by Lawrence Cohler-Esses
Two weeks after Israel and the Palestinians signed their most recent recommitment to the Mideast peace process, a dovish Jewish group’s finding that Israel is failing to meet many of its obligations has set off storm of criticism from some other Jewish groups.
Jerusalem — Agnes Hirschi said she felt “quite ashamed” at the standing ovations she recently received in Israel at every stop at which she was introduced. “It’s not for me,” she said of the applause, “it’s for my father. I wish he could be here. I hope he can look [down] from heaven and see it somehow.”
The Israeli cabinet met again Wednesday to finally ratify the Wye peace accords. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attached conditions that could delay full implementation of the land-for-peace agreement hammered out with American help.
One of the conditions is an understanding that the entire peace process could be ended should Palestinian President Yasir Arafat unilaterally declare a Palestinian state next May, as he has promised to do.
by Avi Machlis and Lawrence Cohler-Esses
JTA Reporter and Staff Writer
Al-Burg, West Bank — From her hilltop village of Al-Burj, located southwest of Hebron, Majida Talahmeh closely followed Israeli and Palestinian negotiators last month as they put the finishing touches on the Wye River Memorandum in the United States.
Like many Palestinians, Talahmeh, 27, worried about how a new agreement on security cooperation would affect the Palestinian people. Her family feels that it has already paid a heavy price for Israeli security demands.
Just four days after the Palestinian Authority pledged cooperation with Israeli security forces, its intelligence services arrested two men Tuesday who reportedly confessed to the murder of a yeshiva student in the West Bank city of Hebron just a day earlier.
Palestinian officials said they were expecting Israeli authorities to be just as vigilant in arresting the person who stoned to death an elderly Palestinian in an apparent revenge attack shortly after the murder of the student, Danny Vargas, who worked as a security guard in Hebron.
Sarah Bouhel, a 24-year-old Israeli soldier, froze when she saw a Palestinian at the Beersheva Central Bus Station Monday morning pull out a hand grenade and toss it about 12 feet from her.
“I was in shock,” she recalled. “I didn’t think he would throw it. The soldier I was standing with saw I couldn’t move, so he took my hand and pulled me, shouting at me to run. In the middle of the run, there was a big blast and we fell. I fell on my stomach because of the blast.”