Newsletter : 7fax0717.txt
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>JN July 17, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 129
House of Representatives Grants Asylum to Swiss Guard
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to grant asylum to the
Swiss bank guard who rescued Holocaust-era documents from a
shredder at the Union Bank of Switzerland earlier this year. After
receiving death threats, Christoph Meili and his family fled to the
United States in April. The Senate passed similar legislation in
UN General Assembly Condemns Israel
The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution
condemning Israel's refusal to stop work on a controversial
building project on disputed land in Jerusalem.
Meeting in "emergency special session", the assembly adopted the
resolution by a 131-3 vote after the Arab and Muslim sponsoring
states agreed to remove a clause urging governments and private
companies to stop providing support for the construction work.
Voting against the resolution were Israel, the US and the Pacific
island federation of Micronesia.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blasted the UN for the
debate, telling Israel Radio, "At a time when thousands and
hundreds of thousands of people are dying in different wars and
disasters in the world, and there are wars that are abandoned in
different places, what the UN decides to do is debate two or three
bulldozers building apartments for peaceful citizens in Jerusalem."
The session began on April 24, when the Assembly declared the
construction "illegal" and called on Israel to stop the project.
Israel has rejected the call.
The Israel Foreign Ministry said in a statement it "utterly rejects
the one-sided and hostile resolution adopted at the Special
Emergency Session of the UN General Assembly on Har Homa. The
building of a new residential neighborhood in Jerusalem, does
not, by any criterion, constitute "a threat to international peace
"There was therefore no justification, whether of procedure or of
substance, to convene the special emergency session, especially
when the international agenda is so burdened with real problems
which require the UN's attention and action. The decision adopted
therefore has no moral justification or validity.
Australians Fell into a Polluted Yarkon River
By SNS News Service
On Wednesday,the Maccabiah Games resumed following a 24 hour
mourning period for the two victims of the bridge collapse. All
athletes participating in the games wore black bands symbolizing
Although the atmosphere that prevailed was a somber one for the
Australian team, they said they felt the return to the competition
was a tribute to their teammates who died in the accident.
Tests of the water in the Yarkon, under the place where the
pedestrian bridge collapsed earlier this week indicate high levels
of toxic substances.
The Ministry of Environmental Affairs apparently gave the okay to
use, what are being called "acceptable chemical agents" to
spray the water against bugs and summer insects.
Victims who fell into the water and swallowed quantities of it are
now fighting the complications caused by the toxic agents
entering into their system.
Thirteen victims of the Maccabiah Games bridge collapse remained
hospitalized, five are in serious condition.
On Wednesday, two builders from the Ben Ezra-Kargula firm, who
built the bridge, were questioned by police "under warning."
The bridge builders rejected any blame for wrongdoing or having
contributed in any way to the deaths of the Maccabiah athletes.
Their attorney maintained that the bridge was completed and left
"unwatched" 12 days prior to the opening ceremony of the games.
During that time, the attorney stipulated that Police Department
vehicles traveled over the bridge. Police deny the allegations.
Other experts told police the bridge failed to meet minimum Israeli
standards of being able to support 500 persons. In addition, the
municipality of Ramat Gan (where the stadium is located) did not
see a need to inspect the structure or issue a permit since the
bridge was "temporary."
Maccabiah officials, engineers and other experts will be giving
testimony to the police unit investigating the accident.
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