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>Israel Faxx
>JN Feb. 23, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 34

Famous Mohel, Rabbi Weisberg, Dies at 66

By Arutz-7 News

Rabbi Yosef Weisberg, known all over Jerusalem as Yossele the Mohel [ritual circumciser], passed away Thursday at the age of 66. He served as the National Supervisor of Mohalim, appointed by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Weisberg circumcised tens of thousands of babies, including those of many government leaders, over the past decades. The last brit he performed was four days ago.

Muslims to Jews: Don't Touch the Western Wall

By Arutz-7 News

Palestinian Authority Mufti Sheikh Ekrima Sabri has issued a religious ruling forbidding Jews from touching the Western Wall.

The edict followed the discovery of Israeli intentions to repair some stones in the Wall that had become loose. The Muslims say the Wall is part of the Temple Mount, which they claim belongs to them. Mai Soleb, English spokesperson for Sheikh Sabri, told Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA, "The [Western] Wall is part of the Al Burak Wall which is part of the Al Aqsa mosque so the Jews have no right to the place... The whole problem is that the place does not relate to them so whatever they do with it - putting in papers, practicing their prayers, all these things are not things that we want."

Lerner continued, "So as far as Islam is concerned, the Jews should not be putting notes in the Wall, they should not be touching the Wall, they should not be doing anything with that wall."

Soleb responded, "Exactly. And we believe that this is our religious property and we will take it back from them one day."

Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau reacted with disdain to what he called the Muslims' "disgraceful effort to rewrite history." He told Ha'aretz, "In this generation there are still those who were saved from fire with numbers from Auschwitz on their arms, and yet despite everything there are Holocaust deniers - so too there is no surprise there are those who are ready to distort a 2,000-year-old historical truth."

Saddam's Army

Courtesy of Ha'aretz

Despite an end to international inspections in Iraq, the country's arsenal is quickly becoming obsolete. However, President Saddam Hussein continues to manufacture chemical and biological warheads.

While the United Nations inspection teams were still in Iraq, the Baghdad government was authorized to develop and construct Al-Sumud, a missile with a range of 150 kilometers and 1950s technology.

These are the upgraded version of the Scuds which were fired against Israel during the war. Iraq also has a number of Russian made, high quality, mobile launchers.

Western experts believe that although Iraq is incapable of producing nuclear weapons at this time, because of the destruction of the necessary equipment, materials and labs, it is still possible that it can produce advanced Scud missiles.

Iraq is also capable of producing chemical and biological warheads for its missiles, which unlike the manufacturing of launchers and ballistic missiles, does not require external technological assistance.

The Iraqi army numbers approximately 430,000 men and can theoretically call an additional 600,000 men to arms. Only six of the army's 23 divisions are mechanized.

Iraq has about 2,900 Russian made tanks, most of which are obsolete T-55 and T-62 types from the 50s and 60s. About 900 tanks are T-72, whose aura of invulnerability in the West was quickly dismissed in 1982 during Israel's invasion of Lebanon. In addition, the Iraqi army is equipped with 2,900 armored personnel carriers (APC).

One of the biggest problems of the Iraqi forces lies in shortages of spare parts. This also affects training and the troops lack training ammunition.

In terms of artillery, the Iraqi army has about 1,800 Russian made guns from the 1970s, most of which are not self-propelled.

Its air force comprises of Mirage F-1s from the 1970s, Russian MiG 21 and MiG 29 and a number of Sukhoi made attack aircraft. Iraq also possesses some 360 helicopters and a small number of transport aircraft. Since the Gulf War all Iraqi naval vessel have been grounded or sunk.

On Behalf of Pollard

By Arutz-7 News

Knesset member Michael Kleiner (Herut) wants Israel to demand the release of Jonathan Pollard - or else he won't join the unity government.

Kleiner informed Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon that his party - of which he is the only Knesset Member - will not join the unity government unless Israel presents a genuine demand for a pardon for Pollard.

"Pollard is like an Israeli soldier sitting in a foreign prison," Kleiner said. "If we do everything to help a soldier, then we should do everything to help Pollard. He noted the "unfairness" of Israel's efforts on behalf of Marc Rich's pardon while ignoring Pollard's plight.

Mubarak Justifies Palestinian Killing

By Arutz-7 News

The cold peace with Egypt is getting colder. Government sources in Jerusalem are fuming at Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for justifying Palestinian terrorism. At a press conference in Italy, Mubarak said he understands the motivation of Palestinians to kill Israelis. Jerusalem sources say they expect Egypt to help bring peace between the sides, and not justify Palestinian violence.

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