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Arafat Calls for Cease-Fire With Israel During Olympics

By VOA News

Palestinian chieftain Yasir Arafat has called for a cease-fire with Israel during the Olympic games. At a lighting ceremony for the Olympic torch at his beleaguered Ramallah compound, Arafat declared his respect and commitment for an Olympic truce. The games take place in Greece from August 13 until the 29th. The Palestinians plan to send a swimmer, two runners and a boxer to Athens.

Terrorists Carry Out Tunnel Attack, Shoot at Rescue Workers

By Reuters, VOA News, Ha'aretz &

Palestinian terrorists set off a massive explosion underneath an Israeli army base in the Gaza Strip Sunday evening wounding at least six soldiers. Heavy exchanges of gunfire was reported as Palestinian gunmen opened fire on Israeli troops as they evacuated the injured to hospital.

The terrorists detonated a huge bomb inside a tunnel they had dug under an Israeli army outpost, severely damaging a concrete building. Wounded soldiers had to be lifted by troops from beneath the rubble at the army base, at the Kissufim junction in the Gaza Strip. During the evacuation, Israeli ambulances came under constant attack from Palestinian gunmen and Israeli troops returned fire.

Terrorists fired automatic weapons and mortars at rescue forces, attempting to prevent the evacuation of those injured in the explosion. A Magen David Adom ambulance driver told Israel Radio that he was shot at immediately upon arriving at the scene and was ordered to leave the area.

The militant Islamic group Hamas, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction, claimed joint responsibility for the attack. The groups, both listed by the State Department as terrorist organizations, said the bombing was in retaliation for the killing of top leaders of their organizations by the Israeli Army.

In Gaza City, about 2,000 people, including about 100-armed men, went out into the streets to celebrate. Cheering crowds of tens of thousands of Palestinians filled the streets of Gaza City in celebration. Gunmen fired in the air and youths set off pipe bombs. "God pleased our hearts. An eye for an eye," they chanted.

The explosion was the first successful Palestinian bombing against Israeli troops in Gaza in more than a month. On May 12, Palestinians blew up an armored personnel vehicle, killing five soldiers along the Philadelphia route, which separates Egypt from the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Cabinet has approved in principle a plan by the Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, to withdraw troops and remove all Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip by the end of next year.

Israeli Channel 10 Television said one soldier was believed dead, but emergency services were uncertain there had been fatalities. The terrorists called it retaliation for Israel's assassination of two top Hamas leaders earlier this year as well as the killing of a leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in the West Bank city of Nablus Saturday. The factions said 1,50 kg. of explosives were hidden at the end of a 350-yard tunnel under the post.

A soldier on the scene told Arutz-7, "There were two huge explosions and now there is a giant crater where the parking lot once was - the whole structure has caved in," he said. " Thank God, they seem to have dug it under where they thought our barracks were, but instead blew up the parking lot - thank God everyone is accounted for. It is really a miracle that they didn't succeed in blowing up the barracks. There were malachim (angels) guarding us tonight as we stood guarding Israel," said the soldier, "we can feel it."

Naomi Shemer: 'Jerusalem of Gold' Composer, Dead at 74

By & Ha'aretz

Songwriter Naomi Shemer, 74, the composer of the Six-Day War anthem "Jerusalem of Gold," who died Saturday after a long illness, was laid to rest Sunday evening in Kvutsat Kinneret, where she was born. Shemer had prearranged the funeral, including a request that her coffin not be placed in Tel Aviv. No eulogies were given, in accordance with her wishes.

She wrote a song called "Atzuv Li Lamut Be'emzta Tammuz" (It Saddens Me to Die in the Middle of Tammuz), but Shemer, known as the "First Lady" of Israeli song, was one of Israel's most famous composers and song-writers of the Jewish State's founding generation; an icon of Hebrew song composition.

Her works, which include many odes to the Land of Israel and expressions of the wishes of a nation, became an integral part of Israeli culture. In addition, Shemer also composed many well-known children's songs and set Hebrew poems by such masters as Rahel and Natan Alterman to music. In 1987, Shemer was awarded the Israel Prize for her contribution to Israeli music.

"We have had a great privilege that a giant like Naomi Shemer has lived and created in our generation," said Education Minister Limor Livnat. "A woman of gold who was able to weave the milestones of the life of the country into her songs and with her giant talent to express the rebirth of Israel in its land. Naomi has left us an immortal legacy of Hebrew works on which many generations of Israelis will be raised." Israeli schools will be dedicating one hour of class time to Shemer's memory.

One of her most famous songs was "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" (Jerusalem of Gold). It was written as a theme song of sorts for the 1967 Israel Song Festival and became instantly popular. It attained mythical status when, a short time after the song was aired, Jerusalem was reunited in the 1967 Six Day War. Shemer then composed an additional stanza celebrating the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem and the road to Jericho.

Another song composed by Naomi Shemer that became an Israeli folk song is "Lu Yehi" ("Let it Be"). A furtive prayer following the Yom Kippur War, it began as a translation of the Beatles song by that name and evolved into an independent hit. A most recent musical composition of Shemer's that touches on Israeli current events was put together in the wake of the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin in 1995 and is a translation of Walt Whitman's "O Captain, My Captain" set to music. Shemer leaves behind a husband, two children, four grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

Artist Dudu Elharar performed four of the singer's songs. President Moshe Katsav, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Education Minister Limor Livnat, Knesset members and artists, attended the ceremony.

Ben Gurion: There are Limits to Jewish Rights


"No Jew has the right to yield the rights of the Jewish People in Israel. No Jew has the authority to do so. No Jewish body has the authority to do so. Not even the entire Jewish People alive today has the right to yield any part of Israel.

It is the right of the Jewish People over the generations, a right that under no conditions can be cancelled. Even if Jews during a specific period proclaim they are relinquishing this right, they have neither the power nor the authority to deny it to future generations.

No concession of this type is binding or obligates the Jewish People. Our right to the country - the entire country - exists as an eternal right, and we shall not yield this historic right until its full and complete redemption is realized."

David Ben Gurion - at the Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in 1937


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