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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       May 13, 1996 V4, #87
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Peres Doesn't Rule Out Arab Minister

Prime Minister Peres met with Israeli Arab and Druze leaders to win their backing in the upcoming elections. Peres stressed that he doesn't rule out the appointment of an Arab minister if he wins the election. The Arab leaders are still withholding a public declaration of support.

Palestinians Prepare for Jerusalem Intifada

Security sources have confirmed that the Palestinian Authority is behind the campaign calling for a renewed intifada in Jerusalem. In the last several days, the eastern section of Jerusalem has been saturated with posters encouraging a popular uprising of Jerusalem Arabs following the elections, in order to put pressure on Israel to quickly conclude the final-status negotiations concerning the city.

Ads to this effect have also appeared in the daily newspaper Al-Kuds. Israeli security sources have said that Feisal Husseini and Ziad abu Ziad, officials of the PLO stationed in Orient House, and Hanan Ashrawi are responsible for the campaign. The Egyptian weekly Ruz al-Yusuf has reported that the Palestinian Authority and the anti-Oslo organizations have established a joint committee to coordinate policies and actions in case Israel "attempts to delay the final-status negotiations."

Hamas Activist Group Uncovered in East Jerusalem

The General Security Service and the Jerusalem Police arrested 11 Israeli Arabs last Friday, five of whom provided suicide bombers with explosives and transported terrorists to the site of three bus attacks in Jerusalem and Ashkelon.

The remaining individuals are connected to Hamas' military wing in east Jerusalem and were involved in activities such as road blocks, rock throwing and slogan writing. Indictments were recently issued, and their trial will begin soon in a Lod military court. The investigation of the activists under arrest has uncovered new information regarding Hamas' compartmentalized operational structure.

During questioning, the 11 said they had been recruited to Hamas' military wing approximately one year ago in the Gaza Strip. They were told their training was intended to transform them into a military unit that would operate in east Jerusalem to aid attacks against targets in Israel.
Shortly before the three suicide bombings, five members of the cell brought explosives to Jerusalem that were supplied by their operators in Gaza. Soon after, the Hamas activists drove suicide bombers from a refugee camp south of Hebron into east Jerusalem. Both the explosives and the suicide bombers were transported in the cars of the activists, which bore Israeli license plates and passed IDF checkpoints without difficulty.

Arab leaders hold Cairo Summit

By Peyman Pejman (VOA-Cairo)

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, King Hussein of Jordan and Palestinian President Yasir Arafat met Sunday in Cairo to coordinate a unified strategy in future negotiations with Israel. The summit was called by Mubarak, who for several months has urged a common Arab stand in the crucial final phase of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

The three leaders told reporters after the talks they would resume their meeting in Jordan the first week in June, after the May 29 general election in Israel. The election could install a right wing government observers say would make the final stage of peace negotiations more difficult.

The most serious aspects of the peace settlement -- the future status of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees and Jewish settlers in the West Bank -- must be resolved in the final negotiations, due to be concluded in three years.

Following the Cairo summit, Arafat said he still hopes Jerusalem would eventually form the capital of an independent Palestinian state. King Hussein, who ruled Arab east Jerusalem before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, wants the holy shrines of the city to be shared by Muslims, Jews and Christians.

Terrorists Attack Israelis in Southern Lebanon

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli forces and the Lebanese Hizbullah terrorists clashed Sunday for the first time since a partial ceasefire ended fighting last month. Five Israeli soldiers were reported wounded Sunday, but there was no immediate word on Lebanese casualties.

Reports from southern Lebanon indicate the terrorists set off a roadside bomb inside the zone Israel occupies, injuring the soldiers and setting off an exchange of mortar and artillery fire. In addition, Israeli jets bombed suspected terrorist bases in a hilly area north of the occupied zone.

Hizbullah fighters often infiltrate the zone, set bombs or Katyusha launchers with timers or trip wires, and flee long before the explosions.

Israel carried out a two-and-one-half week campaign of heavy bombing and artillery strikes last month designed to cripple Hizbullah operations and to convince the terrorists to stop launching Katyusha rockets at Israeli civilians.

Under a US mediated agreement both sides agreed not to fire from or target civilian areas, or to use them as bases. But Hizbullah says it retains the right, under international law, to fight the Israeli occupation.

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