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>PD OCT. 6, 1994 V2,#182

Tourists Attacked By Terrorists in West Bank

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

A Palestinian man was killed and four foreign tourists have been injured in separate incidents in the Israeli-occupied part of the West Bank.

The four tourists were injured when a terrorist threw a hand grenade at their bus near a church (the Church of Lazarus) in the town of Bethany just outside Jerusalem.

Two of the tourists were treated at the scene and two others -- an Italian and a Spaniard -- were taken to a nearby Israeli hospital. All the injuries were reported to be minor. The assailant escaped.

At about the same time in Hebron, about 18 miles to the south, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man they said tried to stab one of them. Palestinians say the shooting was not provoked. It set off a series of demonstrations throughout the city, and Israel imposed an immediate curfew. It was the second such incident in Hebron in less than a week.

Such days, with two violent incidents, were commonplace during the anti-occupation uprising called the intifada, between 1987 and 1993. But violence has been reduced considerably since Israel and the Palestinians signed their peace accord a year ago. Still, extremists who oppose the agreement continue to strike whenever they can, in spite of both Israeli and Palestinian efforts to stop them.

Palestinian Police Complete Training

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

While negotiators in Cairo discuss the details of expanding Palestinian autonomy in territory occupied by Israel, Palestinian police are preparing to be deployed soon outside the current, small autonomy areas. But Israeli authorities have not yet agreed to the plan, and continuing sporadic violence is complicating the issue.

The first 150 Palestinian police officers from outside Gaza and Jericho completed their training on Monday, and the mayor of Nablus, the largest city in the West Bank, wants to put them to work. But Israeli authorities still are considering the mayor's request, and for now, the police are still waiting.

Meanwhile, continuing sporadic violence in the occupied territories is making the Israeli decision more difficult. The spokeswoman for the Israeli authority in the West Bank says the request to deploy Palestinian police in Nablus is being considered, and the details of their duties are being discussed with the mayor. But she says they would not have the same type of security function that Palestinian police have in the autonomous areas. That will come only later, when Palestinian autonomy is expanded to include Nablus and other parts of the West Bank -- perhaps in a few months.

Until then, the spokeswoman says, these officers would not be armed, would not wear military-style uniforms and would have authority only over such things as traffic control, parking, street peddlers and other civil affairs. She says a similar arrangement has been in place for some time in another West Bank town (Tulkarm), modeled after what are called municipal inspectors in Jordan.

The Israeli spokeswoman also denied news reports that Palestinian police will be deployed in Nablus as early as Saturday. She says the proposal likely will be approved, but not in the next few days. And she says the mayor of Nablus has promised the Israeli military governor that the police will not be deployed until permission is granted.

Nablus was a center for the anti-occupation uprising known as the intifada, between 1987 and 1993. The violence was reduced considerably following the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord a year ago. But extremist groups which oppose the agreement continue to strike whenever they can, in spite of both Israeli and Palestinian efforts to stop them. Nablus was the site of a series of incidents in July.

Both Israeli and Palestinian leaders say they will not allow the continuing violence to stop the peace process. But Israeli leaders are under intense domestic pressure not to take any step which could make it easier for terrorists to strike at Jewish targets. Expanding Palestinian autonomy to all of the West Bank would leave many Jewish settlements surrounded and would put large Israeli population centers, including Tel Aviv, within a few minutes' drive of the Palestinian zone.

U.S. May Send Troops to Golan Heights

By Victor Beattie (Washington)

A senior State Department official says the United States would consider contributing troops to an international force to monitor an Israeli-Syrian peace settlement. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Pelleatreau's comments were made as Israel's foreign minister called on Syria's president to compromise on the future of the Golan Heights.

Pelletreau says such an international force on the Golan Heights would be similar to that established in the Sinai to monitor the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. Pelletreau -- who testified at a Tuesday congressional hearing -- says he expects such a request might be part of an overall peace package.

Pelletreau says there is a good opportunity for peace between Israel and Syria. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres agrees, saying the move toward a peace treaty with Jordan should provide momentum in Israeli negotiations with Syria. Peres acknowledges the talks now are stalemated and suggests President Hafez al-Assad might have a reason for his unwillingness to compromise: "Maybe President Assad thinks, by keeping his position, he will start the negotiation by getting the maximum price."

The price being sought by Syria is total Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and a dismantling of all Jewish settlements there. The foreign minister says, without compromise, there will be no peace.

Toronto JCC Is Casualty Of Recession

In yet another sign of the prolonged recession rocking Canada and its Jewish community along with it, the Jewish Community Center of Toronto has gone bust.

On Aug. 25, the JCC filed notice of its intention to submit a proposal to creditors under the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. The proposal must be submitted within 30 days.

In the boom years of the 1980s, the JCC-- which consists of a main campus on Bathurst Street, the central artery of Toronto's 160,000 strong community, as well as a downtown building and a suburban branch-- underwent an extensive renovation and expansion program.

But as the economy soured, pledges became uncollectible. JCC management began taking capital out of foundation funds and other monies to cover operating costs.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, which funded some programs at the JCC but was independent of it, has assumed responsibility for $5 million (Canadian) of the JCC's debts.

The federation's largest creditor is the Bank of Montreal, which is owed $9.7 million. The Honeywell Corp., a manufacturer of computers, has a $1.1 million lien on the JCC for an energy conservation system it installed. And 29 creditors, many of them small, Jewish-owned businesses, are owed $1.2 million.

The JCC's total indebtedness is put at between $13 million to $17 million, said Morris Zbar, the associate director of the Toronto Federation.

The federation will appoint a seven-person board of directors to replace the officers of the near bankrupt community center in order to run the JCC in the interim.

Under a reorganization plan, the three branches of the JCC are to become independent. The downtown building will assume $3 million of the debt, while the suburban branch is to raise $1 million. More painful adjustments include cancellation of the 1994- 1995 season of the Leah Posluns Theater at the Bathurst Street campus, which had hundreds of subscribers.

The JCC's popular dance and theater school classes were also canceled, and the Institute of Jewish Learning, an adult- education program, was closed.

In addition, 26 full-time and six part-time JCC staff have been let go, including the director, Paul Brownstein. The dismissed staff members, who had received no advance notice or compensation, are seeking compensation.

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