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Monday, September 18, 2000
Ha'aretz: PA granted dozens of jailed Islamic Jihad, Hamas terrorists "extended vacation"

By Amos Harel Ha'aretz Military Correspondent Ha'aretz 18 Septemebr
2000

Over the past several weeks, the Palestinian Authority has granted extended
vacation leaves to dozens of jailed Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists, among
them militants who were involved in serious terror attacks against Israel.Ha'aretz: PA granted dozens of jailed Islamic Jihad, Hamas terrorists "extended vacation"

By Amos Harel Ha'aretz Military Correspondent Ha'aretz 18 Septemebr
2000

Over the past several weeks, the Palestinian Authority has granted extended
vacation leaves to dozens of jailed Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists, among
them militants who were involved in serious terror attacks against Israel.

Israeli military authorities view the return of the Palestinian "revolving
door" with mounting concern.

The release of the activists is seen as an effort by the PA to soothe
relations with the fundamentalist groups. Recently, convicts have been
released in small groups every few days, for leaves of a week or longer.

Some of the men had been held without trial, others were serving long
sentences of 10 to 20 years.

Israeli security sources said that some of those released were involved in
Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror attacks carried out after the signing of the
Oslo agreement, and were arrested, in the main, following the wave of bus
bombings in early 1996.

A number were involved in setting bombs that later injured Israelis.

Israeli officials fear that the freed prisoners will take advantage of the
vacations to resume contacts with other activists outside prison walls.

Israeli sources view the vacations as an effort by the Authority to take a
middle course, instead of a full prisoner release, in order to avoid
criticism by U.S. officials. The sources said the measure, intended to calm
fundamentalist leaders, was also apparently made conditional on pledges to
refrain from terror attacks at the present sensitive stage of peace
negotiations.

It was carried out at a time when security cooperation between Israeli and
Palestinian authorities is at a relatively positive level and has been
lauded by Israeli defense establishment figures.

A senior military source told Ha'aretz the step may be linked to such other
recent Palestinian moves as arresting suspected collaborators with Israel,
and stepping up the Palestinian security presence in "B" Areas.

"From the Palestinians' standpoint, we're in a 'twilight time' now; the
interim agreements have formally expired, the declaration of Palestinian
statehood has been postponed at least until November 15.

"It appears that it's now time, in their view, for steps that will change,
to some degree, the reality on the ground."

An IDF Central Command officer said that over the last month there had been
a steep rise in the number of suspected collaborators arrested by the
Palestinian intelligence apparatus. Most of the collaborators, who now live
within the Green Line, were arrested while visiting their families in the
territories, in areas under Israeli security control. The arrests were in
violation of the Oslo accords, which forbid the Authority from arresting
Israeli citizens.

000918100009189/18/00 0:00:0012/30/99 22:25:57EXCERPTS: Sabra and Shatila.Reprinted from Ha'aretz.Arab red line 17 September 2000EXCERPTS: Sabra and Shatila.EXCERPTS: Sabra and Shatila.Reprinted from Ha'aretz.Arab red line 17 September 2000

JORDAN TIMES 17 Sept.'00: " Massacre of Palestinians at refugee camps
remembered"

QUOTES FROM TEXT:
"Relatives of the victims point an accusing finger at Elie
Hobeika, now an
outgoing pro-Syrian member of parliament who was then the
intelligence chief
for the Lebanese forces."

"There is no inscription at the cemetary where all year round
market traders
dump rotten fruit and vegetables and where wastewater from local
houses
runs and gives off nauseating smells. On the dry part ...
children play soccer."

"Abu Maher Yamani, one of the founders of the Popular Front for
the
Liberation of Palestine ...condemned `the horrible massacre
carried out by
Zionists and their agents'. "
============================================================================
======

EXCERPTS:
BEIRUT (AFP) - Palestinians and Lebanese commemorated the 18th
anniversary on Saturday of the massacre ... at the Sabra and Shatila
refugee camps in Beirut.
. . .
Relatives of the victims point an accusing finger at Elie Hobeika, now
an
outgoing pro-Syrian member of parliament who was then the intelligence
chief for the Lebanese forces. He denies all responsibility for the
massacre.

For the first time since the massacre, a foreign delegation attended a
rally in
memory of the victims buried in a common grave. The Italian delegation
was
led by European Parliamentarian Luisa Morgantini.

The burial site in wasteland covered with ochre-coloured sand and
surrounded by a wall and a group of small houses has recently been
whitewashed by the local authority.

There is no inscription at the cemetery where all year round market
traders
dump rotten fruit and vegetables and where wastewater from local houses

runs and gives off nauseating smells. On the dry part of the cemetery,
children play soccer.

Young Palestinians draped in Palestinian flags headed Saturday's
procession
from Shatila, which was followed by a troupe playing Scottish bagpipes
... .

Lebanese, Palestinians and members of the Italian delegation then
gathered
in the cemetery for speeches.
. . .
Morgantini said: "It is totally unacceptable that the cemetery is in
such a
state; it should be turned into a mausoleum and sealed off to stop it
being
profaned."
. . .
Following the Israeli pullout from Beirut which followed the massacre,
the
Palestinians put up a commemorative plaque around the mass grave.

But during the fighting between the Palestinians and the Lebanese Amal
militia from 1985 to 1988, the cemetery was left to waste.

There were also two smaller marches to commemorate the anniversary of
the massacre in the West Bank towns of Nablus and Bethlehem.

+++JORDAN TIMES 17 Sept.'00: "Pro-peace paper to appear in Jordan"
By Daniel
Sobelman

QUOTES FROM TEXT:
"the magazine secured the necessary publishing licence from the
government.
. No Jordanian printer was ready to take on the job, so eventually
the job
went to a Ramallah printing plant."

" `I'm a bedouin, born in this land, and I think if the King signed
an international
peace treaty, ..., I support him and his way.' "
============================================================================
=======

EXCERPTS:
The first issue of a publication supporting normalisation of ties
between Israel
and Jordan and cross-border investments ... will appear Sunday in Amman
... .
Sawt Al Salam, meaning the Voice of Peace, has plans
to turn into a weekly and to focus on economic issues.

In the lead issue, publisher Tarik Hamidi, a well-known restaurateur
with
connections to Israelis - writes: "Despite difficulties and delays, the
Voice
of Peace is coming out in Amman, the city of peace." In an interview
with
the publication, Jordanian Senator Marwan Dudin, a former minister,
says
that an Israeli-Syrian peace agreement "will silence the opponents of
normalisation." In another article, Palestinian-Jordanian journalist
Oraib
Rintawi criticises the Jordan Press Association(JPA) for preventing its

members from visiting Israel. The publication also features a short
interview
with Mahana Haddad, a political scientist who spent a sabbatical year
at
Haifa University, "because I'm convinced about the importance of
peace."

The editor of the magazine, Jelin Shihab, is a Jordanian bedouin and
says
that one of the main goals of the publication is "to encourage Israeli
and
Jordanian investors to make mutual investments in the two countries. At
the
same time, we're trying to encourage peace between the two peoples," he

adds.

The publication's "difficulties and delays,"... went on for months,
even after
the magazine secured the necessary publishing licence from the
government.
No Jordanian printer was ready to take on the job, so eventually the
job
went to a Ramallah printing plant.

"All the professional unions are against us . . .because they don't
want a
newspaper like this in Jordan now."

While the paper did get government permission to publish, she admits
that
most Jordanians do not support the paper "because most of the Jordanian

people are of Palestinian origin. The Palestinians don't support it at
all."

Shihab is aware that her press card could be revoked by the JPA.

"I'm not afraid," she says, "I'm a bedouin, born in this land, and I
think if the
King signed an international peace treaty,. . . I support him and his
way."

"We regard the distribution of the magazine as a positive initiative. I
believe
that it represents the voice of the silent majority in Jordan and I'm
sure that a
solution will be found for printing it in Jordan," Roey Gilad, a
spokesman at
the Israeli embassy in Amman, said.

{IMRA: How strange that Jordan Times didn't produce a
story of its own --avoiding further
normalization?}

This article reprinted from Ha'aretz

+++JORDAN TIMES 17 Sept.'00: " Will Israel force Arafat's arm?"
Musa Keilani

QUOTES FROM TEXT:
"Even if Arafat might want to accept the `compromises' (read
surrender)
over Palestinian rights as demanded by Israel, theere is no way
he could
or would so."

"Israel is convinced that there is nothing anyone can do to
challenge its
arrogance and intransigence. Indeed, the main factor that has
emboldened
Israel to that level is US Congressional support."
============================================================================
===========

EXCERPTS:
... many in the Arab World, and indeed in the international
community ... expected the Israeli
leadership to understand and accept that there are certain red lines
beyond
which no Palestinian or Arab would go in order to make peace. Barak
continues to believe that he has Arafat ...on waiting, and there is no
way
out ...except to sign on the dotted line on a peace agreement.

That is the fundamental flaw in Israeli thinking and that is why the
peace
process remains deadlocked. Even if Arafat might want to accept the
"compromises" (read surrender) over Palestinian rights as demanded by
Israel, there is no way he could or would so.

Arafat would not only lose out among his constituency of Palestinians
but
would also incur the wrath of the entire Islamic community around the
world
for having signed away Muslim shrines to the Israelis. He will not have
a foot
to stand on if he agrees to the formula that Israel boasts as a
magnanimous
gesture to solve the refugee problem. Arafat would be totally deprived
of his
revered status as the symbol of the Palestinian struggle for liberation
and
statehood and would be written off as just another leader who
sacrificed the
rights of his people for the sake of consolidating his position and
formalising
his status as president of Palestine.

That Israel is not willing even to consider a proposal for Islamic
sovereignty
over Arab East Jerusalem's holy sites is nothing but another reflection
of the
Israeli state's conviction that the Palestinians have no choice but to
accept its
terms. By virtue of it physical military grip on Arab East Jerusalem
and the
West Bank, Israel is convinced that there is nothing anyone can do to
challenge its arrogance and intransigence. Indeed, the main factor that
has
emboldened Israel to that level is US Congressional support. But what
Barak seems to balk at accepting is that even the thought of a
non-complete
Palestinian sovereignty over Arab East Jerusalem is an explosive issue
among Palestinians. Barak has been arguing that sovereignty over the
Haram
Al Sharif, including the Western Wall, could never be turned over to
the
Palestinians, but then why is he not willing to accept turning over
sovereignty
to the world body of Islam?
. . .
Are the Islamic and Arab countries ready to make good their warning
that their relations with the US would be set back if Washington were
to move its embassy in Israel ... to occupied Jerusalem? What would
happen if Israel twisted the Palestinian arm hard enough in Washington

this week and coerced Arafat to sign its version of a peace accord?
Would the world Muslim community and the Arab World
withstand diplomatic, political and military pressure and reject the
accord?
And what if they reject the accord? What would be the next step? Or
would
the Muslims and Arabs - specifically the decision-makers among them -
see it as an easy way out and sit back saying that the accord was
acceptable
to the Palestinians and so why should it not be for Arabs and Muslims?

Dr.Joseph Lerner, Co-Director IMRA
www.imra.org.il

000918110009189/18/00 0:00:0012/30/99 22:26:31Stephen M. Flatow: Terror Victim's Dad Rebuffed by US Court - Refuses to Sanction Government Attorneys for Destruction of DocumentsStephen M.Stephen M. Flatow: Terror Victim's Dad Rebuffed by US Court - Refuses to Sanction Government Attorneys for Destruction of Documents
648 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
201-656-9220 * 201-656-4506 Fax


News Editor
For Immediate Release September 18, 2000


Stephen Flatow, Terror Victim's Dad, Rebuffed by US Court:
Court Refuses to Sanction Government Attorneys for Destruction of
Documents

A US District Court judge has refused to impose sanction against the US
for the destruction of records in a terrorism case. The records were
requested by Stephen Flatow whose 20 year old daughter Alisa was killed
in a 1995 terror attack sponsored by the Islamic Republic of Iran in
connection with Flatow's efforts to enforce a $247.5 million judgment
obtained against Iran in 1998.

Flatow has been stymied in his efforts to enforce his judgment by the US
government's objection to the production of documents. In April it was
revealed that the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset
Control destroyed files requested by Flatow. Upon learning of the
destruction, Flatow requested that the court sanction the Department of
Treasury for its destruction of the files. Flatow said, "I don't know
what those records contained and we will now never know but it was
certainly suspicious to me that their destruction took place in the
midst of a hotly contested request for production of records."

The decision handed down by Judge Royce C. Lamberth, while expressing
disappointment with the government's handling of the records, did not
find "that an underhanded scheme was afoot."

"Unfortunately, for more than two years we have been fighting the US in
court and not the real culprit, the government of Iran," Flatow said.
"But, we know that justice is going to prevail in the end and those
responsible for Alisa's death will be held accountable," he concluded.

-30-

Background- Judge Lamberth's decision is available on the Internet at:
http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/97-396f.pdf

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