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>JN July 7, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 117

Heat Wave Claims Life of U.S. Tourist

By IsraelWire

Meteorologists say the oppressive heat-wave that has hit eastern Europe, originating in the Sahara Desert, is responsible for the unseasonably hot temperatures in Israel over past days. On Thursday, the Arad Search & Rescue Team was called in to extricate six travelers who lost their way and were overcome by the harsh conditions and the heat. After the rescue effort, it was learned that one traveler, an American teenager, who tried making her way back to the minibus on her own, was overcome by the extreme heat and died of dehydration.


Barak: Peace is 'Toss of the Coin'

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Prime Minister Ehud Barak says there is a 50-percent chance of success at next week's Middle East peace summit. He says the three-way meeting with President Clinton and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat provides a historic opportunity to help end the Arab- Israeli conflict.

Barak says the summit, which opens Tuesday near Washington, is a calculated gamble at making peace with the Palestinians. He says the chances of success are 50-50 - "like the toss of a coin" and that both sides will have to make painful decisions in order to reach a final settlement of their conflict.

Barak warns that failure to seize this opportunity could lead to more bloodshed. He says it is time for the parties to decide whether they want to settle their differences now or perpetuate the conflict for decades to come.

Barak he is not discouraged by the announcement that two right-wing parties will leave the coalition in a bid to prevent Israel making what they regard as excessive concessions to the Palestinians. But Barak says even if his coalition is weakened, he will press ahead with peace making efforts, claiming a mandate for his mission from the Israeli public.

He recalled that when the late Prime Minister, Menachem Begin went to Camp David in 1978, two-thirds of the Israeli public were against his plans to hand over territory to Egypt. But when Begin returned home with a peace agreement, the same percentage of the people were in favor of the accord, the first between Israel and the Arab world.


U.S. Muslims Call For Burger King Boycott

By the VOA's Candace Williams

A Washington-based Muslim group, American Muslims for Jerusalem, says it is calling on Muslims and Arabs to immediately boycott the fast food restaurant chain, Burger King, for a second time. In a news conference, the group says the Miami-based fast food chain has refused to close an outlet now operating in a Jewish West Bank settlement.

The new boycott campaign comes nearly one year after Muslim and Arab organizations boycotted Burger King for operating its outlet in Ma'ale Adumim, the West Bank's largest Jewish settlement. The August boycott ended after three weeks when Burger King announced it had instructed its Israeli franchisee, Rikamor Ltd, to remove the Burger King brand name from the outlet. But the executive director of American Muslims for Jerusalem, Khalid Turaani, says that has not happened and Burger King must still meet its commitment.

"The commitment was to remove the Burger King logo and products from a food court in the illegal Israeli settlement, Ma'ale Adumim, in the occupied West Bank. Ma'ale Adumim is a Jewish-only colony located three miles east of Jerusalem. It is established on confiscated land to create demographic imbalances favoring Israelis in Jerusalem. This has long been recognized as an obvious attempt to consolidate control over the occupied land."

Turaani accuses the British owned Burger King of reneging on its commitment and says it gives the impression the company is desperate in its search for market share.

Burger King, for its part, contends the Israeli franchisee, Rikamor Ltd, misled the company into thinking the food court would be inside Israel proper and not on disputed territory. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Israel considers the area part of Greater Jerusalem). In a written statement, the restaurant officials accuse Rikamor of breach of contract and say the matter has been referred to an international arbitrator because they have been unable to settle the issue.

Turaani says he expects Burger King to take the boycott threat seriously since many of its restaurants throughout the Arab world and elsewhere have sizable numbers of Muslim and Arab customers.


Will Israel's Mossad Spooks Strike?

By IsraelWire

In light of the opening of the trial in Switzerland of Mossad agent Yitzhak Ben-Tal, operational agents in Israel are threatening not to carry out operations. The agents explain the trial is a resounding statement that they do not have the support of the government, and therefore, will not carry out operations realizing they will be left in the field if apprehended.

Agents were quoted as saying that forcing the agent to return to Switzerland to stand trial, realizing he will most likely be sent to prison, is tantamount to abandoning soldiers in the battlefield and this was unacceptable.

Government officials have confirmed the report, acknowledging that agents have stated they refuse to set out on operational missions at this time since they no longer enjoy the backing of the government that sends them.


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