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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       March 20, 1996 V4, #52
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Peres Threatens Action Against Hizbullah

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel and Syria are accusing each other of creating obstacles to resumption of their peace talks -- suspended in the midst of the recent series of attacks in Israel by the militant Palestinian group Hamas, which has offices in Damascus.

Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres says Israel wants to see some action by Syria to end its role as what he called on Monday "a center for terror." Peres says the United States conveyed that message to Syria, asking for specific action, including, at the very least, a condemnation of the recent bombings and an expression of condolences to the families of the victims.

Asked about the future of the Israel-Syria negotiations, Peres said he is waiting for the Syrian response. But Tuesday, Syria called the Israeli demand a "retreat" in the peace process. The official Syrian news agency quotes the Syrian vice-president as saying the demand indicates Israel is not serious about making peace, and accusing Israel of trying to use the bombings as an excuse to suspend the negotiations. In addition, the official newspaper Al-Baath says Syria will not accept any Israeli demands under pressure.

Indeed, an end to Syrian support for violent Palestinian groups, such as Hamas, has been a goal Israel wanted to achieve through the negotiations. Now, it seems Israel has made at least some movement toward that goal a condition for resuming the talks.

Senior Israeli and Syrian officials had been meeting at a secluded location near Washington. But the talks appeared to remain stalled over several key issues, including terrorism, but also the timing and extent of an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and the definition of future peaceful Israel-Syrian relations.

Israeli officials have also called on Syria to rein-in the Lebanese terrorist group Hizbullah. Israel and its militia allies in southern Lebanon fight Hizbullah almost daily in the zone Israel occupies, and the group sometimes shoots rockets into northern Israel. In recent weeks, there has been an increase in Hizbullah attacks, and in the past few days there have been reports of an Israeli troop buildup in the area, and of Israeli aircraft flying mock combat missions.

Analysts believe Israel could be building up for a major offensive against Hizbullah, if Syria does not take action, or for the deportation to Lebanon of some Palestinian militants as was done in spite of an international outcry of protest in 1992.

During a visit to an Israeli air force base in the north on Tuesday, Peres said Hizbullah will be made to pay for its recent attacks. But he indicated any retaliation might not come immediately because it is expected and many of the Hizbullah forces have fled.

Peres also confirmed the government is checking the legal aspects of a possible deportation. Still, the analysts also note Israel could simply be demonstrating what it is capable of doing in southern Lebanon, without necessarily launching any operation or making any deportations.

Either way, the Israel-Syria talks remain stalled, the Israel-Lebanon border is more tense than usual, and Israel's effort to cripple the militant Palestinian groups continues, with all three linked in the complex web of issues which make up the now troubled Middle East peace process.

Soroka Hospital Tries Brain Surgery Without Opening Skull

Brain operations without opening the skull have lately been performed at the Soroka Hospital in Beersheva in southern Israel. The system is new and used in a few hospitals around the world. It was developed in Switzerland by a surgeon from Israel.

The surgery is carried out by ear-nose-and-throat specialists and entry is effected through the nose. In most cases, the operation is to remove malignant growths at the base of the skull, or to relive effects of traffic accidents, and the operations have largely succeeded. Post-operative hospitalization has been reduced to 12 days.

Fruit Essences to Treat AIDS Patients

A fruit essence called "Minovir" has been produced by Professor David Lavi and his son Dr. Gad Lavi, scientists and micro-biologists of the Weizmann Institute of Scientific Research. It contains active agents for use against the AIDS and hepatitis viruses. It may also be used for cancer patients. Twenty AIDS patients in Germany have already been treated with this essence and there has been an improvement in their conditions.

The prescription has not yet been registered in Israel, but has been approved by the U.S. and European food authorities. The German Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl has thanked the inventors and suggested Israeli-German cooperation in medical fields of herbal cures.

Israeli Instrument Removes Skin Markings:

The I.S.C. Company in Tirat Hacarmel, near Haifa, has developed an instrument to remove skin discolorations including birthmarks, and tattoos. It is called Photo-Dram and works on electro-optical principles. It can work in conjunction with another instrument developed by the company for the removal of varicose veins in the legs.

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