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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      July 31, 1995, V3, #137
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Hamas Threatens U.S. After an Operative is Arrested in New York

By Chris Simkins (New York) and Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

US immigration officials in New York have detained a Palestinian they say is one of the senior leaders of the militant Islamic terrorist group Hamas.

Officials have begun legal proceedings to deport 45-year old Musa abu Marzuq, who they say is a senior political leader of the Palestinian extremist group Hamas. Abu Marzuq was detained at New York's Kennedy Airport last week after he arrived from the United Arab Emirates. US immigration agents said his name appears on a terrorist watch list.

Abu Marzuq's lawyer, Stanley Cohen, says his client is a New York businessman with interests in the construction industry and not a leader in the guerrilla group. Law enforcement officials say abu Marzuq is an active member of a research organization in Virginia they believe is a front for Hamas. American authorities say they could not link abu Marzuq to any specific terrorist act, but believe his political leadership in Hamas has helped promote the organization's terrorist activities, including recent bombings in Israel.

FBI officials are working to gather evidence to show that abu Marzuq concealed his membership in the terrorist organization. He has lived in the US for 14 years. If the allegations against him are substantiated the government could revoke his permanent resident visa.

Hamas has condemned the arrest and warned of possible retaliation if he is handed over to Israeli authorities.

In a message faxed to news organizations, Hamas calls the arrest of abu Marzuq "serious and provocative," and warns the US against handing him over to Israel.

The Israeli Justice Ministry suspects abu Marzuq of involvement in several deadly attacks claimed by Hamas, and says it is checking whether it has enough evidence to support an extradition request.

But Hamas says it will hold the US responsible for any harm that comes to abu Marzuq. Its statement pointedly mentions that Hamas has never attacked any US targets, and says it will take "necessary measures" depending on how the case develops. Abu Marzuq was a legal resident of the US. But the US Immigration Service says he will now be kept out of the country because he is part of an organization engaged in terrorist activities. His lawyer denies the charge.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, says abu Marzuq would be welcome to settle in autonomous Gaza, where the Palestinian Authority has been cracking down on Hamas.

Peres: Government Striving to Save the Jewish and the Zionist Character of Israel

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres says Gush Etzion and similar settlement blocs will remain undivided and outside the autonomy area during the period of the Interim Agreement.

Peres told the Secretariat of the religious Zionist movement "Meimad" that the IDF will continue to guard Rachel's Tomb, and there will be no changes in the status of the Tomb of Patriarchs in Hebron and Joseph's Tomb in Nablus.

The Foreign Minister emphasized that control over West Bank cities will be transferred to the Palestinians only after the construction of bypass roads. He noted that it had been one year since the IDF's redeployment out of the Gaza Strip, saying that, "all fears that Katuysha missiles would be fired at Ashkelon were proven wrong."

"We did not hurt the status of Jerusalem, we did not remove settlements and we did not agree to discuss the issue of refugees," Peres said.

"The government is striving to save the Jewish and the Zionist character of the State of Israel," Peres said, "the security status of the State of Israel is stronger than ever."

Shvil Ha'Zahav Chairman Rabbi Shmuel Goldin also participated in the meeting. Shvil Ha'Zahav -- meaning the "golden path" -- is the American sister movement to Meimad. "We have full confidence that the government is taking care of the fate of the settlers," said Meimad Chairman Rabbi Yehuda Amital.

Last week, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin met in Jerusalem with senior rabbis and leaders of the American Orthodox community. The leaders told Rabin about a need to maintain a constant dialogue between the government and the Orthodox community.

The Prime Minister explained his vision of Israel's role in the Middle East, and emphasized that Islamic fundamentalism constitutes a great danger within the region and to the rest of the world.

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