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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     Aug. 18, 1995, V3, #151
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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One Million Tourists Expected for Jerusalem 3000 Celebration

One million tourists are expected to participate in a year-long celebration marking Jerusalem's 3,000-year anniversary starting in three weeks. Tourism Minister Uzi Baram and Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert criticized a recent statement by the European Union that it would not participate in the celebration.

"The 3000th anniversary celebration of the city is not a political event, but a celebration of three religions -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- by presenting their contributions to the city," Olmert said.

Carrier's Aircraft will Overfly Israel from Haifa

By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)

The US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt -- now anchored in Haifa -- is taking part in joint exercises with Israel's neighbor, Jordan. President Clinton ordered the Roosevelt to the eastern Mediterranean as a deterrent to possible Iraqi aggression against Jordan following the defection of two Iraqi ministers.

Following last week's high-level defections to Jordan, the aircraft carrier changed course and sailed to Haifa. A US Defense Department spokesman says the carrier will take part in a set of amphibious-landing war games involving Jordan and the United States, due to start today in the Red Sea area.

The joint exercises were planned in advance, but a US official says -- in light of the recent events in the region -- the Roosevelt's repositioning demonstrates Clinton's commitment to Jordan. The president praised Jordan's King Hussein for what he calls heroic action in granting political asylum to Hussein Kamel Hassan, who ran Iraq's military and civil industries.

Jordanian officials say they fear possible retaliation. Earlier this week, Israel agreed to Washington's request to let US planes fly over the country, in the event of an Iraqi attack on Jordan.

The nuclear-powered Roosevelt -- which launched aircraft that bombed Iraq from the Red Sea during the 1991 Gulf War -- has a crew of 5,500.

Pentagon Readies Might if Saddam Decides to Fight

By David Swan (Washington)
The Pentagon is taking what it calls prudent defensive steps in response to unusual military movements in Iraq. Officials say these latest Iraqi actions are not directly tied to the defection of two of President Saddam Hussein's sons-in-law.

For about five weeks, officials say, the Pentagon has seen small but unusual activity by elements of Baghdad's armed forces, including Republican Guard, air and air defense units. Officials say these movements, which involve stepped-up training and repositioning of aircraft, are not a cause for alarm. But there is concern about potential threats toward Iraq's southern neighbors -- like the one last year when Republican Guard forces suddenly moved toward the Kuwaiti border.

At that time, the Pentagon dispatched thousands of its own troops and hundreds of aircraft to the Gulf. This time, the response is more limited. Cargo ships with weapons and equipment for about 20,000 soldiers and marines are steaming closer to the region. Officials say some troops have been told they may be sent later, but are not on alert status, as they would be if deployment were imminent.

U.S VIPs Meet with King Hussein

By David Gollust (Washington)

Members of a high-level US delegation have met with Jordan's King Hussein in what is reported to be a new Clinton administration effort to persuade Jordan to tighten economic pressure on Iraq. US officials believe last week's defection to Jordan of two senior Iraqi figures has created an opportunity to further isolate the Baghdad government.

The team headed by Assistant Secretary of State Robert Pelletreau and Presidential Aide Mark Parris met with King Hussein in Amman in a continuing flurry of diplomatic activity following the defection of the Iraqi leaders.

US officials say the king's decision to give asylum to the Iraqis -- both sons-in-law of President Saddam Hussein -- suggests a new willingness by Jordan to distance itself from the Baghdad regime, with which it has carried on extensive trade in violation of UN sanctions.

Jordan has been dependent on Iraq for its oil supplies since Saudi Arabia suspended shipments to punish Amman for its perceived tilt toward Iraq in the Gulf War. The Jordanians have reportedly allowed Iraq to import food and other goods through its territory in exchange for Iraqi oil. The Clinton administration is understood to be asking Jordan to sever most of its economic relationship with Iraq now, while urging Saudi Arabia and Kuwait -- whose relations with Jordan have been gradually improving -- to replace the lost oil.

State Department spokesman David Johnson, while declining extensive comment on the US mission to the region, said the United States and the Gulf countries should reward Jordan for its new stance toward Baghdad.

Iraq has been suffering greatly from effects of the UN sanctions imposed at the close of the Gulf War and discontent over the economic situation may have figured in the decision by the two Iraqis to defect.

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