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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Sept. 18, 1996 V4, #173
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Syrians Mass Near Cease Fire Line

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Syria is maneuvering its forces close to the cease-fire line on the Golan Heights in an effort to pressure Israel into making concessions.

Netanyahu told a parliamentary committee that Syria is testing the determination of the new Israeli government through what he called "psychological pressure."

He declared that the Syrian effort will fail, and said Israel will not be pressured into making any unilateral concessions. The prime minister also said Israel is closely watching the Syrian troop movements and is taking all necessary defensive steps.

Netanyahu was responding to reports that Syria has moved as many as 12,000 troops who had been in Lebanon close to the cease-fire line on the Golan Heights.

The previous Israeli government had offered to return the Golan to Syria in exchange for certain Syrian concessions. But Netanyahu says he will not honor that offer and will never return the Heights to Syria. The issue is blocking the resumption of the Israeli-Syrian peace talks.

The chief US mediator, Dennis Ross, is due to arrive in Israel today, and he may travel on to Damascus in an effort to get the talks going again.

Ross is returning to the region to try to prod negotiations between Israel and Syria and between Israel and the Palestinians, and to promote regional economic cooperation.

Israeli Government spokesman Moshe Fogel says Israel mainly wants the United States to help find a formula for re-starting the talks with Syria. So far, Syria is demanding that the new Israeli government accept concessions made by the previous government. But Netanyahu has refused to do so.

"We don't think that any preconditions are necessary and, foremost, we don't think that you can decide what the outcome of negotiations are before you even begin talking."

On the Palestinian track, Fogel says now that a whole range of direct talks have resumed, there is not a major role for the US mediators. But senior Palestinian official Nabil abu-Irdeineh disagrees.

"The Americans are doing all their best to help the two parties to advance on the peace process. So far, the peace process itself is in a critical situation. Nothing has been achieved on the ground."

Syrian Forces Remain in Hermon Area

Military sources reiterated Tuesday that the mobilization of Syrian forces in the northern Mt. Hermon region is the greatest of its kind since the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Arutz-7 correspondent Kobi Finkler reported that in the last 28 hours, there has been no change in the redeployment of Syrian forces in the area.

Commenting on the Syrian-border tensions, President Ezer Weizmann said, "There is no reason for panic." According to the president, Syria is incapable of surprising us as she did in the Yom Kippur War, but that we must be on the alert. Weizman spoke during a visit to the Jerusalem City Hall.

Foreign Minister David Levy said Tuesday Israel has no intention of attacking Syria. Minister of Public Security Avigdor Kahalani said, in his opinion, Syria's goals are only political.

A Jewish Dog

A man walks into shul with a dog. The shammas comes up to him and says, "Pardon me, this is a house of worship, you can't bring your dog in here." "What do you mean," says the man, "this is a Jewish dog. Look." And the shammas looks carefully and sees that in the same way that a St. Bernard carries a brandy barrel round its neck this dog has a tallis bag round its neck.

"Rover," says the man, "daven!".

"Woof!" says the dog, stands on his hind legs, opens the tallis bag, takes out a kippah and puts it on his head.

"Woof!" says the dog, stands on his hind legs, opens the tallis bag, takes out a tallis and puts it round his neck.

"Woof!" says the dog, stands on his hind legs, opens the tallis bag, takes out a siddur and starts to daven.

"That's fantastic," says the shammas, "absolutely amazing, incredible! You should take him to Hollywood, get him on television, get him in the movies, he could make a million dollars."

"You speak to him," says the man, "he wants to be a dentist."

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