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>Israel Faxx
>JN April 16, 1998, Vol 6, No. 71

Syria, Egypt say Israel Must Quit Lebanon

The presidents of Egypt and Syria said Wednesday Israel had to withdraw unconditionally from south Lebanon. "They (Israel) entered Lebanon without permission so they can get out of Lebanon without permission," Egypt's Hosni Mubarak told a joint news conference after lengthy talks with his Syrian counterpart Hafez al-Assad in Cairo.

Israel Frees Palestinian Detained Without Trial

By IINS News Service

After being held for almost six-years in administrative detention, Israel released senior PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) terrorist and commander, Achmed Katamesh.

Katamesh was held in administrative detention at Damon Prison, in northern Israel, since September 1, 1992. His lawyer, Leah Tzemel, said Israeli authorities were unable to prove his status in the PFLP, yet alone his membership. Katamesh says he is a writer and a politician, not a terrorist, but added the Israeli authorities should realize that incarceration only serves to strengthen political prisoners in their convictions.

In October 1993, after two military courts agreed to release him on bail, he was placed under administrative detention and held without trial ever since.

It was reported by the Erev Chadash TV news program that Katamesh and four other senior PFLP leaders, all of whom were released, signed declarations to cease violent attacks against Israel. The report stated that although they oppose the Oslo Accords and the PA, they are now looking towards the direction of becoming a political opposition and not carrying out terror attacks.

Sabotaged Negev Water Main

By IINS News Service

Police are continuing their investigation into Tuesday's sabotage to the main water feed to the Ramat Hanegev area. Officials believe the perpetrators probably used a tractor, or a heavy truck to pull the large steel water main from its cement base. Following the initial act of sabotage, tens of thousands of cubic feet of water spilled out, until Mekorot Water officials arrived on the scene.

Shmuel Rifman, head of the Ramat Hanegev Regional Council stated that the damages to the area were heavy, as temperatures yesterday soared to over 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Rifman stated with certainty during a TV news interview, that he felt a small number of radical Bedouins in the area are responsible for the terror act. He added, that this is not the first such incident, and the police must act quicker than they did following yesterday's incident.

Arab Knesset member Taleb Alsana condemned Rifman's remarks and stated there was no place for pointing a finger at the Bedouin community unless the police have turned up evidence that would indicate this to be the case.

Rifman said hundreds of chickens died as a result of the temporary drought, and the damages were more widespread than apparent on the surface. Flower growers suffered heavy losses, and large crops were destroyed due to the lack of water.

Israel Rejects Accusations of Spy Photography over Cyprus

By IINS News Service

According to reports from Cyprus, an Israel Air Force F-16 fighter jet violated Cypriot air space last week, and was said to be taking aerial photographs, in a spy mission.

According to an Israel Radio report, Cyprus media sources reported that the plane was specifically photographing a site where Russian-built surface-to-surface missiles are to be deployed.

Ambassador to Cyprus Shemi Tzur was quoted by a spokesman in the Cyprus Foreign Ministry as having formally apologized for the incident. IAF officials insist however the planes were on routine training missions and were not taking photographs to be given over to Turkish military officials, as alleged in the Cyprus reports.

Cypriot Ambassador Euripedes Evriades denied the incident and reiterated the relations between the two countries remain good. If the Russian-built surface-to-surface missile base becomes a reality, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will lose its control of the air space.

Israel Supports Croatian Move to Try Camp Commander

By IINS News Service

Israel supports an official request by Croatia for the extradition of a former World War 2 concentration camp commander living in Argentina, a visiting Israeli official said Wednesday. Croatian Deputy Foreign Minister Ivo Sanader told the Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Eytan Bentsur, that Croatia had officially asked Argentina to extradite Dinko Sakic, 76, to Croatia.

Croatia expressed its readiness to try Sakic for war crimes after he discussed his role on Argentine television, as a commander of the Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia from 1942 to 1944. Croatia was then under the fascist rule of the Ustasha regime, a puppet of Adolf Hitler's Nazis, and Jasenovac became known as the "Auschwitz of the Balkans."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which hunts Nazi war criminals, says 600,000 people perished in the camp, but independent Croatian estimates put the toll at 85,000.

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