Jerusalem, 23 July 1995

OPERATION PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST – PEACE IN THE WORLD

(COMMUNICATED BY GOVERNMENT PRESS OFFICE)

Two Boeing planes from the Middle East Israeli and Jordanian respectively will on Tuesday, July 25, 1995, at 10:00 AM, fly to Bosnia with emergency equipment and aid to distribute to war victims. One of the planes, a Royal Jordanian, will take off from Amman while the second, from the Israel Air Force, will take off from Ben Gurion Airport. The two planes are to travel together to Split. The Red Cross will assist in distribution of the aid to the needy. Following the distribution, the two planes will return to the Middle East. Approximate flying time is 3 hours.

The operation, entitled "Peace in the Middle East – Peace in the World", is the result of King Hussein’s initiative, who developed the idea during a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Following their discussion, Environment Minister Yossi Sarid, the Prime Minister’s Bureau Chief Eitan Haber, and a senior Israel Air Force officer flew to Amman on July 20, 1995, to finalize the operation’s details. Crown Prince Hassan, Court Minister Marwan al-Kassem, the Transportation Minister, the King’s Bureau Chief Ali Shukran, and the Jordanian Coordinator of Activities in Bosnia, all participated in the discussions from the Jordanian side.

Environment Minister Sarid will head the Israeli Government’s delegation. Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Aharon Vardi has been chosen by the Minister as organizational head of the operation. It should be recalled that on Minister Sarid’s initiative, on February 16, 1993, 83 war refugees from the Bosnian War were brought to Israel and absorbed at Ma’agen Michael. All of the refugees who chose to remain in Israel have found work and, in March 1995, the Government approved a measure proposed by Sarid to grant the refugees remaining in Israel permanent resident status with all of the rights of new immigrants.

The IAF plane will carry some 6 tons of medical equipment, 12 tons of tents and blankets, and 3 tons of other materials including clothing, toys, and candies which were donated by organizations and individuals. The Municipality of Rishon Lezion donated several tons of clothing, assorted factories donated 5,000 new pieces of clothing, Abie Nathan organized several containers full of toys and candies, Eilat Home Textiles donated blankets, Lodzia donated 600 pairs of shirts and pants, Delta donated thousands of undergarments, Gibor Sabrina in Netanya donated 1,200 children’s T-shirts, Anastasia in Tel Aviv donated 100 sweaters, Macspell Afula donated 4,000 pieces of clothing, and Kitan Golf in Hadar Yosef donated 1,000 pieces of clothing.

Thanks to the initiative of Dr. Fawaz Kamal, head of the Government Press Office’s Arabic Journalism Department, in organizing donations from Israel’s Arab sector, materials from this sector will also be on the plane.

Moshe Dadash, an owner of the Betar Jerusalem soccer club, offered to Minister Sarid to hold a charity soccer game whose revenues would be donated to the Bosnian war refugees. Sarid has accepted the idea.