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New Immigrant from U.S. Says She Was Raped in Tel Aviv

By Ha'aretz

A Tel Aviv woman, 24, a new immigrant from the U.S., told police she was raped early Sunday morning on Ibn Gvirol Street, in the city's center. The woman told police that she was walking down the street toward her house at around 5 a.m., after coming out of a bar, drunk, when a man assaulted her and dragged her into a courtyard. She said the man raped her and then fled the scene. The woman, who sustained injuries to her face and legs, went to get medical treatment and then turned to the police.

Tel Aviv Bus Bombing Kills 1, Injures 31

By VOA News, & Ma'ariv

An explosion at a bus stop in Tel Aviv has killed a woman and wounded 31 other people. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a terrorist group closely linked with Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the blast. The group said it could strike when and where it wishes, despite Israel's security barrier. The bomb was planted outside the old central bus station in Tel Aviv. The blast blew out the windows of a bus standing nearby.

Sgt. Ma'ayan Naim, a 19-year-old female soldier, was killed. When city bus line #26 passed by shortly after 7 a.m. on the first day of the Israeli workweek, the bomb was detonated, apparently by remote control, wounding both pedestrians and bus passengers. Her parents, Chaim and Mazal, identified their daughter's body at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute. IDF representatives accompanied by city psychologists arrived earlier at the school of Ma'ayan's little sister and told her that she had died.

lbina Natayev, 23, a security guard riding the bus on her way to work, described the immediate aftermath of the blast: "The door [of the bus] was destroyed, and the windows were blown out. Everyone was in panic. People fainted and others were shouting, 'run away.' The bus driver also shouted that we should get out. I told him to open the door, which he did, and then we all fled from the bus. I saw people outside with metal fragments in their eyes; others outside had fainted, because the blast originated from outside the bus. Many people were running in all directions. One woman covered in blood came to me for help. She was in much worse condition that I was."

One lightly hurt victim of the blast was an Arab citizen living in Jaffa, who declared emphatically afterwards on Voice of Israel radio: "I was against the [security] fence, but now I am for it, and I will start a society in favor of it. If the terrorists can get even me, an Arab from Jaffa, then there is really no other solution."

Tel Aviv police chief Yossi Sedbom said the bombing had apparently been carried out by Palestinian militants, but that it was not a suicide bombing. The bombing was the first since March and occurred just two days after the U.N. World Court ruled that Israel's separation barrier is illegal and must be dismantled.

In a statement released by the al-Aqsa Brigades, the group said that the attack was a response to the killing of the group's operatives, including its Nablus leader Naif Abu-Shrah. A senior group operative told NRG Ma'ariv, "The bomb was placed in the bus and not as the Israelis say. It is a quality attack that will force the Israeli defense establishment to face new challenges. Israel's wall will not prevent our resistance fighters from reaching Tel Aviv".

Israel said it would not abide by the court ruling, saying the barrier it is building is a defensive measure to keep Palestinian attackers out of the country. Palestinians say the barrier is an Israeli land grab. About one quarter of the planned 685-kilometer long West Bank barrier has been built.

Israeli Premier Orders Building of Barrier to Go On

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has ordered construction to continue on the West Bank security barrier, despite a World Court ruling declaring the project illegal. The court's advisory opinion had been requested by the U.N. General Assembly.

Sharon said the court's decision encouraged Sunday's Palestinian bombing in Tel Aviv that killed at least one person and wounded 31 others. He issued his instructions on the West Bank security barrier after meeting with senior government ministers and officials to discuss Friday's ruling by the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

Sharon said construction of the barrier would continue, in line with a recent ruling from Israel's Supreme Court that called for changes to the route to ease the hardship caused to some Palestinians. At the same time, Sharon made it clear that Israel, totally rejects the decision of the World Court at The Hague. He described it as a one-sided decision based only on political considerations.

Helping Singles March Two by Two - Home to Israel


A new initiative seeks to ensure that finding a mate will not be a barrier to those wishing to make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel). Kumah-Americans Return to Zion , an organization dedicated to "encouraging and facilitating mass Aliyah to Israel by all Jews of the exile" launched their newest project.

Organizers hope will help singles both in Israel and the Diaspora. The initiative, dubbed 'Project SingOlim', is geared towards eliminating the phenomena of young Jews in the Diaspora who postpone their Aliyah until they are married. Recent years have seen an increasing number of single olim. Several hundred singles will arrive in Israel this summer with an organization called Nefesh B'Nefesh.

SingOlim's founder Pinchas Orbach claims that despite the rising numbers, thousands "give up" their dream of making Aliyah, concluding that the criterion of seeking someone living in the Diaspora but serious about moving to Israel harms their chances of finding a spouse. Orbach, through Project SingOlim, seeks to prove that there is no need to "compromise" on Aliyah in order to find one's soul mate.

"There are plenty of singles that have already made Aliyah and plenty more still in the exile planning to make Aliyah," said Orbach. "Whether one chooses to look for their beshert (soul-mate) abroad or in Israel - giving up on Aliyah should not be an option. We seek to connect those who are already home with those who are on their way home and as Nefesh b'Nefesh was able to remove the financial obstacles holding back the floodgates of Aliyah - we seek to remove yet another perceived obstacle."

Orbach says that numerous social opportunities already exist in Israel - but that singles not yet in the Jewish homeland are unaware of the broad range of social activities going on. "There's lots going on, and there is a definite Aliyah revolution afoot, of which singles play a major part - it's important for them to see all that is happening for themselves."

Humor: School Teacher Terrorist Cell

By Israel Faxx News Service

At New York's Kennedy airport recently, an individual later discovered to be a public school teacher was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator.

At a news conference, Attorney General John Ashcroft said he believes the man is a member of the notorious al-gebra movement. The FBI is charging the teacher with carrying weapons of math instruction. "Al-gebra is a fearsome cult. They desire average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns,' but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'there are three sides to every triangle.'"

When asked to comment on the arrest, President George Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes."

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