Newsletter : 1fax0425.txt
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>JN April 25, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 71
Iran Says Israel Understands Combat, Not Dialogue
By VOA News
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Iran's supreme leader has called for
stepped-up armed struggle against Israel, rejecting dialogue to
resolve the conflict in the Middle East. Khamenei spoke Tuesday in
Tehran at the opening of a two-day conference aimed at boosting
support for the Palestinian uprising.
The Iranian leader declared that supporting the Palestinian people
in their fight against Israeli occupation is one of the important
duties of all Muslims.
Khamenei claimed that Zionists exaggerated the size of the
Holocaust to win sympathy for a Jewish state. He said that Zionists
worked closely with the Nazis during World War II to fabricate
statistics on the number of Jews who were killed.
Historians agree that the Nazis killed around six million European
Jews between 1940 and 1945. The catastrophe led to mass Jewish
immigration after the war to what was then British-ruled Palestine.
The Tehran conference has brought together delegates from more than
30 Arab and Islamic countries along with hard-core anti-Israel
groups including Hizbullah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic
Hizbullah head Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said Islamic countries
should give practical assistance to the Palestinians, saying it was
the Arab world's fate to battle the Jewish state. He said Israel
should expect more attacks from Palestinian militant groups.
The United States blasted comments made by Iran's supreme leader
concerning the Holocaust at a pro-Palestinian international
conference. The U.S. State Department denounced as "outrageous" and
"deplorable" a statement by Ayatollah Ali Khameini that Zionists
exaggerated the size of the Holocaust to win sympathy for a Jewish
Violence Mars Israeli, Palestinian Efforts at Security
By VOA News
Violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continued Tuesday despite
progress toward restoring security between Israelis and
Palestinians. Israeli soldiers shot and killed two Palestinians in
two separate incidents.
The Israeli army said soldiers shot 40-year-old Youssef Abu Hamda
after he tried to cross the border into Israel from the northern
Gaza Strip. Later, 24-year-old Ira al-Hirish was shot during a
clash between Israeli troops and stonethrowing Palestinians in the
West Bank town of Qalqilya. Also, Palestinians fired three mortar
shells on a Jewish settlement in southern Gaza. No injuries were
Monday night, Israel promised to increase access to Palestinian
towns and villages in return for greater Palestinian efforts to
prevent attacks on Israelis.
Israel Imposes Tighter Blockade on Palestinians
By VOA News
Israel has imposed a tighter blockade on Palestinian territories
over fears of violence during independence celebrations by the
Jewish state. The security measures were announced late Tuesday as
Israel launched its Memorial Day for fallen soldiers. Israel's army
said measures that include sealing off Palestinian towns and
closing down border crossings would continue until early Friday.
Celebrations for Israel's 53rd independence anniversary end late
Thursday. Israel has sealed off Palestinian areas with varying
degrees of intensity in recent months.
Despite Israeli-Palestinian violence that killed two Palestinians
on Tuesday, the United States said it believes the two sides are
seriously "exploring" ways to end the seven-month cycle of deadly
clashes. However, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was quoted
Tuesday of accusing Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat of being
directly behind the Palestinian uprising.
Meanwhile, top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat accused Israel of
trying to sabotage a Jordanian-Egyptian security proposal, after
Israeli officials said they wanted modifications.
Monday night, Israel promised to lift its blockade on the West Bank
town of Jericho in the coming days following overnight security
talks mediated by the United States. Jericho's important tourist
industry, which used to attract many Israelis, has been devastated by
the Israeli blockade.
Memorial Day Tonight, Followed By Independence Day
By Arutz-7 News
Tuesday night's official ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
marked the onset of Memorial Day for Israel's Fallen Soldiers. A
minute-long siren was sounded throughout the country last night,
and a two-minute siren will be heard Wednesday morning.
Some 9,312 soldiers have fallen since the War of Independence. Tens
of thousands of people are expected to visit 42 military cemeteries
around the country before Independence Day festivities begin
The population of Israel on Independence Day Eve 2001 is 6.4
million people. 81%, or 5.2 million, of these are Jews, including
200,000 new immigrants who are not recognized as Jews in the
population registry. This proportion of 81% is practically the same
as it was when the State was established in 1948.
On average, 360 babies were born in Israel, and 150 new immigrants
arrived, every day in the year that passed. The population grew by
2.4%, less than last year but still significantly higher than in
developed countries. Two-thirds of Israelis were born in Israel.
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