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>Israel Faxx
>July 20, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 125

Former Chief UNSCOM Inspector Tells of Iraqi Threat

By IsraelWire

Speaking to an audience of the Jerusalem Assembly of Public Affairs, Richard Butler, the former chief United Nations UNSCOM inspector dealing with Iraq and disposing of its weapons, said Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz had told him that his country possesses biological weapons to be used to "deal with the Zionist entity."

Camp David Talks Appear to Continue

By David Gollust (VOA-White House)

The Camp David Middle East summit concluded its ninth day after a decision by President Clinton to put off - by one day - his departure on a trip to Japan.

The talks are difficult and by some accounts at an impasse over the issue of Jerusalem. White House spokesman Joe Lockhart says Clinton postponed his departure for Japan because he feels there is still "some chance" of success, but that his patience and availability to mediate are not unlimited.

News reports from Israel have said Prime Minister Ehud Barak is ready to bolt the talks over what is said to be exasperation over the Palestinians' refusal to compromise. U.S. officials say they've gotten no formal notice of any walkout, but that Barak has expressed his concerns in a letter to Clinton.

The Palestinians say a hard-line stand by Israel is preventing progress, though senior negotiator Mahmoud Abbas -- leaving Washington for his son's wedding in the West Bank -- told reporters serious talks are continuing.

Church Leaders Call for Unified Jerusalem

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

The leaders of the three main churches in Jerusalem have appealed to the parties at the Camp David Middle East summit not to separate the city's Christian communities as part of a future peace settlement. The church leaders want to preserve the rights of Christians to worship within the Holy City.

The Patriarchs of the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian Orthodox Churches in Jerusalem set out their concerns in a joint letter addressed to President Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. The letter says the church leaders are jointly calling for the Camp David summit to ensure that "the Christian communities within the walls of the Old City" are not separated from each other."

The appeal follows reports that Arafat has proposed dividing the Old City, taking the Muslim and Christian quarters under Palestinian control and leaving the Jewish and Armenian sections under Israeli sovereignty.

The patriarchs say the city will remain vital to Jews, Christians and Muslims and it is important to ensure full equality between the three religions.

Security Forces Brace for Violence

By IsraelWire

Security forces, including the Israel Defense Force, police, border police, Mishmar Ezrahi (civil guard/auxiliary police) and other tactical units, continue preparations for expected violence resulting from a breakdown in the Camp David talks, and/or a unilateral PLO Authority declaration of Palestinian statehood on Sept. 13.

Arutz-7 reports the PA has begun hoarding food and other necessary supplies. The reason: anticipation of a Palestinian-initiated military clash with the IDF following the declaration of a state Sept. 13.

PA leaders are supplementing their electrical system with private generators in the event that Israel cuts off electricity to the PA. Gaza security chief Muhammad Dahlan, for instance, has purchased a generator both for his own private home and for his command headquarters.

Leah Rabin: Yitzhak Rabin Would Never Divide Jerusalem

By IsraelWire

Eldad Yaniv, one of Prime Minister Ehud Barak's spokesmen at Camp David, declined to restate Barak's commitment to an undivided Jerusalem in a live interview with Daliah Yairi on Israel Radio Reshet Bet Wednesday. Yaniv introduced a new formula: "Our red line is a large Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty with a Jewish majority." Israel can achieve the new red line by adding various Jewish Jerusalem suburbs to the Israeli side of a divided city.

Leah Rabin, widow of the murdered Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, said on Israel Radio that her husband fought two wars for Jerusalem and that Jerusalem is the very essence of the Jewish People and cannot be divided. She declared that her husband would never have divided Jerusalem.

Clinton and the Money

By Arutz-7 News Service

A full-page ad appeared in The New York Times Wednesday against a plan by President Clinton to give $40 billion to the Palestinian Authority in the framework of the agreement being worked in Camp David. The ad features a large photo of Clinton and Arafat, and large letters blare, "Mr. Clinton, the American people would rather spend $40 billion to rescue Social Security - than to rescue your legacy." The ad was sponsored by Americans for Responsible Public Spending.

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