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>Israel Faxx
>JN Sept. 24, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 175

Praise for Children Who are Terrorists

By IINS News Service

Dr. Abed el-Aziz Rantisi, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza, stated, "I would be proud of my children if one of them would carry out a suicide terror attack in the name of our people and homeland." In an interview with a newspaper from Spain, the Hamas leader emphasized that tens of thousands of youth are waiting and willing to carry out suicide attacks against Israel. "If Israel refuses to release Arab prisoners that are being held, suicide attacks will continue," he concluded.

Jerusalem Bombers' Cities Identified

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel's defense minister says the suicide bombers who struck in Jerusalem during the past two months came from West Bank villages under Israeli security control. The final confirmation came from Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai, after Israel's intelligence chief had indicated the same thing in testimony to an Israeli parliament committee.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not go that far at a news conference. But he said Israeli security forces are conducting an exhaustive investigation in West Bank Palestinian areas under their control -- known as Area "B" -- seeking information about the bombings and any people involved. One such Israeli-controlled Palestinian village has been under an Israeli military blockade for the past three days, and Israeli news reports say it was home to all five suicide bombers.

Still, Netanyahu says the Palestinian Authority must match Israel's security operation because the terror organizations have their operational bases in the autonomous areas of Gaza and eight West Bank cities.

"It involves casting a wide net. What we are doing is doing precisely that and getting results. But we need to see it in the Palestinian areas and that has not happened."

Israeli government spokesman Moshe Fogel says while neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority can be expected to have 100-percent success fighting terrorism, Israel demands a 100-percent effort, and is receiving far less.

The Palestinian-controlled West Bank cities are scattered throughout an area about 75 miles long and nearly 19 miles wide, containing more than 450 villages. Outside the cities, Israel maintains security control while the Palestinian Authority handles civilian affairs, except in Israeli settlements.

Israel is supposed to gradually turn over more of the area to full Palestinian control, but the process has been stalled because of the series of terrorist attacks and other Israeli-Palestinian disagreements.

Court Rules TV Must Air Gay Program

Israel's Supreme Court has ruled its culture minister cannot block the broadcast of a television program on homosexual and lesbian adolescents.

Sunday's decision drew responses from across Israel Tuesday after it ruled Education and Culture Minister Zevulun Hammer could not cancel the program. His decision was challenged by gay and lesbian organizations and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which petitioned the court for a ruling.

The court ruled Hammer could not hold up the program, taped a year ago and previously approved for broadcast by the television authority and the ministry. Dan Yakir, legal adviser for ACRI, says the ruling is an important "understanding and tolerance of minorities and those on the fringes of society. The ruling also gives independence and autonomy to public broadcasting."

The program includes interviews with two teenage homosexuals in front of an audience of youngsters. The mother of one of the boys is also featured and a studio discussion with the audience follows. Justice Yaakov Kedmi wrote in his ruling that he was impressed by the fact that "the big picture which emerged from the encounter was that gays and lesbians were just like other young people, and that the characteristics which nature imbued in them did not remove them from the mainstream."

The court left the door open for the opponents of the program to hold a symposium at the end of the program to present their "balancing" views.

PM's Plane Detours Due to Shattered Window

By IINS News Service

The prime minister's Israel Air Force Boeing 707 had to take another flight plan after the flight crew informed the prime minister that one of three cabin windows shattered en route to Israel from Austria.

The plane immediately dropped from 30,000 to 15,000 feet to reduce difference of pressures from inside and outside the plane. The plane, although delayed, made a safe landing in Ben Gurion International Airport.
The plane, used by the prime minister, the president and other dignitaries is outdated and in poor condition and in need of replacement. The plane has been in service for 30 years.

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