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Israeli Civilians Injured by Hizbullah Anti-Aircraft Fire

By VOA News

Israel says two civilians have been injured by shrapnel from anti-aircraft shells fired by Hizbullah militants at Israeli jets flying over southern Lebanon. The incident occurred Tuesday after Israeli fighter jets broke the sound barrier while flying over Lebanon. Hizbullah routinely responds to such overflights with anti-aircraft fire. The two wounded Israelis are residents of the Israeli border town of Shlomi.


Peres: Holy Sites in Jerusalem Should Be Declared 'World Capital'

By Reuters

Shimon Peres, the head of Israel's opposition Labor Party, has suggested resolving Israeli-Palestinian conflict over Jerusalem by putting its holy sites under UN stewardship, a spokesman said on Tuesday. His plan calls for declaring a holy area of sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem's old walled city as a "world capital," with the UN Secretary-General serving as mayor, Peres' spokesman Yoram Dori said.

Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital, including the Arab eastern part captured in the 1967 Middle East War and annexed in a move that is not recognized internationally. Palestinians want to make East Jerusalem capital of the state they hope to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip under a U.S.-backed peace plan.

Peres raised the idea in a meeting with visiting Russian diplomats-in-training when they asked how he envisaged a solution to conflicting Israeli-Palestinian claims to the city, Dori said. Israel has previously rejected proposals raised by the Vatican to internationalize Jerusalem.


Palestinian PM to Ask US to Pressure Israel on 'Road Map'

By VOA News

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas said he would ask the United States for a timetable to pressure Israel to respect its commitments to the peace process when he meets with President Bush in Washington on Friday.

Abbas will seek American support in pressuring Israel to dismantle illegal settlements in the West Bank, freeze construction of new ones and advance gradual Israeli troop withdrawals from Palestinian towns. He will also seek the release of more than 6,000 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

While meeting with Arab League Secretary Amr Moussa in Egypt Tuesday, Abbas stated he would not be disarming Hamas as is being demanded by Israel.

Meanwhile, Israeli police, on heightened alert for a possible terrorist attack, said they shot dead an Israeli Arab motorist Tuesday near the West Bank. An Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported the man was unarmed.

The latest violence comes on the heels of a report by Israel's leading civil rights group denouncing Israeli soldiers' treatment of Palestinians during the last year. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel accused soldiers of inflicting human rights abuses on Palestinians and faults the Israeli authorities for not launching adequate inquiries into such incidents. The Israeli army rejected the group's findings.


Arafat: 'Grave consequences' if Jews Keep Visiting Temple Mount

By Nadav Shragai, Ha'aretz and DPA

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat warned of "grave consequences" Tuesday if Israel continues to allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount. Muslim guards at the Temple Mount tried Tuesday to stop groups of Jews from performing religious rituals there, Palestinian sources said. Police then removed the Jews from the Temple Mount to prevent further contacts between them and the guards.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mussa said he received a call from Arafat warning of the gravity of this step and calling the developments "very dangerous" and "an insult to Moslems everywhere."

The police have recently broadened the visits they coordinate to the Temple Mount and now sometimes allow religious Jews wearing religious skullcaps to enter the plaza area, which the Waqf Muslim religious trust closed to non-Muslims after the riots following then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon's visit there in September 2000. Palestinians say the visit sparked the Al-Aqsa Intifada, named for the mosque on the mount.

The new relaxation in the rules is a gradual process meant to reinstate the status quo before the Sharon visit. However, police will not allow group Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount and will not allow known members of the various Temple Mount groups that call for the reconstruction of the Temple and demolition of the mosques to visit the site. Officially, both sides deny there is any quiet understanding between police and the Waqf about restoring tourist visits.

Arafat's senior advisor Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the chairman summoned members of the diplomatic corps in Jerusalem for a meeting at his Ramallah compound to brief them on the gravity of the situation. Arafat asked the diplomats to inform their governments of the seriousness of this situation and to intervene to "contain the consequences of this crime and prevent its repetition," warning that it could "explode the situation once again," said Abu Rudeineh.


The Mall Model for MidEast Peace
Commentary by Naomi Ragen (c) 2003

I had an e-mail the other day from some fine fellow who was all upset. "According to you, there will never be peace between Israelis and the Palestinians" he fumed.

Not so, dear sir. In fact, if you lived here in Jerusalem as I do, surrounded by Muslim Arabs -you'd know that in many places, we already have peace.

All you'd have to do is go to that great center of Jerusalem day and nightlife The Mall, a large three-tiered structure housing restaurants (all kosher) movie theaters, and hundreds of stores of all kinds (I don't have to tell you, right? It's a mall.) What's different here is that you will find sitting around the fountains outside Pizza Hut Arab families with children in baby carriages, munching pizza beside Jewish families from neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria. Look at them, enjoying the air conditioning, and happily feeding their little ones from paper cups filled with ice cream on a summer evening.

All this without a Road Map. Without the release of terrorists. Without a Palestinian State. Without the permission of Yasir Arafat. Or Sharon. Or George Bush.

Now, what lessons can we learn about how to actually achieve MidEast Peace from the Jerusalem Mall? I'll tell you.

You can only enter the mall if you have no weapons.   The reason Jew and Arab can sit peacefully side by side enjoying life and each other's company, is that anyone who wants to get into the mall is carefully checked for weapons before he
's allowed to enter.  That's right. All cars are checked, included the boot and back seat.  People get their bags checked.  They are wanded.

Get rid of the terrorists.  Get rid of the illegal weapons.  Stop up the tunnels bringing weapons from Egypt to Gaza.  Deport arch terrorists like Arafat.  Keep all the jailed terrorists under lock and key, and destroy the Hamas and
Islamic Jihad and Fatah to the last building and the last man.  And then you might not have peace, but you will have Arab and Jew sitting side by side with their families on a cool summer evening, making an attempt to quietly live their
lives and solve their differences. (Visit Ragen's Web page at: http://www.NaomiRagen.com and subscribe to her mailing list by sending an empty email to: naomiragen-on@mail-list.com)
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