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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     Oct. 24, 1995, V3, #192
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Israel: No Withdrawal from Southern Lebanon

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

A senior official of Israel's Foreign Ministry says Israel is not considering a unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon, as some cabinet ministers have suggested. And, the Israeli official says Syria would risk the future of the peace process if it tries to use the Lebanon situation to put pressure on Israel.

Foreign Ministry Director-General Uri Savir says the zone Israel occupies in southern Lebanon is needed to protect northern Israel from attacks by the guerrillas of the Hizbullah group, supported by Iran and Syria. He says that is a very real security concern which makes unilateral withdrawal impossible.

"There is no thought to withdraw from the security zone because of Hizbullah attacks. And the security policy will be pursued the way it has been defined by the government, going after the Hizbullah. And ultimately any change in the political status quo can only come as a result of a broader agreement, but definitely not through any unilateral israeli move out southern Lebanon. That remains government policy."

Several Cabinet ministers have suggested during the past week that Israel should reexamine the necessity of maintaining its occupation of southern Lebanon.

Israeli officials have said that if there is no significant progress with Syria by the end of the year, there will be no peace agreement until after Israel's elections next November. Some have said the process is already dead.

But Savir also contradicted that view, saying it is not yet time to bury the Israel-Syria peace process. And he said he does not know exactly what the deadline is for declaring it dead.

He said Israel remains ready to negotiate if Syria is, and he urged Syria to resume talks between senior military officers as promised. Savir also repeated Israel's view that there can be no breakthrough in the talks unless there is a high-level meeting, which Syria has so far refused to hold.

Jenin Evacuation is Set for Tomorrow

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinians in the West Bank town of Jenin are planning celebrations for an expected Israeli troop withdrawal tomorrow. Israeli officials say the troops will stay a while longer, and tomorrow will be only the start of a three-week process of familiarization, liaison and consultation.

Palestinian flags are sprouting in windows and on rooftops in Jenin, and local citizens tell foreign visitors they expect the Israeli troops to withdraw tomorrow -- the first day of an agreed-upon three-week period for the transfer of authority in the area.

But Israeli officials say that is a misconception. Israel's top negotiator with the Palestinians, Uri Savir, says the only thing that will happen on tomorrow is the opening of a district coordination office on the edge of town and the arrival of a few Palestinian police officers for meetings with their Israeli counterparts.

Several house trailers were set up for this purpose yesterday, on land cleared by Israeli construction crews last week.

Savir, who is director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, says full civil authority will not be transferred until Nov. 5. He says the Israeli troop withdrawal from Jenin -- and the arrival of the Palestinian police force -- will be a few days later.

Even then, Savir says, the process is not complete. Once Israeli troops are out of the city, it will take another week to deploy the Palestinian police in nearby villages, where they will work together with Israeli troops in this interim phase.

The schedule presented by Savir is bound to disappoint many people in Jenin and in other cities which have been expecting dramatic changes on the dates when their three-week withdrawal periods are to start.

But Israeli and Palestinian officials say that after 28 years of occupation, including two years of negotiations, another couple of weeks devoted to having an orderly handover should not bother anyone too much.

New Drug Will Delay Development of AIDS

A new drug which can prolong the lives of AIDS victims while not curing the disease has been announced by an Israeli physician at the University of Stanford in California.

Dr. Yonatan Shapira carried out research at the University's institute on AIDS and said the drug was tested on 40 AIDS patients. He said the drug in the past had slowed the disease, with minor side effects. He doubled and then quadrupled the dosage with encouraging results -- with immunity systems increasing in strength and more of the viruses destroyed in the blood. Shapira, 35, studied at Ben Gurion University in Israel, specializing in internal medicine at Beilinson Hospital.

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