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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       Aug. 6, 1996 V4, #143
All the News the Big Guys Missed

EXCLUSIVE:
U.S. Likely to Attack Iran

Arutz Sheva learns the United States Army is likely to receive an order in the coming days to attack Iranian targets, including nuclear bases and Iranian ships. This will be in retaliation for Teheran's involvement in the late-June attack against the Marines in Saudi Arabia and the downing of the TWA airliner. The Americans have reported to Israel regarding their plans to attack Iran.

Netanyahu Plans to Resume Syrian Talks

By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is ready to resume peace talks with Syria, which have been stalled for six months. Netanyahu was speaking in Amman at a joint news conference with Jordan's King Hussein, during his first official visit to Jordan as prime minister.

According to Israeli media reports, Netanyahu's meeting in Amman with King Hussein was planned last week during a secret meeting between the two in southern England.

Their meeting in Amman comes two days after the Jordanian monarch visited Syrian President Hafez al Assad in Damascus. It was his first visit to Syria since ties between Jordan and Syria became strained following the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty two-years ago.

All this has given rise to speculation the king could play some sort of mediating function between Israel and Syria. In his customary diplomatic language, the king was vague about his role.

"We are not, here in Jordan, the party involved in brokering solutions, but we are certainly permitted to do whatever we can, when our friends, and help in any way we can, together with others."

It will be far from easy to win over the Syrian leadership. But at the news conference, Netanyahu said he was encouraged by reports he had received from King Hussein about his talks in Syria. Netanyahu said with good will on the part of Syria, negotiations can be resumed in the near future.

Netanyahu's government wants to break the deadlock in talks, possibly by reaching a settlement in Lebanon, where both Syria and Israel have troops. The prime minister talked about the escalation of violence in south Lebanon in the past few years.

"This is not something that is good for Syria and it is not something that is good for Israel, and certainly not something that is good for peace. We seek a solution, a resolution to this problem, as you know we have no territorial claims on Lebanon whatsoever, and therefore all we seek to achieve along the Lebanese front is tranquility and security."

Netanyahu told reporters he has submitted a concrete peace proposal to Syria via the United States. The Israeli government has been floating an idea -- dubbed Lebanon first -- that has not been spelled out in detail. But reports say, it is probably no different than what the previous Israeli government proposed -- that Israel would withdraw its troops from southern Lebanon if the Lebanese army proves it can take control of the area, disarm Hizbullah, and integrate members of the Israeli-backed south Lebanon army militia into the Lebanese army. The reports say the difference is in the order in which Lebanon would figure in negotiations -- that is, coming before talks about the future of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day war.

Assad has insisted on the return of the strategic heights, before any other progress can be made. Netanyahu has ruled out returning the Golan.

Lebanon's President Elias Hrawi has also rejected the Lebanon First idea. But observers say this is not surprising. Syria has about 40,000 troops in Lebanon and is the main power-broker there. While the Hussein-Netanyahu news conference was in progress, Hrawi held a surprise meeting in Damascus with Assad.

Esther Pollard in Ninth Day of Hunger Strike

Esther Pollard, wife of Jonathan Pollard, has begun the 10th day of her hunger strike in the Jerusalem city center. She says it is now a matter of life and death for her husband. "People think that he can hold out another six months, or year, or two years. They don't understand that he has no strength left. Time has run out."

Mrs. Pollard said Minister of Justice Yaakov Ne'eman had visited her. When asked if she would continue her strike until she receives a promise that the government has made major efforts for her husband's release, she said, "I don't want any more promises. I've had so many of them. The Israeli government has never demanded Jonathan's release. I want to see him here in Israel with my own eyes."



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