Newsletter : 5fax1115.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Nov. 15, 1995, V3, #208
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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A former Nazi officer accused of a massacre in Italy during World
War 2 has lost a last-ditch attempt to block his extradition from
Argentina. Argentina's Supreme Court rejected an appeal to overturn
its ruling last week that Erich Priebke be sent to Italy for trial.
The former Nazi army captain is charged in the slaying of 335
Italians in caves near Rome in 1944. The Germans shot the victims
in reprisal for the slaying of 33 German soldiers by Italian
Peres Doesn't Mind Hamas Entering Politics
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Acting Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres visited the West Bank
Tuesday. The trip included a stop at the new joint
Israeli-Palestinian liaison office on the edge of the city of
Jenin, which gained autonomy Monday. After the tour, Peres again
committed himself to expanding Palestinian autonomy, as promised,
and on schedule.
As part of the new, tight, security regime for Israeli leaders,
reporters were barred from most of Peres' visit to the West Bank.
But officials said he flew over the Jenin area and visited the
Later, at a news conference on a hillside near an Israeli
settlement, Peres said he wanted to see how the first stage of the
new agreement was going, and he pledged to complete the
redeployment on schedule before Christmas. "It is a very delicate
issue because it is a highly sensitive mixture of political
considerations and security needs. We wanted to do it so as not
to disturb the normal life of the people in the West Bank, whether
Jewish people or Arab people, and then to remain true to the need
to guarantee security for all the inhabitants who live here, while
not missing the main purpose, which is to enable the Palestinians
to go and have free elections, democratic elections on Jan. 20."
Peres also said Israel would accept participation in those
elections by the militant group Hamas, if it ends its attacks on
Israelis. "We are going to distinguish between politics and terror.
If the Hamas will abandon terror and will go into politics, then
it's no longer our business which way they will go."
Peres also said he wants multi-level, multi-issue talks with Syria
in order to move toward a peace agreement. Earlier, in an interview
on CNN, Peres said he wants to move as quickly as possible with the
Syrians but he expressed some disappointment that Syria's president
had not sent a message of condolence on the death of Yitzhak
Still, there are reports the chief US mediator will visit the
region next week, and Peres said he saw the possibility of renewing
the stalled talks with Syria even before the Rabin assassination.
Political Process Starts Again in Israel
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
The political process has begun in Israel for forming a new
government, following the week of mourning for assassinated Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin. President Ezer Weizman spent the day
meeting with members of political parties, and will continue today. By
evening he is expected to invite Acting Prime Minister Shimon
Peres to form a new government.
Although the Labor Party coalition holds only a slim parliamentary
majority, the main opposition party has said it will not oppose
Peres' government when it is presented. The opposition leader,
Benjamin Netanyahu, says Israel's government should not be changed by
an assassin's bullet.
New Statistics Published for 1995
According to an annual statistical report published by the Central
Bureau for Statistics, Israel's population at the beginning of
November stands at 5.6 million people.
The demographic data is included in the 1995 Statistical Abstract
of Israel, which was published Monday and includes hundreds of
thousands of figures on life in Israel.
Many of the figures are clearly connected to the large wave of
immigration from the former Soviet Union, which caused a large
growth in all areas of the economy and raised the average level of
The life expectancy for Israeli men increased in the last decade
from 72.8 years to 74.7 years, and also rose from 76.2 years to
78.4 years for women.
The statistical abstract identifies the more than 500,000 Israelis
of Moroccan descent as the largest ethnicity. Approximately a
quarter of a million Israelis are of Polish, Romanian, and Iraqi
In 1994, 114,500 babies were born in Israel, a rate lower than most
of the 1980s. The average woman in Israel is expected to give
birth to 2.9 children, whereas the same figure was more than three
children during 1989-90.
In 1994, the number of Israeli residents in the territories
numbered 128,000 -- approximately 2 percent of Israel's total
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