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>Israel Faxx
>JN March 23, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 57

Air Force Chopper Opened Fire on Troops

By IsraelWire

The IDF reports that over two weeks ago, a Cobra attack helicopter operating in southern Israel, unknowingly opened fire on IDF troops participating in training exercises in the area. The report states that it was sheer luck that no one was killed or injured. Despite over two weeks having passed since the incident, no findings of the investigation panel have been released.

Nation Braces for Large-scale Strike Before Passover

By IsraelWire

Once again, the Labor Party affiliate Histadrut National Labor Union is flexing its muscles, threatening to shutdown the nation and its airport one-week before the Passover Holiday. The government is calling the strike an election ploy and is condemning threats to once again bring the economy to a halt.

Histadrut officials are threatening to implement disruptions in the public sector beginning Wednesday. The gap between the Finance Ministry and Histadrut officials remains a large one and a settlement appears most unlikely at this time. The Histadrut officials will meet on Tuesday afternoon, at which time they will make a final determination regarding nationwide work sanctions.

Among the services to be hit by a strike will be: service at Ben-Gurion International Airport, state-run hospitals, Clalit HMO facilities, Mekorot Water Company, Israel Electric Company, Israel Military Industries, Israel Aircraft Industries, sea ports, train service and more. Bezeq and bank employees would only join the strike next week or following Passover.

Arafat Calls on Clinton to Accept Palestinian Statehood

By IsraelWire

In a meeting Tuesday in Washington with President Clinton, PLO Authority Chief Yasir Arafat will ask the president to accept the entity of a Palestinian state. "This time he really is asking for the moon," said a western source quoted by Reuters.

Officials in the PA added that if Arafat does not succeed in obtaining the support of the president, he will at least seek US backing from the US for a signed Israeli-PA peace agreement in the next six months.

"President Arafat will ask Clinton to recognize the Palestinians' right to self-determination," said Arafat's senior aide Tayeb Abdel-Rahim. "When Clinton was in Gaza in December he said that the Palestinians have a right to exercise their political rights on their free land. We want him to go a step further now."

Arafat: "We're Ready to Fight"

By Arutz-7 News Service

The Israel Government Press Office reports that threats of violence against Israel continue to be expressed by top Palestinian Authority figures.

"We carried out the longest intifada in history," said Arafat this past Thursday, speaking to 3,000 Fatah members at a Ramallah ceremony marking 31 years since Israeli forces clashed with Jordanian soldiers defending the PLO terrorist base in Karameh, Jordan.

"[The Israelis] should know that we can start it again if they try to prevent us from exercising our rights...The state will be established with Jerusalem as its capital whether they like it or not. If they don't like it, they can drink from the waters of the Dead Sea... We, the Fatah and the PLO, are ready to fight a new battle of Karameh every single day if anyone tries to stop us from exercising our rights, particularly that of proclaiming an independent state."

Only a few days earlier, PA "Minister" for Jerusalem Affairs Feisal Husseini said, "The battle for Jerusalem is near. It requires determination and it carries a heavy responsibility, for it is the key to war and peace."

Temple Mount Security Failures May Lead to "Serious Incident"

By IsraelWire

According to an investigation conducted by Ma'ariv, there are dangers lurking on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, the holiest site of the Jewish people and the third holiest site to Islam. Ma'ariv reports that despite the sensitivity of the area, the police generally assign low-profile personnel to duty on the Mount.

Ma'ariv reports police sources as acknowledging that it is doubtful if the police troops assigned to the Mount would know how to react in a time of an actual incident and the lack of properly trained law-enforcement personnel at that location might be the cause of a "serious incident or tragedy."

Ma'ariv reports that many policemen assigned to the Mount are actually soldiers in their mandatory military service which were assigned to the police department. They were never actually trained as police and in most cases, have too low a medical profile to qualify as combat soldiers.

Seders in Tibet, Chile and Thailand

Israel Faxx Staff Report

Twenty Passover seders will be conducted this year by Chabad Hasidim for Israelis and other Jews touring the Far East and South America. Many of the Chabadniks have already set off from Israel and the U.S., equipped with four tons of matzos, wine, meat and other food. The seders will be held in Bangkok, Katmandu, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Peru, Chile and other locations.

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