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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       Aug. 8, 1996 V4, #145
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Announcement - Jerusalem Telephone Numbers

As of this week, all Jerusalem telephone numbers have 7 digits. Numbers beginning with 3, 6, or 8 now begin with an additional 5. Numbers beginning with 2, 4, or 7 received an additional 6 at the beginning.

Assad Says He's Not in a Rush

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)

Syrian President Hafez al-Assad has met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Alexandria, Egypt, to discuss prospects for resuming Syrian-Israeli peace talks. But Assad indicates he is in no rush to move forward as long as the new Israeli leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, rejects basing the negotiations on land for peace. The syrian leader also rejects Israel's proposal to deal with Lebanon first.

Assad rejects Israel's proposal to negotiate a withdrawal from southern Lebanon before talking about a pullout from the Golan Heights. He told a news conference in Alexandria peace talks will be about Lebanon and Syria together -- at the same time, and in the same steps.

Assad says he is ready to resume peace talks with Israel -- if they build on the foundation of the past five years. But he says he is not going to start all over. He tried to counter Netanyahu's peacemaker image by noting Israel's recent invitation to resume talks had failed to reassure Syria of any commitment to land for peace.

He spoke through an interpreter. "It is not necessary today to go through the details of the invitation. However, whoever reads the invitation sent by Netanyahu would not understand or see that this invitation leads to peace or that those who wrote it are committed to peace."

The Syrian leader says he is not in a rush, and will resume talks after what he calls the appropriate conditions are in place.

"When things are ready, when the appropriate conditions are, then we are ready to resume peace talks. We hope, of course, that matters develop and that people would see in the future what they are incapable of seeing at the present. And that we would not hear the same expressions we are hearing today."

Assad's meeting comes after the Egyptian leader's meetings last month with the Israeli leader and later with President Bill Clinton in Washington. It also took place two days after the Israeli leader met with King Hussein in Jordan and renewed his call for a resumption of peace to talks with Syria.

First Drilling on Tel Aviv Subway Scheduled

Two companies, Fibi from the U.S. and Supereto from France, will begin initial drillings within two weeks at 30 sites along the planned route of the Tel Aviv subway system. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, National Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon and Transportation Minister Yitzhak Levy will attend the first drilling.

The purpose of the initial drilling, which will commence construction on the Tel Aviv subway project, is to examine the route and ensure that all existing site survey information is still correct. Tel Aviv Mayor Roni Milo called the drillings a breakthrough on the subway project. He estimated that the Tel Aviv subway will begin operating within several years.

The project's price tag is estimated at 2.5 billion shekels (approximately $800 million). According to Milo, the project will be financed by an issuing of government bonds.

Arafat Releases 50 Terrorists

PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat ordered the release of 50 Hamas terrorists today who are incarcerated in prisons within the autonomous areas. The Hamas militants were rounded up following the wave of terrorist bombings which shook Israel several months ago. The release is part of a PA attempt to appease the Hamas following the torture-to-death of a prisoner earlier this week and other human rights violations.

Pollard's Birthday Celebrated; Wife Continues Hunger Strike

The 42nd birthday of Jonathan Pollard, incarcerated in the United States, was celebrated today in the Hamashbir Plaza in downtown Jerusalem. His wife, Esther, is in the 12TH day of a hunger strike, demanding that the Israeli Government make efforts to attain the immediate release of her husband.

Multiplication Table 3,500 Years Old

Four artifacts were recently found at the Hatzor of Galilee archeological site, dating back 3,500 years. They include a multiplication table, and commercial deals and disputes. In addition, ancient weapons were found as well as artistic artifacts, busts of gods.

The finds confirm the belief that there were two important archives at Hatzor detailing the history of that period. They are located in the palace of the kings of Hatzor, built in the Middle Bronze Age, and written in the local Ancient Accadian language and in Canaanite as well.

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