Newsletter : 5fax0112.txt
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>PD Jan. 12, 1995, V3, #8
Nuclear Weapons: Israel and Iran
By Larry James (Paris) and Kim Reid (Cairo)
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres indicated Wednesday that
Israel will not sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty
when it comes up for renewal in April. Peres spoke after talks
with French officials -- one day after Egypt said Israel was
threatening peace efforts by stockpiling nuclear arms.
Peres did not respond directly when asked if Israel would sign
the non-proliferation agreement, saying only that Israel has no
intention of introducing nuclear weapons into the Middle East. He
said peace must come to the region first.
The minister said there are countries led by Iran which intend to
destroy the State of Israel. "Iran's aim is to destroy Israel and
we have no reason to tell the Iranians 'Please go ahead,'" Peres
He spoke following talks with his French counterpart, Alain Juppe.
It is believed the issue came up during their discussions since
earlier this week France called on Israel to sign the nuclear
Israel is thought by experts to have about 200 nuclear weapons.
There have been recent reports that both Israel and the United
States think Iran is trying to develop its own nuclear arsenal.
It has been suggested that Israel might want to destroy Iranian
nuclear installations just as it did an Iraqi nuclear center in a
1981 air raid.
Iran's First Deputy Foreign Minister Mohamed Hashemi, on a visit to
Kuwait, says the United States is trying to stir up trouble for his
country. US and Israeli officials have suggested that Iran may use
a nuclear power plant, now under construction, to build nuclear
Iran caused controversy recently when it commissioned Russia to
finish a long-incomplete nuclear power plant. Construction was
halted in 1979 by the Iranian revolution.
US Defense Secretary William Perry, on a Middle East-South Asia
trip, said earlier this week that he is very concerned about
Iran's nuclear potential. Perry and Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin say the Persian Gulf nation could develop nuclear
weapons in seven to 15 years.
But the Iranian minister says his country poses no nuclear threat
to its neighbors, nor does it intend to. He adds that Iran
supports the idea of a nuclear-free zone in the area.
The International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna says it has found
no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Iran has
signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, something Israel has
refused to do.
Clashes Becoming a Daily Way of Life on West Bank
By Susan Sappir (Jerusalem)
Israeli troops have clashed with Palestinian protesters yet again
over the status of a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The issue
of the settlements has come to the forefront of the Israeli-
Palestinian peace process. Clashes between Israelis and
Palestinians over Jewish settlements have become an almost daily
occurrence in the West Bank.
While the names of the places have changed, the scenario has
repeated itself in recent weeks. Jewish settlers claim a piece
of West Bank land as part of an existing settlement. Palestinians
living nearby say the land is theirs. The Israeli army tries to
separate the two sides.
On Wednesday, it was at Kifr al-Deek. On Tuesday, the place was
Elkana. Last month, it was at El-Khader near Bethlehem.
The 1993 peace agreement between Israel and the PLO said Israel
would gradually withdraw from the West Bank. But the settlements
were to remain in place until negotiations were held at a later
Now, say analysts, the issue is jeopardizing the continued
lmplementation of the agreement.
Palestinian leaders are under pressure from their supporters to
take a firm stand against the expansion of the Jewish settlements.
The PLO leadership has increasingly expressed the view that the
peace talks cannot go on until the settlement issue is resolved.
Israel Contracts to Maintain Russian Planes
Maintenance contracts by the Israeli Aircraft Industries with
companies in Russia and other C.I.S. countries, will help bring
about more penetration of their markets, says Mordechai Handel,
director of the plane-maintenance department of the Bedek Branch of
the Israeli Aircraft Industries.
The Israeli company is the first in the world to engage in
maintaining C.I.S. passenger planes. When the Soviet Aeroflot
company split up into hundreds of small aviation companies, it was
necessary to improve their maintenance activities urgently, to
enable their planes to fly to Western Europe and the U.S. The
Israeli company is doing this for several of those airlines.
Rare Brain Surgery Takes Place Without Opening the Skull
A rare brain operation was recently carried out at the Hadassah
Hospital at Ein Kerem in Jerusalem in which a benign tumor on the
audial nerve was removed without the skull being opened.
The patient, a 50-year-old man, had gradually lost his hearing; an
examination discovered the growth in the inner ear canal, pressing
about one centimeter into the brain cavity. The doctors drilled
into his ear and, with state-of-the-art instruments, widened the
canal and removed the growth. One of the surgeons, Prof. Yosef
Elidan, said such operations had hitherto been carried out only by
opening the skull, which had a high degree of danger. Going through
the ear instead eliminated complications and made recovery much
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