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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Aug. 10, 1995, V3, #145
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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12 Ethiopian Rabbis Ordained in Israeli Rabbinate

The first group of rabbis from the Ethiopian community was ordained in the Israeli rabbinate Wednesday as 12 immigrants were certified to serve as rabbis on religious councils. The newly-ordained rabbis -- who are all in their 30's -- emigrated to Israel during Operation Moses and live in cities that are centers of the Ethiopian community.

Talks Resume at Taba

By Laurie Kassman (Cairo)

PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres resumed talks Wednesday in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Taba. The pressure is mounting to get an agreement on Palestinian autonomy finished by the end of the month, but some key obstacles still stand in the way. After missing several self-imposed target dates last month, the two sides have shied away from setting any more public deadlines. But the seriousness of this last-ditch effort to get an agreement now is apparent in the presence of Arafat and Peres for a series of high-level negotiations.

Some progress has been reported. On Tuesday, the two men reached agreement on the timetable for redeploying Israeli troops in the West Bank before and after Palestinian elections. The Palestinians secured a definitive timetable but had to concede more time for Israel to complete the pullout, stretching the time from three to six months in each of three stages.

The date of the Palestinian Council elections needs to be set, and security for Jewish settlers in the West Bank still needs to be worked out. So does the situation of Hebron where 450 settlers live among about 80,000 Palestinians. The rights to water and electricity in the West Bank also remain unresolved.

While the negotiators hammer away at an accord, Jewish settlers continue their protest throughout the West Bank against giving up any land to the Palestinians.

Former Nazi Captain Won't Talk

By George Meek (Rio de Janeiro)

Italian authorities have failed to elicit testimony from a former Nazi captain accused of genocide during World War 2. The suspect, Erich Priebke, is being held in Argentina. Italian prosecutor Antonio Intelisano flew to the southern Argentine city of Bariloche in hopes of getting a statement from Priebke, who has been under house arrest there for a year.

The two met Tuesday, but Priebke refused to say a word. His lawyer said he would testify only if he is extradited to Italy.

After his arrest, the former Nazi officer admitted taking part in the slaying of 335 civilians in caves near Rome in 1944, in retaliation for the murder of German soldiers by Italian partisans. Priebke says he was following orders of the Gestapo chief in Rome.

There is no indication when Argentina will rule on the extradition request. The country has received a dozen requests for extradition of World War 2 criminals, but granted only three.

"This is Our Land" Leader Indicted

Rehovot's Magistrates Court sentenced "This is Our Land" leader Moshe Feiglin to a 10,000 shekel fine or 10 months in prison for his role in disruptions that took place during demonstrations Tuesday.

The court issued a conditional prison sentence of a half-year if Feiglin is found guilty of such activities in the next three years. Feiglin said after the sentencing that he does not intend to pay the fine, and will continue demonstrating.

"This is Our Land" demonstrators protested the peace process with the Palestinians by blocking road junctions throughout Israel for two hours during rush hour Tuesday evening, causing serious traffic backups. Traffic was obstructed on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway for 40 minutes. Other roads that were blocked included the Hebron-Beersheva highway, the Kiryat Shmoneh-Rosh Pina highway, and central roads in the Yokneam area.

More than 100 demonstrators were taken into custody along with Feiglin. Meanwhile, 15 new encampments were established Tuesday beside highways in the West Bank. In Ofra, the IDF began evacuating approximately 200 people from an outpost there. In Kiryat Arba, 150 settlers established an encampment in an abandoned building near the Harsinah hill.

Likud Knesset Member Benny Begin told Israel Radio that the government rests on a majority in the Knesset, and one cannot prevent it by force from carrying out its policies. There are legal means of expressing protest, but blocking road junctions is illegal, Begin said.

According to Begin, the settlers are law-abiding citizens and should not be identified with "This is Our Land."

Suspected Iranian Spy Did Not Injure Israeli Security

Security officials said Hertzel Rad, who is being tried in the Jerusalem District Court on charges of espionage, did not injure Israel's security despite the fact he had access to secret material.

During his interrogation, Rad admitted he was sent by Iranian intelligence, but afterward claimed the Iranians kidnapped him. The prosecution charges that five months ago, Rad contacted Iranian intelligence agents at the Iranian embassy in Istanbul and proposed spying on Israel and the United States. According to the charges, Rad promised his operatives that he would procure information from IDF bases.

The defense is claiming that Rad was kidnapped from Turkey and brought to Iran where he was tortured and forced to collaborate with intelligence authorities.


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