Newsletter : 4fax0829.txt
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Israel Faxx \/ / \/ /
August 30, 1994 Volume 2, #162 / /\__/_/\
Electronic World Communications, Inc. /__\ \_____\
8916 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215 \ /
Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (513) 563-7424 \/
Many people have painted bridges, but few have done it quite like
William Cochran. He has been painting a portion of a bridge in
Frederick, Md. His section makes the modern bridge look like it was
constructed in the 19th century. People in Frederick say it even
looks like there are cobblestones there, with ivy growing on them.
Israel Says No to Pakistani's Gaza Visit
By Douglas Bakshian (Islamabad, Pakistan)
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry says Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has
called off plans to visit the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip
September 4 because of reported difficulties raised by the
Israelis. This is the second time within a week that plans for the
tour have been announced and then pulled back.
The Gaza tour has been the source of much reporting and speculation
in recent days. Despite an invitation from PLO leader Yasir Arafat
for Bhutto to visit, a Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman says
the trip is off.
"Unfortunately it appears the Israelis have raised certain
difficulties with regard to the visit and the Palestinians have
conveyed to us their deepest regret that due to these difficulties
the prime minister's visit has been placed in jeopardy and they
have advised us to call it off. So we've called off the visit and
the prime minister will not be going."
The spokesman said he is not certain of the exact nature of the
difficulties. But he cited statements by Israeli officials about
Israeli clearance being need to visits to Gaza. Pakistan has
previously denied it would seek permission from Israel, saying
the Palestinians are responsible. The issue is a sensitive one
because Pakistan does not recognize Israel.
Confusion has surrounded the trip since last Wednesday when the
Foreign Ministry originally announced the tour. But just hours
later that same day, Bhutto said she was putting it off because
Arafat had a scheduling conflict.
All the diplomatic maneuvering has left observers wondering why
the government went through so much political pain and public
reversal only to end up with nothing.
The visit would have been an historical marker if it had gone
forward. Bhutto would have been the first foreign head of
government to go to Gaza since it achieved limited self-rule from
Israel in May. As one observer summarized things, the road to Gaza
appears blocked at this time and lost in the fog of diplomacy.
Early Empowerment Signed
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israeli and Palestinian officials have signed an agreement to
expand Palestinian autonomy in the occupied territories. The
Palestinian official who signed the document, called the accord a
small but important step in the peace process.
However, it was not a smooth event in this peace process being
carried out by two still-antagonistic peoples.
The Palestinian representative, Nabil Shaath, arrived at the
ceremony on the Israel-Gaza border an hour late to protest an
Israeli diplomatic maneuver made Sunday. Shaath complained
to reporters about Israel's refusal to allow a Pakistani diplomat
into Gaza to prepare for a visit to the area by Pakistan's prime
minister. But Pakistan announced on Monday there would be no such
Shaath finally sat down with his Israeli counterpart, General
Danny Rothschild, and the two signed the agreement, which
Shaath called a "small step, but an important one" in implementing
the peace accord. The document they signed gives Palestinians
control over education, health care, taxation, tourism, and social
welfare in the occupied territories -- except in East Jerusalem and
Control over education has already been handed over, in time for
the start of the schoolyear this Thursday. The other powers will
be transferred in coming weeks, depending on the Palestinian
authority's ability to manage and finance them.
Rothschild said the two sides agreed to wait until after a
conference of donor countries September 8, which will determine how
much money the Palestinian authority has to work with.
"We want to be sure that there is sufficient budget to allow those
systems to work and not to collapse after a month. That's why we
agreed, jointly, to approach the donors and to see that money will
be available to the five spheres which are going to be
Israel and Yasir Arafat's Palestine National Authority are eager
to show progress in implementing their peace agreement, to thwart
opponents on both sides. But Israel is not prepared to give
the Palestinians full control of the occupied territories -- at
least not yet.
That is why the two sides agreed to begin autonomy with social
services, before moving on to control of law and order. That
would involve expanding the borders of the Palestinian autonomous
region, now limited to the city of Jericho and the Gaza Strip.
** An Israeli Health Ministry official has alleged that
Palestinians are contaminating vegetables which they export from
Gaza to Israel by dipping them in sewage water containing feces.
** The Israeli Government approved a proposed 1995 budget of 128.7
billion NIS (approx.$42 billion). (Yediot Aharonot)
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