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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       July 8, 1996 V4, #122
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Netanyahu Leaves for U.S. Monday

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leaving today for the United States, plans to suggest officially to President Clinton that the formula of the Madrid Conference be renewed. The idea, which Netanyahu discussed with Secretary of State Warren Christopher when the latter visited here recently, seems to have also gained proponents among Arab nations.

The Egyptian weekly Akhbar al-Yom, which reported the development, also disclosed an Israeli proposal for an agreement with Syria, wherein the IDF will withdraw in stages from southern Lebanon over the next three years, with their positions taken by the Lebanese army.

Netanyahu is also planning to present a memorandum to Clinton detailing Syria's widespread connections with terrorist organizations. The prime minister has instructed the security forces to collect all information relating to Syria's involvement with terror, and to the attacks that were carried out by organizations headquartered in Damascus. Netanyahu is also bringing with him a detailed list of the Palestinian violations of the Oslo agreements.

Bibi: He's Not in Favor of Stalemate

By Victor Beattie (VOA-Washington)

In one of a series of Western interviews prior to his first meeting with President Clinton after assuming the post of prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu insists he wants to advance the Mideast peace process.

Netanyahu, in interviews with the Washington Post and CBS Television, says he was not elected to achieve stalemate, but peace viewed as genuine by the Israeli people. Referring to terror bombings by Islamic radicals in Israel earlier this year, Netanyahu says he wants to maximize the opportunities and minimize the dangers of peace to Israel.

While opposed to a separate Palestinian state, withdrawal from the captured Golan Heights and to discussions on the future status of Jerusalem, Netanyahu says these are not pre-conditions:

"They are our positions. They are not pre-conditions in the sense that we know there are differences of views between us and the Palestinian Authority and between us and the Syrians. But, I don't say to them unless you accept my positions a priori I won't come to the table. That's, in fact, what they're saying to us."

He says neither side should try to coerce the other, but rather sit down and negotiate. Netanyahu's views were welcomed by a State Department spokesman who says once the Israeli Cabinet is formed he hopes it will turn to questions involving peace. He says the United States is ready to play a constructive role in that process.

IDF Prepares for Possibility of Hebron Redeployment

The IDF is preparing for the possibility that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, together with Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai, will instruct IDF forces to redeploy in Hebron shortly after the prime minister's return from the U.S.

Mordechai is holding summary meetings with IDF officials during the next few days to discuss the possible redeployment. Senior IDF Central Command officials emphasized that the decision to redeploy has been made, in principle, but that they were still awaiting for the authoritative go-ahead.

Officials added that the redeployment could be completed within 48 hours. Sources added that the only IDF presence currently in Hebron consists of reconnaissance units which move periodically through the city, and that most of the soldiers in the area are stationed around the Jewish settlements.

According to the IDF sources, the redeployment plan currently being considered would remove the IDF from 80 percent of the city's territory, leaving the remaining 20 percent under IDF control. The plan also provides for the movement of Palestinian Council police officers through the city, although whether those officers are to be armed has not yet been determined.

The sources added that officials at the political level understand that the IDF recommendations on the Hebron redeployment are to be implemented, although they are still holding discussion on the issue.

Court Orders Compensation for PA-Stolen Truck

A Tel Aviv judge made a precedent-setting ruling Sunday when he instructed that 500,000 shekels be deducted from the funds that Israel transfers to the Palestinian Authority. The ruling states that the money should be used to compensate an Israeli citizen whose truck was stolen and later found in unusable condition in Gaza.

The truck was photographed in a Gaza police station parking lot immediately after it was stolen, and shown to be in satisfactory condition. When it was finally returned, some two months later, many parts - including a crane - were missing.

No Sheep, No Meat; No Meat, No Vegetables The Department of Agriculture forbade Sunday the entry of vegetables from Gaza to within the Green Line, for "health reasons." The measure was taken following a Palestinian Authority decision not to purchase fresh meat from Israel, which in turn was made after Israel banned the entry of 20,000 slaughtered sheep that were donated to the PA by Saudi Arabia.

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