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>Israel Faxx
>JN July 18, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 130

Egypt Police Catch Member of Group That Killed Sadat

Egyptian police have caught a militant Islamist who spent 16 years on the run after helping to found the group that assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. The militant, Hussein Ahmed Hussein, was sentenced in absentia to three years in jail in 1981 on charges related to the assassination. Police caught him in June and went on trial for the same offenses Tuesday.

Israel Labor Leader Says Compromise Brings Peace

Israeli opposition leader Ehud Barak says the Jewish state must cooperate with the Palestinians and be ready to compromise in order to achieve peace in the Middle East. Barak, who heads the opposition Labor party, met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo and said they had both come to the conclusion that any alternative to peace would be risky.

Pig Poster Suspect's Trial Adjourned

By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)

The trial opened Thursday in an Israeli courtroom of a Jewish extremist accused of putting up posters in the West Bank town of Hebron depicting the prophet Mohammed as a pig. But the hearings were immediately adjourned so the 26-year-old woman can undergo psychiatric evaluation to determine if she's mentally fit to stand trial.

The woman, Tatiana Suszkin, says she does not regret making the drawing, which triggered Muslim protests around the world. She appeared in court wearing a T-shirt with the emblem of the outlawed anti-Arab Kach organization -- a clenched fist inside a Star of David.

Following her arrest, Suszkin first admitted, then denied, then again admitted that she had pasted the pig leaflets on the shutters of Arab-owned shops in Hebron two weeks ago.

The leaflets set off renewed clashes in Hebron between youths throwing firebombs and stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded by firing rubber bullets. Dozens of Palestinians and several Israeli soldiers were injured.

Suszkin immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union six years ago. She told reporters outside the Jerusalem courtroom that she thinks Arabs -- not her -- should be put on trial for inciting against Jews. She said she was sorry they did not bring to trial the mufti of Hebron, who has called for killing the Jews in the name of Mohammed.

Both the prosecution and the defense requested that Suszkin undergo a psychiatric examination. The defense attorney said that his client's behavior called into question her mental state. She has been charged with inciting to racism, insulting Islam, supporting a terror group and endangering lives.

Hebron itself has remained quiet since Monday when the Palestinian Authority sent in security forces to put a stop to the violent protests. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had warned the Palestinians that they would pay a heavy price if the violence continued. Israel handed over 80 percent of Hebron to the PLO in January under a peace agreement, but kept some troops behind to guard Jewish settlers living in the heart of the city.

Meanwhile on Wednesday night, Israeli troops partially reopened a road through Hebron which the army had blockaded in response to the unrest. But in another move, the army declared all Palestinian-controlled cities in the West Bank off limits to Israelis. Israel says a high-level Palestinian policeman was involved in a planned attack on Israeli civilians in the West Bank this week.

In an attempt to end the deadlock, the European Union has been trying to bring together Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat at a meeting next week in Brussels of EU foreign ministers. There is no word yet as to whether the meeting will take place. The Egyptians have also been trying to mediate between the Palestinians and Israelis. The United States, which is the principle sponsor of the Middle East peace talks, has lowered its mediation profile.

News in Brief

The head of the Swiss panel investigating Switzerland's wartime role said the documents rescued by ex-bank guard Christoph Meili will help researchers determine the role of the Union Bank of Switzerland in looting gold from Holocaust victims. The bank had claimed that the documents were of no significance.

Five members of the Nuremberg city council from the Green Party walked out of a ceremony honoring a 90-year-old industrialist whose company employed slave labor and concentration camp inmates during the Nazi era. Karl Diehl claims that the Nazi government forced him to employ the workers.

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