Newsletter : 5fax0413.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
April 13, 1995, V3, #68
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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FBI will Investigate American's Death
By Ron Pemstein (Washington)
The United States is sending a team from the Federal Bureau of
Investigation to Gaza to take part in the search for the people
who planned the suicide bombings Sunday in which an American
woman was killed. If anyone is arrested, they could be prosecuted
in the US.
The State Department says it is appropriate for the FBI to work
alongside Israeli and Palestinian authorities in investigating the
suicide bombings in Gaza last weekend. Spokesman Nicholas Burns
notes that an American citizen was killed and three US citizens
were wounded in the attacks that also killed seven Israeli
"These people from the FBI will work alongside Israeli and
Palestinian authorities. The justification for this and the
rationale of course is that there is a statute on the books, the
so-called Long Arm Statute since 1986, that allows the United
States and indeed asks the United States to investigate crimes
against American citizens and allows us to prosecute people in
United States courts."
It is too early to say if the Palestinian Authority in Gaza will
allow the US to prosecute any suspects if any are found.
Crackdown Continues in Gaza Strip
By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)
In the PLO-controlled Gaza Strip, Palestinian police have been
continuing their crackdown on Islamic militant opponents. The
arrests follow the killing of seven Israelis and an American woman
in suicide bomb attacks on Sunday. Tensions in Gaza remain high,
but both sides have rejected assessments that a civil war is
Security forces in Gaza have arrested at least 200 suspected
supporters of the militant Islamic Jihad and Hamas organizations
since Sunday's suicide car bomb attacks inside the Gaza Strip in
which the eight people were killed. Most of the men arrested so
far have been political leaders of the Islamic groups responsible
for the bombings, but members of the military wings of these
organizations have gone into hiding.
In past such round-ups, detainees were quickly released, but this
time the Palestinian Authority appears determined to bring the
Islamic opponents under control.
On Tuesday, PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat announced his intention
to disarm the militant groups. On Wednesday, the justice minister
of the Palestinian self-rule government, Freih abu Medein, has
begun a gun registration drive, setting a deadline of one month to
hand in all illegal weapons.
Jamal Omar, a Palestinian journalist in Gaza, calls the situation
very tense. "They are putting more pressures on Islamic Jihad and
Hamas to stop their military wing, but I don't know if they are
going to succeed in this or not ... There is no specific number for
the detainees now, but it is the most intensive campaign since the
coming of the Palestinian Authority and the most serious one this
This week, the special military tribunal set up by the Palestinian
Authority in the Gaza Strip passed its first sentences, one of them
a life prison term for an Islamic Jihad activist. He was
convicted, among other offenses, of persuading young teenagers to
carry out suicide attacks.
The mother of the convicted man says the Israelis put Palestinians
in jail, but Arafat must not. She says the Islamic Jihad says
Arafat's actions will result in a civil war. But this is rejected by
Palestinian Authority Minister Nabil Shaath:
"The Palestinian Authority is arresting people, is taking them to
court, is taking away arms, and is doing that within the confines
of the law. We don't want to anything that violates people's human
rights, but we are very serious in stopping this violence."
Israel Radio quotes senior Israeli army officers as saying that
Israel has no plans to go back into the Gaza Strip. The officers
were reacting to a demand by six members of parliament from the
ruling Labor Party that Israel send forces back into the Gaza Strip
to root out militant strongholds.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin told a Labor Party caucus
meeting Wednesday that Israel itself has been unable to capture
all the underground cells in territories it still controls.
Since taking over control of the Gaza Strip last summer, Arafat has
been under great pressure from the American administration and the
Israeli government to disarm his opponents.
Negotiations are underway for expanding Palestinian self-rule to
the West Bank, but with successive suicide bombings and Israeli
deaths, chances for the peace process going any further have
dwindled. Observers say Arafat knows the only way to move
politically and expand self-rule is by keeping his opponents from
carrying out further attacks.
Tight Closure of Territories Recommended for Passover
Police Commissioner Lt. General Assaf Hefetz is recommending a
tightening of the closure over the territories in advance of the
Passover holiday, which begins Friday. The police are reportedly on
high alert, and have canceled vacations and extended shifts. Police
plans call for an increased presence at public markets and
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