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Senior Citizen Released by Police Following Mercy Killing


The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court Thursday released Meir Albuhar, 79, from police custody. Albuhar on Wednesday shot and killed his terminally ill wife Rachel, 78, in a geriatric ward of the Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. He explained to police that they were married for more than 60 years and she asked him to end her pain and suffering.

El Al Jet Diverted from Toronto Due to Terrorist Threats

By Ha'aretz

Threats of a terror attack on an Israeli 767m jumbo jet at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, caused airport authorities to divert an El Al flight that was scheduled to arrive from Tel Aviv on Thursday. The threats were relayed to airport authorities by Israeli sources, Channel 2 reported.

El Al flight 105 was diverted to the Mirabel airport near Montreal, where the crew awaited further instructions. An hour and a half after landing in Montreal, the plane, which was carrying some 180 passengers, took off for John C. Munroe International Airport, near Toronto. The plane was refueled, and was awaiting permission to continue to Los Angeles, the flight's final destination.

El Al transported the 44 passengers who were to disembark in Toronto from the alternate airport outside to the city, and transferred 45 passengers who were to board the flight to Los Angeles.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said it was investigating the case, but spokesman Sgt. Jocelyn Mimeault also refused to discuss any details about the security threat. The Toronto Star quoted Pearson International Airport spokesperson Ken Mitchell as saying that a threat was made to the aircraft and to the Toronto airport. According to the paper, Mitchell couldn't say if the threat came from onboard the aircraft or elsewhere.

"We do know that the threat was made while the aircraft was in flight and we know that the threat was made to this aircraft and to the airport," he said. "We don't know the nature of the threat or how that threat was transmitted," the Toronto Star quoted Mitchell as saying.

Bodies of Alleged Palestinian Collaborators Displayed in West Bank

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Masked Palestinians executed two men and put their bodies on display in a public square in the West Bank Thursday, saying they had collaborated with Israel. The men were kidnapped and interrogated by two militant Palestinian groups that say the men provided intelligence to Israel about their organizations.

Two militant groups - the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades and the Islamic Jihad, abducted the men two weeks ago. Both groups have carried out terror attacks against Israelis, including suicide bombings.

The two men were suspected of giving away the hideout of an activist for the Al-Aqsa Brigades, who was killed by Israeli troops. One of the two, a former member of Islamic Jihad, had also been accused of betraying two members of the group, who were also killed by Israeli forces.

Their alleged confessions were videotaped by their captors and shown in the central square of the refugee camp in Tulkarm on Wednesday night. Palestinian witnesses said gunmen took the two captives to an alley and shot them dead on Thursday, shortly before daybreak.

An official of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, the armed wing of Palestinian chieftain Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction, said the two groups had carried out the executions together. The bullet-riddled bodies were later dragged to the central square and propped up for public display.

Family members of the dead men came to take their corpses away as large crowds began to gather. Witnesses say the families fired guns into the air and vowed to avenge the deaths. Israeli security forces often make use of Palestinian informants to help them target wanted Palestinians. Fellow Palestinians has executed dozens of suspected Palestinian informers, since the latest uprising against Israel began more than three years ago.

Israel Plans New Apartments in Settlements

By VOA News

Israel is seeking bids to build about 300 new apartments in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, despite provisions in the internationally backed peace plan calling for a halt to settlement construction. The Housing Ministry invited the bids Thursday for projects in two settlements, one in the northern West Bank (Karnei Shomron) and a second in a settlement near Jerusalem (Givat Zeev). There was no immediate comment from the Palestinian Authority on Israel's plans.

In July, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government made a similar tender to expand the number of homes in a settlement in the Gaza Strip. At the time, Sharon's office said the construction plans were not a violation of the so-called "road map" peace plan because the expansion was confined to the settlement's existing boundaries.

The United States has said settlement activity is unhelpful to peacemaking and has threatened to withhold the cost of construction from a nine billion dollar loan guarantee package it has extended to Israel. In September, Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics released a report saying the number of Jewish settlers living in the Israeli occupied territories grew by nearly 13,000 residents - or about six percent - from 2001 to 2002.

Israeli Soldiers Inherit Second-Hand U.S. Army Underwear


The Israeli army's Winter 2004 collection will feature not-so-new long johns, bought from the U.S. military, the Israeli daily Maariv reported Wednesday.

The second-hand merchandise will naturally be washed before being handed over to the men, an Israeli army official told the paper, stressing that there was no shame in wearing used clothing and saving cash. The defense budget underwent deep cuts this year as part of an overall austerity plan adopted by the Israeli government.

Auschwitz Visitors Warned Against Thieves


Visitors to the Auschwitz former Nazi German death camp are being warned to be on the look-out for pick-pockets, the PAP news agency reported. Noting an increase in theft, museum officials managing the site have placed two signs warning of pickpockets at the camp's entrance.

Foreign visitors are particularly vulnerable to purse-snatchings, and being robbed of money, cameras and other electronic items. So far the thieves have evaded capture. Museum authorities have complained they lack the funds to set-up a monitoring system of closed-circuit cameras that could deter pickpockets.

Adolf Hilter's Third Reich deported some 1.3 million people from across Europe to Auschwitz, notorious for its gas chambers. More than a million people, mostly European Jews, perished at the camp. Each year around 500,000 people from across the globe visit the site, which has become the foremost symbol of the Holocaust.

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