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>PD OCTOBER 18, 1994 V2,#190

Israel-Jordan Peace Next Week

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem), David Borgida (Albuquerque) & Mohammed Ghuneim (Amman)

In Amman, top leaders of Israel and Jordan initialled a peace treaty. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordanian Prime Minister Abd al-Salam al-Majali put their initials on the peace treaty at King Hussein's palace in Amman, with the king and other officials looking on. Israel television says the king and Rabin telephoned President Clinton with the news and invited him to a signing ceremony on the Israel-Jordan border next week.

At the initialling ceremony, King Hussein said the event left him very happy and full of hope. Rabin said he hopes the treaty serves as an inspiration, and as an example that peace is attainable. He was apparently referring to Israel's talks with Syria, through US mediators, which have made little visible progress.

The ceremony in Amman -- broadcast live on Israeli radio -- came just three months after the king and the prime minister signed a document at the White House ending the state of war between their countries.

Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres were on their second visit to Amman in a week to work out the final details with King Hussein on the difficult issues of borders and water rights. A senior Israeli official says they reached agreement in principle on all issues on Sunday. Then, after sleeping at the king's palace, the Israeli and Jordanian leaders approved the final treaty text drafted in overnight talks among their aides.

Israel Radio says the border dispute was solved by "mutual concessions" and by a plan for Jordan to lease some land back to Israel so that Israeli farms do not have to be abandoned. Israel Radio also says the two countries agreed to jointly develop and share water resources from the Yarmouk River on the northern part of their border, and to seek international help in finding or purifying additional water for both countries. Rabin's spokesman says there were also final details to work out on what he called "security arrangements."

The Israel-Jordan peace process has moved with startling speed for a diplomatic process. Some aspects of Israel-Jordan peace were agreed upon almost immediately after the end of the state of war in July and have already been implemented, including new border crossings and joint projects for tourism and recreational facilities.

But the working-level talks bogged down over the border and water issues. Rabin and Peres made four visits to Jordan to work out those difficulties personally with King Hussein, including the two visits to Amman. Previously, no Israeli leader had ever visited the Jordanian capital publicly, although there have been unconfirmed reports of occasional secret meetings for years. The Israeli leaders also visited the king at his palace at the Jordanian port of Aqaba.

Three years of tough Jordanian-Israeli negotiations culminated in the document that was initialed in the Hashimiya royal palace, west of Amman. King Hussein described the treaty as a gift of peace for Jordanians and Israelis alike. "I hope and pray that this is something that we leave behind for all the generations to come, (and) amongst our peoples for them to enjoy what we were denied for so long -- peace, human dignity, warmth and (a) chance to live."

King Hussein also expressed the hope that this important step would be a fresh start between Jordan and Israel, and would eventually lead to comprehensive peace in the region.

Rabin lauded King Hussein for his courage which he said was instrumental in ending the state of war and bringing the two countries together. "No doubt, the unique courage that is so characteristic of King Hussein in whatever he has done brought him to take a courageous decision to put an end to the war between Jordan and Israel, (and) to have the Washington declaration (drafted) in which we ended the state of belligerency between Jordan and Israel."

President Clinton welcomed the announcement in Amman of a draft peace agreement between Jordan and Israel. Before leaving Washington for this trip west, the president said he was delighted by the draft accord and called it an "extraordinary achievement."

Clinton spokesperson Dee Dee Myers says the president would like to go to the signing. The invitation is being seriously considered, and a decision would be made in the next few days based on logistical and security considerations.

Palestinians Demand Release of Hamas Detainees

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Several thousand Palestinians, mostly young people, demonstrated for a second consecutive day in autonomous Gaza Monday. Demonstrators marched on the Gaza Central Jail, where Hamas detainees are being held. At one point, guns were discharged into the air. The crowd surged against the prison fence, glaring and shouting at Palestinian policemen on the other side.

The demonstrators want all the arrested suspects released. The Palestinian Authority released about 50 of them on Monday, and officials say most of the remaining 200 will be released soon.

Meanwhile, Israel reopened its borders with the Gaza Strip and rescheduled further talks with the Palestinian authority, aimed at expanding autonomy. Israel had closed the borders and canceled the talks during the crisis last week over the kidnapping and murder of an Israeli soldier by radical Palestinians. Thousands of Palestinian workers took advantage of the border opening to travel to their jobs in Israel for the first time in a week. An Israeli spokesman says the Israeli-Palestinian talks will resume today in Cairo, for a regular three-day session.

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