Barak Suspends Permit for Terrorist
Prime Minister Ehud Barak has suspended the permission given
just last week to Democratic Front for the Liberation of
Palestine (DFLP) leader Nayef Hawatmeh to enter the
Barak's decision came following an interview Hawatmeh gave to
Qatar's al-Jazeera television, in which he declared that the
"armed struggle is legitimate" as long as settlers remain on
He also imposed conditions for his return, saying he insisted
he be allowed to move freely throughout the territories and
from the Palestinian areas abroad, and that his aides be
allowed to travel with him.
Speaking to Reuters after he heard of the suspension,
Hawatmeh both criticized Barak's decision and backtracked
somewhat regarding his comments on armed struggle.
Citibank Comes to Israel
Citibank's first branch in Israel will open in Tel Aviv in
the second quarter of next year, and provide banking services
to business customers with a special emphasis on high tech
The first branch will employ some 20 staff, and will be
located in the vicinity of Salomon Smith Barney's office in
Tel Aviv. The branch will offer the full range of banking
services for business customers: deposits, credit and asset
management. Salomon Smith Barney is a Citigroup
Citibank leaders assessed that other foreign banks would take
their cue from them and open branches in Israel. "The more
profitable we are here, the more banks will want to open
branches here," a bank spokesman said. The spokesman added
that the bank had not come under pressure from Arab countries
against setting up a branch in Israel.
Citigroup has over 100 million customers all over the world
and is the largest financial company.
Yaakov Frenkel, head of the Bank of Israel, said that the
opening of a Citibank branch shows that the reforms in
Israel's financial markets adopted over the past few years
are on the right track.
Handicapped on Strike
The Histadrut Labor Union struck the national economy for one
hour on Sunday noon, in solidarity with physically
handicapped protesters. The strike included Bezeq, the Klalit
Health Fund, the Ports Authority, the Electric Company, and
Negotiations between disabled persons representatives and
Finance Ministry officials to end the three-week long protest
of the handicapped resumed on Sunday afternoon.