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>Israel Faxx
>JN Sept. 13, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 157

Foreign Minister: No Shared Sovereignty on Temple Mount

By IsraelWire

Prime Minister Ehud Barak said Monday. "The Israeli proposals offered at Camp David are no longer valid," but denied media reports that he is doing so in order to enable the Likud to join a national-unity government.

"As long as negotiations with the Palestinians continue, there is no point in inviting the Likud to join such a government," he said. Barak also said that his government will not agree to transfer the Temple Mount to foreign sovereignty: "Two thousand years ago, there was no mosque or church on the Temple Mount, but only the Jews' Holy Temple... This holy place is a fundamental anchor of our Zionist and Jewish essence."

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Shlomo Ben-Ami has proposed a symbolic functional sovereignty over Jerusalem's Temple Mount for the PLO Authority (PA) but has rejected any joint control over the holiest site to the Jewish nation.

Ben-Ami suggested a temporary solution that he felt might satisfy the PA while permitting both sides to move forward. Responding to the PA's decision to postpone the declaration of statehood, Ben-Ami stated, "It is not gesture that needs to be compensated," explaining the PA made a wise decision that will permit moving ahead with the Oslo process.

Yehuda Etzion, leader of the Chai V'Kayam movement working to increase Temple Mount awareness, reacted: "We see it as miraculous how the Temple Mount has become the stick in the spokes of the entire process. I and my colleagues always knew that the Mount was the center of everything, but now it is becoming clear that this is the feeling of many in the nation... On the other hand, we cannot remain complacent.

"The strong feelings of Barak and Ben-Ami for the Temple Mount are not deep-rooted, and we are liable to find ourselves very soon with some sort of 'creative formula' that will mean the end of the Israeli presence on the Temple Mount. I call upon all Jews to show their bonds with the holiest place to the Jewish people and go there."

American Victims Demand Abu-Honod's Extradition

By Arutz-7

Forty-four American victims of Palestinian Arab violence have called upon President Clinton to demand the extradition of terrorist Abu-Honod to the United States, in light of what they called the "lenient sentence" given him by a Palestinian court.

Abu-Honod, who is responsible for the deaths of three American citizens, 19 Israelis, and the wounding of many others, recently gave himself up to the PA after being wounded in a shootout with Israeli soldiers. He was sentenced there to 12 years in prison - not for murder, but for "harming Palestinian interests."

The victims' statement said they were "outraged" by the sentence, and that the terrorist should have been charged with mass murder. Given PA policies, they wrote, "there is reason to doubt that Abu-Honod will remain in prison even for the period of his sentence." Abu-Honod was responsible for the murder of David Boim outside Beit El in 1996, the Machane Yehuda marketplace bombing in Jerusalem in July 1997, and the Ben Yehuda street bombing a month later.

Israel Islamic Movement Members Indicted

By IsraelWire

Twenty-four Arabs have been indicted over the past two months in connection with attacks planned against Arab informants working for Israeli security agencies. Most of the persons who have been indicted to date are residents of the Israeli Arab municipality of Um el-Fahm, Wadi Ara and other areas in the region and are reported to be members of the Israel Islamic Association (IIA). Some of those indicted are also facing charges of dealing in weapons.

According to police Northern District Commander Alik Ron, this is the largest nationalist conspiracy uncovered in Israel since the 1980s.

Last year, the IIA came under attack from law-enforcement officials who alleged the Israel non-profit organization was engaged in terrorist activities. Israeli Arab clergy associated with the IIA denied the allegations, rejecting attempts to besmirch the organization which they insisted is involved only in religious and charitable activities.

Despite proof to the contrary, government ministers decided to permit the investigation to take a back seat to other issues, fearing that engaging into a legal battle with the IIA would endanger the ongoing Oslo process with the PLO Authority, despite warnings from the most senior members of the law-enforcement community that the IIA was involved in illegal and inciteful activities.

Are Bedouin Taking Over the Negev?

By Arutz-7

Ramat HaNegev Regional Council head Shmuel Rifman met with Prime Minister Ehud Barak Tuesday to discuss the worsening situation of Bedouin take-over of state-owned lands in the Negev.

Monday, a Bedouin mob forcefully prevented officials from delivering a demolition order against a new mosque currently being illegally constructed. Rifman says that the Bedouin are carrying out a purposeful policy of taking over all empty spaces in the Negev and elsewhere.

"I am afraid, for instance, that if this mosque is built, the politicians will come and not allow us to take it down. Little by little, we are losing the Negev."

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