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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     Oct. 19, 1995, V3, #189
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Withdrawals Continue on West Bank

By Al Pessin (VOA-Nablus)

Preparations intensified Wednesday for Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank, as Israeli forces began evacuating two prisons in the area, and the Palestinian police prepared to move in. Moving trucks could be seen behind the barbed wire at Nablus Prison on Wednesday. Local residents said furniture and kitchen supplies were hauled away. Later, buses began transferring prisoners from the jail in the center of town, and another on the city's outskirts.

Just a week ago, anxious relatives waited outside these prisons as Israel released about 850 prisoners under the peace agreement. Nablus is to become autonomous next month.

But 30 miles to the north, in Jenin, preparations are even further along. A senior Palestinian security officer visited the town and a top local official says all is ready for a handover of civilian authority next Tuesday, and the departure of Israeli troops and arrival of the Palestinian police on Wednesday.

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed Palestinian police officers will begin making familiarization tours of the area in the next few days.

Palestinians frequently complain that highly-publicized Middle East peace signing ceremonies result in few changes on the ground, but such changes appear to finally be starting.

First Gadhafi Wanted Palestinians Out; Now the Sudanese

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in August ordered the expulsion of thousands of Palestinian and other foreign workers, in part to protest the PLO-Israeli peace accords and in part to ease the burden on an economy crippled by three years of a UN imposed air embargo and trade sanctions.

It is not the first time that Gadhafi is expelling foreign workers from his country. But the reasoning this time appears guided by political and economic frustrations brought on by the renewal of three-year-old UN trade sanctions.

In August, the Libyan leader announced he was kicking out about 30,000 Palestinian workers to underline his opposition to the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. He calls the agreement a fraud because it does not provide a homeland for Palestinians living outside the newly autonomous areas.

The UN High Commission for Refugees is trying to take care of hundreds of Palestinians still stranded in a makeshift refugee camp along the Libyan-Egyptian border.

More than 6,000 Palestinians have been expelled in the past three months. A boatload of refugees that was turned away from Syria is currently anchored off the coast of Cyprus with no place to go.

The exodus has caused consternation among neighboring Arab states who do not want to accept the refugees and get drawn into the controversy. Syria and Lebanon, in particular, are already home to thousands of Palestinian refugees.

PLO leader Yasir Arafat has appealed to the Arab League to help persuade Gadhafi to stop the expulsions.

At the same time, Libya is also throwing out hundreds of thousands of Sudanese and other African workers the government says are in the country illegally. Libya even asked the UN to ease the air embargo to repatriate 1 million foreign workers.

Sudan is expecting about 13,000 workers to arrive home in a few days after a grueling bus trip across nearly 1,800 miles of desert roads. Libya has ordered as many as 300,000 Sudanese to leave by the end of the year.

The expulsion orders coincide with political unrest that Libyan officials suggest is being fueled by Sudanese militants working there. Hundreds of Egyptian laborers were kicked out several months ago.

Officials also insist the expulsions will open up new jobs for Libyans suffering from the UN imposed sanctions. Gadhafi ordered the expulsions just after the Security Council voted to renew the three-year-old sanctions.

Air links and trade with Libya were cut in 1992 after Libya refused US and British demands to turn over two men suspected of blowing up an American airliner over Scotland in 1988 and French demands to cooperate in the investigation of Libyan links to the 1989 bombing of a French airliner over Niger.

Hamas Reaches Agreement with PA to Halt Terror Activity

IDF Intelligence Branch Chief Maj. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon said the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have reached a settlement under which Hamas will halt terrorist activity against Israel from inside areas of self-rule and from inside Israeli territory.

Negotiations are currently underway between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas on converting terrorist activity to political activity, and eliminating the Iz A-Din Al Kassem terrorist cell, Ya'alon said. The general added that no such negotiations are being held between the Palestinian Authority and Islamic Jihad.

Israel Radio quoted a leader of the Palestinian Democratic Front in the territories as saying that his organization fears that an agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas will further weaken groups opposed to negotiations with Israel.

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