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>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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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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