Newsletter : 4fax1017.txt
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>PD OCTOBER 18, 1994 V2,#190
Israel-Jordan Peace Next Week
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem), David Borgida (Albuquerque) & Mohammed
In Amman, top leaders of Israel and Jordan initialled a peace
treaty. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordanian Prime
Minister Abd al-Salam al-Majali put their initials on the peace
treaty at King Hussein's palace in Amman, with the king and other
officials looking on. Israel television says the king and
Rabin telephoned President Clinton with the news and invited him
to a signing ceremony on the Israel-Jordan border next week.
At the initialling ceremony, King Hussein said the event left him
very happy and full of hope. Rabin said he hopes the treaty
serves as an inspiration, and as an example that peace is
attainable. He was apparently referring to Israel's talks with
Syria, through US mediators, which have made little visible
The ceremony in Amman -- broadcast live on Israeli radio -- came
just three months after the king and the prime minister signed a
document at the White House ending the state of war between their
Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres were on their second
visit to Amman in a week to work out the final details with King
Hussein on the difficult issues of borders and water rights.
A senior Israeli official says they reached agreement in
principle on all issues on Sunday. Then, after sleeping at the
king's palace, the Israeli and Jordanian leaders approved the
final treaty text drafted in overnight talks among their aides.
Israel Radio says the border dispute was solved by "mutual
concessions" and by a plan for Jordan to lease some land back to
Israel so that Israeli farms do not have to be abandoned. Israel
Radio also says the two countries agreed to jointly develop and
share water resources from the Yarmouk River on the northern part
of their border, and to seek international help in finding or
purifying additional water for both countries. Rabin's spokesman
says there were also final details to work out on what he called
The Israel-Jordan peace process has moved with startling speed
for a diplomatic process. Some aspects of Israel-Jordan peace
were agreed upon almost immediately after the end of the state of
war in July and have already been implemented, including new
border crossings and joint projects for tourism and recreational
But the working-level talks bogged down over the border and water
issues. Rabin and Peres made four visits to Jordan to work out
those difficulties personally with King Hussein, including the two
visits to Amman. Previously, no Israeli leader had ever visited
the Jordanian capital publicly, although there have been
unconfirmed reports of occasional secret meetings for years. The
Israeli leaders also visited the king at his palace at the
Jordanian port of Aqaba.
Three years of tough Jordanian-Israeli negotiations culminated
in the document that was initialed in the Hashimiya royal palace,
west of Amman. King Hussein described the treaty as a gift of peace
for Jordanians and Israelis alike. "I hope and pray that this is
something that we leave behind for all the generations to come,
(and) amongst our peoples for them to enjoy what we were denied for
so long -- peace, human dignity, warmth and (a) chance to live."
King Hussein also expressed the hope that this important step
would be a fresh start between Jordan and Israel, and would
eventually lead to comprehensive peace in the region.
Rabin lauded King Hussein for his courage which he said was
instrumental in ending the state of war and bringing the two
countries together. "No doubt, the unique courage that is so
characteristic of King Hussein in whatever he has done brought him
to take a courageous decision to put an end to the war between
Jordan and Israel, (and) to have the Washington declaration
(drafted) in which we ended the state of belligerency between
Jordan and Israel."
President Clinton welcomed the announcement in Amman of a draft
peace agreement between Jordan and Israel. Before leaving
Washington for this trip west, the president said he was delighted by
the draft accord and called it an "extraordinary achievement."
Clinton spokesperson Dee Dee Myers says the president would like
to go to the signing. The invitation is being seriously considered,
and a decision would be made in the next few days based on
logistical and security considerations.
Palestinians Demand Release of Hamas Detainees
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Several thousand Palestinians, mostly young people, demonstrated
for a second consecutive day in autonomous Gaza Monday.
Demonstrators marched on the Gaza Central Jail, where Hamas
detainees are being held. At one point, guns were discharged
into the air. The crowd surged against the prison fence, glaring
and shouting at Palestinian policemen on the other side.
The demonstrators want all the arrested suspects released. The
Palestinian Authority released about 50 of them on Monday, and
officials say most of the remaining 200 will be released soon.
Meanwhile, Israel reopened its borders with the Gaza Strip and
rescheduled further talks with the Palestinian authority, aimed
at expanding autonomy. Israel had closed the borders and canceled
the talks during the crisis last week over the kidnapping and
murder of an Israeli soldier by radical Palestinians. Thousands of
Palestinian workers took advantage of the border opening to travel
to their jobs in Israel for the first time in a week. An Israeli
spokesman says the Israeli-Palestinian talks will resume today in
Cairo, for a regular three-day session.
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