Newsletter : 5fax0203.txt
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Police Identify 3,000-Year-Old Skeletal Remains
Police forensics units were called in several weeks ago to identify a skull and
skeletal remains found adjacent to Dor Beach, on Israel's northern Mediterranean coast. As
it turns out, if the remains belonged to a victim of a crime, it occurred about 3,000
years ago. "The findings indicate that the skeletal remains are from the Bronze Age (3,000
years ago), from the Phoenician period. The material and the findings will be turned over
to the Antiquities Authority," the police statement said.
Sharon, Abbas to Meet in Egypt Next Week
By VOA News & IsraelNationalNews.com
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office said Tuesday that the Israeli leader has accepted
an Egyptian invitation to meet Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas next week in the Red Sea
resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Sharon's office said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will host
the summit Tuesday, which would be the highest-level Israeli-Palestinian meeting in nearly
four years. There was no immediate comment from the Palestinians.
A summit has been expected since Abbas, who was elected to succeed late Yasir Arafat
last month, took steps to stop Palestinian terrorists from attacking Israelis. Israel
responded by cutting back on military operations. Israel is also discussing plans for a
pullback from several West Bank cities.
Abbas (Abu Mazen) has more scheduled for next week than his meeting with Sharon. The PA
chairman plans to visit Iran as well. Just hours after the announcement of a diplomatic
summit between Sharon and Abbas, Ma'ariv reported Abu Mazen's plan to visit Iran in coming
days - even before Tuesday's summit. Iran has extended an invitation to Abu Mazen,
inviting the PA leader to visit Tehran. The invitation was extended as Abu Mazen visited
Turkey. A PA official told Reuters "Abu Mazen did receive an invitation to visit Iran. He
accepted the invitation and will decide on a date the moment he returns."
A source in the Iranian Foreign Ministry told Ma'ariv that the visit would indeed take
place in the very near future. The source said that the invitation was issued because Iran
is interested in "friendly relations with the Palestinian government just as it has with
the various Palestinian factions." The source stressed that Iran's invitation should not
be construed as an endorsement of any sort of "peace process," though "Iran has always
supported a Palestinian state." Iran has also long supported various terror groups,
including Hamas and Hizbullah.
Israel's Attorney General Nixes Government Plans to Expropriate Palestinian Land
By Sonja Pace (VOA-Jerusalem)
It was all done very secretly last June, when cabinet ministers decided to let the
state confiscate East Jerusalem property belonging to Palestinians living in the West
Bank. The decision revived a long-dormant law from 1950, which allowed Israel to seize
property from Palestinians who fled or were driven out of their homes during the 1948 war
that led to Israel's independence.
Lawyer Dan Yakir, from the Israel Civil Rights Association, said the law was what he
calls "legally problematic," even then. "The consequence of this law is confiscation of
property, without any compensation." The cabinet decision to revive this law came to
light last month, after Palestinian property owners took their complaints to the court.
Palestinian claimants and their lawyers said Israel was trying to seize thousands more
hectares of land to solidify its control over East Jerusalem, ahead of any future peace
Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Mideast War, later annexed
it and now claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, a claim not internationally recognized.
Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital for their future independent
Dan Yakir said the special circumstances surrounding East Jerusalem makes the
application of the old "property law" even more untenable. But, he said it also
constituted a basic violation of human rights. "Applying this law would be a grave
infringement upon not only the right to property, but other rights that incur from the
property in East Jerusalem."
This week, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz struck down the cabinet decision as legally
"indefensible" and that it violated both Israeli and international law. Mazuz also said
reviving the law would invite international condemnation of Israel, which has already come
under harsh criticism from the International Court of Justice in the Hague for building
its so-called security barrier in and around the West Bank.
Pines-Paz Blasts 'Racist' Citizenship Legislation
Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz is drafting a bill meant to make it easier to bestow
Israeli citizenship on Palestinian residents of the territories, including through family
reunification. "The current law is draconian and racist," Pines-Paz told Ha'aretz, adding
that his bill would be drafted in coordination with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz.
The minister's comments followed a Knesset vote on Monday to extend a temporary law
governing citizenship and entry to Israel, which was originally meant to restrict the
right of Palestinian residents of the territories to obtain Israeli citizenship through
marriage to Israelis. The law also proposes imposing restrictions on granting permits to
enter and spend time in Israel. The temporary law was slated to expire in May.
The government decided in 2003 to initiate the legislation after it became convinced
that thousands of Arab residents of the territories had received Israeli citizenship in
recent years and settled in the country. During a debate at the time in the Knesset,
then-deputy attorney general Menachem Mazuz argued that the proposed bill was in the
national interest because the number of requests for family reunification had greatly
increased over the past decade.
Arab parties were vehemently opposed to the legislation this week. Balad MK Azmi
Bishara said the Knesset's vote in favor of the bill underscored the government's "racist
policy." The law has racist demographic motives and nothing more, Bishara said, and
Labor's conduct - opposing the original law while it was in opposition and seeking a
redrafting of the law now that it is in the government - was shameful. This is not
supposed to be a tactical matter on which you compromise, but a matter of principle, he
MK Mohammad Barakeh (Hadash-Ta'al) said this order was "conceived in sin and deserved
to be thrown in the trash. All the cosmetic materials in the world won't be able to make
proper such a racist regulation."
ADL Calls on CIA to Hand Over Files on Suspected Nazis
Responding to reports that the CIA has balked at congressional requests to hand over
secret files on Nazi war criminals, the Anti-Defamation League has called on the CIA to
publicize all records relating to the agency's post-war recruitment of suspected
"Sixty years after the end of the war, the time has come to make this information
available," ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said in a statement released on Tuesday.
"With the number of survivors and witnesses diminishing by the day, and the reality that
the Holocaust is fading into the pages of history and memory, we should not have to wait
The ADL issued the statement in reaction to a report in The New York Times this week
detailing the difficulty congressional investigators are experiencing in forcing the CIA
to declassify documents relating to their recruitment of former Nazis, as they are
required to do by the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, which was passed by Congress in
The agency has already released more than 1.2 million pages of documents, however
intelligence officials are quoted by the Times as saying that the law does not require
them to disclose all information relating to the agency's relationships with former Nazis.
"What's so puzzling about this is the agency has already released a significant number of
documents," Foxman said. "Why the change of heart now not to finish the process? What is
there still left that some feel needs to be hidden? The expediency and the errors of the
past are not a reflection of the intelligence community today. One finds it difficult to
understand why the leadership today is protecting the truth."
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