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>Israel Faxx
>JN Feb. 11, 1998, Vol. 8, No. 26

Iraq Denies Saddam Sent Message to Israel

Iraq denied reports that Saddam Hussein sent Israel a message assuring them that Baghdad would refrain from firing missiles at Israel. Jittery Israelis, recalling the 39 Scud missiles that Iraq fired at Israeli in the 1991 Gulf War, have been buying up gas masks. Iraq fired only conventional missiles at Israel seven years ago and says it no longer possesses biological or chemical weapons.

Shortage of Gas Masks Confirmed

By IINS News Service

Israelis who waited three hours at the Gush Dan gas mask distribution center were angered when the soldier told them, "We have nothing left. We are out of masks."

It was learned that the nation does indeed have a shortage of masks -- anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000. It is difficult to ascertain an accurate number, due to conflicting reports from senior IDF officers.

In any event, the shortage exists mainly in the special masks needed for infants and small children. As usual, IDF officials have assured the public that there is no need for worry and the necessary masks would be arriving in the coming days. 180,000 masks have been acquired from Germany, 80,000 last week from Holland and an appeal has also been made to Switzerland.

Despite all of this, there are not enough to go around in Israel. Foreign workers, foreign journalists and others in Israel are still concerned over not having received masks yet, and this too is being addressed by IDF Home Front Command officials. Officials have already issued several bulletins assuring that everyone will have whatever is necessary for protection -- in the event of an attack.

The IDF has made an appeal to all Israelis whose infant children have outgrown the special masks for infants and those whose elderly family members have died, to return the masks to nearby distribution centers or any post office in the country.

No Pictures Please

By IINS News Service

A 23-year-old student of theater came to the Rishon L'Tzion gas mask distribution center on Sunday night with her video recorder, to take films of the persons on line and the atmosphere.

The IDF officer on the scene ordered the videotape confiscated and declared the area a "closed military zone." "Suddenly I focused on a man dressed in military garb who was cursing and pushing the waiting crowd. I filmed him and followed him around," stated Pazit Ben-Chayal. "Then, an officer shouted to confiscate my film and declare the area a closed military zone. Within a minute, I was surrounded by five policemen."

After Pazit's story was told on the program "Nachon L'acshav" her video film was returned by the IDF. "To my surprise, the portions showing the striking of civilians was edited out," explained Pazit. A spokesman for the police, Superintendent Yifrach Dochovani stated the photographer's story will be investigated.

Mother of 7 Plunges to Her Death

By IINS News Service

The 35-year-old mother of seven, four months pregnant, fell four floors to her death Monday in Tel-Aviv. Malka Shalom, who was evicted from her Tel-Aviv apartment one-year ago, decided to return to get her children's gas masks out of a storage area.

When she got to her apartment, she found it locked so she went to a neighbor. She tried climbing from her neighbor's balcony into her apartment, slipped, and fell to her death in front of her 18-year-old daughter.
Paramedic Mickey Segal stated there was nothing more to do when the MDA ambulance arrived except to pronounce her dead on the scene.

Husband Collapses and Dies Near Wife's Grave

By IINS News Service

An 88-year-old Brooklyn resident, Nachum Leibowitz, who came to Israel to visit the grave of his late wife, Leah, died on the way.

Leibowitz was only yards from his wife's grave on the Mount of Olives when he collapsed and died. According to Shimon Moses, who witnessed the event, the elderly man appeared OK.

About 100 feet from the grave, he apparently had a heart attack and fell to the ground. His daughter, who accompanied him (a nurse, by profession) immediately began performing CPR. The EMS team, which was summoned, pronounced him dead on the scene. He was interred beside his wife later that day. The bereaved family flew back to Brooklyn, to observe Shiva, together with the remainder of the family.

Several years ago, Leibowitz's son-in-law visited Israel together with his father, to visit his mother's grave, also located on the Mount of Olives. During the visit, the father took ill, suffering a stroke and several days later, he died.

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