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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Aug. 25, 1995, V3, #156
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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25 Right-Wing Leaders Begin Hunger Strike

A group of right-wing leaders are taking part in a hunger strike outside of the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem. The 25 participants include Knesset Members, reserve IDF and police officers, mayors and professors. The hunger strike is planned to last a week to mourn the victims of Monday's terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

U.N. Report: Iraqi Biological Missiles Were Aimed at Israel

Information relayed to Israel contained in a report by the U.N. committee to examine Iraq's nuclear and biological weapons confirms for the first time that during the Gulf War, Iraq possessed operational biological weapons aimed at Israel.

According to the report, Iraq continued its effort to develop nuclear weapons long after the end of the Gulf War. Israel's Ambassador to the U.N. Gad Yaacobi said Wednesday that the new information proves Israel was in great danger during the war.

King Hussein/President Mubarak Speak About Saddam

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)

Jordan's King Hussein has publicly distanced himself from Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein and is taking the Western position sanctions should remain until Iraq complies with all UN ceasefire resolutions.

Iraqi television broadcast the 45-minute speech without commentary. It was a rare opportunity for Iraqi citizens to hear such a public and sharp criticism of the leadership.

King Hussein complained Iraq's invasion of Kuwait had damaged Arab credibility and he criticized Saddam Hussein for endangering Jordanians when he launched missiles across Jordan to attack Israel. He said he was shocked to learn the Iraqi leadership had considered invading Kuwait last October and attacking it again now.

Not surprisingly, Kuwait welcomed the king's remarks as very positive. "Al Qabas" newspaper said it is another step toward tightening the pressure on the Iraqi regime to serve the Iraqi people and on the Arab nation as a whole in getting rid of it.

King Hussein defended his granting asylum to Saddam Hussein's son-in-law who defected earlier this month. He insisted he would not harbor a traitor or a foreign agent, and said the high-ranking military officer had cleared a blurred vision of Iraq's reality.

Iraqi's state-run newspapers did not mention the speech. Instead, they attacked the US for its new show of force in the Gulf. Al Qadissiya newspaper also accused the US of trying to choke Iraq by pushing Jordan to halt its oil purchases.

In his speech, King Hussein dismissed the reports and said the border with Iraq will remain open to keep up the flow of much-needed food and medicine for Iraqis suffering from five-years of tough trade sanctions.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warns getting rid of Saddam Hussein is a matter for Iraqis to decide, not foreign powers. In a hastily-arranged news conference for Egyptian reporters, Mubarak also described Iraq's new openness with UN inspectors as a political tactic. These are Mubarak's first public comments about the Iraqi situation and the defection of a high-ranking Iraqi military officer. They come a day after Jordan's King Hussein publicly distanced himself from Saddam Hussein. Mubarak says the downfall or survival of the Iraqi leadership is for the Iraqi people to decide. His remarks are seen as a warning to foreign powers to reduce efforts to bring down Saddam Hussein.

Egypt was a key member of the anti-Iraq coalition during the Gulf war. Mubarak dismisses reports Iraq is getting ready to invade Kuwait again. He told reporters he does not think Iraq is in any position to carry out military operations like the 1990 invasion.

His remarks differ from King Hussein, who said Wednesday he was shocked by the news Iraq had planned to attack Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Mubarak also wonders about the motives behind the defection of Gen. Hussein Kamel Hassan -- Saddam Hussein's son-in-law. The general had directed Iraq's secret weapons programs. Mubarak says the defection is not clear cut, but he doubts it means the downfall of the Baghdad government.

PLO Agreement will be Signed Sunday

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)

PLO and Israeli negotiators are to sign an agreement Sunday in cairo to transfer power in eight areas of civilian authority in the West Bank. It is part of the second phase of the PLO/Israeli deal on autonomy that expands self-rule in the West Bank. But an overall interim agreement is still at least a month away.

PLO negotiator Jamil Tarifi and Israeli Gen. Oren Shahor will sign the partial agreement in Cairo. It covers the details of transferring power in eight areas -- including labor, trade, industry, insurance, agriculture, local government, gas and fuel.

Authority in at least three dozen other spheres have already been transferred. But the signing on Sunday does not mean the deal is complete.

Negotiating teams are continuing their talks in the Israeli resort of Eilat. They are trying to narrow their differences in several key areas, especially security in the West Bank and water rights.

The teams have already missed several self-imposed deadlines. A new one has been set for the end of September.

The stalled talks are holding up Palestinian elections, which PLO leader Yasir Arafat had wanted to get underway before the end of the year.

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