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>Israel Faxx
>JN April 26, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 72

Happy Birthday Israel:

By Golan (, April 25, 2001 - 07:04 a.m.

And Mazel Tov! Its 53 years of growth from a small-nation-in-exile into a strong democracy amidst a large swath of barbaric, hostile and undemocratic region. Just when everyone thought that Israel and the Jews would not make it during our independence, and after, they were proven wrong time and time again! May our nation prosper and bring unity into focus! And thank G_d Ariel Sharon is PM!

A Patriot Jew!

Sharon Says Iran's Secret Base Poses Threat to Israel

By Ross Dunn (VOA Jerusalem)

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Iran is building a rocket base for militant Islamic guerrillas based in Lebanon. The prime minister told the Jerusalem Post that the base will enable Hizbullah to fire long-range Katyusha rockets into the center of Israel.

Sharon said he raised the issue with the Bush administration during his visit to Washington last month, as well as discussing with U.S. officials ways to combat what he describes as a new threat to regional security.

Sharon's warning comes as Iran is hosting a conference in the capital Teheran, with the aim of giving greater support to the Palestinian uprising, which is now in its seventh month.

The Israeli leader says that he does not see any short term solution to the violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At the same time, Sharon said that Israel and the Palestinians are already engaged in talks on possible joint economic projects, including a train line to link the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

He also disclosed that Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres will be traveling to Cairo Thursday to discuss with officials there a joint Egyptian-Jordanian plan to end the violence and re-start peace negotiations.

Sharon has called for revisions to the proposal, which recommends that Israel ease sanctions against the Palestinians and pull its troops back from areas of friction in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Iran has denied the Israeli allegation that it is building a rocket base in Lebanon to mount attacks against the Jewish state. An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said the accusation is totally false. He said Israel raises such allegations in a bid to cover up its aggression on Lebanon.

Blast Kills Four Palestinians in Gaza

By VOA News

An explosion has killed four Palestinians and wounded five others in the southern Gaza Strip.

Palestinian witnesses said a charge went off at the border fence between Gaza and Egypt as the group of people was passing by. They blamed Israeli forces for planting the device. The Israeli army said it was looking into the report.

The blast came as Israel maintained a tight blockade on the Palestinian territories, while Israelis began Independence Day festivities. Minor clashes broke out in the West Bank town of Hebron and other occupied areas.

Israel says the restrictions will remain in place until early Friday. The Palestinian militant group Hamas had threatened to launch attacks during the Israeli holiday.

Radical Leaders Call on Muslims to Support Palestinians

By Dale Gavlak (VOA Cairo)

Radical Palestinian leaders are calling on Muslim states to step up support for the fight against Israel. The Palestinian leaders are in Tehran for the final day of a conference called by Iran to galvanize support for Palestinians in their fight against Israel.

The conference attracted leaders from virtually every radical group involved in the fight against Israel, including Lebanon's Hizbullah, Palestinian Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In addition, delegates from more than 30 Arab and Islamic countries attended the conference.

In a speech early Wednesday, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Jibril, called for the creation of a "united Islamic Front" to fight Israel and liberate Palestinian territory.

Hamas General-Secretary Khaled Mashal was equally blunt. He told the gathering that the radical groups want a political decision from Muslim and Arab leaders to support, financially and militarily, the Palestinian resistance.

Mohammad Khatami Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the Islamic resistance should focus on crushing Israeli actions, not diplomatic efforts. He said that Israel's attacks on Palestinians, Lebanon and Syria, clearly showed what he called "the satanic intentions of Israel and Western supporters."

The Iranian foreign ministry condemned Washington's criticism of remarks Ayatollah Khamenei made to the conference on Tuesday, when he accused Israel of exaggerating the World War II Holocaust to justify its actions against the Palestinians. The State Department called the statement "outrageous" and "deplorable."

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