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>Israel Faxx
>JN April 13, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 68

Terrorist Centers Bombed in Lebanon

By Arutz 7 News Service

The Israel Air Force bombed terrorist centers in the northern security zone in southern Lebanon Sunday. The bombings were centered in the Sujud region, from where Hizbullah carries out many attacks against IDF and Southern Lebanese Army outposts. A Hizbullah representative in the Lebanese Parliament said that Israel must withdraw unconditionally from Lebanon, but did not specify how Hizbullah would react to such a move.

Heat Wave: Milk Down, Honey Pp

By IINS and Arutz-7 News Service

The heat wave (sharav) in Israel will continue throughout the week as temperatures in Tel Aviv and Eilat reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and even higher in the Huleh Valley.

The heat affects cows' milk production, and can cause a 15% decrease in production, although no milk shortage is expected. About one third of Israeli barns are air-conditioned, and the number is increasing. Bees, on the other hand, thrive in the heat, and daily honey production doubles under the sharav conditions. However, there are less days of tree-blossoming during sharav periods, causing an opposite effect.

Emergency medical responders were called to deal with people inflicted with heat-related illnesses. Many persons were reported to have displayed signs and symptoms of systemic dehydration, due to the unusually high temperatures, as tens of thousands of Israelis continued with their planned Passover trips to nature reserves and other tourist attractions nationwide.

On Saturday, 10 persons were treated in Tel-Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, all of whom were suffering from overexposure to heat.

Many Israelis were forced to cancel plans for holiday hikes to warmer portions of the country, such as the Negev, in southern Israel. According to officials in the Mekorot Water Company, water consumption over the weekend increased 23 percent.

Iran Moving Ahead with Missile Program

By IINS News Service

US and Israeli leaders are working to stop the Iranian missile program which is receiving significant assistance from Russia.

All the experts involved say that the project to develop the engine for the Shihab 3 Missile is nearing completion and then Iran will be equipped with long-range ballistic missiles, which western leaders agree will be a threat to the entire area. Experts believe that Iran will be ready to test its new missile in 1999.

Syria States Labor Signed on Golan Withdrawal

By IINS News Service

Israel Radio, quoting an interview published in the London-based Al Quds al Araby, quoted Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass as saying that President Clinton had written a letter in which he says Yitzchak Rabin had agreed to an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights to the pre-June 1967 Six Day War line.

According to the report, Clinton's letter is in Syrian President Hafez al-Assad's possession, and it will be made public, "at the appropriate time."

Israel's former ambassador to the United States under the Rabin administration, Itamar Rabinovich, denied the report and stated such an agreement never existed. He acknowledged the possibility of a withdrawal was discussed, but stated it was never agreed upon in anything more than the context of a hypothetical situation.

Rabinovich, who once was the head of the Israeli negotiating team with the Syrian government, described the Syrian defense minister, who made the statements, as a "loose cannon."

The Dollar to Become Legal Currency

By IINS News Service

The dollar will become a legal currency in Israel within three weeks, upon implementation of the national currency liberalization program, according to Haaretz. The plan would enable Israelis to purchase dollars, retain any sum of that currency, and use them in transactions.

At the same time, Israeli citizens will be allowed to take any sum of money, in any foreign currency, out of the country, and will be able to hold overseas bank accounts.

Bank of Israel Governor Yaakov Frenkel and Finance Minister Yaakov Ne'eman presented the details of the liberalization plan to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu pressed Frenkel and Ne'eman to cancel or postpone indefinitely several of the measures, especially the ones pertaining to provident funds and other institutions exporting funds from Israel. The Bank of Israel and Treasury reluctantly accepted the demands.

Opposition Demands Cigar Money Back

By IINS News Service

Following a Yediot Achronot report, opposition Knesset members are demanding the prime minister reimburse the treasury for the money allocated to purchase his cigars. According to Yediot, the nation's budget was used to purchase NIS 11,700 (about $3,188) in imported cigars, for a one-month period. MK Yossi Sarid of the left-wing Meretz Party called upon the prime minister, "to stop smoking on the backs of the nation's 200,000 unemployed, those receiving minimum wages, and the elderly and sick."

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