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>JN April 18, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 66

New Home For Yad Vashem Study Center

By Arutz-7 News

The new home for Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum's International Center for Holocaust Studies was dedicated at the Yad Vashem compound. The documentation of children's testimony from the years 1944-5 will be a main focus of the Center's work, and three seminars will take place there in the coming months: The 40th anniversary of the Eichmann trial; "The Return of the Jews to the Countries from Which They Came"; and another about Nazi war crimes.


Syria Condemns Israel for Attack in Lebanon

By VOA News

Syria has strongly condemned Israel for its bombing Monday of a Syrian radar station in Lebanon. Tuesday, the official Syrian newspaper, Tishrin, accused Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of being a terrorist and pushing the Middle East toward war. Syrian officials also called on Arabs to end all forms of contact and trade with Israel. The angry rhetoric coincided with Syria's independence day.

Israel said Monday's airstrike which killed three Syrian soldiers came in response to a weekend attack by Syrian-backed Hizbullah guerrillas that killed one Israeli soldier.

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa said the Hizbullah attack was justified, calling it a legitimate response to Israel's continued occupation of Shebaa Farms. Lebanon claims the small area, which Israel held onto after withdrawing its troops from southern Lebanon last May.

Other Arab states joined in the condemnation of the Israeli air raid, with Saudi Arabia saying the Sharon government was using war to meet expansionist goals. Saudi Arabia called on the U.N. Security Council to take a stand against Israel and bring the peace process back on track. The comments came as Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri arrived in Jeddah for talks with the Saudi leadership.


Israel Pulls Out from Re-Occupied Palestinian Areas

By VOA News

Following U.S. criticism, Israel has pulled out of Palestinian-ruled areas it briefly re-occupied in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli retreat came late Tuesday following a statement by Secretary of State Colin Powell calling on Israeli troops to leave Palestinian areas. Powell said the Israeli incursion was an excessive response to recent Palestinian mortar attacks. A statement read at the State Department blamed both sides for stepped-up violence and urged both to show restraint. A U.S. spokesman said the situation was threatening to escalate further, posing a risk of broader conflict.

The Israeli army seized some Palestinian-controlled parts of Gaza and bombarded Palestinian security positions Monday night after Hamas guerrillas fired mortars at an Israeli town. Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat called Israel's action an unforgivable crime. Israel had also restricted movement along main roads, forcing Palestinians to travel in donkey carts along Gaza's Mediterranean beaches.

This was the first time since the Palestinian uprising began nearly seven months ago that Israel had taken over areas returned to the Palestinians as part of interim peace accords. Israel turned over about two-thirds of Gaza to the Palestinians in 1994.

The move to take over the area followed an attack on Gaza by Israeli combat helicopters and tanks that pounded Palestinian positions after a mortar assault on an Israeli town near Gaza. The Palestinian militant group Hamas took responsibility for the mortar barrage. Israel shelled buildings across Gaza, including a number of security installations.

Palestinian officials accused Israel of reoccupying the Gaza Strip. Palestinian cabinet minister Hassan Asfour called the Israeli move a new and dangerous step that expanded what he called the sphere of war with the Palestinians.


Germany Opens Hotline to Lure Repentant Neo-Nazis

Israel Faxx Staff Report

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that a German government hotline to help neo-Nazis quit extremism has opened. The news agency says German security authorities believe the national hotline will attract repentant extremists to contact them directly.

Federal aid ranges from protection against revenge attacks and a new identity to help in finding jobs and financial assistance, as well as possible judicial leniency.

Heinz Fromm, head of the federal security agency that tracks extremists, said many details of the program are open as Germany struggles to cope with racist and anti-Semitic crime resurgent since last year. "We don't have exaggerated expectations, but I believe we have the obligation to make such an offer," he told German Radio.

Fromm said assistance for repentant neo-Nazis would have to be worked out individually. "It could be limited to advice or we could offer material help, for example in moving out of their environment, moving house or changing job."

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