Newsletter : 6fax0216.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Feb. 16, 1996 V4, #30
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Iran May Reach Nuclear Capability Within Eight Years
Foreign Minister Ehud Barak told members of the U.N. Security
Council that Iran will possess the ability and the knowledge to
produce nuclear weapons within eight years.
The Foreign Minister emphasized the danger that Iran poses to the
world and to the Middle East. He expressed hope that the Security
Council would move to monitor the development of non-conventional
weapons in Iran, as it has in Iraq.
The meeting was also attended by Arab and Muslim Ambassadors from
Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Qatar, Indonesia, Djibouti, Mauritania, and
the Palestinian observer.
Labor Debates New Platform
Foreign Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday he opposes any amendment
in the Labor platform regarding the establishment of a Palestinian
state, adding that he supports the party's current stance opposing
a Palestinian state.
Barak said it is preferable to establish a connection between
Jordan and a Palestinian entity and that the Labor platform should
include the following positions: a united Jerusalem under Israeli
sovereignty; the retention of the vast majority of Israeli
settlements, including those in greater Jerusalem; and maintaining
Israeli settlement as well as an IDF security presence in the
Jordan Valley north of Jericho.
An internal party debate occurred Wednesday regarding the issue of
canceling the section of the party's platform opposing a
Palestinian state. Minister without Portfolio Yossi Beilin said
Israel will not dismantle settlements that do not remain under
Israeli control under the permanent agreement.
Beilin believes that under the permanent arrangement, most of the
settlers will remain under Israeli sovereignty.
Israel, Jordan, Palestinians Sign First Regional Agreement on Water
Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority in Oslo signed the
first regional agreement on water, with Norway and the U.S. serving
Negotiations over the accord took place over the past two years in
the framework of the multilateral talks on water. The negotiations
were led by Avraham Katz-Oz and Ram Aviram of the Foreign Ministry.
The agreement constitutes a joint declaration on regional
cooperation in developing new water sources and coordinating water
infrastructure in the Middle East. The accord does not deal with
water rights or division of water resources. At the signing of the
agreement, the sides called on Lebanon and Syria to join the
Intelligence Chief Briefs Knesset on Possible Terrorist Activity
IDF Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon said at a meeting of
the Knesset Committee for Foreign Affairs and Defense that Hamas
and the Islamic Jihad had set two dates for terrorist acts aimed at
large crowds inside Israel.
One of the dates was this past Tuesday, which marked the 40-day
anniversary of the death of Yihye Ayash, known as "The Engineer."
The second date is Feb. 19, the Islamic Id el-Fitr holiday.
Ya'alon said terror organizations had been having difficulties
recently in the execution of attacks. Ya'alon said that whenever
the Palestinian Authority knows about a planned attack, it does
everything in its power to prevent it.
Following the meeting, Barak told reporters that Iraq has not lost
its resolve to bypass international oversight on the development of
non-conventional weapons. "Iraq's dictator has not lost his vision
and hopes to rise like a Phoenix from the ashes of defeat as a
leading regional power with non-conventional ability," Barak said.
Israeli Editorial Opinion
Ma'ariv believes that Labor MK Ra'anan Cohen's bill -- which
recently passed its first Knesset reading -- will "improve the
quality of life for thousands of reservists" and rectify the
situation in which "one-third of the reserve soldiers serve almost
two-thirds of the total reserve duty, while almost half of the
reserve soldiers do not serve at all."
The editors believe that "the new law will compel the IDF to
apportion reserve duty in a more equitable manner -- or give up
thousands of days of reserve duty."
Yediot Ahronot reminds its readers that "hundreds of tons of
tomatoes -- which ripened early due to the hot weather -- were
destroyed in the Negev and the Arava" while, "at the same time,
permission was given to import hundreds of tons of tomatoes from
the territories; the IDF has also been feeding its troops with
tomatoes from the same source."
The editors fear that "this stupidity will not end with the
destruction of one harvest only," and add that "the growers who
were damaged this time, will not plant tomatoes next season, their
price will then go up, and the Finance Minister (whoever it is)
will pull out his few hairs in light of the jumping consumer price
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