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>Israel Faxx
>JN July 30, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 138

Turkey to Aid Israel in Case of Attack

A Turkish newspaper, the Daily Turkish, reports Tuesday that Israel and Turkey signed a comprehensive military cooperation agreement a few days ago. The newspaper reports extensively on the details of the agreement, which, it says, include a Turkish obligation to come to Israel's aid if the latter is attacked by Iran, Iraq, or Syria. The IDF will be allowed to operate within Turkish area in case of such an attack.

Syria Preparing, Israel Not Ready

By Arutz-7

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Amnon Lipkin-Shachak told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee Tuesday that Syria is planning for war with Israel. He said that no decision to go to war has yet been taken, but that Syria is willing to make many sacrifices in order to surprise Israel.

Labor Knesset member Ephraim Sneh, chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Security Subcommittee, published a report that says the IDF is not ready for war, has no response to the threat of chemical warfare, and its supplies of ammunition and vehicles have been eroded.

Iranian Missiles will Threaten Israel Within Two Years

By IINS News Service

According to senior security officials, Israel will face the threat of Iranian long-range ground-to-ground missiles within two years. The officials said that Iranian work on their missile project will be concluded by 1999, and will result in missiles that can be launched from Iran to strike targets in Israel.

.By October 1997, the Israel Air Force will begin preparing the Arrow anti-missile missile for use and, by the beginning of next year, a radar system developed specifically for the Arrow missile will come into operation. The Arrow missiles are expected to be fully functional by 1999.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed the Russian government that Israel will not sign any significant economic agreement as long as Russia continues to sell ground-to-ground missile technology to Iran.

Bank Says Shredded Files May be Linked to Jewish Property

By IINS News Service

ZURICH, Switzerland - Switzerland's largest bank has confirmed that documents discovered in its shredder room by a night watchman may have been related to property sold by Jews under the Nazis.

The Union Bank of Switzerland had previously maintained that the documents salvaged by the guard, Christoph Meili, were unrelated to dormant accounts of Holocaust victims. But a statement acknowledged the documents may have some relation to the victims. Jewish groups have criticized Swiss banks for not being forthright in revealing records of Jewish gold and assets that disappeared in Switzerland following the war.

Some of the shredder room documents were relevant to the research of an international panel of historians investigating Switzerland's dealings with the Nazis, the panel's secretary, Linus von Castelmur, told The Associated Press Monday. He declined to elaborate.

Union Bank said it had copies of documents relating to "the case of three properties, for the purchase of which a German bank in 1937 acted as intermediary and whose previous owners were possibly Jews."

Since Jews were under Nazi pressure to sell their property in Germany at prices well below market values, the mortgages for a 1937 sale of property, possibly by Jews, could well come under the scope of the commission's work. Documents related to the sale were in the shredder room.

Meili, who lost his job over the incident and is under investigation for breaking Switzerland's banking secrecy rules, has fled to the United States with his wife and two children because he said he felt their lives were in danger. The US Congress has moved to give them permanent residence status.

Union Bank admitted that its chief archivist shredded documents earlier this year, but it is not known how many or which documents were destroyed.

Seized Chabad Library will Go Public

The director of the Russian State Library, Mary Trifonenka, is in Israel meeting with Israeli architect Yisrael Goodovitch. He has been commissioned to design a special wing in the library for the 10,000 Chabad books there. The collection, which includes books and manuscripts up to 500 years old on Jewish law and thought, was owned by Rabbi Shalom Ber Schneerson, the fifth Rebbe in the Lubavitcher Chassidic dynasty.

Upon fleeing from his hometown due to the approaching invasion of Germany in World War I, he sent the collection to Moscow. Two years later, during the Revolution, the Soviet government seized the books. Subsequently, many Chabad leaders and spokesmen, with the help of four U.S. presidents, have petitioned the Soviet government to release the collection and return it to its rightful owners.

Recently, Boris Yeltsin decided that he would not release the books, but would rather build a special wing within the Russian State Library to house them. The new wing to be designed by world-renowned architect Goodovitch will be three stories high and 3500 square meters.

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