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>Israel Faxx
>JN Sept. 12, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 156

Radio Shack is Coming to Israel

By IsraelWire

Radio Shack is planning to enter the Israeli market, promising to open 70 stores across the country by 2007. The first store is scheduled to open in Tel Aviv this month. Radio Shack officials predict three stores will be operating in the Tel Aviv area by year's end. Company officials indicate that another 10 stores are planned for 2001, setting their sights on malls around the country.

Arab Reaction to Palestinian Postponement is Mixed

By the VOA's Scott Bobb (Cairo) & Ross Dunn (Jerusalem)

Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat visited Egypt Monday to brief President Hosni Mubarak on the latest developments in the Middle East peace process.

Arafat's trip followed a Palestinian Central Council decision to postpone a declaration of Palestinian statehood for two-months. Across the Middle East, reaction to this development has been mixed.

The 129-member council announced after a two day meeting in Gaza City that the planned declaration of statehood on Sept. 13 would not go ahead. This is the target date that Israel and the Palestinians had set for reaching a final peace treaty. Arafat had threatened to unilaterally declare statehood on Sept. 13, but left the matter in the hands of the council.

Postponement of the declaration of Palestinian statehood was widely expected in the Arab world. Many Arab governments did not react immediately to the announcement.

Palestinian Planning Minister Nabil Shaath told Egyptian radio that Palestinian negotiators are determined to do what has to be done in order to save the peace process and regain Palestinian land and rights.

His sentiments were echoed by other Palestinian leaders, who expressed hope that the postponement will allow negotiators to conclude a final peace accord in the coming months.

Other Palestinian groups criticized the decision. A spokesman for the Syria-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Maher al-Taher, said his group is against postponement, because it only aids the negotiations, which his group opposes.

Taher said "it is time to put an end to the transitional period and declare the Palestinian state over all land occupied by Israel in the 1967 war." He added that his group rejects any attempt to cut up sovereignty into separate parts as part of a peace agreement and demands full implementation of UN resolutions on the issue.

Another Syria-based group, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, also rejected postponement. Its leader says this only furthers Israel's aim to establish an unarmed Palestinian state and cancel any claims by Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland.

The leader of the Gaza-based Hamas group, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, said the Palestinian Authority lost credibility by postponing the declaration. He said the only option for the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem is resistance (jihad).

Analysts believe the decision to delay declaring a state was aimed at avoiding a direct confrontation with Israel and the international community.

Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, welcomed the council's decision to postpone any unilateral move towards statehood, in the coming weeks. A spokesman for Barak says that such a declaration could have damaged efforts to reach a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel Asks For Uzbekistan's Assistance to Fight Terrorism

By IsraelWire

Haaretz reports that Uzbekistan has asked Israel to help it fight a wave of Islamic terror, and Israeli officials tend to "favorably examine" the possibility of doing so.

The outlawed "Islamic Movement" has been responsible for a wave of attacks in recent weeks aimed at establishing an Islamic state. Uzbekistan's relations with Israel have been good and Uzbekistan's president, Islam Karimov, visited Israel two years ago. Haaretz said Tashkent has asked Israel for equipment and training.

Hareidi Nahal Soldiers Enter Officer Training School

By IsraelWire

Two members of the hareidi (ultra-Orthodox) Nahal Brigade unit have entered officers training in the IDF's Training Base One. Sgts. Yossi Katzelbogen and Eliyahu Phillip became the first soldiers from the new unit to move on towards becoming officers. The two made certain to enter into the officers training for combat infantry units in the hope of one day returning to serve as commanders of the Nahal unit.

Do Students Really Hate

By Arutz-7

A major story in Monday's Yediot Acharonot blares of a survey showing that about half the high school student population "hates settlers, Arabs, and hareidim."

The exact numbers found by the survey of 6,200 students, as reported by Yediot, were that 51 percent, 50 percent, and 47 percent "hate" the settlers, Arabs, and hareidim, respectively.

In addition, 39 percent feel that way about the Likud, and 24 percent - the Labor party; 47 percent answered that they "hate" Binyamin Netanyahu, while 27 percent feel the same about Ehud Barak.

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