Newsletter : 4fax0812.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
El Al to Raise Ticket Prices Due to Jet Fuel Costs
El Al Israel Airlines will raise the prices of its flight tickets between three and
five percent to overseas destinations in response to the rising cost of aviation fuel. El
Al is following the lead of foreign airlines such as British Airways which have announced
their intentions to more than double the fuel levies on long-distance flights in order to
partially compensate for rising fuel costs. El Al said Wednesday "due to the dramatic rise
in the cost of jet fuel around the world, the corresponding price adjustments made to
flight costs are unavoidable... The company is examining the timing and level of the price
increases." The price increase would need to be authorized by the Transportation Ministry.
Car Bomb Attack Injures Six at Northern Jerusalem Checkpoint
By VOA News & IsraelNationalNews.com
One person has died and at least 13 people were injured when a car bomb exploded at a busy
West Bank checkpoint Wednesday afternoon. A terrorist detonated a bomb at an improvised
military checkpoint near A-Ram Checkpoint on Jerusalem's northern border with
Earlier in the afternoon, checkpoints were established in response to credible
intelligence community warnings of an imminent attack - explaining terrorists were
attempting to enter the capital from a northern border point crossing to perpetrate an
attack in the capital. A terror alert continues at this time, focusing on the northern
capital, with security officials explaining another terrorist remains at large according
to intelligence community reports.
It appears the terrorist was riding in an Arab taxi heading toward the capital,
intending to carry out an attack. When a border policeman approached the vehicle at the
inspection point, the terrorist detonated the bomb he was carrying. Unconfirmed reports
indicate the terrorist was killed. A second explosion was also reported after the first
emergency units arrived on the scene. It does not appear there were any wounded from the
Six persons were injured, three seriously. The others appear in light condition. The
seriously injured were transported to Hadassah Ein Kerem trauma unit in the capital. The
others were transported to Hadassah Mount Scopus and Shaare Zedek Hospitals, also in the
capital. Some of the injured are Arabs, other passengers of the taxi occupied by the
The al-Aqsa Brigade of Yasir Arafat's Fatah terror organization released statements
claiming responsibility for the attack.
The Kalandria checkpoint is on the northern outskirts of Jerusalem and is the busiest
in the West Bank. Thousands of Palestinians cross through it each day as they go to and
from jobs in Israel.
Earlier Wednesday Israeli troops and tanks raided the Khan Younis Refugee camp in the
Gaza Strip in an operation that left more than a dozen Palestinians wounded, three of them
critically. The nighttime raid sparked clashes between Palestinian gunmen and the Israeli
troops who returned fire. The witnesses said the casualties occurred when an Israeli
helicopter fired at a group of Palestinian gunmen.
Israel said its forces destroyed 13 abandoned buildings that bordered the Jewish
settlement of Neve Dekalim. They said the building had been used by Palestinian gunmen to
fire on Israelis. The incursion ended when the Israeli troops withdrew just before
In the West Bank, a Palestinian teenager was killed and 10 others wounded by Israeli
forces in an incident Tuesday in Nablus during a clash between stone throwing teenagers
and an Israeli jeep patrol.
And two Israelis received minor injuries in a shooting and bomb attack on an armored
bus and three civilian vehicles Tuesday near the West Bank settlement of Ariel. Shooting
incidents that caused no injuries were also reported in Nablus and Rafah in the Gaza
Iran Tests Missile Capable of Hitting Israel
Iran's defense ministry said on Wednesday it had carried out a field test of the latest
version of its Shihab-3 medium-range ballistic missile which defense experts say can reach
Israel or U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf. Shihab means meteor in Farsi. Defense Minister
Ali Shamkhani said last week Iran was working on improvements to the range and accuracy of
the Shihab-3 in response to Israel's moves to boost its anti-missile capability.
A defense ministry spokesman confirmed a state television report that the test was
carried out "to assess the latest developments implemented on this missile." He declined
to give any further details.
Iran said its missile program is purely for deterrent purposes. Tehran also denied U.S.
and Israeli accusations that it is seeking to develop nuclear warheads which could be
delivered by the Shihab-3.Based on the North Korean Nodong-1 and modified with Russian
technology, the Shihab-3 is thought to have a range of 800 miles, which would allow it to
strike anywhere in Israel.
Amid media speculation that Israel may try to halt Iran's nuclear program by carrying
out air strikes on some atomic facilities in Iran, Iranian officials have said Tehran
would retaliate promptly and strongly to any such attack. "If Israel behaves like a
lunatic and attacks the Iranian nation's interests, we will come down on their heads like
a mallet and break their bones," the ISNA student news agency quoted Revolutionary Guards
Commander Yahya Rahim Safavi as saying on Wednesday.
Israel successfully tested its Arrow II anti-missile project in the United States last
month. It was the seventh time the Arrow II had worked but the first time it had destroyed
a Scud missile - similar to the Shihab-3 - in flight.
"The Israelis have recently tried to increase their missile capability and we will also
try to upgrade our Shihab-3 missile in every respect," the ISNA students news agency
quoted Shamkhani as saying last week. He said the improvements to the Shihab-3 "will not
be limited to the missile's range and will include all its specifications."
Iran deployed the Shihab-3 missiles to its Revolutionary Guards last July after
preliminary field tests were successfully completed. Six of the sand-colored missiles,
bearing slogans, which said "We will stamp on America" and "We will wipe Israel from the
face of the earth", were displayed at an annual military parade last September. Iran has
not said how many of the missiles it has so far manufactured. Military analysts say
questions remain about its reliability and accuracy.
A senior Israeli defense source said Israel believed Tehran was developing a Shihab-4
missile with a range of 1,054 miles capable of reaching Europe. Iran has denied this.
"This 'new and improved' Shihab-3 could well be Iran's way of producing the extended-range
missile while avoiding the Mark-4 label which would draw international concern," he
Seeking a Solution for Mass Aliyah From Indian Sub-Continent
The Chief Rabbinate is making intense efforts to examine the possibility of
facilitating the immigration to Israel of thousands of Indians, of the Manmassi tribe, who
claim to be descendants of the Israelite tribe of Menashe.
Last week, a delegation of the Chief Rabbinate, under the auspices of Chief Rabbi
Shlomo Amar, traveled to the border area between India and Pakistan, where a large
community of Manmassi has congregated.
Many members of the Manmassi have immigrated to Israel where they underwent conversion
for the sake of removing any doubt. However, the Interior Ministry recently decided to
halt immigration for the purposes of conversion. Many Manmassi members still seek to
return to the Jewish people and to Israel.
Anti-Semitic Incidents-- Also at Auschwitz
While on a tour of the Auschwitz death camp and memorial in Poland on Sunday, a group
of Jewish students from Israel and abroad were confronted by three French males who
shouted anti-Semitic and anti-Israel epithets at them. While the World Union of Jewish
Students (WUJS) group was being led through the site, the French tourists ran up and began
cursing and shouting at the Jewish students.
The Jerusalem Post quoted Maya Ober, 21, of Poland as saying the first assailant "told
us to go back to Israel and said that we were stupid and should be ashamed to walk around
with an Israeli flag."
The following day, vandals defiled a Jewish cemetery and war memorial in Lyon, France.
Swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti were painted on 56 graves and on a memorial to Jewish
soldiers who fought for France in World War I. President Jacques Chirac, the government
and Jewish leaders condemned the vandalism on Tuesday. More than 300 tombs or graves,
mostly Jewish but some Muslim, have been desecrated in eastern France just since April.
France is home to 600,000 Jews and five million Muslims.
To the east, in the Czech Republic, eighty tombstones in an ancient Jewish cemetery
were knocked over and damaged according to reports from Hranice, a township located 180
miles east of Prague. Vandals also sprayed swastikas on many of the tombstones.
Nominated CIA Chief's Record on Pollard
The man nominated by President George Bush to be the new head of the Central
Intelligence Agency, Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fl.), has been a fierce opponent of the release
of imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.
Goss, a former CIA operative and chairman of the House Select Committee on
Intelligence, was among the authors of an unprecedented 1999 proposed House Resolution
specifying, "Jonathan Jay Pollard should serve his full sentence of life imprisonment and
should not receive pardon, reprieve, or any other form of executive clemency from the
President of the United States."
At the time, Goss was quoted as saying, "He is one of the worst traitors in our
nation's history. There is absolutely no reason to let this guy out of jail. None." The
"Pollard Bill" is currently still in committee.
Pollard, declared a citizen of Israel and formally recognized as an agent of the state,
is in his 19th year of a life sentence in Butner, N.C. on charges of espionage on behalf
of Israel. A civilian American Naval intelligence analyst in the mid-1980s, Pollard
discovered that information vital to Israel's security was being deliberately withheld by
certain elements within the U.S. national security establishment and he acted to transfer
that data to Israel.
For a reply to the claim that Pollard is a "traitor," please see http://www.israelnationalnews.com/article.php3?id=4035.
Israeli Invents 'Walk on Water' Device
An Israeli has received a patent for an invention that would allow people to walk on
Yoav Rosen told the New York Times that he had dreamt of inventing such a device since
he was a child in Jerusalem. Although over 100 patents exist for devices intended to allow
one to tread upon water, Rosen said that, "unfortunately, none of them actually work."
Rosen's invention is made of Styrofoam and plywood, shaped like skis, which are tied
together so the walker's legs will not spread apart while walking. Attached to the
footgear are flaps that allow each foot to move forward "in real distance terms, and not
just relatively to the backward-pushing foot," Rosen said.
The inventor, whose wavewalk.com web site features much information on his invention,
said he hopes to see "water-walking" become a common pastime.
Israeli Firm Tests Long-Lasting Nose Drop Vaccine for the Flu
Every year, over 100,000 flu sufferers are hospitalized in the U.S. due to
complications. While most people overcome the perennial illness after a few days of high
fever and bed rest, weaker segments of the population - babies, the elderly and the ill -
are liable to die as a result of the flu. The annual damage caused by the flu to the
economy of the U.S. alone is estimated at over $25 billion.
Now an Israeli company has developed a revolutionary nose drop vaccine for influenza,
which promises to protect people of all ages for five years against all present and future
strains of the flu.
The patented vaccine - developed by startup BiondVax - has completed successful
laboratory testing on mice and is now securing funds for clinical tests on humans. The
vaccine is based on 20 years of research by Weizmann Institute of Science Prof. Ruth
Arnon, who earlier in her career was a senior member of the team that developed the
breakthrough drug Copaxone for multiple sclerosis.
Conventional flu injections are good for only one season, as the virus mutates every
year. According to Isaac Devash, chairman of BiondVax, their new vaccine is not dependent
on variable strains, so it will be long lasting and more protective. Only a single drop
need be inserted in the nose to be effective, he says.
"It's a quantum leap in technology," he told ISRAEL21c. "It's a totally different
concept from other vaccinations. What generally happens today is that there are 120
monitoring stations globally that look for new strains of virus around the world. Once it
shows up, they identify the surface of the virus and develop a vaccine to combat it."
"Prof. Arnon said 'I don't want to play that game'. It's tedious work identifying new
strains of the virus and there are always new ones coming up. She said let's look
conceptually at the virus - beneath the surface - to see if there are particular elements
that don't change. And then let's make a vaccine out of those parts which are universal in
all viruses," explained Devash.
Arnon, 71, is a world-famous scientist whose list of prizes and honorary degrees
includes the French Legion of Honor, the Wolf Prize for Medicine and the Israel Prize for
Medicine. She's published has published over 400 articles on immunology.
She decided to conduct research on flu viruses "because I thought that we needed a system
that suited human beings, and we already know a lot about the flu virus. Another reason
why I decided on it is that mice are sensitive to the same strains of flu as are human
beings, so that research can be done on them in the lab. That's a very important point.
With HIV, for example, there is no reliable model in animals," she told Ha'aretz.
The influenza virus - or 'flu' - is an acute respiratory tract infection that can
easily spread via coughing, sneezing or even hand-to-hand contact. During an epidemic, the
virus infects 5%-20% of the entire population. Global pandemics occur every 10-15 years
due to major antigenic changes in the virus and are independent of season. The 'Spanish
Flu' pandemic took the lives of more people during the years 1918-1919 than did the First
World War (20 - 40 million people).
Currently available vaccines are based on predictions as to which virus strain will be
prevalent in the forthcoming season. Failure to correctly predict the prevalent strains
and their unexpected antigenic changes are the main reason for the reduced level of
efficacy demonstrated by currently available vaccines.
"Our first milestone was to establish that the vaccine was effective on humanized mice.
It was the proof concept which we needed to move ahead." said Ron Babecoff, BiondVax 's
founder and CEO. The challenge ahead for BiondVax is to elicit similar results with humans
during clinical trials. To that end, the company recently launched a $4 million financing
round to finance human clinical trials of the intra-nasal flu vaccine.
Babecoff said the company's business model called for reached Phase II human clinical
trials in 2006 at a cost of only $4 million. "If this stage succeeds, we can link up with
a major strategic partner to carry out Phase III clinical trials. The strategic partner
will pledge additional resources and register the vaccine worldwide," he told Globes.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)