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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       April 29, 1996 V4, #77
All the News the Big Guys Missed

U.S. Will Supply Satellite Pictures to Israel:

Pollard Remains in Jail Because of That

By David Gollust (VOA-Pentagon)

Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Defense Secretary William Perry announced a joint program to help Israel defend against missile attacks. Among other things, Israel will be getting more information from US spy satellites on potential missile threats.

The agreement provides for stepped-up cooperation in missile defense -- including more US support for Israel's "Arrow" missile interceptor program and joint work on a US designed laser weapon called "Nautilus," that could allow Israel to shoot down Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon.

US scientists have already conducted two successful tests of the high-energy laser device against Katyushas captured by Israeli forces. A US team will go to Israel within a week to establish the joint program on Nautilus -- with the goal of having a prototype laser ready for testing at the end of next year.

Perry said the United States also intends to provide Israel, for the first time, with virtually instantaneous information from its spy satellites on missile launches that might threaten the Jewish state. At a news conference with Peres, the Defense Secretary said this would expand on a program begun when Israel came under Scud missile attack from Iraq during the Gulf war:

"That worked very well during the time of Desert Storm. What we are planning to put together here is a way of making that information available in a systematic and a timely basis. And so warning will be given in a matter of seconds to any ballistic missile launch that would in any way would threaten Israel."

Peres came here little more than a day after concluding the agreement mediated by Secretary of State Warren Christopher to end fighting along Israel's northern border between Israel and the Hizbullah terrorists.

Peres said the people of Lebanon have Hizbullah, and not Israel, to blame for the destruction caused by the more than two weeks of artillery and rocket exchanges. He also said the truce has a "fair chance" of holding because of the commitments of both Lebanon and Syria to keep the peace in southern Lebanon:

"The Lebanese government has expressed a clear will to bring an end to those attacks because finally, the real victims are the Lebanese. The Hizbullah launches the Katyushas. But the Lebanese people are losing their normal life. It is not our interest at all. And then also because for the first time, the Syrians joined in the understanding that Secretary Christopher has introduced. May I say one word about the Syrians in that case, it is extremely difficult to reach with them an agreement. But one may say that once they reach an agreement, they usually respect it."


Peres said Israel is receiving almost daily warnings of renewed suicide bombings by Islamic militants in the wake of the Lebanon fighting. But he said his government is now in a much better position to deal with the problem because of, among other things, a stronger commitment by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza to preempt such attacks and the initiatives from last month's anti-terrorism summit in Egypt.

Will it be Israel/Turkey vs Syria/Greece?

By Phil Kurata (VOA-Washington)

A new development in Middle Eastern diplomacy is the growing alliance between Israel and Turkey. Both countries face terrorist threats and common enemies.

The Israeli/Turkish connection was first highlighted in March when Turkey's President Suleiman Demirel made a state visit to Israel. It was the first state visit by a leader of Muslim Turkey to the Zionist state. In a speech to the Israeli parliament, Demirel said Israel and Turkey need to stand together and fight terrorism.

During his four days in Israel, the Turkish president met with aerospace executives for discussions about Turkey's $600-million contract with Israel to modernize 54 Turkish fighter planes. He said Turkey is looking to expand its military cooperation with Israel. Turkey currently allows Israeli warplanes to train in its airspace and Israeli warships to dock at its ports.

The military link between Turkey and Israel has provoked expressions of alarm from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Egypt and the Arab League. They say the new connection threatens regional stability.

President Assad has sought to counter the Ankara/Jerusalem alliance by approaching Greece, Turkey's longtime foe. The Syrian leader has talked of helping Greece in the event of any conflict with Turkey.

But in addition to military and intelligence cooperation with Israel, Turkey has a potent weapon to deter Syrian and Iraqi adventurism. By means of a series of dams called the Greater Anatolia Project, Turkey controls the flow of water into Syria and Iraq.


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