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Arab Prisoner Murders Elderly Jewish Cellmate


A 29-year-old career criminal from the Israeli Arab municipality of Um el-Fahm during the predawn hours Sunday beat his elderly Jewish cellmate to death in the Kishon detention facility. According to reports, Aharonson, 70, who was placed in detention for suspected domestic violence, was snoring in his sleep. This agitated Sami Mahajna who cut him numerous times with a razor blade and then beat him to death. Aharonson died of massive internal hemorrhaging and other assorted injuries including razor cuts.

Latest Iranian Missile has Upgraded Warhead

By Ha'aretz

The warhead of the Iranian Shihab-3 missile has been considerably upgraded, according to photographs published in Iranian newspapers of test launches three weeks ago. It is believed that the improvements will permit slower entry into the atmosphere so the warhead, which may be chemical in nature, will be more durable and its contents will be better protected. It is also believed that the missile's range has been extended.

The operational and technological conclusions from the changes in the missile indicate that the Iranians are not resting on their laurels in developing their surface-to-surface missiles, and have shown a daring approach to their technological planning. It is very likely that the Iranians are being assisted by foreign experts from the former Soviet Union hired by Iran under personal contracts, or by experts from North Korea.

It is also likely that the Iranian effort is not limited to the Shihab-3, which has a range of about 800 miles, but also to the Shihab-4, planned with a range of 1,250 miles or more. At present the Shihab-3 can already come within range of Turkey, which is a member of NATO, as well as most Saudi cities and oil fields. On the last test of the Shihab-3 on August 11, the missile did not pass the maximum trajectory that had been determined for it.

However the photographs published by the Iranians show several new details. In addition to the new warhead, the missile was fired from an operational vehicle and not from an ordinary surface launcher. In all the other Shihab 3 tests, the warhead was cone-shaped, but this time it has a new, flatter shape and appears to have various short wings.

Experts from various countries are expected to analyze the technological and operational aspects of the new form of the Shehab-3. It is especially interesting to several European countries, which understand that the day is not far when Iranian missiles will be within range of a considerable portion of Europe.

Israeli Diplomat Reported to Have Met American Under Investigation for Spying

By Sonya Pace (VOA Jerusalem) & Ha'aretz

Israel says it is not spying on the United States following reports that a Pentagon analyst, under FBI investigation for passing secret information to Israel on Iran, met with a senior Israeli diplomat in Washington. Officials confirmed Monday that a senior Israeli diplomat in Washington met several times with Larry Franklin, the analyst being investigated by the FBI.

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom denied that Israel has done anything wrong. He said relations between the two countries are so close that they routinely share classified information. He said meetings between diplomats and employees of the two governments are not out of the ordinary. He said such meetings are commonplace and the two governments routinely share secrets. "Israel and the United States have intimate ties ... and the information being exchanged is much more classified than any conversation that may have taken place," Shalom told a joint news conference with his German counterpart, Joschka Fischer.

The Israeli diplomat was identified as Naor Gilon, head of the political department at Israel's embassy in Washington, and a specialist on nuclear weapons proliferation. Israel says Iran and its nuclear ambitions pose the greatest threat to the Jewish state. Shalom did not mention Gilon by name, but when asked about contacts between Gilon and Franklin did not deny they had taken place.

Since news of the FBI investigation broke late last week, Israel has been adamant in denying that it spies on its closest ally, the United States. Officials and columnists have instead said this whole story has more to do with domestic U.S. politics during an election year.

The pro-Israel AIPAC lobby denied serving as a conduit for documents from the analyst connected to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's office. Newsweek magazine reported on Sunday that the FBI began investigating Franklin after tailing Gilon, the minister of political affairs at the Israeli embassy in Washington, who met an AIPAC representative for lunch. Franklin reportedly approached their table and engaged in a warm conversation with them.

However, Shalom said any meetings Franklin might have held with pro-Israeli officials were simply part of diplomatic work, according to Army Radio. "American embassy officials meet regularly with Israeli government officials. It's an accepted thing."

The magazine also said Franklin was once posted at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv when he served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. According to the report, FBI counter-intelligence agents were following Franklin when they saw him attempt to pass a classified policy document on Iran to an unnamed surveillance target.

The U.S. administration believes that the FBI will refrain from charging Franklin with espionage, American media said Sunday. The FBI apparently lacks any evidence that the Pentagon data analyst was operated by either Israel or AIPAC.

Franklin could be charged with mishandling a classified document. However, the FBI has yet to make an official pronouncement on whether Franklin will be arrested and what charges he might face. Nevertheless, investigators are broadening their probe and interviewing figures at the Defense Department, the State Department and outside the administration.

The investigation currently centers on a single document relating to a discussion held by senior administration officials about U.S. policy on Iran. Franklin is suspected of handing the document - which was classified - to AIPAC, which conveyed the document or its contents to Israeli government representatives.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that Franklin might have conveyed the classified information innocently, not realizing he was breaking the law. "The man is not a spy, he's an idiot," an official familiar with the investigation told the paper.

Yad Vashem & Poland to Cooperate on Establishing a Museum at Treblinka Site


Yad Vashem announced that it would cooperate with Poland to establish a museum at the Treblinka death campsite. The agreement in principle was reached between Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate and Andrzej Przewoznik, Secretary General of the Polish National Remembrance Institute. The latter was a guest of Yad Vashem last week to discuss the condition of memorials and commemoration arrangements at death campsites in Poland.

The agreement, which will be finalized over the next few months, calls for a new museum and exhibit to be established at Treblinka, as well as signs, printed material and facilities for the visitor. Yad Vashem will provide its expertise and professional advice.

There is currently a memorial at Treblinka, but it does not provide the visitor with enough information as to what transpired there. "It is important that the visitor understands what took place where he is standing," said Shalev. "To this end we are pleased to be working with the Polish authorities on this important project, and we will examine other extermination camp sites such as Sobibor and Chelmno as well to see whether additional work needs to be done."

Some 870,000 Jews were murdered in Treblinka, which operated from 1942 to 1943 as an extermination camp.

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