Newsletter : 1fax0403.txt
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>JN April 3, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 60
Israeli Charged with Murder and Selling Weapons to Palestinians
By VOA News
A Jewish man has been arrested for murder and the theft of weapons
that he allegedly sold to Palestinians. Police said the suspect
employed six Arab workers to carry out his plan in Kibbutz Menara
in northern Israel.
All seven suspects have now confessed to their crimes. The victim
was a kibbutz security officer. Most of the stolen arms, M-16
assault rifles and large quantities of ammunition, were allegedly
sold to Palestinians.
Palestinian Militant, Israeli Soldier Dead in Latest Violence
By VOA News
Israeli helicopter gunships killed an activist of the militant
group Islamic Jihad in a rocket attack on his car in the Gaza strip
Monday, and in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Palestinians shot
dead an Israeli soldier.
Palestinian security officials and witnesses say the Gaza victim
was driving in the southern town of Rafah when rockets struck his
car, burning it to twisted metal. Another man in the car was
injured, along with several bystanders.
An Israel Air Force Cobra helicopter gunship fired two or three
missiles at the car, killing leading Islamic Jihad terrorist
Muhammed Abdel Al, a major planner of the Beit Lid terrorist attack
six years ago, which killed over 20 soldiers. In the summer of
1994, he killed an IDF soldier near Morag Junction in Gaza. He also
masterminded the attacks against school buses in Kfar Darom and
The attack appeared to be the latest in a series of targeted
assassinations by Israeli forces of Palestinians suspected in
anti-Israeli bombings. Israel Radio said the Jihad activist was on
Israel's most-wanted list. Spokesmen for Islamic Jihad promised
Also Monday, an Israeli soldier was killed during a gun battle with
Palestinians in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. Each side blamed
the other for the fighting. Several Palestinians, including
children, were wounded when Israeli tanks fired rounds at refugee
camps in the town. Elsewhere, a car bomb exploded near a group of
Israeli soldiers in the Nablus area of the West Bank, but the army
says no one was hurt.
Bush Says U.S. Will Participate in Peace Process
By Deborah Tate (VOA-White House)
President Bush urged Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak to use his
influence in the region to encourage Palestinian leader Yasir
Arafat to end the violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
Bush signaled that Arafat bears most of the responsibility
for ending the violence that has been ongoing since September.
Bush, who has so far refused to schedule a meeting with Arafat,
gave no indication he was backing down from that position during
his meeting Monday with the Egyptian president.
A senior U.S. official told reporters that Bush pressed Mubarak to
persuade Arafat to end the bloodshed so that peace talks can
resume. The Egyptian president wields much influence in the region
as the first Arab leader to make peace with Israel and leader of
the most populous Arab nation. The U.S. official said Mubarak, in
turn, urged Bush to use his influence with the Israelis to urge
them to use restraint.
Bush assured Mubarak that the United States would have a role to
play in the search for peace in the Middle East. "The role for
strong countries like ourselves and Egypt is to encourage, first,
the violence to end, and, secondly, for discussions to begin again.
And I am very optimistic and hopeful that we will be able to
Palestinians: Israel Plays with Fire
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Palestinian leaders have accused Israel of "playing with fire,"
following the abduction of members of Palestinian leader Yasir
Arafat's elite unit known as Force 17. Five security force members
and a Palestinian civilian were seized during an Israeli undercover
operation in the West Bank and taken into custody.
The operation is being seen as a dramatic turning point since the
start of Israeli-Palestinian clashes more than six months ago. The
incident marks the first time Israeli soldiers have mounted such a
commando mission inside an area that is under full Palestinian
In the past, Israeli security forces had restricted themselves to
areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip where they have clear
authority under the peace accords.
The head of Palestinian Preventative Security in the West Bank,
Colonel Jibril Rajoub, says the Israelis will have to accept
responsibility for the consequences of their actions. He says the
Israelis have "crossed a red line" and "are playing with fire."
The head of Israel's defense forces, General Shaul Mofaz, said the
action is entirely justified in response to a recent wave of terror
attacks inside the Jewish state, including two suicide bombings
last week. He said all of the systems of the Palestinian Authority
are "contaminated by terror."
The mission was carried out by the Israeli undercover unit, known
as the Duvdevan. It happened near the West Bank town of Ramallah,
two kms inside Palestinian controlled territory. Those arrested
were reportedly targeted because they have "blood on their hands,"
according to Israeli security officials.
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