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>Israel Faxx
>JN Jan. 13, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 6

High Alert Status Continues

In light of intelligence information pointing at a planned attack, Israeli security forces will remain on high alert in large population areas throughout the country. Security officials have received reports that terror groups are planning an attack inside a large city in Israel.

More Snow in Israel

By IINS News Service & Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

A rare, heavy snowfall has blanketed much of Israel, the West Bank and the Golan Heights including Jerusalem, forcing many roads, schools and businesses to close.

It started Sunday evening and the snow continued all night long. By Monday morning, Jerusalem was covered by about 15 centimeters of wet snow and there was even more in the north. The morning English newscast on Israel Radio sounded more like Chicago or Moscow.

"The Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway is closed in both directions. Roads throughout the West Bank are closed. All schools and kindergartens are closed in Jerusalem today. Public transport is not running and police are advising drivers not to take their cars on the road."

The army was mobilized to help in any emergencies, but in spite of the inconvenience, there were no serious consequences to the storm. And local children took advantage of the rare opportunity to slide down hills and build snowmen.

There are significant accumulations in many areas. Schools in Tzfat (Safed) and the Golan Heights regions are closed due to the snowfall.

Roads are still closed in certain areas throughout the snow areas, including the Jerusalem-Tel-Aviv Highway leading to the capital, roads leading to Tzfat and other northern regions and the road in the south leading to Ein Gedi. According to police of the Shai (Shomron-Yehuda) District, all major roads throughout Judea and Samaria are closed to vehicular traffic.

Germany will Pay Reparations to Eastern European Jews

By Kyle King (VOA Bonn)

Germany has agreed to pay more than $110 million to compensate Holocaust victims in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Since the end of World War 2, Germany has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to Holocaust survivors. But because of cold war politics, virtually none of the money has gone to Nazi victims in central and eastern Europe.

Now, after nearly a year of intense negotiations, Germany has agreed to establish a special fund to assist needy Jewish survivors in those areas.

Under an agreement reached with the Jewish claims conference, Germany will provide a total of $110 million to the fund over the next four years the JCC will administer the fund, which is expected to provide monthly payments to Holocaust survivors. Jewish leaders welcomed the agreement as a positive development.

Arafat Threatens Intifada

By IINS News Service

As Prime Minister Netanyahu and PLO Authority Chief Yasir Arafat prepare for their meetings in Washington with President Bill Clinton, the prime minister stated that threats made by Arafat and his senior aides of a renewed, more violent Intifada will not have an impact on his decision-making policy.

Arafat said the violent Arab uprising, known as the Intifada would resume if Israel did not meet PA demands concerning the controversial planned Israeli withdrawal from areas throughout Judea and Samaria.

The prime minister remains insistent that the PA must once and for all show its ability and willingness to comply with the signed accords. Netanyahu wants the withdrawal to follow a five-month waiting period, during which the PA compliance of the accords would be monitored.

Sharansky Joins Kitchen Cabinet

By IINS News Service

Following the resignation of Foreign Minister David Levy from the government, Minister of Building and Industry Natan Sharansky of the Yisrael B'Aliyah Party has joined the "Kitchen Cabinet." Sharansky has joined the elite decision-making forum, composed of the prime minister, national infrastructure minister and defense minister.

Sharansky does not necessarily share Levy's dove-like views and it is predicted that he will maintain a more hard-line policy. It is being predicted that Defense Minister Mordechai will replace Levy in the elite cabinet forum, as the prime minister's opposition.

Mordechai has already stated that if the government does not carry out the planned withdrawal from areas throughout Judea and Samaria within 90-days, he will leave the government.

Saddam Buys Luxury Yacht from Finland

By IINS News Service

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein reportedly has purchased a 420-foot yacht from Finland, according to the French magazine "Il Express." The report says the vessel is bulletproof, equipped with a gymnasium and can accommodate more than 200 guests.

The yacht, named 'Al Mansour' (The Conqueror), was bought at a Finnish shipyard in a secret deal, according to the magazine. The publication says the story was broadcast recently on Finnish television.

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