Newsletter : 6fax0725.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
July 25, 1996 V4, #135
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Amnesty Int'l Chastises Israel
By Christine Furnell (VOA-London)
The human rights group, Amnesty International, says Israel
deliberately shelled a United Nations base in southern Lebanon.
More than 100 civilians who had taken shelter in the compound were
killed in the attack last April. Israel maintains the civilian
deaths were unintentional.
In the strongly worded report, Amnesty says the killings at Cana
during Israel's "Grapes of Wrath" operation against the Hizbullah
in Lebanon last April were in clear breach of the rules of war.
Amnesty also accuses Hizbullah of breaking international law with
its cross border rocket attacks on civilian populations, but saves
its main criticism for Israel.
In conjunction with military experts, Amnesty has conducted field
investigations in Israel and southern Lebanon. Spokeswoman Anita
Tiessen says all the available information indicates that Israeli
forces intentionally attacked the UN compound at Cana.
The Amnesty report also accuses Israel of unlawfully killing six
civilians when an Israeli helicopter attacked a marked ambulance
which was taking civilians out of the war zone. In another
incident, Amnesty says nine civilians were killed when their house
was deliberately destroyed by Israeli war planes.
Last May, a UN report into the shelling concluded it was unlikely
the attack had been a mistake, but the findings were rejected by
Egypt Optimistic About Peace
By Alan Silverman (VOA-Los Angeles)
Today, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will arrive for talks in
Washington, and his foreign minister is expressing optimism
about Middle East peace prospects. Minister of Foreign Affairs Amr
Moussa warns that Arab nations expect the new Israeli government to
back its reassurances with action. The Egyptian official spoke
Wednesday to southern California business leaders at the Town
Hall-Los Angeles Public Issues Forum.
Moussa came to Los Angeles by way of Damascus, where he briefed
Syrian officials on the first Cairo visit of Benjamin Netanyahu as
Israeli prime minister. Noting the offer, Wednesday, by Israel's
Foreign Minister David Levy to meet with his Syrian counterpart,
Moussa believes a resumption of ambassador-level talks would be
"As a result of my visit to Syria, I wish to tell you that Syria is
committed to the peace process. They are ready to resume
negotiations with Israel provided that the principles ... land for
peace and other principles ... agreed upon in the Madrid formula
are accepted by Israel."
Moussa remains optimistic about the prospects for resuming peace
talks, but he expects Israel to match its words with actions.
"When Netanyahu visited Egypt, he assured us that he will play
according to the rules of the game. Fine, but he has yet to prove
that...to show us what he means...by withdrawing from Hebron, by
lifting the closure of Palestinian borders, by resuming the final
status talks with the Palestinians, by making a new, valid offer to
the Syrians. So there are certain steps that are being expected and
needed; that is what we are waiting for."
The veteran Egyptian diplomat insists that all issues must be "on
the table" -- from the status of Jerusalem to Egyptian and
Jordanian demands that Israeli nuclear facilities submit to
Moussa says Mubarak will make that clear in Washington. "It is
about peace, mainly: about how to move it on all the tracks --
Syria, Palestinian and Lebanese -- and in this it is very important
to work for a balanced peace. The question is not to promote the
ideas of one side at the expense of the other because the other
will never accept. Even if he keeps silent for a month or two or a
year, it will never hold. There has to be a balanced peace for
peace to hold. This is our message. How to do it? To cooperate
with the United States, with Europe, with others ... but everybody
has to play his role, including Netanyahu."
Ross Rides the Middle East Shuttle
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
US Middle East peace envoy Dennis Ross has met with Syrian
President Hafez al Assad to look at ways to revive peace talks with
Israel. Ross is also meeting this week with leaders in Israel,
Jordan and the Palestinian self-rule area. The visit comes amid a
series of steps aimed at getting the peace process back on track.
Ross met with Assad Wednesday after consultations Tuesday night
with Foreign Minister Farouk al Sharaa. Syria has been reluctant to
resume talks after hardliner Benjamin Netanyahu was elected
Israel's prime minister. He has rejected giving back land for
peace. Syria says there will be no peace until all of the Golan
Heights area is returned.
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