Israel in the News Oct/Nov 1999

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Iran Funding Hamas Terror Activities
(Taken from Israel Wire)
According to the Sunday Telegraph, the Iranian regime has significantly increased its funding of the Hamas terror organization to permit an escalation in attacks at a time when the government of Israel is working to advance implementation of the Wye River land withdrawals.

According to the UK weekly, several weeks ago Iran deposited three million pounds sterling in a Hamas account in Damascus. The payment was only a first of many planned payments.

Burger King Yields to Arab Pressure
(Taken from The Jerusalem Post [Internet])
NEW YORK – The international fast-food chain Burger King has said it will cancel the right of franchise-holder Rikamor Ltd., to operate the chain’s outlet in Ma’aleh Adumim.

Arab and Muslim groups in North America and the Middle East are threatening to boycott Burger King because of its decision to place a restaurant in the Jewish settlement of 35,000 outside Jerusalem, claiming Ma’aleh Adumim is in Arab territory.

“Burger King has no interest in taking sides in the Arab-Israeli peace process, except to welcome its early and mutually acceptable outcome,” the company said in a statement from its U.S. headquarters.

Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel has called the cancellation “very grave” and called on American Jews and Israelis to boycott the restaurant chain.

Claiming the decision amounted to a “declaration of war,” Kashriel said: “We call on the American Jewish community and all Israelis who believe in the idea of Greater Jerusalem to support Ma’aleh Adumim.

Gene Additives Hasten Tree Growth
(Taken from Arutz-7)
Hebrew University researchers have discovered that the introduction of a particular gene into trees and plants can produce greatly accelerated growth, reducing normal growing time by one-third to as much as half the span now required. Among other things, this discovery could provide the means to rapidly restore forests that have been depleted to supply the world’s growing demand for wood and paper. The process can also speed up growth of a number of everyday agricultural products.

Israel’s Queen Bees Shipped to Arab World
(Taken from Israel Wire)
Israel has recently exported one thousand queen bees, which produce honey on a much larger scale than ordinary bees, to the Arab countries of Jordan, Lebanon, and several others, including some with which Israel has no trade relations, the daily Hatzofe reported.

Following the success of this unique type of export, a second shipment, containing hundreds of queen bees and ordinary bees, will be made in upcoming months to neighboring countries.

Arab MKs Named to Sensitive Subcommittees
(Taken from The Jerusalem Post)
For the first time in the Knesset’s history, Arab legislators have been appointed to some of the highly sensitive subcommittees of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Hashem Mahameed (United Arab List) and Salah Tarif (One Israel) will serve on the foreign affairs subcommittee, while Nawaf Masalha (One Israel) and Ayoub Kara (Likud) were appointed to the subcommittee on manpower.

Shahak Expects Only Small Rise in Tourism
(Taken from The Jerusalem Post)
Tourism Minister Amnon Lipkin-Shahak foresees only a relatively modest increase in the number of tourists for the millennium—and he thinks it’s better that way. “It’s not good to have a sudden jump to four million [tourists a year] and then come back down again to three million. It’s better to have a slower, steady increase,” Shahak said in his first meeting with journalists since assuming office.

Sharon to Barak: Wait for Compliance
(Taken from Arutz-7)
Acting Likud leader Ariel Sharon, one of the architects of the Wye Agreement, has attacked Prime Minister Ehud Barak for his stated intention to carry out the accord even if no agreement is reached now. Sharon said that Wye includes several Palestinian obligations which have not been fulfilled, such as war against the terrorist infrastructure, cessation of incitement, reduction of paramilitary police force, and the collection of illegal weapons.

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