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>Israel Faxx
>PD Jan. 9, 1997, Vol. 5, Num, 205

40% of Arabs Support Terror

The Palestinian Institute for Public Opinion in Shechem released the results of a poll on the question of Palestinian relations with Israel. 40% of the Palestinians polled support terrorist acts against Israel while 79% claim that they support the peace process. Only 28% of the participants in the poll feel that the Palestinian press is free of constraints of the Palestinian Authority.

U.S. Engineers Survey Main Hebron Road

By Al Pessin (VOA-Hebron)

Efforts continued Wednesday to forge an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on what will follow an Israeli withdrawal from Hebron. The negotiations proceeded amid pessimistic statements by Palestinian officials following a more than five-hour middle-of-the-night meeting between the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, and the senior US Middle East mediator, Dennis Ross.

American civil engineers drew a crowd in downtown Hebron Wednesday as they surveyed possible improvements to the main road running through a Palestinian neighborhood and alongside Israeli settler compounds.

Inside the compounds, and in the adjacent Arab market, people were pessimistic about the prospects for an Israeli withdrawal. Settlers were happy about that, Palestinians were unhappy and cynical -- and predicted further violence.

In Jerusalem and Gaza, US mediators continued to seek a compromise between Israeli leaders -- who want more than two years to complete promised further West Bank withdrawals after Hebron -- and Palestinian leaders, who want the job done by September as originally promised.

In Hebron, Israelis and Palestinians continue to wait, and to worry -- the settlers about a withdrawal, the Palestinians about further delays.

The Ramadan Lantern

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan marks the time when the Koran was first revealed to the prophet Mohamed. Historians say Ramadan was first observed in the year 625. It is month of prayer and dawn-to-dusk fasting.
In Egypt, there are also traditions that, while not religious, are still part of Ramadan. The colorful lantern, or "fanous" in Arabic, is one. The fanous used to light the way down darkened streets to morning prayers and a meal before dawn and the start of the fast.

Walk through the small market, around the cages of geese and down the dusty alley behind. And there, in the shadow of Cairo's Hassan Pasha Taher mosque, the sounds of hammering beckon visitors into a crowded courtyard where artisans are tapping the finishing touches to another Ramadan lantern.

A young boy taps a design on a tin frame. Another cuts the glass that will be stained red and yellow, blue and green and then fitted into the frame of the lantern.

49-Year-old Salama Hanafi Diab and his two brothers huddle around a gas flame that heats the soldering irons they use to weld the pieces together into lamps. Salama has been making Ramadan lamps since he was 5 years old. Salama says there are only about 20 artisans left who still assemble the colorful lamps all year long. And most of them live in the neighborhood, known as "Sayeda Zeinab," located in the heart of Cairo.

Salama says these workshops provide wholesalers with the many thousands of lamps that are sold across Egypt, the Middle East and Europe.

Salama says the fanous tradition in Egypt dates back more than 1,000 years. The lamps were created to light the way for Muslims looking for a spot to observe the nearly invisible crescent moon that marks the start of the holy month. Others used the lanterns to light their way down darkened alleys and streets as they called out to their neighbors to come to prayer. But electricity has turned the old essential lanterns into modern-day decorations.

Most lamps nowadays have an electric light bulb inside, but Salama still makes a few for candles. And there are some with battery operated recordings of the call to prayer. He says the making of Ramadan lamps is, as Salama it, part of his soul.

Most lanterns display Koranic verses to celebrate Ramadan. But Salama gets some special orders too. Egypt's top soccer players, for example, have asked him to stencil their Ramadan lamps with the names of their teams.

First Israeli Transplant of Liver From Living Donor

At the Beilinson Medical Center, the first transplant in Israel of a liver taken from a living person, has been carried out, with a mother donating part of her liver to save the life of her two-year-old daughter who was born with a diseased liver. No liver small enough was found from a recently deceased person.

The Ministry of Health recently authorized such emergency transplants from suitable living relatives to be carried out at the Beilinson Center or Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Several experienced surgeons participated in this transplant, with some of them having trained in the U.S. for such an operation. The operating team was headed by Professor Zaki Shapira and Dr. Eytan Mor.

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