Newsletter : 9fax0311.txt
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>JN March 11, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 49
Teens Die as Palestinian Police Open Fire
Deborah Tate (VOA-Jerusalem)
Palestinian police in the Gaza Strip opened fire on a crowd
protesting a military court's decision to sentence a security
officer death in a politically-charged murder case. Two teenagers
The court's decision to hand down the death penalty to Rael
al-Attar for the shooting death of another policeman, Rifat Joudeh,
sparked violent demonstrations in the city of Rafah on the Egyptian
border. Al-Attar's relatives protested outside the home of
The decision by the five-judge court comes amid growing concern by
Palestinian and human rights groups that military courts in
self-ruled areas of the Gaza Strip and West Bank are too quick to
issue death sentences.
Of the eight witnesses who testified in the Rafah case, seven said
they had not seen al-Attar shoot Joudeh. The director of the
Palestinian human rights monitoring group, Bassam Eid says
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat may bend to public pressure to
commute the death sentence.
But Arafat is also under pressure from Israel and the United States
to do more to crack down on violence.
Al-Attar -- and two other men who received long prison terms for
their roles in Joudeh's death -- are former members of the
Palestinian extremist group, Hamas, and were all wanted by
Israel for the 1994 killing of an Israeli soldier near Rafah.
57% of Tel-Aviv Residents Do Not Feel Safe
57% of Tel-Aviv residents do not feel that they can walk freely and
safely in every part of the city. The area of the old central bus
station was perceived as the most dangerous. These are the results
of a special survey conducted for the Tel-Aviv municipality. The
study was undertaken in order to check residents' satisfaction with
the municipality and its services in 1998, in order to plan for the
Most residents feel safe in their own neighborhoods, except for the
residents of Jaffa, where a third of the residents responded that
they feel at risk. 47% of city residents proclaimed their belief
that the old central bus station is the city's most dangerous area,
41% stated that south Tel-Aviv is the most dangerous, Jaffa was
mentioned by 12%, and Allenby Street was targeted by 17%.
According to the survey, the majority of Tel-Aviv residents are
satisfied with the city, and would choose to remain there.
Residents indicated that Tel-Aviv's best features are the culture
available and the city's freedom. 21% said that the best thing to
be said for Tel-Aviv is that it a city that never sleeps.
A small percentage mentioned the Mediterranean Sea as being the
best thing Tel-Aviv has to offer. Less than two percent cited the
lack of religious coercion as the city's best feature. Along with
praises, the TA residents have complaints. 26% said that the city
is too dirty and littered, while 13% mentioned parking problems.
The survey involved 1,024 adults representing a cross-section of
Eurovision Plans Get Underway
The international Eurovision Song Competition is scheduled to take
place in Jerusalem May 29. The $7 million event will be watched by
over 100 million viewers in more than 30 countries. Contestants in
the contest are from 23 countries, all competing for the honor of
being judged as the home of the best song.
Last year's competition caused a stir in Israel, especially among
the Orthodox community, when the year's first prize went to Dana
International, an Israeli transsexual. This year, Israel will be
represented by Eden who will sing, "Happy Birthday."
Average Monthly Wage Rose 2.2% in 1998
The Central Bureau of Statistics reports that the average monthly
wage (in constant prices) rose by 2.2% in 1998, reaching NIS 6,270
(about $1,550) in December 1998.
The total number of wage earning employees was 2,248,000, and rises
to 2,285,000 when employees from Judea, Samaria and Gaza are
included. In 1998, wage changes by sector were as follows: industry
5.1%; agriculture 3.7%; construction 3%; commerce and public
administration 2.5% each; community, social and personal services
2.3%; education and culture 1.5%; catering and hospitality -0.3%;
banking and financial services -2%; health and welfare services
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