Newsletter : 6fax0419.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
April 19, 1996 V4, #71
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Civilians Killed Accidentally at UN Base
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem) & Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres has expressed regret for the
Israeli artillery shells which hit refugees at a United Nations
post in southern Lebanon Thursday, killing more than 94 civilians
and injuring more than 100 people, including some UN soldiers. But
Peres also blamed the Hizbullah fighters for the tragedy.
Peres, who is also defense minister, told a news conference at the
Defense Ministry he is sorry that the civilians were killed and
that such deaths are not Israel's intention. But he accused
Hizbullah of launching rockets on Israel from locations near the
refugees, putting them in danger. And he noted that a UN
spokeswoman agreed with the Israeli view.
"Actually, the spokeswoman for the United Nations summarized the
situation in a very brief way. She said what we did, what our
forces did was a reply to the source of fire. Also, she added,
that the Hizbullah is traditionally trying to look for a shelter
behind the life of the civilian people."
UN peacekeeping officers on the scene in southern Lebanon have
confirmed Israeli charges that Hizbullah launched Katyusha rockets
on northern Israel from a spot just a few hundred meters from the
UN post, a few minutes before the Israeli artillery struck.
Peres also said Israel will continue to defend itself against
the Katyusha attacks. France and the United States are trying to
broker a cease-fire, which would depend in part on a return to the
1993 understanding that bans attacks on civilians on either side of
the border. French Foreign Minister Herve de Charette has been
shuttling among Mideast capitals. US peace envoy Dennis Ross is on
his way to the region. US Secretary of State Warren Christopher is
expected to follow soon.
The week-old offensive has provoked outrage in the region. The
Arab media runs scathing editorials blaming Israel for the death
and destruction in Lebanon. The Arab League issued a strong
statement Wednesday condemning the action and calling on the
United Nations to rein in Israel. And it renewed support for
Lebanon's right to resist Israeli occupation of its southern border
Israel Bombs Beirut Apartment House
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Reports from Lebanon say an attack by Israeli warplanes Thursday
morning hit an apartment building in southern Lebanon and killed at
least six people. The air strike came as the flare-up of fighting
in the area entered its second week.
Israel has warned southern Lebanon villagers to move to the north
and has said it will consider anyone remaining in the region a
guerrilla, and therefore a legitimate target. Israeli war planes
made good on that threat Thursday morning, hitting an apartment
building believed to be a guerrilla operations center. The
identities of the people killed were not immediately known. Israel
says the guerrillas of the Hizbullah movement use the civilians as
Trial of Amir Brothers and Dror Adani Opens
The trial of Yigal and Haggai Amir, and Dror Adani opened Thursday
in the Tel Aviv District Court before a panel of justices headed by
The defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit murder,
conspiracy to commit criminal acts and illegal production of and
possession of weapons. The indictment charges that the three began
collaborating 18 months ago to attack Arabs and officials of the
Yigal Amir was sentenced to life in prison last month for the
murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the wounding of a
18 Greek Tourists Murdered in Cairo
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
The Egyptian Interior Ministry says 18 Greek tourists, 14 women
and four men, were killed when four unidentified gunmen opened fire
on their tour group as it was about to board a bus at their hotel.
Thirteen others were injured in the attack, and three are listed in
critical condition. No group has claimed responsibility.
The Interior Ministry confirms that four gunmen driving a white van
sprayed the hotel entrance with machinegun fire. Witnesses say one
of the gunmen also ran into the building shooting toward the
ground-floor dining room.
The tour group had arrived on the last leg of a Holy Land tour
that took them to religious sites in Israel and Egypt. Other tour
groups at the same hotel, still shocked and frightened by the
incident, said they were packing to leave.
It was the first major terrorist attack in Cairo since December
1993. Israeli tourists often stay at the Cairo hotel that was
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