Newsletter : 6fax0731.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
July 31, 1996 V4, #139
All the News the Big Guys Missed
President Mubarak Meets President Clinton
By David Borgida (VOA White House)
President Clinton, following a White house meeting with visiting
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, is reacting cautiously to reports
Israel's new government plans to build two highways through the
West Bank and two new bridges to the Golan Heights.
Mubarak, reflecting Arab concern the steps represent an effort to
tighten Israel's links to the disputed territories, fears what he
calls a complicated peace process.
Three weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told
Clinton no peace agreement is possible that does not take Israeli
security into account. Tuesday, Mubarak came to the White House
looking for US reassurance that the land-for-peace formula, which
has long guided the Middle East peace process, is not being
Clinton sought to assure his latest guest Israel is, "bound to
honor commitments," including the Oslo Accords that set the
framework of the peace process. But he reacted cautiously to
reports Israel's construction projects are moving ahead.
"I'm concerned about the reports I've read, but I don't know
precisely what the plan is, and my understanding is that it has
not yet been adopted by the government. And the government's
commitment is to continue the peace process and not to do anything
inconsistent with the commitments made by the Israeli government
For his part, Mubarak cautioned all parties against actions he
described as inconsistent with the spirit of peace. "It's going to
complicate the whole process, this is my fear. We would like to
maintain stability, we don't like to make new things in the
occupied territories unless it is agreed upon by the two parties so
as to help the process to move forward."
Mubarak was equally encouraged. "We are very pleased with the level
of cooperation we have reached in various fields. Our
relationship has never been more solid and stable."
With some in Congress calling for reduced levels of foreign aid,
however, Mubarak said Egypt is preparing for that. He joked he
would not be against any unilateral Israeli decision to accept a
reduced level of US aid.
Bedouin Clash With Police in Omer
Tens of policemen were injured Tuesday in a violent clash with
Bedouin residents of the Northern Negev, near the town of Omer.
Members of the Bedouin tribe of Tarabin a-Sana have been waging an
extended struggle against the expansion of Omer, claiming that the
lands earmarked for the community's growth belong to them.
Tens of policemen required medical treatment in Soroka Hospital in
Beersheva. Some 40 Bedouin protestors were arrested.
Labor Was Planning to Give Up Old-City Sovereignty
Dr. Yair Hirschfeld, one of the architects of the Oslo agreements,
confirmed the Labor government had been prepared to make several
major concessions on the issue of Jerusalem. In an interview in the
upcoming issue of Nekudah Magazine, Hirschfeld said that during the
preliminary negotiations that he, together with former Minister
Yossi Beilin, conducted with Palestinian representatives, the
following points were agreed upon:
- Israel would surrender its sovereignty over the Old City of
Jerusalem; its permanent status would be discussed "later."
- The Palestinian flag would fly over the Temple Mount.
- The Palestinian capital would be in the neighborhood of Abu Dis,
southeast of the Old City, and would bear the name Al-Kuds (the
Arabic name for Jerusalem).
- 90% of Judea and Samaria would become the territory of a
Palestinian state, while the remaining 10% would be annexed to
Reports of these talks were widely and repeatedly denied at the
time by leaders of the Labor government. No West Bank communities
were to be dismantled, but the exact relationship between them
and the Palestinian Authority would be negotiated. Hirschfeld also
said that Beilin did not succeed in convincing Shimon Peres in
publicizing these talks before the elections, and that if he had,
"I am sure that Labor would have won."
Arafat: Ayash Was "Holy"
The Arabic newspaper Al Chiyat al-Jadida, considered to be close to
the Palestinian Authority, has confirmed Yasir Arafat has praised
the actions of Yichye Ayash, known as "The Engineer."
The newspaper reported Arafat said, in a speech in Gaza last week,
that Ayash is a "holy one who paved the way for the liberation of
Jerusalem by the Palestinians."
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