Newsletter : 1fax0817.txt
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>JN Aug. 17, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 140
International Tehillim Campaign
On Rosh Chodesh Elul (Aug 19) at 8 p.m. in Israel (1 p.m. Eastern
Daylight Time), the entire world Jewish community is encouraged to
participate in a worldwide Tehillim (Psalms) recitation on behalf
of Israel. Psalms to be recited included chapters 79, 83 and 142.
U.S., Russia Call For Resumption of Israeli-Palestinian Talks
By VOA News
Secretary of State Colin Powell and Russian Foreign Minister Igor
Ivanov have called on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to
resume direct talks as soon as possible.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Powell and Ivanov had a telephone
conversation Wednesday. A ministry statement said the two leaders
reaffirmed their support for the Mitchell Commission proposals.
The commission, headed by former Sen. George Mitchell, has called
for an end to violence, to be followed by a six-week "cooling-off"
period, before moves toward peace can resume.
Israeli Military Report: Conflict Could Last Years, Escalate
By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli military planners said the current conflict with the
Palestinians could last for years and might escalate into a
The Israeli army believes the violent confrontation with the
Palestinians could last until 2006, the full period covered by the
five-year strategic assessment being prepared by military planners.
The report, quoted by the daily Ha'aretz newspaper, said the best
Israel could expect was to negotiate a temporary reduction in the
violence with the Palestinians, but said even that was unlikely.
The assessment said the conflict could deteriorate into a regional
war, either because of an escalation with the Palestinians or a
confrontation along the Lebanese border with Hizbullah guerrillas
and Syria. Israeli military planners predicted that the Palestinian
Authority would not collapse.
They said Palestinian chief Yasir Arafat was likely to remain in
control, but that his ability to implement decisions would
weaken because of the growing power of more radical Palestinian
Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said he does not
believe there would be a regional war, but acknowledged the
conflict with the Palestinians "is a problem that does not seem to
have a solution in the foreseeable future."
Ben-Eliezer said the buildup of Israeli tanks and troops this week
on the outskirts of the West Bank town of Beit Jala, is designed to
stop Palestinian gunmen from firing into the nearby Jewish
community of Gilo. "We consider the shooting through Gilo as
something that Israel can not live with," Ben-Eliezer said.
"What we have done is just trying to consider the promise given by
Mr. Yasir Arafat that he is trying to guarantee that no one will
shoot from there. As long as this will exist, we will keep quiet
there. Our presence there is only to guarantee our security, and
that everyone will know that there is a line that no one can
Ben-Eliezer confirmed that he called off a military incursion into
Beit Jala earlier this week, after receiving assurances from
Palestinians that the shooting at Gilo would stop.
Israelis regard Gilo as a neighborhood of Jerusalem, although the
community was built on disputed land captured by Israel in the 1967
Middle East war.
Peres: Israel Will Revise Offer
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres feels that Israel did not offer the
Palestinians enough at Camp David last year.
Although the Barak government proposed the transfer of some 96
percent of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, as well as most of the Old City
of Jerusalem, Peres told NBC that "Israel will surely make
revisions in the offers it made in Camp David." Peres
represents the furthest-left wing of the national unity government.
Also during the interview, the minister expressed satisfaction
that the Palestinians had stopped their firing from Beit Jala at
the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo without being forced to
do so by the Israeli army. He said that Israel would continue to
"strike at terrorist enclaves" within the PA when necessary and
would then withdraw.
Fifth Class of Enlistees in Haredi IDF Unit
Eighty-five new recruits have been inducted into the Haredi
(Ultra-Orthodox) combat unit known as "the Haredi Nachal." They are
the fifth class to be inducted into the unit, which has been
considered a tremendous success.
Thus far, two companies of soldiers have enlisted in the unit and,
according to Israel Radio, it has just had a regimental commander
assigned to it. Several of the Ultra-Orthodox soldiers are
currently participating in officer courses.
The "Haredi Nachal" was meant to solve the problem of
ultra-Orthodox youth who could not find their place in the yeshiva
world, with its full-time regimen of Torah learning. The unique
unit allows for the strictest of religious observances and
traditions, time for some Torah studies and lectures and Rabbinical
advisors in constant contact with the recruits.
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