Newsletter : 0fax0713.txt
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>JN July 13, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 120
Arms from Iran
By Jane's Defense Weekly
According to an unconfirmed report from a Middle Eastern source,
Iranian airliners are apparently flying to Damascus with arms and
equipment for the Hizbullah guerrillas who fought against Israel's
occupation of the south of Lebanon.
Core Issues Face Israelis/Palestinians at Camp David
By David Gollust (VOA-White House)
US officials say the parties at the Camp David summit are taking up
the core issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but they are
giving no indication yet of progress toward the hoped-for
agreement. Teams led by President Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister
Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat are in their second
day of talks.
White House officials say the secluded Camp David setting has
created the atmosphere they hoped for, with the Israeli and
Palestinian delegates mingling together at meals and giving each
other rides on golf carts. Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart says
the sides -- after the opening formalities Tuesday -- are
discussing the core issues of the Middle East conflict, but he gave
no indication of movement, calling the process thus far a struggle.
"To the extent that we went into this knowing it would be a
struggle, we have not been disappointed by that. This is a very
difficult process with a short time frame with very difficult
The issues at hand -- including Jerusalem, Palestinian statehood
and the rights of refugees -- are the most intractable of the
entire peace process that began with the 1993 Oslo accords.
Lockhart indicated that Clinton has already begun proposing
compromises to the two Middle East leaders -- the spokesman saying
that is an inseparable part of the discussion process.
The administration has already acknowledged that implementation of
an Israeli-Palestinian deal will require billions of dollars in aid
from the United States and other donors to pay for security
arrangements and -- among other things -- an international fund for
Israel Agrees Not to Supply Phalcon to China
By Luis Ramirez (VOA-Thurmont, Md.)
Bowing to US concerns, Israel is calling off a deal with China for
the sale of an aircraft equipped with advanced early warning radar
technology. The announcement came during the Middle East peace
summit at Camp David outside Washington.
The announcement came from Israeli spokesman Gadi Baltiansky, who
spoke to reporters in Thurmont, Md., near the site of the ongoing
Middle East peace talks. "We have informed the US and China about
our intention not to continue with the Phalcon deal." Baltiansky
said he did not want to get into the reasons for the cancellation,
but he said Israel is aware of American concerns and interests.
The United States had opposed the $250 million deal, citing
concerns that it may shift the balance of military power in the
Taiwan Straits and endanger US forces. Some members of Congress
had threatened to block military aid to Israel if it went ahead
with the sale.
The deal involved the sale of one plane equipped with Phalcon early
warning radar technology to China, with an option for Beijing to
buy several more aircraft and equipment in the future.
Analysts say Israel heeded the United States' calls to scrap the
sale as a precondition for sending more US military aid that Israel
would need to implement the security terms of an
Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.
Maps of Jerusalem Withdrawal are on Drawing Board
Arutz-7 reported that maps have been drawn up in security circles
for a possible withdrawal from Jerusalem. Deputy Defense Minister
Ephraim Sneh denies the reports, but Arutz-7 insists its
information is accurate.
Sneh said Wednesday that the Yesha Council's "Brothers Must not be
Abandoned" campaign has been "quite successful - but in any event
the government is not planning to abandon even one settler" and
that Barak is prepared to give away between 80 and 90 percent of
Judea and Samaria, where 40-50,000 Jews reside, at the Camp David
summit; Arafat demands 100 percent of the territory.
Chief Rabbis OK Giveaway of Holy Sites to PA
According to Haaretz, Israel's chief rabbis have ruled the prime
minister may turn over control of holy sites to the PLO Authority
under certain conditions.
Haaretz quoted the chief rabbis as telling a government senior aide
they would not object to Israel turning over control of the Cave of
the Patriarchs in Hebron, Joseph's Tomb in Nablus and Rachel's Tomb
in Bethlehem, to the PA, providing the peace treaty states that
Israelis would maintain access to the holy site.
The chief rabbis pointed out that the issue of the Temple Mount
would be the main issue and this needed to be worked out between
Israel and the PA. The rabbis oppose relinquishing Israeli
sovereignty over the Mount, the site of the First and Second
Temples as well as the future Third Temple. The rabbis did not
however rule out a trilateral governing body consisting of Jews,
Christians and Muslims.
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