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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     June 28, 1995, V3, #118
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Mubarak Blames Sudan for Assassination Try

By Laurie Kassman, Kim Reid (Cairo)

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak escaped an assassination attempt Monday in Addis Ababa where he was due to attend an African summit. In talking about the incident, he suggested Sudan may be involved in the terrorist attack. Sudan has denied any links but Egypt has often accused Sudan of aiding Islamic militants who want to topple the Egyptian government and replace it with an Islamic state.

Mubarak says Ethiopian authorities have told him the hideout used by the terrorists who attacked him in Addis Ababa was rented by Sudanese nationals. He told a crowd of well-wishers Tuesday in Cairo it was not clear the government was involved but he did not rule out links to the Sudanese Islamic leader Hassan al-Turabi.

Mubarak then cited the confiscation last week of a pile of automatic weapons at a hideout in southern Egypt. Egyptian security authorities say the arms were shipped from Sudan.

Mubarak has stopped short of blaming Sudan directly for the terrorist attack Monday and Sudan has denied any links to it. A top Sudanese foreign ministry official has suggested Egypt should deal with the facts and should not try to blame its internal problems on others.

But Egypt's interior minister insists that Sudan gives terrorists refuge and allows them to smuggle weapons and explosives across the border into Egypt.

The hints of Sudanese involvement, from Mubarak and Cabinet officials, underscores the continuing tense relations between Egypt and its southern neighbor. The allegations of Sudanese support for terrorism are not new.

Bilateral relations soured after Sudanese General Omar al-Beshir seized power in 1989 and installed an Islamic state. Egyptian authorities have charged that Sudan now allows terrorist training camps to operate in its territory and supports Islamic radicals trying to topple the Mubarak government and set up a pure Islamic state in Egypt.

Egypt is not alone in its criticism of Sudan. The US State Department blacklisted Sudan in 1993 as a terrorism-sponsoring nation. Some diplomats say Sudan has become a center for many Middle East terrorist groups.

US federal prosecutors have pursued possible Sudanese links to a plot to blow up several New York City landmarks. Several Sudanese nationals are awaiting trial in New York. Egypt has sent a team of investigators to Ethiopia to help authorities in their probe into who carried out Monday's assassination attempt.

The assassination attempt has shocked and frightened the Egyptian people. The incident again raised concerns over the transition of power in Egypt. Mubarak has not appointed a vice president because he says the Constitution provides an emergency line of succession, handing power to the Egyptian Speaker of Parliament. But the absence of a vice-president is psychologically disturbing to the public. Mubarak was vice-president when he took power after Anwar Sadat was assassinated.

Ethiopian security men are searching for several escaped gunmen, who failed in their attempt to assassinate Mubarak. Officials are offering a large reward for any information leading to the capture of the assailants, who are said to be of Arab origin.

Peres Thinks July 1 Agreement Can Be Attained

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres says a significant, but incomplete, accord can be ready by Saturday's deadline for reaching agreement on the expansion of Palestinian autonomy on the West Bank. Peres would not give many details during a meeting with American correspondents Tuesday morning, but he said agreement is near.

Officials say Israel is offering the Palestinians a withdrawal from some West Bank cities during the next few months, with Palestinian elections to be held by the end of the year and a further withdrawal later. The Palestinians have been holding out for a broader withdrawal in the first stage and a detailed timetable for the second stage. Peres says talks on the second stage will take, in his words, "months and months and months." Still, he says a partial accord can be ready by Saturday, if the Palestinians will agree.

Meanwhile, activists on both sides continued to use this last week before the target date to press their viewpoints. Palestinians on the West Bank staged a general strike, closing schools and businesses in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners. The prisoners and their supporters say they should be released as part of the peace process, but Israel is reluctant to release those who are part of militant organizations which continue to attack Israelis. Peres said Tuesday Israel might agree to release some of the prisoners this week.

While most West Bank Palestinians remained at home, Israeli settlers on the West Bank organized work crews to expand the fences around nine settlements. Settlers' leaders say the land belongs to the settlements, but Palestinians disagree. In one incident Tuesday near Jerusalem, elderly Palestinians blocked bulldozers and troops had to separate crowds of shouting Israelis and Palestinians. The government ordered the work stopped, at least temporarily.

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