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>Israel Faxx
>PD Jan. 30, 1995, V3, #20

Israel Extends Palestinian Ban; Police Dogs will be Used to

Guard Border
By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)

Israel has extended the ban on Palestinians entering the country for a second week. The measure was taken in response to the latest suicide bombing inside Israel by Islamic militants in which 21 Israelis -- most of them soldiers -- were killed.

The Cabinet voted unanimously Sunday to extend the closure of the West Bank for at least another week. A Cabinet statement says the closure on the Gaza Strip is dependent on how the Palestinian authority deals with Islamic terror organizations. The measure prevents tens of thousands of Palestinians from getting to jobs inside Israel. PLO officials complain the continued closure is collective punishment and will not serve peace.

Ministers at the Cabinet meeting quoted Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as declaring that the peace process with the PLO is at a crossroads, and depends on how PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat copes with groups like Islamic Jihad and Hamas who have been responsible for a string of attacks. These attacks, says Rabin, have a strategic impact which threatens the entire peace process.

Last week, Rabin announced his intention to appoint a committee to look into the economic and security implications of a total separation between Israelis and Palestinians. On Sunday, he empowered the police and treasury ministers to set up teams to examine ways and means to achieve such a separation,

As a first step, Police Minister Moshe Shahal announced a program to curtail terrorist attacks. The plan would include a security fence, electronic alarms, increased border patrols, helicopters, and the use of dogs to detect explosives at crossing points. In the past, Israeli authorities were reluctant to endorse the use of police dogs, because of the association with the Nazis' use of dogs in World War 2 to guard Jews in concentration camps.

West Bank Students Arrested

By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)

Israeli troops broke into a college dormitory on the West Bank Friday, arresting over 20 students that the army says are members of outlawed Islamic extremist groups. The raid is part of a widening crackdown on such groups following the recent suicide bombing in Israel.

The Israel army spokesman says that those arrested in the raid are members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Among those detained is a member of the academic staff. The army says troops also seized material inciting violence.

The Islamic Jihad organization took responsibility for the bombing in which 21 israelis, most of them soldiers, were killed. One of the victims died of his wounds on Friday.

The Islamic College of Science and Technology in Abu Dis, just outside Jerusalem city limits, is known as a stronghold of Islamic fundamentalism. Witnesses said more than 100 Israeli troops burst into the college dormitory early in the morning, some climbing ladders and breaking windows to get in. The soldiers ransacked rooms and broke down locked doors. The army says it will compensate the college for damages. According to Palestinian sources, four women students were slightly injured during the raid.

Auschwitz Commemoration Ends

By Wayne Corey (Krakow, Poland)

Representatives of about 30 countries have ended a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz in Poland.

In a demonstration of shared pain over the crimes and atrocities that the Nazis committed here, Polish President Lech Walesa, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel and Israeli Knesset Speaker Shavatz Wiess walked side-by-side through the main gate of Auschwitz. It is the gate which bears the words, "Arbeit Macht Frei, German for "Work Makes You Free," but only death liberated the prisoners in Auschwitz until the Soviet Red Army arrived here 50 years ago.

As a bitterly cold wind swept across the area, the participants in the commemoration made their way under an appropriately gray sky to the Wall of Death where German soldiers shot prisoners. In a brief speech there, Walesa referred to the suffering of Jews in Auschwitz. He added that reference to his speech in an effort to resolve differences with Jewish leaders who felt that Auschwitz is, most of all, the symbol of the Holocaust.

Everyone then went to the Birkenau sub-camp, where Nazi gas chambers killed 1.5 million people, as many as 8,000 a day, and where the bodies were burned.

The mournful wail of a siren was heard, following the recitation of Kaddish, a jewish prayer. Then Elie Wiesel, who earlier said he felt the same fear and terror that he felt 50 years ago, recalled the meaning of Auschwitz.

"I speak to you as a man who 50 years nine days ago, had no  name,
no  hope,  no  future, and was known only by his number:  87715."

Wiesel called Auschwitz a kingdom of darkness. "In this place," he said, "Close your eyes and open your hearts and listen. Close your eyes and listen. Listen for the silent screams of terrified mothers. Listen for the wails of anguish, old men and women. Listen for the tears of children, jewish children, a beautiful little girl among them with golden hair, whose honorable tenderness never left me."

Top Egyptian Islamic Leader Says He's Willing to Visit Israel

Sheikh Muhamed Said a-Tantawi, one of Egypt's top Islamic leaders, said he is willing to visit Israel in order to speak with Jewish religious leaders there.

The Sheikh, quoted in the Egyptian magazine el-Mousawar said opening a dialogue and debate "are the best methods to achieve our rights, while isolation and separation are not the methods of the wise man."

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