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Jordan Valley

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NEWS
June 25, 2006 | By Michael Matza INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Before there can be peace between Israelis and Palestinians, there must be agreement on the fate of the Jordan Rift Valley, the fertile plain that makes up more than 20 percent of the contested West Bank. Occupied by five Israeli military posts and about 6,250 Israeli settlers, the valley's ochre swath of palm-dotted desert from the Dead Sea north to just below Beit Shean also is home to about 53,000 Palestinians. While Israel is reluctant to relinquish security control and in fact seems to have tightened it, Palestinians want full sovereignty in the valley, which they view as their fruit-and-vegetable basket and a potential home for more than 150,000 refugees they would hope to resettle there, said Palestinian cartographer Khalil Tufakji.
NEWS
November 22, 1993 | Daily News wire services
SARAJEVO AID CONVOYS COULD RESUME Peacekeepers and relief officials worked feverishly yesterday so aid convoys to snow-covered central Bosnia could resume in a day or two after being halted for nearly a month. But some key supply routes remained closed. Aid convoys to central Bosnia were suspended Oct. 26, after a Danish truck driver was killed by gunfire blamed on Bosnian government troops. The U.N. has decided to lift the suspension. Cmdr. Idesbald van Biesebroeck, a peacekeeper spokesman, said the first convoys could move as early as today.
NEWS
April 26, 1996 | By Alan Sipress, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Israel's ruling Labor Party yesterday swept aside another obstacle to a final peace settlement by scrapping from the party platform a long-standing objection to the creation of a Palestinian state. The vote at a party convention came one day after the Palestine National Council decided overwhelmingly to revoke the clauses in the PLO charter calling for armed struggle and the destruction of Israel. While the Labor Party action would have been unthinkable only three years ago, it fell short of the dramatic declaration made by the PNC. The Palestinian parliament-in-exile went on record accepting the right of Israel to exist while the Labor Party remains mute about whether it would recognize the existence of a Palestinian state.
NEWS
August 12, 1992
What a difference a year makes - in U.S.-Israeli relations. And the difference can be chalked up to the sensible policies of Israel's new prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, who held a highly successful visit with President Bush this week at Kennebunkport. There, Mr. Bush announced America would guarantee $10 billion in bank loans to help Israel absorb hundreds of thousands of Russian and Ethiopian emigrants. Those loan guarantees had been held up for a year because the former prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, insisted on investing massive resources in building Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, as part of his plan to keep those areas forever a part of Israel.
NEWS
March 5, 1992 | BY CAL THOMAS
The Bush administration's decision to link $10 billion in loan guarantees to Israel with cessation of settlements in the occupied territories again proves that Israel has been right in its refusal to allow any outsider to control its destiny. With their policy of politicizing an essentially humanitarian issue, President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker have damaged the chances for a meaningful peace agreement. They have also emboldened hard-line Arab states, who now have further incentive to refuse to give Israel what it wants and needs most: An announcement by Israel's Arab neighbors annulling their still officially declared state of war. In the aftermath of the Gulf War, which saw Iraqi Scud missiles fall on Israel while many in the Arab world rejoiced over the killing of innocent Israeli civilians, many believed that Israel's standing in the world had been strengthened, particularly by her decision (made under heavy American pressure)
NEWS
May 23, 1988 | BY ROBERT ADLER
Secretary of State George Shultz has been one of Israel's strongest supporters in the present administration while still maintaining vital American interests in the region. Unfortunately, his latest foray into the vortex of Middle East politics does not carry with it the promise of Camp David. Conditions for both sides are radically different, and the prospects for meaningful compromise dim. Quite simply, the sine qua non of each side predetermines the failure of the present attempt.
NEWS
July 26, 1994
They have met secretly before, these two aging leaders of neighboring nations separated by decades of hostility. Nevertheless, nothing can diminish the significance of the warm handshake and concrete agreements that characterized yesterday's first public meeting between Jordan's King Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. They proved once again that when old adversaries in the Middle East summon vision and commitment, they can find a way out of a state of war. In light of the declaration of principles signed last September by that other veteran Mideast leader, PLO chief Yasir Arafat, Israel's rapprochement with Jordan is not surprising.
NEWS
October 17, 1993 | By Carol Morello, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When Munther Haddadin was a lad, he used to swim with his dog in the clear waters of an orchard-lined creek flowing from the Zarqa, a river so wide and deep and swift that he could not swim across it. Now, barely four decades later, the creek is a puny, leaking drainage ditch beneath a busy concrete street in downtown Amman. And the once-mighty Zarqa is just a trickle of waste. Drinking water for the 1.5 million people who live in the capital city no longer comes from the river but from distant aquifers and desert oases.
NEWS
February 15, 2001 | By Michael Matza, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
"Israel is starting out on a new course," Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon declared in victory. So where does the road lead for his conflict-riven nation? Benjamin Netanyahu, a former prime minister and a Likud party stalwart, provided insights tinged with grief last night. "This is a black day for Israel and for peace. We have lost young people to a wanton act of violence," he said to an audience of about 700 at Shaare Shamayim-Beth Judah, a Northeast Philadelphia synagogue, in his first U.S. appearance since last week's election of Sharon, who heads the right-wing Likud party.
NEWS
June 16, 1997 | BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
Imagine what startling, headline-grabbing news it would be if Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the most right-wing government in Israeli history, offered Yasir Arafat a final settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict that embraced the principles of (1) territorial compromise, (2) abandoning Jewish settlements, and (3) tacit acceptance of a Palestinian state? Well, it happened. And if you rely on the national media of the United States for news, you probably would have missed it. The Los Angeles Times and The Inquirer reported it, but the New York Times did not, nor did the Washington Post.
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NEWS
November 11, 2010 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
ARIEL, West Bank - This week witnessed another davka moment in the Israeli government's relationship with the Obama White House. Davka is Israeli slang for "in your face. " And nothing could be more in-your-face than the announcement that Israeli authorities had approved the building of more than 1,800 new homes in Jewish settlements on the West Bank and in suburbs of Jerusalem beyond Israel's 1967 borders - especially since Vice President Biden had just met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu and asked him to renew a freeze on settlement-building.
NEWS
June 25, 2006 | By Michael Matza INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Before there can be peace between Israelis and Palestinians, there must be agreement on the fate of the Jordan Rift Valley, the fertile plain that makes up more than 20 percent of the contested West Bank. Occupied by five Israeli military posts and about 6,250 Israeli settlers, the valley's ochre swath of palm-dotted desert from the Dead Sea north to just below Beit Shean also is home to about 53,000 Palestinians. While Israel is reluctant to relinquish security control and in fact seems to have tightened it, Palestinians want full sovereignty in the valley, which they view as their fruit-and-vegetable basket and a potential home for more than 150,000 refugees they would hope to resettle there, said Palestinian cartographer Khalil Tufakji.
NEWS
December 16, 2001 | By Michael Matza INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
"It was Friday. Tomer was in his crib. I was cooking the Shabbat meal. . . . Then I heard a huge bang!" said Dvora Zigdon, 39, a traditionally religious mother of seven in this Jewish settlement on the Gaza Strip. Here on the Mediterranean coast, where 5,000 Jews live in 19 heavily guarded compounds among 1.5 million Palestinians, battle lines run deep in the sandy soil and sudden "bangs" are commonplace. But this time the explosion was overhead. When Zigdon looked outside and saw shards of roof tile on the ground, she realized her house had been hit. She ran to 7-month-old Tomer's room, which had holes in the ceiling and billowed with smoke.
NEWS
February 15, 2001 | By Michael Matza, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
"Israel is starting out on a new course," Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon declared in victory. So where does the road lead for his conflict-riven nation? Benjamin Netanyahu, a former prime minister and a Likud party stalwart, provided insights tinged with grief last night. "This is a black day for Israel and for peace. We have lost young people to a wanton act of violence," he said to an audience of about 700 at Shaare Shamayim-Beth Judah, a Northeast Philadelphia synagogue, in his first U.S. appearance since last week's election of Sharon, who heads the right-wing Likud party.
NEWS
July 11, 2000 | By Michael Matza, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Wearing a long gray beard and knitted yarmulke, Ilan Ophir, 44, is the only store owner in this small community of Orthodox Jews on the mostly Arab West Bank. Here, an hour's drive south of Jerusalem on two-lane roads shared with donkeys and sheep, Ophir and his wife are raising nine children in a religious community of 65 families guarded by Israeli soldiers in combat gear. Their settlement is a Jewish island in a sea of Palestinian villages. And Ophir fears Susya may be washed away by a peace agreement.
LIVING
November 2, 1998 | By Ellen O'Brien, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
There is an elegant simplicity to the legend that greets visitors to the new exhibit on ancient Canaan and Israel at the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. The salutation comes from the Tanak, the Old Testament, and, while it was once addressed specifically to the Israelites, in some deep cultural and spiritual essence it speaks to all the Western world: Your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanites. Beginning with the patriarch Abraham, the Bible's stories are set in the territory east of the Mediterranean seacoast known as the Levant - this was the land of Canaan.
NEWS
October 28, 1998 | By Yehuda Ben-Meir
As one of the founders of Gush Emunim, the religious Zionist settlement movement, and a longtime advocate in the Israeli Knesset for Jewish settlements, I believe in the sanctity of the entire land of Israel. But I also believe that Jewish settler leaders are making a grave mistake by protesting Friday's deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority at Wye, Md. These settlers and their hard-line Knesset supporters are trying to topple Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government because they want to cling to every Jewish outpost in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
NEWS
September 11, 1997 | By Barbara Demick, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER Peter Slevin of the Inquirer Washington Bureau contributed to this article
Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright's visit to Israel opened yesterday on a note of compelling personal tragedy, as the director of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial made a private presentation to her of archival records about eight family members murdered by the Nazis. Later in the day, Albright strolled through Yad Vashem's grounds, lit a flame, laid a wreath, and was given a silver menorah as memento. She delivered a short speech, conspicuously omitting reference to her relatives, but her voice quivered as she concluded: "We must never allow ourselves to be at peace with the Holocaust or to believe we have mastered its lessons.
NEWS
June 16, 1997 | BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
Imagine what startling, headline-grabbing news it would be if Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the most right-wing government in Israeli history, offered Yasir Arafat a final settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict that embraced the principles of (1) territorial compromise, (2) abandoning Jewish settlements, and (3) tacit acceptance of a Palestinian state? Well, it happened. And if you rely on the national media of the United States for news, you probably would have missed it. The Los Angeles Times and The Inquirer reported it, but the New York Times did not, nor did the Washington Post.
NEWS
April 26, 1996 | By Alan Sipress, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Israel's ruling Labor Party yesterday swept aside another obstacle to a final peace settlement by scrapping from the party platform a long-standing objection to the creation of a Palestinian state. The vote at a party convention came one day after the Palestine National Council decided overwhelmingly to revoke the clauses in the PLO charter calling for armed struggle and the destruction of Israel. While the Labor Party action would have been unthinkable only three years ago, it fell short of the dramatic declaration made by the PNC. The Palestinian parliament-in-exile went on record accepting the right of Israel to exist while the Labor Party remains mute about whether it would recognize the existence of a Palestinian state.
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