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Is Report of Arafat's Death Premature?


Rumors that the PA leader died have been circulating, as well as other reports ranging from tumors, heart attacks, and that he is in good health. A report from an Egyptian medical team that visited the career terrorist in his Ramallah office indicates Arafat did indeed suffer a minor heart attack recently and requires immediate admission to a hospital. Arafat's personal medical team that recently visited him from Jordan denies this report. One Jordanian physician stated the PA leader's problems stem from his prolonged incarceration in the Mukata headquarters.

Palestinian Emergency Cabinet Fails to Win Parliament's Support

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

The government of new Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia is in crisis, after failing to win the support of the parliament. A vote on the government was postponed Thursday, after Palestinian lawmakers rebelled against the wishes of Qureia and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.

Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council expressed support for a broad-based ministry and not the narrow emergency Cabinet headed by Qureia, which was established earlier this week by special decree from Arafat. A furious Arafat, who also ordered that a scheduled meeting of the parliament in the West Bank city of Ramallah be canceled, rejected their appeal.

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat said it was possible that a larger Cabinet would now be established to replace the emergency body set up by Arafat, which could only have served for a short term. "There is nothing that prevents us from enlarging the government. That is a possibility. Some people argue that we should come with a large Cabinet. Some people argue we should go with the same [emergency Cabinet], and we take our time. But whether we come with a large or a mini-Cabinet, by the end of three weeks from now, you must have your full Cabinet."

Security has become an issue of dispute within the Palestinian leadership. Nasser Yousef was to have been appointed the interior minister, a post that includes responsibility for several branches of the Palestinian security forces. However, he refused to be sworn in before a new Cabinet has the approval of the parliament. Arafat is now reportedly demanding that Qureia remove Yousef from the Cabinet line-up. In response, Qureia said he would not dismiss Yousef, and instead offered to resign as prime minister.

Israel to Continue Expelling Palestinian Militants

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel is planning to renew its policy of deporting Palestinian militants who supported terror attacks and their families from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army said it has decided to move against Palestinian Islamic groups in the West Bank by expelling some of their members, relatives and supporters to the Gaza Strip, about 30 miles away.

Among those likely to be exiled are about 25 Palestinian militants arrested this week, most of them members and leaders of the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank town of Jenin. The organization took responsibility for the suicide bombing that killed 20 people Saturday in Haifa.

This week, Israeli security forces arrested four Islamic Jihad activists who they say were on their way to carry out suicide bombings. In reaction to such threats, Israel has declared it would not allow Palestinian cars to travel on roads in large parts of the West Bank until further notice. The only exception would be for humanitarian cases.

In addition, Israel has closed the West Bank and Gaza Strip until Oct. 22, several days after the end of the Jewish Succoth holiday. The decision prevents thousands of Palestinian workers from crossing into Israel to reach their jobs. Israel also is organizing the deployment of more troops in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel's defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, has ordered the rapid call-up of about 800 reserve soldiers, who are expected to be stationed in the territories beginning next week.

Terrorism Does Not Keep Pro-Israel Christians Away


More than 3,000 Christians from 80 countries will be arriving in Israel, spending the Succoth holiday in the capital. The 24th annual Feast of the Tabernacles sponsored by the ICEJ (International Christian Embassy Jerusalem) will open on the evening of Sunday Oct. 12, with the guests enjoying an address by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Ex-Nazi Officer Asks Italian Officials for Pardon


Erich Priebke, a former SS officer who killed hundreds of civilians during a Nazi reprisal in Rome in 1944, has appealed to Italian authorities for a pardon. In a rare interview to be broadcast on Saturday by Italian state radio RAI, Priebke said he hoped to be free one day, so that "I may be able to embrace again my wife, who is ill in Argentina".

Priebke, who is now 90 years old, was handed a life sentence by a military tribunal in Rome for his role in the Fosse Ardeatine massacre, in which 335 men, 75 of them Jews - were shot in the back of the head in a cave on the outskirts of the Italian capital.

SS Lt. Col. Herbert Kappler ordered the execution in a reprisal for an Italian partisan bomb that killed 33 German troops who were marching in file through a narrow street in central Rome.

Priebke had since fled to Argentina and has been living under house arrest in a Rome apartment since his conviction. "The Fosse Ardeatine was, for me, a personal tragedy," Priebke told RAI. "I had removed (the massacre) from my memory, because it was too horrible an event." In excerpts of the interview published on Thursday, the former Nazi officer also said he was willing to meet relatives of the victims and "open out my heart" to them.

Letter From the Women in Green

By Ruth Matar (Commentary Women For Israel's Tomorrow)

The Saudis are masters of the big Big Lie, cleverly designed to obfuscate the truth. In an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper, Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Nayef Ibn Abd al-Aziz said Israeli intelligence had carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and that the Zionist-controlled media in America had turned the people there against Saudi Arabia. (An English translation of the interview appeared in a magazine sponsored by the royal family.)

In addition, Saudi leaders and writers like to insist that the growing criticism of them by U.S. leaders and public opinion is a result of Zionist propaganda, and that the only real issue between their country and the United States is the Palestinian question.

Hence, the Saudi royals and their advisers have decided on a whistle-stop tour, the kind of tour, which Harry Truman did before his 1948 successful election. Harry Truman's message was "Elect me." The message of the Saudis is "Trust us, we are your friends and allies."...

The Saudis are jetting across the U.S. for face-to-face meetings with Americans in an effort to dispel criticisms that they have been soft on terrorism...They will be coming to your community to try to convince you that they are friends and allies of the United States. They are traveling throughout America to try to convince you that the Saudi Government does not collaborate in the kidnapping and holding of children of American mothers, who are divorced from their Saudi husbands.

They are traveling throughout America to try to convince you that they are tolerant of all religions. They are traveling throughout America to try to make you believe that they are not continuing to fund Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups. They are traveling throughout America to try to persuade you, against all the existing evidence, that they had no part whatsoever in 9/11...

Fortunately, Americans are blessed with a great deal of common sense. They believe what President Abraham Lincoln used to say "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

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