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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Sept. 4, 1996 V4, #163
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Netanyahu Calms Israeli Public; Air Force on Alert

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem) and Arutz-7 Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is taking precautions in case the conflict in Iraq results in attacks in Israel, as it did five-years ago, when Iraq launched 39 SCUD missiles against the Jewish state. However, Netanyahu says he does not expect any such attacks anytime soon.

Netanyahu says he does not see any "imminent danger" of the conflict having a direct impact on Israel. But he says Israel is watching the situation closely.

"We are watching very carefully what is transpiring in Iraq. We have been briefed by the government of the United States. We do not see right now, a danger of this conflict spilling over in our direction, but we always have to be vigilant. And so we are vigilant and taking whatever precautions are necessary."

Netanyahu also says President Clinton has Israel's full support in what he called -- stating the principle that aggression of this kind must not go unpunished. He says all those who seek peace in the Middle East should also support the US move.

Palestinian leaders have criticized the US strike, saying such an approach will only bring more suffering on the people of Iraq.

Netanyahu says that the Israeli public has "no reason for particular concern" in light of the events in Iraq. In a press conference Tuesday morning, Netanyahu confirmed Israel first learned of the attack Saturday night, and said that the Americans are keeping Israel informed of the events there.

Only a short while after the attack, US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk met with the prime minister and gave him comprehensive information on the American military activity. Netanyahu said that there are no signs of any Iraqi attempt to direct hostilities in Israel's direction. Tuesday afternoon, Israel Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Eitan Ben-Eliyahu said that IAF airplanes are on alert in case of an Iraqi air attack on Israel.

(In the event of dramatic developments in the region, Arutz-7 will provide updated reports on its website at http://www.virtual.co.il/news/news/arutz7.

Defense Committee Chairman: Israel Should Learn From US

Chairman of the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee Uzi Landau says he fully supports President Clinton's decision to punish Saddam Hussein.

"Israel should learn from the Americans that consistency in word and action is a critical asset in the Middle East. America has proven that it means what it says - an important goal in and of itself. Our government, for instance, promised many times that Netanyahu would not meet with Arafat as long as he continues to violate the Oslo agreements. In fact, he brazenly continues to do so, and the prime minister will be making a very grave mistake if he meets with Arafat under these conditions."

Landau said that he hopes that the damage inflicted upon Hussein would be enough to deter him and other regional dictators, "such as in Syria and Iran," from unwarranted military action in the future.

Arabs Blast American Action

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)

The US strike at Iraqi military sites in southern Iraq has sparked concern among Iraq's neighbors. But Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani, whose forces were ousted by the Iraqi incursion into the northern city of Irbil, welcomes the US strike. The Arab League calls the strike an infringement on Iraq's sovereignty.

Jordan expressed fears about the escalation of tensions and called for restraint.

Egypt says it is worried about both military movements by Iraqi troops into the Kurdish north, and the US missile attacks in southern Iraq. An opposition newspaper in Cairo warns Arabs must stand together to tell the United States it must stop playing with the bodies of Iraqis.

Iran has condemned the US attack and called it an election ploy.

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein remains defiant. He told his military to attack any US airplane targeting sites in Iraq. But Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz says Iraqi troops will be out of Iraq's northern Kurdish area soon. The military incursion into the north during the weekend provoked the US response.


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