Newsletter : 7fax0806.txt
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>JN Aug. 6, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 143
Israel Spurns Arafat Offer to Fight "Terror"
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu had rejected an offer from Palestinian leader
Yasir Arafat to join together "in fighting terror. Erekat said
"Mr. Netanyahu, instead of accepting President Arafat's offer to
join him in fighting terror and the enemies of peace, he declared
a series of collective punishment measures against the Palestinian
Levy Flies to Cairo to Defend Israeli Actions
By Douglas Roberts (VOA-Cairo)
The crisis in the Middle East has sparked a flurry of consultations
among Arab and Israeli leaders. Last week's suicide bombings in
Jerusalem and the subsequent Israeli crackdown on the Palestinians
have sparked fears that the peace process could collapse.
Israel's Foreign Minister David Levy flew in for a day of talks
with Egyptian leaders, and immediately found himself on the
defensive in the face of growing Arab anger over his government's
crackdown on the Palestinians.
President Hosni Mubarak told the Israeli official that Egypt
condemns terrorism like last week's suicide bombings in Jerusalem.
But he went on to say Cairo is equally opposed to what he termed
the Israeli siege of the Palestinian people.
"We are against the shedding of innocent blood," said the Egyptian
leader, "and we are also against making people go hungry" -- a
reference to the near total blockade of the Palestinian self-rule
areas imposed by Israeli security forces.
As Mubarak conferred with Levy, Arab diplomats were discussing the
situation across town at the Nile-side headquarters of the Arab
League. They later issued a sharply worded statement denouncing
the Israeli crackdown and blaming the violence on the government of
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The statement says that by failing to honor previous agreements
with the Palestinians, the Israeli government has poisoned the
atmosphere and must take responsibility for the consequences.
In his remarks to reporters, Levy defended the Israeli response to
last week's suicide bombings. He said the Israeli measures are
designed to make Palestinian leaders aware that they must cooperate
in efforts to curtail terrorism.
But a visibly angry Yasir Arafat charged Tuesday that the Israeli
crackdown is aimed at humiliating the Palestinians and wrecking the
peace process. After talks with Jordanian leaders, Arafat said the
bombers who struck in Jerusalem last week did not come from the
Palestinian territories, adding that Israeli security authorities
are fully aware of this. Israeli officials say they have not yet
been able to identify the bombers.
Vatican Bank Dealt with Reichsbank in War-Document
New documents have been found in the National Archives
implicating the Vatican's bank in possibly illegal transactions
with Nazi Germany and its Axis partners during World War 2.
Intelligence documents said the Vatican bank used Swiss banking
middlemen in at least three cases to obtain money from the German
Reichsbank or to transfer funds to a bank blacklisted by the Allies
for its dealings with Nazi Germany.
Two weeks ago a storm erupted over a postwar intelligence report
claiming the Vatican stored $130 million in gold coins and cash
taken by the Croatian Nazis from Serbs and Jews.
Syria's Assad Renews No-Compromise Vow on Golan
Syrian President Hafez al-Assad reiterated after a visit to
Iran that he would never compromise on the Israeli-occupied Golan
Heights, the Iranian news agency IRNA said. Assad made his comments
during talks with Iran's President-elect Mohammad Khatami. Assad
said the Golan Heights is an "integral part of Syria and no matter
how strong the enemy or his supporters are, Syria will not bend to
any pressure and will continue pursuing its objectives decisively."
He said U.S. support for Israel demonstrates it pays little
significance to the Arabs or the Moslems.
Arab Teenage Bomb Victim Close to Death
By IINS News Service
Fifteen-year-old Said Khadr was on his third day selling mangoes
when bombs ripped through Jerusalem's produce market - mangling his
left leg so badly it had to be amputated at the knee and burning
his face so severely that his own brother could not recognize him.
He was among the injured in last Wednesday's suicide bomb attack in
Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda marketplace.
For five days, the teenager has lain unconscious in an intensive
care unit at a Jerusalem hospital, burns covering 90 per cent of
Israel's closure imposed on residents of PA autonomous areas in
Judea, Samaria and Gaza, in response to the bombings, have kept
Said's own father from visiting the wounded boy's bedside -
compounding the family's suffering in what is widely believed to be
a Hamas attack.
"I am so angry. This is my most cherished son. He is my spirit,"
Said's mother, Nahla Khadr, said at Hadassah Ein-Karem hospital.
Bombings by Islamic militants, she said, are "not good for peace
and we pay the price."
The teenager is not improving and his chances of surviving are "not
very good," intensive care director Charles Sprung told the mother.
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