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>Israel Faxx
>JN Sept. 9, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 165

Israel Into Fourth Place

Smith Barney reported that Israel moved into fourth place in August in the investment firm's monthly ranking of emerging markets, despite the Bank of Israel's recent interest rate hike. Israel is one of 25 countries which qualifies as an emerging market in the ranking. Israel was ranked seventh place in 1996.

Palestinians Arrest 35 Militants

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

The Palestinian Autonomy Authority has carried out a series of arrests and sent a conciliatory message to Israel, apparently trying to ease tensions prior to the visit to the region by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Palestinian security agencies arrested 35 suspected militants in the first such sweep since last week's triple suicide bombing in Jerusalem. But an Authority spokesman says the arrests are not directly linked to either of the recent bombings, or to the Albright visit, which starts Wednesday.

Also Monday, Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, sent a letter to Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy, declaring the Palestinian authority "will not tolerate violence and terror." But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Arafat has allowed the Palestinian areas to become safe havens and bases for terrorists.

Meanwhile, a fifth Israeli victim of last week's bombing died of his injuries. Forty-year-old Eliyahu Markowitz had been wounded in the neck. His 11-year-old son was also injured in the bombing and remains in a Jerusalem hospital.

Israelis Arrest 170 Palestinians

By Mark Lavie (VOA-Tel Aviv)

Israeli soldiers have arrested about 170 Palestinians in the West Bank over the last two days, in connection with Thursday's triple suicide bombing in central Jerusalem, when seven people died.

The arrests were made in areas of the West Bank under Israeli control. The main cities and some other territory in the West Bank are under civilian rule of Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority. The Israelis charge Arafat is not doing enough to stop extremist Palestinians from planning and carrying out attacks against Israel. Arafat denies that, and maintains that the Jerusalem bombers came from abroad, not from his territory.

Israeli sources say some progress has been made in the investigation of the Jerusalem bombing. They say they have evidence that the explosives came from the West Bank. So far the bodies of the bombers have not been identified.

Muslim Grave Desecrated with Pig's Head

A pig's head was placed on a grave in a Muslim cemetery outside the Israeli city of Haifa Sunday in an act of desecration claimed by a shadowy Jewish group, Israel's Itim news agency said.

The head was found after an anonymous caller to Israel Radio said it had been put on the grave of Sheik Izz el-Deen al-Qassam, a Muslim cleric after whom the military wing of the Islamic group Hamas is named. Police said the head was left on a different grave. Qassam was killed by the British in Palestine in 1935. Hamas followers believe he was the first in this century to unite the idea of revolution with Islam.

Iranian Official Commends Jerusalem Suicide Bombing

By IINS News Service

An official from Iran's Foreign Office in Teheran expressed approval of Thursday's bombing in Jerusalem, during a telephone conversation with a reporter.

The official, who identified himself as Dr. Taksin Shea-Hrabni from the office's Middle East Department, said, "Every saint dies for the holy God and therefore is not a murderer. He dies in heaven's gates." He also said that Iran's Foreign Ministry referred to the attack as a "reception for Secretary of State Albright."

Court Rules Boy's Surgery Not to be Performed

By IINS News Service

An 8-year-old boy who suffers from renal (kidney) disease must not undergo a surgical procedure against his parents' will. The boy, who is also mentally retarded, was to have a surgical procedure done to enable doctors to place a permanent catheter in his body.

The judge was swayed towards the parents' position after hearing testimony from Yitzchak Vinograd of Assaf Harofeh Hospital. The doctor testified the procedure would not help the young patient too much and there was no chance of him making a recovery from his congenital kidney problem, which afflicted him from birth.

The Tel Aviv District Court overruled a lower court decision and stated there was no doubt the loving parents were taking the child's welfare into their decision to fight doctors over the surgical procedure. The boy does not communicate or understand his surroundings.

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