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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       Aug. 21, 1996 V4, #154
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Soldier Killed by Friendly Fire

IDF Sergeant Valery Gantzman, 22, of Nazareth Illit, was killed Tuesday in a case of mistaken shooting. Two groups of soldiers were returning from a routine exercise in the eastern sector of Southern Lebanon, when the soldiers of one group noticed suspicious movements in the thick brush nearby. One soldier opened fire, accidentally killing Gantzman, and seriously wounding a second soldier.

Israel Test Fires Arrow-2 Missile

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel successfully tested a new anti-missile missile Tuesday, the day after Israeli media reported Syria had tested a new, more-sophisticated SCUD missile capable of hitting Israel's major cities.

An Israeli missile code-named the "Arrow-2" arched into the sky over the Mediterranean Tuesday afternoon and destroyed an incoming missile, launched for test purposes. It was the first time an Arrow had been launched against an incoming missile, and the director general of Israel Aircraft Industries, Moshe Keret, was gratified that it successfully destroyed the target.

"We think it's a great test today with the real missile that will be the operational version in the future. We still have a few tests to go, intercepts with different profiles, and I hope that in the very near future we will be successful also with the coming tests."

Israel Aircraft Industries is the primary contractor for the $1.5 billion dollar Arrow project, which is a joint Israel/US effort. Keret says the Arrows should be ready for deployment in about two years. They are designed to replace the "Patriot" missiles the United States provided to Israel during the Gulf War to counter Iraqi SCUDs, which were launched into Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities.

Tuesday's test came the day after Israel's "Channel Two" television reported Syria had successfully test-launched a more sophisticated version of the SCUD, called the "SCUD-'C.'"

There has been no fighting between Israel and Syria since 1973, but Syria allows the Hizbullah terrorists to operate against Israel from southern Lebanon, where the intensity of fighting often mirrors the intensity of Israel-Syria tension. Since Israel's change of government May 28, Syrian rhetoric has been sharp. On Tuesday, the ruling party's newspaper "Al-Baath," said Israel's new, right-wing government has retreated from all Israel's peace process commitments and that Israel no longer is interested in making peace.

The director of Tel Aviv University's Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies, Ze'ev Ma'oz, says with an Israel-Syria missile technology competition in progress, that is a potentially dangerous conclusion for Syrian leaders to draw.

"I don't think that escalation, unless the parties lose control of the situation, is very likely in very short range. But I think that we can not rule out that if political deadlock continues for a long time and Syria reaches the conclusion that there is no future in the political option -- an option in which it had invested for the last four years -- then it may reconsider the military option as a viable one."

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated Tuesday he is not particularly concerned by Syria's reported missile test. Netanyahu told the Israeli parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee the SCUD-'C' missiles would not represent a new threat to Israel. Netanyahu has said he is ready to resume talks with Syria, but that he will not grant Syria its primary demand -- the return of the Golan Heights.

The "Hebrew Hammer" Fights for Judaism

Tim Puller, 27, who promotes himself as the Hebrew Hammer wants to become the first Jewish heavyweight champion of the world. He wants to show that Jews can fight. Puller, 225 pounds and 6-foot six-inches, who is also a part-time actor, says he loves boxing and has appeared in several low-budget movies.

He was born in Israel to a Yemenite father and a Dutch mother, who spent four years in concentration camps during World War II. His left arm is tattooed with a Star of David and a ring of barbed wire.

"I don't want anyone to forget what happened during the war." After winning his first six fights, Puller was stopped in the fifth round by Sim Warrior. "That's the first time I wasn't in shape," he said. "Boxing is the only sport where it's scary not to be in shape."

Puller, who lives in Los Angeles trains in El Paso, Texas, wears two large earrings and boxing trunks decorated with a Star of David and the flags of Israel and the United States.

He says like his Hebrew Hammer nickname and Magen David, his trunks are promotional and symbolic. "It's the entertainment business.In boxing, you need a good gimmick."


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