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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Oct. 2, 1995, V3, #179
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Rabin Appeals to Clinton for Pollard's Release

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said he has again appealed to President Clinton to commute the life sentence of Jonathan Pollard -- convicted in 1985 of having spied for Israel: "He is subject to a parole. I hope his case will be taken with the hope of releasing him, letting him go to Israel."

Pollard is eligible for parole next month, but there is no indication Clinton is prepared to commute his sentence.

Rabin Blames Assad for Syrian Peace Delay

By Victor Beattie (VOA-Washington)

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin says Damascus is to blame for the wide differences between Syria and Israel over terms of a peace agreement. Rabin spoke to CNN as US officials prepared to meet with Syria's foreign minister today in Washington.

Rabin says there is no comparison between Israel's phased peace accord with Palestinians and its stalled peace talks with Syria. He said Syria, unlike the Palestinians, does not want to meet directly with the Israelis but prefers to work through the US.

Secretary of State Warren Christopher is to meet with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara today on restarting talks over the disputed Golan Heights. Syria wants a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Heights captured in 1967. Israel wants a normalization of ties before discussing a phased pull-out.

Protesters Attempt to Block Accord Implementation

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Now that the interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinians has been signed, the arguing continues over provisions of the accord, and protesters continue to try to block its implementation.

After the accord was initialled, the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, said the Israeli withdrawal from West Bank cities would begin this week. Israeli officials stood by the provisions of the 314-page agreement, which says the withdrawal will not begin until next February.

Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin discussed the issue face-to-face at the White House Thursday morning, before the signing ceremony. Their disagreement delayed the start of the event for 20 minutes. Exactly what they decided is not entirely clear, but it appears there will be some symbolic Israeli withdrawal this week, and the more extensive withdrawal will begin, perhaps, next month.

A senior Israeli negotiator, Gen. Uzi Dayan, says Israel will first remove some bases and could be ready to begin withdrawing from Palestinian cities in November. Rabin told Israel Radio Friday he hopes to complete the withdrawal from all promised areas except the tense city of Hebron by the end of the year, if by-pass roads for Israeli settlers are ready.

The agreement gives Israel until March 30 to be out of most of Hebron, leaving only enough troops to protect Israeli settlers in the city. The Palestinian elections would be held in April.

There has also been confusion over the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners, provided for in the agreement. Israel says it will take place this week, perhaps after the Israeli parliament ratifies the agreement. Israel's President Ezer Weizman -- who has a largely ceremonial post -- has the power to block the release of the some of the prisoners. Weizman says he will not agree to release anyone who was involved in the killing of Jews, a position which could cause an early crisis in the implementation of this accord.

US Palestinian Dies at Hands of Arafat's Secret Police

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

A US citizen of Palestinian descent has died while in the custody of the Palestinian Police in autonomous Jericho. The man's family says the police beat him to death, and the US government has called for an investigation by the Palestinian authority.

The family of 52-year-old Azzam Mohammed Rahim says his body was returned to them on the West Bank Friday with evidence of beating and torture. A photo of the body clearly shows bruises on the man's nose and left cheek. The family says there were also injuries on his hands and legs, and cigarette burns on his back and stomach. Family members say the Palestinian police told them Rahim suffered a stroke while in custody.

The spokeswoman for the US Consulate General in Jerusalem, Lea Perez, says the US government wants the death fully investigated. "The body of Rahim has already been buried. No autopsy was performed on the body and no cause of death has been confirmed. As is customary in such cases, we will be asking the appropriate authority to do a complete investigation of the circumstances of Rahim's death."

Palestinians have frequently complained of abuse of power by the Palestinian police, including allegations of illegal arrest and physical abuse. But this is the first time a foreigner has been involved in such a serious incident.
Family members say Rahim was taken into custody Wednesday while sitting at a coffee shop in Ein Yabroud village, near Ramallah, by three men who said they were from the Palestinian Protective Security Service. The service is the intelligence branch of the Palestinian police, which is not supposed to operate outside the Gaza and Jericho autonomous zones.

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