Newsletter : 5fax0119.txt
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>PD Jan. 19, 1995, V3, #13
British Police Arrest Palestinians
British police arrested five Palestinians on suspicion of
involvement in July's double bombing of the Israeli Embassy and a
Jewish community building in London. The Palestinians, two women
and three men, were arrested after undergoing extensive
questioning. Scotland Yard has provided scant details about the
five, only saying that all are Palestinians who have lived in the
United Kingdom for a long time.
Rabin and Arafat Meet This Morning
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem) and Kim Reid (Cairo)
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the Palestinian leader,
Yasir Arafat, are scheduled to meet at the Israel-Gaza border today
to try to advance efforts to reach agreement on implementing the
next phase of their peace accord.
The key issues in these "second phase" talks are Palestinian
elections and Israeli withdrawal from large portions of the West
Bank. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have suspended their
talks on those issues pending the outcome of Thursday's summit.
It is not known whether any breakthrough will be announced today.
Israel is believed to be trying to convince the Palestinians to
accept full withdrawal from some areas, partial withdrawal from
others and the continuation of Israeli occupation in particularly
tense areas with large numbers of Jewish settlers, such as Hebron.
As an inducement, Israel is reported to be offering a rapid
timetable and concessions on the size and powers of the council
Palestinians will elect.
But another issue has been thrust to the forefront of the
Israeli-Palestinian peace process in recent weeks -- the continuing
expansion of Israeli settlements, whose future is to be determined
at a later stage of negotiations. Some Palestinian officials have
said further talks should be suspended until settlement
construction is halted. But the top Palestinian leaders have not
said so, and Israeli leaders say they have already minimized
government-funded building and cannot stop privately-funded
A secret Israeli housing ministry report leaked to the press this
week appears to contradict that position, indicating substantial
government-funded construction of housing, with an increase
planned for this year. The Cabinet is to discuss the issue at
its weekly meeting on Sunday.
In a statement perhaps designed to ease some Palestinian concerns,
Rabin said on Tuesday that several large settlements just east of
Jerusalem (Maale Adumim, Betar and others) are not part of the
city and that, therefore, limits on construction apply to them. He
also said that unlike East Jerusalem, the government does not
consider the suburban settlements to be under Israeli sovereignty,
which seems to imply that their future is subject to the
negotiations which are to start next year.
But analysts, and some officials, have said the government is
concentrating its construction on such settlements near Israel's
pre-1967 border, which it wants to keep even under a final
settlement with the Palestinians.
Arafat, in Algiers Wednesday for talks with Algerian President
Liamine Zeroual, harshly criticized Israel before his talks with
Rabin today. Arafat's comments may make for a fiery meeting between
the Israeli and PLO leaders.
Arafat minced no words on the subject of his partner in peace,
Israel. In comments to the official Algerian news agency, Arafat
accused Israel of building up new settlements inside and around
Jerusalem. Israel's goal is "to reverse the demographic reality in
favor of the Jews."
Palestinian and Israeli Arabs far outnumber Jews in the West Bank
and East Jerusalem, areas where Israeli officials insist they
will continue to build.
Arafat also accused Israel of undermining the peace process
with stalling tactics, though Israeli officials say much the same
Lubavich Student's Killer Gets Life
By Edie Smith (New York)
A Lebanese immigrant who fired at a van of Jewish students in New
York City last year, was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for
slaying one of the passengers.
A judge has sentenced Rashid Baz to 141 years in prison, and
recommended that he never be released on parole. Last March, baz
opened fire on a van carrying a group of Chasidic Jewish students,
killing one of them, 16-year-old Ari Halberstam. Another student
spent months in a hospital with a bullet in his brain and remains
The attack against the students whose dress made them easily
identifiable as Chasidic Jews, took place as the van crossed the
Brooklyn Bridge, between lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. It came
a few weeks after an American-born Jewish settler killed 30 Muslim
worshipers in the Israeli West Bank town of Hebron.
Baz's lawyers argued that he was insane at the time of the
shooting, and suffered from post traumatic stress as a result of
his childhood experiences in war-torn Beirut.
Last month a jury found Baz guilty of murder and attempted murder.
Members of the Lubavich Jewish community including the parents of
the deceased student called on the judge to impose the maximum
possible sentence which is what Baz received. In a statement
perhaps designed to ease some Palestinian concerns,
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