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>Israel Faxx
>JN Feb. 5, 1998, Vol 6, No. 22

US Air Force Emergency Hospital Set for Tel Aviv

The United States Air Force is planning to establish an emergency hospital in the Tel-Aviv area. The Air Force European Command published its tender to set up and operate the medical facility for one year. According to Haaretz, it remains unclear if the medical facility would be used to treat pilots of US servicemen injured in the Persian Gulf.

Israel Plans Jerusalem Apartment Complex

By Mark Lavie (VOA-Tel Aviv)

Israel's Interior Ministry has approved a plan to build Jewish housing in the heart of an Arab section of Jerusalem. That same plan set off rioting one year ago.

The ministry approved the plan to build 132 apartments for Jews in Ras al-Amud -- an old Arab neighborhood just across from the Old City of Jerusalem. Also, 500 apartments would be built for Arabs.

But officials in the Israeli prime minister's office said they would not allow the project to proceed for now, citing reasons of national interest. An earlier move by Israelis to settle in the neighborhood set off a round of protest and violence. Ras al-Amud is in east Jerusalem -- the Palestinian part of the city recaptured by Israel during the 1967 Mideast war and subsequently annexed to Israel.

Gulf Crisis Update -- Sarin

By IINS News Service

Sarin, (also known as GB, or isopropyl methylphosphanofluoridate) is colorless and odorless and has the ability to mix with water. It inhibits acetylcholinesterase, thus disrupting nerve impulse transmission. Sarin is a nerve agent used in chemical warfare. Nerve agents are considered the most toxic of the known chemical agents.

Sarin is chiefly and most rapidly absorbed through the respiratory tract; not appreciably absorbed through skin or eyes. The onset of toxicity can occur within several minutes to a few hours, depending upon the concentration of the Sarin; recovery takes at least two weeks.

According to US reports, Gulf War troops may have been exposed to nerve agents, such as Sarin, during the destruction of an Iraqi chemical weapons depot in 1991, and other such exposures may be the cause of what has become known as the "Gulf War Syndrome."

Nerve agents are considered major military threats. The only documented battlefield use of nerve agents was in the Iran-Iraq conflict, but according to intelligence analysts, many countries have the technology to manufacture nerve agent munitions, so the potential for future human exposure is great.

Sarin is housed in munitions containers as a liquid, and following detonation of the container it is dispersed as both a liquid and a vapor. It becomes a collection of very small liquid droplets suspended in the atmosphere, like an aerosolized solid rather than a true gas. Certain factors such as temperature, wind velocity, and the surface the agent comes in contact with, will affect how readily the Sarin will evaporate and affect its target.

Sarin and other nerve agents can be dispersed from bombs, missiles, spray tanks, rockets, land mines, and various other large munitions.

More Persons Traveling Abroad from Israel

By IINS News Service

According to the Central Bureau of statistics, 2 million Israelis left the country for visits abroad during 1997, representing an 11 percent increase from the previous year. Of the travelers, 80 percent left via air travel. 17 percent visited the United States, 14 percent to Turkey and France, and 9 percent to Britain. The average stay abroad was 12-days.

Kabalists to Make Seven Trips Around Israel

By IINS News Service

Many leading Kabalists in Jerusalem have decided that the crisis situation requires spiritual intervention. Leading Kabalist Rabbi David Batzri is planning to fly around the borders of Israel seven times, while reciting special prayers to ward off the Iraqi missiles.

Batzri's son, in his father's name, requested that all those wishing to pray should recite Psalm Number 20 daily, or several times a day if possible.

Edible Paper

By Arutz-7 News Service

Researchers at the Hebrew University Agriculture Department in Rehovot, led by Dr. Varda Hershko, have presented their latest development to heads of kibbutz factories: edible paper. The edible paper, which bears an Israeli patent, is made of processed seaweed, and is based on water-soluble polymers known as hydrocolloids.

Hershko said the edible paper is tasteless and odorless, and that all the Kashruth issues have been solved under rabbinical supervision. The paper can be useful for wrapping fruits and vegetables in a manner that will prolong their shelf life, and will obviate the need to remove the wrapping before eating the product. (Editor's note: Was it originally developed for the Mossad?)

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