Newsletter : 7fax0922.txt
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>JN Sept. 22, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 173
Israelis Raid Nablus-Area and Arrest 40
By Mark Lavie (VOA-Jerusalem)
In the West Bank, Israeli security forces are rounding up
Palestinians -- allegedly in connection with two suicide bombing
attacks in Jerusalem during the past two months. Israeli forces
closed off villages near the West Bank city of Nablus and made 40
arrests in a Sunday operation.
Israeli sources say the Palestinians are suspected members of
Hamas, the extremist Islamic organization. The Israelis say
Hamas was behind the two suicide bombing attacks in the center of
Jerusalem. The attacks killed 25 people, including the five
The Israelis say they are sure the bombers came from the West
Bank and Gaza, areas under the civilian control of Yasir Arafat's
Palestinian Authority. Arafat says he is just as sure the attackers
came from outside the areas.
The Israelis say they expect to make more arrests, and hope to
identify the bodies of the suicide bombers soon. That
identification would provide an answer to the important question
-- who sent them on their bloody missions?
Arafat Collapses, Revived at Arab Summit
By Douglas Roberts (VOA-Cairo)
Arab foreign ministers are meeting in Cairo to discuss the
continuing crisis in the Middle East peace process. The ministers
are urging the United States to do more to get the peace talks back
Addressing Saturday's opening session at the Arab League's
Nile-side headquarters, Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat repeatedly
blamed the Israeli government for the collapse the peace talks.
Arafat and several of the Arab foreign ministers praised what
they called the balanced US approach to the Middle East,
articulated by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during her
recent tour of the region. But they also urged Washington to
persuade Israel to reaffirm its commitment to the basic principles
of the negotiations, the land-for-peace formula enshrined in UN
security council resolutions.
Arafat lost consciousness while attending the economic summit. He
became enraged according to witnesses, and then passed out. When
emergency medical personnel arrived, they succeeded in reviving the
American intelligence officials say Arafat suffers from a muscular
disease. Jibril Rajub, however, denies the reports and says that
Arafat is a "strong and healthy horse." In any event, Fatah
leaders continue to attempt to find a potential successor. Names
that have been mentioned include Feisal Husseini, Abu Maazen,
Farouk Kadoumi -- who objects to the Oslo agreements -- and Abu
There have been calls at the Cairo meeting for a pan-Arab boycott
of an upcoming Middle East economic conference, to protest the
lack of progress in the peace talks. But Egypt's foreign minister
(Amr Moussa) says a final decision on whether to attend the
conference will be left up to individual Arab governments.
Israelis and Palestinians will Meet in Washington
By Victor Beattie (VOA-Washington)
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are reportedly preparing for
parallel talks this week in Washington although a new Jewish
settler presence in an Arab east Jerusalem neighborhood has
heightened tension. Washington says it has been assured by the
Israeli government the character of the neighborhood will not be
The Palestinian delegation is expected to focus on Jewish
settlement activity and Israeli troop withdrawals from occupied
lands. For its part, the Israeli delegation, expected later in
the week, will continue to press for Palestinian security
cooperation including a crackdown on Islamic militant violence.
The latest irritant stems from an Israeli decision to maintain a
Jewish presence in an Arab east Jerusalem neighborhood after
settler families briefly occupied a house Sept. 14. State
Department spokesman James Rubin (Friday) sought to allay
Palestinian concerns saying Israel has assured Washington there
will be no change in the character of the neighborhood.
Rubin says teams of Jewish caretakers will remain in the
neighborhood in shifts, but not live in the house. He says the
United States will work to make sure the assurances received from
Israel will be implemented.
"I Thought the Bus was Carrying Jewish Tourists"
By IIIS News Service
CAIRO, - One of the men seized by Egyptian police after the petrol
bomb attack on a tourist bus in Cairo that killed 10 people said he
wanted revenge against Jews for anti-Muslim slurs, a government
"I thought the bus was carrying Jewish tourists, I wanted to take
revenge for the Israeli who attacked the prophet Mohammed and the
Koran," Saber Abu al-Ola told police, the newspaper Al Akhbar said.
Nine German tourists and their Egyptian driver were killed in an
inferno sparked by a bomb attack on their bus near the Egyptian
Museum in central Cairo Thursday afternoon. Seven people were
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