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>PD
>Israel Faxx
>JN Feb.13, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 28

Web Sites Features Israel at 50

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has expanded its website with a comprehensive new section on Israel's first 50 years as a reborn state Among other things the new pages, headlined 'Israel at Fifty', include a timeline of events since 1948, a series of posters, photo-gallery of all Israel's presidents and prime ministers, and a display showing what newspapers around the world said of Israel's declaration of independence. The site is at http://www.Israel-mfa.gov.il/mfa/israel50/index.html


Israel to Nuke Saddam Hussein?

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli's prime minister has issued a veiled threat to use his country's suspected nuclear capability in response to any attack by Iraq.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israel Radio he is not relying on Iraqi assurances that it will only attack countries which attack it first. Rather, he said, Israel is making all necessary preparations.

Netanyahu said Israel is able to defend itself, and has what he called "other capabilities" which he hopes it will not have to use. That is an apparent reference to Israel's widely-reported -- but never officially acknowledged -- nuclear weapons capability.

Analysts have been speculating about whether Israel might use such weapons against Iraq, if Iraq fires chemical or biological weapons at Israel. Netanyahu appears to be signaling he might do just that.

At the same time, Israeli officials and military experts continue to say the likelihood of an Iraqi strike on Israel is very low, and the possibility of a chemical or biological attack is even lower. Iraq launched 39 Scud missiles on Israel during the 1991 Gulf war, but none of them had chemical or biological warheads.

Still, Israelis continue to line up at gas mask distribution centers, and the government has ordered as many as 400,000 more masks from abroad to make up for a shortfall. The additional masks are partly to provide for tourists and other foreigners who were left out of earlier plans.

Meanwhile, small but vocal numbers of Palestinians continue to voice their support for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Several hundred Palestinian students marched in the divided West Bank city of Hebron Thursday, chanting "Dear Saddam, hit Tel Aviv." They threw stones at Israeli soldiers manning the line between the Israeli-and-Palestinian-controlled sectors of the city.


State Department Issues Advisory

By IINS News Service

According to an EmergencyNet News Agency report, a new announcement has been addressed to Americans in the Middle East, European countries and South Asia.

The State Department issued a fresh advisory to Americans abroad to take security precautions because of the crisis with Iraq. The announcement urged them to prepare for "a possible emergency." The announcement followed a "worldwide caution" issued Feb. 5 that advised US nationals abroad to beware of random acts of violence linked to tensions with Iraq.

The new warning said that while diplomatic options had not been exhausted in the dispute over United Nations arms inspections, and "although we see no direct threat to the safety of American citizens in the region at this time, we believe it prudent for Americans to heed the standing preparedness advice for American citizens living abroad."

US citizens abroad were advised to assemble documents in one place, check that passports and visas were valid, make an inventory of their household effects in duplicate, keep an adequate supply of food and water, and check that their cars were in good order.

The announcement said: "These are precautionary measures only. However, given the potential seriousness of the current situation, we believe it is important for all citizens to maintain a high state of readiness for a possible emergency."

The EmergencyNet reports are published by the Chicago-based Emergency Response & Research Institute, which monitors military operations, [anti]-terrorism, and other related activities worldwide.


Special CNN Internet Event with Netanyahu

By IINS News Service

The Office of the Prime Minister and CNN Interactive will present a first of its kind Internet chat with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Hosted by CNN's senior anchor Bernard Shaw, Internet users from around the world are invited to pose their questions to the Prime Minister from the CNN Interactive web site (www.cnn.com). The questions, to be read by Shaw, along with Netanyahu's answers will be broadcast live (video/audio) on the Internet. The chat will take place Sunday, Feb. 15 at 1:00 p.m. EST and will last for 30 minutes. For more information and the required software, go to the Prime Minister's web site at: http://www.pmo.gov.il


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