Newsletter : 4fax0831.txt
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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