Newsletter : 6fax1016.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Oct. 16, 1996 V4, #188
All the News the Big Guys Missed
PM Moot on Secret Arafat Recording
Prime Minister Netanyahu refused to confirm or deny reports
about a secret Arafat recording in the possession of the security
services. Arafat is allegedly heard in the recording, taped during
the recent Palestinian hostilities, commanding his Force-17
fighters to open fire on IDF soldiers. Netanyahu told Arutz-7's
Yehoshua Mor-Yosef he has no knowledge of an Arafat order to begin
firing, but he does know that Arafat ordered the cessation of the
Arafat Calls for GIs to Patrol Hebron
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jericho)
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat has called for the formation of an
international force, including US troops, to solve the dispute over
security in Hebron. Arafat hosted Jordan's King Hussein Tuesday in
Arafat says the use of foreign forces, and particularly US troops,
would put an end to Israeli concerns about the security of Jewish
settlers in Hebron after the withdrawal of most Israeli forces.
"The Israeli negotiators are repeating every day, 'security,
security, security, security' in Hebron. I told them: Ok, if you
don't trust the joint mobile units and you don't trust your
soldiers or our soldiers, Ok, why not call for an international
presence with the participation of the American Army?"
Arafat says he made the proposal to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu. But Arafat did not say whether he had cleared the
idea with President Clinton. The chief spokesman for Netanyahu,
David bar Illan, says the idea of using foreign troops is "not
conducive to peace."
"It's quite amazing that a suggestion like this could even come up
because it contradicts everything that, presumably, the peace
process stands for. To insert the possibility of a foreign army
into this situation is to make a mockery of these agreements and
obviously it is a non-starter."
Bar Illan says barring unforeseen problems, there should be an
agreement on the Hebron withdrawal very soon. But he says Arafat
could block an agreement if he insists on his proposal for foreign
troops. There already is an unarmed foreign observer group in
Hebron, but it does not include any US members.
The comments from Arafat came at a news conference with Jordan's
King Hussein, who Tuesday made his first visit to the West Bank
since he lost the region to Israel in the 1967 war.
Defense Secretary William Perry says the Clinton administration is
not considering sending US troops to the Middle East to help
enforce a solution to the problem of Hebron.
King Hussein said he was very happy to be on what he called his
"first visit to Palestine." He said he hopes the
Israeli-Palestinian talks will succeed, but he has not yet seen
the "surprise" Netanyahu promised him two weeks ago at the
"We hope that we will have some good news soon. And there has been
no surprise that I am aware of, but we hope that the promised
surprise will be a real commitment and a real determination by all
of us to continue today because what is at stake is the future of
all of our peoples in this region."
Second Italian Trial for Priebke
By Peggy Polk (VOA-Rome)
Italy's highest appeals court has ordered a retrial for a former
Nazi SS officer accused of complicity in the World War 2 reprisal
killing of 335 men and boys in Rome. The appellate court annulled
a controversial ruling by a military court in favor of the
defendant, Erich Priebke.
The 83-year-old defendant admitted during his trial that he had
shot two people to death and checked off the names of other victims
as they were led into the Ardeatine Caves near the catacombs. But
his lawyers argued that he would have been killed himself if he had
not followed orders.
The massacre was in reprisal for a partisan bombing that took the
lives of 33 German soldiers marching through Nazi-occupied Rome
Priebke, extradited from Argentina last year, went on trial in a
military court in Rome in may on charges of multiple homicide.
During the trial the prosecution and lawyers for relatives of the
victims sought dismissal of the presiding judge, Agostino
Quistelli, on grounds that he was biased in favor of the defendant.
The appeal was rejected, and the three-judge court voted 2-1 Aug.
1 to find Priebke guilty of involvement in the massacre but to
acquit him of acting with premeditation and cruelty. This meant he
would be freed under Italy's 10-year statute of limitation on
There was an immediate outcry in Italy and abroad, and Priebke
was rearrested hours later when Germany said it would extradite
him for war crimes there. Now, however, a new trial in Italy will
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