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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       July 18, 1996 V4, #130
All the News the Big Guys Missed

44.4% of Israel's Population in Metropolitan Tel Aviv

According to statistics from the 1995 census, 44.4% of Israel's population, or 774,800 households, live in the Metropolitan Tel Aviv area, an increase of 61%, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported.

Nazi Collaborator Dies in Prison

By Julian Nundy (VOA-Paris)

The only Frenchman ever convicted of crimes against humanity, Paul Touvier, has died at the age of 81 in a French prison hospital where he was serving a life sentence.

Touvier was sentenced to life imprisonment just two years ago for his time as a pro-Nazi militiaman during World War 2. Sometimes working for Klaus Barbie, the notorious Nazi police chief in the city of Lyon who died in a French jail in 1991, Touvier was accused, among other things, of ordering the executions of Jewish prisoners.

Touvier was twice sentenced to death in absentia but he evaded capture for 40 years. In 1971, he was pardoned under an amnesty and he briefly reappeared in his home town in the French Alps. But he was soon on the run again as the charge of crimes against humanity, which is not subject to a statute of limitations, was added to the French criminal code. Helicopter-borne police finally seized him in a fundamentalist Catholic monastery in the city of Nice in 1989. Last month, Touvier's children asked President Jacques Chirac to let him leave jail because he was suffering from prostate cancer.

Saddam Upset with Other Arabs

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein used the occasion of the 28th anniversary of his Baath Party's rise to power to lash out against his Arab neighbors for leaving him out of an Arab summit last month. Iraq's leader called his Arab neighbors wicked for excluding him from a summit last month that dealt with the stalled peace process. It was the first Arab summit to be held in six years. The last one was called after Iraq invaded Kuwait.

Iraq's Arab neighbors joined a US led multi-national coalition to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Relations in the region have been strained ever since.
The Arab summit last month called on the Iraqi leader to stop threatening his neighbors. But Hussein complained the summit ignored the plight of his country, which has been suffering six years of tough UN economic sanctions.

Levy will Meet with Arafat

By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy says he intends to meet with Palestinian President Yasir Arafat in the next few days. This would be the first high-level Israeli-Palestinian meetings since the may election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The meeting in Cairo between Netanyahu and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak today will be the prime minister's first with an Arab head of state since his May 29 election. His unyielding statements made in Washington last week, rejecting the idea of land for peace, have angered Arab leaders, including moderate Arab countries.

Jordan's King Hussein faces a difficult balancing act, maintaining relations with his fellow Arab leaders who are suspicious of his close links to Israel. The Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty is not popular with the king's own subjects, who complain they have seen few of the promised economic benefits from the peace deal. Furthermore, the new Israeli government's apparent wish to freeze the interim agreement with the Palestinians has disturbing implications for Jordanians. About 60-70 percent of Jordanians are Palestinian in origin.

The Palestinians want Netanyahu to press ahead with peace talks on a final agreement, redeploy troops from the West Bank city of Hebron as stipulated in the 1995 Israel/PLO accord, and ease the strict Israeli closure of the West Bank and Gaza to allow Palestinians to work in Israel. Netanyahu has said the closure would be eased, but no specific steps have been taken.

Mubarak, Netanyahu Meet Today

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak meets Israel's new Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today to discuss the Middle East peace process. Mubarak is expected to reaffirm the Arab view that negotiations must continue on the basis of land for peace.

The visit to Cairo marks Netanyahu's first trip to the Arab world since taking office. He is expected to spend most of the day in private consultations with Mubarak.

The Egyptian leader is sure to reiterate the Arab insistence that peace talks continue to be based on the principle of land for peace. He is expected to urge the Israeli leader to follow through on commitments already made by the previous Israeli government in its deal with the Palestinians.

Israel's decision this week to ease its closure of the West Bank and Gaza has been seen here as a positive sign. But Mubarak and his Arab allies are waiting for some sign of flexibility from Netanyahu that could rekindle the peace process. So far the new Israeli leader has rejected the ideas of a divided Jerusalem, a future Palestinian state and giving up land for peace.

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