Newsletter : 6fax0726.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
July 26, 1996 V4, #136
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Ultra-Orthodox to Hold Demonstration Over Bar-Ilan Road Saturday
Jerusalem's Bar-Ilan Road will be closed to vehicles on Saturday
between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. when demonstrators will protest Sabbath
traffic on the road. The demonstration, sponsored by the
ultra-Orthodox community's supreme religious panel, is expected to
draw large numbers of participants who will march from Sabbath
Square to Bar-Ilan Road.
Arafat Meets Assad in Syria
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat is in the northern town of Kardahah
for talks with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. The thaw in
relations between Assad and the Palestinian leader comes amid
heightened Arab concern about the new Israeli prime minister's
approach to the peace process.
Arafat and Assad held their first reconciliation talks last month
in Cairo. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak brought them together
on the fringe of the Arab summit that discussed Arab solidarity and
the peace process.
Relations between the two men have not been comfortable. Syria
has allowed 10 radical Palestinian groups opposed to Arafat to
maintain offices in Damascus.
But Assad was especially angered by Arafat's decision in 1993 to
break ranks and sign a self-rule deal with Israel before a
comprehensive peace agreement was worked out. The Syrian leader was
also upset when Jordan's King Hussein followed Arafat's lead and
signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.
The Syrian leader complained Jordan and the Palestinians were
undermining Arab coordination. He also criticized them for
rushing to sign a peace deal with Israel without first clarifying
all the details.
Syria's negotiations with Israel have been stalled for nearly
six-months after a wave of suicide bombings in Israel. Middle
East envoy Dennis Ross met Wednesday with Assad as part of the US
effort to prod both sides to resume talks.
Arafat may pass on a message from Israel's new foreign minister he
is ready to meet Syria's ministers any time, any place, to talk
Syria says there will be no peace without the return of all the
Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli
war. So far, the Israeli prime minister has rejected the idea of
giving back land for peace.
China Denies Sending Missile Components to Syria
By Stephanie Ho (VOA-Beijing)
China has dismissed a US newspaper report it sold ballistic missile
components to Syria, a sale that could be in violation of an
international non-proliferation agreement.
In a statement Thursday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the
report of sales of M-11 missiles is entirely groundless and
The denial comes one day after Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen
made similar comments to Secretary of State Warren Christopher.
The two were attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
meeting in Jakarta.
According to a report in the Washington Times Tuesday, the
state-owned Chinese manufacturer of M-11 missiles sent a shipment
of military cargo to Syria last month. The report says the CIA
suspects the shipment may have contained missile-related
components. US officials say they are looking into the report.
In 1994, China signed an agreement with the United States to
abide by the international agreement known as the Missile
Technology Control Regime -- which seeks to curb the proliferation
of missile technology.
Israelis Arrested for Trying to Pray on Temple Mount
By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Police have arrested several Jewish religious activists who
trying to force their way onto the biblical Temple Mount in
Jerusalem. Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount has long been
forbidden by Israeli law.
Every year on the Jewish fast day of Tisha b'Av, which commemorates
the destruction of the Jewish Temple in the year 70 CE, the group
calling itself the Temple Faithful attempts to pray on the Temple
Known in Arabic as Haram as-Sharif, the raised compound is holy to
Jews and Muslims, and is one of the most sensitive spots of the
Arab-Israeli conflict. The site is also the location of the
Al-Aksa and Dome of the Rock mosques where Muslims believe the
Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven.
Under Israeli law, Jews may visit the Temple Mount which is
administered by Muslim authorities, but they are forbidden to pray
there on the grounds it would incite unrest. The Temple Mount
Faithful group appealed to the Supreme Court to allow prayers on
Tisha b'Av, but the court upheld the right of the police to prevent
this if deemed a provocation.
On Thursday, police allowed Jewish religious activists to enter
the Temple Mount complex in pairs, after confiscating their prayer
books. Police began carrying out arrests when dozens of activists
tried to force their way onto the compound by breaking through a
Activists are pushing for a change in government policy that would
permit Jewish prayers on the Mount.
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