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>Israel Faxx
>JN Sept. 25, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 176

Israel Relies on Blood Tests to Identify Bombers

Palestinians in a West Bank town said they were made to give blood for genetic tests which Israel said showed their sons were suicide bombers. Israel said it had proof four bombers in Jerusalem suicide attacks that killed 20 Israelis were activists in the Islamic militant group Hamas who lived in Asira al-Shamaliya, a town of 12,000 near Nablus. Israel identified the four attackers as Palestinians in their 20s based on what it said Tuesday were genetic blood tests and intelligence gathered by its security services.

Palestinians Arrested in Nablus

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

The Palestinian Authority has arrested 20 people in the autonomous West Bank city of Nablus. It comes one day after Israel said at least four of the five suicide bombers who struck recently had been trained and dispatched from the town. The Palestinian police moved against supporters of the militant group Hamas, arresting several prominent members, including the owner of a Hamas-affiliated local television station.

Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat has denied any responsibility for the two recent bombings, saying he is making a 100 percent effort but cannot be expected to achieve 100 percent success. Palestinian officials have denied Israeli assertions that the bombing operations were managed from Nablus. They say Israel is responsible for the bombings because the alleged bombers came from a West Bank village under Israeli security control.

But even that contradicts Palestinian contentions that the bombers came from abroad. And Israel is using the information on the local origins and affiliations of the bombers to press its calls for a tough Palestinian crackdown on militant groups before it agrees to resume the peace process.

British Airways Interested In El Al Stake

By IINS News Service

British Airways is interested in acquiring a stake in Israel's national airline when privatization plans take off, the Israeli Transportation Ministry said.

According to the ministry, British Transport Minister Gavin Strang told his Israeli counterpart, Yitzhak Levy, that British Airways will seek to buy shares in El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. when they are offered on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Strang is visiting Israel and reportedly made the remarks when he met Levy Monday.

Officials in the prime minister's office have proposed selling almost all of its El Al shares on the Israeli bourse in 1998. The plan is under procedural review, according to the Government Companies Authority.

A spokesman for British Airways in Britain wouldn't comment on the report but said the company generally didn't talk about planned investments in advance. "If we had anything to say we would come out with the appropriate announcement," spokesman Michael Blunt said.

Netanyahu: Iran About to Become World Power

"Iran is on the verge of becoming a fundamentalist world power," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned this week. "Its efforts to procure weapons of mass destruction and long-range delivery systems may be the most dangerous development in the 21st century."

Speaking to reporters in Vienna on Sunday, Netanyahu appealed to Russia and other states not to supply modern arms and weapons technology to Iran.

Within a few years, he predicted, Iranian missiles could hit Vienna. And within 10 years, the missiles, fitted with nuclear warheads, could possibly reach the east coast of the United States.

"Thus, Russia should stop the delivery of modern weapons technology to Iran immediately and other countries should also try to induce Russia to take this step." He also described Iraq as a country posing a particular danger in the field of weapons of mass destruction.

33 Percent of Israeli Meat Contaminated

By IINS News Service

According to the Ministry of Health, about one-third of the frozen meats sold in Israel are contaminated and unfit for human consumption. The meats are likely to cause intestinal and/or stomach illness.

Samples tested by Health Ministry officials were taken from major firms. About one-third of the samples were found to be contaminated. Samples taken from major supermarkets showed many of the meats for sale contain levels of bacteria and staphylococcus that are higher than the acceptable norms.

The Health Ministry stated it would continue to conduct tests in manufacturing plants of companies that have shown unacceptable results and will do its utmost to reduce the risk to the consumer.

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