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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Oct. 7, 1996 V4, #181
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Pollard to be Released?

The American newspaper "Jewish Week" reports Prime Minister Netanyahu and Vice President Al Gore have formulated a plan of action for the freeing of Pollard. However, Pollard's attorney, Larry Dub, denies the reports.

According to the newspaper, Pollard is to be released following the American elections in early November. The paper reported that Pollard's father said that Netanyahu asked him to transmit a message to his son that Jonathan would be released within two months.

Larry Dub told Arutz-7 in response that according to information that he has obtained, no such deal has been made. "There is much disinformation being disseminated both in Israel and in the U.S. on the Pollard issue," Dub said.

Netanyahu, Arafat Meet With Christopher

By Ron Pemstein (VOA-Jerusalem) and Laurie Kassman (VOA-Gaza)

Secretary of State Warren Christopher met Israel's president and foreign minister Sunday before flying to Mali to begin a five-nation African tour.

The Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are underway at the Erez checkpoint between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Before the talks started Sunday night on procedural issues, Christopher met separately with both leaders to insist those negotiations will not re-open the existing Israeli-Palestinian agreement reached in Oslo.

Speaking to reporters in Gaza, Christopher says he was encouraged to hear Prime Minister Netanyahu make the same pledge. "One of the things that has been clarified during my visit here is that the parties intend to negotiate within the four corners of the agreement. They intend to take steps toward implementation that are consistent with the agreement and do not seek to modify it. I think that's an important clarification the prime minister made both in private and public today in Jerusalem."

A senior US official says Yasir Arafat has been most worried that the Israelis will use these new talks as a wedge to re-negotiate the original Oslo agreement with the Palestinians. Netanyahu campaigned against the Oslo agreement and has been slow until these talks to negotiate the terms of the Israeli troop re-deployment from the West Bank town of Hebron.

For his part, the Israeli prime minister told reporters he wants security adjustments in the new talks because of the incidents in recent days in Hebron.

"I said to President Clinton, as I'm telling you, that we have real security concerns, brought about by the mass firings of the Palestinian policemen who were supposed to protect the Jewish population in Hebron against attackers. We are now very much concerned that those policemen would not train their weapons against the very population they are supposed to protect. And I said we'll have to work out arrangements to ensure it does not happen. I think it's possible to do it."

According to US officials, American negotiator Dennis Ross, told both leaders they must take account of the concerns of the other side. Ross will remain at the talks for at least a week and then will leave other American officials to try to bridge the differences between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Arafat made his own appeal to the Israelis. "We are committed to the peace process and we will do our best from our side to follow-up the peace process and we hope that the other side, the Israelis especially, will follow up in the same line for the accurate and honest implementation of what has been agreed upon."

U-s officials say Arafat told the secretary of state he is doing everything possible to keep Palestinian areas calm while the negotiations proceed. The officials say the usual suspects, especially Islamic Jihad, are planning terrorist incidents to take advantage of the still shaky relations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The consultations preceded the start of negotiations to resolve a number of key points of the interim agreement that still need to be implemented. Christopher assured the Palestinian leader that Netanyahu agrees to continue talks within the framework of the interim agreement.

Arafat says what is important now is what he calls an accurate and honest implementation of the interim agreement. Both sides are stressing the need for quick progress toward concrete results to avoid a new cycle of violence.


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