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>Israel Faxx
>JN Jan. 20, 1997, Vol. 5 Number 12

53 Women will be Allowed to Remarry

Fifty-three agunot -- women who have not received a Jewish divorce from their husbands -- have been helped to receive such a divorce in the past year. Private investigation agencies, in conjunction with the Rabbinical Courts, helped to locate recalcitrant husbands all over the world and to procure the required papers. The men were located in Thailand, India, Nigeria, and other countries. 21 women listed as agunot remain in Israel.

Arafat Delivers Victory Speech in Hebron

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat arrived in Hebron Sunday afternoon, and delivered a victory speech from atop the building that until Friday was the IDF Military Administration headquarters in the city.

"We have liberated Hebron, just as we have liberated many other Palestinian cities." Arafat thanked the 87 Knesset members who voted for the agreement, and expressed happiness over the "consensus" in the parliament.

Arafat said that the women terrorists incarcerated in Israel, as well Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, will be released within a few days. On Saturday, Arafat's newly-appointed Hebron Region Military Governor Jibril Rajub, in a speech, called upon the Jewish residents to leave the city, saying their place is not in Hebron, and they are "likened to a stone on our chest."

Israeli resident Noam Arnon said the Jews of Hebron will continue in their efforts to build the Jewish presence in the city.

The Shai (Samaria and Judea) District Police formally charged Hebron Jewish community spokesman Arnon with attacking police officers. The incident occurred in the Machpelah Cave several weeks ago. The Hebron police force's handling of the affair was criticized by Public Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani after they drove Arnon to an Ashkelon jail during the Sabbath.

On Friday, Hebron resident Shani Horowitz reported that the car she was driving -- on the only route to Kiryat Arba left open to the Jews -- was nearly overturned by throngs of Arabs. She said that she asked the soldiers to help her, but that they said that there is nothing they can do.

Christians Against Hebron Withdrawal

A statement released by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem expressed sadness over the "abandonment of 80 percent of Hebron -- the first Jewish city in history -- to the PLO," but predicted that "that area, as well as all other parts of Israel currently under PLO Authority control, will return to Israeli administration in the future, in accordance with biblical prophecy."

The statement also expressed the hope that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold firmly to the principle of reciprocity, and that the international community -- "particularly the United States administration which has pressured Israel into taking steps detrimental to its security" -- ensure that the PLO Authority keeps its side of the Hebron agreements.

It's Two Boys and a Girl!

Tovah Gamliel, 53, of Moshav Shalva in the Negev gave birth to triplets last week -- her first children -- in a Cesarean-section operation. She was in her seventh month of pregnancy.

Gamliel said "I want to tell all the women who wait many years for children, don't give up. Because if you have faith, then you have hope. See what happened to me and you'll realize that there's still a chance." The babies -- two boys and a girl -- are all healthy.

Gamliel is a cook in a girls' yeshiva high school in Even Shmuel. She has been married for 10 years to a polio victim, who is presently unemployed.

Priesthood is Genetic

A new genetic study has found that all of the kohanim (priests) in the world come from one family.

Prof. Karl Skorotsky, head of the Nephrological Department in Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, performed a study on 68 kohanim and 120 other Jews -- of Sephardic and Ashkenazic origin, and found that the 'Y' chromosomes of the kohanim have unique genetic properties not found in other people.

The theory is that they are all descended from a common ancestor: Aaron the High Priest, brother of Moses. Skorotsky said that a similar study to discover "Who is a Jew" could not be performed, because Jews were not as careful as were kohanim not to marry "out." Kohanim have extra-special halakhic ordinances governing who they are permitted to marry.

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