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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       June 26, 1996 V4, #114
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Peace Talks Appear Stalled

By Ron Pemstein (VOA-Jerusalem)

Secretary of State Warren Christopher was scheduled to arrive in Cairo at about 4 a.m. (Cincinnati time) to brief Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat on his talks in Jerusalem with the new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to tell them the Middle East peace process appears stalled.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa has taken little comfort from the remarks of Christopher and Netanyahu after their press conference here. There was no mention of the principle of land for peace reaffirmed at last weekend's Arab summit meeting. Instead, Christopher and Netanyahu agreed on the need for Middle East peace negotiations to resume with no prior conditions.

Moussa interprets that agreement as Israel's attempt to throw away the principles agreed at the Madrid peace conference in 1991. Moussa says this only reaffirms Egypt's fears of a negative direction in Middle East peace efforts. Christopher will be trying to convince Mubarak and Arafat that they should be patient in dealing with Netanyahu who has been in office just a short time.

American officials say the Arabs have no alternative to dealing with the Israeli government. Netanyahu says the Madrid framework permits talks on a variety of levels below the most contentious issues.

"I think the Madrid framework was a very useful one because it allowed us, in fact, to engage, despite conflicting positions, in what could be a productive process and I think no side is forced to change its positions and yet there are many, many areas of potential common interests below the question, or beyond, or before the question of territorial disputes on which we disagree."

Netanyahu meets President Clinton in Washington July 9 by which time his policies may be clearer. There was no hint in the prime minister's remarks that he would favor lifting Israel's economic blockade of the West Bank and Gaza or that he would go ahead with the Israeli troop re-deployment in the West Bank town of Hebron. Netanyahu says the Hebron question has historical, religious and security complexities of the highest order. These issues are of primary concern to Arafat who has been gloomy about the prospect of dealing with a right wing government in Israel.

Christopher says the Israeli prime minister indicated there should be good communication between the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel. Netanyahu says he will consider meeting Arafat himself if he thinks it is vital to the future of peace and the security of Israel.

Netanyahu: No Land for Peace

By Ron Pemstein (VOA-Jerusalem)

The words, land for peace, were not mentioned publicly when Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced reporters after their first meeting. The Arabs insist on that approach to negotiations and the United States publicly favored territorial compromise when the Labor government was in power here.

Netanyahu says Israel wants to negotiate with the Arabs without preconditions. Christopher says he agrees with that position but he wants to preserve the American mediation role by not stating American preferences in public on strategy or about expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The United States had praised Netanyahu's pledge to carry out international agreements with the focus on the long delayed Israeli troop re-deployment out of Hebron. Instead, the prime minister told Christopher he has to study the issue some more.

"We are studying the question of Hebron in all its complexity, historical complexity, religious complexity, security complexity of the highest order and that's exactly what I told him. "

Netanyahu says agreements with the Palestinians are contingent on security and terrorism is incompatible with peace. He calls on Syria to negotiate on other issues besides the future of the Golan Heights where they clearly disagree. To the United States, which in the past has called Jewish settlements in the West Bank, an obstacle to peace, he says Jews have the right to settle anywhere in the Land of Israel but the details have not been worked out.

Miniature Heart Bypass Operation Performed for First Time

A "minimal invasive coronary bypass" operation was performed in Israel for the first time at the Carmel Medical Center in Haifa. The patient was a 46-year-old man from Nazareth with a severe heart blockage. A 3-cm. incision was made and a small TV camera inserted inside his chest to check the artery on the left side. It was joined up to the blocked vessel, while medication was given to slow down the heartbeat. There was no need for a heart-lung machine during the operation. The patient was sent home after 48 hours. It is valuable for operations on patients who cannot take prolonged general anesthesia or have lung problems.

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