Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Knesset committee this week authorized rabbinical courts in Israel to impose sanctions on men who refuse to grant a get, or a religious divorce, to their wives.

The sanctions include barring such husbands' exit from the country, suspending their driver's licenses and freezing their bank and credit card accounts.

Wounded Palestinian is negotiator's nephew

JERUSALEM (JPS) — Two Israeli civilians were being questioned by police for shooting at Palestinian youths in response to their car being stoned and mobbed in Abu Dis Monday. Avraham Adawi, a Tadiran employee, reportedly fired from the car at the rioters who were blocking his path with a dump truck and garbage can. Border policemen later arrived to disperse the mob.

One of the youths, Nasser Erekat, 17, a nephew of Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat, was seriously wounded in the head. Another Palestinian youth was wounded in the thigh, Palestinian sources said.

Most Israel dig sites closed after ruling

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Most archaeological digs in Israel were closed down last week after a ruling by the Supreme Court.

The Israel Antiquities Authority, which oversees archaeological digs, made the move after the country's high court ruled that the government must pay for pre-development excavations that search for ancient remains.

Iran taken from list of drug sanctions

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Iran has been removed from a U.S. list of states subject to sanctions for being a drug producer or a major drug transit country.

Iran is still subject to a host of economic and political sanctions because of its place on the State Department's list of nations that sponsor terrorism.

Last year, President Clinton removed Syria from the drug list, eliciting howls of protest from some members of Congress.

Israel's first legal euthanasia revealed

What is believed to be Israel's first legal euthanasia was performed in October, according to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz.

The euthanasia was conducted by a member of the Israel Medical Association's board of ethics for Etai Arad, 49, a former fighter pilot who suffered from a degenerative muscle disease and who waged a lengthy legal battle for the right to die.

Arad's request had been approved by an Israeli court.

Saudis tell delegation that they back peace

JERUSALEM (JPS) — Following the first visit by a Jewish delegation to Saudi Arabia in three years, Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, reported a positive message from their hosts.

It was "Tell the Israelis, tell the world, that the kingdom is supportive of the peace process. The kingdom will be an interlocutor in the peace process without any hesitation."