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>Israel Faxx
>JN Dec. 10, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 225

Nation of Islam Leader Farrakhan Arrives in Baghdad

Louis Farrakhan arrived in Iraq Tuesday at the start of a visit which may include a meeting with President Saddam Hussein. Farrakhan arrived in Baghdad from Jordan on board a bus with an entourage of about 50 people. He came by road because of the U.N. sanctions which prevent international flights. The Nation of Islam leader was silent in the face of reporters' questions. He just uttered the word "Peace" when asked about the purpose of his visit.

Palestinians Mark Intifada's 10th Anniversary

On the 10th anniversary of their uprising, or intifada, Palestinians voiced bitterness Tuesday that independence still seems like a distant dream. "What we have achieved compared to what we aspired for is far less than the minimum we expected and it does not meet our aspirations," said Diab al-Loh, a leading figure in Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction.

The intifada began Dec. 9, 1987. A road collision that Palestinians blamed on an Israeli truck driver who killed four Gazans, triggered clashes that spread throughout the lands occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

PA to Include Jerusalem in Population Census

By IINS News Service and Arutz-7 News Service

The Palestinian Authority began its official census of all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza yesterday -- the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of the intifada. The census will take place also in areas under exclusive Israeli control; this will not be in violation of the Oslo accords, which stipulate that the PA is responsible for population and statistics matters. Israel fears that well over 30,00 Arabs living illegally in the territories, who came on limited-duration visitors' permits and have remained past the expiration dates, will be counted in the census, and thus the official population of the PA will grow accordingly.

Despite contradictory reports, the PLO Authority now says it will include Arab residents in eastern areas of Jerusalem in its first population census.It was reported earlier that PA census officials stated they preferred not to go head-to-head with Israel and decided it would exclude Jerusalem residents, due to strong Israeli objections.

Upon hearing of the PA's intentions to move ahead with the census, Minister of Internal Security Avigdor Kahalani instructed the Jerusalem District Police commander superintendent to take the necessary steps to prevent the census being carried out in the sovereign territory of the State of Israel.

Arutz-7 reports many east Jerusalem Arab residents are afraid to lose their Israeli identity cards, which provides them with national health insurance, medical insurance, and personal safety. They are aware that Arabs with Israeli (blue) identity cards who are kidnapped by Palestinian security services are "rescued" by Israel, while orange-card (PA) Arabs are considered under PA control.

In any event, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed Kahalani to ensure that the PA does not conduct a census in Jerusalem, thus violating Israeli sovereignty. The PA is in fact taking a low profile on the matter.

PLO State to be Declared in May 1999

The Palestinian Authority would declare an independent state in May 1999, irrespective of the state of bilateral negotiations at that stage, the chief aide to Yasir Arafat, Ahmed Tibi, told Israel's Channel One.

Asked when the PA planned to establish a state, Tibi replied: "A Palestinian state will be established the day after the interim agreements are finalized, namely, in May 1999, regardless of the results of the negotiations."

Tibi said as far as the Palestinians were concerned, Israeli-PA negotiations should result in the establishment of a Palestinian state. "This should undoubtedly be agreed upon by both sides. If the Israeli Government continues procrastinating, however, as it has done in the last year and a half."

Asked by the interviewer whether this was not a declaration of war, Tibi denied this, saying "the fulfillment of the Palestinian people's national aspirations is a declaration of stability".

Knesset Calls for Pollard to Be Pardoned

By IINS News Service

After serving 12-years in maximum-security facilities for spying for Israel, Jonathan Pollard has now succeeded in unifying the Knesset, which made a public appeal for his release.

Deputy Defense Minister Silvan Shalom said that too little was done on Pollard's behalf over the past 12-years, and behind the scenes efforts did not bear any fruit. Now, Silvan stated, the time was right to speak openly and call for US authorities to issue a pardon to Pollard.

Minister of Absorption Yuli Edelshtein, who was the first minister to ever visit Pollard, stated he was hopeful that Pollard would join him in celebrating Israel's 50th anniversary. Since Edelshtein visited Pollard recently in his South Carolina prison cell, it appears to have opened the doors to others to do the same. Next week, Communications Minister Limor Livnat is planning to visit with Pollard during her trip to the US.

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