Newsletter : 6fax1202.txt
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>PD Dec. 2, 1996, Vol. 4, Number 217
Palestinian Pollution Threatens Israel
"An ecological intifada" is the term given by Director-General
of the Ministry of the Environment, Nechama Ronen, to the pollution
of the rivers of the Sharon and the Judean Desert by untreated
sewage originating in the autonomous areas. Environment Minister
Rafael Eitan said Palestinians take no measures to protect Israel's
vital water supply sources from pollution.
Rabbinical Students Return to Joseph's Tomb
By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)
Jewish seminary students have returned to their studies at Joseph's
Tomb in Palestinian-ruled Nablus in the West Bank. The students
had left in September after bloody clashes left six Israeli
soldiers and one Palestinian dead. Joseph's Tomb is the only part
of Nablus still under Israeli military control. Believed to be the
site of the biblical figure Joseph, the shrine is holy to Jews and
Last September, violence erupted throughout the West Bank and Gaza
Strip over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to open an
archeological tunnel near an Islamic site in Jerusalem. Sixty
Palestinians and 15 Israeli soldiers died in the bloodshed.
At Joseph's Tomb, several Israeli soldiers were trapped while
trying to protect the Jewish seminary students there; six soldiers
died in gun battles when rioters and Palestinian police besieged
Sunday, in a move coordinated by Israeli soldiers and Palestinian
police, 25 students returned to the site in an Israeli army truck,
escorted by a Palestinian police jeep.
Saudis Warn of War Against Israel
The Saudi Arabian Prince El Feisal has warned of another war in
the Middle East. The Netanyahu government has been the subject of
sharp criticism in the Arab world. Syria demanded that the Arab
League states, meeting Sunday for an emergency summit in Cairo,
freeze the process of normalization of relations with Israel and
make it contingent upon further Israeli concessions.
Progress on Ron Arad?
Reports are circulating of intensified indirect cooperation
between Iran and Israel regarding intelligence concerning the
location of the missing Israeli navigator Ron Arad. The Teheran
Times quotes the head of Middle East Desk of the Iranian Foreign
Ministry, Dr. Chan Shari, who reveals that there will soon be new
developments of great significance in the Ron Arad case.
In a related story, reports received from the CIA say China has
sold 400 tons of ingredients necessary for Iran to manufacture
nerve gas. The report appeared in the Washington Times. According
to the report, Iran and Syria are working together to advance their
chemical arsenals including deadly warheads being attached to
Syrian Scud missiles.
Netanyahu, Arafat May Meet on Hebron in Lisbon
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Lisbon this
week to participate in the European Conference on Cooperation and
Security. Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat will also
participate in the conference despite the fact that the Palestinian
Authority is not included among the five Middle Eastern countries
The Israeli army's radio station reports the parties have reached
an agreement in principle on two remaining issues, the IDF's right
to the hot pursuit of terrorists and the arming of Palestinian
The Syrian Ambassador to Egypt, Isser Darwish, has now backed down
on his warning that Syria would use biological weapons against
Israel in the face of a nuclear threat from the Israelis. On
Wednesday, Darwish was quoted in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram as
acknowledging a stockpile of missiles armed with chemical and
biological warheads that would be used against Israel should a
threat be felt.
Radio Israel reported Friday that Darwish now denies that Syria --
or any other Arab country -- possesses non-conventional weapons.
Ha'aretz reported that Farouk Kaddumi, the head of the PLO's
political department, justified suicide bombing attacks against
Israelis in an interview with an Arabic-language newspaper
published in Britain.
Rabbi Rules to Dispose of Missionary Booklets
Bet-El Bet Rabbi Zalman Melamed has halakhically ruled that the
missionary pamphlets sweeping Israel should be destroyed, even
though they contain biblical verses. In the last few days, tens of
thousands of Israeli residents have received missionary propaganda
in the mail, bearing the heading "Shalom."
Conversion Law to be Amended
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered Justice Minister
Tzachi Hanegbi to enact the amendment to the conversion law as soon
as possible, in accordance with pre-election promises to the
religious parties. According to the proposed amendment, conversions
carried out in Israel will be registered only if certified by the
Chief Rabbinate. On the other hand, any conversions performed
outside of Israel, including reform or conservative conversions,
will be officially recognized in Israel.
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