Newsletter : 5fax1006.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Oct. 6, 1995, V3, #181
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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If you're familiar with the Russian Compound in Jerusalem and the
Sergei Palace that's used by the Israeli government for various
offices, it may not be Israeli territory too much longer. The
Palace is being claimed by Prince Phillip, the husband of Queen
Elizabeth II. It seems Phillip is a relative of the Russian Duke
Sergei who built the palace in 1890. And now Phillip is claiming
what he says is rightfully his family's.
Knesset Expected to Ratify Peace Agreement
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel's parliament is expected to ratify the interim agreement
with the palestinians by a narrow margin at the end of a lengthy
debate which began Thursday afternoon. Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin put his government and his prestige on the line in
the debate. And opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu accused him
of surrendering the Jewish heartland and placing all of Israel at
The two men opened the parliament debate painting radically
different visions of what the interim agreement will bring. Rabin
said it will end Israel's role as an occupier and will bring long
term peace by removing the motivations for terrorism. Netanyahu
said the accord will put an armed Palestinian force just a few
minutes drive from Jerusalem and other Israeli population centers
and could easily lead to disaster.
In any case, the speeches were largely academic. It was already
well known how most of the 120 members of parliament would vote.
What remains is for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to implement
the complex accord in the face of active, and sometimes violent,
opposition from militant groups on both sides.
Syrian-Israeli Talks May be Next
By Ron Pemstein (VOA-Washington)
Secretary of state Warren Christopher has met with Syrian Foreign
Minister Farouk al-Shara at the State Department to try to break
the deadlock in security talks with Israel. Israel and Syria
continue to disagree about early warning systems on the Golan
Israel wants to keep a troop presence on the Heights even after a
general withdrawal to staff an early warning station. When the
Israeli and Syrian chiefs of staff met here in Washington last
June, they disagreed, with Syria insisting aerial surveillance is
Since then, Israel and Syria have not met despite a Syrian
commitment to continue the security talks at a lower level. When
al-Shara came to lunch at the State Department with Christopher,
the objective was to find a way to break the deadlock. Al-Shara
told reporters following the meeting, however, discussions with
the American mediators will have to continue.
"We have agreed that we will continue discussion in order to find
out what is the best way to resume the peace talks between Syria
The Syrian Foreign Minister rules out any remaining Israeli troop
presence on the Golan Heights after a withdrawal, even for purposes
of an early warning station. He did say Syria is committed to the
security principles reached last June with the help of American
The problem for the US is that Syria agreed to a schedule of events
with Syria that did not take place following the chiefs of staff
meeting. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns says the
Secretary is ready to resume his shuttle diplomacy when Israel and
Syria request it.
"This is going to be difficult, the Secretary understands that
these things in the Middle East, as in the Balkans, sometimes
require an enormous amount of time, patience and energy. He's been
to the region 13 times. He is absolutely willing to go back when it
will be useful for him to go back and when the parties think he
should. He has no plans to go back not prior to the Amman Economic
Summit which I believe he will help to open on Oct. 30."
US officials say it is likely the Secretary will try to break the
deadlock between Israel and Syria in early November after the
economic meeting in Jordan.
Libya Sets Up Palestinian Refugee Camp
By Kim Reed (VOA-Cairo)
Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi says he will set up a permanent
refugee camp for hundreds of Palestinians caught in the no-man's
land between Egypt and Libya. The UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for
Refugees) says up to 170 families are already stranded in the camp
with hundreds and perhaps thousands more Palestinians on their way.
The Libyan leaders say Palestinian refugees will stay in tents at
the border until Israel lets them go home. Gadhafi says their
presence here proves the peace process is nothing but "lies and
treason," because it has failed to produce a Palestinian homeland.
Officials say the Palestinians are leaving Libya of their own
choice, but Palestinian Kawsar Hamdar says they're being forced
out. She says she and her husband lived in Libya for 10 years
until the government canceled his job contract and turned her
children away from schools.
She says the Libyans have told the more than 20,000 Palestinians
remaining in that country to get out by December. A UNHCR official
says his organization has asked Libya to stop the expulsions. But
with a mosque, a school, and a clinic set up here at the desert
tent city where Gadhafi spoke, it seems hundreds if not thousands
of Palestinians could soon be living here for quite a long time.
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