Newsletter : 4fax0929.txt
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>PD Sept. 30, 1994 V2, #178
Israeli Supreme Court Says No to Haiti
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israel's Supreme Court has prevented, at least temporarily, the
dispatch of Israeli police officers to join the international force
in Haiti. In response to a suit filed Sunday, the court has asked
the government to prove it has the authority to send Israeli forces
The court gave the government five days to explain the legal
justification of its decision to send 30 police officers to
help train Haiti's new police force.
Some legal experts say Israeli law prevents sending forces
overseas, except in the direct defense of Israel. But police
spokesman Eric Bar Chen says the government can act in this case
because it is operating under a United Nations resolution.
Some officials have said that because the 30 officers involved
are volunteers, the government is free to send them to Haiti.
They say this is a different legal situation than sending troops
into a conflict overseas.
The suit before the Supreme Court was filed by private individuals
who oppose the government. They claim the plan to send the
Israeli police to Haiti is illegal, and would unnecessarily
endanger Israeli lives.
Israel has sent police investigators to many countries in
connection with terrorist attacks, and it sent army medical teams
to Rwanda last month. But officials say this would be the first
time Israel joined an international force. The police spokesman
says the Israeli officers would be involved in training, and not
performing police functions themselves. But he acknowledged they
could still conceivably find themselves in confrontational
The 30 Israeli police officers would be among the smallest
contingents of approximately 20 being sent to Haiti from various
countries, totaling more than 5,000 soldiers and police officers,
in addition to the US forces.
Israel and Jordan Meet
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan's King Hussein have
held a previously unannounced meeting in the Jordanian resort town
of Aqaba to try to forge final agreement on a peace treaty. It is
their second meeting since the White House ceremony earlier this
year when they formally ended the state of war between their
The surprise meeting comes at what appears to be a crucial stage of
the Israel-Jordan negotiations. The chief Israeli government
spokesman says the unsettled issues of borders and water rights
were to be the focus of the Rabin-Hussein meeting. And the
spokesman, Uri Dromi, says the two were also to discuss
what he calls "the balance of power with the Palestinians."
Dromi says this summit was planned some time ago, but was
not publicized in an effort to create a business-like
atmosphere. He says publicity surrounding other steps in the
Israel-Jordan peace process worried the Palestinians and hurt
Israel's negotiations with them.
The Palestinians and Jordan disagree about responsibility for the
Muslim holy places in Jerusalem, and other issues. They are
scheduled to hold talks on those disputes soon. In addition, the
Israeli foreign minister and Jordan's crown prince are to meet on
Sunday and Monday in the United States. Israeli and Jordanian
negotiators have made significant progress toward a full peace
treaty, and officials say it could be ready for signature soon if
the top leaders can solve the remaining difficult issues.
Peres Speaks to the United Nations
By Elaine Johanson (U.N.)
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres has called on Syria to move
boldly toward negotiations on a peace treaty. In remarks to the
United Nations General Assembly Thursday, the Israeli official said
an agreement between the two countries would have significance far
beyond bilateral relations.
The Israeli foreign minister said a treaty between Israel and Syria
could well trigger a comprehensive peace in the region. He accused
Syria of slowing the pace of negotiations and urged President Hafez
Assad to consider direct, high-level talks: "We address the
Syrians by saying: let us talk face to face. Let's negotiate, as
it was proclaimed in Damascus, with courage, to attain a peace of
Negotiations have stalled over a Syrian demand for the immediate
and complete return of the Golan Heights -- which Israel seized
during the 1967 war. Israel wants a phased withdrawal from the
The Israeli official also made an impassioned plea for economic
assistance for the territory Israel turned over to the
Palestinians. He said -- with the world turning away from military
solutions -- the UN should make Gaza a showplace of economic
Background Report on the Palestinian Economy
By Patricia Golan
Millions of dollars of funds pledged for the newly established
Palestinian authority running the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town
of Jericho still have not been released by the World Bank. But
a group of hundreds of wealthy Palestinians living abroad has
launched privately funded projects and is lobbying for increased
Many Palestinian businessmen have been reluctant to invest their
money in the Palestinian self-rule areas, where there is no clear
political system in place, and everything is under PLO Chairman
Yasir Arafat's control.
The founders of the Palestine Development and Investment Company
-- or Pedico -- made their fortunes in North America, Jordan and
the Gulf States. They say their idea for pooled private
investments in their own homeland was born in the optimistic
atmosphere following the Middle East peace process launched in
Madrid in 1991.
The firm, with start-up capital of $200 million, has just
launched three subsidiaries in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
The companies will invest in housing, tourism and industrial
development; in keeping with the firm's strategy of cultivating
the private sector, two-thirds of the capital for the projects is
expected to come from local investors.
The most difficult part of their endeavor has been dealing with
the different sets of investment laws: Israeli law in Jerusalem,
Jordanian laws in the West Bank, and Egyptian and British laws in
the newly autonomous Gaza Strip.
Yousef Ghanem, an executive in the new firm, says if the company
decided to wait until there was a uniform set of laws they'd have
to wait a long time. "So, the differences are there, but for
industrialists who are serious they have to study these laws very
well and they have to live with them and to find some way in
order to go around these difficulties that are created by these
laws, but ultimately we did it."
Ghanem says he hopes the launch of the three offices will
encourage other Palestinian investments in the West Bank and Gaza
Businessman Munib al-Masri, vice-chairman of Pedico, says the
company's main aim is to help create new jobs and a new Palestinian
economy. But he complains the company has received little
cooperation from the Israeli authorities. "We're going to be
patient and we're going to work together until we get what is the
minimum to encourage foreign investors to come here. But so far
this thing has been very slow from the Israeli side. Because if
they do care about the peace process, to succeed they must tango
The just-launched companies, set up after receiving approval
from Arafat, are the first of 20 subsidiaries which Pedico intends
to establish within three years. Pedico's directors call the
venture a leap in the dark, but say they are taking the risk to
help in building a Palestinian homeland.
Pope Speaks of Jerusalem Access
By Peggy Polk
Pope John Paul II has urged Israel to accept international
guarantees providing that Jews, Christians and Muslims alike have
access to Jerusalem. The pontiff spoke as he received the
credentials of the first Israeli ambassador to the Vatican.
Shmuel Hadas presented his credentials to the pope during a
ceremony in the papal country residence at Castelgandolfo, south of
Rome. And the pope took the opportunity to bring up a key issue
that remained unsolved when the Holy See established full
diplomatic relations with the Jewish State in June -- the status of
Israel has declared Jerusalem its capital and opposed any
international control of the city -- sacred to Jews, Christians
and Muslims alike -- on the grounds that its holy sites are open
But John Paul said he hopes that "the unique and sacred character
of this holy city will be the object of international guarantees
that will assure access to all believers."
While reiterating the church's commitment to the fight against
anti-Semitism, the pope said he also hopes diplomatic relations
will help to develop "relations of trust" between Israeli
authorities and Catholic institutions in the holy land.
EILAT PASSENGER TERMINAL FOR CRUISE SHIPS PLANNED
The director general of the Israel Ports Authority has announced a
plan to build a passenger terminal at the Red Sea port of Eilat for
arriving and departing cruise and pleasure craft. It will cost
about $2.5-million and, patterned on the Seattle port facility,
will be commercial, serving pleasure cruisers from all over the
world, as well as vacationers taking Red Sea trips to Egyptian and
ELIROW DEVELOPS FAX TRANSMISSION SECURITY
A new Israeli company, Elirow of Kfar Sava, has developed an
innovative computer program capable of encoding and 'scrambling'
facsimile texts to prevent their exposure through wiretapping. This
is applicable also to diagrams as well as handwritten manuscripts.
The program costs about $60 and users may copy it and supply it to
those receiving their faxes.
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by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)