Newsletter : 3fax0818.txt
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She Captured Eichmann
Yehudit Nesiyahu, a woman who served in Israel's security services for several decades,
died Saturday at the age of 78, after an extended illness. Her most famous exploit: taking
part in the capture of Nazi-mastermind Adolph Eichmann in Argentina and spiriting him to
Israel for trial. She took part in many still-secret Mossad operations. Her family made
Aliyah in 1938, and unlike her late husband, she observed a religious lifestyle. She was
buried Sunday in the Yarkon Cemetery.
Israeli Transfer of West Bank Towns to Palestinian Control Postponed
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
The planned Israeli transfer of West Bank towns to Palestinian control has been postponed
after the two sides failed to agree Sunday on the terms of the transfer. Both sides have
agreed to meet again this week in a bid to resolve their differences.
After four hours of talks on Sunday, a Palestinian spokesman said there had been a
setback to the planned transfer of four towns to Palestinian control over the next 10
days. The spokesman for Palestinian Security Minister Mohammed Dahlan said the problem lay
in Israel's insistence that even after the handover, Israel would maintain roadblocks to
control movement in and out of the towns.
Israeli officials confirmed that the two sides failed to reach agreement but pointed to
other issues, including the supervision of wanted Palestinian militants in the cities that
will be transferred to Palestinian control. Israel is demanding a commitment from the
Palestinian Authority that the wanted Palestinians be prevented from continuing to use the
areas as bases to launch terror attacks.
Israel had announced it was ready to hand back control over Qalqilya and Jericho to the
Palestinians as early as Monday. The transfer of Tulkarem and Ramallah, the seat of
Palestinian government, were to follow next week. A spokeswoman for the Israeli Army said
that the meeting on Sunday had been "businesslike" and the two sides would soon hold more
There were clear signs that the Palestinian Authority still expected the transfers to
go ahead despite the failure to reach an agreement. On Sunday, Palestinian police officers
in civilian clothing were reported to have been deployed in Qalqilya as part of
preparations to resume responsibility for law and order.
Israeli troops moved into Palestinian towns across the West Bank last year following a
campaign of Palestinian suicide bombings. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pledged that the
soldiers would be withdrawn once the security situation had improved.
German Publisher Stops Printing Book Charged with Being Anti-Semitic
A prominent German publisher, Suhrkamp Verlag, has halted the printing of a book
attacked for anti-Semitism and for defending Palestinian attacks against Israel, Reuters
reported. But the book will not be removed from bookstores and will be published in
The publisher said that "After the Terror," in which philosopher Ted Honderich argues
that Palestinians have a "moral right to their terrorism" because of their treatment by
Israel, crossed the boundary for legitimate discussion about controversial subjects.
On Aug. 7, the publisher apologized for having not read the manuscript "carefully
enough." The decision to halt printing followed a letter from Holocaust researcher Micha
Brumlik to the "Frankfurter Rundschau" newspaper urging the book's immediate withdrawal.
Brumlik accused Honderich of spreading "anti-Semitic anti-Zionism" and justifying the
murder of Jewish civilians in Israel.
Amr: 'Pragmatic Solution' will be Found to Right of Return
The issue of the right of return will be resolved in a "pragmatic" manner in negotiations
with Israel, Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Amr told Army Radio on Sunday.
"The 'right of return' issue will be solved only in agreement with Israel. We will not
harm the Jewish character
of the state of Israel and the solution will therefore be pragmatic," he said. The
comments came after a series
of statements made since last Thursday by Palestinian External Affairs Minister Nabil
Sha'ath at the start of a trip
to Syria and Lebanon, in which he reiterated Palestinian Authority demands for Palestinian
refugees to return to cities in Israel.
Sha'ath's most emphatic declaration on this was Friday at a news conference in a Beirut
hotel and attended by delegates of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, who number close to
400,000. He told the news conference the U.S.-sponsored road map for Middle East peace
guaranteed the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel or to
lands conquered in
the 1967 Six-Day War.
"We do not see a solution for our brothers [Palestinian refugees] in Lebanon except
their return to their homeland," declared Sha'ath. "There is no other political solution.
The return to their homeland is a must."
Sha'ath described the Palestinian refugee right of a return as "an integral part of the
Arab peace initiative, which is one of the reference points in the road map" - a reference
to the Saudi peace initiative the Arab League approved
in March last year. "I want to be clear - this right includes returning to an independent
state and to Palestinian cities in the Jewish state. "Whether a person returns to Haifa or
to Nablus, his return is guaranteed [by the road map]."
In response, officials in Jerusalem accused the Palestinians of ignoring the road map
and bringing up topics that were not included in the plan. They pointed out that
international law does not recognize a right of return, and said that it was a Palestinian
notion invented for propaganda purposes. Senior Foreign Ministry officials said that,
"there will never be a return of refugees to the State of Israel."
On Saturday evening, after Sha'ath arrived in Damascus and after he had been apprised
of vehement rebuttals by Israel to his remarks in Beirut on Friday, he reiterated his
insistence on a right of Palestinian return to Israeli cities in yet more strident
"There is Israeli sensitivity toward any mere mention of the right of return," Sha'ath
said, "but this right is anchored in United Nations resolutions on refugees and in the
Arab initiative." Sha'ath explained that in his remarks Friday he
had implied that there is no need to discuss refugee return to a Palestinian state, since
such a return process is self-evident, and sanctioned by the road map plan. Refugee return
to Israel will be a central issue discussed in final status negotiations with Israel, he
Sha'ath is visiting Lebanon and Syria ahead of a upcoming tour by Palestinian Prime
Minister Mahmoud Abbas. Israeli officials said it was unfortunate that a Palestinian
official involved in the peace process is misleading his
people as they have done to past generations.
Government spokesman Avi Pazner said Saturday that the road map did not address the
right of return, and that refugees would never be allowed to return to Israel. Health
Minister Dan Naveh said any advances in the road map should be dependent on Palestinians
giving up the right of return to lands within Israel.
Labor Party Chairman Shimon Peres accused the Palestinians of "again addressing an
issue they will never attain," adding that Sha'ath's words "aren't advancing the chances
of reaching an agreement." The comments were also denounced by Labor MK
Matan Vilnai, who said that all political parties in Israel are united against a
Palestinian right of return to Israel.
"Sha'ath's speech in Lebanon associates him with Hizbullah and other forces that are
hindering the peace process in the Middle East," he added. Meretz MK Ran Cohen called on
Abbas to reject Sha'ath's statement, and to clarify that Israel
and the Palestinian Authority have a joint interest in finding solutions for the refugee
problem within the borders of a Palestinian state, and not in Israel.
Lebanon adamantly opposes the settlement of some 367,000 Palestinian refugees within
its borders. Most Palestinians are Sunni Muslims, and their permanent settlement in
Lebanon could change the fragile demographic balance between
the various ethnic and religious groups within the country.
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