Newsletter : 8fax0615.txt
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>JN June 15, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 103
Palestinian Sewage Presents Ecological Danger
Arutz-7 News Service
A report warns that further withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza
may cause great ecological harm to coastal Israeli cities. The
Palestinian practice of unrestrained sewage release will likely
continue to cause irreparable harm to underground water sources,
increased sewage streaming down to the coast, and industrial
pollution of areas adjacent to densely populated areas. The report
states that the Palestinian Authority has done nothing in the past
to prevent these phenomena.
Rabin Assassin's Friend Convicted
By Mark Lavie (VOA-Tel Aviv)
In Israel, a friend of the Jewish extremist who assassinated Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin nearly three years ago was convicted for
failing to prevent the crime.
Margalit Har-Shefi testified she thought Yigal Amir was just
bragging, trying to impress her, when he told her of his plan to
assassinate Rabin. She said Amir told hundreds of people of his
plan, but no one took him seriously.
On Nov. 4, 1995, Amir shot and killed Rabin. Minutes later,
Har-Shefi called Amir's parents, providing evidence that she knew
that Amir was the killer. The Israeli court convicted her on a
charge of failing to prevent the murder.
Rabin's widow, Leah, called the verdict a ray of light in the
darkness. She charged that the present Israeli government, headed by
Benjamin Netanyahu, continues to incite its supporters to
ideological violence of the type that led to the murder of her
Har-Shefi's attorney says she is likely to appeal the conviction.
She has become a celebrity at the West Bank settlement where she
lives, and among Israeli opponents of the peace process with the
Hamas Says No to Arafat's Appeal
By Mark Lavie (VOA-Tel Aviv)
The radical Palestinian group Hamas has turned down an offer to
join Yasir Arafat's new Cabinet. Arafat is forming a new government
under the threat of a no-confidence vote from his parliament.
Arafat invited the radical Islamic Hamas group to take part in
consultations toward forming a new Cabinet for his Palestinian
Authority. Hamas officials say it included an invitation to join
the Cabinet. As in the past, Hamas refused to join, according to
the official, but will attend the consultations, set for Tuesday.
Arafat is forming a new Cabinet under pressure from his parliament.
It threatens a vote of no-confidence because of charges of
widespread corruption in Arafat's administration. Arafat's
Palestinian Authority was set up in the framework of peace talks
The Islamic movement does not accept the concept of a Jewish state
in the Middle East, and opposes Arafat's decision to make peace or
even negotiate with Israel.
Expressing its rejection of Israel and peace, Hamas sent suicide
bombers into Israel, killing dozens of Israelis in attacks in
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Hamas officials claim there is no connection between the military
and political wings of the group. Surveys show that Hamas has
been gaining popularity among Palestinians as the year-long
stalemate in peace talks with Israel continues.
Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin is nearing the end of a
triumphant tour of Arab countries, where he raised millions of
dollars for the Islamic movement based in Gaza. Israel released
him from prison past year.
The purpose of his trip abroad was presented as medical treatment.
Yassin is confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down as
the result of a childhood accident. After discussing the pros and
cons of refusing to let him return home after his fund-raising
mission, Israel's government has reportedly decided to allow Yassin
to return to Gaza.
Wheat Growers Take Offense to Rabbi's Demands
IsraelWire News Service
According to Yossi Dror, a wheat grower from the Negev area of
southern Israel, "If the Chareidim (ultra-Orthodox) want to ensure
eating wheat that has not been cut down on the Sabbath, they should
buy bread [manufactured] abroad."
The tensions began when a local rabbi entrusted with supervising
the kosher standard of a wheat delivery, refused to permit a
truckload to be unloaded until it was determined exactly when the
wheat in question was cut. In this particular case, it was
determined that the wheat was not harvested on the Sabbath, in
violation of Jewish law, and the rabbi signed the necessary forms,
permitting the unloading of the shipment.
According to Dror, the rabbis in charge of the kosher supervision
are placing too many restrictions on growers, making it more
difficult to harvest their crops and make a living. Dror added that
it is getting to the point that they will do what they need to do
and the rabbis will just have to learn to live with it or buy bread
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