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>Israel Faxx
>JN Jan. 4, 2002, Vol. 10, No. 3

Palestinians Storing Missiles and Rockets To Use Against Israel


The Palestinian Authority, according to security agencies is storing anti-aircraft missiles and Katyusha rockets for future use against Israel.

Security officials are concerned that the PA might use katyusha rockets in Gaza in attacks against southern cities such as Ashkelon.

Israeli Troops Stage Pull-Out as Zinni Arrives

By VOA News

The Israeli army has removed troops from parts of the Palestinian-ruled West Bank and eased its military blockades on Palestinians as U.S. peace envoy Gen. Anthony Zinni launched a new round of talks.

Forces withdrew to the outskirts of Jenin and parts of Ramallah Thursday, but remained deployed in northern Ramallah near the headquarters of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.

The Israeli army said it also would lift blockades around the towns of Qalqilyah, Tulkarm and Hebron. Israeli commandoes also raided a Palestinian-controlled part of Hebron early Thursday and took away four men suspected of militant activities. IDF troops arrested another Palestinian in the Palestinian village of Kufar Ruman.

The U,S, welcomed the Israeli troop pull-out as a positive step to ease restrictions on Palestinians. However, Palestinian officials dismissed the pull-back as a propaganda ploy to deceive Zinni.

He will meet separately Friday with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Arafat in new efforts to bring about a ceasefire. The envoy began meetings Thursday with Israeli security and defense officials. His visit coincides with a significant drop in violence in recent days.

Zinni's first effort to broker a ceasefire last month was disrupted by a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings that led Israel to intensify its military operations in Palestinian areas.

During his present visit, scheduled to last four days, the State Department said Zinni will urge Israel to ease its clampdown on Palestinian territories and push Arafat to dismantle groups involved in terror attacks.

Speaking in Baghdad Thursday, Iraq's President Saddam Hussein called on Arab states to take charge and solve the Palestinian problem themselves, saying he doesn't believe the U.S. mission will help.

Russia Urges Israel to Let Arafat Attend Bethlehem Services

By VOA News

Russia has asked Israel to lift its travel restrictions on Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat so that he can attend Orthodox Christian Christmas Eve services in Bethlehem on Jan. 6.

A Russian Foreign Ministry statement said removing the travel ban would improve the atmosphere and observe the principle of free access to the holy places.

Israel has confined Arafat to the West Bank town of Ramallah since early December, following a series of suicide attacks against Israel. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stated that the Palestinian leader will not be allowed to travel until the Palestinians who killed Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi last October are arrested.

Israel prevented Arafat from attending Dec. 24 Christmas Eve services in Bethlehem, drawing international criticism.

Jews Denied Permission To Pray At Rabbi's Grave


Seventy Jews, attempting to pray at the graveside of the renowned Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira in Alexandria, Egypt, have been denied permission by the Egyptian authorities.

It is Jewish custom to visit the gravesite of a righteous man on the anniversary of his death. In years past, Islamic groups in Egypt insisted that the government prohibit Jews from visiting the grave. They claimed that the Jews behave in unbecoming ways and corrupt the local Muslims. Abuhatzeira is the father of the "Baba Sali" -- Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira -- who was a renowned kabbalist revered by millions in Israel and around the world.

Abu Kabir Operating Organ Warehouse


State Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein ordered police to launch an investigation against Prof. Yehuda Hiss, the nation's senior pathologist and director of the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute.

Hiss is accused of a long list of charges from inappropriate behavior as a medical professional to criminal acts such as the illegal sale of and dealings in organs and body parts, removing organs from deceased persons without consent, and misrepresenting organs in returned bodies.

Allegations made against Hiss in some cases include his taking organs without consent, placing the cardboard center of toilet paper rolls and metallic rods in their place to fill the voids in the body and hide the theft of the organs.

A court-ordered search of the institute revealed large supplies of stored organs taken illegally from bodies. Over the past years, heads of the institute appear to have given thousands of organs for research without permission, while maintaining a "storehouse" of organs at Abu Kabir.

Organs belonging to soldiers killed in various circumstances were found in the institute during a surprise search this week. After consulting with Chief Chaplain Brig. Gen. Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, it was decided that in concert with the bereaved families, graves would be opened and the organs buried along with the remains of each soldier involved.

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