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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      April 3, 1995, V3, #60
All the News the Big Guys Missed

For subscriptions or back issues, please contact POL management

The Israeli newspaper Al HaMishmar has ceased publication after 52 years. The newspaper predates the establishment of the State and has long been considered a respected publication in Israel.

Gaza Bomb-Making Factory Explodes

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

A powerful explosion has killed at least six people in an apartment building in Gaza, apparently the result of an accident while militants were making a bomb. The blast left a gaping hole in the outer wall of the building's second story and scattered body parts over a wide area. Several bodies were taken away by police, and witnesses say a male teenager was among the victims.

After Palestinian policemen cleared the area, one officer could be seen in television news videotape crouching in the street and cutting wires on a device on the ground. Minutes later, the officer picked up three small gas canisters, with nails stuck to their outside, and carried them away, while other officers cleared bystanders out of his path.

Palestinian police sources say an apartment in the building was apparently being used as a bomb factory by the military wing of the militant group Hamas, which has sent several suicide bombers into Israel.

Syria Says They'll Control Hizbullah

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Israel says Syria has agreed to restrain Hizbullah guerrillas in southern Lebanon who shelled northern Israel on Friday -- raising fears that Israel's frequent battles with the guerrillas might escalate.

Officials say they received Syrian assurances through Secretary of State Warren Christopher, who was asked to mediate the dispute by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The officials say the Syrian government confirmed it is still committed to an informal agreement, in force for the last two years, under which the two sides do not target each other's civilians.

The guerrillas launched artillery shells into northern Israel on Friday, killing a 17-year-old boy and injuring 12 people. The incident raised concerns that Israel might respond with large-scale attacks inside Lebanon which would result in more shelling. Earlier Friday, the guerrillas had attacked an Israeli army post in occupied southern Lebanon, killing a soldier, and an Israeli helicopter attack killed a Hizbullah leader.

But instead of attacking again, Rabin telephoned Christopher to ask for a diplomatic settlement of the dispute -- a settlement Israeli officials say has apparently now been reached. The clashes and then cooperation on this issue come as Israel and Syria are in US-mediated peace talks, which have been deadlocked for months.

Israel Attacks Lebanon After Hizbullah Attack

By Susan Sappir (Jerusalem)

A pro-Iranian Muslim guerrilla leader has been killed in southern Lebanon after Israeli jets and helicopter gunships attacked suspected Hizbullah bases.

Hizbullah says one of its guerrilla
leaders, Ruda Yassin, was killed in an attack by an Israeli helicopter gunship. The group says a rocket hit his car Friday as he was leaving his village in southern Lebanon.

Lebanese sources said there were four Israeli air strikes on southern Lebanon by jet fighters and helicopter gunships.

In another incident, an Israeli soldier was killed in an assault by suspected pro-Iranian guerrillas on an Israeli army post in southern Lebanon.

The flare-up coincides with a visit to Beirut by Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, who is on a Middle East tour to discuss regional peace efforts.

The latest Israeli attack is reminiscent of another helicopter rocket attack three years ago. Then, Israeli forces killed Hizbullah leader Sheikh Abbas Musawi and his wife and son.

The guerrillas have vowed to keep fighting as long as Israel occupies a nine-mile border strip in southern Lebanon. Israel says the buffer zone is necessary for its security.

Nabatean Techniques Used to Grow Wine Grapes in Negev Desert

Israel's southern desert, the Negev, will soon have vineyards for growing wine grapes. Techniques of the ancient Nabateans are being revived by the Jewish Agency's development department.

About eight acres of desert will be planted with vineyards this week and irrigated with brackish water. This will save scarce fresh water and raise the sugar content of the grapes. The water will be pumped from a depth of nearly a mile.

If this first plantation succeeds, another 125 acres of vineyards will be planted in the spring of 1997, on the Avdat heights. There will be a "Vineyard Boulevard" along the highway as an additional tourist attraction. The project will cost 5,500,000 shekels and provide employment for 50 people. At first, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Marlow grapes will be planted.

Pass-over Food Can be Found in Aisle One

By Daniel Walker (Knoxville, Tenn.)

I live in Knoxville, Tennessee on the North side of town. I went to my neighborhood grocery store to do my Passover shopping this morning (you know, matzos, gefilte fish, and miscellaneous special holiday noshes). I didn't see anything in the seasonal/promotional section, so I asked one of the store's employees where the Passover foods were.

She looked at me strangely for a moment and then realized what I was asking. She told me to go down aisle one and I would find them in the back of the store between the bread and the seafood counter. When I got there, I found dented cans, day-old bread from the store bakery, opened packages, and slightly less-than-fancy vegetables and fruit. It took me about half a minute of looking around to realize that she'd sent me to the section of "passed-over" foods.

Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Brooklyn anymore.

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