Newsletter : 0fax0717.txt
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>JN July 17, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 122
Man Wins Lottery First Prize Twice
Three years after first winning first prize in the national
lottery, a Tel Aviv resident again won first prize in the
lottery. Each time he won NIS 3.5 million. The winner, married and
a father of five, went this week to receive his half of the first
prize in the new Super Lotto. He said he did not change his
lifestyle after his first win, and doesn't intend to do so now.
Aside from purchasing an apartment for his daughter, the man said
that he continues to live simply and will continue playing the
Clinton Intensifies Barak, Arafat Negotiations
By VOA's Luis Ramirez (Thurmont, Md.) & Ross Dunn (Jerusalem)
Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations are intensifying as
President Clinton prepares to leave Wednesday for the G-8 summit of
industrialized nations in Japan, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart
says it is obvious to both sides that they do not have much more
time to settle their differences at Camp David.
"I think everyone understands the calendar. Everybody understands
what the issues are and what the schedule is. I think they
understand that an intense effort is needed."
Lockhart refused to speculate on whether the talks would continue
after Clinton leaves Wednesday.
The pace of talks slowed Saturday in observance of the Jewish
Sabbath, but there were some informal meetings between members of
the Israeli and Palestinian delegations.
Clinton had sessions with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. Later, he sat between the two at
dinner - in an atmosphere described as positive.
Talks are continuing with members of the delegations breaking into
groups to discuss individual issues that still divide the two
The negotiators are aiming to reach a final peace agreement by Sept
13. Key issues on the table include borders, the status of
Jerusalem, and the fate of thousands of Palestinian refugees.
With the media blackout still in force, officials on all sides at
Camp David are refusing to give any details on the substance of the
In Jerusalem, Foreign Minister David Levy says the Palestinians are
far from making the necessary compromises to reach a framework for
a final peace treaty at the Camp David summit. He was commenting
after a telephone conversation with Barak.
Levy describes as completely baseless any statements claiming the
two parties have been drawing closer over key issues. He says that
unless the Palestinians agree to compromise, the prospects are
remote for reaching an agreement on the framework for a final peace
Levy says the Palestinians must realize there is a limit to which
the Israelis are prepared to offer concessions in order to secure
an accord. The Israeli foreign minister's pessimism was also echoed by
other Israeli politicians whom Barak called to voice his
Tommy Lapid, who heads the secular opposition Shinui Party, says
Barak does not sound like the most optimistic person in the world.
The prime minister also spoke with Cabinet Minister Haim Ramon, who
says he does not believe the summit will be able to reach an accord
unless the two sides agree to set aside the issue of Jerusalem.
Both sides claim the city as their political and religious capital,
and Ramon says he cannot see any way of solving the issue of
sovereignty in the present climate.
He says it is better to delay discussion of the issue for at least
five-years, rather than to place the entire summit at risk of
Israel Warns Iran of Arms Proliferation
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel has warned that Iran's successful testing of a medium-range
ballistic missile will accelerate a deadly arms race in the Middle
East. Israel's top army officer says the Iranian missile program
threatens not only the Jewish state, but also the entire region.
The Israeli army's chief of staff, Gen. Shaul Mofaz, expressed
strong concerns following Iran's successful testing of the Shahib
3 missile. The surface-to-surface ballistic missile has a range of
806 miles, making it capable of hitting targets in Israel.
Mofaz says Iran also wants to acquire non-conventional weapons of
mass destruction. That development would make Tehran a threat not
only to the Jewish state, but also to all countries in the Middle
East within range of its missiles.
The Iranian Defense Ministry told Iranian State television that the
Islamic Republic had no intention of using its missiles to attack
other countries. But this reassurance is not accepted by Israeli
and US defense officials.
Defense Department spokesman Ken Bacon says Iran's test of a
medium-range missile shows its determination to build longer-range
weapons of mass destruction.
Israeli defense officials predict that Iran will have nuclear
weapons within five-years.
Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said his country does not have
any choice but to strengthen its own missile program. He said Iran
has a stated policy of wanting to destroy the Jewish state, and
this means Israel should develop weapons that are two to three
times as advanced as those possessed by the Islamic Republic.
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