Newsletter : 6fax0312.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
March 12, 1996 V4, #46
All the News the Big Guys Missed
'Summit of the Peacemakers' Wednesday
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
Nearly 30 countries have confirmed their participation in the
"Summit of the Peacemakers," which takes place tomorrow in a
Egyptian (formerly Israeli) Red Sea resort at Sharm el Sheik. The
leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Britain will attend, as
well as top officials from the Middle East. The hastily arranged
summit will be co-chaired by President Clinton and Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak and will discuss the Middle East peace
process, security and how to deal with terrorism.
The brief meeting may not even produce a definitive final
declaration. But officials say the very presence of so many
leaders will shore up support for Israel and the Palestinian
Authority after the wave of terrorist attacks aimed at sabotaging
the peace process.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states are sending foreign ministers
to the summit. Even though they have no diplomatic ties with
israel, they have backed the peace process.
Syria and Lebanon were invited but are not expected to attend.
It comes as no surprise since they have always refused to join
meetings where Israel is also present. Iran, Iraq and Libya were
not invited. They are accused of sponsoring terrorism in the
Clinton is likely to use the summit to again urge the isolation of
Iran, which he accuses of supporting terrorists trying to derail
the peace process. In Tehran, President Ali Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani says the summit is a propaganda tool of the US and
Rafsanjani says he is not optimistic about the results of the
summit, which he says was organized by President Clinton for his
own political purposes.
Rafsanjani also denied charges Iran supports Palestinians fighting
against Israeli occupation, especially Hamas. He says Hamas has
not asked for Iran's support. Rafsanjani says Iran's support is
moral, not financial or military. If you say we support
violence, he told a news conference in Tehran, that is not true.
The United States and Israeli governments disagree. The United
States has called on its allies to isolate Iran, which it accuses
of providing financial and tactical support to terrorists in the
The Iranian leader says he is not sending any message to the
summit leaders. But he said he does agree with a proposal by
Russian president Boris Yeltsin to hold an international conference
on terrorism, preferably under the auspices of the United Nations.
Clinton Consoles Parents of Dead Teens
By Deborah Tate (VOA-Hackensack, N.J.)
President Clinton, on a campaign-style stop in New Jersey, took a
moment to console the families of two Americans who lost their
lives in bombings in Israel and the formerly occupied Gaza Strip
over the past year.
Alisa Flatow died in an attack in Gaza last April 9, and Sara Duker
lost her life in a bombing in Jerusalem Feb. 25. In a speech in
Hackensack, Clinton recalled their lives, and the life of the late
Israeli leader who was assassinated last November.
"Yitzhak Rabin was a good friend of mine. He always took issue
with those who characterized the creation of Israel and its
continuousness as some sort of miracle. He did not think there was
anything miraculous about it. He thought it was a direct result of
thousands and thousands of people being able to devote a lifetime
of hard work and effort and courage, and ultimate sacrifice to a
common cause. Tomorrow I will go to Egypt to try to advance that
cause, and beat back the terrorism that threatens it today."
Closure is Temporarily Lifted
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel eased its village-by-village closure of the West Bank for 12
hours Monday to enable Palestinians to stock up on food and receive
Israel removed some of its checkpoints and opened others on the
West Bank, allowing relatively free movement between towns and
cities for only the second time since the unprecedented crackdown
began eight days ago.
Israel has been confining Palestinians to their hometowns and
villages as part of an extensive security sweep in the wake of
the four suicide bombings during a nine-day period, ending a week
Food shortages are reported, particularly in Gaza, and on the West
Bank a baby boy died after his ambulance was delayed at an Israeli
checkpoint. The Palestinian police have also been conducting a
crackdown, but Palestinian leaders warn the Israeli blockade is
creating anger which could result in more violence.
Meanwhile, a communique issued over the weekend by Hamas threatened
more bombings, and a report in "Time" says as many as five suicide
bombers are armed and ready to strike. The report heightened the
already high level of concern among Israelis, even as 31 world
leaders are preparing to meet in Egypt for a peace and
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