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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Aug. 30, 1995, V3, #159
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Netanyahu Agrees to Speak with Arafat

Asked whether he would negotiate with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat, Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu said he is willing to talk with any Palestinian who will fight terrorism and Hamas, and recognizes Israel's right to live in peace and security. Netanyahu's remarks were made during an interview on CNN.

Egypt Blasts Israel for POW Slayings

By Peyman Pejman (VOA-Cairo)

A high ranking Egyptian official has sharply criticized Israel for refusing to investigate reports that Israeli soldiers killed Egyptian POWs during Middle East wars. A senior advisor to President Hosni Mubarak, Obama el-Baz, says the Israeli government is not carrying out a fair investigation into allegations that the Israeli army massacred Egyptian prisoners.

A retired Israeli general, Arieh Biro, told reporters earlier this month he killed 49 Egyptian POWs in the 1956 war because he did not have enough men to guard them.

Other military historians have since said as many as 1,000 Egyptian prisoners may have been shot dead in the 1956, 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars.

Reports in the Israeli media have said Egyptian soldiers are also believed to have killed a number of Israeli POWs. Egypt has not commented on those reports.

Mubarak has said those Israelis found responsible for killing the Egyptian prisoners should be tried for war crimes.

But on Monday, Israel's attorney general said he would not order an investigation into Biro's remarks because a 20-year Israeli statute of limitations for murder had expired.

Holocaust Denier Jailed in Berlin

By Kyle King (VOA-Bonn)

A German court has sentenced a leading neo-Nazi to a three-and-one-half year prison sentence for denying that Six-Million Jews died in the Holocaust. The sentence handed down by the Berlin court was six months longer than prosecutors had requested.
The court said the 29-year-old Bela Ewald Althans was guilty of inciting racial hatred and denigrating the state.

Althans was arrested in connection with an incident at the Auschwitz concentration camp memorial, when he told a crowd of shocked Jewish tourists that the Holocaust was a giant farce. The incident, which was filmed by a camera crew, was later used in a banned 1993 documentary called "Profession: Neo-Nazi."

During the trial, Althans had denied he was a neo-Nazi and said his comments had been taken out of context. Under German law it is illegal to deny the Holocaust took place.

Jericho Reopened After Israel's Hamas Pressure Fails

By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel is lifting its eight-day closure of the West Bank city, Jericho. Israel had demanded that the Palestinian Authority turn over suspects in the suicide bombing in Jerusalem.

Last Wednesday, Israel cordoned Jericho, the Palestinian autonomous enclave, to pressure the authorities to surrender members of the radical Hamas Islamic resistance organization -- said to have helped plan the bombing. The suspects are reported to have fled to Jericho to evade an Israeli sweep in the West Bank for Hamas activists. Hamas and another militant Islamic group oppose peace with Israel and claim responsibility for a number of suicide bombings inside Israel.

But, Israeli authorities finally conceded the Palestinian Authority is not obligated to hand over the men for trial in Israel, because a Palestinian military court -- in a lightning trial -- had already sentenced them to prison terms for security offenses.

Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian police arrested at least 30 Hamas activists in a crackdown on the organization. The Palestinian Authority in Gaza says, in the sweep, they also captured a would-be suicide bomber they say was planning to blow himself up in the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv.

New target date of Sept. 14 Set for Interim Agreement Signing

A meeting between Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat is expected to be held this weekend or the beginning of next week to reach a settlement on the remaining points of disagreement.

The central issue on this week's agenda will be security arrangements in Hebron. A senior Palestinian negotiator said that in order to prevent further delay of the accord, a temporary settlement might be reached and negotiations on the issue would continue after the signing of the Interim Agreement.

On the issue of the participation of eastern Jerusalem residents in Palestinian elections, the sides are considering a proposal whereby votes would be cast by mail. Israel has agreed that residents living in eastern Jerusalem with a second address in the West Bank will be eligible to compete for a spot on the Palestinian council.

Members of the Israeli delegation said Sunday they believe the Interim Agreement will likely be signed on Sept. 14 in Washington. The agreement is expected to be initialled in Taba or in Cairo a week prior to the signing.

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