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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     March 23, 1995, V3, #53
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Israeli Hairdresser Enters Jordanian Competition

For the first time, an Israeli women's hairdresser, Sami Daluya from Beersheva, is entering an international hairdressing contest in Jordan later this month. The 31-year-old Israeli will represent his country after winning the local championship last month in a peace festival in Tel Aviv.

Rabin Postpones Ministerial Meeting on Palestinian Prisoner Release

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin decided to postpone a ministerial meeting scheduled for Wednesday on the issue of releasing Palestinian prisoners. A meeting between President Ezer Weizman and Minister of Justice David Libai on the same issue was also postponed.

The decisions to put off the meetings come in the aftermath of Sunday's terrorist attack in Hebron in which two Israelis were killed, and the arrest near Beersheva of two Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who were driving a truck laden with explosives.

The two Palestinian terrorists were captured Tuesday near a mosque in the Bedouin settlement of Tel Sheva, outside of Beersheva. An initial investigation revealed that the Palestinians planned to carry out a suicide attack in the center of Beersheva.

The discovery of the truck was made Monday by two Israeli policemen manning a roadblock who believed the vehicle was suspicious.

The police called in an explosives expert who later discovered that the truck was packed with gas cans and over 220 pounds of explosives. Police decided to detonate the truck.

PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat denounced Sunday's terrorist attack in Hebron and the planned terrorist attack in Beersheva during an address Tuesday in the Gaza Strip.

"These acts are harming the Palestinian people," said Arafat. "I do not agree to such activity and I will not let it occur again in the future."

Shahal Proposes to Ban Entry of all Vehicles from Gaza Strip

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin called a special meeting of top security officials to discuss security issues following the arrest of two Palestinians who had apparently planned a suicide bombing in Beersheva. Police Minister Moshe Shahal said that no vehicles from the Gaza Strip should be allowed to enter Israel.

IDF officers and other security officials at the meeting supported Shahal's proposal. A decision was taken to increase IDF activity along the border with the Gaza Strip.

Israel Demands Security Arrangements with Syria Reflect Topographic Conditions

Syrian Ambassador to the U.S. Walid Mualem told Israeli Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich in their talks this week that security arrangements between the two countries must be "equitable and mutual."

The statement reflects Syria's demand that any demilitarization plans be "one-to-one," or equal on both sides. Israel rejects Syria's position and believes any security arrangements must reflect topographic conditions. Therefore, Israel is demanding that a larger area be demilitarized on the Syrian side of a future border.

Israeli officials described the talks in Washington as "positive," although there are still many issues to overcome. Ambassador Rabinovich is in Jerusalem today to prepare for Thursday's arrival in Israel of U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

Rabinovich will return to Washington at the end of the week for another meeting with Mualem. The main achievement of U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher's recent visit to the Middle East was the acceptance by both sides of a U.S. framework for military arrangements between Israel and Syria. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Syrian President Hafez al-Assad both reportedly approved the framework.

The plan has four main points: talks in Washington will focus on defining both the gaps between the positions and the points of agreement; U.S. Special Middle East Coordinator Dennis Ross will visit the region in order to achieve a high-level political agreement on a draft accord; high-ranking military officers from both sides will meet in Washington to translate the political understandings into military terms; and military Chiefs of Staff from both countries will meet to crystalize military solutions for issues that remain unresolved.

Beilin and Oman's Foreign Minister Reach Principle Agreement to Allow El Al to Use Omani Airspace

Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin met in Cairo with Omani Foreign Minister Yousef Alawi Bin-Abdullah just as the Arab League was beginning a meeting in the Egyptian capital.

Beilin said he sees great symbolism in the fact that the meeting took place while the Arab League was preparing to convene, adding that it demonstrates the great changes that have taken place in the region.

According to Beilin, Bin-Abdullah agreed in principle to allow Israel's national airline El Al to use Omani airspace, though details of an agreement will be worked out at a later date. In addition, Beilin told reporters that Israeli industrialists will soon travel to Oman to work on cooperative efforts to desalinate water. Regarding diplomatic relations, Beilin said the matter "will take some time."

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