Newsletter : 3fax0829.txt
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Police Set Restrictions on Friday Temple Mount Islamic Prayers
In an effort to avoid Islamic violence coinciding with Friday Temple Mount prayer
services, police are imposing restrictions tomorrow. Male worshippers will be restricted
to those 45 or older, and carrying Israeli identity cards. Males under 45 or with PA
identity cards will not be permitted on the Mount. There are no restrictions for women.
(Editor's Note: Please see article below.)
Rockets On Ashkelon
Yet another "milestone" in the Oslo process was passed Thursday: Four Kassam rockets
were fired at the city of Ashkelon, about six miles north of the Gaza Strip. No one was
hurt in the attack, of which only one rocket has so far been recovered. Israeli troops and
bulldozers later entered northern Gaza and knocked down trees the militants had used as
It should be noted, however, that in 1994, after the original "Gaza and Jericho first"
agreement, then-Likud MK Ariel Sharon told the Knesset that it would only be a matter of
time before the PA fires katyushas from Gaza onto Ashkelon; later, then-Labor party
Minister Chaim Ramon mocked Sharon and said, "Where are the katyushas that you promised
us?" Ramon's spokesman said that he was currently abroad and unavailable for comment.
Some Cabinet ministers responded sharply (albeit verbally) to the attack. Tourism
Minister Benny Elon said that the Government of Israel "must liquidate the Palestinian
Authority," and that the establishment of a Palestinian state is equivalent to "the
implementation of a policy of rockets at Israeli cities." Education Minister Limor Livnat
said that Israel must retaliate harshly.
The IDF said that 14 Kassams have been fired at areas near Gaza this week, and 24 have
been fired since the end of the short-lived ceasefire (hudna) about nine days ago.
Ashkelon Mayor Shabtai Tzur said that he is "concerned over this new threat," but that he
"trusts the IDF to be able to prevent such attacks on Ashkelon." He said that the city's
plans to expand its southern industrial zone, where the rockets fell, would continue
Palestinian Officials: Israeli Strike Kills Hamas Member
By VOA News
Palestinian officials said an Israeli helicopter gunship has fired missiles at a target
in the Gaza Strip, killing a Hamas militant and wounding three other people. Palestinian
security sources identified the dead man as Hamdi Kalkha, who they say was a member of
Hamas' armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qasam Brigades. Israeli officials have not commented on
Officials of several Islamic charities in the Gaza Strip said they have had at least 39
of their bank accounts frozen by the Palestinian Authority, as part of reported efforts to
crack down on Palestinian militant groups. The Islamic charities reported Thursday more of
their bank accounts have been frozen than perhaps some had expected.
The move followed reports that the Palestinian Authority had issued warnings this week
to 12 Islamic charity organizations operating in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that at
least 30 of their accounts would be blocked. Banks in the territories received
instructions from Palestinian officials not to allow transactions to organizations such as
al-Mujma Al-Islami, one of the forces behind the establishment of Hamas, the Islamic
Resistance Movement, in the 1980s.
Hamas, which frequently carries out suicide bombings, is also involved in providing
welfare to the poor in Gaza and the West Bank. Hundreds of Palestinians attempting to pick
up monthly welfare assistance checks were reportedly turned away Thursday by banks, which
informed them the funds had been frozen.
The Palestinian Monetary Authority issued the orders, reportedly as part of a crackdown
against groups such as Hamas, which was behind last week's suicide bus bombing in
Jerusalem that left 21 Israelis dead and scores more injured.
The blocking move followed similar action in the United States. President Bush,
responding to the bus bombing, announced that he was freezing funds of six senior Hamas
figures and five charities that he accused of funding the militant organization.
Muslim Claim to Jerusalem Rests on Wobbly Verse
A commentator in the official Egyptian government weekly writes this week that the
entire Muslim claim on Jerusalem and Al-Aksa is based on a mistaken reading of one chapter
of the Quran.
Ahmed Mahmad Oufa wrote that the verse that mentions a night journey by Muhammed to a
mosque has nothing to do with Jerusalem, as is generally claimed, but with a mosque near
the holy Muslim city of Medina.
Prof. Moshe Sharon, Middle Eastern expert in the Hebrew University, told Arutz-7: "This
is not a new claim. We must remember that Jerusalem is not mentioned at all in the Quran.
The verse in question is in Sura [chapter] 17, which states that Muhammad was brought at
night from one mosque to a "more distant" - aktsa, in Arabic - mosque. The first Muslim
commentators did not explain this as referring to Jerusalem at all, of course, but rather
as a miraculous night journey or night vision.
In the beginning of the 8th century, however, they began associating this with
Jerusalem, because they had a need to start giving sanctity to Jerusalem, and so they
started connecting this verse with Jerusalem. Originally, however, the Muslims recognized
the area of the Dome of the Rock as holy because of the Jewish Temple of King Solomon."
It should be noted that the Al Aksa mosque was built on the Temple Mount 621 years
after Mohammed's death. Shamir expressed great surprise at the fact that such an article
would be published in Arabic and in an Arabic-speaking country.
How We Remember
A new fundamental rule governing memory was recently discovered by a team of
scientists, headed by Prof. Yadin Dudai, at Rehovot's Weizmann Institute of Science. Mark
Eisenberg, Tali Kobilo and Diego Berman were the other members of the research team.
As explained in a Weizmann Institute press release, every memory that we acquire
undergoes a process called consolidation immediately after it is formed. Through this
process, it becomes impervious to outside stimulation or drugs that would obliterate it.
Evidence has lately come to light that a memory is open to disruption for a short period
following each time this memory is recalled. However, experiments to test this hypothesis
Dudai's group has identified a new principle guiding the activity of the brain's memory
systems, which sheds light on how memories are recalled and stabilized, and which can
explain the puzzling discrepancies in previous findings. This principle delineates the
conditions in which the recalled memory again becomes sensitive to "erasure." The Weizmann
team found that while many associated memories can be called up by a single stimulus, only
the recalled memory that was dominant over the other associated memories was again made
sensitive to being "forgotten" (or to intervention that would deliberately cause such
"forgetfulness") before it was re-stored to long-term memory.
According to the Weizmann Institute, this discovery "is likely to assist in the future
in developing new methods of wiping out unwanted memories, and thus of treating some kinds
of psychological trauma." The results of the study were published Thursday in the
scientific journal Science.
Moving to a 5-Day School Week
During the upcoming school year, the educational system will begin moving over to a
5-day school week. The shortened school week will begin in Jerusalem, Eilat, Be'er Sheva,
Nazareth Illit and Omer. Three Tel Aviv schools will also be included in the new
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