Newsletter : 1fax0402.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
>JN April 2, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 59
Israeli Municipal Workers Strike
By VOA News
Municipal workers in Israel went on strike Sunday, pledging not to
pick up garbage or provide social services until the government
agrees to their financial demands.
Some 100,000 workers walked off the job in 250 municipalities at
dawn to enforce demands for a 3 percent salary increase. In
ordering the walkout, the union ignored warnings from police that
piles of uncollected garbage left on the streets could be used by
terrorists as hiding places for bombs.
Israelis, Palestinians Bury Children Killed in Clashes
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel arrested six members of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's
elite Force 17 guard Sunday, as mourners from both sides buried
children killed in the conflict. Tensions are mounting after the
worst single week in six months of clashes between Palestinians and
Israeli security forces.
There were exchanges of gunfire in the West Bank town of Hebron
after Jewish settlers marched to an ancient cemetery for the burial
of Shalhevet Pas, a 10-month-old baby killed by a Palestinian
sniper one week ago. She is the youngest victim of the violent
clashes that since last October have killed more than 450 people,
nearly all of them Palestinians.
Shalhevet's parents had originally refused to bury the child until
Israeli forces recaptured the Palestinian-controlled hill in the
town from where the fatal shot was fired.
But despite the refusal of the Israeli army to accede to this
request, the funeral went ahead at the urging of religious leaders
who said the burial had to be held without further delay to fulfill
During the funeral procession of approximately 3,000 Jewish
settlers and their supporters, some Israeli youths hurled rocks and
broke windows of homes of Palestinian residents.
Kiryat Arba Rabbi Dov Lior eulogized the murdered baby: "From this
holy place, we call to the Government of Israel and he who stands
at its helm: The girl Shalhevet [flame], who ignited the fire, who
lit the torch of strength and heroism, felt free to toddle around
here without fear. The government, too, must also gird itself
with strength and wipe out the terrorism once and for all."
After the burial, Palestinian snipers again fired from the hill
known as Abu Sneneih overlooking a Jewish neighborhood. Israeli
soldiers returned fire.
Hebron is home to more than 400 Jewish settlers, who live in the
center of the town, surrounded by more than 100,000 Palestinians.
Israeli troops are permanently stationed in Hebron to protect the
Palestinians also buried their dead, including an 11-year-old boy
who died Sunday from wounds suffered earlier. They have vowed to
continue their struggle until they have an independent state with
Jerusalem as its capital.
Israel's Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, insists there can be no
return to negotiations about a Palestinian homeland until the
Israel's army raided a roadblock and arrested six members of
Arafat's presidential guard, known as Force 17. Last week, Israeli
helicopters attacked Force 17 headquarters in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip. The government claims the Palestinian unit has been
behind a series of attacks against Israeli citizens.
Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer has warned he is
ready to take stronger actions to stop the six-month Palestinian
uprising. Palestinian militant groups have called for more attacks
Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres travels this week
to Sweden which currently holds the rotating European Union
presidency. Israeli radio says he will repeat Israel's opposition
to the proposed deployment of international observers to
Iraq-Syria Trade Pact Takes Effect
By VOA News
Iraq's government says a free-trade agreement it signed with Syria
earlier this year has taken effect. Iraq signed the free-trade pact
with Syria in January, despite being under continuing international
Estimated trade volume between the two countries could reach $1
billion this year, up from $500 million. Syria says the trade falls
within the limited exchanges permitted by the United Nations.
Iraq and Syria broke off diplomatic ties in 1980 when Damascus
supported Tehran in the Iran-Iraq war. Ties have been improving
since 1997. Baghdad has also signed recent free trade agreements
with Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)