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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       June 17, 1996 V4, #107
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Policeman Killed by Terrorists

An Israeli policeman was murdered Sunday, and his wife and daughter injured, when terrorists shot them near the Arab village of Bidia. An eyewitness said he saw them park near a toy-store and enter the store. The traffic was moving slowly. Suddenly a car with Arab license plates came speeding around and stopped next to the store. Three men carrying two Kalachnikov rifles and a pistol entered the store. People who saw what was happening fled from the site.

Netanyahu Will Present Cabinet Today

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Egypt's foreign minister has offered some conciliatory words to Israel's Prime Minister-elect, Benjamin Netanyahu, but he's also called on Netanyahu to stop using the hard-line rhetoric which characterized his election campaign. Meanwhile, Israeli voters, who narrowly elected Netanyahu last month, have indicated some flexibility on at least one key issue -- according to a public opinion poll.

In an interview with Israel's largest-circulation newspaper, Yediot Aharonot, Egyptian Foreign Minister Amre Moussa says no Arab country intends to "freeze" relations with Israel or to stop the peace process. Moussa says the Arab countries, which are holding a summit in Cairo this week, want to move the peace process forward -- a goal Netanyahu says he shares.

But the Egyptian foreign minister says in order to do that, Netanyahu will have to moderate both his rhetoric and his policies. Moussa says the Israeli prime minister-elect must stop making what he calls "negative statements" and must agree to trade territory for peace, as his predecessors have done. Netanyahu has not ruled out further Israeli withdrawals from occupied territory, but he has indicated he will move more slowly and give less than his more-liberal predecessors have.

But the same newspaper published a survey on Friday indicating Israelis are more flexible than some of Netanyahu's campaign rhetoric was, at least on one key issue. Fifty-seven per cent of those surveyed said they would support proceeding with the troop withdrawal from most of the West Bank town of Hebron, as the current Israeli government has promised. Many of Netanyahu's right wing supporters oppose such a move, and he has said he will not do it unless he can be convinced that Israeli security can be safeguarded after the troops withdraw.

Netanyahu is expected to present his government to the new parliament at its first meeting today. But disputes continue among members of his Likud Party, and with members of the five other parties which are expected to join his coalition, over policy statements and cabinet portfolios. Those disputes could cause a delay in Netanyahu's swearing-in.

Tsomet leader Rafael Eitan is reportedly resigned to the fact that he will not serve as internal security minister due to an ongoing investigation into his use of a classified military document against a member of his party. Eitan is expected to receive the agriculture portfolio with expanded authority. At present, the two leading candidates for the position of internal security minister are Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi and Third Way leader Avigdor Kahalani.

Yisrael B'Aliyah leader Natan Sharansky is still insisting that his party receive the housing portfolio and has declined an offer of control over the ministries of science, absorption, and industry and trade. United Torah Judaism is also interested in the housing ministry.

In addition, Likud MK Ariel Sharon is still insisting that he be appointed finance minister. Likud MK Dan Meridor is also a candidate for the position.

Shas is reportedly upset about Netanyahu's decision to grant the National Religious Party the education, industry and trade, and energy ministries. Shas claims that it is not receiving authority that is proportional to the size of its Knesset representation. Netanyahu met with Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef last week in an attempt to reach a compromise.

Although he was directly elected as prime minister in the May 29 election, Netanyahu can not take office unless he and his government receive a vote of confidence from the new parliament. And the parliament can fire him and force new elections any time 61 of the 120 members want to.

Four Israelis to be Paid Gulf War Reparations

The U.N. informed Israel's justice ministry that reparation payments totaling $38,710 have been approved for four Israeli citizens injured by Iraqi Scud missiles during the Gulf War. Justice Ministry Director-General Haim Klugman said the reparations would be drawn from funds in Iraqi bank accounts in the West.

Klugman noted that a total of 250 Israeli citizens submitted compensation claims totaling a maximum of $100,000 each. He said it is unclear whether the current approval means that the remainder of the Israeli claims were declined. Several months ago, the U.N. approved compensation claims reaching a maximum of $2,500 each for 93 Israelis on damage incurred during the Gulf War.

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