Newsletter : 4fax1229.txt
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>PD Dec. 19, 1994, V2, #234
Israeli Students Lose Out on Biblical Sightseeing
Because of security considerations, the Israeli Ministry of
Education and the Israeli Police have forbidden schools to take
children on trips to some areas north of Jerusalem, to Rachel's
Tomb in Bethlehem, and to the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Saudis, Syrians and Egyptians Meet
By Kim Reid (Cairo)
Leaders from Saudi Arabia and Syria are meeting in the Egyptian
port city of Alexandria with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. No
one is quite sure what the president intends to discuss with Syrian
leader Hafez el-Assad and Saudi Arabia's King Fahd, but Egyptian
officials say the topic is Arab unity and reconciliation.
Western diplomats say Syria and Egypt's concern over a lack of
Arab unity has more to do with a feeling that they have been left
out of the peace process. Some Arab countries have been making
diplomatic overtures to Israel and tentative moves toward open
trade without consulting Syria or Egypt.
Jordan was the first to do so. It signed a peace treaty without
consulting either Egypt or Syria.
There have also been moves in the Arab League here in Cairo to
discuss lifting the primary boycott against Israel. Lesser
boycotts have already been removed, allowing Arab countries to
buy products from business who also do business with Israel.
Now Saudi Arabia's religious authorities have been quoted in local
newspapers saying that peace with Israel would be acceptable by
Diplomats here say the Syrian and Egyptian leaders may tell Saudi
Arabia's King Fahd that peace with Israel is OK, but only after
Syria cuts its own deal.
Egypt's president says such a deal may crystalize in 1995. He
told Kuwait's Al-Watan newspaper that Syria and Israel are serious
about the peace process.
Egyptian officials say the leaders may also be joined by Libya's
Sinai Archaeological Treasures Returned
By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)
Israel has handed back to Egypt the last of the archeological finds
it excavated during its 15-year occupation of the Sinai peninsula.
This is the first time a state has returned so many antiquities
to their country of origin after being taken or excavated.
The 800 cartons being shipped back to Egypt contain artifacts
uncovered by Israeli archaeologists during the Israeli occupation
of the Sinai -- the desert peninsula which links Africa and Asia,
and which for centuries lay on the crossroads of ancient
civilizations. The artifacts include pottery, glass objects,
jewelry, flint stones and hundreds of gold and silver coins.
A spokesman for the Israeli Antiquities Authority says the
agreement to return the artifacts was reached two years ago after
years of negotiations following the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty.
The head of the Egyptian Supreme Archeological Council, Muhammad
Abdel-Halim Noureddin, led a 12-member delegation to Israel for
the handing-over ceremony, which was held in the Rockefeller Museum
in East Jerusalem. Noureddin said Egypt was hoping to persuade
other countries to return Egyptian artifacts -- the British Museum
alone has a considerable Egyptian collection.
Israel has asked the Egyptian authorities to lend back those
artifacts which have a specifically Jewish character, such as third
century byzantine oil lamps with Hebrew inscriptions.
Israeli archaeologists at the ceremony said Israeli scientists
should be given credit for research they did following the
excavations. Head Egyptian archeologist Noureddin said Egyptian
archaeologists are ready to cooperate with their Israeli
colleagues in the future. What you published is in your name, he
said, what we publish will be in our name, and perhaps some day
we'll publish together.
PLO Holds Emergency Meeting on Efrat's Expansion
By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)
Yasir Arafat has called an emergency meeting of his Palestinian
self-rule authority to discuss the expansion of a Jewish settlement
in the West Bank. The Israeli government says it is launching an
investigation into the disputed expansion.
The controversy erupted last week when bulldozers from the Jewish
settlement of Efrat, in the West Bank near Bethlehem, went in to
prepare a hillside site for construction. The site adjoins the
Arab village of El-Khader, and residents of the village say the
land is theirs and that they have proof of ownership. Officials in
efrat say they were given the land by the Israeli government in
1983, a claim Israeli military authorities in the West Bank have so
Palestinians and Israeli peace activists have been holding daily
protests at the site. On Tuesday, Israeli security forces forcibly
removed demonstrators, arresting about 50 of them.
The land dispute has become a test of the settlement freeze imposed by
the Israeli government as part of the 1993 self-rule agreement
with the Palestinians. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
earlier promised Arafat that Israel would take action to calm the
atmosphere. Israeli officials say they are waiting for a ruling by
the attorney general on the legal aspects of the case, but
meanwhile bulldozers at the site continue working to clear the
Sinai-Gaza Tunnels Supply Terrorists
Terrorist organizations in Gaza are continuing to receive a
supply of arms and ammunition via underground passageways
connecting the autonomous area with Egypt. Security sources report
that these underground passageways are also being used to bring in
mortars and possibly Katyushya missile launchers.
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