Newsletter : 9fax1110.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
>JN Nov. 10, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 209
Arafat Blames Israeli Mafia for Netanya Bombing
PLO Authority Chairman Arafat has pointed the finger of blame for
the Sunday morning bomb blast in Netanya on the Israeli mafia
despite the fact that Israeli security agencies are looking in the
direction of an Islamic terror attack, most likely intended to
coincide with the anniversary of the assassination of the leader of
the Islamic Jihad, Fatchi Shkaki.
Israel Won't Interfere in Christian Dispute
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
The Israeli government will not intervene in a dispute among
Christian groups about opening a second doorway in one of the
holiest Christian sites. Israel is insisting on an emergency exit
in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is built on one of the
traditional sites of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection.
For years, the Israeli government has warned that the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre is a fire trap, where hundreds could die in an
accidental blaze. The church has only one door. In the last
century, dozens of worshipers died when fire broke out in the
A Roman Catholic priest and expert on Christian holy sites, Jerome
Murphy-O'Connor, said he agrees there is a real danger of another
fire, particularly during such events as the mass lighting of
candles at the annual Greek Orthodox "Holy Fire" Easter ceremony.
"I think there is a real need for a second door because you have
very crowded, very dangerous ceremonies such as the Orthodox Holy
Fire, where the church is absolutely packed and people are
waving candles. And if something should happen there, not
everybody can get out the same entrance, the single entrance we
have at the moment."
The Israeli government wants to avoid a possible tragedy next year,
when millions of Christians are expected in the Holy Land to
celebrate the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus. It is still
not clear if the six Christian groups which occupy the church can
agree among themselves to make a decision. They are the Roman
Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Armenians, Syrians, Copts and
Ethiopians. Murphy-O'Connor says these sects all jealously
guard their rights to different sections of the church.
Israel is currently embroiled in another dispute over holy sites,
after granting permission for a mosque to be built in Nazareth next
to the Basilica of the Annunciation. The Basilica marks the
traditional site where the Angel Gabriel told Mary she would give
birth to Jesus.
Some Christian leaders in Jerusalem, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said they would not agree to open a second exit to the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, unless Israel rescinds its decision
to allow the mosque to be built in Nazareth.
Arafat: No Peace Without Withdrawal
By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)
Palestinian Chairman Yasir Arafat says the continued expansion of
Jewish settlements in the occupied territories is a breach of
international law and is destructive to the peace process.
Arafat says there can be no comprehensive peace in the Middle East
unless Israel withdraws from occupied Palestinian territories.
In a major policy speech to Socialists and Social Democrats in
Paris, Arafat strongly criticized the Israeli government for
continuing to expand settlements in the territories. Arafat said
settlement activities are hurting efforts to reach a permanent
peace agreement in the Middle East.
"Nothing except the logic of injustice can legitimize the continued
existence of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. It
has become a crucial necessity to stop all settlement activities in
the Palestinian territory, totally, and not selectively. For
settlements are not only illegal and a breach of international law,
they are destructive to the peace process itself."
Arafat also called on the Israeli government to abide by
resolutions approved by the United Nations after the 1967 Middle
East war. He said if Israel does not withdraw from the occupied
territories there will be no peace in the region.
"The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the core of the Arab-Israeli
confrontation. There will be no real and durable peace relations
between Israel and the rest of this area unless an independent,
sovereign Palestinian state, with holy Jerusalem as its capital,
becomes a central element of regional stability."
Chemical Attack Was Foiled in Israel in May
Israeli and PLO Authority security forces in May of this year, on
the eve of the national elections, foiled a planned Hamas terror
attack involving chemical warfare.
Senior Hamas terrorist leader "A.E." reportedly received
instructions in the preparation of the chemical weaponry from
supervisors abroad. Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh stated he
was "prevented from confirming all these details, but did not deny
Knesset member Dr. Ahmed Tibi, a former senior advisor to PA
Chairman Yasir Arafat acknowledged that in the months prior to the
national elections in Israel, PA security forces foiled several
planned serious terror attacks.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)