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May 20, 1994 - Image 108

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-05-20

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

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Syria Will Remain
On Terrorism List

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Washington (JTA) — While the
State Department is earning
praise from the pro-Israel com-
munity for keeping Syria on its
annual listing of countries sup-
porting terrorism, it is being ac-
cused by one Jewish group of
underreporting the Palestine lib-
eration Organization's involve-
ment in terrorist incidents.
The department's annual re-
port on global terrorism says PLO
factions loyal to Yassir Arafat
were responsible for "one, possi-
bly two" acts of terrorism last
year following the signing of the
Israeli-PLO autonomy frame-
work in September.
But the Zionist Organization
of America maintains that the
number is much higher.
The State Department's fig-
ures are contained in "Patterns
of Global Terrorism: 1993," its an-
nual survey of terrorist groups
and the incidents they perpe-
trated around the world.
The report, issued at a time
when the United States is push-
ing hard for real progress in Is-
raeli-Syrian peace talks, retains
Syria on the list of state sponsors
of terrorism, despite lobbying by
Syrian President Hafez Assad.
Other countries listed as state
sponsors of terrorism are Cuba,
Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea
and Sudan.

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THE JEWISH NEWS

The report says members of
Mr. Arafat's Fatah faction were
responsible for the murder of an
Israeli settler Oct. 29, and that
an "alleged" member of the Fa-
tah Hawks claimed responsibili-
ty for the murder of two Israelis
on Dec, 31.
The Conference of Presidents
of Major American Jewish Orga-
nizations is studying the latest
report and was planning to meet
with State Department officials
this week to discuss it, said Mal-
colm Hoenlein, the group's exec-
utive vice chairman.
The report says that overall,
violence between Palestinians in
the territories decreased in 1993,
with 83 Palestinians killed by
other Palestinians, compared to
nearly 200 in 1992.
It attributes the decline in part
to "a tacit cease-fire" between Fa-
tah, the PLO's largest faction,
and the Islamic extremist Hamas
movement.
The report says 65 Israeli sol-
diers and civilians were killed
and 390 wounded by Palestinian
attacks in 1993. It also says "ap-
proximately 14" Palestinians
were killed by Israeli civilians.
On the issue of Syria, the State
Department concluded that, de-
spite urgings from Damascus, the
time had not yet come to remove
Syria from the terrorism list.
The report points out that sev-
eral terrorist groups have train-
ing camps or other facilities on
Syrian territory, including
Ahmed Jabril's Popular Front for
the liberation of Palestine-Gen-
eral Command.
But the report has some words
of encouragement for Syria, stat-
ing that the country has "taken
steps to restrain the international
activities of some of these groups."
In particular, the report cites
Syria's role in "cooling hostilities"
in southern Lebanon last sum-
mer by inducing the Islamic
fundamentalist Hezbollah move-
ment to halt its rocket attacks on
northern Israel.
The report also says that since
last September's Israeli-PLO ac-
cord, "Syria has counseled Pales-
tinian rejectionists to refrain from
violence outside the region, al-
though it has not acted to stop re-
jectionist violence in southern
Lebanon."
It also notes that Syria con-
tinues to allow Iran to resupply
the Hezbollah movement via its
territory.
Overall, the report shows an
increase in global terrorist at-
tacks, with 427 incidents in 1993,
compared to 361 incidents in
1992.



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