Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli police recommended this week that Deputy Housing Minister Meir Porush be charged with fraud and breach of trust.

Porush, of the fervently religious Agudat Yisrael party, allegedly promised favors and building projects to firms that promised to appoint his associates to senior positions.

The prosecutor's office will now review the recommendation and decide whether to issue a formal indictment.

Hussein announces he is free of cancer

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jordan's King Hussein will undergo a bone-marrow transplant operation and one more round of chemotherapy as part of his treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

In the operation, stem cells taken earlier from the king will be reintroduced into his body as a way to prevent a recurrence of the cancer.

Earlier this week, Hussein announced he is cancer-free and will return to Jordan in December.

The king's comments, which came as he marked his 63rd birthday, contradict recent news reports that he is dying.

Black family finally becomes Israeli

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A family of black Americans that converted to Judaism through the Conservative movement was granted Israeli citizenship this week.

Elazar and Sara Yisrael, their four children and two grandchildren arrived in Israel to immigrate several months ago but were not granted automatic Israeli citizenship.

Masorti, as the Conservative movement is known in Israel, attributed the delay to the fact that the family is black and that they converted under the aegis of a non-Orthodox movement.

Detention extended for Islamic leaders

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli court last week extended by another six months the administrative detentions of two Islamic leaders who had been kidnapped by Israel in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah leader Sheik Abdel Karim Obeid has been held by Israel since 1988. Another Shi'ite guerrilla leader, Mustafa Dirani, was kidnapped in 1994. The two are being held as bargaining chips for the release of Ron Arad, an Israeli airman, shot down over Lebanon in 1982.