Newsletter : 6fax0830.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Aug. 30, 1996 V4, #161
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Arab Terrorists Attack Bus
Two people were lightly injured in a terrorist bus shooting outside
Jerusalem Wednesday night, when a bus traveling from Jerusalem to
Kiryat Arba in the area of Har Gilo was shaken by a burst of
automatic gun fire. Major casualties were avoided because of
bullet-proof windows on the bus.
By Al Pessin (VOA-Ramallah)
Palestinians Thursday staged a half-day strike in Jerusalem and
throughout the territories to protest policies of Israel's new
government. The strike was called by Yasir Arafat and was the
first such action since the start of autonomy two years ago.
It was like a holiday in Ramallah and other West Bank and Gaza
towns -- there was plenty of traffic, but the stores were all
closed and shuttered. People on the streets seemed to take some
pride from their show of solidarity, although some questioned just
what impact it can have on the new Israeli government and its
policy of expanding settlements and consolidating control over
Ramallah factory owner Adnan Faramand said that by closing their
doors Thursday morning, he and his neighbors were sending a message
to the new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Well, mainly
it's a message to Netanyahu and to those who were supervising the
whole peace process, especially the United States of America, that
Palestinians are fed up waiting for peace and we are giving all our
sacrifices to make the peace process succeed, but the other
partners are not willing to give anything to make it succeed."
Shops also closed in east Jerusalem, which Israel re-captured in
the 1967 war and later annexed. The Palestinians want to make
east Jerusalem the capital of their future state. The destruction
of a Palestinian building in east Jerusalem's Old City by municipal
officials Tuesday was the main factor in the decision by Arafat to
call Thursday's strike. Israel said the building did not have a
permit, but Palestinians took the destruction as a political move.
East Jerusalem pharmacist Ismail Tasis says Palestinian strikes
such as the one Thursday are a small gesture, and might not have
much impact. But he hopes the Israeli people take note.
"Israelis, wake up before it's too late. It's for their own good,
more than our good. So I think if the Israelis want ... peace,
which is 99 percent for their interest, I think they should wake up
before it's too late, let's put it this way."
No one expects Thursday's strike to change the Israeli
government's positions. Indeed, the strike call drew an angry
response from Netanyahu, who said he would take a serious view of
any rhetoric which increased tensions or led to violence.
Sharon Authorizes Ashdod-Gaza Railway. Is It a Precursor
That Cedes Ashdod for Palestinians' Jerusalem Claims?
National Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon decided to establish
a railway line between the Port of Ashdod and the Erez Crossing.
The decision was made during a meeting with Coordinator for
Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Oren Shachor,
representatives of the Israel Railway Authority, and the Finance
Ministry. Shachor will reportedly work in conjunction with the
Palestinians to continue construction of the railway line within
the Gaza Strip.
Sharon said the railway is intended to simplify the movement of
goods between the port of Ashdod and the Gaza Strip, thus easing
Palestinian traffic leaving Gaza while maintaining security. He
said the transport of individuals by train will also contribute to
Arab Knesset Member Participates in Defense Hearing
Member of the Knesset Ahmed Sa'ad (Hadash Arab Party) participated
at a meeting on the defense budget held in the Ministry of
Defense. In attendance were members of the Knesset Finance
Committee, of which Sa'ad is a member, and the Knesset Foreign
Affairs and Defense Committee. Though he will be barred from the
subcommittee meetings on classified defense issues, in compliance
with a long-standing policy of the Israeli government barring Arab
MKs from participation in matters of state security or defense, it
was decided to allow him to participate in Wednesday's session.
Arutz-7's Haggai Segal spoke with Sa'ad about a possible conflict
MK Sa'ad: I believe in and identify with the Palestinians' just
struggle, and in the need for a just peace in the area. I see no
contradiction between [my beliefs] and my serving on this
committee. No one wants peace and security more than I do - but it
must be a just peace.
Segal: Let's say that tomorrow you meet with Arafat, which is a
likely scenario, and he says to you, "Ahmed, what did you talk
about yesterday during the Knesset Defense Committee meeting?" Will
you tell him?
MK Sa'ad: I behave quite responsibly in these matters.
Segal: Will you tell him?
MK Sa'ad: I behave responsibly in this matter.
Segal: Responsible to who? That's the question.
MK Sa'ad: Responsible towards true security, towards true peace. I
am not a spy or anything.
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