Newsletter : 8fax0623.txt
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>JN June 23, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 108
Holocaust Survivors' Lawyer Threatens Swiss Banks
Israel Faxx Staff Report
A New York lawyer representing 31,000 Holocaust victims and
relatives suing Swiss banks threatened Monday to step up U.S. court
action next month in the absence of a settlement. Ed Fagan repeated
his rejection of an offer by three Swiss banks last week to settle
Holocaust-era claims for $600 million. "The banks have a real hard
time using the "b-word" -- billions."
Rabin Assassination Conspirators Appeal Verdict
Israel Faxx Staff Report
Yitzhak Rabin's assassin, his brother and a third religious Jew
appealed to Israel's Supreme Court Monday against their convictions
for conspiring to kill the prime minister.
Yigal Amir, who is serving a life term for pulling the trigger in
the November 1995 murder, was sentenced to an additional five years
in prison in the 1996 conspiracy trial. His brother Hagai was
jailed for 12 years and Dror Adani was given a seven-year sentence.
A Supreme Court spokesman said the court would render its decision
at a later date which was not specified.
Jerusalem's Boundaries to be Extended
By Mark Lavie (VOA-Tel Aviv)
Israel's Cabinet approved a controversial plan to extend control of
Jerusalem's city government to surrounding areas, including parts
of the West Bank. The Israeli plan is to create an umbrella
municipality, to include Jerusalem and its suburbs, including two
large Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Palestinians charge this is a thinly-disguised Israeli scheme to
annex parts of the West Bank to Israel. Palestinian leader Abu Ala
warns that it could lead to violence.
He said, there is no doubt this plan by the Israeli Cabinet will
have great influence on the cycle of violence. He warned it will
kill the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
The State Department called the plan provocative, and warned it
could undermine negotiations. The Israelis say it is just an
administrative step to improve services to Jerusalem's residents,
both Jews and Arabs.
The Israeli officials say the idea is to co-ordinate transportation
and other services, as well as area planning. Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Palestinian objections to
the Jerusalem plan -- "ridiculous."
The Palestinians point to the part of the plan that calls for
regional planning and construction. They say this is a way to
add more Jewish neighborhoods to the area in the West Bank around
east Jerusalem, where Palestinians live. The Palestinians want to
create their own state, with east Jerusalem as its capital. A plan
Israel's government strongly opposes.
The Israelis point to another clause in the agreements which
declares Jerusalem is not part of the interim accords. Therefore,
the Israelis say they have the right to maintain and develop their
Jerusalem is one of the toughest issues to be tackled by Israeli
and Palestinian negotiators. Israel claims the whole city as its
capital, including the part where the Palestinians live that was
captured by Israel in the 1967 war. No other country has
recognized Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem, including the
walled Old City, a site holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians.
With peace negotiations stalemated for nearly a year and one-half,
Palestinians suspect any step the Israeli government takes in
Jerusalem is meant to erode the basis for an eventual Palestinian
Some Israelis also object to the plan. These Israelis -- who
live in suburbs outside Jerusalem, in Israel proper -- demonstrated
against the plan to annex their cities and towns to Jerusalem, no
matter how Israel's leaders explain it.
Practical Joke in Bus Alerts Police
Students riding in a bus last week alarmed motorists and alerted
police with a sign which they thought was a practical joke. In the
window of the bus they hung a sign reading, "Help. We have been
kidnapped." As the bus was making its way with the ninth graders
from Tel-Aviv to a Beersheva school, police acted to apprehend the
On the road between Yavne and Ashdod, a taxi driver saw the sign,
and he immediately notified police. Police believed it may have
been a bus hijacked by terrorists.
Tens of police units began heading towards the bus as elite units
were activated to deal with what was believed to be a hostage
situation. A police helicopter was also ordered to take off and
Waving their weapons, police ordered the driver of the bus to pull
over. The driver, not understanding what was taking place,
immediately complied with the large police force.
Several minutes later, it was realized that it was not a
kidnapping, but just some kids who thought they were having a good
time. Police failed to see the humor in the event, and the
occupants of the bus were questioned by police in the Rechovot
station. A criminal file was opened against he youth who made the
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