Newsletter : 6fax0307.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
March 7, 1996 V4, #43
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Iran: Don't Blame Us for Bombing
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Tehran)
Iranian officials are rejecting US and Israeli accusations of links
to the bombings in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The Vice Minister of
Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif calls the Israeli accusations of
Iranian links to the suicide bombings absurd. He also denies
charges of Iranian financial and military support for the radical
Palestinian group and calls the US allegations irresponsible.
The US government has urged its allies to isolate Iran because
of its support for terrorist groups fighting to sabotage the
Middle East peace process.
An Iranian Foreign ministry spokesman calls the American comments
hasty and irresponsible accusations that follow every terrorist
incident in the world. He suggests Iran has become a scapegoat.
However, the official denials come a day after the official Iranian
news agency praised what it called divine punishment for the
occupiers of Palestine. It described the suicide bombers as young
heros. That commentary was the first in the Iranian media on the
attacks inside Israel. It brought swift and strong condemnation
The US and Israeli governments have long accused Iran of financial
and military support for Hamas and the pro-Iranian Hizbullah which
operates in southern Lebanon. Some diplomats and analysts in
Tehran say that charge may be slightly exaggerated now, given
Iran's poor financial situation. But they say money to support the
terrorist groups is still provided by radical factions outside
Analysts point to official Iranian political support for anti-peace
movements. They cite Vice President Hassan Habibi's visit last
week to Syria, where he met openly with leaders of Hizbullah,
Hamas, and several of the radical Palestinian groups opposed to the
Palestinian self-rule deal. Hamas also maintains an office in the
Suicide Bomber was Smuggled into Israel for $1,000
By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli security sources say the Islamic suicide bomber who killed
13 people Monday in Tel Aviv was smuggled into Israel by an
Israeli-Arab truck driver. Israeli troops and Palestinian police
are continuing their crackdown on Hamas and other militant
organizations in the wake of the recent series of deadly bombings.
According to Israel Radio, the unidentified Arab who is according
to the report, the driver dropped off the bomber in Tel Aviv's
commercial center, just before the bomb was detonated. Israeli
Arabs have protested the report as defaming their entire community.
Arabs make up 20-percent of Israel's population.
Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers and Yasir Arafat's Palestinian police
are continuing their crackdown on suspected Hamas activists. In
the West Bank city of Hebron, Israeli solders arrested dozens of
Palestinians. In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian police raided the
Islamic university, searching for weapons and questioning teachers
and students. The university is a center of radicalism in Gaza.
Israeli-American Professor says Negotiate with Hamas
By Daud Majlis (VOA-Washington)
An American expert on conflict resolution says a small splinter
group within Hamas is responsible for recent terrorist acts in
Israel and the group's purpose is push its views in the global
community as well as the Israeli government and the Palestinian
Professor Simona Sharoni, an Israeli scholar who teaches
international relations and conflict resolution at the American
University in Washington, said the world community seems not to
be listening to this small group. Instead, she said, harsher
measures are threatened and she argued that a full-scale war may
only provoke more violence.
Sharoni said once Hamas qualifies and is recognized as a legitimate
political actor by having a constituency of its own it would be
prudent to listen to its leaders.
"As difficult as it may be for me as an Israeli, Jewish feminist
that has a very different vision of what I would like to see in the
Middle East than Hamas does, I have to listen to their vision.
Because I feel that there are enough forces in the Palestinian
society that had struggled for different visions in the region."
Sharoni emphasized that cracking down on them and not recognizing
that they do have a constituency and support in even a small
section of the Palestinian society will only make them more
powerful and in a way create the situation for the next violence.
However, she cautioned that opening negotiations with the political
wing of Hamas will not immediately bring an end to violence but
she strongly felt that it would be better than an all out war.
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