Newsletter : 4fax1006.txt
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Arafat Blames Israel for Poisoning PA Residents
Yasir Arafat in an interview with the London-based Al-Shark al-Awsat newspaper repeated
an old accusation, blaming Israel for using uranium and other toxic agents to poison PA
residents. He maintained that Israel's actions have led to increased levels of cancer
among PA residents. Arafat also accused Israel of "crimes against holy sites", explaining
"extremists Israelis pray on the al-Aqsa Mosque" and drink alcohol on the holy site in
violation of Islamic law. Arafat also said that he would step down from office after he
has ruled an independent Palestinian state.
Iran Says it Now Has Missile with 1,200 Mile Range
By VOA News
Iran says it now has a missile with a range of up to 1,200 miles. Iran's state-run news
agency IRNA quoted former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as saying Iran has the
capability of launching such a missile and remains determined to further improve its
Military experts said they believe the old version of Iran's Shahab-3 missile had a
range of 800 miles, which would allow it to strike anywhere in Israel. The new modified
version with its increased range would be capable of hitting targets in parts of
Israel Arrests UN Employees for 'Terror' Activities
By VOA News & Ha'aretz
The Israeli army has arrested 13 United Nations employees on suspicion of terrorist
activities. Army officials Tuesday said charges would be brought against the 13. But they
did not provide specifics. The arrests come after Israel complained to the U.N. that
Palestinian terrorists were using U.N. ambulances to transport weapons.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched an investigation into those accusations late
Monday. The head of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine, Peter Hansen, rejected
the Israeli accusations as deliberately inciteful and as propaganda.
Israel Defense Forces chief of operations Yisrael Ziv did not confirm Tuesday evening
whether or not the army was justified in its accusation that Palestinian militants had
loaded a Kassam rocket into a United Nations ambulance in the Gaza Strip.
Ziv spoke at a media conference convened following a storm of controversy sparked by
the release of video filmed from an IDF drone aircraft in which, Israel claimed,
Palestinian militants in Gaza were loading a Kassam rocket into a United Nations Relief
and Works Agency ambulance. The UN agency claimed the object was a stretcher.
The IDF was reevaluating its claim - an apparent climb-down in a high-profile
confrontation - and Ziv emphasized the IDF "is not free of mistakes." On Tuesday, the IDF
removed from its Web site the military drone's video footage. When he was asked whether
the object in the film was a Kassam rocket or a stretcher, Ziv said: "I suggest we don't
deal with the object but rather with the context."
Professionals from air force intelligence are adamant they have the expertise and the
necessary equipment to properly identify images the Israel Air Force camera recorded. They
have said a Palestinian was carrying a Kassam rocket, or at least an anti-tank missile,
into an UNRWA ambulance in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza. But in the wake of media
pressure, the IDF has slightly modified its assessment, saying it still believes the
object in the ambulance was a weapon but that it can't completely rule out the possibility
that it was actually a stretcher.
"The Israel Defense Forces is reviewing the original analysis of the footage, in which
UNRWA vehicles are seen involved in suspicious activity in the combat zone in Gaza," an
IDF statement said Tuesday. IDF officers said Monday night "it's impossible to swear" the
object wasn't a stretcher.
Some members of the Hamas terrorist organization are on the United Nations' payrolls -
so confirmed UNRWA Chief Peter Hansen. In an interview with the Canadian CBC news agency,
Hansen justified UNRWA's employment of Hamas members by saying that many of them are
affiliated with the "political faction". Not all Hamas members are terrorists, Hansen
The salaries for UNRWA employees are paid through contributions from close to 40
countries, with 30% coming from the United States, 4% from Canada and over 55% from
European nations. Hansen's statements therefore tie the donor nations to at least one
Islamist terrorist group through the salaries paid to Hamas members.
Israeli Confesses to Killing, Dismembering Wife in Thailand
An Israeli man on trial for murdering and dismembering his wife in Thailand on Tuesday
changed his plea from not guilty to guilty. If convicted, he faces the death penalty. Eli
Cohen, 36, was arrested in February and accused of murdering Carol, his 26-year-old
estranged wife, during a vacation in Bangkok.
The arrest came after the discovery of a torso in a suitcase dumped in a canal in the
Thai capital. Other body parts and a head were found later in the canal and forensic tests
confirmed the body was Carol's.
Cohen had originally pleaded innocent to the murder, but on Tuesday confessed to the
crime. He insisted, however, that the murder was not premeditated. "I loved my wife a
lot," Cohen told the court through an interpreter. "I did what I did without thought."
The court accepted Cohen's plea reversal, which came shortly after the Israeli lost a
diplomatic appeal to have his trial transferred to a Tel Aviv court. The court heard the
testimony of three employees at the Prince Palace Hotel, where Cohen allegedly killed his
wife with a butcher cleaver. His case will continue Wednesday.
The head of Israel's State Prosecution international division, Irit Kahan, said in
August that if Cohen is sentenced to the death penalty, Justice Minister Yosef Lapid has
said Israel would appeal to the Thai king for clemency and ask the authorities there to
suffice with a life-sentence.
Israeli Company Keeping 'Lady Liberty' Safe
An Israeli company is helping to keep the newly reopened Statue of Liberty complex in
New York City safe. Nice Systems is aiding security using its smart video solutions,
The Ra'anana-based company has been working with the U.S. Park Police responsible for
the site's security, and installed its technology throughout the complex prior to its
re-opening two months ago. The Nice solution uses IT-grade video networking and
management, delivering images and advanced analytic applications to the park police to
help protect the 117-year-old national monument.
The Statue had been closed to tourists since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001,
and was reopened amidst warnings of further terror attacks on strategic buildings and
monuments in New York and Washington, D.C. Some of the new security measures include a
bomb-detection device that blows a blast of air into clothing and then checks for
particles of explosive residue.
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