Mideast Report

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Three Israelis were killed and one moderately injured Friday of last week when their jeep ran over and detonated a land mine in the Sinai.

The victims were all relatives or friends of the Nimrodi family, which owns the Israeli daily Ma'ariv and other business enterprises.

A group of 13 Israelis had flown to Sharm el-Sheik, where they rented four jeeps for a desert outing in the dunes of the Sinai.

Shortly after leaving the main road, one of the jeeps drove over an old land mine and detonated it.

The dead were identified as Ruth Weissberg-Nimrodi, 35; Zvi Shayevitch, 47; and Ariella Korman, 38.

The charge, apparently from a minefield laid by the Egyptians before the 1967 Six-Day War, had apparently been washed into the popular jeep route during flooding.

Mines strewn by both Egyptian and Israeli forces remain in the area.

Two Palestinians hurt near Hebron

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Palestinian youths were wounded this week in clashes with Israel Defense Force soldiers in a village near the West Bank town of Hebron.

The clash occurred Monday in the village of Dura as Palestinians observed the final day of a three-day general strike, called in memory of Hamas terrorist Yehiya Ayash, who was killed Friday of last week in Gaza.

The incident began when Palestinians threw stones at the soldiers, Israel Radio reported. When the soldiers tried to detain two stonethrowers, a crowd encircled their jeep.

The soldiers then fired shots in the air to disperse the crowd, and the two Palestinians were wounded, according to the report.

Donors pledge new aid to Palestinians

PARIS (JPS) — Donor nations pledged $1.37 billion in aid to the Palestinian Authority Tuesday, in a political boost to Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat two weeks before the first elections in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

The money earmarked for new development projects was beyond the Palestinians' expectations. They received $865 million over their requested $550 million.

"Without the assistance from our brother countries, our friends, we would have been unable to continue along the road to a just peace," said Arafat, who had appealed for additional funds.

Foreign Minister Ehud Barak said Israel, which had allocated almost $300 million in the past 18 months to the Palestinians, "will continue to play its part in the future."

King Hussein gets welcome in Tel Aviv

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jordan's King Hussein received an enthusiastic welcome when he arrived in Israel this week on a trip meant to highlight the new spirit of cooperation between the two countries.

Tel Aviv was festooned with Israeli and Jordanian flags, and Israelis lined the streets Wednesday to welcome the king on his first official visit to Tel Aviv.

Hussein made at least one secret trip in 1977, when the two countries were still technically at war, intelligence sources said.

Hussein said he hoped for peace "not only between our two countries and people, but hopefully for this entire region in the very nearest possible future" — a reference to the ongoing Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations.

Prime Minister Shimon Peres, also addressing the talks with Syria, was optimistic about chances for regional peace.

In making the trip to Israel, Hussein had co-piloted a Jordanian army helicopter to the Israeli airfield. From there, he and Peres drove together in a motorcade to Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, where the Jordanian monarch visited two Jordanian soldiers who were being treated there.

Hussein dedicated a trauma center at the hospital in the name of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Israel Museum head resigns from post

JERUSALEM (JPS) — Martin Weyl, first overall director of the Israel Museum and the man who turned it into the country's largest and most prestigious cultural institution, has announced his resignation.

Weyl, 55, a Holocaust survivor, has been with the museum for more than 26 years, first as curator, then chief curator, and, for the last 15 years, director.

His command of langua-ges, international contacts, and extraordinary success as a fundraiser have led to his being offered posts by major museums abroad.

But Weyl says he intends to remain here in a newly announced post as director emeritus at the museum.

Weyl's resignation has caused consternation among museum fund-raising groups in America and Europe, which consider him irreplaceable. Several museum supporters have flown in to change his mind, but Weyl has remained adamant.