Newsletter : 3fax0902.txt
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Phone Cards Wanted to Allow Jewish GIs to Phone Home
By Israel Faxx News Service
Amy Ackerson of Pikesville, MD, the wife of Orthodox rabbi and military chaplain Mitchell Ackerman, is collecting telephone cards to help Jewish GIs call home for Rosh Hashanah. The cards will be given to Jewish chaplains in the Iraqi war theater - where about 2,000 to 3,000 Jewish soldiers are serving. Ackerman, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, said she got the idea after facing difficulties in reaching her husband, who is stationed in Kuwait and who travels to Iraq to meet with Jewish personnel.
Israeli Missile Attack Kills 2, Wounds 25 in Gaza
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem) & Israel Faxx News Services
Israeli helicopter gunships have fired missiles at a car in Gaza City, killing at least
two people and wounding 25 others. The targets of the attack were members of Hamas, the
Islamic Resistance Movement, a group that carries out suicide bombings. Khader al-Husari,
a member of Hamas, was killed when three missiles hit his car. A fourth missile hit
another car, witnesses said.
Witnesses said Israeli helicopters fired the missiles and saw Israeli F-16 fighter
planes flying overhead. Palestinians say the planes are used to mask the sound of
approaching helicopters. It was the sixth such operation of its kind by Israel in the past
two weeks, in which more than 11 Islamic militants and three bystanders have been
The missile strike also came shortly after the head of the Israeli Defense Forces,
General Moshe Ya'alon, warned that he stands ready to send ground forces into the Gaza
Strip in a bid to stop Hamas from firing rockets into Israel. If the order were given, it
would mean that an infantry brigade of about 3,000 soldiers would be sent against Hamas
bases in Gaza.
Terrorists formally declared the end of a seven-week truce on August 21, after the
assassination of a senior Hamas political leader, and an Aug. 19 suicide attack that
killed 21 people on a Jerusalem bus.
In the past two weeks, Hamas has fired dozens of homemade Kassam rockets at Jewish
settlements in the Gaza Strip and targets inside Israel. One of the rockets reached
Ashkelon; a coastal city north of Gaza and Israel said the intended target had been a
Israel's Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, said he was in favor of a ground offensive
against Hamas in the Gaza Strip if the rocket fire does not stop. Diplomats led by the
U.S. are liaising closely with the government of Mahmoud Abbas, prime minister, to prevent
a total collapse of the "road map," a series of confidence-building measures supposed to
lead to a Palestinian state by 2005.
The PA, however, is beset by an internal struggle over command of the security forces,
while Israel is forging ahead with construction of a West Bank security barrier and
settlement activity in the occupied territories.
An Israeli commission of inquiry on Monday criticized Ehud Barak, former Labor prime
minister, over the deaths of 13 Israeli Arabs during clashes with the police that
coincided with the start of the Palestinian uprising three years ago. The three-member
Supreme Court panel did not recommend any action against the then prime minister, but said
Shlomo Ben-Ami, an academic who has also served as foreign minister, had failed as public
security minister and could not serve again in that post.
The Or Commission said Barak, who has hinted he is planning a return to politics, had
failed to prevent the police from using deadly force. He is also accused of failing to
meet leaders of Israeli Arabs, who make up 18 percent of Israel's population and suffer
long-standing discrimination. The police were severely criticized for treating Israeli
Arabs as an enemy element.
Pollard in Court on Tuesday
For the first time in more than 16 years, Jonathan Pollard will be seen in public, however
briefly, Tuesday. He will be brought to a federal court in Washington as his lawyers argue
for his right to be re-sentenced. Chief Judge Thomas F. Hogan will hear arguments on
motions to vacate Pollard's life sentence and to gain access to the sealed court
sentencing docket file. Pollard's attorneys argue that ineffective counsel deprived
Pollard of his constitutional rights, resulting in an unjustified life sentence.
As Pollard's wife Esther recently explained to Arutz-7, the upcoming court session is
not a trial or hearing, but merely a procedure during which the attorneys for both sides
once again present oral arguments. "It's essentially just more talk about whether or not
to allow the attorneys to continue Jonathan's cases which have already been sitting on the
judge's desk for the last three years," she told Israeli radio personality Nissim Mishal.
"It is a device that allows the Court to avoid making a decision on those two cases."
Esther Pollard expressed frustration at the impression being conveyed: "As long as the
public has the mistaken impression that something important is happening in court, they
will not be concerned for Jonathan. Meanwhile, a lot more time is being wasted as Jonathan
continues to languish in prison without any hope of this court date moving his case
forward at all." She further said that the announcement of this court date "destroys any
hope that Jonathan had that the Government of Israel might finally actually do something
Foreign Minister: Israel Won't Deal with Arafat
By Larry James (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom reiterated Sunday the Israel position that it
would not deal with Yasir Arafat. Israeli Radio reported that Israeli officials have told
the Palestinian leadership that Israel would withdraw its support of the road map peace
plan, if the Abbas government falls.
The Palestinian parliament plans to hold a vote of confidence on the Abbas government
on Thursday. The vote had been set for Monday, but was delayed following reports
Washington asked that Abbas be given more time to muster support. A power struggle between
Abbas and Arafat has intensified recently over control of Palestinian security forces.
Arafat, who reportedly wants to use the vote of confidence to have the Palestinian prime
minister replaced, is challenging Abbas.
Israel Radio, quoting Israeli officials, reported that U.S. officials have told the
Palestinian leadership that if Abbas' government falls, the United States would withdraw
its support for the internationally backed road map Middle East peace plan. The plan,
which is backed by Russia, the European Union, the United Nations, and the United States,
calls for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state by 2005.
Drs. Jeffrey Gordon, Daniel Feuermann and Mahmoud Huleihil, Israeli researchers from
the Negev's Ben-Gurion University, have developed a tool for performing surgery that uses
concentrated sunlight. The new device seems to be as effective as the conventional laser
"scalpel," at least in experimental conditions, but it looks to be a far less expensive
Gordon was cautious, and told Reuters, "This is only for sunny climates and even then
for clear sky periods. I do not wish to project the impression that we're offering some
universally applicable solution." However, Nature magazine saw the new tool as a possible
candidate to replace conventional laser surgery in the future.
Feuermann told Globes newspaper, "If a commercial entity is interested in applying it,
I estimate a device could be marketed within a year or two. As for cost, the prototype
cost $7,500 to build. Commercial production would probably lower that." In light of the
fact that traditional medical lasers can cost up to $150,000 each, the "sunlight laser"
would clearly be an attractive alternative for hospitals that are located in areas to take
advantage of the technology.
Perhaps since the device, once perfected, would greatly benefit cash-poor, but
sunlight-rich countries, Ben-Gurion University has decided not to patent it. The know-how
to build it is currently freely available. As of now, the "laser" has been successfully
tested on animal subjects, but further clinical tests are planned.
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