Newsletter : 9fax0927.txt
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>JN Sept. 27, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 178
Albright: Israel's Presence on Golan is Dangerous
Arutz-7 News Service
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright believes that Middle East
stability is endangered by Israel's remaining in the Golan Heights.
In a meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy and Arab
Foreign Ministers in New York this weekend, Albright said that
contacts between Israel and Syria have entered "a critical phase,"
and that there would be no regional stability unless the Golan is
transferred to Syria, and Lebanon regains its total independence.
Preparations Under Way for Oct. 1 Safe-Passage" Opening
The so-called southern 'safe-passage' route linking the autonomous
areas of Gaza to Hebron, via the Tarkumia Checkpoint, is scheduled
to open Oct. 1. In preparation for the opening, the Israel Defense
Force conducted tests to evaluate the level of preparedness.
Buses carrying soldiers dressed in Arab garb were brought in to
evaluate the level of security on the route that will pass through
major Israeli cities on the way form Gaza to Hebron. Everything is
to be checked, including luggage, passengers and the bus drivers.
Among the questions still to be ironed out by security and other
agency officials by the planned opening are: 1) What happens when
an Arab passenger gets out along the way and disappears in an
Israeli city? 2) What happens when a motor vehicle from the
autonomous area is involved in an accident with an Israeli vehicle
and does not carry insurance? 3) What happens when the designated
narrow route in the Bet Gubrine and Kiryat Gat area becomes
congested and backed up with vehicles from the autonomous area?
Israel's Settlement Policy Criticized
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel's government has come under fire from left-wing groups for
approving the construction of thousands of new homes for Jewish
settlers in the West Bank. The disclosures have angered many on the
left, who say the move could endanger peace talks with the
Since coming to power in July, the government of Prime Minister
Ehud Barak has issued tenders for some 2,600 new homes to be built
in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
The approval came from a member of Barak's coalition, Housing
Minister Yitzhak Levy, of the National Religious Party, a political
grouping which openly supports an expansion of Jewish settlements
in the territories. The Palestinians claim that the whole of these
areas, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, should be encompassed into a
future Palestinian state.
But a Housing Ministry spokesman says most of the new homes are to
be built in Jewish communities in the West Bank which are
considered satellites of Jerusalem and, Israel insists, would
remain under Israeli sovereignty, even after a final peace
settlement with the Palestinians. The spokesman added that the
building is necessary to accommodate natural population growth in
But Palestinian officials and Israel's Peace Now group have warned
that such decisions threaten to torpedo the Middle East peace
process. Leaders of Peace Now have protested that Levy is
continuing the policies of the previous government of Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to expand settlements.
Peace Now says this flies in the face of pledges by Barak to
reverse the trend by placing a freeze on any new construction.
At least one member of the Israeli Cabinet agrees. Agriculture
Minister Haim Oron says it is intolerable that the Housing Ministry
should act in defiance of Barak's commitment to halt settlement
Oron has called on Barak to convene a special meeting of the
Cabinet committee on Jewish settlements to determine a clear
Russian Pilot Almost Lands on Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway
The scene was one of panic when control tower personnel became
aware of the realization that a Russian pilot coming in for a
landing last Wednesday night was heading for the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv
Highway and not Ben-Gurion International Airport, a short distance
The flight controllers became aware that the pilot had confused the
highway with the airport's runway, and was heading straight for
traffic. At one point, the plane was only about 30 meters above the
busy motor vehicular roadway. The pilot responded to emergency
orders to abort the planned landing, and he was ordered to head
towards the sea and then make another approach to the airport.
The BRZ Airline plane with 40 persons onboard was a Tupelov 134.
Following a safe landing, the pilot was ordered to submit to a
blood alcohol exam prior to being permitted to takeoff once again.
He was determined to be sober and was granted permission to
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