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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Aug. 4, 1995, V3, #141
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Dozens of Jordanian Students Want to Study in Israel

Following the decision of the Jordanian Parliament to cancel boycott laws against Israel, dozens of Jordanian students have called the Israeli Embassy in Amman requesting information on attending Israeli universities.

Two Sides Remain Apart on Water

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have concluded another difficult week of talks, saying significant differences remain on key issues blocking the expansion of Palestinian autonomy.

Frustrated Palestinian negotiators ended a meeting about water rights early Thursday, prompting fears of a crisis in the talks. The Israeli Foreign Ministry says despite problems on some topics, there is progress overall.

Still, the two sides remain far apart on the water issue, and on the other key issue in the talks, security arrangements surrounding an Israeli withdrawal from much of the occupied West Bank. A month ago, officials said agreement was close, but now they will not predict when the talks might end. One Palestinian negotiator said it could be another month or more.

The agreement for expanding Palestinian autonomy and the holding of Palestinian elections is already one-year behind schedule. Officials say if there is no agreement this month, it will be difficult to hold the elections by December, as had been hoped. The talks are expected to be in recess for at least three days, after which the lead negotiators are to consult about how to proceed.

Settlers Declare Truce with IDF

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Israeli settlers defied the government for the fourth consecutive day Thursday, occupying two hilltops on the West Bank and forcing security officers to carry them off. Late in the day, the settlers declared a three-day truce.

Security forces cleared one hilltop Thursday morning and moved in on the second one, near Nablus, late in the afternoon to begin the by now familiar task of carrying settlers to waiting buses. But in the midst of the operation, a settler leader declared a three-day truce and the settlers began leaving the hill on their own.

A spokeswoman for the settlers said the truce would cover today, the Jewish Sabbath on Saturday, and an annual Jewish fast day which falls on Sunday, Tisha b'Av.

The spokeswoman, Michal Shrut, said the stoppage in the daily series of protests came at the request of Israeli President Ezer Weizman. She said settlers would hold a series of meetings during the truce to discuss how to pursue their goal -- to block the government's plan to expand Palestinian autonomy on the West Bank.

The series of protests has been a somewhat wrenching experience for Israeli society, with the unusual sight of Israeli police picking up screaming Jewish women and children and carrying them away. But newspaper editorials have criticized the settlers for creating the confrontations, and government officials say they will not allow such protests or emotions to change their policy.

Israel Holds Syria to its Commitment to Continue Military Talks

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin rejected a Syrian appeal -- relayed through American intermediaries -- to renew talks between the countries' ambassadors in Washington.

Rabin said Israel will refuse to renew the ambassador talks as long as the Syrians resist the resumption of military talks in keeping with a commitment given to U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher. The Syrian appeal to renew the ambassador talks is an attempt to avoid fulfilling its commitment on military talks, Rabin added.

In recent days, the Americans have tried to bring about a resumption of the ambassadors talks, but the attempt was snagged by Rabin's opposition.

According to reports from the Prime Minister's office Wednesday night, Israel explained that it is willing to immediately renew military talks and simultaneously renew ambassadors talks. Sources in the Prime Minister's office said that as long as there is no change in the Syrian's inflexible position, the peace process will continue to be deadlocked -- with Syria to blame.

Conference of Presidents Supports Continued Financial Aid to Palestinian Authority

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations decided overwhelmingly on Tuesday to support a bill sponsored by U.S. Senator Jesse Helms extending American financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.

This marks the first time that the Conference of Presidents has publicly and unambiguously expressed its support on the issue of aid to the Palestinian Authority. A group of rabbis representing 650 members of the Jewish clergy who support the peace process is scheduled to meet with U.S.
Senator Robert Dole to convey their support for the continuation of the peace process, Israel Radio reported.

Israel Radio said the rabbis represent religious leaders from all major American Jewish denominations.


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