World Report

BONN (JTA) — Government sources here reportedly have said Germany would be willing to send troops to serve in an international peacekeeping force on the Golan Heights.

But the Bonn sources also said that in order for German troops to be sent, both Israel and Syria would have to request the troops and the move would have to be approved by the United States and the allied European nations.

German Defense Minister Volker Ruhe has been studying the possibility of a German peacekeeping mission in the Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres reportedly will ask German Chancellor Helmut Kohl that, Germany be part of the Golan Heights peacekeeping force.

German development loan will aid Arab-Israeli projects

BONN (JTA) — Israel and Germany have decided that a long-term development loan dating back to 1966 will instead be used as aid for Arab-Israeli projects.

The move came when representatives of the two countries met here Monday.

Until the beginning of this year, Israel received a total of about $95 million from Germany as an annual development loan.

The Germans recently said that they could no longer make the loan because Israel no longer is a "developing country."

Israeli pharmaceutical firm buys into Hungary company

BUDAPEST (JTA) — Securing a base for its operations in Eastern Europe, the Israeli pharmaceutical firm Teva has purchased a majority stake in the Hungarian firm Biogal Pharmaceutical Co.

Under the terms of the recent deal, Teva purchased a 78 percent share of the mostly government-owned Biogal for $26 million from the Hungarian State Privatization and Holding Co. Ltd. and the Hungarian Credit Bank.

The transaction came after five years of negotiations with the Hungarian government in what Andre Friedman, a lawyer representing Teva, described in an interview as some of his "hardest-ever bargaining."

After Israel and Hungary renewed diplomatic ties in 1989, Israeli firms have invested more than $200 million in Hungary.

Pope is likely to visit Israel by end of 1997, Vattican says

ROME (JTA) — After meeting with Pope John Paul II and senior Vatican officials recently, Israeli Religious Affairs Minister Shimon Shetreet said the pope would likely visit Israel by the end of 1997.

Shetreet also said he had asked the Vatican to investigate what had become of the menorah believed looted by Titus, the Roman emperor, when his forces destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E.

"There is evidence that [the menorah] is in Rome," Shetreet told reporters, adding that the probe into its whereaboutsmay symbolize "of reconciliation between the Jewish people and the Catholic Church."

The triumphal Arch of Titus, near Rome's Coliseum, has a carving showing a huge menorah being carried during a procession of Jewish prisoners brought back to Rome after Titus' conquest of Jerusalem.

Some scholars say that because the carving shows a menorah with a double octagonal base, Titus did not capture the original menorah, which could be traced back to Moses. The original menorah had a three-legged stand.