Newsletter : 8fax0515.txt
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PLEASE NOTE: Israel Faxx will not be published on 5/18 and 5/19/98
>JN May 15, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 92
Netanyahu Tells Albright, There's No Hurry
By Ron Pemstein (VOA-State Department)
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright held her second meeting
Thursday afternoon with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
There is little progress in the negotiations to resume
Israeli-Palestinian talks, and the two sides see different messages
in the Palestinian demonstrations.
For the State Department, the deaths of Palestinian demonstrators
in Gaza is a clear message that the lack of progress in Washington
has its own consequences for Israeli security. State Department
spokesman James Rubin links the shooting of the Palestinians with
the stalled negotiations.
As for Netanyahu, he is in no hurry. An agreement can happen in
days or weeks, he says. As for the Gaza demonstrations, he accuses
the Palestinians of fomenting the trouble. "We have concluded a day
of riots, bloody riots fomented by the Palestinian Authority. I
regret to say that yesterday, the Palestinian media carried
speeches by the highest Palestinian leaders fomenting violence,
inciting violence and the result was very short to follow."
The lesson of the Palestinian demonstrations for the prime minister
is that Israel should control its own security and not accept
American proposals that call for Israel to hand over another 13
percent of the West Bank to the Palestinians. "We are the ones who
have to live with the consequences - and what we are discussing
here is not the price of beef, not the percentage of interest
rates. We are not discussing matters that relate to the survival
of the United States. Clearly, the United States is very
interested in what happens in the Middle East but believe Israel is
even more interested than the United States in what happens in the
He dismisses the quarrel with the United States as just a family
disagreement around the dinner table. He can take that attitude
because a majority of the American Congress supports his position.
He made that clear after meeting with senators and members of
congress at the capitol.
The prime minister dismisses fears Israel may suffer if he does
not agree with the American proposals for bridging the gaps. He
believes a continuing disagreement will be covered by an elegant
way of re-starting negotiations in another direction.
Palestinians Battle IDF, 8 Dead
By Al Pessin (VOA-Ramallah)
At least eight Palestinians have been killed and more than 100
injured in clashes with Israeli troops, during protests Thursday
marking the 50 years since Israel was created. About 10 Israeli
soldiers were also reported injured.
The occasion: today is known by the PA as Palestinian Catastrophe
Day, as the state of Israel was established on this day -- May
14 - 50 years ago. The day started peacefully as groups of workers
and students marched to rallies in the autonomous West Bank cities
and in the Gaza Strip.
In a gesture reminiscent of Israeli commemorations, sirens were
sounded at noon for a moment of silence to honor Palestinians who
have died fighting for their cause. Then the Palestinian leader,
Yasir Arafat, broadcast a speech to the crowds.
Arafat called for the creation of a Palestinian state with
Jerusalem as its capital. He also said Palestinians only fight for
peace, and for the right to live in their land and build their
future without fear.
Once the official events were over, Palestinian youths headed for
Israeli checkpoints outside the autonomous areas and continued
the fight. Israeli police and soldiers fired on the Palestinian
youths, who threw rocks at bottles at them. There were repeated
clashes in Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem, in several parts of
Gaza, and in Jerusalem. In some areas, Israeli military vehicles
were set on fire. It was the worst fighting on the West Bank in
nearly two years.
At the Ramallah protest, Lawyer Adnan Barakat said that with the
peace process stalled, Palestinians want Israel and the world to
know that while they want peace, they have other options as well.
"We are here to show all the world that peace is not our only way.
We have many changes and options such as intifada (uprising). We
are ready to return to the intifada at any time. We are here. This
is our land. This is not Benjamin Netanyahu's land or Israeli land.
This is our land."
Palestinians made their statement with large peaceful crowds and
smaller but very violent riots Thursday. A comprehensive count
was not possible, but it appeared hundreds of thousands of people
were involved throughout the West Bank and Gaza -- probably well
short of the one-million people organizers had hoped for.
Moscow Synagogue Bombed
By Arutz-7 News Service
One pound of explosives made a six-foot-wide hole last night in an
outer wall of the Chabad synagogue Marina Rosha, in Moscow, only
minutes after 60 girls left the building. The same synagogue was
bombed five years ago. Despite the bombing, the traditional Lag
Ba'Omer parade was held Thursday in Moscow, under heavy police
protection. The Israeli Embassy in Moscow condemned the bombing.
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