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>Israel Faxx
>JN July 25, 2003, Vol. 11, No. 126

Bedouin Rioting


Up to 200 Bedouin citizens rioted and threw rocks at police late Thursday morning at Shoket Junction in the Negev, just a few miles northeast of Be'ersheva. The stated reason: the accidental killing of a Bedouin man by Border Police.

The incident occurred when Border Guard police, looking to catch a wanted Arab from the PA, signaled a car to stop around 11:30 a.m. When the driver continued driving, the police opened fire, shooting a passenger in the neck - a 28-year-old father of three - who died on the way to hospital. In the ensuing rioting by Bedouin residents, a police officer was hit in the head and was taken to Soroka Hospital in Be'ersheva. A police helicopter in the air helped keep the situation under control, and the junction was finally opened to traffic three and a half hours after the incident began.

Intelligence Reports Predicting Riots Friday on Temple Mount

By Jonathan Lis, Nathan Gutman and Arnon Regular (Ha'aretz)

The security establishment is expecting Arab riots on the Temple Mount Friday, based on intelligence estimates in the wake of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat's decision to convene the Fatah leadership Thursday evening to discuss Israel's recent resumption of visits by Jews to the disputed holy site in Jerusalem's Old City.

As a result, security forces on Friday will restrict entry to the Temple Mount to Muslim worshippers over 40 years of age for afternoon prayers and will increase the number of police officers in the area. Jerusalem District Police command on Thursday held a special assessment of the situation ahead of Friday afternoon prayers.

Concerns have increased in recent days that Palestinian officials will be asked to inflame worshippers at the Mount and bring about riots during the prayers, in wake of the resumption of incitement on Palestinian media.

Attending the Fatah meeting, which was held in the Muqata - Arafat's headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah - were representatives of the Muslim religious trust (Waqf) in Jerusalem. During the meeting, Arafat called Israel's recent decision to allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount "an attempt by extremists, disguised as tourists and under police guard, to encroach upon the Temple Mount."

Arafat called on the Arab League and leaders of Arab states to intervene and "prevent a repetition of dangerous developments on the Mount that could harm the peace process." He convened the meeting as Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is in Washington for talks with senior U.S. officials, including President George W. Bush.

The Palestinians' anger comes after Israel decided to change its policy on the Temple Mount. About a week ago, Israel decided to allow Jews wearing skullcaps (kippot) to enter the Mount area, a few weeks after limited groups of tourists and Israeli citizens not wearing skullcaps to visit the site.

It was shortly after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon - who at the time was head of the opposition in the Knesset - visited the Temple Mount in September 2000 that the current intifada erupted.

Israeli, Palestinian Officials Consider Immunity Deal for Some Militants

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli and Palestinian officials are negotiating a deal to grant immunity from prosecution to some Palestinian militants. The discussions are aimed at bolstering the international road map to peace in the Middle East. Israeli and Palestinian officials say under the proposals some wanted Palestinians would be granted immunity from prosecution by the Israeli authorities.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that in exchange, the Palestinian Authority would guarantee that the alleged offenders would not carry out terrorist acts against Israeli targets. Palestinian officials said the talks are part of an effort to reach agreement with rebel armed Palestinian cells to end their activities and, in some cases, to draft them into the Palestinian security services.

In recent weeks, officials of Fatah, the main faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, have said that some form of immunity is necessary in order for them to agree to lay down their arms. Some Fatah members also claim immunity is vital for maintaining a three-week-old ceasefire by Palestinian groups.

A Star is Found


Astronomy Prof. Tzvi Mazeh of Tel Aviv University and his colleagues have discovered a new star, named HD41004. In addition to the star, Mazeh said, a planet and a Brown Dwarf [a body formed from gas, like a star, but more like a planet in that it does not give off its own light - ed. note] were also found around the star. The distance from Earth: more than 100 light-years from Ramat Aviv.

Asked by Arutz-7's Haggai Segal how it is that the system was not discovered until now, Mazeh explained, "Planets around other stars and suns are very hard to discover, because they are very far and very dim compared to the light being given off around it. It's like trying to find a little spark around a 2-million watt projector light."

Mazeh said that some of the newly-discovered planets are not at all like Earth: "For instance, we can discover new planets only if they are very large - the size of Jupiter. In our solar system, these large planets are very far from the sun, while the new large planets are very close to their suns. The temperature there is over 1,000 degrees Centigrade."

Asked if he believes that life might be found on another planet, Mazeh said guardedly that it appears at present that conditions enabling life could be found on other planets. "As a religious Jew," Arutz Sheva's reporter asked, "would you have a problem if life was in fact found elsewhere?" "Not at all," Mazeh responded. "When it was first discovered that there were Indians in the Western Hemisphere, did that cause a problem? God can create life anywhere& The real question is whether there is conscious life, i.e., creatures that are capable of thinking about their own existence, and whether there is civilization with technology."

Asked about the apparent contradiction between the age of the world according to Jewish sources - 5,763 years - and the light-years of time according to science, Mazeh said that the precise age of the world is a "small detail." "We [believers] are in a much better position today than, say, Maimonides, who faced a science that said that the world was not created, but was instead 'always there.' Today, we have proofs that the world was in fact created, just as the Torah says. The exact age is just a small detail."

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