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>Israel Faxx
>JN June 24, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 109

Satellite Launch Postponed to Wednesday

By Arutz-7 News Service

The launch of the Israeli satellite from Kazakhstan, scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed for 24 hours, because of technical difficulties. The Gurwin Tech-Sat 2 satellite is 19 inches tall, and uses less electricity than a household light bulb. It will serve as a long-range sensor for communications and for several outer-space experiments, and will gather data on the ozone layer. It will circle Earth every 119 minutes at a height of 519 miles.

D'Amato Threatens Hearings on 1946 Pact with Swiss

Israel Faxx Staff Report

Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, a major critic of Swiss conduct over Holocaust-era claims, threatened to hold hearings aimed at forcing the U.S. to reopen a postwar treaty it reached with Switzerland on its handling of gold looted by Nazi Germany. The comments by D'Amato came just three days after the big Swiss banks made what they called a final offer of $600 million to settle Holocaust-era claims made on them. D'Amato said he was dissatisfied with the Swiss bank offer, saying it "comes nowhere near rectifying the wrong done."

Swiss Rebuff Auschwitz Survivor's Pay Plea

Israel Faxx Staff Report

The Swiss government rebuffed a demand Tuesday for compensation from a Jewish refugee who was detained in Switzerland in 1943, handed over to a German army patrol and eventually sent to Auschwitz.

The cabinet released a letter it had sent to Joseph Spring's lawyer saying it deeply regretted the incident but insisting that the Auschwitz camp survivor's demand for 100,000 Swiss francs ($66,800) was neither legally valid nor justified by the facts.

Spring, 71, said he was disappointed that Berne had not found it appropriate to compensate him for "betrayal" by Swiss border guards. His lawyer said he would appeal the case to Switzerland's supreme court.

Two Israeli Astronauts Named

By IsraelWire

NASA announced two Israeli astronauts have been named. The two are Col. Eitan Ramon, 44, a pilot, and navigator Lt. Col. Yitzchak Meiv, 44. They will begin their NASA training July 6, although their space mission will not begin for at least another year.

The two were taken into the program to prepare for the eventuality that one may not be able to perform his responsibilities, and there will then be a readied standby. At this time, the two will participate in all the training, but NASA officials stated they are uncertain at this time which of the two will be launched into space and who will be the backup.

Ramon was born in Beersheva has achieved excellence in all endeavors, including his career in the Israel Air Force, where he is reported to have been among the best. He was among the first Israeli F-16 pilots and has considerable combat experience. Until his recent NASA appointment, he was functioning as a commander of an F-16 squadron and a deputy phantom commander.

Meiv has a long career as a navigator, working with a phantom squadron.

Officer Who Brought Food for Troops Pardoned

By IsraelWire

The IDF captain, who reportedly was sent to jail for one-week for leaving his post to get food for his troops, has been pardoned. After the story was reported by Kol Yisrael's IDF correspondent, Carmella Menashe, the public opinion against the IDF was strong.

The officer realized his troops had not been left with sufficient food for the weekend. So on Friday night, he phoned his wife, who drove a considerable distance and brought food to a rendezvous point.

The officer was charged with abandoning his post, even though he was on a mission for his men and had a two-way radio with him. The IDF commander issued an order to release the reserve duty officer, overriding the battalion commander's decision to send him to jail for one week.

El Al Steward Commits Suicide

By IsraelWire

Yair Meor, 62, a veteran El Al Steward, shot himself to death in the yard of the Ramat HaSharon police station over the weekend.

According to colleagues at El Al, since the 1994 death of his wife from cancer, he never recovered from the pain.

Yair drove to the police station, sat on a bench outside the entrance, and fired the fatal shot. He left a note in his car telling his children that he is unable to live alone. El Al officials said they were surprised to hear of the suicide. They explained that recently, he was in better spirits and on his last flight, he appeared to be snapping out of his depression.

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