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Iranians Plan Attack vs. British Jews


The British "Daily Telegraph" reports that a group of 20 young Iranians were caught photographing synagogues and other Jewish community buildings. It is assumed that the suspects, who have ties with Al-Qaeda, were preparing a terror attack against Jewish targets in Great Britain. Two of the group was deported.

Syrian Foreign Minister Threatens Israel

By IsraelNationalNews & Ha'aretz

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk a-Shara, in an interview with a British newspaper published Sunday, said that his country might attack Jewish communities in the Golan if Israel attacks Syria again. Though Syria has long trained Palestinian terrorists, the first time in some 30 years that Israel attacked a Syrian target was three weeks ago, following a mass terror attack in Haifa in which 21 people were killed.

The target attacked by Israel was a terrorist training camp. "[I]f we are attacked again," said the Syrian dictatorship's foreign minister, "our people will not stand for it and we have to carry out the will of the people. We have many cards that we have not played," A-Shara continued. "Don't forget there are many Israeli settlements in the Golan. I am not exaggerating but I am describing things as they might happen."

After Syria and Egypt began threatening war - both declaratively and actively - against Israel in 1967, Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six Day War. This ended the Syrians' use of the area to shell and fire at Jewish towns in the Galilee. More than 17,000 Jews now live on the Golan and the slopes of Mount Hermon.

Syria has been on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism since the list's inception in 1979, and Washington has threatened to take diplomatic and financial action against Syria for its terrorist-supporting activities. The Assad government has in fact closed down offices of Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, but the Sunday Telegraph quoted a Western diplomat as saying, "Closing an office does not mean stopping the activities of an organization. They can simply move elsewhere - and they have mobile phones."

Israeli-Arab MK Azmi Bishara, who was indicted but not convicted last year after he expressed "praise and encouragement" for Hizbullah during meetings in Syria, met on Friday with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad - but this time in Qatar. Likud MK Gideon Saar said that Bishara's meeting with "the head of a terrorist-supporting enemy state" is more proof of Bishara's efforts to "undermine" Israel.

Palestinian Shot Dead Trying to Enter Jewish Settlement in Gaza

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli troops have shot dead a Palestinian militant attempting to infiltrate a Jewish settlement, and they destroyed Palestinian buildings that the Israelis said were being used to observe troop movements in the Gaza Strip. The demolitions forced the temporary evacuation of about 2,000 Palestinian residents.

The Israeli army said a fierce gun battle erupted early Sunday when a Palestinian approached the Jewish Gush Katif settlement bloc in Gaza with a rifle and hand grenades. Military officials said the attacker was killed the clash. The attack was one of several launched against army outposts and Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip since Friday.

Israeli troops responded to the attacks on Sunday by destroying three partly completed Palestinian high-rise buildings near the Jewish settlement of Netzarim. Israel said the buildings were being used to observe troop movements. That action came in response to the killing of three soldiers at Netzarim on Friday by Palestinian gunmen who infiltrated the settlement. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad - two groups that frequently carry out suicide bombings and other terror attacks - claimed responsibility for the killings. The announcement came after it was reported that the two organizations have recently agreed to join forces against Israel.

Hamas said it has accepted an invitation from Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia to attend talks. Qureia's office declined Sunday to disclose details of any meeting about halting attacks on Israelis, but reiterated the Palestinian Authority's interest in gaining Hamas support for a ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told his Cabinet he has instructed his foreign minister to press European governments not to support a Middle East peace plan drawn up by Palestinian politicians and Israeli opposition leaders. The Swiss-backed plan, giving Palestinians control over most of the West Bank, has been proposed as an alternative to the U.S.-backed peace road map that creates a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

German Holocaust Memorial Halted

By Deutsche Welle

Work on Berlin's much-delayed Holocaust memorial has been halted following objections to the participation of chemicals maker Degussa, which once had a unit involved in the production of poison for Nazi death camps. Degussa said in a statement released over the weekend that the company would respond to the matter at an appropriate time.

The foundation charged with the construction of a high-profile monument to Jews killed by the Nazis during the Second World War announced on Saturday work had been stopped indefinitely as it sought a replacement for Degussa, which was to coat the memorial to protect it against graffiti.

According to reports in the German media, foundation board member Lea Rosh said that contracting Degussa could offend many Holocaust survivors, since the company's former subsidiary Degesch supplied "Zyklon B" hydrogen cyanide gas pellets to Nazi concentration camps.

"The problem we discussed is very complicated," Rosh told the Berliner Morgenpost on Sunday. "We asked ourselves: Where should one draw the line? And we came to conclusion the line is very clearly Zyklon B."

Berlin's "Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe" has long been plagued with delays. In the planning for over 15 years, there have been disputes over its location, design, cost and building materials. Designed by U.S. architect Peter Eisenman the memorial will consist of a maze of 2,700 large concrete pillars and is being build close to the city's landmark Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag parliament building.

For many board members the association with the gas used in the execution of so many Jews appeared to make the Degussa's participation untenable, even though the Düsseldorf-based firm has never tried to hide its past and has paid into a Holocaust reparations fund.

The president of the German parliament the Bundestag and memorial foundation chairman Wolfgang Thierse pleaded for all parties not to engage in smearing the name of a company that now had a respectable international reputation. "We'll stop the work and will check the possibilities for using a comparable product for graffiti protection," Thierse told German ARD television.

Architect Eisenman had previously said he didn't want the concrete steles to be treated with a special anti-graffiti agent, arguing sprayers and vandals would find a way to paint the pillars if they really wanted to. It's unclear whether the decision to replace Degussa will postpone the completion of the memorial scheduled for 2005. Eisenman was only able to place the first pillars of the €27 million project on the site this August. Rosh, however, remained optimistic the delay would not be very long.

Potsdamer Platz overlooks south end of memorial construction site.

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