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>Israel Faxx
>JN July 6, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 121

Kol HaSimha Will Transmit from Ramallah

The ultra-Orthodox pirate radio station known as Kol HaSimha, which was recently shut down by police, is setting up its new broadcasting studio in the PLO Authority autonomous city of Ramallah. By setting up shop in Ramallah, the radio operators will bypass the need for an Israeli broadcast license. The deal was made by station owners and senior PA officials. The station is scheduled to begin operating from its new location this week.

Barak's Coalition Will be Presented to Knesset

By Scott Bobb (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel's Prime Minister-elect, Ehud Barak, is to present his government to the Knesset Tuesday, seven weeks after his election. Barak presented the new cabinet to his "Labor party" Monday.

He told party members that making peace with Israel's Arab neighbors will be the top priority of his government. He sought to mend fences with some members who criticized his appointments as favoring personal allies over party stalwarts and minorities.

Several senior members criticized the fact the new Cabinet contains only one woman and two non_Jews. Party members overruled his choice for Speaker of the Knesset and chose a rival -- Avraham Burg.

Former Foreign Minister David Levy was named foreign minister in a move that was praised by Palestinian leaders. Former Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, was named to the new post of Regional Development minister -- one that analysts say is likely to play a major role in the peace negotiations. Barak retains the Defense portfolio.

Barak takes over after three years of stalemate in the Middle East peace process. He has pledged to revive the process, in particular the "Wye River" accord transferring land to the Palestinians in exchange for security guarantees.

But many Israelis are skeptical. An analyst with the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, Ghassan el_Khatib, says by forming a broad coalition, Barak has created a government that cannot achieve much progress In the peace process, El-Khatib notes the peace process is supposed to be moving toward resolving final status issues, like Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, and Israeli settlements. But he says on these issues, The two sides are far apart.

An expert on Israeli politics at Hebrew University, Revain Hazan says a positive aspect of Barak's broad coalition is that no one party will have veto power over the peace process. But he says the wide range of ideologies in the coalition means a great deal of progress is not likely in the near future. Nevertheless, he says after three_years of stalemate under the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, he is cautiously optimistic.

"Ehud Barak, with the wide government that he has formed and his promise to move ahead on the peace process and to change public opinion in Israel, I believe we are moving ahead. If there is one good thing to be said about three years of Netanyahu in power, despite the fact that he almost killed the peace process, he managed to get most of the right wing in Israel to realize that There is no other alternative."

But Hazan says Barak must take rapid steps to revive the peace process, if he is to rebuild a measure of confidence with Arab governments in the region and the peace brokers in the West.

High Court Rules 13-Year-Old Child Must be Returned to U.S.

By IsraelWire

The High Court of Justice ordered a 13-year-old child who was 'kidnaped' from the United States by his father returned to America. The decision overturned a precedent setting decision by the Haifa District Court about 2 weeks ago.

The lower court ruled the child would remain in the custody of his father despite the objections of the child's mother. The couple lived together in the US for 20 years and in 1998 the marriage fell apart and the father moved to Israel.

According to Ma'ariv, the father withdrew the family's funds from their joint bank account and convinced his son to move with him to Israel.

Hizbullah Threatens to Launch Attacks from Within Israel

By IsraelWire

In a statement released over the weekend by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbullah, the terrorist organization has threatened to send 'fighters' inside Israel to launch attacks if Israel continues it military operations against targets in southern Lebanon. Nasrallah called for an end to the presence of "Israeli occupational forces."

During a Lebanese television interview, the Hizbullah leader addressed the Katyusha attack against northern Israel communities which claimed two lives, injured more than 12 people and caused NIS tens of millions in damages.

Nasrallah called the Katyusha attacks against Israel a 'deterrent' aimed at dissuading the continued Israeli presence in the security zone. He added that Israeli strikes against targets in Beirut will do noting to provide security for Israel's northern border and the Hizbullah leader promised that the attacks will be met with continued Hizbullah attacks against Israeli targets.

Nasrallah added that the Sept. 4, 1997 killing of 12 Israeli naval commandos in Tyre and the attack in which Brig. Gen. Erez Gerstein was killed several months ago, was an indicator that Hizbullah can penetrate Israel's intelligence network and hit targets at will.

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