extension of their remand and against the conditions of their detention, including allegations of mistreatment by the General Security Service.

Eitan Kahalani, 29, who had been barred from meeting with his lawyers since the brothers were arrested on August 26 on suspicion of stealing IDF weapons and conspiring to attack Arabs, complained to the court that this action "recalls the vilest regimes" and that "it has made me into a danger to the security of the state and an enemy of the country."

He saw his lawyers for the first time in the courtroom - without being allowed to speak with them. This followed an order signed by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin after consultations with GSS officials and his military aide extending the GSS ban.

Yehoyada Kahalani, 24, met with his attorneys on Friday, after the expiration of the GSS ban. After their meeting, Yehoyada Kahalani's lawyers claimed the police and GSS have no basis for the allegations against their clients. They also complained about Yehoyada's interrogation, saying he had been questioned for 48 hours straight by teams of four to eight investigators.

The lawyers said his interrogators had constantly insulted Kahalani in an effort to break his will. Such insults allegedly included telling him he had been molested by Arabs when he was a child, referring to his family as sexual deviates, and calling him "homosexual" and "a vile murderer like the Arabs we investigate." The attorneys also complained that Kahalani had not been allowed to change his underwear for two weeks.



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