Newsletter : 2fax0417.txt
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Terrorist Involved in Passover Massacre Captured
The terrorist who provided the explosives to the suicide bomber who
murdered 27 Israelis at the Passover seder in Netanya has been
captured by Israeli security forces. The terrorist is connected to
the Islamist Hamas group, operating in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Hamas Threatens Israeli Leaders
By VOA News
The Palestinian militant group Hamas has threatened Israeli leaders
with assassination for the arrest of Marwan Barghouti, a leader of
Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction.
Israel arrested Barghouti in Ramallah Monday. He is on Israel's
wanted list for allegedly masterminding suicide bombings and other
attacks against Israelis.
In a statement issued in Beirut, Hamas warned Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon and members of his government that they are now considered
legitimate targets. It adds that the Israeli officials have "opened
the gates of hell" by arresting Barghouti.
Elsewhere, heavy gunfire erupted Tuesday near the Church of the
Nativity in Bethlehem, where Israeli forces have besieged armed
Palestinians for two weeks.
The exchanges stopped after about half an hour. The Associated
Press said a Palestinian near the clash was hit by a stray bullet.
Palestinians said Israeli forces staged an attack on the church.
The Israeli army confirmed shooting in the area but said its forces
had not attacked.
The church is built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was
born. It is considered one of the holiest sites in Christianity.
Earlier Tuesday, Israeli tanks and troops rolled into three suburbs
of East Jerusalem, imposing a curfew and confining tens of
thousands of Palestinians to their homes.
The incursions into Abu Dis, Izzariyeh and Sawahra a-Sharkiyeh came
one day after Sharon said he would withdraw Israeli forces from
most of the West Bank within a week. Israel launched its West Bank
operation March 29 in response to a wave of deadly Palestinian
Powell, Sharon Discuss Proposed Mideast Summit
By VOA News
Secretary of State Colin Powell and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
have wrapped up what is expected to be their last meeting before
Powell leaves the region.
Sharon later told Israeli television that the meeting focused on a
proposed regional summit aimed at re-starting Israeli-Palestinian
peace talks. Sharon said the meeting could take place in June in
the United States and that he expected to head the Israeli
delegation. But Syria and Lebanon have already rejected the summit
Wednesday, Powell plans to meet with Palestinian leader Yasir
Arafat at his Israeli-besieged headquarters in Ramallah. From
there, he heads to Cairo for a meeting with Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak before going home.
Earlier Tuesday, Powell said he thought he was "making progress" in
talks with the Israelis and Palestinians. But he indicated any deal
would be something less than a formal ceasefire.
Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo disputed any
notion of progress, saying none is possible without an Israeli
withdrawal from all Palestinian towns, villages and refugee camps.
New York City Cancels Sale of UN Plaza to Israel's Brack
By Elazar Levin (courtesy of Israel's Business Arena)
The New York City municipality has canceled a deal to sell a
complex of three office buildings in Manhattan to Israel's BCH
Brack Capital Holdings (formerly VSP Capital Holdings) for $161
million. Brack said that the city had changed its position and no
longer supported the contract. The three buildings, collectively
termed the UN Plaza complex, are leased to the United Nations.
"Globes" reported last month that the deal was likely to be
canceled because the United Nations was against it. U.N. Secretary
General Kofi Annan announced in October 2001 that he was against
the sale, saying the buildings should be controlled by public
authorities like the city government, "which would show sympathy to
the United Nations." The U.S. government was also against the deal.
Sources close to the sale suggested that Brack Capital would
attempt to undertake legal proceedings against the New York City
municipality. However, it is unclear whether the company will take
such measures, for two reasons.
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