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>Israel Faxx
>JN May 6, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 85

Sweden Unites with U.S, UK on Holocaust campaign

Israel Faxx Staff Report

Sweden, smarting from a series of challenges to its neutrality during World War 2, has joined forces with the United States and Britain to spread information about the Holocaust. Government representatives, historians and Jewish studies experts meet in Stockholm Thursday to formulate a plan to disseminate information about the Holocaust. A survey among Swedish school children last year found over 10% did not know what the Holocaust was or that it had occurred.

US Gives Israel a Monday Ultimatum?

By Ron Pemstein (VOA-London)

The American-mediated talks in London ended without result but with a deadline of Monday for Israel to agree to President Clinton's ideas for resolving the interim peace issues. The invitation to launch talks on a permanent peace agreement is conditional.

If Israel does not accept Clinton's ideas to resolve the remaining interim peace issues, there will be no ceremony Monday with Clinton to launch discussions on a permanent status for the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Secretary of State Albright tells reporters Yasir Arafat has accepted the US ideas in principle. "If the issues are resolved, President Clinton is prepared to invite the parties to Washington on May 11, 1998 to launch accelerated permanent status negotiations. I have discussed the American ideas with both leaders and they have engaged with me in a serious and constructive manner. We will need to have further discussions with both of them in the coming days, but Chairman Arafat has accepted our ideas in principle."

The best scenario, according to a senior American official, is for the Israeli Cabinet to accept the American proposals for an Israeli troop withdrawal from the West Bank and a freeze on Jewish settlement construction on Sunday and then for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to arrive on Monday at the White House.

Netanyahu, in his remarks before leaving London to return home, says there has been considerable progress in resolving security issues. Albright describes the prime minister's contribution to the talks as constructive and helpful.

The idea to proceed with permanent status talks was originally an Israeli idea to avoid giving up territory to the Palestinians in the interim agreement. To get to Monday, the Israelis would need to agree to give the Palestinians 13 percent of the West Bank, a step they have refused to take.

So the London talks have produced an invitation in principle. If the ceremony takes place, Clinton will meet with two leaders who have refused to meet each other directly for several months. They will begin a process of dealing with the most intractable problems in the Israeli-Palestinian context. If it all falls apart, Albright says the United States will re-examine its proposal. In other words, making it public and assigning blame, a step Israel has vigorously opposed.

Achille Lauro Terror Leader Free in Gaza

By Arutz-7 News Service

The leader of a Palestinian faction which hijacked the luxury Italian liner Achille Lauro in 1985, murdering a disabled American citizen, has returned to live in Gaza City, reportedly with tacit Israeli approval.

Mohammed Abbas (code-named Abu al-Abbas) was welcomed home by hundreds of supporters and said: "I have no regrets about what I did. I am proud to have been privileged to take part in the [Palestinian] struggle." (Mohammed Zaidan Abbas is not to be confused with Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, Yasir Arafat's second-in-command).

The US issued an international writ for Palestine Liberation Front leader Abbas' arrest for the murder of 69-year-old wheelchair-bound hostage Leon Klinghoffer, but canceled it several years ago.

Yediot Ahronot reports that his entry was authorized by Israel's Shin Bet domestic security service as a gesture to its Palestinian counterpart and against the advice of Defense Ministry officials.

Just how much Arafat himself had to do with the Achille Lauro hijacking is unclear. Abbas and Arafat held talks in Tunis two days before the PLF team seized the ship, according to "Inside the PLO" (David Halevy and Neil Livingstone, New York: Quill; William Morrow, 1990).

The book also says that according to Israeli intelligence reports and information relayed by Italian Defense Minister Giovanni Spadolini, "the terrorists were in contact, via the ship's radio telephone, with a PLF coordinator in Genoa. He, in turn, got in touch with the PLO headquarters in Tunis for final instructions."

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