Newsletter : 4fax0202.txt
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Bus Bombing Footage Widely Viewed Online
The Foreign Ministry announced Sunday that 700,000 people have viewed its website at www.mfa.gov.il since attaching video footage from the scene of Thursday's Jerusalem bus bombing. The Ministry took special note of the fact that over half of the site's hits have been from overseas viewers, mostly from the U.S. and Europe
North Korea Tests Weapons on People, Gases Inmates
By Peter Apps (Reuters)
A documentary for the BBC's "This World" series, broadcast at 2100 GMT Sunday says
North Korea is killing political prisoners in experimental gas chambers and testing new
chemical weapons on women and children.
Titled "Access to Evil," the program features an official North Korean document that
says political prisoners are used to test new chemical weapons. In a statement, the BBC
said the documentary included comments by Kwon Hyuk, a new name given to a former military
attaché at the North Korean embassy in Beijing and chief of management at Prison
Using a drawing, he described a gas chamber and the victims he said that he saw at the
prison in the northeast of the secretive communist state, near the Russian border. "I
witnessed a whole family being tested on suffocating gas and dying in the gas chamber. The
parents, son and a daughter. The parents were vomiting and dying, but till the very last
moment they tried to save kids by doing mouth-to-mouth breathing.
"Normally, a family sticks together (in the gas chamber)... and individual prisoners
stand separately around the corners. Scientists observe the entire process from above,
through the glass."
Asked how he felt about the children, he said: "It would be a total lie for me to say I
felt sympathetic about the children dying such a painful death. Under the society and the
regime I was in at the time, I only felt that they were the enemies. So I felt no sympathy
or pity for them at all."
Campaign Launched to Bring Home Remains of Eli Cohen
By Jonathan Lis (Ha'aretz)
The family of Eli Cohen, the Israeli spy who was executed in Syria 40 years ago, Sunday
launched a campaign to have his remains returned to Israel for burial. It is being run in
conjunction with Zaka - Disaster Victims Identification organization.
Cohen's family is hoping Syrian President Bashar Assad's recent statements regarding
his willingness to resume talks with Israel, coupled with last week's prisoner-exchange
deal, could prompt the Syrian regime to release Cohen's body for humanitarian reasons.
Zaka director Yehuda Meshi Zahav passed on a letter recently from the family to U.S.
administration officials, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, in the
hope of drumming up international support for the campaign.
Cohen's widow, Nadia, on Sunday said when she heard of the latest prisoner-exchange
deal, she spoke with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, saying: "In the latest deal, Eli's
release wasn't top priority. When they released the Syrian and Lebanese prisoners, it
pained my heart and soul."
Cohen's daughter added that she didn't want the return of her father's remains to
become a political issue, and called on the government not to involve the family in the
question of the price Israel would have to pay in such a deal. Cohen's brother, Avraham,
has also made an approach to Assad, suggesting that he should "embarrass the government of
Israel and use the return of the body to put the ball back into the Israeli court, as a
step toward reconciliation between the peoples."
Continuing Ilan Ramon's Unfinished Mission
For thousands of years the Jewish people have looked to the moon to calculate the
celebration of holidays and dictate the configuration of the Jewish lunar calendar - now
it appears as though the Jewish state may send an astronaut to actually walk upon it.
Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Daniel Ayalon, told Globes financial newspaper that
Israel wishes to renew its cooperation with NASA to send a second Israeli astronaut into
space. "There is a good chance that another Israeli astronaut will fly to outer space in a
shuttle or other spacecraft," said Ayalon. "I wouldn't rule out the possibility that an
Israeli astronaut will land on the moon, as part of U.S. efforts to establish a permanent
When he circled over Jerusalem, Ramon emailed President Moshe Katzav that he recited
the Shma Yisrael prayer. Eight months before the trip, he and the other astronauts were
asked to make a list of personal items they would like to take into space.
Ramon took with him to space a picture drawn by a 14-year-old Jewish boy murdered in
Auschwitz during the Holocaust. The drawing shows a view of Earth from the moon, as
imagined by Petr Ginz, a multi-talented youth, who, like Ramon, was very interested in
science. Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust museum has placed the original picture on display
in memory of both Petr Ginz and Ramon.
As a representative of the State of Israel, he also took along a Presidential pennant,
as well as flags of the Israel Air Force, the two cities in which he lived - Be'er Sheva
and Ramat Gan - and the high school in which he studied. He hung a mezuzah on one of the
doors in the spacecraft; he took a silver 'hand' used for reading from the Torah; the
world saw him proudly wave his Kiddush cup used on the Sabbath; and in his bag was a Book
of Psalms. He often said at press conferences, "I am an emissary of Zionism and the
Israel Expects World Court Will Hear Case on Security Barrier
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel said it expected judges at The Hague will press ahead with a hearing on the West
Bank security barrier, despite mounting international opposition. Foreign Affairs
Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker said it was unlikely the International Court of Justice
would cancel a planned hearing this month on the controversial West Bank security
Baker made his comments after more than 30 nations, including the United States, lodged
objections against the court's authority to rule on the case. In addition to the United
States, the nations include 15 members of the European Union, Russia, Canada, Australia
and South Africa. The U.S. said the issue should be resolved in direct negotiations
between Israel and the Palestinians.
The hearing was scheduled in response to a petition from the U.N. General Assembly
asking the court to give an opinion on whether the barrier is lawful. But U.N. officials
said they cannot ignore the growing opposition, a sentiment echoed by Israel's justice
minister, Tommy Lapid. "We do not think that the International Court at The Hague has the
competence to deal with this issue. It is not a question of justice, but a political
question, and therefore they should not take up the case."
Palestinian chieftain Yasir Arafat disagreed. He said that, in the end, the case would
proceed and that Israel would have to cooperate. "They [the Israelis] can not stop it.
This is a United Nations resolution. They are trying to put all the obstacles in front of
this court. But not to forget, this is a United Nations resolution and they have to carry
on with it."
Arafat said Israel wants to use the barrier to seize more land and unilaterally
determine the boundaries of a future Palestinian state. Israel denied the claims, saying
the project must be completed to stop Palestinians from crossing into the Jewish state to
carry out suicide bombings and other terror attacks.
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