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>Israel Faxx
>PD Aug. 7, 1997, Vol. 5, No 144

Arafat Calls for "The Great Battle"

By IINS News Service

As Prime Minister Netanyahu and Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan were meeting to work out methods to get the stalled peace process on track, PLO Authority Chief Arafat was in Gaza calling upon the masses to prepare for the "great battle." "Amass your might, intelligence and your food," added the PA Chief. "We will continue until the flags fly from the mosques in our capital Jerusalem."

Clinton to Arafat: Take a Hard Line

By David Swan (VOA-State Department)

President Clinton urges Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat to take a hard line against terrorism after last week's suicide bombing in

Jerusalem. While Clinton calls peace a two-way street, he says
Arafat has  no  excuse for  not  maintaining security.  In a
White House news conference, the president said the process cannot
move forward until the Israelis believe the chairman is doing all
he can to protect their safety.

"I believe the people who are responsible for those terrorist bombs are the enemies of the Palestinian Authority as well -- and I think they ought to see that. It is imperative that Mr. Arafat understand that those people are not his friends either."

The administration is stepping up efforts to end the current crisis and get peace talks back on track. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will visit the Middle East later this month if the sides make progress on security.

Etzion Banned from Temple Mount

By IINS News Service

Chai Vekaiyam activist Yehuda Etzion was slapped with an administrative order Wednesday banning him from entering the Temple Mount area until February 1998. Etzion has been a leader in the fight to permit Jews the right to pray on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City.

Last week, the courts handed down a landmark decision permitting Etzion to pray on the Mount, as long as he does not move his lips or display any external religious signs such as a kippa (yarmulke) or other religious objects.

Etzion tore up the administrative order when he received it and told officials he does not recognize an order that is based on the 1945 emergency laws written during the time of the British Mandate. Etzion stated the laws were designed to keep Jews out of Palestine and now the IDF used it to keep Jews out of the Temple Mount area.

Palestinians Complain They Can't Use Israeli Medical Services

By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)

After a double suicide bombing in Jerusalem July 30th, Israel confined Palestinians to their towns with tight travel restrictions. And Israel says it will not end its strict closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or ease economic sanctions until Yasir Arafat's self-rule government cracks down seriously on Islamic militants.

The Palestinian health ministry says that Israel's sealing off of the West Bank and Gaza is causing widespread medical problems. The closure imposed immediately after last week's bombings not only bars Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza from entering Israel, but also prevents Palestinians from travelling from one town or city to another within the West Bank.

The ministry says Palestinian medical personnel and supplies are not able to reach hospitals, pregnant village women are not able to reach city hospitals, and patients requiring urgent treatment in Israel or other countries are in danger.

Israel has frequently imposed blanket closures on Palestinian areas after terrorist attacks. Israeli authorities say that people with medical emergencies are to be allowed passage. Government spokesman Moshe Fogel insists the security forces in the area have specific instructions that people who require medical assistance can pass through checkpoints, but that Israel's primary concern is not to take security risks.

"Certainly in the field of medical assistance, we're not only ready to help, we believe it is our obligation to try to give as much medical assistance as is possible, whenever it's necessary. But of course, there is a requirement to check that there is a legitimate medical emergency because unfortunately, we've had circumstance in the past where medical emergencies were utilized by terrorists to try to either bring in weapons or to smuggle terrorists into Israel."

Fogel says Israel is ready to help Palestinians who have a legitimate need for medical treatment, but that permits must be coordinated through the Palestinian Authority. He points out that many Palestinians are receiving medical treatment in Israeli hospitals -- treatment which is subsidized by the Israeli government.

But Palestinian medical authorities say that the inability to move freely inside the West Bank as a result of the strict closure, means health services are virtually paralyzed. The Palestinian Authority has called on the UN Security Council to stop what it calls Israel's collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

A top aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, David bar-Illan, says Israel wants Arafat to turn over 31 wanted men, arrest 120 Palestinians previously released from Palestinian jails, disarm Islamic militants and arrest their leaders, stop anti-Israeli propaganda, and resume the exchange of intelligence information.

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