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One-Year Memorial Of Hebrew U. Terror Attack


A memorial ceremony for the victims of the terrorist attack of July 31, 2002, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will be held on the first anniversary of that tragedy. The ceremony is scheduled for 1:30 pm on Thursday. Most of the ceremony will be conducted in Hebrew and will be dedicated to the memory of victims from the U.S, France, Argentina and Israel, who were killed in the terrorist attack.

Bush Encouraged by Israeli, Palestinian Steps in Peace Process

By Paula Wolfson (VOA-White House)

President George W. Bush said he was encouraged by the steps taken by Israelis and Palestinians to move the peace process forward, but warned it is fragile and there are threats to further progress. He spoke after talks at the White House with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The president said terrorism poses a grave threat to the peace process, but not the only one. He said that while both sides have taken encouraging steps, much more remains to be done. He said the Palestinians must confront militants who want to kill the peace process, and Israel must take action to improve the everyday lives of the Palestinian people and give them hope. "In our discussions, I encouraged the prime minister to take further steps to improve the daily conditions faced by Palestinians," he said.

Bush said he warned the Israeli leader to think long and hard before taking actions that could create misunderstandings or inflame old hatreds on the Palestinian side. "I also urged the prime minister to carefully consider all the consequences of Israel's actions as we move forward on the road to peace."

One area of contention is Israel's decision to build a security fence in the West Bank. Sharon said he discussed the issue with Bush, but stressed the project would go forward. "The security fence will continue to be built with every effort to minimize the infringement on the daily life of the Palestinian population," said the Israeli leader.

The Palestinian Authority strongly opposes the fence, and Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas raised the matter during talks at the White House last Friday. At the time, Bush called the fence a problem, adding it is difficult to build confidence with a wall snaking through the West Bank.

After meeting with Sharon, the president characterized the issue by saying "the fence is a sensitive issue. I understand. The prime minister made it very clear to me it was a sensitive issue. And I promised him we would continue to discuss and to dialogue."

Bush said the United States remains committed to the security of Israel, making clear the ultimate answer does not lie in a fence but in a determined effort to disarm militants. "The most effective way to fight terror is to dismantle terrorist organizations. I fully recognize that. And we will continue to work with all parties in the region to do just that," he said.

Standing by the president in the White House Rose Garden, Sharon said the Israelis want to see a complete end to terror. He said he is grateful for the current period of calm in the region, but added the quiet could be shattered if Palestinian officials do not crackdown on militants.

Israeli Military Chief Warns of Fragile Truce with Palestinian Militants

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

The head of Israel's Defense Forces said Tuesday that he fears a truce announced by Palestinian militant groups would not last much longer. General Moshe Ya'alon expressed it as, "counting the days before the next wave of Palestinian violence erupts."

He said a three-month ceasefire announced by Islamic groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad last month has little prospect of developing into a permanent peace.

Ya'alon's statements reinforce the widely held suspicion within Israel's military establishment that Palestinian militants intend to use the truce merely to regroup and launch more attacks. His comments, which were broadcast on Israel's Army radio, also appeared to underline the continuing mistrust between the two sides and the challenges faced by the United States in promoting peace in the region.

For their part, Palestinian officials said it was up to the Bush administration to maintain pressure on Israel to implement the international road map to peace in the Middle East. The plan, which was drawn up by the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, calls for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state by 2005.

Israel Says It Will Not Halt Construction of Fence

By VOA News

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he remains committed to the peace process, but would continue building a controversial security fence separating Israel from the West Bank. Sharon said construction would continue, but that Israel would make efforts to minimize its infringement on Palestinian life.

President Bush has called the fence "a problem" and said Tuesday that he hopes one day the fence would become "irrelevant." While Bush did not press Sharon to halt construction, he did urge the Israeli leader to carefully consider all the consequences of his country's actions on the peace process. He also encouraged the Israeli prime minister to end restrictions against Palestinians in order to improve their daily lives.

Sharon said he was committed to the political process of peace, but only after there is a complete end to terror and violence against Israelis. Sharon's White House visit - his eighth - comes just four days after Bush met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.

More Horror - The Result Of Abu Kabir


The family of IDF soldier Daniel Heller is calling it "organ theft," joining the increasing list of bereaved families accusing the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute of taking organs from their loved ones without permission.

The family rejected autopsy findings in Israel, prompting the distraught father to exhume his son's body himself and leave it in his home until an independent pathologist was appointed. The autopsy's preliminary results indicate many internal organs were taken from the soldier's body without the family consent or knowledge.

In this case, as in many previous cases, the family is demanding an investigation and the dismissal of chief pathologist Prof. Yehuda Hiss. Other cases also document that Hiss and his staff took organs without requesting or informing relatives. Jars containing body parts of civilians and soldiers have been found in the forensic institute, but to date, no government agency has taken any action against Hiss, not even the minimum - suspending him from duty pending an investigation.

Abu Kabir's official findings stated Heller committed suicide, a position that was rejected by the soldier's parents. The bereaved parents believe the death was the result of an accidental discharge of Daniel's weapon. On Wednesday, at noon, Heller will be laid to rest for a second time, in the Dimona cemetery.

Jews & Neo-Nazis in France Share Websites to Send Hate Messages


French neo-Nazis formed an unusual alliance with extremist Jewish groups on the Internet to publish hate messages targeting Arabs and Muslims, said a July 17 Reuters dispatch quoting a leading anti-racist group in France known as the MRAP.

Reuters cited the MRAP study to the effect that the extreme-right groups have been prepared to set aside their anti-Semitism to share web space and know-how with extremist pro-Israeli campaigners." This is a new phenomenon," said Mouloud Aounit, head of the MRAP that released its 170-page investigative report last week. "We wanted to ring an alarm bell over the worrying development of this form of racism which is not only virtual, but has also spread to everyday life."

According to the report, 26 web sites, traced to far-right and Jewish extremist groups in France, operated from the same server in the United States between 1999 and March this year. Members of the groups also shared advice on how to send messages without leaving electronic trails.

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