Newsletter : 6fax0813.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Aug. 13, 1996 V4, #148
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Black Gold Discovered
Careful examinations of oil discovered south of Arad (west of the
Dead Sea) will continue today. Experts will attempt to evaluate the
quality and quantity of the new discovery. Yaron Ran, Chairman of
the National Petroleum Company, told Arutz-7 that the signs are
"encouraging," and that we may be "cautiously optimistic."
Netanyahu Proposes Routine Negotiations
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his government is
ready to resume routine negotiations with the Palestinians, which
were suspended during Israel's recent political transition.
Netanyahu made the comments Monday during a news conference with
Palestinian reporters and other Arab journalists.
Netanyahu said he is committed to implementing the latest peace
agreement, even though he opposed it. But he also indicated further
progress depends on solving existing disputes, including Israeli
claims the Palestinian Authority is not living up to its
commitments on security and other issues.
"What I would like to do is reconvene the steering committees and
the subcommittees, and alongside ministerial contacts, to get those
unresolved issues resolved, all of them. Once we do that, we can
move forward to the other issues, we have the further redeployment
issues and we have the final status negotiations."
Israel's 'further re-deployment' is to begin with its promised and
long-delayed withdrawal from the West Bank city of Hebron.
Netanyahu said he will propose special security measures to
accompany any such withdrawal, to try to ensure it is not followed by
a new outbreak of terrorist attacks.
Arafat: Some Palestinians "Facing Starvation"
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
The Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, says Israeli policies are
pushing some Palestinians to the brink of starvation and could
result in a renewal of the Intifada, which ended three years ago.
Arafat told Israel television he might have to ask for
international arbitration if Israel's new government does not
continue the peace process. In an interview with a Palestinian
newspaper, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is
willing to continue that process, but not to compromise on some key
In the Palestinian leader's first interview on Israeli television,
he said he is committed to the peace process, and opposed to
renewing large-scale armed conflict. But Arafat acknowledged many
Palestinians feel differently, a situation he blamed on Israel's
continuing closure of the Palestinian territories and its
confiscation of West Bank land to build roads for Israelis to take
around Palestinian cities.
"What do you expect from those who are facing confiscation of land
every day? They are eating from this land. We are not rich like
you. Can you imagine that the closure is causing a tragedy for our
people. Can you imagine that more than 60 percent unemployed here
in Gaza and more than 45 percent unemployed in the West Bank. I
would like to ask any, any Israeli how he can face himself while
his neighbor is facing starvation. We have to be very careful. We
have arrived here in Gaza to the red line of starvation from the
The current closure was imposed in February by Israel's previous
government, after a series of bombings in Israel by Palestinian
militants. It has been eased several times by both the previous
and current government, but the closure still prevents tens of
thousands of Palestinians from working in Israel, and slows the
flow of goods, particularly into and out of the Gaza Strip.
Arafat did not criticize the new Israeli government specifically,
and repeated that he is willing to work with any government the
Israeli people elect. But many Palestinians feel particularly
frustrated because Netanyahu has ruled out the kind of progress
they had expected if talks had continued with his predecessor,
In an interview published Sunday in the Palestinian newspaper
Al-Quds, Netanyahu again ruled out the creation of a Palestinian
state and said he sees no possibility of reaching an agreement on
the future of Jerusalem. He has said Israel will never surrender
any part of the city or share control of it with the Palestinians,
who want east Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian state.
Arafat responded by declaring that the Palestinians will reach
their goals, and saying he will turn to the international community
for help if Netanyahu refuses to negotiate on statehood and
Jerusalem, as required by existing agreements.
"Arbitration. We have the United Nations. We have The Hague. We
have the co-sponsors. We have the Security Council. We have the
Europeans. We'll have to go to arbitration. Because, I would say
that, this is what we have agreed upon and everybody has to respect
Arafat also predicted Netanyahu will overcome his reluctance to
meet with him because, Arafat said, he himself is the most
important figure in the Middle East equation.
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