Newsletter : 0fax0920.txt
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>JN Sept. 20, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 162
Cell Phone Prices Drop
Minister of Communications Binyamin Ben-Eliezer signed an order
reducing the rates for the Bezeq Telecommunications Company for
cellular subscribers. The order will drop the rate per minute to
Bezeq from 72 agorot (17 cents) to 54 agorot (13 cents). The
price will continue to drop gradually to 42 agorot (10 cents) by
2003. Prices quoted do not include a 17 percent value added tax.
Lives of 7 Million Chernobyl Victims are Threatened
By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)
A new medical study says seven-million people, including
three-million children, are at risk of life-threatening illnesses
because of nuclear contamination from the Chernobyl nuclear-reactor
in Ukraine. The results of the study were released in Jerusalem,
where a charitable group has now airlifted more than 2,000
children from the contaminated area to Israel.
When the Chernobyl nuclear power plant's reactor number four
exploded in 1986, a deadly cloud of radiation contaminated large
areas of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.
More than 14 years after the world's worst nuclear accident, a
United Nations report refers to Chernobyl as "a continuing
While 250,000 people have been evacuated from the worst-affected
areas, millions of people still live with dangerous levels of
More than 11,000 cases of thyroid cancer have been reported, and
evidence suggests that lung, heart and kidney problems can also be
traced to radiation released from Chernobyl.
Phyllis Lee is the United Nations official responsible for
coordinating the international response to the Chernobyl disaster.
"At least 100 times as much radiation fell on Chernobyl that day in
April in 1986 as by the two atomic bombs combined in Hiroshima and
Nagasaki. But the catastrophe is far from over for more than
seven-million people who still live in the affected areas, and this
includes three-million children."
An Israeli-based charitable organization, Chabad's Children of
Chernobyl, has airlifted more than 2,000 young people from the
affected areas for treatment in Israel.
The organization released a new medical study (Tuesday) showing
that children living there, including those born after the
meltdown, remain at high risk of developing life-threatening health
The organization's medical liaison, Jay Litvin, says the situation
is getting worse, not better.
"We fear that nearly 15 years after the disaster, the only disaster
in the world that seems to be getting worse with time rather than
getting better, is threatened to be forgotten. This
forgetfulness comes not by intent, but simply by human nature,
which after 15 years and numerous disasters that come between
Chernobyl and today, we have seen too much other tragedy in the
world as well. As the world threatens to forget this disaster, it
means that children will be forgotten -- children who are under the
threat of becoming sicker as each year goes by."
The international community has pledged large sums of money for
maintaining safety at the reactor site. However, the United Nations
has had trouble raising funds for humanitarian needs.
Officials with Chabad's Children of Chernobyl say they hope to
airlift another 1,000 young people to Israel in the next few years.
Barak: Peace is Depends on Jerusalem
By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak says any peace agreement between
Israel and the Palestinians will have to settle the difficult
dispute over Jerusalem.
In remarks on Israel radio, Barak said there can not be a peace
treaty with the Palestinians unless agreement is reached on the
future status of Jerusalem.
Barak said a peace accord without settling the Jerusalem dispute
would be a return to the policy of - the ostrich sticking its head
in the sand - by pretending the issue does not exist.
The prime minister was reacting to suggestions by several Israeli
officials to delay negotiations over Jerusalem and try to reach
agreement on other issues dividing the two sides.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are stalled because
of a sovereignty dispute over an important religious site in
Jerusalem known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the
Noble Sanctuary (Haram al-Sharif).
Negotiators have made little public progress since the U.S.
sponsored Camp David summit ended last July without agreement.
Nationality to be Removed from ID Cards
Acting Minister of the Interior Haim Ramon announced plans for the
elimination of the statement of one's nationality from the teudat
zehut identification cards. Officials explain the change may be
implemented with the approval of the Knesset Law Committee and does
not demand a government or Knesset approval.
Melchior said 62 percent of new immigrants, who immigrated this
year to Israel from the CIS, are non-Jews and therefore, have no
connection with the State of Israel.
Melchior is seeking to eliminate the grandchild clause of the Law
of Return, pointing out that although many of the immigrants may be
fine people, they have no connection with the Jewish state.
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