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>Israel Faxx
>JN Aug. 30, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 150

Israel Aids Greece and Turkey

By IsraelWire

Israel dispatched two Air Force helicopters and a cargo plane to Greece over the weekend to help contain huge blazes throughout the country. Prime Minister Ehud Barak gave his consent at the request of the Greek government after seven people were killed and dozens of homes burned last week. Meanwhile, 60 Israel Defense Forces Home Front soldiers departed for Turkey Monday to train Turkish soldiers in search and rescue techniques and to help establish a rescue training school.

Ross Helps to Overcome Israeli, Palestinian Differences

By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)

Middle East envoy Dennis Ross says differences remain between Israel and the Palestinians over the future of Jerusalem, and the United States is seeking ways to overcome the problems.

At the beginning of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Ross said all sides are looking for ways to bridge the differences between Israel and the Palestinians over the future of Jerusalem.

"I would say that there are differences that still have to be overcome and we are still looking for ways to try to do that."

Ross briefed Barak on a meeting earlier in Cairo between President Clinton and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The U.S. envoy declined to talk publicly about what proposals are being discussed to solve the Jerusalem dispute, which is considered the most difficult issue facing negotiators in the Middle East peace process.

There has been a flurry of diplomatic activity since negotiators failed to reach agreement last month at the Camp David summit.

Palestinian chief Yasir Arafat, Barak, and Clinton are scheduled to attend a meeting of the United Nations next week in New York.

Peres Attempts to Gain Control of Labor Party

By IsraelWire

Following his defeat in the recent race for the presidential seat, Minister of Regional Cooperation Shimon Peres has established a new Labor Party forum, comprised of veteran party members, perhaps as a move to strengthen his position within the party in advance of the national elections.

Peres told participants of the forum who met in the minister's Tel Aviv office, that they would continue to meet on a regular basis. The senior party member called upon supporters to work with him to advance the ongoing Oslo process between Israel and the PLO Authority. He added that the Oslo process must remain atop the national agenda.

Political observers explain that Peres' statements may have been aimed at Prime Minister Ehud Barak who has recently shifted gears, placing an emphasis on the new constitution and the secularization of the country. Despite his senior party position, Peres continues to be a political adversary of Barak.

Explosion at Archeological Dig May Have Been Terror Attack

By IsraelWire

The explosion that occurred early Tuesday morning at an archeological site near Rosh HaAyin may have been a terror attack. Three employees of the Israel Antiquities Authority were injured in the blast, which occurred near Rantis Junction, south of Rosh HaAyin.

According to Yediot Ahronot, quoting an unnamed senior police official, the blast was the result of a pipe bomb left at the location. Over past years, at the same location, other pipe bombs were also discovered, but they were safely neutralized. The most recent case was two months ago, when a large explosive device was discovered.

Two men injured in the Tuesday morning blast were transported to Beilinson Hospital and a woman, the third victim, to the HaSharon hospital. She is described as suffering from hysteria.

West Nile Virus Kills Israeli Man

Israel Faxx Staff Report and IsraelWire

An 84-year-old man died this week of complications from the West Nile virus - the same virus that hit the New York City area this summer.

Despite newspaper headlines and long reports on the radio, officials tried to calm fears. Experts noted that the virus is common in this region, and most Israelis have developed immunity.

In New York City, five people have been diagnosed with West Nile virus this year, all 63 years old or older, officials say. The virus killed seven people and sickened more than 60 in the New York City area last year.

Health officials report that about 2,000 ducks in southern Israel have been killed due to fears they were carrying the West Nile virus.

Health officials insist there is no cause for alarm at this time, explaining the ducks were killed in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading. It was believed that the ducks were carrying the disease and the decision was made to kill them to ensure that the sickness was not spread.

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