Newsletter : 9fax0728.txt
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>JN July 28, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 137
Barak Suggests Leasing Golan Heights From Syria
According to an AFP News Agency report, a close "associate" of
Prime Minister Ehud Barak stated that Israel should try to rent the
Golan Heights back from Syria if it is given away by Israel in a
peace deal with the Syrians. AFP quoted Labor Knesset member Shalom
Simhon as saying, "We have to find creative solutions for the
settlers, for example by trying to get Syria to lease back land to
Barak Meets With Arafat at Gaza/Israel Border
By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority
Chairman Yasir Arafat have begun what are expected to be difficult
negotiations to try to revive the Middle East peace process.
This is the second time in 16 days that Barak and Arafat have
met at the Erez Crossing on the border of Israel and the Gaza
Strip. The two men smiled and shook hands as they arrived for
The talks are expected to be dominated by Barak's proposal to
combine requirements of the Wye River Peace Accords with
negotiations on implementing a permanent peace agreement with the
Aides to Arafat say he will demand immediate implementation of the
Wye Agreement that requires a partial hand-over of the occupied
territories and the redeployment of Israeli soldiers.
Barak says his government is committed to the Wye Accords and will
not make any changes without prior agreement with the
Palestinians. The Israeli prime minister is scheduled to meet with
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak later this week, and early next
month he will travel to Russia, where he is expected to hold talks
with President Boris Yeltsin.
Clinton Calls on Assad to Accept Israel's Peace Overture
By David Gollust (VOA-Washington)
President Clinton has written Syrian President Hafez al-Assad to
urge him to accept Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's overture for
renewed peace talks.
Officials in Washington say the Clinton letter, sent on Saturday
before the President's trip to Morocco, urges the Syrian leader to
"seize the opportunity" presented by the change of government in
Israel to move forward on the Syria-Lebanon track of the peace
They say Clinton gave Assad a review of his Washington talks last
week with Barak and stressed the Israeli leader's commitment to
re-start peace talks with Syria that had broken off in 1996 with
the two sides reportedly close to an agreement.
Barak has said Israel is ready for what he calls "painful
compromise" over the occupied Golan Heights though he says the
depth of withdrawal will depend on how far Syria is prepared to go
in normalizing relations.
The officials say the administration is ready to assist the parties
in any way and that Secretary of State Madaleine Albright intends
to visit Damascus on her Middle East mission next month. Clinton
met Barak and several Arab leaders Sunday on the sidelines of King
Hassan's funeral, which Assad did not attend.
Israel's New $300 Dolphin Sub Arrives
The Israel navy's new Dolphin submarine arrived on Tuesday, the
first of three $300 million submarines being manufactured in
En route to Israel, a memorial service was held by the crew of the
new vessel over the site where the Dakar submarine sank in 1968.
Wreaths were lowered into the sea, a poem was read, and 69 flowers
were scattered in memory of the 69 lost crewmen. The ceremony
concluded with a moment of silence.
The Dolphin was received in Israel Tuesday by President Ezer
Weizman, Prime Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.
Shaul Mofaz, OC Israel navy, Rear Admiral Alex Tal and other senior
officers. The submarine arrived in the Port of Haifa. In the
future, the other two crafts, the "Levyatan" and "Tekumah" are also
scheduled to arrive in Israel.
Consequences of Y2K for the Hebrew Sabbath
By Arutz-7 News Service
The halakhic [Jewish-legal] aspects of the Y2K computer bug will be
among the topics to be researched by a ministerial committee. Prime
Minister Ehud Barak instructed his top aide, Yossi Kucik, to
convene a committee that will coordinate the various ministries'
efforts on the Y2K matter.
"The committee should look into the Jewish-legal issue as well,"
Infrastructures Minister Eli Suissa (Shas) said, noting that Jan.
1, 2000 will fall on a Saturday, and the possible life-threatening
dangers that may result may make it necessary to grant special
permits for Sabbath work.
"I am not a halakhic authority," Suissa said, "but it is likely
that the rabbis will rule it permissible to work in hospitals,
security forces, the electric company, and the like specifically
for this problem...I have consulted with Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef and
with the Chief Rabbis, and they will have to decide if and to whom
to issue work permits on that Shabbat."
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