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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Dec. 6, 1995, V3, #221
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Japanese will Send Troops to the Golan

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Reports from Tokyo say Japan is preparing to send a unit of peacekeeping troops to the Golan Heights, to join the UN force which has been monitoring the Israel-Syria cease-fire for more than 20 years. The plan has created much controversy in Japan. But in Israel, it is a matter of routine.

The Japanese troops are expected on the Golan in February, to take up logistical duties being done by a departing Canadian unit. The UN force on the Golan monitors the Israel-Syria cease-fire, which has never been violated since the current line was established after the 1973 war.

The plan to send Japanese troops abroad created much controversy in Japan, which has never done so since World War 2. But the Japanese government wanted to find a way to play a larger role in UN activities, and decided to use this non-combat unit to take the first step.

Here in Israel, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor says the Japanese soldiers are welcome. But he says while their arrival will be noteworthy, it will also be in a way routine, because there have been many changes over the years in which countries have done which jobs in the UN Golan Heights force.

Formal Charges Filed Against Assassin

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli prosecutors have submitted formal charges against the confessed assassin of Yitzhak Rabin, his brother, and another alleged conspirator. The charge sheet was presented to a Tel Aviv court as Israel was marking the end of the official 30-day period of mourning for Rabin.

In documents submitted to the court, prosecutors charge the confessed assassin, Yigal Amir, with premeditated murder. His brother, Hagai, and their friend, Dror Adani, are charged with conspiracy to murder. There are also related charges of weapons possession, and separate charges of conspiring to attack Palestinians in the West Bank. The men are to be brought into court today to hear the charges read, and may enter pleas.

The charge sheet details a more than year-long effort by the Amir brothers and Adani. It says Yigal Amir decided to kill Rabin sometime after he signed the first agreement with the Palestinians two years ago, and he then enlisted the help of the other two men in planning and carrying out the murder.

The indictment says Yigal Amir first tried to kill Rabin on Jan. 22 of this year, but his appearance at an event was canceled. It alleges the assassin tried again in April and September, but could not get close enough to Rabin. On the day of the killing, Nov. 4, The charge sheet says Yigal Amir told his brother he was going out to try again and that Hagai Amir tried to talk him out of it for logistical reasons.

But the indictment says he went ahead anyway -- loading his nine mm handgun with six regular bullets and six specially modified hollow-point bullets, which are particularly lethal.

Yigal Amir shot Yitzhak Rabin twice as he left a peace rally in Tel Aviv that night. Rabin died minutes later. Yigal Amir was arrested at the scene.

Police initially suggested there had been a broad right-wing conspiracy by a group of religious Jews to murder Rabin. But later, investigators said the conspiracy involved only a few people.

Several others who were arrested have been released and may be charged with forming a group to attack Palestinians. One Israeli army sergeant was charged in that connection in a military court on Monday.

Tuesday's indictments came as Rabin's widow, Prime Minister Shimon Peres and other dignitaries participated in a graveside ceremony to mark the end of the 30-day mourning period. Shortly afterward, they attended a memorial concert.

Peres Leaves on Diplomatic Trip

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel's new prime minister, Shimon Peres, is embarking on a series of trips today which will take him to meetings with three Arab leaders and President Clinton in the next several days. It is Peres' first major diplomatic outing since he became prime minister a month ago after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

Peres will make day-trips to Jordan and Egypt today and tomorrow for meetings with King Hussein and President Hosni Mubarak. On Friday, he will go to the Erez crossing on the Israel-Gaza border for his first meeting as prime minister with Yasir Arafat. By next Monday, Peres will be in Washington to meet with President Clinton.

Officials say Peres wanted to make this formal round of meetings as prime minister, now that the official 30-day mourning period for Rabin has ended. There are also important issues to discuss.

With Jordan, there have been complaints in Israel that peace has been slow to take hold on a people-to-people level. Professional organizations have expelled members who have visited Israel in the year since their peace treaty was signed. King Hussein has promised to address the issue personally.

In Cairo, Peres will likely discuss similar issues of what has become known in Israel as the "cold peace" with Egypt. But perhaps more important, he is expected to consult with Mubarak about how to speed talks with Syria, and some lingering problems with the Palestinians.

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