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>Israel Faxx
>JN Oct. 14, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 187

Jailers Forget to Give Food to Rabin's Killer

Israeli jailers neglected for three days to bring food to Yitzhak Rabin's convicted killer during the Jewish New Year holiday, an official spokeswoman said. Yigal Amir, serving a life sentence for gunning down the prime minister in 1995 to thwart peacemaking with the Arabs, is held in solitary confinement at a maximum security prison in southern Israel. Amir's mother said her son, a religious Jew, refrained from pressing the call buzzer in his cell during the three days because Jewish law bars turning on or off electrical devices on holidays.

Nine More Israeli Prisoners Released

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel has released nine more prisoners to Jordan under the agreement which ended the crisis over Israel's failed attempt to assassinate a leader of the militant Palestinian group "Hamas," in Amman. Meanwhile, the controversy over the attempt continues to rage.

During a special parliament session called to discuss the Jordan operation, senior Labor Party member Haim Ramon berated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for boycotting the meeting. Ramon called the prime minister's absence a show of disrespect. But members of the ruling Likud Party, including government Minister Michael Eitan, said the prime minister is not required to attend every parliament session.

Eitan once again defended the prime minister's decision to attempt the assassination as a necessary part of Israel's war on terrorism. While members of the parliament debated the issue -- without result

-- the government released the additional prisoners to Jordan,
emphasizing they are  not  Hamas members and did  not  participate
in attacks on Israelis.  Most of them hold Jordanian citizenship.

Israel is required to release about 30 more prisoners by the end of the month as part of the agreement which gained the release of the two agents of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, who were arrested in Jordan after trying to kill the Hamas political chief.

"Sickly" Papon Spotted at Luxury Hotel

By Julian Nundy (VOA-Paris)

Maurice Papon -- the former French government minister on trial in Bordeaux for his alleged involvement in the deportation of Jews during World War 2 -- appeared in court Monday after spending the weekend as a free man in a luxury hotel.

A decision by the judge trying Papon not to make him spend the 10 weeks of his trial in jail was unprecedented in French legal history.

Papon is charged with complicity in crimes against humanity for his alleged role in sending Jews to Nazi death camps during World War 2. At that time, he was a senior civil servant in Bordeaux. Documents carrying his signature show that he authorized the departure of trains carrying Jews to a transit camp near Paris.

The judge has allowed Papon, who was a Conservative Cabinet minister during the 1970s, to come and go as a free man because of his age and history of cardiac problems. Papon is 87-years-old and had heart bypass surgery last year.

Papon who spent two nights in jail and one in hospital during the first three days of the trial last week spent his weekend in a luxury hotel in a chateau in the Margaux wine-producing region. There, protected by police bodyguards, Papon spoke to television reporters as he strolled around the hotel grounds, saying that his health had improved since the judge showed leniency toward him.

Saturday, he was filmed entering a high-class restaurant for lunch with his family. Now, Papon has moved to the outskirts of Bordeaux to a more modest hotel that is near a hospital with a cardiology unit.

As he returned to the courtroom Monday, a small crowd of protesters stood in the street outside the court. They were holding banners that carried the names of Jewish children from Bordeaux who were deported to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps.

Strong Earthquake on the Way

Israel is a high-risk candidate for a powerful earthquake, but is doing very little to meet the danger, according to scientists who have approached the government with their concerns.

Ha'Aretz today quotes the director of the Ministry of Infrastructure's Earth Sciences Department, Dr Michael Bate, as saying "A powerful earthquake with the likely epicenter in the Dead Sea or Carmel rifts could cause major damage and considerable loss of life."

The head of the Geological Institute, Dr G. Steinitz, has written a memo saying that "given the historical evidence, the measurements and the geological data, Israel is likely at some time to experience a powerful earthquake or earthquakes."

He warned that with currently available techniques it was not possible to predict the time or location of a tremor. Still, he said, considerable improvements could be introduced to enhance prediction techniques and enable better preparation to minimize damage.

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