Newsletter : 6fax1023.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Oct. 23, 1996 V4, #193
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Palestinans Stranded on Egyptian-Libyan Border
About 200 Palestinians remained stranded along the Egyptian-Libyan
border with health and living conditions deteriorating rapidly.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees is warning of a medical
disaster and is launching an appeal to get urgent medical care for
21 of the refugees who need hospitalization. The Palestinians were
among thousands expelled from Libya 14-months ago, but are still
not able to be relocated.
USA and Israel Issue Joint Chanukah Stamp
By Rosanne Skirble (VOA-Washington)
In dual ceremonies Tuesday in Washington and Jerusalem, the US
Postal Service and the Israeli Postal Authority dedicated a new
postage stamp commemorating Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of
Lights. This is the first-ever joint issue between the two
countries -- and the first US stamp celebrating a Jewish
The Chanukah stamp was a long time in coming. First, there were
objections from the US Postal Service to sponsoring anything of a
religious nature. But commemorative Christmas stamps have been
available since 1962, and America's Jewish community lobbied
strongly for a stamp of its own. Now after nearly a decade -- and
several design changes -- the joint-issue in the United States and
Israel was dedicated at a Washington synagogue by Postmaster
General Marvin Runyon and Amos bar-Haim, chairman of the Israel
"It's really my privilege and pleasure to dedicate today the
Israeli stamp for Chanukah. The lights of Chanukah symbolize the
fight against darkness, symbolize friendship, independence,
freedom, cooperation and -- most of all -- the desire for peace."
Runyon added: "The festival candles warm our hearts and lift our
spirits. They serve to remind all people in midst of our diversity
that we are united by many common needs and values. The Postal
Service is proud to share this message with the people of the
United States of America. Let the candles of Chanukah brighten our
hearts as they brighten America's cards and letters this holiday
The design is the same on both stamps. The nine candles of
Chanukah -- each a different color -- are awash in festive colors.
Supporters of Israel and stamp lovers joined to celebrate the first
day of issue.
Hebron Pact Near as Chirac is Harassed
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Senior Middle East mediator Dennis Ross is continuing meetings with
Israeli and Palestinian officials, after delaying his planned
departure from the region, amid what he says is promising progress.
An Israeli official says half the accord on an Israeli withdrawal
from most of Hebron is ready, and other officials say the rest of
the agreement is almost finished.
The top Israeli negotiator on the future structure of civil powers
in Hebron, Gen. Oren Shahor, says the two sides reached a draft
agreement during a dramatic late night meeting which lasted past
3:00 a.m. Tuesday.
Ross was summoned to the meeting Monday while on his way to the
airport to return to the United States. The mediator had indicated
lack of progress on the civil affairs issues was the main reason
for his departure.
The developments in the peace process came on a day when Israel
was hosting a stormy visit by the president of France. At a Tuesday
news conference with visiting French President Jacques Chirac,
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Hebron agreement
is nearly complete. Netanyahu said he will likely meet with
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat to finish the negotiations when the
time is right.
In addition, he reported Chirac brought a positive message from
Damascus, which he visited during the weekend. But Netanyahu would
not give details.
The prime minister also apologized to Chirac for an incident
Tuesday in which Israeli Security officers guarding him during a
visit to Jerusalem's Old City pushed photographers, reporters and
local residents out of the way as the president walked.
The president became angry, at one point pushing one of the Israeli
security men. Then, Chirac stopped a senior police officer and
publicly scolded him.
"What do you want, me to go back to my plane and go back to France,
is that what you want? This is not a method, this is a
provocation, that is provocation. Please you stop now."
The French president's visit to Israel has been fraught with
controversy because he disagrees with Israel's policies on several
key issues. He favors the creation of a Palestinian state, the
return of the Golan Heights to Syria, and the appointment of a
special European envoy for the peace process. Israel opposes all
Chirac is to visit the autonomous Palestinian city of Ramallah
today to meet with Arafat, and become the first foreign head of
state to address the Palestinian Council.
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