Newsletter : 5fax0208.txt
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>PD Feb. 8, 1995, V3, #27
Ethiopian Jews Allowed to Marry Without Conversion
Israeli Ethiopian Jewish couples wishing to marry will now be
able to do so without undergoing a new conversion process. This
decision ends a long negotiation between Ethiopian Jewry and
Israel's Chief Rabbinate on this issue. In recent weeks, the
rabbinate has opened 10 centers for marriage registration for
Palestinians to Receive Special U.S. Trade Status
By Al Pessin (Gaza City)
US Commerce Secretary Ron Brown says the US government will soon
grant the Palestinian Autonomy Authority a special low-tariff trade
status to ease the flow of its exports into the United States.
Brown spent an hour meeting with the Palestinian leader, Yasir
Arafat, at his seaside headquarters. Brown later told reporters
the US government is in the final administrative stages of granting
the special status to the Palestinian authority.
The program is called the generalized system of preferences, and
it allows goods produced in designated developing areas to enter
the US with minimal tariffs. Brown said the move will help create
jobs in Gaza and will help it develop export industries.
The commerce secretary came to Gaza with a delegation of US
business executives, who had a meeting with Palestinian
counterparts on Tuesday.
Brown says Americans are "ready, willing and able" to invest in
Gaza, if they can be sure their investments will be safe and
profitable. All of the leaders involved in the peace process say
they must deliver economic development in order to convince people
to accept the compromises necessary for peace.
Arafat Arrests Terrorists
By Al Pessin (Gaza City)
Palestinian police in autonomous Gaza have arrested about 50
(reports say 40 to 60) members of a radical group which claimed
responsibility for the shooting of an Israeli in Gaza on Monday.
The arrests were accompanied by a strong condemnation of terrorism by
the palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat.
The Palestinian police moved at dawn against members of the
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, whose leaders
claimed responsibility for shooting of an Israeli security guard on
Monday. Palestinian police also raided the group's office in Gaza
At a news conference, Arafat said his autonomy authority has taken
major steps against what he called the fanatic and extremist forces
which continue to attack Israelis in spite of the peace accord.
"We will not permit these groups to harm not only the Israelis,
but also the Palestinians and the peace process. And we will
continue in our way to deal and to face all these fanatic and
extremist forces, and we will not allow for them to continue in
these activities. I haven't a magic stick, but I will do all my
Negotiations Restart in Cairo
By Laurie Kassman (Cairo)
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are meeting in Cairo to prepare
plans for Palestinian elections. The talks had been suspended since
the Jan.22 suicide bombing that killed 21 Israelis.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters that this round
of talks will help prepare for the Thursday summit between PLO
Chairman Yasir Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
The Israeli team says it is ready to begin drafting an agreement
on Palestinian elections, but it will take more than one round of
talks to complete the framework.
Palestinian elections were due to be held six months after the
self-rule deal was implemented. But snags and delays in
implementation have pushed back that deadline.
The two sides have argued over the size and make-up of the
Palestinian council to be elected, and about the timing and extent
of the redeployment of Israeli Troops in the West Bank before and
during the vote.
Peace talks have faltered in recent months and it took a first-ever
summit of Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the PLO to put them back on
track. Egyptian officials say it now is up to Israel and the
Palestinians to keep the talks going.
Peres Meets with U.N. Security Council Members
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres met Monday with representatives
of United Nations Security Council member states "Israel is
committed to the peace process, however Israel can not make
concessions beyond the point of the public's support of government
policy," Peres told the meeting. The Foreign Minister added that
Israel "will continue to build in Jerusalem."
Peres also told the meeting, which included the U.N.
representatives of Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and the PLO's
observer, that Israel will not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty. Directing his remarks at the Egyptian ambassador, the
Foreign Minister said "we have lived in peace without the treaty
and we should continue to do so."
The Foreign Minister told the Security Council members that before
they demand that Israel sign the NPT, they must demonstrate an
ability to curb Iran's efforts to produce nuclear weapons.
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