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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Aug. 22, 1995, V3, #153
All the News the Big Guys Missed

For subscriptions or back issues, please contact POL management


Economics Research Associates has been awarded a tender to plan an entertainment park, under the auspices of the Tourism Ministry and Israel Lands Authority based on Bible stories and Jewish History. The tender includes conducting a feasibility study, planning an overall program for the park. ERA, which has conducted studies for Disney World and Universal Studios among others, was established by the Walt Disney Corporation.

Five Dead in Jerusalem Bus Suicide Attack

By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem), Deborah Tate (Wyoming)

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has suspended peace talks with the PLO after a bus blast Monday in Jerusalem killed five people and wounded more than 100. The explosion was apparently caused by a suicide bomber. Reports say the militant Islamic group Hamas claims responsibility for the attack.

The explosion on the double-length bus occurred in the middle class Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Eshkol as the bus was passing a high school during rush hour. The casualties would have been higher had this not been school vacation. The bus was ripped apart, as was a bus following it, scattering bodies around the site.

Within half an hour, a fleet of ambulances was taking the wounded away to city hospitals. The authorities organized quickly to cordon off the area, evacuate the wounded, and hold back the crowds. As usual in such bombings, members of Israel's Jewish Burial Society collected body parts for burial according to Orthodox tradition.

Police believe the blast was caused by a suicide bomber, possibly a woman. If true, the use of a woman for such a mission is a new development, something that was condemned in the past when it happened in Lebanon.

Israel Radio reported a man claiming to represent Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, said the group had prepared for a war because Rabin had declared a war on Hamas. The authenticity of the call has not been verified.

Police released the names of two of the five killed in the explosion: Noam Eizenman, a 35-year old police officer, and Rivka Cohen, a 26-year old student volunteer at Hadassah Hospital.

One of the bodies was identified as a female American tourist. The police believe the sixth body found in the wreckage to be that of the suicide bomber.

The bombing is the latest in a series of attacks aimed at undermining the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. Islamic militants, who have claimed responsibility for previous bombings, believe the Israel/PLO peace agreement signed in September 1993 is a sell-out.

When Police Minister Moshe Shahal came to the bomb scene, hundreds of demonstrators jeered and threw stones. Demonstrators also mobbed President Ezer Weizman when he arrived to calm the crowds. In the past, Weizman has called for the peace talks to be suspended.

Rabin has temporarily halted negotiations for the final version of the self-rule agreement with the Palestinians which is to extend autonomy to the West Bank. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were about to resume their talks when the bus bomb exploded.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres says the talks have been suspended to allow funerals for the victims, but the process will continue. "I know it is very difficult. I know there are people and organizations that are trying to stop and kill it. We shall not submit to them either, we shall not submit to the terror that kills, or to the terror that is trying to finish or to stop the peace process. We shall continue."

In response to the attack, the Israeli army has closed access to the West Bank and Gaza. The blast comes a day after Israel lifted a 10-day closure on the Gaza Strip. The Israelis had been tipped some sort of attack was being planned by Islamic militants.

This latest attack has touched off another round of questioning the peace process in israel. Even Israelis who support the peace process have grave concerns about their personal security. Israeli hardliners who are opposed to the deal with the Palestinians say this latest bombing is more evidence concessions will put Israeli lives in danger.

President Clinton condemned Monday's suicide bombing, but administration officials say the incident will not derail the Middle East peace process. White house Press Secretary Mike McCurry says Clinton expresses his deep sadness at the loss of life and sends his heartfelt condolences to families of the victims of the bombing.

In a written statement released in the Rocky Mountain resort of Jackson Hole, Wy. Where the president is vacationing, McCurry says "these enemies of peace will not succeed." This statement says the president, speaking in the name of the American people, joined with the people of Israel in renewing the determination to work together in the cause of peace.

The intention of the terrorists is to murder innocent civilians just because they are Israelis, said Rabin. "We are facing a difficult war against terrorists forces. This is a war against the enemies of Israel and the enemies of peace. The time has arrived to distinguish between the murderers and those who support a political solution."


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