Newsletter : 5fax0227.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Feb. 27, 1995, V3, #39
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Israel Blockades Lebanese Coast
By Edward Yeranian (Beirut)
Tensions continue to mount in southern Lebanon following a decision by
the Israeli navy to widen the scope of a 18-day-old naval
blockade of Lebanese fishermen.
Israel stepped up its pressure against the Lebanese government by
extending an 18-day blockade against Lebanese fishermen northward,
to nine miles south of Beirut.
Lebanese officials say Israel is using the blockade to force them
to curtail identity checks of people entering the Israeli-occupied
security zone in southern Lebanon.
Nearly 18,000 fishermen have been prevented by the Israeli navy
from going beyond one-kilometer from shore -- effectively
Lebanon's national news agency also says Israeli gunboats have
fired on Lebanese fishermen, attempting to enforce the blockade.
The fishermen say several nets have been destroyed.
Fisherman Khalil Abed said he is torn between being stopped by
the Israelis and hunger. He says he has not been to sea in more
than two weeks.
The Lebanese president has appealed to the United States and Russia
to help end the blockade.
Christopher Resumes Shuttle After Hospitalization
By Victor Beattie (Washington)
US Secretary of State Warren Christopher -- released from a
Washington hospital after observation for a bleeding ulcer -- has
been pronounced in excellent health . The secretary is to resume
his full duties today including preparations for another Middle
The 69-year old Christopher was briefly hospitalized during a state
visit to the Canadian capital of Ottawa Thursday where he was
diagnosed with a small bleeding ulcer.
Christopher is expected to testify before Congress later this week
and then prepare for a return trip to the Middle East either
March 7 or 8. A State Department spokeswoman says his return is
important to sustain the peace process. He was last in the region
in December -- a visit that had no major impact on the
The secretary hopes to revive the stalled Israeli-Syrian peace
talks. He will also visit the Persian Gulf region to shore up
support for continued international sanctions against Iraq.
130,000 Muslims Attend Ramadan Prayers at Temple Mount
Over 130,000 Muslim worshippers attended prayer services Friday at
the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to mark the last Friday in the Muslim
holy month of Ramadan. Approximately 1,700 Israeli police were
deployed in the Old City to provide security.
Israel gave special permission to Palestinians from the West Bank
to attend services in Jerusalem despite the closure over the
territories. Over one thousand Muslims attended prayer services at
the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. It was the largest turnout of
Muslims worshipers since the site was reopened in November.
Former Iranian Official Claims Ron Arad Imprisoned in Iran
Israeli officials are looking into a statement by Iranian emigre
Mancheuhr Moetamer that missing Israeli air force navigator Ron
Arad is alive and being held in Iran. Moetamer, who claims to be a
former senior Iranian intelligence official, made his statement
during an interview with an Iranian radio station in Los Angeles.
Senior Israeli officials in Jerusalem say Moetamer's statements are
"speculative." The officials said the remarks only cause sorrow for
the families in Israel, adding that "we should be cautious about
those who are spreading rumors." Israeli officials said they doubt
Moetamar's statements and reiterated that there is no new
information on Arad. Israel believes that Ron Arad is still alive
and holds the government of Iran responsible for his safe return to
Arafat's Government Prints Booklet on Jewish Immigration to
The Palestinian Authority's Information Ministry has published a
booklet entitled "Jewish Immigration to Palestine and its
Devastating Effects on the Peace Process."
The existence of the seven-page English-language booklet was
exposed by Likud MK Benny Begin last week during a Knesset Foreign
Affairs and Defense Committee meeting.
The text is described as a direct assault on the very existence of
the Land of Israel and repeats many of the old claims such as a
plan by which "the original inhabitants will be uprooted from their
land and replaced by new immigrants," Begin said. "This publication
is in full accordance with the PLO's refusal to abolish its
covenant, which openly calls for the destruction of the State of
Israel, and is also in line with Arafat's announcements since
Oslo that he's committed to the 1974 PLO Phased Strategy Plan which
also ultimately calls for the destruction of Israel," he told the
The booklet uses the word "alarming" to describe the increase in
Jewish immigration, and gives Jewish population figures according
to native born and foreign born.
The pamphlet accuses the government of taking measures to force
Soviet immigrants to settle in Israel rather than other countries.
Its main theme is that immigration "cannot be accomplished without
the confiscation of more Palestinian land."
It also says Israel continues "the Zionist expansionist goals via
the confiscation of a massive number of Arab land in a move to
evict Palestinian land owners from the territories in preparation
for the absorption of more immigrants" and claims Israel has
expropriated natural resources belonging to Palestinians.
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