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>Israel Faxx
>JN Aug. 22, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 143

Knesset Member Insults Peres


Herut Party Knesset member Michael Kleiner said Tuesday that Foreign Minister Shimon Peres holds the Israeli record for crawling on all four.

Kleiner stated that it was "degrading" that Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat agreed to meet with Peres.

No Casualties Reported from Jerusalem Bomb

By VOA News & Israel Faxx Staff

Israeli police and Magen David Adom officials report no one was hurt by a bomb blast in central Jerusalem Tuesday. A police spokesman said the small bomb was placed under a car parked close to police headquarters in an area known as the Russian Compound. Police found a second, larger 22-pound bomb inside the trunk. It was eventually neutralized.

In Beirut, a group calling itself the Popular Army Front - Return Battalion issued a claim of responsibility.

Less than two weeks ago, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 15 people and himself in a Jerusalem pizza restaurant filled with families at lunchtime.

Following an initial investigation police said the bomb was a terror attack although the car, a white Subaru, was not stolen, as is often the case in terror attacks. Police arrested the owner of the Subaru, an Arab from East Jerusalem.

Ha'Aretz quoted Jerusalem Police Chief Mickey Levi as saying that the bomb inside the car was very big and contained nails. He said the smaller bomb was intended to draw rescue workers to the car, and the larger bomb was then meant to explode and cause as many injuries as possible.

Peres Ready To Meet Arafat

By Stefan Bos (VOA-Budapest)

Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said he was ready to meet Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat in an effort to stop Israeli-Palestinian violence. Peres said he welcomed Arafat's proposal for a meeting, although he did not elaborate about a possible location for any talks.

Arafat told reporters in the West Bank town of Ramallah after a meeting with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer Tuesday, that he is prepared to meet the Israeli foreign minister in Berlin.

Peres said in Budapest that he hopes the meeting will lead to an end of the Palestinian uprising, known as the intifada, and 11 months of bloodshed. "I feel that with words we can reach much more than with bombs.

"And I think that the intifada is costly not only to Israel but also to the Palestinians. And we would like to bring an end to the suffering as soon as we can."

Peres, who was on a one day visit in Hungary, suggested to reporters that he wants to schedule the talks with the Palestinian leader as soon as possible. "I intend to see him in the near future. I think when I went to Budapest, he went to Beijing. So when we return home, we shall try to organize a meeting."

Peres also discussed the Middle East crisis with Hungarian government officials, including Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi.

The Israeli foreign minister suggested he has a special relationship with Hungary, explaining that Budapest was the birthplace of Theodor Herzl, a founder of the Zionist movement - which led to the creation of the Jewish state - and which Peres said changed the course of Jewish history.

Hungary was also the first East European country to recognize Israel after the collapse of communism. Peres urged Hungary and other European countries to play a more active role in the Middle East peace process.

He also said that improved U.S. European relations will help in fighting terrorism. "I feel that today there is an easier relationship between the United States and Europe," Peres said. "It is no longer as confrontational as it used to be in the past. And I feel that there is an attempt to have a united line concerning terror, where Russia joins in and others."

Peres said there can only be a political - and no military - solution to the problems in the Middle East, which he hopes all sides will soon recognize.

Thousands Participate in Cape Town Anti-Israeli March

By VOA News

Thousands of African Muslims have marched in Cape Town, South Africa, to protest what they call Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

Police estimate that at least 15,000 Muslim protesters took to the streets chanting anti-Israeli slogans. They marched to the gates of parliament where they presented to government officials a memorandum condemning Israel.

The march coincided with a torch-lighting ceremony in Pretoria designed to symbolize the country's opposition to racism. Tuesday had been designated Torches of Tolerance Day in South Africa in which citizens were encouraged to light torches or turn on car headlights to show their commitment to racial tolerance.

Both events come 10 days before the beginning of the U.N. World Conference against Racism, to be held in Durban. The African Muslim demonstrators support Arab efforts to add language to the racism conference official statement equating Zionism with racism.

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