Newsletter : 7fax0716.txt
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>JN July 16, 1997, Vol. 5, No, 128
Tragedy Strikes Maccabiah Games
By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel has suspended the "Maccabiah" international athletic
competition after two participants (three according to JTA)
were killed when a bridge collapsed as they were crossing to the
opening ceremonies. Sixty-eight athletes from the Australian
team were injured.
As the opening ceremonies were about to begin, the recently
constructed pedestrian bridge snapped in half, sending a group of
Australian athletes plummeting into the Yarkon River. Witnesses say
at least 100 people were on the wooden bridge when it collapsed.
Police have ruled out sabotage, saying the bridge was structurally
defective. The head of the Australian delegation, Tom Goldman, has
demanded an official investigation into what he calls "a totally
unnecessary and avoidable disaster."
Organizers decided to proceed with opening ceremonies -- including
fireworks and laser displays -- while the search for victims
continued. That decision provoked outrage and accusations of a
lack of sensitivity. Israeli President Ezer Weizman officially
opened the games. He later explained that -- at the time of the
decision to continue the ceremony -- no one knew people had been
killed. Organizers later called off Tuesday's scheduled events.
About 5,000 participants from more than 50 countries are in Israel
for the Maccabiah Games, known as the Jewish Olympics. The 10-day
events include competition in 36 sports. The games resume today.
El Al Israel Airlines announced it was providing 65 free tickets
for the families of the injured to come from Australia to visit
their children in hospitals here.
Israeli investigators began inquiries into the collapse of the
wooden bridge that killed the athletes.
Condom Found in Can of Pickles
By SNS News Service
A consumer who opened a can of pickles was shocked to find a
condom in the can, together with the pickles.
The can was purchased Monday in the Kiryat Malachi area, and were
pickles from the Yavne firm. The consumer stated, "I shudder to
think that a person who is HIV positive placed a condom in this
When asked for comment, The directors of the plant where the
pickles are packed stated, "We are only required to give
an explanation to the consumer, not to the press."
When questioned, the directorate of the Yavne Kibbutz, an Orthodox
Kibbutz, stated, "I do not believe this was a condom. We are an
Orthodox community and this is out of character. It was most likely
a finger of a rubber glove worn on the assembly line"
New Laws for IDF Reservists
By SNS News Service
IDF reservists serving in combat units will receive a discharge
from military service at age 41. Currently, the discharge age is
In addition, the following changes have been proposed: Non-combat
soldiers to be discharged at age 47-49; the emergency induction law
("Tzav 8") will be abolished. This permitted reservists to be
called to duty on a moment's notice; an authorization from the
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee will be required
to issue orders to increase the maximum number of reserve days
annually; reservists will serve between 25-38 days annually, a drop
from the current 54; an employee may not be fired for leaving for
reserve duty; and a reservist called for more days than allotted
for his category, must receive NIS 100 for each additional day, in
addition to regular reserve duty salary.
Sexual Exploitation in Israel: 1,770 Girls Victimized
Nearly 2,000 girls and 100 boys in Israel work in prostitution,
according to a study cited in Haaretz. The study was submitted to
the Justice Ministry and a parliamentary committee has used
the findings to issue stiffer penalties against the pimps who
employ minors in prostitution and pornography.
Most of the teenagers profiled -- both Jewish and Arab Israelis --
came from low income families with poor education levels, and often
exhibiting a history of violence or involvement in crime.
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