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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Nov. 1, 1996 V4, #200
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Vienna stolen Jewish art sale exceeds hopes
A controversial auction of Austrian Jewish artwork looted by Nazi
Germany raised more than four times catalogue estimates to be
distributed to Holocaust victims. The two-day sale of over 8,000
items, organized by British auctioneers Christie's, had fetched $14
million by midday Wednesday. The collection had been valued at $3.5
million. Most of the original owners were killed in the Holocaust
or fled the country.
U.S. Satellites Detect Unusual Movement of Syrian Units
American satellites have detected in recent weeks unusual movement
of Syrian units which operate ground-to-ground Scud missiles.
The U.S. is reportedly concerned by the movements and the pressure
they might bring to bear on Israel.
Ha'aretz quoted an officer in the IDF Intelligence Branch as saying
that there is no change in the Syrian deployment, and that the
movements of the past few days are part of the Syrian army's
regular exercises. The source said the Intelligence Branch has
included the risk of war with Syria in its working assumption and
is conducting daily analyses of Syrian military movements and
monitoring statements in the Syrian media.
Arafat Blames Israelis for Intransigence
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat is in Madrid to mark the fifth
anniversary of the start of the Middle East peace conference. Five
years later, the process is at a critical stage with
Palestinian-Israeli negotiations bogged down and the Syrian and
Lebanese tracks still on hold. The Palestinian leader is blaming
Israeli intransigence for the setbacks.
Arafat told the Arab-language daily El Hayat that Israel's Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might resort to war to get himself out
of his political predicament. The Palestinian leader does not
elaborate, but he talks of the presence of Israeli tanks on the
outskirts of Palestinian-controlled towns in the West Bank and
along the Syrian and Lebanese fronts.
"Anyone who thinks I will accept an unjust agreement," Arafat told
El Hayat, "is wrong and should learn who Yasir Arafat is."
Arafat says Israel's failure to implement the interim agreements
and redeploy its troops on the West Bank will fuel more extremist
violence on both sides. And, the continued occupation of
Palestinian lands, he warns, will provoke "an explosion of the
entire peace process across the region."
Hebronite: Jews, Arabs are Like Gasoline and Fire.
By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)
Tensions are increasing in the West Bank town of Hebron, as Israeli
and Palestinian residents await the long-delayed withdrawal of
Israeli troops from most of the city. Militant Jewish settlers are
threatening to seize more buildings in the city, and Palestinians
continue to demand that the settlers leave.
In Hebron, 450 Israeli Jews live in six heavily guarded enclaves,
amid 100,000 Palestinian Arabs. Both communities feel bonded to
Hebron by the massive stone structure Jews call the Tomb of the
Patriarchs and Muslims call the Ibrahimi mosque. It is holy to
both as the burial place of the biblical patriarch Abraham.
Israel's previous government had already agreed to pull its troops
out of most of Hebron, leaving them only in and near the settler
enclaves. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted
on changes in the agreement, saying he wants better security
arrangements for the settlers.
The Hebron settlers' spokesman, Noam Arnon, says under the
agreement, the Palestinian Authority will have jurisdiction over
property that belonged to Jews who were massacred by Arabs during
a riot in Hebron in 1929.
Arnon says he fears that under the agreement, with 90 percent of
the city controlled by armed Palestinian police, it will be
impossible for the settlers to remain. "Like in 1929, when
thousands of Arab mobs can just stream into the Jewish
neighborhoods -- and I don't see the soldiers that will stand
against these mobs of thousands and open fire or can stop it or
will be able to stop it."
But standing in the central vegetable market in Hebron, Palestinian
resident Ghassan Lutfi says it is the Palestinians who have reason
to be afraid of the Israeli settlers in the city. "I'm angry, I'm
frightened, I'm terrified. You see, because of just one settler
here there are three, four, five, six soldiers following just to
protect him from me. I don't have guns, I don't have weapons, I
don't have anything. They are protecting him from me. Can you
Reports in the Israeli media say the security services have
prepared lists of Jewish extremists who will be placed under
administrative detention to prevent them from trying to obstruct
the redeployment when it happens.
Most Palestinians echo the beliefs of this elderly Hebronite -- the
Jews and Arabs here, he says, are like gasoline and fire.
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