Mideast Report

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Cellular phones and fast-food chains have become staples on some Israeli army bases. Is day care next?

An army lieutenant reported to reserve duty this week with his uniform, weapon, blankets and diapers.

Unable to get a postponement of his reserve duty, Uri Yankovich, 42, arrived at his base with his 5-year-old twins and 4-year-old son.

He had tried to put off the compulsory service by a few days because his wife, a scientist, had to attend a conference.

When the army refused his request, he packed up his kids and brought them with him.

"All of these years, my wife had borne the burden when I had to go to reserve duty," he told the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot. "This time, there was no way she could cancel her participation."

After a bit of flurry and several journalists' inquiries at the Israel Defense Force spokesman's office, Yankovich was sent home.

Post editor leaving to join Netanyahu

JERUSALEM (JPS) — Jerusalem Post president and publisher Yehuda Levy said last week that executive editor David Bar-Illan will join Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu's staff.

Bar-Illan has been granted a leave of absence, effective June 21, to join Netanyahu's staff as head of policy planning and communications in the Prime Minister's Office.

The Post, which was once aligned with the Labor Party, has shifted rightward in recent years amid the sale to Canadian Conrad Black, owner of the Hollinger newspaper chain.

Peres bids goodbye to army's command

TEL AVIV (JPS) — Former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who served seven months as defense minister, bade the army's brass a farewell message of peace last week.

"To make peace is really like going through a mine field of battle and horror to another mine field of peace. The differences are not in the mines or the dangers, the difference is the final goal," Peres said.

Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak warmly thanked Peres and gave him a photo album tracing Peres' decades of working with the army and defense ministry. He also gave Peres a globe circled with the symbols of the army.

Then the generals, munching on nuts, stood and clinked their glasses in an orange juice toast to Peres, a man who entered the Defense Ministry as director-general 29 and who left the building in Tel Aviv Thursday of last week, possibly for the last time.