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>Israel Faxx
>JN Sept. 6, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 153

Barak Wishes to Give More to Palestinians

By Arutz-7 News

Prime Minister Ehud Barak reportedly has more concessions up his sleeve in his efforts to revive the stalled talks with the Palestinians. Correspondents accompanying the Prime Minister in New York report that he is now prepared to cede to Arafat an additional 2 percent of Judea and Samaria, for a total of 90 percent; the Palestinians have demanded 97 percent.

Furthermore, Barak is now willing to sign a final-status agreement that would not include the seemingly-unsolvable issue of Jerusalem. The Likud strongly attacked these concessions; the opposition party also claimed that any agreement signed by Barak is worthless, as he has no majority in either the Knesset or the public.

Reports differ as to Arafat's willingness to accept Barak's offers. Some reports claim that he has decided that he wants an agreement, while others emphasize his apparent insistence on nothing less than total sovereignty over Jerusalem.

PA Legislative Council Chairman Abu Ala placed an interesting proposal before the European Parliament Monday: United Jerusalem should become the capital of the world, under international sovereignty. "The Palestinian Authority will agree to this plan, if this is what is needed for true peace," Abu Ala said.

Clinton to Meet with Arafat and Barak

By Deborah Tate (VOA-White House)

President Clinton meets separately Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat on the sidelines of the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York.

With one week to go before the parties' self-declared deadline for a final peace agreement, U.S. officials say it is crucial that progress be made in the stalled peace process this week.

National Security Advisor Sandy Berger would not characterize this as a "make-or-break week" in the peace process, but he underscored the importance of making progress.

"Unless we see a decisive way forward from this week, I think it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine in the time frame I see as realistic -- particularly in terms of what is happening in Israel. This gets more difficult."

U.S. officials have played down the importance of the parties meeting their Sept. 13 deadline for a final settlement. But they hope for an agreement before the Israeli Knesset reconvenes at the end of October. Israeli lawmakers, unhappy about the concessions Barak has made to the Palestinians, have threatened to topple his government.

The talks broke down at the Camp David summit in July over the issue of the future of Jerusalem, which both sides claim as their capital.

Prisoner Number 1111387

By IsraelWire

Former Shas Party leader Rabbi Aryeh Deri has begun serving his three-year prison sentence, and will be spending his time behind bars in the Masiyahu (Ayalon) Prison.

Prison Authority officials explain that facility can accommodate Deri's religious needs from the special kosher diet to permitting him religious studies. The inmates in the facility are permitted to wear civilian clothing and are not required to dawn prison garb.

Deri, prisoner number 1111387, will be considered prisoner number one in the facility's Torah Wing, with many inmates pleased to hear the famed former government minister and Shas kingpin will be their new roommate for the coming three years.

In his farewell address at a solidarity rally in front of the prison on Sunday, Deri stated he accepts God's verdict with love, asking forgiveness from all persons that he may have slighted during his life and career. Deri made special mention of Rabbi Eliezer Mann Shach, the leader of the Lithuanian Torah community. The Shas Party broke off from Shach's Degel HaTorah Party following a conflict, leading to broken ties between the camps.

Deri loyalists promise the affair has not ended, expressing their anger over the decision to place him in Masiyahu despite Deri's repeated requests that he be permitted to serve his sentence in the Hermon Prison in northern Israel.

Prior to surrendering himself to prison officials, Deri told supporters he did not plan to request a presidential pardon and did not want anyone doing so on his behalf. In interviews granted by Deri over past weeks, he explained that in order for one to obtain a presidential pardon, one must sign a confession of one's crimes. He stated that he was not guilty of the crimes he was convicted, adding he never took bribes or embezzled monies for himself as was decided by the courts and therefore, could never request a pardon.

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