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Bank Leumi Accused of Holding on to Holocaust Accounts

By Ha'aretz

Bank Leumi is holding hundreds of dormant accounts of Holocaust victims, according to accountant Yehuda Barlev, the external examiner who has spent two years examining the bank's records on behalf of a Knesset panel set up to find and recover such assets. Barlev and other accountants told the committee documents show the banks knew how much money they had that belonged to people killed in the Holocaust. Documents were also found showing that banks used some of the money for their business activities. The banks say the number of accounts discovered appears to be too many and the committee decided on an unfair formula to determine the real value of the funds, which were deposited before the outbreak of World War II more than 65 years ago.

Israeli Troops Kill Youth in Gaza

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinian officials have claimed that Israeli troops shot and killed an 11-year-old Palestinian boy and wounded several other youths in the Gaza Strip. The officials said the soldiers opened fire on a group of Palestinian youths suspected of trying to sneak across the border into Israel.

The Israeli army said that troops shot at the legs of seven people seen carrying a ladder inside the Gaza Strip toward the security fence. An Israeli army spokesman said the military suspects that what he called Palestinian terrorist groups sometimes dispatch minors to test for possible ways to cross the border. The spokesman says the youths are on a mission to help prepare armed groups to carry out terror attacks.

Palestinian officials denied the claims, saying the boys were hunting for birds near the security fence when they came under fire from Israeli soldiers. The officials also said that on other days Palestinian farmers and other citizens, who have innocently strayed into zones close to the border, have been shot at by Israeli troops without warning.

Israel said it closely monitors the electronic security fence it has built around the Gaza Strip to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers and others from reaching its territory to carry out attacks.

Foreign Ministry Supports Plan to Send Remains of Bus to Hague Court

By & Ha'aretz

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom is supporting an initiative of the ZAKA organization, to send the remains of a bus that was targeted in a suicide bombing attack to The Hague as the court hears arguments for and against the counter-terrorism partition fence.

To ensure safety for Israelis riding buses a system intended to protect buses from suicide bombers will be installed in the coming three weeks on a number of buses to check the applicability of the system. Within a number of months, the system will be installed on many buses across the country.

The new system, which was developed by Israeli Military Industries and the Transportation Ministry, allows the driver to block anyone he deems suspicious from entering the bus by hitting a red button, which closes a turnstile. Electronic gates will be installed at rear entrances, which have been used by bombers to sneak on without the driver knowing. A sheet of armor is also mounted on the front of the bus below the window to block shrapnel if a bomber detonates right outside.

The system still depends on the driver being able to see through the would-be bomber's disguise, but later versions will be built using electronic explosives detectors that trigger an alarm and let the driver shut the door.

"Public transportation has been a preferred target of terrorists," said Transportation Minister Avigdor Lieberman at the Ramat Hasharon headquarters of IMI. "Now we have developed the technology to confront this problem."

New Egyptian Hit Song Blames U.S. For 9/11


Sha'aban Abdel Raheem, the Egyptian singer who brought the Arab world the smash hit "Ana Bakra Isra'il ("I Hate Israel," has now come out with "Kharittat Al-Tariq" ("Road Map"). The new song features, among other themes, an accusation against the Americans for having carried out the World Trade Center attack.

The lyrics say, "Hey people, it was only a tower, and I swear by God that they are the ones who pulled it down." The new hit song "gives voice to widespread views in the Egyptian street regarding the Sept. 11 events and the U.S.- Iraq standoff," according to an article in the Cairo Times weekly.

Abdel Raheem sings that the U.S. purposely carried out the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington "to make people think that Arabs and Muslims are terrorists and were behind that disaster. Now the U.S. can do what it pleases to the Arab world since everyone thinks they are to blame," the Egyptian culture magazine detailed.

"The song talks about the Road Map," the paper reported, "[and] goes on to describe how America is the spitting image of Israel and it carries out its desires, making the world into a jungle.' The song has been a success in Egypt's music scene, and the singer has been singing it at wedding parties and in TV appearances.

One Miracle Proven, Another in the Offing?

By Beth Goodtree (Opinion published in

In the Jan. 22 issue of Israel Faxx, a group of respected scientists proved that the Exodus from Egypt as written in the Bible was quite possible. In fact, Naum Volzinger, a senior researcher at St. Petersburg's Institute of Oceanology, made the following statement in a telephone interview: "I am convinced that God rules the Earth through the laws of physics."

Interestingly, this is exactly what I was taught in religious school (and I am not Orthodox) -- that God performs His handiwork through the forces of Nature. So what is the next miracle in the offing? Hold onto your kippahs and keffiyahs, because this one's a biggie and we may have already started to see it happening. It is all about the Temple Mount and that defiler and polluter of the most sacred and holy ground in all of Judaism, Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. We may be watching a miracle in the making. The following are the facts surrounding this possible miracle.

The Temple Mount is situated on earthquake-prone land and has suffered extreme seismic events in the past. Also, it is literally like a multi-layered cake of archaeology, each structure having been built upon the rubble of the previous one. This makes the foundations for the present usurping Muslim structures extremely vulnerable to any ground shaking.

On top of that, the WAQF (the Arabs controlling Judaism's holiest site) are excavating beneath it, probably to destroy any archaeological evidence that the Temple Mount is indeed a Jewish holy site. This excavation has so weakened the initially weak foundations that one entire section of the Wall is in danger of collapse. All it needs is a little push from Nature.... maybe by way of God.

On Jan. 19, there was a news item discussing the seismic susceptibility of Jerusalem. In a three-year study, conducted by the Geological Survey of Israel, researchers used computers to map Jerusalem's topography, geology, soil and the Old City's subterranean labyrinth of cisterns and tunnels. They warned that the area of the Temple Mount will fall victim to another major earthquake within the next 50 years.

Meanwhile, there has been an unusual amount of large seismic disturbances worldwide... Now earthquakes have, in the past, destroyed Al Aqsa several times. And while each event was a potential opportunity to reclaim that holiest of Jewish land and rebuild the Temple, the time, according to the Bible was not ripe. Before the Temple could be rebuilt, the Jewish people would have to return to, and reclaim their aboriginal land in what is now called the State of Israel.

Well, the Jews are back in their native homeland and making aliyah. The walls and foundations supporting Al Aqsa are on the verge of collapse due to poor planning and irresponsible excavations. All the signs of a coming 'geological event' are playing out before our eyes. Maybe it's time to start planning that Third Temple...

(BETH GOODTREE lives in the New York City metro area and has a background in advertising. She writes political commentary and the occasional humor piece. She may be reached at

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