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July 14, 1989 - Image 57

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-07-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I NEWS I

HE CHIEF.

Intifada
Costs Israel

Tel Aviv (JTA) — The
Palestinian uprising, now in
its 18th month, has had
adverse effects on the Israeli
economy, according to the
1988 annual report released
last week by the Bank of
Israel, the country's central
bank.
A 4.2 percent decline of ex-
ports last year was among the
most serious, Michael Bruno,
the bank's governor, told a
news conference.
He said the loss amounted
to $650 million, of which $280
million represented tourist
dollars that were not spent in
Israel because the intifada
kept visitors away. Tourism is
considered an "invisible"
export.
On the other hand, business
productivity was down only
1.5 percent, less than
expected.
But the uprising cut Israel's
trade with the West Bank and
Gaza Strip by about 40 per-
cent. Imports from the oc-
cupied territories were down
by 48 percent.

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Paris (JTA) — Israeli Prime
Minister Yitzhak Shamir's
opposition to an international
peace conference is the chief
obstacle to peace in the Mid-
dle East, French President
Francois Mitterrand and
visiting Soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbachev last week.
Gorbachev said an interna-
tional conference is the "only
rational approach" to solving
the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The two leaders spoke at a
joint news conference here at
the end of Gorbachev's two-
day visit to France. The Mid-
dle East apparently was high
on their agenda.
According to Gorbachev, a
peace conference "would meet
the interests of all the parties
and the security needs of the
State of Israel."
But such a conference can
be convened only if agreed to
by all parties to the conflict,
Mitterrand said. "And Mr.
Shamir's plan is opposed to
the conference."
He was referring to
Shamir's peace initiative,
which calls for, among other
things, Palestinian elections
in the West Bank and Gaza.
Shamir has long opposed
the international conference
concept, claiming that such a
forum would subject Israel to
undue world pressure. He
prefers direct negotiations
between Israelis and Palesti-
nians.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

57

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