Newsletter : 5fax0502.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
May 2, 1995, V3, #80
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Jordan Trade Agreement Ready to be Signed
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israel's Foreign Ministry says a Jordan-Israel trade agreement is
in the final drafting stage, and will contain special trade
benefits for Jordan. The announcement came as Israeli Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin was on a one-day visit to Jordan.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman says the two countries settled most of
their disagreements over aspects of the trade agreement at a long
meeting Sunday in northern Israel.
The spokesman, Daniel Shek, says the accord will lower or remove
tariffs on most goods passing between Israel and Jordan. But he
says unlike most trade agreements, the benefits will not be
entirely equal because Israel's economy is so much stronger than
Shek says the Israel-Jordan trade agreement could be ready for
signature by the end of this month. He says agreements on energy,
agriculture, transportation, and the environment are also close to
being ready. Negotiations toward those accords were mandated by
the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, signed last October.
The announcement came as Rabin was on a one-day visit to Jordan.
The prime minister was to tour the ancient ruins at Petra, in
southern Jordan, and then meet with King Hussein at the southern
port of Aqaba. The two men were scheduled to record an
unprecedented joint interview for Israel television, to be
broadcast on Thursday, Israel's Independence Day.
A Day in the Life of the Palestinian Police
By Patricia Golan (Gaza)
Israel and the United States are demanding that PLO leader Yasir
Arafat get control of violent fundamentalist groups such as Hamas
and Islamic Jihad, which have carried out bloody attacks against
Israeli targets and jeopardized the peace process. Arafat's
Palestinian police have arrested some 200 supporters of Islamic
groups in recent weeks, and a special tribunal has sentenced six
Palestinians linked to attacks on Israelis. But can the
Palestinian police do what they are being asked, or is the mission
The Israeli-PLO agreement specifies a force of 9,000 during the
interim autonomous period. There are already 16,000 troops in the
tiny West Bank enclave of Jericho and the Gaza Strip, with only
900,000 residents. This excess of recruits is largely to provide
In addition to 4,000 regular police, there are another 12,000 armed
fighters -- regular soldiers or those who serve in one of the
security branches. Most of the soldiers were brought in from
former PLO military training camps in Arab countries.
One such man is Captain Fayez Mamlouk, who for nearly 30 years
served in the Palestine Liberation Army in battles against the
Israelis in the West Bank and Lebanon, against the Jordanian army
in Jordan, and against dissident Palestinian groups in Lebanon.
One of his sons was injured by an Israeli bomb in lebanon. A
daughter was killed and another son blinded by a US-made bomb in
Iraq. Captain Fayez looks 15 years older than his 44 years. His
body is scarred, one eye is blind, and he has lost most of his
But he has been rewarded for his sacrifices by being put in charge
of a unit in "Force-17," the hand-picked police who protect Arafat.
The old soldier sees the irony of having to deal with a new enemy--
fellow Palestinians who belong to Islamic militant groups. He
defends Arafat's crackdown on the radicals, saying there must be
order in Gaza.
Mohammed Dahlan is head of the police intelligence branch known as
"Preventive Security." He was deported in 1986 after spending
years in Israeli prisons as a PLO activist, and for ordering the
killings of collaborators. Handsome and well-built, Colonel Dahlan
sweeps into his office surrounded by armed bodyguards.
The Palestinian Authority has ordered the handing in of
unauthorized weapons with few results. Security Chief Dahlan says
weapons are being collected from Islamic militants, but admits the
police are wary of a confrontation with people regarded by many
here as heroes. But can the Palestinian police really carry out
what the Israelis and the Americans are demanding?
We're convinced politically. Personally, I do this kind of work
not under the pressure of Arafat or Israel or the US. This is to
have calm, to have this place as calm as we can so we can get to
the West Bank. The role of the (Palestinian Authority) control is
to have one authority, not more than one. We do not want to
have the experience of Lebanon here again."
Dahlan believes the Palestinian public understands that the
Palestinians, themselves, have been greatly harmed by the bombings,
that the situation has only become worse. He says he does not
want to give the Israelis any more excuses to delay implementation
of the self-rule agreement. And he believes his men have enough
training to do what needs to be done. We learned from the experts,
he says, smiling, in Israeli prisons.
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