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>Israel Faxx
>JN March 8. 1999, Vol. 7, No. 46

Yad Vashem Expansion Approved

By IsraelWire

Jerusalem planning officials approved plans for the expansion of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. The plans for the future call for the addition of addition buildings and other unspecified improvements.

Lebanon First Accepts Then Rejects Israeli Withdrawal Proposal

By Deborah Tate (VOA-Jerusalem)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has reaffirmed his country is prepared to negotiate a troop withdrawal from Lebanon. But he says Israel will only do so if Lebanon agrees to discuss security arrangements.

Netanyahu's comments follow statements by Lebanon's Prime Minister Selim Hoss. He said if Israeli troops withdraw from the security zone they occupy the Lebanese army would deploy in southern Lebanon and prevent attacks on Israel.

In an interview, Hoss said an Israeli withdrawal would revive the 1949 Israeli-Lebanese Armistice Agreement, which -- as he put it -- dictates explicitly that there can be no military actions across the border.

Netanyahu responded: "Israel has been in Lebanon for over 20-years not because it wants to be in Lebanon, but because the government of Lebanon has not been prepared to control the southern part of that country and prevent terrorist attacks against the north of Israel.

"We are prepared to leave Lebanon, but only if suitable security arrangements are made to prevent Hizbullah attacks deep into the Galilee. If there is a will, there is a willingness on the part of Lebanon at such security arrangements, they can find in the government of Israel a willing and ready partner to arrive at such security arrangements that will facilitate the withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon."

Hoss' office later clarified the Lebanese prime minister's comments, saying Lebanon is not ready to discuss security arrangements for an Israeli pullout. Israeli officials interpret the clarification to mean Hoss made his initial statement without conferring with Syria, the main power broker in Lebanon.

Israel established the 9-mile-wide zone in 1985 to protect its borders from potential terrorist attacks. Withdrawing from the zone has become a key issue in Israel's campaign for prime minister, following recent killings of seven Israelis, including a brigadier general, by Hizbullah terrorists in the occupied zone.

Arab Child Expelled from Nursery School

By IsraelWire

Following increasing pressure from parents, an Arab boy was expelled from nursery school in Beersheva. When the news of the expulsion was made public, the parent's of the toddler were approached by other nearby daycare facilities expressing their willingness to accept the child.

Eassim Houri, 20 months, was expelled from the nursery school when the parents of the other children stated they would not accept the situation in which an Arab child plays with their children.

Alona Ben Sheetrit, who runs the nursery, insists she had no other alternative in light of the mounting opposition against her decision to accept the child. She told Israel's Channel 2 Television News that the decision was dictated by the reality that all of the other parents opposed the child's presence in the daycare center.

According to the child's father Wassim, since the incident was broadcast on the news, he has received many offers to accommodate his little son's daycare needs and Eassim was already registered in another facility.

Although expressing disapproval over the action of the nursery school, Beersheva Municipality officials explained they were powerless to take action since the facility was private and not government run.

Ethiopian Immigrants May be Stranded at Airport

By IsraelWire

Minister of Immigration and Absorption Yuli Edelshtein stated that immigrants arriving from Ethiopia will be compelled to remain in Ben-Gurion International Airport since his ministry was unable to accommodate them at this time.

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by Edelshtein, he referred to the Ethiopian situation as a "time bomb," explaining that his office is unable to find suitable housing for the many Ethiopian immigrants currently living under unacceptable conditions in caravan camps without support of the Finance Ministry.

Edelshtein explained that the responsible person in the Finance Ministry has recently canceled a plan to provide housing for the immigrants in the Mevaseret Tzion area, in the local absorption center.

Edelshtein explained he had hoped to provide suitable housing for approximately 1,000 Ethiopian immigrants in the absorption center but David Milgrum scrapped the plan.

In his letter to the director-general of the Absorption Ministry, Milgrum stated that the Jerusalem Municipality was in the process of accommodating many new immigrants, including those from Ethiopia.

Edelshtein warned that if a solution is not found immediately, by the Passover holiday, new immigrants arriving from Ethiopia would be compelled to remain in the airport since his ministry will not have a housing solution to offer them.

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