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>Israel Faxx
>PD December 20, 1994, V2,#228

The World's Newest McDonald's opens in Mecca

If you happen to be in Mecca, you shouldn't be there, unless you're Muslim. As you're forcibly taken off to the Saudi version of jail, take a glance at the new McDonald's that opened in Islam's holiest city last week. Until now, construction was a secret and if you happened to see Ronald al-McDonald in front of the golden arches waving goodbye...well, maybe he literally means bye-bye.

Israeli President Visits Cairo

By Laurie Kassman (Cairo)

Israeli President Ezer Weizman is in Cairo for a three-day official visit, his first as Israeli President. The two countries signed a peace treaty 15 years ago, but relations have remained chilly. Weizman's visit will open the way for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to pay his first visit to Israel, now expected in the first half of 1995.

After a brief welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace, Weizman's first stop was the 10th of Ramadan industrial area on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital. The Israeli leader is trying to encourage more trade and investment between the two countries. Egypt and Israel have been officially at peace for 15 years, but have done little to cultivate closer ties. Two-way trade averaged about $10 million a year for each country.

Weizman's talks with Mubarak Monday evening and with other Egyptian officials today touched on the Middle East peace process and efforts to break the deadlock in Syrian-Israeli talks.

As part of the peace process, Foreign Minister Amr Moussa says Egypt also wants Israel to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. "We hope there will be a concrete step on the part of the government of Israel towards satisfying the general perception in the area that weapons of mass destruction will have to be dealt with and immediately in connection with the peace process and the general outlook for the future of the area."

During the next two days, the Israeli leader will meet with former Prime Minister Mustafa Khalil -- his negotiating partner during the Camp David talks that led to the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty in 1979.

Monday afternoon, Weizman laid a wreath at the tomb of Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat, who made an historic trip to Jerusalem in 1977 to open the way for peace between Israel and Egypt.

Two IDF Soldiers Killed in Lebanon: Israel Vows Retaliation

By Susan Sappir (Jerusalem)
An Israeli soldier and two guerrillas have been killed in fighting in south Lebanon. Israeli forces and their Lebanese allies clashed with pro-Iranian guerrillas in southern Lebanon. An Israeli army spokesman said the Hizbullah guerrillas shelled an Israeli position with anti-tank missiles, mortar shells and katyusha rockets. Another IDF soldier was killed in a separate incident.

Israel occupies a buffer strip along its border with Lebanon and patrols it with its ally, the south Lebanon army militia. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said Syria must bear the responsibility for getting the guerrillas to end their attacks against Israeli targets.

After increased Israeli threats of military action against Hizbullah, the group's leader -- Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah -- threatened to launch suicide attacks on Israel and on Israeli targets worldwide.

Israel's army chief said after Monday's fighting that Israel would continue to strike out against the guerrillas.

Rabin to Cabinet: No Linkage Between Palestinian Elections and

IDF Redeployment

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin told the cabinet that in negotiations with the Palestinians, the problem is not elections in the territories but security arrangements in the West Bank, Ha'aretz reported.

Rabin, speaking at Sunday's weekly Cabinet meeting, reportedly said the Palestinians should not link the issue of elections to the redeployment of IDF forces. The prime minister added that under no circumstances will Israel agree to any compromises regarding security.

Divorcee-Cohen Marriage in 580 BCE Nullifies 1982 Marriage

Shoshana Hadad's ancestor, a Cohen (a descendent of the Temple priesthood), illegally married a divorced woman 2,500 years ago. Cohens are expected to follow specific laws in family matters.

Because of that transgression, rabbis forbade daughters born from that marriage and in generations to come, could never again marry a Cohen.

In 1982 Shoshana Hadad married Masoud Cohen. The wrath of Orthodox Judaism fell on them and the rabbi that married them. Hadad and Cohen could face criminal charges for misleading the rabbi. The 1982 marriage was ruled void.

"This is scandalous," Hadad told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot. "It's intolerable."

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