Newsletter : 5fax0213.txt
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>PD Feb. 13, 1995, V3, #30
Egypt Says No to Nuclear Treaty
By Peyman Pejman (Cairo)
Egypt says it will not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
when it comes to a vote at the United Nations in April. Egypt
appears determined to link its signature to that of Israel.
President Hosni Mubarak's tough new position was laid out Sunday in
an interview with the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat. Asked
whether he will sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty -- the NPT --
Mubarak's reply was: "I will sign the day Israel signs."
In recent months Egypt has insisted that Israel -- which is
believed to have a stockpile of nuclear weapons -- sign the
treaty. Without Israel's agreement, in the Egyptian view, there
can be no meaningful peace in the Middle East.
Israel refuses to sign the treaty until countries like Iran and
Iraq open their nuclear facilities for international inspection.
Israel Stops Oil Shipments Into Gaza
By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)
The PLO-ruled Gaza Strip is fast running out of fuel. Israel halted
shipments after the attack last week on Israeli security guards
accompanying a fuel convoy into Gaza. The attack killed one of the
Last week, unidentified gunmen opened fire on two Israeli civilian
guards who were protecting a convoy of gasoline trucks making
deliveries to filling stations in the Gaza Strip. One man was
killed and a second seriously wounded.
Israel suspended all fuel deliveries, although Israeli fuel
tankers arrived Sunday at Gaza's southern border crossing to
transfer fuel, but did not enter the Strip. Gaza's supplies of
gasoline and kerosene for heating homes have almost run out.
Abu Alaa, in charge of economic affairs for the Palestinian
self-rule authority, says Gaza has only enough fuel to move cars
for two days. "We will import from abroad, from Jordan, from Egypt,
we do not need the Israeli government."
Israeli Energy Minister Gonen Segev is considering a proposal for
Palestinian vehicles to tow Israeli fuel tankers into the Gaza
Human Rights Watch Accuses Jews and Arabs of Abuse
By Chris Simkins (New York)
A report released Sunday by a US-based human rights organization
accuses the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government of
committing human rights abuses in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
According to Human Rights Watch, Israel and the Palestinian
Authority are both to blame for an escalating number of human
rights violations taking place in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
The New York-based organization, in its first-ever detailed report
on conditions in the two self-rule areas, says widespread human
rights violations threaten the prospects for peace in the occupied
The 50-page human rights report is based largely on information
obtained by observers who visited the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
Christopher George, executive director of Human Rights Watch
Middle East, says over the last year the Palestinian police
force has arbitrarily arrested and assaulted political activists
The human rights report also criticizes the Israeli government
for imposing unnecessary travel restrictions that have caused
economic hardships for thousands of Palestinians who work in
Israel. George says most of the travel restrictions were put
in place following terrorist attacks in Israel.
"We are not saying that Israel does not have a right to close
its borders. But what we are saying is the welfare of the
population has to be weighed against the often dubious effect of
closing a border. It has never been demonstrated that people
(Palestinians) with valid work permits have been involved in the
violent incidents that have happened recently in Israel."
Neither officials at the Israeli Mission in New York nor the
Palestine Liberation Organization headquarters in Washington would
comment on the allegations made in the report.
The human rights group is urging Israel to grant Palestinians the
right of free movement, allowing them access to jobs, education,
and medical care facilities in Israel. The human rights
organization also wants both parties to use human rights as a
guide for the process of establishing peace between Israelis and
Palestinian Closure Remains in Effect
By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)
Israel's Cabinet on Sunday decided to maintain its ban on
Palestinians entering Israel for at least another week. The
closure was imposed on the West Bank and Gaza Strip after 21
Israelis were killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber last month.
The closure prevents tens of thousands of Palestinians from getting
to jobs inside Israel. The Palestinian economy is still heavily
dependent on Israel. Public opinion polls show that a majority of
Israelis oppose any easing of the ban.
Palestinians charge that by maintaining the closure, Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin is trying to improve his sagging popularity with the
Ahmed Korei or abu Alaa -- in charge of economic affairs in the
Palestinian self-rule authority -- says the problem of Palestinian
unemployment is so serious, there can be no comprehensive peace
settlement without solving it. "The closure is the most thing that
harms the Palestinians. It is a collective punishment."
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