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>Israel Faxx
>PD Dec. 20, 1996, Vol 4, No. 231

60th Anniversary of Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates its 60th anniversary with six concerts this month, featuring top artists from around the world. The final concert, on the orchestra's actual birthday, Dec. 26, will feature most of the well-known artists conducted by Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim and Pinkas Zuckerman.

Red Cross Had Access to Concentration Camps

During the waning days of World War 2, the Nazis allowed Red Cross workers into the concentration camps to assist, but not evacuate the prisoners, newly released documents show.

Those documents, which will be available for viewing at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington in February. The 25,000 pages of documents, donated to the museum by the International Committee of the Red Cross, says the workers visited the camps, sometimes for a week to ensure the prisoners' well-being.

The letters, reports and other Red Cross records span a 22-year-period from 1939 to 1961. "(Red Cross) representatives made it into the camps. They saw the unbelievable and recorded it and kept it in your files," said Miles Lerman, chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Those files "contain numerous firsthand accounts and reports on the persecution of Jews and on political detention in general between 1939 and 1945."

"It takes time to face your own history," said Red Cross archives director Georges Willemin. The Red Cross signed an agreement with the Nazis in March 1945 to let relief workers into the camps, Willemin said, and some workers calmed Nazi soldiers and prevented additional killings.

PA Reports Conviction and Sentencing of Tzur Murderers

The Palestinian Authority announced Thursday that the two terrorists who murdered Ita and Ephraim Tzur outside of Beit El last week, Abdal Nasser Ismail al-Kaiso and Ibrahim Salah al-Kam, and the driver of the car from which the fatal shots were fired, Ibrahim Masdani, have been tried and sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor.

There have been conflicting reports from the PA as to the actual sentence and day of the trial. Israel has announced that it still plans to demand the extradition of the murderers.

Palestinian Handling of Terrorists is a Dangerous Sign

Meir Indor, chairman of the Association for Arab Terror Victims, told Arutz-7 that families of terror victims were told by senior security sources that the Palestinian Authority knew in advance that the terrorists it convicted of last week's murders were in fact planning such an attack. He said that the fact that they were apprehended so quickly is a very dangerous sign that the PA did not do anything to stop what they knew was about to happen.

Indor said that he does not believe that the PA tried or sentenced the murderers, "The fact that it was reported that they were sentenced to "hard labor" proves that the whole thing is a lie. For where are they going to perform this hard labor? In the rock quarries of Jericho? The whole thing is a play-act for the Israeli public."

Ross Returns to Middle East

By Ron Pemstein (VOA-State Department)

The United States is sending Middle East envoy Dennis Ross back to Israel and the Palestine Authority to try to overcome the remaining difficulties in the negotiations over Israeli troop redeployment from Hebron.

Ross will be meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Yasir Arafat this weekend to see if the last obstacles blocking an agreement on Hebron can be overcome.

Secretary of State Warren Christopher says the United States is concerned about the delay in the negotiations. Christopher says Ross will return by Christmas Day next week to report on the status of the Hebron negotiations. In his year-end remarks, Christopher expresses confidence that a Hebron agreement can break the impasse in the Middle East peace negotiations.

Dead Sea is Not so Dead

Further proof that the Dead Sea does not deserve its name is provided by an Israeli research team cooperating with a botanical expert from Kiev in the Ukraine in the discovery of three kinds of mushrooms in the Dead Sea. One is also new in scientific records.

For centuries it was thought the Dead Sea was lifeless which gave it its name by the Arabs and in the world's languages. About 60 years ago, unique microbes were found in the sea, by Dr. Eliezer Volcani, then single-cell algae were discovered growing in the sea, where the concentration of minerals reached 34 percent, higher than any other sea in the world.

Now these micro fungi have been found, including penicillium. The most important find is of a fungus called "arcaniotum maris-morti" which is definitely new to science.

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