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>Israel Faxx
>JN Aug. 21, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 153

Arrow Missile Test A Failure

By IINS News Service

Wednesday's test firing of an Arrow Missile was a failure. The Arrow was fired at a simulated Scud missile but was not on target. Shortly after the missile was fired towards the approaching simulated enemy missile. It went off course, apparently out of control. Officials made a quick decision to activate the missile's self-destruct mechanism and destroyed the out of control missile. It is too early to know exactly what went wrong in the test but it appears another test is months away at best.

Israel Retaliates for Katyusha Rocket Attacks

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli warplanes struck several locations in Lebanon Wednesday, retaliating for Katyusha rocket attacks on northern Israel Tuesday. The Israeli army says the attack was also meant to send some pointed messages to various groups in Lebanon.

The army says it hit an installation of the Hizbullah terrorists in eastern Lebanon. An official statement says Israel also struck a power station near the port city of Sidon to send a message to the Lebanese government that it must restrain Hizbullah.

The Israeli army says a third air attack hit near a Lebanese army post which Israel says had been used to shell a south Lebanon town Monday at Hizbullah's request. Israel says it intentionally avoided hitting the post itself, but will not hesitate to strike at the Lebanese army, if it helps Hizbullah in the future. Reports from Lebanon say several civilians were injured in the various attacks.

The chief Israeli army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Oded Ben-Ami, says the current fighting started as a dispute between Lebanese factions. He added that while Israel does not want further escalation, it could not let Tuesday's attack on Israeli civilian areas go unanswered.

"As long as it was Lebanese against Lebanese, we were out of it. But as you know, as of Tuesday morning, someone involved us, involved the Israelis, so it's a different game. And whoever is responsible must pay his part, or his share in this game."

Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri also blamed Israel for the attack. "This is a terrorist act from Israel, from a state. Israel has proved that it is a terrorist state, killing civilians, attacking civilians through cannons and big artillery, and kids, old men, old women. This is terrorism."

Germans May Compensate Eastern Europe Jews

By Kyle King (VOA-Bonn)

The German government has agreed to set up a special commission to look into ways of compensating Jewish Holocaust survivors living in Eastern Europe. A spokesman for Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government said the special commission would have three months to find a way to resolve the claims of Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe. The announcement followed the latest round of talks between German officials and representatives of the Jewish community.

Following the meeting, the head of the Jewish delegation, Israel Singer, said he was pleased that a way had been found to address the reparations claims. Singer said the Jews of Eastern Europe had been victims twice -- once of Nazism and the second time of communism. The new commission he said, would make sure they were not victims a third time.

Although Germany has paid more than $50 billion to Jewish victims who survived the Holocaust, none of the money has reached survivors in Eastern Europe or the former Soviet Union. Following the collapse of communism, Germany offered to make a one-time payment to those who could not apply for benefits during the Cold War.

At the time, Jewish groups rejected the offer. They said Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe should be given monthly German pensions equal to those given to Nazi victims living in the West. Last week a group of 82 US senators sent a letter to Kohl urging a change in German policy.

Jewish representatives say the issue is urgent because most of the former victims are now more than 80 years old and many are in poor health.

Archaeologists Discover Skeletons of Jews

Israeli archaeologists discovered a mass grave in the Galilee dating from a Jewish revolt against the Romans in 67 BCE and the discovery appears to confirm the reports of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus.

Archaeologists unearthed the remains of 30 Jews from an excavation site at the ancient Jewish city Yodfat in the Galilee region. The site is being administered by the Israel Antiquities Authority and a research group from the University of Rochester in New York.

The archaeologists conducting the project believe that the findings shed new light on the heavy fighting during the Roman occupation. The remains at Yodfat are believed to be Jews who fought and died during the famous battle in defense of their city 2,000 years ago.

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