Newsletter : 4fax1215.txt
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>PD Dec. 15, 1994, V2, #225
Israeli Unemployment Rate drops
The number of unemployed Israelis seeking jobs dropped below
100,000 for the first time since 1991. According to statistics
published by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the number
of workers seeking jobs dropped 5.9 percent from last month.
Palestinian Talks to End Today
Kim Reid (Cairo) & Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are continuing talks in Cairo.
Palestinian chief negotiator Nabil Shaath says the talks focus on
how to maintain security when Israeli troops withdraw for
elections, and whether that withdrawal will be temporary or
permanent. The talks are expected to end Thursday afternoon.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators remain deadlocked over the
issue of Israeli security and Palestinian elections.
Shaath says Israel must agree to a timetable that removes Israeli
troops permanently from populated areas in Gaza and the West Bank,
before Palestinian elections will be held.
But Israeli officials cite a number of Palestinian terrorist
attacks against Israelis in Israel and the territories. And they
say they cannot withdraw without setting up new, more thorough
security arrangements with the Palestinians.
The Israeli officials have suggested withdrawing for three days
of elections, then redeploying while Israelis and Palestinians
hammer out a new security protocol.
Israeli officials say if the Palestinians refuse the temporary
troop withdrawal option, Palestinian elections could be delayed
for up to a year during the security talks.
Despite this latest disagreement, both sides say they are
optimistic about the talks.
As talks continued in Cairo, scattered violence continued in the
areas under discussion. There were more incidents than usual on
Four Israeli soldiers and a Palestinian were injured in three
incidents. In the most serious one, in the West Bank town of
Ramallah, an angry crowd surrounded and attacked an Israeli soldier
in his car. He had to be rescued by a hastily-dispatched army
unit. The soldier was in fair condition at a nearby hospital.
In autonomous Gaza, at a checkpoint between an Israeli settlement
and a Palestinian town known as a stronghold of the radicals, Khan
Younis, a Palestinian stabbed a soldier, leaving him also in fair
condition. The attacker was reportedly wounded and captured. And
near another radical center in the West Bank, Qalqilya, two
soldiers were slightly wounded when a roadside bomb exploded as
they drove by.
No one claimed responsibility for the incidents, but Wednesday
was the anniversary of the founding of the radical group Hamas,
and Israeli security organizations were on alert against possible
attacks. Such incidents make it more difficult for Israeli
leaders to agree to withdraw troops from Palestinian areas, as
required by the peace accord and demanded by Palestinian
Rabin Leaves Japan for South Korea
By Kyoko Kaneko (Tokyo)
Before leaving Tokyo for an official trip to South Korea Wednesday,
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin expressed concern about the
possibility of North Korea's missile technology being exported to
Syria and Iran.
Rabin says North Korea may provide technology for nuclear weapons
and missiles to Iran and Syria. The Israeli leader told a news
conference in Tokyo that North Korea had already exported Scud
missiles and other military equipments to both countries.
"It is true North Korea has supplied by now "Disconcy" missiles
from their own production. It is a ground-to-ground missile for
500 kilometers (300 miles), to Syria and to Iran, not only the
missiles and the launchers, but also the capabilities and
facilities to produce them today in Syria and in Iran. In
addition, Iran, is ready to spend a lot of money, to develop in
North Korea a longer range missile, the 'Nordong.'"
Rabin said Iran told North Korea it wants missiles with a range of
800 miles, long enough to reach Israeli targets from Iran.
The prime minister also said an international effort is needed to
end poverty in the Middle East because poverty helps create
terrorism. He urged Japan to provide financial help to Arab
nations that are taking part in the peace process.
Earlier in the day, Rabin told Japanese business leaders he
hopes they will expand business ties with Israel without fear of
the Arab boycott. For decades, Japan maintained only limited
business ties with Israel because of Japan's heavy dependence on
crude oil from Arab nations.
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