Newsletter : 4fax0819.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Week-Old Infant Injured in Negev Car Accident
By Nir Hasson
A week-old baby girl was moderately injured Wednesday in a car accident in the Negev in
the south of the country. Police believe that the accident, at the exit from Mitzpeh Ramon
toward Be'er Sheva, happened when the father of the infant fell asleep at the wheel, went
off the road and flipped over. The mother was holding the baby at the time to feed her
when the accident happened. The baby was thrown out of the car from the impact. She was
taken to Be'er Sheva's Soroka Medical Center and was found to be suffering from bruises to
her body and head. Her parents were lightly injured in the crash and also taken to the
hospital for medical attention.
Sharon Loses Likud Vote on Coalition Talks With Labor
By Bloomberg News
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon lost a Likud Party vote Wednesday to continue talks aimed
at bringing the Labor Party into his government. A resolution sponsored by Sharon's
opponents in Likud against the discussions with Labor won by a vote of 843 to 612, Likud
spokesman Shlomo Dahan said in a telephone interview.
A second resolution by Sharon supporting talks with all ``Zionist'' parties was
defeated, with 753 voting in favor and 765 opposed, he said. The vote by about 1,500
delegates who attended a party convention in Tel Aviv came after Sharon, 76, assailed his
Likud foes as ``irresponsible'' and said they were preventing him from leading the
Sharon is trying to widen his coalition after defections by the National Union Party
and the National Religious Party in June over his plans to withdraw from the Gaza Strip,
where about 1.3 million Palestinians live. The departure of the parties cut Sharon's
support in Israel's 120-seat parliament to 59. Sharon needs Labor to help move his Gaza
plan forward and to ensure passage of the 2005 budget and other legislation.
Arafat Promises to Reform Palestinian Authority
By Larry James (VOA-Jerusalem), Ha'aretz & ANI
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat has acknowledged that the Palestinian Authority has
made "mistakes" and he promised to correct them. In a speech to Palestinian lawmakers in
the West Bank city of Ramallah, Arafat said some of his officials have made unacceptable
mistakes and abused their power.
"There were wrong actions by some institutions, and some were irresponsible and misused
their positions," he said, adding no one is "immune from mistakes, starting from me on
down." But he did not name any other individuals nor did he provide any details of the
nature of those mistakes and abuses. The remarks were his bluntest since unrest erupted in
the Gaza Strip in July. It was a rare admission by the Palestinian leader that he himself
had made mistakes.
Arafat also acknowledged major failures in enforcing law and order in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip and pledged to support efforts to improve the situation. He said, "We need to
move together to correct and reform all the mistakes." But he made no mention of specific
actions to be taken.
Arafat has come under growing international criticism for failing to reform the
Palestinian Authority, particularly its security services, which are seen as corrupt and
ineffective. But perhaps the most serious criticisms he has faced have come from within
the Palestinian community.
Despite the calls that he relinquish some control over institutions, in particular the
Authority's security apparatus, he has maintained his tight grip. Arafat's appointment
last month of one of his relatives to a senior security position in the Gaza Strip sparked
violent protests and was followed by a wave of kidnappings. Arafat was forced to reverse
During his address to the Palestinian legislature, Arafat also called for Palestinians
to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails by taking part in a
day of fasting. About 1,500 of the estimated 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons
began a hunger strike for improved conditions on Sunday.
The terrorists' hunger strike continues for its fourth day - although some leading
terrorists feel that they need not starve as "intensively" as their underlings. Marwan
Barghouti, head of the Tanzim terrorist group who considers himself a potential candidate
to succeed Arafat, was photographed Tuesday sneaking a well-balanced meal in his prison
cell, while his fellow terrorists have not had a bite since Saturday night.
Israel Prison Service officials, who are closely monitoring the strike to ensure that
no one collapses or dies, said that Barghouti is not alone, and that at least 10 other top
terrorists - leaders of the hunger strike - have taken advantage of their solitary
confinement to grab a quick bite. "Once again we see that in Palestinian society, the
corrupt leaders send the ordinary people to fight to the death, while they themselves take
special privileges," Prison Service spokesman Ofer Lefler said.
Barghouti was among the organizers of the hunger strike. Prison Service officials said
they brought him a full meal yesterday and left it at the opening to his cell. They saw
him pull it in, then cover the windows with newspaper, and begin to eat - while looking
around to make sure that no one was looking. Prison Service officials were able to
photograph him, however, noting also that they later gathered his empty utensils.
Israeli officials plan to barbecue meat outside the prison cells so as to tempt the
terrorists to give up their hunger strike. "Among the various methods we plan to employ is
holding barbecues outside the walls of the affected prisons," the report quoted an Israeli
Prisons Service spokesman as saying.
Israeli Missile Strike Hits Gaza City Building
By VOA News
Witnesses said an Israeli helicopter fired missiles Wednesday at two buildings in Gaza
City. There were no casualties reported. The Israeli military said it hit two workshops.
One of the shops was a motor parts factory belonging to the family of a suicide bomber who
blew herself up in January, killing four Israelis. The Israeli military frequently attacks
such workshops, saying Palestinian militants use them to manufacture weapons for attacks
Israel said it was also responsible for an explosion in an apartment in the Gaza Strip
that killed five Palestinians and wounded seven others, four of them critically.
Palestinian hospital officials say the presumed target of the attack, Ahmed Jabari,
survived with leg wounds. The dead were identified as Jabari's son, his brother, his
son-in-law, his cousin and a relative of Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, the former Hamas leader
who was killed in an Israeli missile attack in April. An Israeli army statement said only
that its forces "targeted a senior Hamas terrorist."
U.S. Says No Troops Training for Iraq are in Israel
The United States rejected an Israeli newspaper report on Wednesday that its troops
were currently being trained by the Israeli army in counter-insurgency tactics for use in
Iraq. But the U.S. embassy in Israel said it would not comment on any previous exercises
with forces in the Jewish state -- a very sensitive issue for U.S. forces fighting
Islamist insurgents in Iraq.
The Jerusalem Post said U.S. army units were being trained at the Adam special forces
school near Modi'in in central Israel on guerrilla and urban warfare tactics developed by
troops fighting a nearly four-year-old Palestinian uprising.
It did not say what its source was, how many soldiers were involved or how long they
would spend there. "After completing their training, the units will return to Iraq," the
English-language daily said.
But a U.S. embassy spokesman told Reuters: "The report is false. There are no U.S.
troops in Israel conducting exercises with the Israeli army...From time to time the United
States and Israel conduct cooperative exercises but as a matter of policy we don't go into
The Israeli army said it did not comment on cooperation with foreign armies. Reuters
reported last year that U.S. generals were studying Israel's tactics against Palestinian
militants for use in Iraq.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)