Newsletter : 1fax1109.txt
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>JN Nov. 9, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 186
Southern Residents Arrested for Smuggling Palestinians
A resident of the southern community of Moshav Shuva, near Netivot,
was apprehended by security forces after he smuggled PA residents
into "Israel proper," realizing the laborers were not permitted to
cross the Green Line.
One of the three laborers was apprehended in the Yad Mordehai
region. Police set up roadblocks and checkpoints in the Negev area
in search for the other two.
Suicide Bomber Suspect Dies During Israeli Raid
By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)
A Palestinian man suspected of planning a suicide bombing in Israel
blew himself up Thursday in the West Bank as Israeli commandos
closed in on his hideout.
Israel said two commandos were injured during the raid in the
Palestinian village of Baka al-Sharkiyeh near the line that
separates Israel and the West Bank. The Islamic militant group
Hamas identified the bomber as one of its members from the West
Bank town of Tulkarm.
The raid came as Israeli security forces were on alert in the
center and north of Israel after receiving warnings that a
Palestinian militant was planning to carry out a suicide bombing.
Israel has accused Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat of failing to
arrest militants involved in terrorist attacks against Israelis.
Arafat said he is making a real effort to crack down on militant
groups, but Palestinian officials said he cannot be expected to
carry out large scale arrests while Israeli soldiers are raiding
In Washington, Palestinian Planning Minister Nabil Shaath pressed
the United States to get more involved in Middle East peace
efforts. After meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Shaath
said that an assertive role by the United States is the only viable
Israeli Forces Fire on Jordanian Diplomatic Vehicle
By VOA News
Jordan wants Israel to formally explain why its forces allegedly
fired at a car with Jordanian diplomatic license plates in the Gaza
Strip. The incident took place Thursday near the Erez crossing as
the vehicle was on its way to Jordan from Gaza. Two Jordanians in
the car escaped unharmed. Jordan maintains a diplomatic office in
Israeli officials say that as the Jordanian car approached the
crossing, a grenade was thrown at soldiers manning a post there.
The Israelis say the soldiers fired in the direction from which the
grenade apparently came. They say the soldiers had no intention of
firing on the Jordanian vehicle.
Israeli Arab Lawmaker Loses Parliamentary Immunity
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel's parliament has stripped an Arab lawmaker of his immunity,
making it possible for the government to prosecute him on criminal
charges. The lawmaker, Azmi Bishara, is accused of incitement
against Israel and arranging illegal visits to Syria for Israeli
The Knesset, the Israeli parliament, voted 61-30 to lift Arab
lawmaker Azmi Bishara's immunity. It is the first time in the
country's history that a member of the Knesset has been stripped of
such protection for political statements.
The Israeli attorney general who asked the Knesset to lift
Bishara's immunity is now expected to prosecute him on two charges.
The first relates to a speech he made in Syria, in which he called
on Arab countries to support "the Palestinian people's struggle"
and praised Hizbullah guerrilla fighters in Lebanon. This is
considered incitement against Israel. Bishara denied the charges,
saying he "never incited to violence."
Bishara also faces charges that he organized trips to Syria for
Arab citizens of Israel. While Bishara is allowed to travel to
Syria legally on his diplomatic passport, ordinary citizens are
prohibited from visiting a country which is deemed to be "at war"
with Israel. Bishara admitted organizing such trips, but said he
was acting out of humanitarian concerns, in order to allow Arab
citizens of Israel to visit their relatives in Syria.
The lifting of his parliamentary immunity does not mean that
Bishara, a Christian from Nazareth, has to give up his seat in the
Knesset. But he says the legal challenges against him will, in his
words, hamper his political activity.
The Knesset has voted 30 times in the past to lift immunity for
members, but all the previous cases involved traffic offenses or
alleged crimes such as accepting bribes.
Jews And Israel
The Tourism Ministry released a survey this week showing that 94
percent of the tourists who leave Israel plan to recommend to their
friends to come to Israel at this time. Some 98 percent of
British and American tourists would do so, compared with 92 percent
of the French and 91 percent of the Germans.
The newly instated Tourism Minister Benny Elon has an ambitious
plan to bring world Jewry to Israel - at least for a visit. He is
planning to invest major resources and efforts in this area, as
well as in bringing Christian supporters of Israel.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the Guardian in London, "We
are planning now to bring another 1 million Jews to Israel." The
Guardian article presented the plan as a "threat" against the
Palestinian Authority, when in actuality Sharon mentioned it as
part of the traditional Israeli program of "building the land."
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