Newsletter : 1fax0515.txt
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Egypt Claims Military Stronger Than in 1973
Egypt says its military is stronger than on the eve of the 1973 war
with Israel. The assertion was issued by Egyptian Defense Minister
Hussein Tantawi in an address to senior officers. Tantawi said
Egypt's military is in "much better condition" than in 1973 and are
prepared to defend the country from any attack.
Israeli Soldiers Kill Five Palestinian Policemen
By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli soldiers have shot and killed five Palestinian policemen.
The policemen were manning a roadside checkpoint near the West Bank
town of Beituniya, near Ramallah. The officers were killed by shots
to the head and chest in what Palestinian officials are calling a
massacre. The Israeli army said its soldiers fired at what it
called suspicious figures.
Palestinian chief Yasir Arafat called the killings assassinations
and a dirty operation, stating "Israel will pay for its crimes."
Secretary of State Colin Powell called the latest violence "very
disturbing" and said Arafat's threat was of no help.
Palestinian mourners demanded revenge for the five Palestinian
policemen killed early Monday. Palestinian cabinet minister Nabil
Amr renewed an appeal for international protection.
The killing of the policemen came hours after Israeli combat
helicopters and naval gunboats attacked Palestinian targets in the
Gaza Strip. During that assault a number of security installations
and armored vehicles were damaged or destroyed. The Israeli army
said the raids were in response to continuous Palestinian terrorist
In the central Israeli city of Petah Tikvah a large bomb was found
near a bus station and defused by police.
Hizbullah Attacks Israeli Army Post
By Edward Yeranian (VOA-Beirut)
Hizbullah guerrillas attacked an Israeli army post in the disputed
Shebaa Farms region along Lebanon's international border with
Israel. It was the first Hizbullah attack on an Israeli position in
a month. The terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack,
saying it fired rockets and heavy artillery on Israeli positions.
The Israeli Army admitted that its post had been hit, but denied
that there were any casualties. Hizbullah's official television
station, al Manar, disputed the claim, stating Israeli troops had
suffered casualties in the attack. Al Manar also said the attack
was intended, "to even the score" after Israeli jets attacked a
Syrian radar station deep inside Lebanon on April 16.
Lebanon lays claim to the Shebaa Farms, but Israel says it is a
part of the Syrian Golan Heights, which it occupied in 1967. The
United Nations has defended Israel's position, repeatedly
criticizing Lebanon for not putting an end to the border attacks.
Saddam Pledges $1 Billion to Palestinian War Effort
The Palestinian Authority expects Iraq to make good on its promise
to grant nearly $1 billion to the Palestinians to continue their
war against Israel.
PA sources said Iraqi President Saddam Hussein appears sincere in
his pledge to grant the Palestinians 1 billion euros, or more than
$900 million. The sources said Iraq and the PA have launched talks
on details of the aid.
Saddam, the sources said, is expected to grant much of the aid
directly through his Arab Liberation Front. The Baghdad-based group
has revived its activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and has
supplied allocations to families who have lost members in the war
Maccabi Tel Aviv Wins European Basketball Championship
By VOA News
Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel has won the final of the SuproLeague
Final Four, Europe's most prestigious club basketball competition,
to end a 20-year title drought.
Maccabi defeated reigning champion Panathinaikos Athens of Greece,
81-67, to claim the title Sunday in Paris. SuproLeague player of
the year Nathaniel Huffman at center and guard Ariel McDonald
helped lead the scoring as Maccabi took revenge for its loss to the
Athens team in last year's championship match.
The Israeli side trailed for most of the first quarter before
taking control with a blistering series of attacks that opened a
lead of up to 14 points before halftime. Panathinaikos regained its
composure early in the second half. But Huffman and Slovenian
national McDonald pushed the Israeli team ahead in the final
quarter to seal the victory. Maccabi's last title-win in Europe's
premier club championship was in 1981.
More than 8,000 Israelis were on hand to support the team in the
City of Light and they later swamped the streets of central Paris
with in a sea of yellow clothes, the club's distinctive flags and
The supporters in Paris were joined by thousands of others in Tel
Aviv who crowded into Yad Eliahu to watch the game on a giant
screen before converging on Rabin Square where an estimated 100,000
"You have proved what we can do when we work as an organized group.
Warmest greetings from the people of Israel. We all love you and
are proud of you," said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
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