Newsletter : 1fax0820.txt
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>JN Aug. 20, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 141
Zionism Remains On Racism Conference Agenda
By VOA News
South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says a draft
declaration equating Zionism with racism remains on the agenda of
the United Nations conference on racism that opens in Durban at the
end of this month.
The United States has threatened to boycott or severely limit its
participation at the World Conference Against Racism because of the
proposed description of Zionism and because of African demands for
Israel Retaliates with Attack on Palestinian Post
By VOA's Ross Dunn in Jerusalem & Paula Wolfson in Washington
Israeli helicopters have fired missiles at a Palestinian Force 17
security post in the Gaza Strip. Israel said Sunday's attack was in
retaliation for Palestinian mortar fire on a Jewish settlement in
the area, which wounded one Israeli. Earlier Sunday, Israeli troops
killed two Palestinians in separate attacks in Gaza and the West
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said his government
is engaged in covert commando operations to protect Israelis
against the threat of Palestinian bombers.
In other comments Sunday, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
said on U.S. television he wants a new round of peace talks, but
repeated the Israeli position that fighting must first stop.
Peres said that he expects to meet soon with Palestinian leader
Yasir Arafat in the hope that the two sides can negotiate an end to
the violence. But Palestinian cabinet ministers said that talks are
unlikely to produce a diplomatic breakthrough.
Peres said he wants to see a new round of peace talks, but for now
the focus must be on ending the violence. "The Palestinians are
suffering. They are tired. We are paying a very high cost and we
want to bring an end to it."
A few minutes later, on the same broadcast, Palestinian negotiator
Saeb Erekat seized on that theme. He called for immediate
negotiations without conditions - an idea already rejected by the
Israelis. "I invite Mr. Peres to come and to resume the
negotiations on all the political issues. Because I trust that Mr.
Peres believes that it is cheaper for Palestinians and Israelis to
negotiate for five years than to exchange bullets for five
Also on U.S. television, leading Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi
accused the United States of taking what she called a "hands-off"
approach to solving the Mideast crisis. Ashrawi said she believes
U.S. influence in the region is being diminished as a result of
Ashrawi was critical of the Bush administration, saying the
President is not sufficiently engaged in the Middle East. "It seems
to me on the one hand you have moral and political bankruptcy in
Israel, and on the other hand you have a moral and political lack
of will in the U.S."
President Bush has been asked several times in recent days about
the situation in the Middle East. His response was always the same:
the United States wants to help, but the Israelis and the
Palestinians must display the will to make peace.
Sharon: U.S. to Launch Israeli Satellites for Free
By Israel's Business Arena
NASA has agreed to launch Israeli satellites from space shuttles
without payment. Satellite launches cost tens of millions of
The agreement to use the NASA space shuttle fleet to launch Israeli
satellites was reached at a meeting last week among Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon and NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin. The Prime
Minister's Office did not state what satellites would be launched,
but was believed to be only non-civilian satellites.
Until now, Israel used only its own launch vehicles to launch its
military satellites. The heavy launch cost is one of the factors in
the delay of the defense establishment's space program. All
launches are directed westward, in contrast to the usual eastward
launch direction used by the global space market, because Israel
cannot launch military satellites over Arab states.
Israel Offers to Rent Apartments for Homeless
By Israel's Business Arena
Yediot Ahronot has reported that the Ministries of Finance,
Immigrant Absorption, and Housing and Construction will begin
carrying out a plan to rent apartments for homeless people this
week. Under the plan, the State will rent thousands of apartments
on the private market under long-term leases of up to 10 years,
mostly in desirable central region areas.
The new plan is designed to provide a solution for 55,000 new
immigrants aged 60 and over, who are waiting for hostels. The State
will publish advertisements in the coming days offering to rent
apartments from the public in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Ramat Gan, Holon, Bat
Yam, Petah Tikva, Rishon LeZion and Rehovot. Seven thousand
elderly immigrants have been waiting several years for housing in
New immigrants renting the apartments for long periods will receive
a grant covering 95 percent of the rent. The government will choose
a private firm to manage its apartment inventory, contact apartment
owners, and create an inventory of apartments for rent. If
successful, the plan will be expanded to the entire country.
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