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>Israel Faxx
>JN Jily 21, 1999, Vol. 7, No 132

Tisha B'Av

By IsraelWire

The fast of Tisha B'Av will be observed tonight and Thursday, marking many sad events that have befallen the Jewish People, including the destruction of the First and Second Temples. For a Hassidic insight to the day and its inner meaning, one may visit "Azamra" at

Arafat Scheduled to Meet with Palestinian Dissidents

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat will meet soon with the leaders of key rebel Palestinian groups in an attempt to persuade them to end their armed struggle against Israel. Arafat wants the leaders to join him at the negotiating table, prior to a final peace settlement with the Jewish state.

Arafat is to meet in Cairo July 31 with two rebel Palestinian leaders, George Habash and Nayef Hawatmeh. They represent the "Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine" and the "Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine" -- factions lead by Habash and Hawatmeh respectively.

The groups refused to support Arafat when he signed the 1993 peace accords in Oslo, which launched the current round of talks. Instead, the rebel factions established bases in the Syrian capital, Damascus, from where they have continued to plot attacks against Israel.

But there are indications the two factions may be prepared to soften their positions, following a directive from Syria ordering Palestinian groups based in Damascus to give up their armed struggle against Israel.

The move is the most dramatic sign so far that Syria is ready to reach a peace agreement with Israel, following the election last month of Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Fundraising is Underway for Third Temple

By IsraelWire

Temple Mount activists are stepping-up efforts to regain control of the Temple Mount and begin efforts towards the construction of the Third Temple.

Efforts by Chai Vekaiyam leader Yehuda Etzion and other Temple Mount activists brought about the first meeting which was held several weeks ago in Jerusalem in the hope of launching the "Temple Treasury" project to begin raising funds for the construction of the Third Temple.

Etzion, who has been at the forefront of the battle to regain Jewish control of the Temple Mount, the site of the First and Second Temple, points out that Jewish law dictates that the Jewish people make preparations for the building of the final temple. This, he explains, includes the raising of the necessary funds to undertake the project. He explained the monies collected would be traded for gold, which must be set aside for the time when construction could get underway.

Etzion added the project would increase awareness among Jews, with many then asking themselves, "What have I done today to bring the construction closer to becoming a reality?"

In June 1967, Israel liberated the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, the holiest site to the Jewish people, but saw fitting to place control of the site in the hands of the Muslim Wakf, which until today, has barred Jews from praying on the Mount and denying them Freedom of Worship. The High Court of Justice has repeatedly called to permit Jews to pray on the Mount, but has always placed the final decision in the hands of Israeli police, which have denied Jews permission to pray on the Mount and have kept the area off limits to Jewish worshippers.

Etzion and his followers as well as the Temple Mount Faithful organization, continue to call for the expulsion of the Wakf and demand the government of Israel take control of the Holy Site, and once again cleanse it of foreign deities and begin preparations for the construction of the Third Temple.

Temple Mount Faithful Calls Upon Jews to Ascend to Temple Mount

By IsraelWire

The Temple Mount Faithful organization has once again called upon Jews to come to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, wearing sackcloth, marking the day of mourning for the destruction of the First and Second Temples.

"Come and assist in returning the glory and splendor to the Temple Mount, Jerusalem and the entire country," reads the Temple Mount release.

The Temple Mount Faithful has been among those fighting to regain Jewish control of the holiest site to the Jewish People, calling for freedom of worship for Jews on the Mount, currently barred by the Muslim Wakf.

Temple Mount Faithful leaders are calling for the banning of the PLO Authority flag on the Mount, continued Wakf construction on the Mount, and the continuation of the "destruction of the Third Temple in our time."

On Thursday, Tisha B'Av, participants will meet at the Western Wall Plaza, near the Mugrabi Gate, which leads to the Temple Mount and will attempt to offer their prayers on the Mount, despite objections by Muslim officials entrusted to protect the site by the government of Israel.

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