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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Nov, 20 1996 V4, #211
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Failed Attempt to Relocate Grave

Two Breslover Chassidim attempted to dig an underground tunnel to the grave of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, in order to exhume his remains and transfer them to Israel. This, they felt, would enable more Jews to visit the site of his grave. They were caught after three days of work on the tunnel, but managed to escape from the Ukrainian authorities and return to Israel.


Syrian Press Fans Flames

Syrian newspapers continue to threaten war on Israel. The official daily newspaper of the Syrian government wrote Tuesday that Benjamin Netanyahu is liable to bring the entire region to a situation of war because of his "idiotic and dangerous policies." It wrote that Netanyahu can light the fire of war, but will not be able to extinguish it.


Egypt Feeling its Oats

The United States has requested that the Egyptian government clarify President Hosni Mubarak's threatening remarks Monday. Mubarak was quoted to the effect that Egypt would not sit quietly if war between Israel and Syria breaks out. Washington staffers say that this is a most worrisome statement.


One Year of Palestinian Autonomy

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jenin)

This month marks the first anniversary of autonomy for most of the Palestinian cities on the West Bank. The first of the group which received autonomy last year is the city of Jenin, at the northern end of the West Bank.

It has been an eventful 12 months for the peace process, complete with some triumphs and many setbacks. Most of the triumphs were last November, December and January, when most of the West Bank cities became autonomous and the Palestinian elections were held. But terrorism, security closures, a slow economy, and Israel's change of government have slowed the process of moving from autonomy to prosperity.

In Jenin, a city of 42,000 people, the Palestinian Authority's chief coordinator had high hopes a year ago of erasing the neglect of nearly 30 years of occupation. Today, the official, Qadura Moussa, is still enthusiastic. But he has also been tempered by a year of dealing with the new Palestinian bureaucracy, a chronic shortage of funds and the Israeli closures.

Moussa says some local residents expected Jenin to become a paradise when the occupation ended, with public gardens, new roads, and improved schools and hospitals -- and they are disappointed that not much has changed. But he also says the Authority is doing what it can to improve the look of the city quickly, while working on longer range plans for schools, hospitals and other facilities. It is also trying to find investors for projects designed to create jobs, but after a year it has virtually no takers because of the uncertain political and security situations.

The main advantage of autonomy, Moussa says, is that Jenin residents can go to bed knowing they will not be arrested during the night by Israeli troops -- as happened to him, as a Fatah activist, several times during the occupation.

The small advancements and remaining problems of Jenin are not unique. They apply in the other six autonomous West Bank cities, and in Gaza as well. The frustrations are expressed in continuing anger at Israel, a drop in support for the peace process, and, in September, in riots throughout the area.

The Palestinian Authority's coordinator in Jenin, Qadura Moussa, warns there could be more violence if Israel's new government does not further ease the closures and do more to advance the peace process. But he says so far the anger has not been directed at the Authority, and he does not expect it to be.

In the market, the first part of Moussa's analysis is borne out through widespread criticism of Israel. But merchants also call on the Authority to do something soon to bring more meaning to autonomy, and at least the beginnings of prosperity.


Israeli Policemen Arrested

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel has arrested and pledged to prosecute two of its border policemen who were shown on videotape beating Palestinian detainees.

Israel's state-owned television station broadcast the videotape, recorded by a Palestinian who witnessed the beatings. It shows the policemen kicking Palestinian detainees in their heads and stomachs and forcing them to do push-ups on the ground, among other abuses.

Some of the men had to be hospitalized. The Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, called the incident shameful, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed the men will be prosecuted. "We cannot accept such people in our security apparatus. I have been assured by the minister of police, that there is an investigation, that they will be put on trial and that the full weight of the law will be applied against these people. They have no place in our security apparatus."


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