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>Israel Faxx
>JN Jan. 20, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 10

Netanyahu Arrives in Washington

By Deborah Tate (VOA-White House)

President Clinton later today meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House to try to move the stalled Middle East peace process forward. thursday, the president meets with palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.

Clinton met with his foreign policy team Monday to prepare for his meetings with Netanyahu and Arafat. During a photo opportunity at a national service event in Washington, Clinton expressed his commitment to making the peace process a success.

"I am going to be prepared to reach out a hand to in cooperation to both the prime minister and to Mr. Arafat and we will see what happens. But I have got high hopes. I have worked hard on it."

The United States wants Israel to withdraw from more West Bank territory and freeze Jewish settlements. US officials called the Israeli Cabinet decision last week to link a long list of Palestinian obligations to an Israeli withdrawal "not helpful." Washington wants the Palestinians, meanwhile, to do more to curb violence.

Yehudit Shachor (whose son Ori was killed by Arab terrorists in Wadi Kelt on July 19, 1995), and the brother of Uri Megadish (who was killed about five-years ago), have accompanied Netanyahu on his trip.

The terrorists responsible for the murder of Shachor and his friend Ehud Bachrach (who was with him at the time of the attack) are living as free men in an area under the control of Arafat's PLO Authority. The murderers of Megadish are PA policemen today. Repeated extradition requests submitted to the PA Ministry of Justice have gone ignored while the terrorists continue to live freely.

PLO Court Jails 2 Hamas Men Over Jerusalem Bombs

A Palestinian military court sentenced two members of the militant Hamas group to 15 years in jail with hard labor Monday for preparing bombs used in two Jerusalem suicide attacks last year. A Palestinian human rights group denounced the trial and sentences as "a serious violation of human rights" and urged the military court be abolished. The men, both 23, were arrested five days ago in the West Bank city of Nablus, where a Hamas "explosives factory" was found last Tuesday.

Israel Gets Advanced Long Range U.S. F-15 Warplanes

Israel added the first two of 25 new long-range F-15 warplanes to its arsenal Monday, saying the U.S.-built aircraft would help counter a growing nuclear threat to the Jewish state.

The shipment sparked condemnation by Iran, which said Washington was "arming the Zionist regime in an excessive way." Israel took delivery of the new $84 million planes Monday, which have a 2,400-mile range, enabling them to reach Israel's enemies to the east, Iran and Iraq, without refuelling.

The planes operate in any weather conditions; can carry a payload of 11 tons of weaponry; have a top speed of mach 2.5; employ advanced avionics and state-of-the-art radar, navigation, and detection systems; and accommodate two, a pilot and navigator (weapons systems officer).

Demographics in Jerusalem

By IINS News Service

According to a study ordered by the Jerusalem Municipality, and carried out by a Hebrew University professor, the Arab inhabitants of Jerusalem will reach almost 50% of the city's population by the year 2020.

The Chareidi (ultra-Orthodox) residents will account for 33.3% of the population, while the secular and traditional communities will make up about 18%. Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert has met on several occasions with the prime minister and emphasized the need for a national priority project -- to attract and keep Jews in the capital.

U.S. Holocaust Museum Reconsiders

By IINS News Service

Backing down under pressure, following their refusal to grant permission to PLO Authority Chief Yasir Arafat to visit, officials of the US National Holocaust Museum said they will reconsider their earlier decision.

Sunday, they announced they would not entertain Yasir Arafat, who stated he would like to visit the Holocaust Museum. Following his request being rejected, heads of the National Kibbutz Movement and a senior Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum official said Arafat was invited to visit their respective museums. A senior official in Israel of the Simon Wiesenthal Center concurred with the Washington decision and stated that Arafat had no place visiting the National Holocaust Museum in Washington.

Secretary of State Albright commented on NBC's Meet the Press program that the decision of the Washington museum was unfortunate and she hoped they would reconsider. Museum officials will meet later this week and announce their decision regarding the PA chief's request to become the first Arab leader to visit the Holocaust memorial.

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