Newsletter : 7fax0103.txt
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>PD Jan. 3, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 2
IDF Detains Friedman's Alleged Accomplice
By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)
American mediators tried to coordinate a summit Thursday between
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority
President Yasir Arafat, following Wednesday's shooting spree by an
Israeli soldier in the West Bank city of Hebron. It is still
unlikely the two will meet to initial the long-delayed agreement
The urgency of completing the long-delayed agreement on an Israeli
pullback from Hebron was dramatically pointed up Wednesday, when an
off-duty soldier opened fire in the crowded Hebron market, wounding
six Palestinians. The soldier, an Orthodox Jew with a history of
mental problems, said he was trying to stop the agreement. The
quick action of an Israeli soldier who overpowered Noam Friedman
while he was firing prevented an even worse disaster.
Israeli police now say Friedman had an accomplice -- another
soldier who has been detained on suspicion of collusion and
failing to prevent a crime.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators had been expected to conclude
their accord on Hebron Wednesday, but a summit between the leaders
was put off after the shooting. Although both Arafat and Netanyahu
said the gunman would not achieve his aim of derailing the nearly
completed agreement, there is still no meeting scheduled between
the two leaders.
The key sticking point is said to be a timetable for an Israeli
withdrawal from rural areas in the West Bank. But even when the
agreement is ready, Netanyahu will only initial it, since he has
promised to get Cabinet approval first before signing.
Several Cabinet ministers are threatening to vote against the
agreement, which they say endangers the 400 Jewish settlers living
in the heart of Hebron, where Islamic militants find strong
The Islamic Jihad has vowed to take revenge for Wednesday's market
shooting. The Israeli army moved sizable forces into Hebron
following the shooting to prevent possible revenge attacks.
Military sources say the beefed-up troop presence will remain in
Hebron until the redeployment.
Syria Blames Mossad for Bus Bombing
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
Syrian authorities have confirmed a New Year's eve bus bombing in
Damascus and blamed it on Israeli agents. Israel denies the
charge. The first official comment on the bus bombing says at least
nine people were killed and at least 40 others injured. The blast
occurred in a central bus station, apparently on a bus headed
toward the northern city of Aleppo.
No group has claimed responsibility but there have been several
attacks against Syrians in neighboring Lebanon where right-wing
Christians oppose Syria's political domination there.
But Syria's news agency blames Israeli Mossad agents for the
bombing. The statement quoting an unnamed government source says
the terrorist action comes amid increased threats by a number of
Israeli officials, who the statement says want to kill the peace
Israeli officials recently have warned of a possible war with
Syria. Peace talks between the neighbors have been frozen for
nearly a year. Syria is demanding the full return of the Golan
Heights, which Israel seized in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
Nazi Guard Fires Gun at Kansas City Police
By Michael Leland (VOA-Chicago)
A man the Justice Department says is a former Nazi prison camp
guard faces assault charges in Kansas. Police say the man fired
shots at police and journalists shortly after the Justice
Department made its accusation.
Police in Kansas City, Kan., say 79-year old Michael Kolnhofer
stood on his front porch Tuesday afternoon, waving a gun and asking
reporters and police outside if they were going to go away. They
say he fired several shots before a police officer demanded
Kolnhofer drop his weapon, then shot him in the leg. Kolnhofer is
in the hospital, and no one else was injured in the incident.
This happened about 90-minutes after Justice Department officials
filed papers in federal court seeking to strip Kolnhofer of his
naturalized citizenship. The Justice Department cites captured
Nazi records in accusing him of being a guard at two Nazi camps
beginning in 1943. It says Kolnhofer did not mention his camp
service when he emigrated to the United States in 1952, and would
not have received a visa if he had disclosed the truth.
Since 1979, 57 former Nazis have been stripped of their US
citizenship; 48 have been deported.
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