Newsletter : 8fax0114.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
>JN Jan. 14, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 7
Israel Asks Muslim Clerics to Tone Down Sermons
Israeli security officials have asked members of the Waqf --
the Muslim organization that administers the Temple Mount -- to
temper their preaching at Friday prayers during Ramadan. Israel
complained of incitement during prayers on the first Friday of the
fast-month, saying the clerics had encouraged terrorism. Up to
200,000 Muslims attend Friday prayers at the Temple Mount mosques
in Jerusalem's Old City during Ramadan.
Cabinet Prepares for Netanyahu's US Trip
The Israeli Cabinet meets Wednesday and Thursday to prepare
the ground for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming trip to
the US, where he will have to show progress on plans to cede
further territory to the Palestinians.
The two main thrusts of the talks will relate to the scope and
timing of the next Israeli withdrawal; and Israel's demands of the
Palestinian Authority before it will carry out the pullback.
Wide differences remain over the size of the withdrawal: Israel
offered to relinquish a further six to eight per cent of remaining
Israel-controlled territory in Judea-Samaria; the PA is calling for
around 40 per cent; the US says it expects a double-digit figure.
Israel has linked its willingness to carry out a withdrawal -- any
withdrawal -- on the PA's honoring of Oslo commitments thus far
unmet. Yediot ahronot reports that the four main demands are:
the amendment of the PLO covenant to remove clauses calling for
Israel's destruction; the dismantling of terror organizations
operating in PA areas and transfer of wanted terror suspects to
Israel; the reduction of the bloated PA "police force" to the
numbers specified in signed agreements and the removal of
terrorists from the force; and a halt to official PA activities in
Jerusalem (which are illegal).
Netanyahu wants the withdrawal to follow a five-month waiting
period, during which PA compliance of the accords would be
monitored. He will present Israel's pre-redeployment requirements
to US President Bill Clinton at the White House January 20.
Netanyahu has also asked Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon and
Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai to accompany him, and so to
present a united front in the talks.
Meanwhile PLO chairman Yasir Arafat, who will also meet Clinton
later this month, has warned that the intifada (violent uprising
which began in 1987 and was called off with the signing of the Oslo
accords) would resume if Israel did not meet PA demands concerning
the Israeli withdrawal.
The Israeli cabinet wants to nail down its security demands
of the PLO, amid warnings by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
guerrillas may attack Israel before he meets President Clinton next
week. "We are getting various signs of terrorist organizations
planning to try to carry out attacks in Israel close to my trip to
Washington, and we are taking steps accordingly."
Since the weekend Israeli troops and police have been on high alert
because of fears of suicide bombings in urban areas or ambush
shootings against West Bank settlers.
Hamas Cells Raided By Israelis and Palestinians
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli and Palestinian security forces report carrying
out separate raids on hideouts of the militant Palestinian group
"Hamas," where terrorist attacks were being planned.
The Palestinian Security Services say they confiscated 700
kilograms of explosives at a Hamas bomb factory in the autonomous
West Bank city of Nablus. One Palestinian official described the
large stash as "enough to blow up all of Israel."
Just a few hours before the Palestinian announcement, Israel said
it had arrested several Hamas activists in still-occupied areas
of the West Bank. Israel says information from those activists
led to the bomb factory raid in Nablus, but the Palestinians say
they had been investigating the site for some time. An Israeli
statement says the Hamas cell had carried out several minor
roadside attacks, and was planning larger operations in Israeli
cities and settlements.
A concerted Palestinian crackdown on terrorism is the key
condition Israel has set before it surrenders more territory to
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)