Newsletter : 7fax0110.txt
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>PD Jan. 10, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 6
Bombs in Tel Aviv Market Injure 11
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Two bomb explosions shook an outdoor market in Tel Aviv Thursday
evening, injuring about 11 people, most of them slightly.
Police say the explosions were caused by two relatively weak pipe
bombs that were packed with nails. They were hidden in garbage
cans in the market area, next to the city's old bus station -- an
area frequented by foreign workers. Officials say two police
officers who rushed to the scene of the first explosion were among
those injured when the second bomb went off.
The national police chief says the bombs were not as powerful as
the ones used in several bus bombings in Israel in recent years,
each of which resulted in dozens of deaths. But the type of device
used led police to the preliminary conclusion that the incident was
a terrorist attack.
The blasts came as the chief US mediator, Dennis Ross, was meeting
with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an effort to
conclude an Israeli-Palestinian agreement on the future of Hebron
and other occupied parts of the West Bank.
Several incidents have had a negative impact on the sensitive
talks, including a drive-by shooting in which two Israelis on
the West Bank were killed and a shooting spree by an Israeli
soldier in Hebron in which seven Palestinians were wounded.
Ashrawi Reacts to Israeli Housing Plans
By Imani Crosby (VOA-Washington)
Palestinian Authority official Hanan Ashrawi has given an update on
the Palestinian position in the Middle East peace process at a
briefing Thursday in Washington. Ashrawi reacted to the latest
Israeli plans to build more housing in Hebron.
Ashrawi said the Palestinians have protested the development to the
Israeli government and US negotiators. She called the new
construction a clear violation of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement
"This is entirely illegal, it is unacceptable, and the expansion of
settlements is certainly in direct contradiction of the agreements
and is an act of provocation and incitement which would lead to
Ashrawi also accused the Israelis of attempting to build more
floors on existing houses in the old city of Hebron. She said
this changes the demographic nature and cultural and architectural
character of the older area -- a point she says is extremely
sensitive and non-negotiable with the Palestinians.
American Jewish Committee Examines Latin American Jewry
By Bill Rodgers (VOA-San Jose, Costa Rica)
A delegation from an American Jewish group is travelling this week
through Central America and Mexico to examine conditions for Jews
living in the region.
The 18-member delegation from the New York-based American Jewish
committee has made stops in Panama, Costa Rica and is now on its
way to Mexico. The delegation members have met with top government
officials -- including the presidents of Costa Rica and Panama --
and with Jewish community leaders in both countries.
These communities are relatively small. About 2,000 Jews, most of
whose families originated in Poland, live in Costa Rica while
Panama has about 7,000 Jews. There are an estimated 35,000 Jews
living in Mexico.
The head of the delegation, Robert Rifkind, says his group is
pleased with what it has found in the region so far. Rifkind, who
also is president of the American Jewish Committee, said his group
has not heard from community leaders of any serious problems
involving anti-Semitism or human rights violations in either Costa
Rica or Panama. He attributes this healthy human rights climate to
the growth of democracy in general in Latin America.
"We believe it is in the interest of America and in the interest of
minorities, including Jewish minorities, that we see democracy
prosper in the world -- and Latin America is one of the great
success stories of democracy in the last decade. A continent that
was typified by a sort of tyranny has with remarkable speed turned
itself into a series of reasonably successful democracies --
and that ought to interest us -- we oughtn't just look at the
problems, we ought to look at the bright side."
The AJC, which was founded in 1906, has some 50,000 members and is
considered one of the most influential Jewish lobbying
organizations in the United States.
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