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>Israel Faxx
>PD Jan. 23, 1995, V3, #15

Fax a Prayer to the Tomb of the Patriarchs

The Jewish residents of Hebron situated in one of Israel's holiest and most ancient cities feel a duty to be of service to the entire Jewish world. Accordingly, a fax line has been set up for anyone who wishes to have prayers or Kaddish recited at the Mearat Hamachpela, where the Patriarchs and Matriarchs are buried. Interested persons can fax their request or mail it to: Ma'ara Fax Line prayer service, 972-2-929-333, Admat Yishi 2, Hebron 90100.

18 Israelis Killed by Hamas Suicide Bomber

By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)

In Israel Sunday morning a suicide bomber killed 18 people, most of them Israeli soldiers, at a bus stop north of Tel Aviv. At least 65 people were wounded in the blasts from two bombs.

Two powerful explosions went off near a bus stop at the busy Beit Lid junction, between Netanya and Haifa. The stop was crowded with soldiers waiting to return to their units and civilians. The explosions left a grisly scene in their wake.

One bomb was apparently strapped to the body of the suicide bomber, and the second had been placed next to a building in the area. Police say the bomber arrived in a bus from Jerusalem, departed and threw the bomb at the people. He then blew himself up. Many of the soldiers killed in the blast were members of a unit deployed to guard bus stops.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin broke off a critical Cabinet meeting discussing the future of Jewish settlements in the Israeli territories, to fly by helicopter to the site of the blast.

"There is no doubt in my mind that this action now is another attempt by the extreme Islamic terror groups to achieve their dual goals, killing Israelis and halting the peace process."

The militant "Islamic Jihad" group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Islamic Jihad is a small off-shoot group of the radical "Islamic Resistance Movement," or Hamas. A statement sent to an international news agency names two of its members from Gaza as the bombers.

Islamic militants have carried out a series of similar attacks in the past, including a bus bombing in Tel Aviv in October which killed 22 people.

PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat condemned the bomb attack, saying its aim is to kill the peace process. But a Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Saud a-Shawa, justified the attack. "This is a reaction for the persistence of the occupation. And this [is] proof for everyone in this world that the real peace [hasn't been] achieved yet and the legal right and the normal right of the Palestinian people to continue his [its] struggle and fight against the Israeli occupation anywhere."

Opposition parties in Israel are calling for the immediate suspension of talks with the PLO on extending Palestinian self-rule. But a majority of the government ministers say they are committed to continuing the process, despite attempts to undermine it.

Clinton Condemns Terrorist Attack

By Deborah Tate (White House)

President Clinton has condemned a double bomb attack in Israel that has killed 18 people. In a written statement, Clinton said those responsible will not succeed in their efforts to halt the Middle East peace process. Clinton says he condemns "in the strongest possible terms" a "horrendous act of terrorist violence."

The president's statement says the incident was aimed at destroying the hopes of peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Arabs.

Clinton, who has taken an active role in the Middle East peace process, says those responsible "can not succeed, will not succeed, and must not succeed in stopping the progress toward peace."

It is a warning the president first issued during a visit to the Middle East last October, after a suicide bombing in Israel that killed more than 20 people aboard a Tel Aviv bus.

Clinton's statement on Sunday expressed American condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims of the latest violence, and called on those pursuing peace to condemn the bombing and redouble their efforts to achieve a secure and lasting peace.

King Hussein Meets Arafat Thursday

By Laurie Kassman (Cairo)

A PLO delegation is in Amman, Jordan preparing for King Hussein's meeting with PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat. Relations between the two men have been strained lately and both sides now are looking for a meeting of substance, not just style.

The summit is now expected to take place Thursday. The king and Arafat will be looking at the peace process and the impact of their separate peace deals with Israel. Both sides are seeking closer coordination on the economic and security fronts.

The Palestinian Authority's economic chief is working on several agreements to ease the flow of goods and people between Jordan and the self-rule areas. Jordanian officials have complained about the lack of coordination since the PLO made its autonomy deal with Israel a year and a half ago.

Jordan and the PLO have also sparred over their future role in Jerusalem. But the status of Jerusalem will not be discussed until the final stages of the PLO-Israeli peace talks.

Iran Inaugurates New Nuclear Facility

Iran inaugurated a new nuclear facility near Teheran on Thursday, Davar reported. According to a Radio Teheran report, Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani attended the opening of the new facility which is located approximately 23 miles northwest of Teheran. Iran announced that the site is to be used for medical purposes. Davar said that although the new facility is slated for medical use, it could also be used in the production of nuclear weapons.

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