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>PD
>Israel Faxx
>JN April 14, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 66

Reform, Conservative Jews Cut Contributions

Reform and Conservative Jewish communities in the US, angered by the Israeli Knesset's first round approval of a conversion law that legitimizes Orthodox conversions only, have decided to divert part of their contributions to Zionist-based organizations and transfer them to their representative movements in Israel.

The major institutions that stand to be affected by the move are the United Jewish Appeal and the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency. The Jewish Federation in San Francisco decided to cut $1 million in its annual donation to the UJA, nearly 15% of its budget, and will instead channel the monies into Israeli Conservative and Reform institutions as well as projects for Jewish-Arab coexistence.

Jewish-American investors in Israeli corporations have warned they may reconsider their relationship to the Israeli business sector in light of the decision.


Palestinian Wounds 3 at Allenby Bridge

A Palestinian woman shot and wounded an Israeli soldier, a border guard and a Palestinian Sunday morning on the Allenby bridge crossing from Jordan into Israeli-controlled territory. Police said the woman got off a bus on the bridge and fired.

Yechiel Amitai, a spokesman for the bridge crossing, said the woman was a resident of the West Bank village of Qalqilya, but came to the crossing from Jordan. "She fired at the Israeli side and wounded three people," Amitai said. "The woman was then overpowered and taken away for questioning."

Israel eased West Bank and Gaza border restrictions Sunday, allowing 20,000 Palestinians to cross into Israel to work. Israel closed the borders after the March 21 bombing in Tel Aviv.


Palestinian Authority Acquires Anti-Tank Missiles

Yediot Acharonot reported Sunday that the Palestinian Authority is acquiring anti-tank missiles from foreign countries, and smuggling them into Gaza. Israeli security forces fear that the port being built in Gaza without Israeli permission will soon be used for boats filled with weapons and ammunition.

Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon and others had previously warned that the PA is making great efforts to amass arms, including anti-tank missiles. Brig.-Gen. (res.) Aharon Levran, formerly of the IDF Intelligence Corps, explained some weeks ago that not only is this a violation of the agreements, but it leads to a situation where the Palestinians are able, via their growing military strength, to impose their will on Israel.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has urged Arabs to quit talking about Jerusalem and do something about it. In a speech at Al-Fatih University in the Libyan capital Tripoli, Gadhafi said the Arab world must counter Israeli moves in east Jerusalem.

"The Zionist movement in east Jerusalem must be confronted by an Arab countermovement to occupy east Jerusalem and deny any Zionist entry," Gadhafi told a rally of university students. "It is not through paper resolutions."

He chided those countries that have tried to develop relations with Israel, saying "We must expose the stupidity of the Arab economic and political approaches because it is part of the deteriorating, decaying and immoral international approach."

Last week, Yasir Arafat said "There will be no peace in the area until Jerusalem is returned to its rightful owners, to become the capital of Palestine. Jerusalem is the key to peace or war in the area."

According to a report in a London-based Arabic daily newspaper, Syrian President Hafez el-Assad has placed the nation's military forces on high-alert in anticipation of engaging into war with Israel, based on recent developments in the Middle East.

According to an unidentified senior Syrian political figure, Syria said it does not have to rely on any outside assistance and it is capable of causing "a great deal of damage to Israel" using its own 600 kilometer (360 miles) missiles and other weaponry.

The Israeli Ministry of Labor has announced a grant of NIS 1,400 ($462) to families who move to Katzrin in the Golan from areas which are not in the list of national preference areas. The total government assistance for purchasing a home in Katzrin in the Golan is NIS 200,000 ($66,000) of which NIS 40,000 ($13,200) is a grant.

Contractors are offering an additional loan of NIS 70,000 ($23,100). The price of a home is around NIS 310,000 ($102,300). A total of 500 housing units are at various stages of planing and construction in Katzrin.


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