Newsletter : 5fax1114.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Nov. 13, 1995, V3, #207
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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New Israeli Population Figures
Israel's population is nearing 6 million, with figures for this
year estimated at 5.75 million. More than 1.6 million of the
population is younger than 14 years old, and more than 500,000 are
IDF Withdraws from Jenin
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jenin)
Israeli troops withdrew Monday from the West Bank town of Jenin,
and Palestinian police took over. It was the first major
step in implementing the latest Israeli/Palestinian peace accord.
The first job Palestinian police had in Jenin before dawn Monday
was clearing several-hundred young men off a road so the last of
the Israeli troops could leave. It was about five o'clock in the
morning when the Israelis finally left in about 15 jeeps and
trucks, escorted by Palestinian police.
As more bus-loads of Palestinian police arrived, some of them
tried out their English, shouting at reporters through an open
window. "We are very, very happy. Very, very happy. We are very
happy. Very, very happy."
The Palestinian police commander, Gen. Nasser Youssef, toured the
city's military headquarters shortly after the Israelis had left.
Youssef said there could be no greater happiness than to see the
beginning of the expansion of Palestinian self rule. He also gave
credit to the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who
negotiated the autonomy deal and was assassinated 10 days ago by an
Israeli who opposes it. The general said he is confident acting
Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres will continue to implement the
A senior Israeli officer now operating from the outskirts of Jenin,
Col. Moshe El'Ad, says after 28-years of being in charge and being
hated, the emphasis now is on cooperation. "It is not so easy to
coordinate in a very complicated situation. Me and my colleagues
from the Palestinian side, we are in the heart of this problem.
So, we are aware that we have to succeed and keep on with our aim."
Jenin is the first West Bank town to gain autonomy under the latest
Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Four others are to follow, plus
part of the city of Hebron. Some 450 villages are to gain partial
autonomy, under a complex scheme of joint Israeli and Palestinian
responsibility. The process is to be completed by the end of the
year, and Palestinian elections are scheduled for January.
250,000 Attend Memorial Rally for Yitzhak Rabin
Approximately a quarter of a million people gathered outside of Tel
Aviv's City Hall in a memorial rally Sunday night for the late
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin marking the end of shiva, the
week-long period of mourning.
During the rally, Tel Aviv Mayor Roni Milo announced that the plaza
had been renamed Yitzhak Rabin Square from Kings of Israel Square.
Security at the event was high, with 2,000 security personnel on
hand from the police, border police, civil guard, and the General
Security Service's division for the protection of dignitaries.
Serving as the keynote speaker during the rally, Leah Rabin
addressed her departed husband. "Yitzhak, you know that I always
have looked at the glass half full. So today I want to believe
that the terrible tragedy which has befallen us is not in vain.
"Now our wonderful youth and the entire country knows that it
is forbidden to remain silent. Now the silent majority will be
transformed into a majority that is no longer silent and will
reinforce your path toward peace," she said.
High Court Removes Barrier for Reform Jewish Converts
The High Court of Justice handed down a decision Sunday that
persons need not obtain the approval of the Chief Rabbinate of
Israel when requesting the Interior Ministry to register them as
The decision -- which was made by a seven-justice panel -- removes
the only legal basis on which the Interior Ministry may refuse to
recognize conversions performed by Reform rabbis.
However, the High Court of Justice refrained from explicitly
instructing the Interior Ministry to recognize Reform conversions
for recording purposes, explaining that the Knesset should propose
legislation concerning this issue.
The Reform Movement in Israel called the decision "a historic
breakthrough on the path toward full recognition of Reform
conversions performed in Israel."
"Gulf War Disease Syndrome" Deciphered in Israel
Israeli researchers think they have the explanation for the
mysterious Gulf War Disease Syndrome which affected thousands of
soldiers in the Allied coalition armies during the Gulf War less
than five years ago.
They complained of sleeplessness and loss of concentration, loss of
weight and depression. The US Army approached Professor Hermona
Shorak, head of the Life Sciences Faculty, at the Hebrew University
of Jerusalem, and Professor Haim Zechut, of the Faculty of Medicine
at Tel Aviv University, to carry out special research to discover
the cause of the disease.
The professors have published a report in the scientific
publication "Nature Medicine" indicating that some of the symptoms
of the soldiers could have been caused by the medication
Pyridostigmine. It is a drug against chemical weapons given to the
US troops in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
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