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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       June 13, 1996 V4, #105
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Arafat to Cooperate in Attacks on Jews

Ha'aretz newspaper reports that Hamas and Arafat's Fatah wing have reached an agreement to cooperate in attacks against "settlers" if and when the new government resumes building in Judea and Samaria.

U.S. Says Russia limits Jewish Agency

By Sid Balman Jr. (UPI-Washington)

Russia has restricted the activities of a Jewish organization that has helped 630,000 Jews migrate to Israel from the former Soviet Union since 1989, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Although Moscow has not actually closed any offices of the Jewish Agency, it is citing licensing and registration requirements as justification for preventing the well-known group from carrying out certain "cultural activities," they said.

"The problem is some of the activities of the Jewish Agency in Russia are being restricted," State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said. "We are very concerned about it."

The United States is convinced that neither Russian President Boris Yeltsin, the reform-minded leader the Clinton administration is supporting in elections later this week, nor his senior advisers ordered the change in policy toward the Jewish Agency. Burns said it was most likely a product of low-level bureaucrats.

Burns and other U.S. officials dismiss any suggestion that Yeltsin backed the restrictions as a way to win support among Russians who may be leaning toward voting for Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov or right-wing candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky, both of whom have displayed a tendency toward anti-Semitic views.

Congress Questions Fate of Peace Process

By Paula Wolfson (VOA-Congress)

When Benjamin Netanyahu makes his first visit to Washington as Israel's prime minister, chances are he will visit Capitol Hill. During a meeting of the House International Relations Committee, members of the Congress made clear they have many questions about the fate of the Mideast peace process after the Israeli elections. The mood in the committee hearing room could be summed up in one word: frustration.

Over and over again, lawmakers asked Assistant Secretary of State Robert Pelletreau about the impact the election of a Likud government in Israel will have on the search for peace.

Pelletreau was diplomatic. He avoided shouting matches with the committee. And he skirted their questions in a polite way. His answer was always the same -- we have to wait and see what the new leaders of Israel decide to do.

"The new Israeli government has not yet developed its policies. What you have out there are some campaign statements. But the new Israeli government is in the process of negotiating -- a process of give-and-take between those parties that eventually are going to be represented in the government. And when that policy is formulated and we have a chance to consult on it, we will."

The Assistant Secretary of State acknowledged that, at the moment, there is more questioning than optimism in the Arab world. He said the Clinton administration is trying to persuade Arab leaders to also adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

"We have been urging Arab leaders not to close any doors at this point -- not to prejudge what the policies of the new government will be and I think that is the overall attitude and the approach they are taking."

Clinton Meets King Hussein

By Paula Wolfson (VOA-Congress)

President Clinton meets today with Jordan's King Hussein. It is their first face-to-face discussion since the dramatic election victory of Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu. The session is likely to focus on the fate of the Middle East peace process.

King Hussein's visit to Washington comes at a delicate moment in the peace discussions. There are concerns in the Arab world that the Israeli election might mean a setback for the peace process. But at least in public, the king of Jordan is optimistic about the future.

As he sat down for talks Wednesday with congressional leaders, King Hussein sounded positive when a reporter asked him to rate the prospects for peace. "I don't think they have deteriorated at all. I believe that the peace process is irreversible."

Commander Wants Freedom for IDF

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel's military commander for the north, including the zone it occupies in southern Lebanon, has called for more freedom for his forces to attack Hizbullah terrorists, who have increased their operations in the zone in recent weeks.

Maj. Gen. Amiram Levine says his forces are restrained by government policy in what they can do to fight Hizbullah, and he told Israeli newspapers he needs to be allowed to do more.

He told the newspaper Ha'aretz "The more they let me do, the better." He said Israeli army units will have to pursue Hizbullah forces beyond the occupied zone, and if they flee into villages there could be civilian casualties. He told the Jerusalem Post Israel must act to stop Hizbullah, even if that means using more force.


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