Newsletter : 5fax0707.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
July 7, 1995, V3, #124
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Amnesty International Report Rejected
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israel has rejected criticism of its human rights record
in the annual report by Amnesty International. A statement issued by
Israel's Justice Ministry accuses Amnesty International of using
misleading methods and terminology, presenting inaccurate
information as facts, and not properly explaining the context of
The Justice Ministry spokeswoman declined to be interviewed, but
her written statement notes that Israel's security measures come
against the backdrop of 32 terrorist attacks last year, which
killed 76 people. The statement says the attacks were organized by
groups that oppose the Israel-Palestinian peace accord and
want to destroy Israel.
The statement also repeats Israel's policy on interrogation,
saying torture is not allowed but interrogators may use what it
calls "effective interrogation procedures" to try to extract
information from detainees, particularly when lives are threatened.
The statement says such situations are strictly regulated.
The Israeli statement also says Amnesty relies on testimony by
former prisoners who are, the statement charges, either under
pressure from Palestinian groups to say bad things about Israel, or
who themselves want to discredit the Jewish state. The statement
says former prisoners have a legitimate reason to fear the militant
Palestinian groups because those groups killed 78 Palestinians in
the past two years for allegedly cooperating with Israel.
The Israeli Justice Department also criticizes Amnesty
International for quoting, in its final paragraph, a declaration by
the militant Palestinian group Hamas, which says it is
"anxious not to inflict harm on civilians." The Israeli
statement notes that hamas publicly claimed responsibility for
most of the 76 deaths from attacks in Israel and the occupied
territory in 1994.
Buenos Aires JCC Bombers will be Extradited to Argentina
By George Meek (Rio de Janeiro)
Paraguay has agreed to extradite seven people wanted for trial in
Argentina in connection with the 1992 bombing of the Israeli
Embassy in Buenos Aires. An appeals court in the Paraguayan capital
of Asuncion has upheld a court order granting Argentina's request
to extradite six Lebanese citizens and one Brazilian. The decision
is not appealable. Officials say the suspects are likely to be
taken to Argentina early next week.
The seven men were arrested in Paraguay in March on charges of
illegal weapons possession and trafficking in arms.
Argentine authorities say the suspects were involved in the 1992
attack that destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing
28 people and wounding more than 200. The Muslim fundamentalist
organization Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
Argentine officials say the suspects may also be linked to the
1994 bombing of a Jewish Community Center in the Argentine capital.
Israel accused Iran and pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon of
involvement in that blast, which killed nearly 100 people.
Palestinian prisoners stop hunger strike
Palestinian prisoners at the Juneid prison have announced the halt
of their hunger strike which has lasted 18 days. The decision to
stop the strike came following understandings reached on Tuesday
between Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority
Chairman Yasir Arafat.
The prisoners of Juneid, the central prison in the West Bank,
initiated the hunger strike which was taken up by Palestinian
prisoners at other locations. Prisoners in the Ashkelon, Be'er
Sheva and Tel Mond prisons have announced that they will continue
The security establishment and the Police Ministry's Prison Service
are nearing completion of the first list of Palestinian prisoners
to be released on the occasion of the signing of the Interim
Agreement. Initially, 600 to 800 prisoners will be released several
days after the signing, which is scheduled for July 25. "None of
the prisoners to be released will have blood on their hands,"
security sources said.
Most of the prisoners scheduled for release were convicted on order
violations, or are among the oldest and youngest prisoners.
Burg Bids Farewell to Knesset Colleagues
Jewish Agency Chairman Avraham Burg delivered a farewell address to
the Knesset Wednesday after serving seven years as a member of
"I leave this building with a certain aching," Burg said.
"For my entire public life, I've been involved in two areas: the
first, peace; and the second, the Jewish identity. I must say
that I never believed that one day I would wake up in the morning
and the government would be the government of my hopes."
In his speech Burg spoke about the condition of the Jewish people
in Israel and the Diaspora as he begins his new position at the
Agency: "I think the most difficult issue on the Jewish agenda of
Israeli society is our national identity."
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