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>Israel Faxx
>JN Jan. 27, 1998, Vol. 6, Number 15

Israeli Arabs Arrested for Suspected Suicide Bombings

By Mark Lavie (VOA-Tel Aviv)

Israeli security forces have arrested two Israeli citizens who are Palestinian who are suspected of planning suicide bomb attacks inside Israel.

Israeli security forces tied up traffic all over the country with roadblocks on highways looking for two specific cars. The cars were spotted at two roadblocks and the Palestinian drivers arrested.

They are suspected of planning suicide bomb attacks in Jerusalem, possibly Monday. Investigators say they are members of Hamas, the Islamic extremist group based in Gaza. But the two also are Israeli citizens. About 20 percent of Israel's citizens are Arabs. In recent years, their involvement in Palestinian extremist groups has been increasing.

Israeli officials got the information about the bombers and the cars from Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority Security Service. Heads of Palestinian security gathered in Hebron overnight to monitor the affair and update their Israeli counterparts. The would-be bombers apparently started out from Hebron, heading for Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel must remain on guard. "We are making constant efforts to stop terror attacks, with considerable success. But we are well aware of the fact that this effort must continue at all times, because the threat is continuous. I hope we will be successful in the future as well."

Asked if the Palestinians are doing enough to combat terrorism, Netanyahu replied, "They can do much more."

The joint effort to stop the Mamas bombers on their way to Jerusalem is an example of security cooperation between the two sides, at a time when Israeli and Palestinian political leaders are barely on speaking terms.

Last week, Netanyahu and Arafat were in Washington but did not talk with each other. Instead, they had separate meetings with President Clinton. The two sides are competing for favor on the field of American public opinion. Experts here say as part of the public relations effort, it is in the interest of the PA to stop Hamas terror attacks against Israel. Israelis charge that when the Palestinians decide it is in their interest to allow attacks, they do.

During the weekend, the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, appealed to Arafat to stop arresting his people. He charged that Arafat is following orders from Israel and the United States. Instead, said Yassin, Arafat should join Hamas in confronting Israel with jihad -- an Islamic holy war.

Anti-Semites Say Jews are Behind Lewinsky Scandal

By ICEJ News Service

It had to happen: anti-Semites and foes of Israel have begun to blame Jews and the Jewish state for the grave crisis now faced by President Clinton, accused of having an affair with a young White House intern -- and then allegedly urging her to lie about it.

Anti-Semitic Internet websites -- radical right-wing, fascist or Muslim -- have started to make allegations about the Jewish connection in the Monica Lewinsky affair, which may threaten Clinton's presidency.

Ha'aretz quoted an Anti-Defamation League official as saying that the accusations Clinton is facing could unleash a wave of anti-Semitism in the US.

The 24-year-old former intern at the center of the allegations is Jewish. On the other hand, there are Jews among Clinton's most supportive staffers. Ram Emanuel, a former Israeli and Clinton staff member, has taken a leading role in trying to limit the damage.

Ma'ariv commented in an op-ed Sunday: "The day is not far off when Palestinian propaganda will accuse the Mossad of 'planting' the Jewish agent Monica Lewinsky in the bed of U.S. President Bill Clinton." The reason, the editorial said, was to disrupt Palestinian Authority Chairman Arafat's visit to the White House, which occurred hours after the scandal broke in the public media.

Ma'ariv's prediction was several days late: Reuters reported Friday that "some Palestinians, including radical Islamists, even saw the scandal as a 'Zionist conspiracy' to give Israel an easy ride."

An article in Al-Ayyam said: "The exposure of this scandal does not seem to have happened coincidentally but it is a plot aimed at weakening Clinton or destroying his future. The timing at which it appeared raised many question marks. Why did it come at the end of Clinton's meetings with Netanyahu and before his meeting with Arafat?"

And Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin said the Zionists wanted "to prevent the US president from exerting pressure on Israel, so they pushed him into the sex trap so that if he turned to them for help they would say: 'One thing for another. Don't exert pressure on Israel and we will rid you of this problem.'"

Stone-Throwing on Arad-Beersheva Road

By IINS News Service

At least three cases of attacks against vehicles traveling on the Arad-Beersheva Road have taken place. In two cases, the cars lost control as a result of being hit by the rocks, and drove into ditches. No injuries were reported but in all cases, the cars involved sustained damage. Police did not apprehend the attackers.

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