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>Israel Faxx
>JN Aug. 4, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 142

Operation Succeeds On 6-Year-Old Born Without Vocal Chords

By IsraelWire

A 6-year-old boy born without vocal chords can now speak after undergoing a series of rare operations in the United States to reconstruct his trachea. Guy Ben-Dor was born missing vocal chords as one of twins from a test-tube fertilization. His father, Ronen, said that Guy's first word was "Abba" (daddy), and that the family is very happy. Ronen stated that they know of only two other cases of children born without vocal chords.


Water Strike Hits Israel's Faucets

By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)


Hundreds-of-thousands of Israelis were left without water for hours Tuesday because of a labor dispute involving workers at the state-owned water company.


Striking employees at Mekorot turned off the water in major cities and towns across the country. Residents of Tel Aviv were among the hundreds of thousands of Israelis without water. By afternoon, service was restored in many places, but outages continue in some parts of the country.


The water company workers walked off the job three weeks ago because of a wage dispute and plans by the government to privatize the company.


An Israeli court gave the workers the right to turn off the taps but for no longer than four-hours per day. A spokeswoman for the striking workers - Ester Turgeman - says wages and jobs are the main concerns.


"I hope a solution will be found, because we are talking here about the existence of the water company which has been in existence for many, many years. There were talks about privatizing and letting go some 300-400 families and to add them to the unemployment circle. For a month, we were negotiating with management. We made farfetched concessions, but we reached the moment of truth. We have a management that is not willing to listen."

Management accused workers of putting the public in danger and are appealing to the National Labor Court to issue a temporary order banning the union from cutting off water supplies while negotiations continue.


Officials used emergency wells to supply hospitals, fire stations, and other critical institutions. Tel Aviv water authorities say the strike brought reservoirs to dangerously low levels. The strike prompted a wave of complaints from exasperated Israelis who had no water for drinking, bathing, or cleaning. Israel Army Radio reported a 60-percent increase in bottled water sales.


Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem were not immediately affected by the strike.


Hebron Shooting Update

By IsraelWire


Israel Radio reports the victims of Tuesday evening's shooting attack in Hebron are being treated in Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem. One was moderately injured, and was struck in his hand with shrapnel fragments in his shoulder and face. The identities of the two victims have not yet been released for publication.


Responding to the shooting attack, the first since he took office, Prime Minister Ehud Barak said his administration would wage an unyielding battle against terrorism. He added that the war against terrorism was the highest priority of his administration and Israel will continue to demand that the PLO Authority does whatever necessary to combat Islamic terror.


The Hebron Jewish community's leaders said the Hebron protocol has failed and the lands handed over to the PA have become a staging area for attacks against the area's Jewish residents.


Attack Against Arafat by Syria's Defense Minister

By IsraelWire


Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlas, Tuesday, lashed out at PLO Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat, accusing him of selling out his people and Jerusalem. The remarks were made on Syrian Army Day, during which the defense minister called Arafat obscenities, accusing him of selling out his nation.


Senior PA officials called upon President Hafez al-Assad to dismiss the defense minister for his remarks. Tlas accused Arafat of making concession to Israel "like a stripper," but added "a stripper becomes more beautiful with every layer she removes, while Arafat turns uglier."


Begin Was Willing to Forfeit Entire Golan Heights

By IsraelWire


Yehiel Kadish, who was the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin's personal secretary, said at a memorial for the former prime minister held in Tel Aviv that "Begin was willing to return the entire Golan Heights to Syria after it was taken by Israel."


The text of his address may be found at http://www.bimcom.co.il/ (Hebrew only) in the Bimcom Internet Magazine (Issue 14, July 30, 1999).


Kadish stated that Begin was willing to return Sinai to Egypt for peace, as he indicated as a cabinet minister in the government of Levi Eshkol. According to Kadish, Begin stipulated his willingness to return the lands on signing a true peace treaty with Egypt and Syria.


As far as Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem, Kadish reported that Begin was unwilling to compromise since those areas are "integral portions of Israel."




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