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>Israel Faxx
>JN June 25, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 110

Lebanon Prepares for Body Swap

By Joshua Brilliant (By Permission of UPI)

Israeli soldiers are set to begin unearthing the remains of some 40 guerrillas interred near Kibbutz Gadot, near the Jordan river, in preparation for a swap that may begin Thursday evening, an Israeli official told UPI.

A military source says soldiers from the army chaplain's unit are now on their way to the makeshift cemetery where the guerrillas -- whose graves are marked by code numbers, not names -- are buried.

The arrangement, negotiated during the past months through the International Red Cross with French support, provides that the Lebanese hand over the remains of Israeli Naval Commando Sgt. Major Itamar Ilya, killed in Lebanon last year.

A French plane will fly Ilya's remains to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv for identification. Then the remains of some 40 guerrillas will be boarded for a flight to Lebanon.

Israel and its allied South Lebanese Army will also release prisoners and some reports say they will be bused to the Phalus crossing in southern Lebanon.

Viper Snake Surprises Bus Driver

By IsraelWire

When 52-year-old Aryeh Solomon left Jerusalem, driving the Egged bus on the 404 line to Tel-Aviv, everything seemed okay. After several minutes, Solomon heard what he described as a strange sound from the dashboard. About 30-minutes later, near Yishuv Mishmar Ayalon, his heart skipped a beat when he suddenly saw a snake emerging from the dashboard.

"My blood froze when I saw the two eyes staring at me and the tongue striking out in front of my eyes," said Solomon, who was driving the bus with some 40 passengers on board. "I think he was no less surprised than I was."

"The snake then made several attempts to get out via the windshield. Then, the snake turned and looked at me again. I do not know much about reptiles, but I am quite certain that the one-meter long snake was a poisonous viper."

Solomon did not panic. He gently pulled the bus onto the median, opened the doors, and told everyone to get out. "There is a Palestinian viper snake on the bus."
The passengers immediately began to panic as they headed for the rear door. Then, Solomon opened the front door, and the snake appeared more than happy to take the hint of the driver. The passengers were permitted to reboard the bus after Solomon did an inspection, and they were on their way.

Egged has decided to bestow a certificate of meritorious action on Solomon, who stated on the Sabbath he will be going to synagogue to recite the blessing for being saved from a perilous situation.

Arab Man Beaten in Jerusalem by Chareidim

By IsraelWire

Police report that Tuesday night, near the Supreme Court building, four ultra-Orthodox men assaulted an Arab man, who was seated in a car with a woman from a known Orthodox family.

The victim sustained light injuries and the female left the scene prior to the arrival of police. Police believe the attackers were members of the "Modesty Squad" of the Eida Chareidit Rabbinical Court.

Kahalani Approves Closed Circuit TVs for Old City

By IsraelWire

As the security situation in the Old City of Jerusalem continues to deteriorate, Minister of Internal Security Avigdor Kahalani expressed his support for the installation of closed circuit TV cameras inside the Old City.

After the murder of Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva student Gavriel Hirschberg on Nov. 21, 1997, security officials began discussing the closed circuit television cameras, to be strategically placed throughout the Old City, to assist in the battle against terror attacks.

Kahalani stated that his ministry would absorb a great deal of the costs involved, but other government agencies would have to undertake some of the expense.

Hamas' Yassin Allowed to Return to Gaza

By Mark Lavie (VOA-Tel Aviv)

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder of the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas movement, returned home to Gaza after a fund-raising trip through the Arab world. Yassin was detained for hours at the crossing point between Egypt and Gaza.

Palestinians waited all day for Yassin, to arrive home in Gaza after reportedly raising tens of millions of dollars for Hamas. But planned celebrations were delayed after the Hamas leader and his entourage were held up at the entrance to Gaza until after nightfall. Palestinians blamed Israel.

Yassin, paralyzed from the neck down in a childhood accident and confined to a wheelchair, founded Hamas 10 years ago as an Islamic alternative to Yasir Arafat's PLO. The military wing of Hamas has taken responsibility for dozens of attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians, including two suicide bomb attacks in Jerusalem last year, as Arafat tried to make peace with Israel.

As the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians remains frozen, Hamas is gaining support among Palestinians.

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