Newsletter : 0fax0724.txt
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>JN July 24, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 127
Gun Ban for Foreign Olympic Security
Foreign security personnel accompanying athletes to the Sydney
Olympics will not be allowed to carry firearms, Australia's
security chief said. The nation's attorney-general said no
delegation - including teams from Israel and the United States -
would be exempt from the ban. At the 1972 Munich Olympics 11
Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian terrorists. Their
capture and eventual deaths in a bungled rescue operation was
blamed by many on poor security planning on the part of the German
Clinton Returns to Camp David's Day 14
By VOA's Nick Simeone (Thurmont, Md.), Jenny Badner
(Jerusalem), Sabina Castelfranco (Rome)
Middle East peace talks entered their 14th day at Camp David, Md.,
with President Clinton returning from an economic summit
Clinton headed to Camp David for the Middle East talks, which have
already gone longer than expected. They are now set to last longer
than the historic 1978 Camp David talks that produced a peace
treaty between Israel and Egypt.
.By all accounts, these negotiations have been much more difficult,
with issues on the table that go to the heart of 52 years of
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. State Department spokesman Richard
Boucher says both sides have been conducting what he calls serious,
intense talks during the president's absence, but it will be up to
Clinton to decide if enough progress has been made to continue.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators seem to be grappling with the
issue of Jerusalem. Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat has been
demanding nothing less than a full return of the eastern half of
the city, which Palestinians would make the capital of a future
state. Israel captured and annexed East Jerusalem from Jordan after
the 1967 Middle East War and has since declared the city its
eternal, undivided capital.
Jerusalem's future is one of the most difficult issues being
tackled by Israelis and Palestinians in their Middle East peace
Political slogans are everywhere in Jerusalem. Bumper stickers in
blue and white -- the colors of the Israeli flag -- banners and
posters with messages for and against the peace talks are tacked on
almost every lamppost, bus stop and car.
"Barak is losing the country," says one popular message. "The
majority has decided on peace," says another, in support of the
Camp David talks. In Jerusalem itself, there is little agreement
about what the city's future status should be.
On Sunday, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported that Barak is
ready to give the Palestinians partial control over East Jerusalem.
That possibility was debated on local radio broadcasts throughout
31-year-old Israeli Orna Elboim has been living in Jerusalem for
more than 10 years. She says she supports, but adds he will lose
her vote if he does not come home with an agreement paving the
way for a Palestinian state and giving the Palestinians control of
"It should be divided. It should be divided already, and it should
be recognized officially. I don't feel land is holy. I think they
have the right to sit here and have their state just like we have."
Not all Jewish Israelis agree. Thousands demonstrated in Tel Aviv
last week in opposition to the talks. "Phil," who would not
disclose his age or last name, says Barak is making a terrible
mistake and should not negotiate with the Palestinians.
"I think Mr. Barak doesn't know what he's doing. I would say 90
percent of the people came here because of Jerusalem and Israel.
They wouldn't be here in the first place if they were going to
give everything away. It's obvious."
But Palestinians living in the contested city say Jerusalem is just
as much theirs. The old city of Jerusalem houses holy sites for
Jews, Christians and Muslims. For Jews, it is the remains of the
Second Temple. And for Muslims, the area is sacred because of the
Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
Thirty-year-old taxi driver Nour Al-Din is a Palestinian born in
east Jerusalem. Waiting at the Damascus Gate, just outside the old
city, Al-Din says he supports the talks outside of Washington, but
the deal must include Jerusalem.
"Everybody wants the old city. It's everything for me. It's my
life because of the mosque. It's in my blood. We will die here for
the land. For everything here."
Pope John Paul sent a message Sunday to the Middle East peace
negotiators in Maryland. He made a strong call for Jerusalem
to be granted international status, which he believes is the only
way to assure freedom of religion for all in the holy city.
Speaking to pilgrims at his summer residence in the hills south of
Rome, the pope urged all parties not to neglect the spiritual
dimension of Jerusalem, a city considered the crossroads of
peace and co-existence for three different religions.
The pope made clear he feels the only forward is a special statute
for Jerusalem, since the city is sacred to Jews, Muslims and
Christians. But he provided no details as to how such a statute
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