Newsletter : 6fax0905.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Sept. 5, 1996 V4, #164
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Israelis Line Up for Gas Masks
Despite repeated announcements that the hostilities are not
expected to affect Israel, many hundreds of Israelis are not taking
any chances: long lines formed at gas-mask distribution centers
throughout the country, as citizens came to refresh their family
gas-mask kits. Sales of room-sealing equipment, though, such as
duct tape and plastic, were no brisker than usual.
The satellite Amos, which was launched three months ago and is
circling the globe at a height of more than 24,000 miles, is able
to transmit real-time information on the events in Iraq, something
which was not available during the Gulf War six years ago.
Historic Netanyahu-Arafat Meeting
By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)
The long-awaited meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat has taken place at
the "Erez crossing point" between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The
meeting meant Netanyahu's formal acceptance as a peace partner of
Arafat -- the Palestinian leader he had long shunned and reviled as
The historic meeting and subsequent news conference came after
marathon diplomatic negotiations all week between Israel and
Palestinian officials on an agreement over issues in dispute
-- including the Israeli army redeployment in the West Bank city
of Hebron, and the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Since his election in May, Netanyahu has resisted meeting Arafat.
At the beginning of their meeting, the two men shook hands across
the table -- the cool but correct gesture was repeatedly shown on
Israeli TV in slow-motion.
In his opening statement to the press, Netanyahu said that despite
the comments by cynics, Israel does not want to stop the peace
"We want to advance the issues of concern to all of us. We want to
do so in such a way as to facilitate negotiations on a final
status. I also want to make clear that our position is not only
to move on the peace process, but also improve the prosperity and
the economic conditions of the Palestinian population. We
think that prosperity and peace go hand and hand, and I believe
that we can advance to achieve both goals for the benefit of both
Netanyahu said the objective of the peace talks which will now
resume is to assure the "security and well-being of Israelis
and Palestinians alike."
Arafat said the Palestinians want to work with Netanyahu and his
government to fulfill the provisions of the accord signed with the
previous Israeli government.
"I want to reiterate here once again...Our commitment to
cooperation with Israel, in all aspects in accordance with the
agreement signed...This cooperation in all fields will continue
irrespective of our political differences."
The Palestinians want an undertaking from the new Israeli
government that it intends to implement agreements already signed.
Netanyahu refused to give any date for Israel's long-delayed troop
redeployment from Hebron. His government would like to see
amendments of the agreement on the Hebron redeployment. After
their meeting, Netanyahu would only say the issue would be
discussed in future negotiations with the Palestinians.
Clinton Ordered Cover-Up of Palestinian Assets
President Clinton ordered that the findings of an investigation
into the assets of the Palestinian Authority be considered
"classified information." British intelligence has evaluated
Palestinian assets at approximately $8 billion. The donor
countries are scheduled to meet today in Washington, and Jewish
lobbyists are pressuring Congress to publicize the full report
before discussions on further contributions to the PA.
Missionary Activity Among Ethiopians
Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Yigal Bibi has asked the
Attorney General to order a police investigation into missionary
activity amongst Ethiopian immigrants.
Bibi said that he has learned that missionaries are attempting to
convert the Ethiopian residents of the Carmel mobile-home
community. He said that it is inconceivable that the Ethiopians,
"who zealously guarded their Judaism in their land of exile, should
come to Israel only to convert to another religion."
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