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>Israel Faxx
>JN July 13, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 122

Technion's Satellite Doing Well

Israel Faxx Staff Report

The TechSat-Gurwin 2 satellite, launched Friday, is reported to be doing well. The satellite was launched from Kazakhstan and is scheduled to orbit the Earth every 102 minutes, at a height of 519 miles. The 106-pound satellite was constructed in the Technion University, in Haifa, and it is one of five micro-satellites launched from a single rocket.

America to Israel, Palestinians: Get Your Acts Together

By Mark Lavie (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israelis are pleased and Palestinians are angry with the latest U.S. position on the stalemated Middle East peace talks. US statements say the two sides must work out their problems by themselves. Israeli officials welcome the call from Washington for a resumption of direct negotiations with the Palestinians. The Israelis charging the Palestinians with avoiding direct talks.

Just back from Washington, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Arekat complains the U.S. apparently wants the Palestinians to re-negotiate a plan they already accepted.

The Israelis continue to demand changes. They insist the Palestinians take tougher measures against violent extremists, approve changes in their Charter, and hand over suspected terrorists. The United States has indicated it does not support these Israeli demands.

Arekat charged that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot be trusted, but he passionately defended the current framework for peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.

"This is the only vehicle to produce two winners. This is the reality. I could care less about people's emotions, people's fears, because we are living the worst of our emotions and the worst of our fears today. We cannot get any deeper than where we are now."

Palestinian-Initiated Conflict is Feared

By Arutz-7 News Service

Israel's military intelligence branch believes the likelihood of the Palestinian Authority initiating a war in 1999 has increased.

According to a current national security appraisal, armed conflict could begin in or shortly after May 1999, when Arafat has said he would declare an independent state. The PA could mobilize violent street protests via its Fatah movement, while simultaneously activating its 36,000-strong armed police against Israel. In addition, the PA has prepared special terrorist units, including Arafat's Force 17, for special missions in the West Bank and Gaza.

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk A-Shara warns the situation in the Middle East is now more dangerous than it has been since the Madrid Conference. Meretz leader Yossi Sarid also fears that violence will break out, and attacked the U.S. for abandoning the process which, he said, the Israelis and Palestinians will never be able to revive on their own. Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh said that even if the Americans do not participate directly in the talks, their initiative and representatives will play a role behind the scenes.

Shin Bet Warns Jews Could Fight Jews

By Arutz-7 News Service

Extremist Jewish groups could be ready to take violent, or even armed action against other Jews, the Israeli domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet has warned in its annual security assessment.

This is the first time Shin Bet has warned of such a possibility in its yearly evaluation. References to Jewish violence in the past have dealt with possible plans to attack Arabs in an effort to halt political negotiations.

The report said internecine Jewish violence could occur after further Israeli troop withdrawals from areas in Judea-Samaria, and could take the form of organized attacks against political figures or state institutions, or clashes between "different groups within Israeli society."

Shin Bet's annual assessment usually includes three sections: "on the potential threat from Palestinians; on unrest among minorities in the country; and on Jewish extremists, including such groups as those threatening democratic institutions, or threatening political leaders.

35 Hamas Take Part in Mass Marriage Ceremony

By IsraelWire

Thirty-five couples affiliated with the Hamas terrorist organization married in the PLO Authority autonomous city of Nablus last week.

The couples pledged their allegiance to Hamas, and vowed to continue their war against Israel, committing to volunteer to become suicide bombers, and sacrifice their lives to advance the war against Israel. The newlywed couples and participants in the community wedding vowed to continue the armed struggle and terrorist attacks against Israeli targets.

Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Achmed Yassin, recently returned from an international fund raising tour, during which he reportedly raised tens of millions of dollars to be used for the terrorist organization. Yassin has publicly expressed his rejection of the peace accords, and has called for the continuation of the jihad until the "Zionist occupation forces are driven out of the Palestinian capital, Jerusalem."

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