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>Israel Faxx
>JN July 25, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 135

Netanyahu Backtracks on Golan Law

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retreated from his support of a legislative bid that would make it harder to trade parts of the occupied Golan Heights to Syria for peace. The legislation, which passed a preliminary reading in parliament, would make approval of territorial concessions on the Golan conditional on the support of at least 80 legislators.

Nazis, Collaborators May Be On Swiss Bank List

The just-published list of almost 2,000 dormant Holocaust-era Swiss bank accounts may include names of key Nazi figures and a man who helped the Nazis loot the art treasures of Europe, Jewish groups said.

While Holocaust survivors and their heirs scoured the list, the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center and New York's World Jewish Congress said several names were troubling. The Wiesenthal Center said six names might be members of Hitler's Nazi elite, including an aide to mass murderer Adolf Eichmann and the wife of the head of Nazi intelligence.

Nationwide Strike Ends

By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)

The general strike by government corporations has ended. The heads of the worker's committees from the various striking companies met Thursday evening and decided to call the workers back to work.

Finance Minister Yaakov Ne'eman had declared Thursday afternoon that the strike was unnecessary and unjust. Travel had been paralyzed on commuter trains, and service disruptions continued at Bezek, Israel's national phone company. The electric company had also been on strike, although the company reported that all demand for electricity had been met.

In the wake of the railway strike, the Egged national bus cooperative announced that female soldiers would be permitted to ride on the Haifa-Tel Aviv route free of charge.

Israeli unions had launched an open-ended strike which threatened to cripple the country. The strike was called to protest government plans to privatize state-owned companies.

The strike involved about 60,000 employees in 10 state-owned companies and institutions. They included the electricity and water companies, Israeli military industries, the post office and oil refineries. Particularly hard hit by the stoppage was Tel Aviv's (Ben-Gurion) International Airport, where all takeoffs were suspended.

The strike was called in solidarity with workers from the Bezeq communications company, who walked off the job a week ago to protest the sale of 12.5 Percent of Bezeq stock to the investment house Merrill Lynch. Union leaders said the Merrill Lynch deal violated government promises to involve the communication workers in all aspects of the company's privatization.

The telecom strike had disrupted essential telephone services, including overseas lines. The Communications Ministry issued back-to-work orders to vital Bezeq workers, but a union spokesman says it would take days to restore all the telecommunications.

Observers said the sympathy strike of other state company workers was a clear message to the government that its declared intention to privatize government-owned companies will not be easy.

Uzi Sub-Machine Gun Now Available in USA

By SNS News Service

After a 10-year American ban on the sale of the famous Israeli "Uzi" 9mm sub-machine gun, the weapon may now be sold in the US.

In an exclusive interview with the Yediot Achronot Finance Magazine, the president of the Uzi Company in the USA, Jonathan Mossberg, made the announcement.

Mossberg explained that after a one year effort, the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol and Firearms agreed to permit the sale of the Uzi Carbine, with a long barrel. The weapons will only fire single shots and not automatic. Mossberg explained that it is almost impossible for someone to convert this particular model to an automatic weapon.

The weapon will go on sale next year and will carry a price tag of under $1,000.

Court Allows Prayer on Temple Mount

A Jerusalem court has made a revolutionary decision regarding Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. The chief judge of the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, Amnon Cohen, ordered the police Thursday to permit the head of the Temple Mount Faithful, Yehuda Etzion, to pray on the site. The prayer will take place without a prayer book, prayer shawl, phylacteries, or minyan (prayer quorum), and in silence.

Cohen also canceled the longstanding restraining order which had prevented Etzion from entering Jerusalem's Old City. The prosecution announced that it would appeal the decision, and the judge ordered that his decision not be carried out before Sunday in order to allow the police to prepare for the prayer. Yehuda Etzion declared that this was an historic decision.

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