Google Search

Newsletter : 5fax0404.txt

Directory | Previous file | Next file


Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     April 4, 1995, V3, #61
All the News the Big Guys Missed

For subscriptions or back issues, please contact POL management

Space Satellite Built by Students is Lost.

A space satellite built by students at the Haifa Technion, called "Texas-Gravin-1," launched last week by a Soviet rocket, 558 miles north of Moscow, has gone astray and is presumed lost. The satellite took three years to be built by students at the Technion. It cost $3.5-million and weighed 105 pounds. The rocket was powered by two obsolete SS-25 intercontinental ballistic missiles. It was to circle the earth in an orbit 419 miles high and stay in outer space two years. The satellite carried technological instruments, all made in Israel, for registering X-rays and other phenomena, as well as a TV camera to relay cloud movements.

Hamas Blames Israel in Bomb-Makers' Deaths

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

The explosion in Gaza which killed six people on Sunday has resulted in charges and countercharges about who was responsible and some speculation about what if any impact the blast might have on Palestinian public opinion.

From initial reports it appeared that the explosion was the result of an accident in a bomb factory operated by the military wing of the militant group Hamas. And that might still prove to be the truth.

But some members of Hamas have charged that the explosion was caused by Israeli agents, or the Palestinian Autonomy Authority or the two working together. Both Palestinian and Israeli leaders have denied the charge, including Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. "There is nothing whatsoever in this story. Israel has nothing to do with the explosion yesterday in Gaza and the attempt all the time to single out Israel as the responsible party is total nonsense. Instead of killing other people, those gentlemen killed themselves and thanks heaven that they didn't kill other people."

Some senior Hamas leaders have backed off the charge, but statements made on Sunday and a leaflet widely distributed in Gaza are having an impact on public opinion. Initially there was speculation that the explosion in a densely-populated residential neighborhood might turn some Palestinians away from Hamas. An 18-month-old baby and his father who lived above the apartment where the explosion went off were among the victims, along with four Hamas activists, including a senior leader of the organization.
A senior advisor to the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat says the autonomy authority believes guerrilla operation centers, such as the apartment which exploded on Sunday, should not be located in residential areas. The official, Nabil Abu Irdeineh, says if the poison gas canisters found in the apartment had exploded, it could have been a real catastrophe. Still, he's reluctant to make any claims of a public relations windfall.

Abu Irdeineh claims most Palestinians support the peace process anyway and he had a different question in mind the morning after the explosion. "The question is, where did they get these explosives, these poisonous gases. The authority doesn't have any kind of these explosives or these kind of poisonous materials. The big question is, who gave them this material and where did they get it."

In the past, Palestinian officials have blamed Iran for helping the radicals who oppose the peace process. Abu irdeineh did not blame Iran on Monday, but he says determining the source of the weapons found in the wreckage Sunday is the main focus of the investigation being carried out by the Palestinian police and security services.

Russian Foreign Minister is Optimistic About Peace

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev says he has reason to be optimistic about the Middle East peace process after meetings in Jerusalem and Damascus. On Monday, Kozyrev held his third meeting in three days with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

Kozyrev did not report any breakthroughs from his Middle East mission, but he says he is encouraged that both Syria and Israel are serious about making peace. He says Russia and the United States, as co-sponsors of the Middle East peace process, are trying to help Israel and Syria find diplomatic ways around their current impasse. "With a coordinated effort to provide parties with diplomatic options...It is my feeling that all the parties in their own way, with their own difficulties, with their own identities, they are serious about overcoming the difficulties they face in the peace process."

The Israel-Syria peace process has been deadlocked over Syria's insistence that Israel agree in advance to withdraw from the Golan Heights and Israel's demand that Syria agree to full diplomatic relations. There have been reports that the two sides might be moving toward some sort of compromise, but there are no details or official confirmation.

Kozyrev says there are no new diplomatic positions to report, but there is some flexibility on both sides. "These are not position papers. These are not real positions because the positions are very well known -- the political positions. These are diplomatic options -- which are intentionally discussed with the help of both sponsors."
The Russian foreign minister said it would not be helpful to discuss those options in public at this time. Peres welcomed Russia's active involvement in the peace process, and said he and Kozyrev made progress in their talks on several bilateral issues.

During his visit, the Russian foreign minister stepped into the touchy issue of Jerusalem's status when he canceled an appointment with the city's Israeli mayor, who governs the entire city under Israeli law. Kozyrev sent his deputy to meet with the Palestinian official responsible for Jerusalem and referred to the official, Feisal Husseini, as the mayor of east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967. The moves angered Israeli officials, but they did not make an issue of it.

Home Search

(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)

Read today's issue
Who is Don Canaan?
IsraelNewsFaxx's Zionism and the Middle East Resource Directory