Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Jordanian farmer has reportedly won approval from his country's Interior Ministry to name his baby son Yitzhak Rabin.

Rajai Saeed told the Jordan Times that he chose the name to demonstrate his support for the October 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty. The newspaper said the boy had become the first Jordanian to bear the name of an Israeli leader.

The state registrar initially refused to give the infant a Jewish name, but changed its position after the Interior Ministry said the request was legal.

Saeed reportedly lost his job on a farm when he tried to name his son after Rabin.

Jordan arrests three planning terror attacks

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jordanian security forces have arrested three Islamic fundamentalists who were suspected of planning suicide attacks against Israeli tourists visiting Jordan.

A senior Jordanian security source was quoted as saying that the three are still being questioned and that charges have not been filed.

Jordan stepped up its security measures in the wake of the recent wave of Hamas suicide bombings against Israel.

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdul Karim al-Kabariti said in Parliament last week that Jordanian security forces had, in the past six months, thwarted "36 planned terrorist attacks aimed at rocking the Hashemite Kingdom's stability."

It was the first confirmation by an Arab country that suicide attacks against Israel had been planned inside its borders, according to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz.

Ex-Shin Bet chief aiding Palestinians

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The recently retired head of Israel's domestic security service says he will oversee the construction of industrial zones and parks in the Palestinian self-rule areas.

Carmi Gilon, who stepped down from the Shin Bet post after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, met with officials this week to plan for the projects.

Industrial parks along the Israel-Gaza border crossing of Karni and in the West Bank towns of Jenin and Tulkarm are among the projects that have been discussed.

Israel releases name of new Mossad chief

JERUSALEM (JPS) — The Mossad came in from the cold Sunday, as the name of its new head, Maj.-Gen. Danny Yatom, was not only approved by the Cabinet, but is now permitted to be made public.

The policy change followed the Ha'aretz newspaper's decision to disregard the censors last week. The censors had banned the publication of the head of the Mossad's name as a state secret.

Ha'aretz said it is anachronistic for Israelis not to know his name, which has been published abroad and is known by Israel's enemies.

Yatom, 51, who served 33 years in the IDF, is completing his assignment as military attache to Prime Minister Shimon Peres (the same job he performed for his predecessor, Yitzhak Rabin). Yatom also served two stints as head of the Central Command and also was head of the IDF Planning Branch.

Early in his career, he was a member of the General Staff's elite commando unit, Sayeret Matkal. In that role Yatom participated in the storming of a hijacked Sabena airliner in 1972 at Ben-Gurion Airport, where hostages were freed.