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>Israel Faxx
>JN Jan. 30, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 20

Rioting Expected at Temple Mount

Minister of Public Security Avigdor Kahalani blames Israeli-Arab elements for instigating riots on the Temple Mount. Kahalani fears that this coming Friday -- the last of the month of Ramadan -- severe rioting will break out on the Mount, provoked by a group under the leadership of the mayor of Um el-Fahm. Kahalani admitted the police do not perform body-checks upon Arab women who arrive at the Mount.

Marzuk Agrees Not to Fight Extradition

By Joe Chapman (VOA-New York)

The head of the political bureau of the militant Palestinian group, Hamas, said in New York Wednesday he will no longer fight extradition to Israel to face charges he was involved in terrorist acts.

Mousa abu Marzuk says he has ordered his attorneys to stop the legal fight against his extradition to Israel to face murder and conspiracy charges for a series of terrorist acts.

Michael Kennedy, one of the attorneys representing Marzuk, told reporters at a news conference there is no evidence linking Marzuk to terrorist acts.

Marzuk, who has lived in the United States for 15 years, has been jailed for the last 18 months. He was detained in the summer of 1995 as he returned to the United States, after his name was placed on a list of suspected terrorists.

Marzuk, in a tape recording played by his attorneys, says he is ready to go to Israel where he says he will become what he calls a martyr for the Palestinian cause. He says he has never made any secret of his political beliefs.

Marzuk and his attorneys insist he is innocent of any crimes and say he is being punished for political reasons. But federal court Judge Kevin Duffy said in his ruling last year that the indiscriminate bombing of buses loaded with civilians and similar acts do not advance any political motive other than as terrorist acts.

Duffy's ruling says there is probable cause to believe that Marzuk not only raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the so-called military arm of Hamas, but was deeply involved in what the judge termed "violent, murderous acts."

The judge said Marzuk not only supplied the financing, but selected the leaders for the attacks.

Middle East Leaders will Head to Washington

By Deborah Tate (VOA-White House)

The White House announced President Clinton will meet separately in Washington with four Middle East leaders during the next two months.

Clinton will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Feb. 13 and with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat March 3. One week later, on March 10, Clinton will meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. And he will see Jordan's King Hussein March 18.

White House spokesman Mike McCurry says the talks will likely deal with resumption of negotiations between Israel and Syria.

Meanwhile, the United States is joining Israel in disputing a Syrian claim that Israel has agreed to withdraw to its 1967 border in a peace accord with Syria.

Syria's Ambassador to the United States, Walid Moualem, says Israel had agreed in writing as early as July 1994 that it was prepared to withdraw from the Golan Heights. He says the two sides were on the verge of signing an agreement in January of last year, but that it never happened because Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres had called early elections.

Israel flatly denies there was any such agreement, as does the United States. State Department spokesman Nick Burns said "If there had been an Israeli-Syrian agreement on the Golan in 1995, we would not be standing here debating this. There would be peace between Israel and Syria, and there is not a peace treaty between the two today."

50% of Songs Must Be Hebrew

The Education Committee of the Knesset will propose legislation obligating radio stations to devote at least half of their music air-time to Hebrew songs. Rafi Elul (Labor) said that a recent poll showed that the Voice of Israel radio devotes only 15% of its music broadcasts to Hebrew music, Army Radio gives it 49%, whereas Arutz Sheva dedicates 94%.

Committee Chairman Emanuel Zisman (Third Way) said, "A normal self-respecting country must support its native music, and we do not do this." Entertainer Shaika Levy, who participated in the committee session, said, "In France there is a law that requires 50% of its broadcast music to be French. Without its music, a nation is not a nation."

Sharansky Makes First Headlines in Russia

Natan Sharansky has been discovered by the Russians. The Israeli Minister of Industry and Trade, now visiting Russia, was never written up by the Soviet media throughout his struggle against the regime. Israeli Ambassador to Russia Aliza Shenhar called a press conference to attempt to remedy the situation, and over 100 Russian journalists showed up. The former Prisoner of Zion took them on a tour of significant sites of his protest days. He was also interviewed on a popular television show.

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