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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       June 6, 1996 V4, #103
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Yigal Amir Trial Resumes

The Tel Aviv District Court has rejected the claims of Haggai Amir, brother of Yitzhak Rabin's assassin, that police investigators used psychological pressure to coerce a confession out of him. The Amir brothers have been accused of conspiring to kill Rabin and to attack Arabs living in Judea and
Samaria. The three have pleaded innocent to the charges.

Arafat to Declare Palestinian State with Jerusalem as Capital

By Al Pessin (VOA-Aqaba, Jordan)

Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat says he is prepared to declare the existence of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, depending on how negotiations go with the new Israeli government.

Arafat spoke after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Hussein at the king's seaside palace in the south Jordanian town of Aqaba.

Arafat made his announcement at a summit billed as a strategy session, and at a news conference dominated by talk of commitment to the peace process and expressions of hope that the new Israeli government will not be as hard-line as its campaign rhetoric was.

He and the other leaders were asked how serious a problem it is for them that Israel's Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu is opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state. Arafat said he believes Israel will accept the idea "sooner or later," but he said he might declare its existence, with Jerusalem as its capital, even if the new Israeli government does not agree.

"We are approaching to declare very soon our independent Palestinian state and it's capital, Il-Quds Ish-Sharif (Holy Jerusalem). I mean it, I mean it, Il-Quds Ish-Sharif. This is the desire of the Palestinian people, and nobody can stop it."

A unilateral declaration of statehood has long been a Palestinian option, and indeed it has already been done to some extent. But Arafat has resisted pressing the point in negotiations with Israel in recent years in the hope statehood would come at the end of the peace process.

Now that Netanyahu is about to take office with a very different view of that process, Arafat appeared to be signaling both Israelis and Palestinians that he has other options. Mubarak stopped short of endorsing Arafat's plan. But he said he believes the new Israeli prime minister will have to agree to a Palestinian state eventually. "The history will prove that the Palestinians are going to establish a state, now or then. I cannot foretell now what Mr. Netanyahu means about that, but I think whenever he takes power and takes the responsibility and starts negotiating with the Palestinians, he will take his decision, the decision which will satisfy the needs of both sides to establish peace in this part of the world."

The summit host, King Hussein, also gave Arafat a boost, declaring one option favored by some Israelis is not possible -- some type of joint Jordanian-Palestinian sovereignty in parts of the West Bank vacated by Israel.

"If it is impossible to see a Palestinian state come to exist, it is even more impossible to see Jordan involved in this particular issue. The question is the right of the Palestinians on their soil and we are for whatever they decide on, and we are fully supportive of them. We will never, under any condition, be a substitute for them."

French Discipline Physics Teacher

By Julian Nundy (VOA-Paris)

France's Education Minister has ordered disciplinary proceedings against a secondary school teacher who used Nazi gas chambers in a theoretical problem for students.

A French physics teacher asked students how much of the gas used to exterminate Jews during World War 2 would have been produced by a truck motor in one hour. The teacher explained the Nazis sometimes used the exhaust gases of trucks to kill their victims.

The teacher, according to colleagues at the school near Paris, said she was only trying to make children aware of the realities of the Holocaust.

A French Education Ministry memorandum instructs teachers to ensure that children are told about the Holocaust and French collaboration under Nazi occupation. Previously, this memorandum was thought to apply mainly to history teachers.

The sports daily L'Equipe reports that France's synchronized swimming team plans to goose-step like Nazi storm-troopers into the swimming baths at the start of competition at the Atlanta Olympic games.

The newspaper said the swimmers will enter the baths to the strains of Nazi music. A spokesman for one French Jewish organization said the plan showed what he called a lack of sensitivity and knowledge.

But the French swimming federation said the swimmers' march was in fact planned as a protest against intolerance and was not intended to make light of Nazi war crimes. The daily Le Monde reported meanwhile the federation is planning some changes in its choreography and in its choice of music.

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