Newsletter : 7fax0703.txt
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>JN July 3, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 120
Unrest Spreads to Gaza
By Patricia Golan (VOA Al-Bireh, Gaza)
A Palestinian teenager has been shot dead in a clash between
Israeli troops and Palestinians in Gaza. Violence also broke out
again in the West Bank city of Hebron, where several Palestinians
were wounded by rubber bullets.
Reports say the confrontation in Gaza began when a group of about
200 Palestinians broke into a cultivated area near the Gush Katif
settlement bloc, where bulldozers were leveling sand dunes.
Both Jewish settlers and Palestinians claim ownership of the
disputed plot of land. Israeli soldiers opened fire, killing a
In another incident elsewhere in Gaza, Israeli soldiers uprooted
tree saplings planted by Palestinians earlier in the day near the
settlement of Morag. Soldiers destroyed a temporary structure on
the site, which also is claimed by the Palestinians.
In Hebron, Israeli snipers on rooftops fired live ammunition at
Palestinian rioters who were throwing stones and firebombs.
Israeli soldiers are guarding enclaves of Jewish settlers in parts
of the city which was turned over to Palestinian control earlier
this year. Troop reinforcements were brought in overnight after
two Israeli soldiers were wounded by a home-made bomb thrown from
Palestinian police refuse to intervene to stop the riots. The
Israeli government accuses the Palestinian authority of fanning
the flames in order to escalate the violence.
The renewed violence in Hebron was triggered when an Israeli
woman posted caricatures depicting the prophet Mohamed as a pig -
an act denounced by the Israeli government. The woman is to be
On Wednesday, a senior aide to Palestinian Chairman Yasir Arafat
has complained that the United States has suspended its efforts at
The secretary of the Palestinian Cabinet, Ahmed Abdel-Rahman, told
a news conference in Al-Bireh in the West Bank, that the new
secretary of state, Madeline Albright, seems to have other
"It is very clear that there is an American withdrawal from its
role for the peace process in the Middle East. Miss Albright thinks
the Middle East is not the first priority of the American
administration. She is more European than Mediterranean."
Abdel-Rahman says Egyptian efforts to revive peace talks have
collapsed, and he blames Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
for not taking Egyptian efforts seriously. He repeated the
Palestinian Authority's position that it will not restore
cooperation between the security services, as demanded by the
Israelis, or continue negotiations unless Israel stops settlement
Netanyahu has still not succeeded in ending weeks of turmoil
within his coalition. In a meeting Wednesday with Foreign Minister
David Levy, he failed to reach an agreement that would prevent Levy
from carrying out his threat to quit. The foreign minister
complains he is being left out of political decision-making.
Abdel-Rahman says the fact that the Israeli government is
preoccupied with its own internal problems means it is not able
to take any decisions. He warns that the West Bank and Gaza are on
the verge of an explosion as a result of the continuing stalemate.
In Whom Do We Trust?
A survey carried out by the Histadrut's Consumer Protection
Administration has found that journalists inspire the least amount
of trust among the public. On a scale of 1 to 10, journalists rated
a 5. Next lowest were car mechanics, with 5.2, and insurance
agents, who received a score of 5.3. Most-trusted were family
doctors, with a 8.3 rating. Dentists were next with 7.8, and
teachers in third place, trusted at a 7.5 rate.
Hong Kong's Jewish Community
The Hong Kong Jewish community believes they will have no
problem living Jewish lives under Chinese rule, and say they do not
currently suffer anti-Semitism and have little problem with
assimilation. They are, however, concerned that their businesses
Foreign Ministry officials said that, as a result of the warm
Sino-Israeli relationship, they are not expecting a dramatic change
in the new government's attitude toward Hong Kong Jewry. The
British Desk of the Jewish Agency said that some Hong Kong Jews
have expressed interest in immigration to Israel should conditions
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