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>Israel Faxx
>JN June 22, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 107

Clinton Cites "National Security" on U.S. Embassy Relocation

By IsraelWire

President Clinton has once again delayed the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 1995 requires that the embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but it also gives the president the option to waive the move for six-month periods. Clinton has invoked this option several times. A Presidential Determination issued after the decision stated that the delay is "necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States."


Israel Names a Date for Trilateral Summit

By IsraelWire

Israel suggested a trilateral summit to begin on July 5, to include President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. The summit would be used to advance the stalled talks and hopefully to complete the long overdue framework agreement for the final status talks.

Officials in the Prime Minister's Office have indicated the administration feels that the continuation of the talks on the current level may not yield the desired results and the summit may be the only solution to permit the completion of the framework agreement.

The resumption of talks scheduled for this week was delayed as well with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright arriving in Israel next week. She, and special envoy Dennis Ross will be working to narrow the existing gaps prior to the July trilateral summit.

Talks last week at the Bolling and Andrews Air Force Bases failed to yield results with both sides placing the blame on the other. Negotiators returned to Israel without any news of significant progress. The main points of contention between Israel and the PLO Authority remains and there is no immediate solution on the horizon.

The PA is demanding the release of hundreds of terrorists with Israel having approved the release of three. The PA is seeking the return of so-called refugees, a demand being rejected outright by Barak. The prime minister last week also ordered negotiators not to even permit discussion on the issue of the future of Jerusalem, explaining the talks were not progressing enough to raise the issue.

Analysts explain that PA officials are watching the Israeli political scene carefully, following Tuesday's resignation of the Shas ministers. If the resignations are not retracted, Barak may find himself without a majority this morning at 7:45 (EDT), when the letters of resignation take effect.


Iranian Weapons Plans Could Benefit From Oil Price Hikes

By IsraelWire

Senior Israeli analysts cautioned that the sharp rise in international oil prices over the last few months will facilitate Iranian attempts to intensify its nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles programs, Haaretz reported.

Analysts say that Iran has a guaranteed budget for its nuclear weapons program and that the budget remains the same even when the national economy hits low points. Analysts project that the increase in revenues from oil exports will expedite Iran's efforts to arm itself with non-conventional weapons.

In addition, it is believed that these increased revenues will enable Iran to provide extensive support to radical Islamic groups outside its borders.


IDF Orders West Bank Communities to Prepare for War

By IsraelWire

As the intelligence community continues to receive reports pointing to the likelihood of increased attacks from Islamic terrorist organizations, a decision was made to fortify the Jewish communities throughout the West Bank, including stocking different weapons and ammunition.

Intelligence officials predict a renewed wave of violence, which will surpass the Nakba warfare seen in May. Experts predict the violence will begin almost immediately as a result of the lack of progress in talks in Washington last week between Israeli and PLO Authority negotiators.

Although military officials report that at present the number of troops deployed throughout the territories has not changed, there is a different focus and use of the existing manpower. First response units composed of military personnel are being deployed in larger communities, in the hope of reducing response time to the Yesha areas in the event of attack.

The military will also be distributing rubber-coated steel bullets and teargas grenades; to be added to the Yesha weapons storehouses. These items are being added in the hope they may be useful in repelling threats to the community which do not endanger human life and may buy time until IDF units are able to respond to a particular community.

The decision for the non-lethal weaponry is based on the southern Lebanon scenario, learning from the May troop withdrawal which resulted in demonstrations and large numbers of Lebanese gathering around the border fence. Weapons storehouses are also being updated and the frequency of training exercises for reservists living in Yesha communities is being increased.



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