Newsletter : 5fax0725.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
July 25, 1995, V3, #134
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Six Dead, 30 Injured as Hamas Bombs Ramat Gan-Tel Aviv Bus
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem), Ron Pemstein (Washington)
Israel has closed the Palestinian territories and temporarily
suspended peace talks after an apparent suicide bombing on a
crowded bus Monday near Tel Aviv. The explosion occurred on a Dan
bus No. 20, which was carrying rush hour commuters and took place
next to the Israel Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan at 8:40 a.m.
The explosion killed six people and injured more than 30. Two of
the dead were identified as Moshe Shkedi, 75, of Ramat Gan, and
Zehava Oren, 60, of Tel Aviv.
It recalled images of other bus bombings last year and earlier this
year in and around Tel Aviv. There were the same scenes of a
bombed-out bus, helmeted police searching for additional bombs,
blood-covered victims being carried away and shaken witnesses
telling what they had seen.
This woman, identified only as Arnette, told Israel Radio she was
standing nearby when she heard and felt a huge explosion. She saw
heads and hands flying through the bus windows and the dead and
injured lying on the bus floor.
The militant Palestinian group Hamas claimed responsibility for the
bombing. Hamas said its units in the "occupied" West Bank carried
out the attack, not those based in autonomous Palestinian areas.
Hamas and another militant group, Islamic Jihad, conducted several
suicide bombings last year and early this year in an effort to
block the peace process.
More than 60 people have been killed in such bombings in the past
nine months, but recently there had been a three-month lull in
Israel says Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, must control the
militant groups if he wants his autonomous area expanded. Arafat
was quick to publicly condemn this latest attack, which occurred
while peace talks were in progress.
"I condemn completely these terrorist activities. This is an
attempt to sabotage the talks and the peace process. But I am sure
that the wisdom of the prime minister and the cabinet will be able,
with our coordination, to over jump all these obstacles."
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin visited the scene of Monday's
blast and then announced peace talks would be suspended until after
the funerals of all of the victims, likely to be held by tomorrow.
Rabin said the peace process with the Palestinians will continue so
as not to give a victory to its opponents.
"It is inconceivable that negotiations would continue as usual
during the funerals. This is shocking and painful. This is a hard
time for all of us. We must not let those crazy and cruel acts
carried out by the Palestinian enemies of peace prevent us from
continuing the peace process, a process that we are determined to
continue in order to solve once and for all the Israeli-Palestinian
"We will not give in to this kind of lunatic atrocity by suicidal
terror missions, or by any kind of terror mission. We will
continue the peace process, there is no alternative to that
regardless to the enemies of peace."
When the bomb exploded Monday, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators
were working at a hotel on the shore of the Dead Sea trying to
reach agreement on the expansion of Palestinian autonomy. They had
a target date of today, but had said they would need the rest of
this week, and perhaps longer, to finish the agreement.
Rabin also closed the Palestinian areas in the West Bank and Gaza,
but he said the closure will probably not last very long.
Secretary of State Warren Christopher telephoned Rabin and Foreign
Minister Shimon Peres to express his outrage at the Tel Aviv
bombing, and his understanding for Israel's decision to postpone
talks with the Palestinians after a period of mourning.
The Secretary of State tells reporters it is more important to get
an Israeli-Palestinian agreement negotiated correctly than it was
to meet today's target date.
Christopher says the US will lend a stronger hand to the
negotiations as they come into their final stages. US officials
had not expected Israel and the Palestinians to complete the
agreement by today, even before the bus attack in Tel Aviv.
Israeli-Jordanian Aid Effort to Bosnia Scheduled for Today
A joint shipment of Israeli-Jordanian humanitarian aid will be
flown to Bosnia today if the necessary coordination with the
U.N. has been completed.
Two Boeing planes -- one Israeli and one Jordanian -- will
simultaneously depart from their respective countries and travel
together to Split, Bosnia. The planes will land at the same
airport and will bring medical supplies, blankets, food and
clothes to Bosnians.
Details of joint mission were finalized last week during a
meeting in Amman between Crown Prince Hassan and Environment
Minister Yossi Sarid.
During a radio and television donor campaign held in Jordan
over the weekend, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein
spoke together on live TV about the Bosnia situation.
The two leaders expressed their protest and shock at the ethnic
cleansing and killing being carried out by the Bosnian Serbs.
Rabin told the announcer that he would personally donate $3,000.
Burial Cave Uncovered in Highway Construction
Bulldozers working on a new highway in the Ben-Shemen-Gimzu
Junction area struck a soft chalk rock and uncovered a cave, which
has been identified as an ancient burial cave. Additional
excavations by the Antiquities Authority's archeologist Oren
Shmueli found two more similar caves nearby, probably from the end
of the first and beginning of the second century. They were not
looted, though there were signs that people had entered them. The
central area is high enough to stand in, with cubicles on all sides
for the burials... They have been identified as Jewish burial
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