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                     Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
                      Sept. 15, 1995, V3, #170
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Hebron Demonstrations Heat Up

By al Pessin (VOA-Hebron)

Israeli troops broke up a demonstration by several-hundred Palestinian students Thursday in the tense West Bank town of Hebron, leaving several people injured. The demonstration was not near the Israeli settler compounds in the city, where there was also trouble for the fifth-consecutive day.

Schoolgirls wearing green and white striped tunics and white head scarves marched past the Hebron mayor's office chanting -- Hebron is ours, Jerusalem is ours, Jihad is our way. A separate group of teenage schoolboys demonstrated nearby.

A patrol of about eight Israeli soldiers appeared on the road to the south, between the demonstrators and the downtown area where 450 Jewish settlers live. The demonstrators threw large stones and pieces of concrete at the soldiers, who rushed the crowd, lobbing stun grenades and pointing their automatic rifles at stone throwers. Many of the demonstrators fled, but others engaged in a running street battle with the soldiers until an Israeli officer arrived on the scene. The officer negotiated an end to the violence with some Hebron men who convinced the students to leave the area.

One young woman who joined the demonstration, Secretary Olia Madea, explained why she was there. "I came here because I want all the Israeli persons must be gone from Hebron, and Hebron must be a city like all Palestinian cities. Must be under a Palestinian committee and without any Israelis in it."

Earlier, Israeli settlers took action against a girls' school in the central part of the Hebron for the fifth-consecutive day. The settlers again glued the doors shut and piled garbage outside, and later went into the school to remove a Palestinian flag. The school is across the street from one of the four settler enclaves in Hebron.

Gadhafi Says Palestinians Have AIDS and Deadly Ebola Viruses

By David Gollust (VOA-Cairo)

Libya is defending its expulsion of Palestinian and other foreign workers, amid a torrent of criticism from the Arab world. Egyptian and Sudanese nationals are also being forced to leave by the Gadhafi regime. The Libyan government says some of the workers being expelled are ill with AIDS -- or the deadly Ebola virus -- while others had entered Libya to work without the proper documents.

The statement gave no details about the ailments said to be affecting workers there. But health experts say there has been no confirmed outbreak of Ebola in Libya and -- if there was one -- would prompt an international emergency.

The expulsions began after a statement early this month by Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi he would send Palestinian workers to the self-rule areas of Gaza and the West Bank.

Palestinian Signing Ceremony in DC Next Week

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Preparations are reported to be well under way for a signing ceremony in Washington next Thursday for the next agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Autonomy Authority. But there is no guarantee a document will be ready for signatures.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin confirms a newspaper report that a special air force plane is reserved for a possible flight to Washington next week. But Rabin, who is traveling in Russia, said he wants to complete the agreement before talking about a signing date. He noted many negotiating deadlines and possible signing dates have been missed during the last several months.

A senior Palestinian negotiator said Thursday the agreement on expanding autonomy could be ready by next week, but only if the difficult dispute over the future of the West Bank town of Hebron is solved. And there is no indication of that.

Negotiators have not been able to agree on how to provide security for 450 Israeli settlers in Hebron, where tension is high with the city's 120,000 Palestinian residents. Because of the lack of progress on that issue, a planned meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, was postponed from Wednesday until at least Saturday, making the idea of a signing ceremony next week sound optimistic.

Rabin Opposed to Russia Nuclear Deal with Iran

By Peter Collins (VOA-Moscow)

Russia has told Israel's Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, his country's security is not threatened by Moscow's plans to sell nuclear reactors to Iran. Rabin is stressing Israel's strong opposition to the deal during a brief visit to the Russian capital.

Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev told Rabin the reactor sale is of a peaceful nature and conforms to international standards. His remarks were echoed later by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, who said Israel's security would not be jeopardized by the reactors.

This was a polite way of saying Moscow will go ahead with the sale of three light-water reactors to an Iranian power plant.

The Interfax news agency quoted a Russian official as saying there is no proof Iran is planning to make nuclear weapons, while it is well known that Israel already has them.

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