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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Nov. 5, 1996 V4, #202
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Israel Faxx will not be published Wednesday, 11/6/96

Arafat: "We Are in a State of War with Israel

About two weeks ago, in an off-the-record briefing which Arafat held for Palestinian journalists in Ramallah, he said, "Know that "we are in a state of war with Israel. I do not know what exactly will happen with the negotiations, but we are at war and we are prepared for it."

Israeli Minister Urges Government to Prepare for Syrian War

Former Soviet Jewish dissident Natan Sharansky, now Israel's minister of trade and industry, urged the government to prepare for war with Syria. In an interview published Sunday he said, "In light of the Syrian threats, and they are very serious in my opinion, the best way is to begin preparing the people for the possibility of war." Syrian troop movements in Lebanon last month and a series of military exercises have given Israel war jitters. Damascus said the military action was only defensive.

Israel Remains on High Alert for Islamic Jihad Attack

Israel went on high alert Sunday for fear of a possible suicide attack by Palestinian militants of Islamic Jihad, marking the one-year anniversary of their leader's death. Islamic Jihad accuses Israel of gunning down Fathi Shqaqi Oct. 26, 1995 in Malta. His assassins were never caught. "We don't know the kind of attack, but it could be an explosion, suicide, shots," said an official. Israeli police said a car bomb might already have been smuggled into Israel and its operators could be waiting for a green light to carry out the attack.

Netanyahu Asks for Foreign Assistance to Avert Terrorist attack

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel has asked foreign governments to help restrain militant Palestinian groups it believes are planning a terrorist attack during the next few days. Israeli newspapers report, and officials have hinted at confirmation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the United States and other Western countries to pass appeals to Syria and Iran, where militant groups are based.

The appeals reportedly asked those governments to restrain the militant groups, and perhaps try to arrange cancellation of an attack Israel believes may be imminent. Netanyahu says Israel has information indicating what he calls "outside forces" are involved in the alleged plan.

Israel says it has solid information about a militant, or perhaps a group of them, who may have already entered Israel and who are alleged to be planning a massive terrorist attack. Police have eased controls at roadblocks in several parts of the country, after causing huge traffic jams Sunday. But special patrols and security checks remain in place at shopping malls and some large office buildings. Senior officers say a substantial behind-the-scenes effort is continuing to block any attack. Security teams are reportedly checking bomb shelters and other potential hiding places in an effort to find the suspected terrorist force.

The warnings and roadblocks kept many people away from public places Sunday and Monday. But Netanyahu says a little inconvenience and lost business is a small price to pay to keep people safe.

"We have intelligence alerts about the possibility of terrorist attacks inside Israel. We are taking the necessary precautions. This requires a great deal of effort on our part. It causes a discomfort to our citizens. But we expect them to, and they do, show understanding for these discomforts."

Netanyahu also called on the Palestinian Autonomy Authority to do more to help fight the militant groups. But the senior Palestinian police officer says the Israeli alert is not necessary because the militants do not want to do anything that could be blamed for further delaying an Israeli withdrawal from Hebron.

Meanwhile, with talks on that issue stalled, tension continues to rise in the Hebron area. Sunday, Palestinians accused settlers near Hebron of firebombing a Palestinian house. Monday, a spokesman for the Infrastructure Ministry confirmed thousands of new housing units are planned for settlements near Tel Aviv -- a move that would further inflame Palestinian anger.

But settlers elsewhere are planning demonstrations to protest the new right-wing government is, in their view, not doing enough to expand settlements and build new ones.

Rabbis Visit, Stones Continue Flying

The security forces arrested two youths from Kfar Hussan, near Bethlehem. One of them is the brother of Hilmi Shusha, who died last week after sustaining an injury while being chased by the Security Officer of Hadar Beitar; the officer is being charged with manslaughter. The IDF spokesman said that the two youths threw stones at passing cars, and that they have already been released on bail.

A delegation of rabbis, including Rabbi Yehuda Gilad of Kibbutz Lavi and Rabbi Yoel Bin-Nun of Ofrah, paid a condolence call to the Shusha family yesterday. Gilad told Arutz-7 they made it clear that the visit was not to be interpreted as taking a political stand of any sort, but that he and the other visiting rabbis grieve over the death of any person, Jew or Arab.


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