Newsletter : 5fax0111.txt
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>PD Jan. 11, 1995, V3, #7
Israel Rescues Chechen Jews
As Israel Faxx exclusively reported last month, Israel has
evacuated most Jews from war-torn Chechnya. By airplane and
overland, Jews were evacuated to Israel and European locations.
Israel's "Law of Return" provided automatic sanctuary and
citizenship to hundreds of assimilated Jews, many of whom had
intermarried with the local predominantly Muslim population.
Arafat and Mubarak Discuss Settlements
By Kim Reid (Cairo)
PLO Chief Yasir Arafat avoided reporters after meeting Tuesday in
Cairo with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Foreign Minister Amr
Moussa. Moussa told reporters that the PLO and Egypt agree that
new construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories
is one of the main obstacles to peace.
Moussa says settlement construction of any sort is against
international law, and violates the 1993 peace deal signed by the
Israelis and the Palestinians. He says the subject will figure
prominently in talks between Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin sometime next week.
Grand Mufti Explains 'Jihad'
By Mike Creadon (New York)
Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the grand mufti of Egypt and the highest
Islamic official in his country, is in the United States this week
on a goodwill visit to promote what he calls "the open face of
The mufti said one of the purposes of his visit is to clarify what
he called Western misperceptions of the Islamic world. He said,
for example, he defines the Arabic word "jihad" which is often
translated in the West as "holy war," as "neither terrorism, nor
murder, nor oppression. But it is, in Islam, a defense of human
"Islam is certainly not the few incidents of violence or
terrorism that they (Westerners) hear about once in a while. But
it is a deep-well of religious faith and goodwill that is enjoyed by
neighbors in Egypt and the entire Muslim world."
IDF Forcibly removes Settlers
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israeli army troops forcibly removed a group of Jewish settlers
from a site on the West Bank before dawn Tuesday, when they tried
to establish an unauthorized settlement at the spot where a Jewish
woman was killed last week.
Troops operating under standing orders to prevent unauthorized
settlements moved in to disperse the crowd. Several dozen settlers
who did not agree to leave the area and who disrupted traffic on
the main route were dispersed while arguing with the security
forces. Fourteen settlers were arrested, but most of them were
released shortly afterward.
Rabin Strolls Through East Jerusalem
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin visited sites in predominantly
Arab East Jerusalem Tuesday for the first time since he was elected
two years ago. The prime minister used the occasion to restate
Israeli claims to all of the city.
It might have been a normal visit to neighborhoods of the capital
for any government leader. But Israeli government officials
acknowledge this was different. Rather, they say, it was an
opportunity for Rabin to make a political statement -- to reaffirm
Israel's claim to sovereignty over all of the city, including parts
captured in the 1967 war.
Rabin said it is his top priority to maintain Jerusalem as a united
city and as Israel's capital. He also reasserted his party's
position that for security reasons, Israel must hold onto other
parts of the occupied territories, too, even as it makes plans to
expand the areas under Palestinian autonomy.
One Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said
the prime minister's visit was designed to respond to repeated
public statements by Palestinian officials that their goal is to
create a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Moderate Israelis and Palestinians have suggested that the city
might be shared, and some say it could be divided again, as it was
from 1948 until 1967. But Israeli officials say that while they
have agreed to discuss Jerusalem with the Palestinians, they will
never do anything to change its borders or status.
Woolsey Speaks Out on Islam
By David Gollust (Washington)
Outgoing Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey, in
Senate testimony Tuesday on threats to US security interests,
stressed Iran's connection to international terrorist activity.
Woolsey says Iran is actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability.
Woolsey said Iran has an offensive biological weapons program and
a clandestine program to build nuclear arms -- though it is likely
to be sometime early in the next decade before Iran has enough
fissionable material to actually assemble a bomb.
In some of the most detailed public comments by a US official on
the Iranian arms effort, Woolsey said the timetable could be
shortened considerably -- if Iran is able to acquire enriched
uranium from foreign sources, including organized crime elements.
He stressed that the United States does not see itself at odds with
the Islamic fundamentalist movement in general: "The United States
has no quarrel with devout Islam. The real problem from our point
of view is that some nations -- and Iran is front and center and
Sudan is not far behind it -- are using or trying to use this
resurgence in religious feeling, very understandable resurgence in
religious feeling, in the Muslim world as a source of political
power -- as a source to promote terrorism and violence."
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