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Locust Alert in Southern Israel

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Agriculture officials are on alert in southern Israel with a locust infestation being reported in el-Arish, Sinai, possibly working towards southern Israel. Officials monitoring the swarms of locusts in the Sinai Peninsula report a high state of alert, adding if they do make their way to Israel, heavy damage could result. "Certainly in this region there is no need for panic," said Keith Cressman, locust-forecasting officer for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. "There is certainly a tendency when a swarm of locusts appear in such a large urban area like Cairo that an awful lot of people see it and it causes a lot of panic." He said the locust plague was the worst in 15 years. The Agriculture Ministry said if the locusts do hit Israel, they would be quickly exterminated.


Israel Army Mistakenly Kills Three Egyptian Soldiers

By Sonja Pace (VOA-Jerusalem) & Ha'aretz

Israeli troops killed three Egyptian soldiers along the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Israel has apologized for what it says was an "operational mistake" and has begun an investigation into the incident. The incident occurred in the early morning hours, Thursday, along the Philadelphi Road -- a patrol corridor running along the Gaza border with Egypt. It is an area where Israeli soldiers often battle Palestinian militants they accuse of smuggling in weapons from Egypt.

The Israeli Army said its troops had spotted three Palestinian militants planting a bomb in the area and ordered one of its tanks to open fire. The incident comes at a time when Israel is particularly eager for Egypt's cooperation in ensuring security in the Gaza Strip when Israel carries out its planned withdrawal from the Palestinian area, next year. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon apologized to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak told Sharon that Egypt accepts the apology and understands that the incident was a mistake, but the Egyptian Foreign Ministry condemned what it called irresponsible Israeli conduct and demanded an immediate investigation. Sharon said in his phone call to Mubarak that the shooting was a mistake and promised the IDF would conduct an investigation and share any findings with Egypt. He also said Israel would help Egypt with anything it wanted.

Egypt's Foreign Ministry called for the probe to be comprehensive. "While condemning and protesting strongly at this regrettable incident, Egypt demands the Israeli authorities hold an immediate, full and comprehensive investigation into the circumstances" of the shooting, a Foreign Ministry statement said.


Rabbi Targeted in Antwerp Shooting Attack Dies

By IsraelNationalNews.com

British citizen 24-year-old Rabbi Moshe Na'eh, the father of five, died of his serious wounds sustained Thursday in a shooting attack in Antwerp. Police in Antwerp are working under the assumption that the attack was racially motivated based on evidence in the case.

Na'eh departed the home of leading Hassidic Rabbi Leibush of Psheworsk at approximately 2 a.m. Thursday and was on his way home when he was shot. He collapsed as the assailants escaped, and was taken in critical condition to the local hospital. The attack occurred in a Jewish neighborhood of the city, adjacent to a largely Muslim-populated area. Belgian national police have initiated their own investigation into the case.

The police are supported in their evaluation that the murder was anti-Semitic by the fact that Na'eh was not robbed, even though he was carrying a hefty sum of money. The victim is a well-known personality in the Jewish community of Antwerp, and active in a Hassidic congregation.

Iranian Report: Zionist Death Squad Plans to Assassinate Palestinian Leaders

By IsraelNationalNews.com

A "Zionist commando group" has been established in Yesha (Judea, Samaria & Gaza) areas, headed by Mossad Chief Meir Dagan using Gush Emunim organization and settlers as operatives, Tehrantimes.com reported.

According to the report, the recent assassination attempt against Abu Mazen at a Gaza mourner's tent was the act of this commando unit, adding they are targeting other PA leaders as well. The group according to the report receives its operational instructions directly from Dagan, bypassing cabinet ministers.

The report quoting "sources" adds that "PLO Political Department Director Farough al Ghudumi, Hamas spokesman Mohammad al Hendi, Palestinian politician Ghasem Abdulsattar, Palestinian Parliament Speaker Ruhi Fatouh, Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, PA Prime Minister Ahmad Qureia, and former PA labor minister Mostafa al Barghusi are on the hit list of the Zionist group."


State Prosecution: No Citizenship for Non-Orthodox Converts

By Ha'aretz

The State Prosecution announced that it opposes Israeli citizenship for individuals who have undergone a non-Orthodox conversion through the Conservative or Reform branches of Judaism. The State Prosecution informed the High Court of Justice of its opinion in response to an appeal submitted to the court on the matter.

Interior Minister Avraham Poraz said that he opposes the stance of the State Prosecution, and will present his own position to the court. Poraz has already awarded citizenship to some of the appellants.

The High Court ruled five months ago that the Law of Return applies to non-Jews who come to Israel and during their stay undergo a conversion process in Israel or abroad. At the time, however, the court declined to take a stand on the question of whether Reform or Conservative conversion could be the basis for recognition.

In June, the judges also deferred ruling on whether to recognize non-Orthodox conversions conducted in Israel, until the opinions of the State Prosecution and interior minister were submitted. The State Prosecution claims that the interpretation of the Law of Return stating that a change in status in Israel should be based on private conversion, without state sponsorship or supervision, should not be accepted.

Attorney Yochi Gansin of the State Prosecution said that the position was reached through deliberations held in various forums, some of which were attended by ministers and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Attorney Nicole Maor, from the Israel Religious Action Center, which is one of the appellants in the case, said in response to the State Prosecution position that, "Time after time the court has given the state an opportunity to change its illegal position." "The state ignores the fact that most Jews belong to non-Orthodox streams."


Yad Vashem Central Database of Holocaust Victims to Go Live

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, will hold a major press event Nov. 22 to announce the uploading of its historic Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names to the Internet. The event will take place at Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies Lecture Hall where the Database will be presented and an international 11th Hour Campaign to collect more names of victims will be announced.

The Database, which will allow online public interaction and contributions of new names and materials, seeks to capture the names of as many Jewish Holocaust victims as possible. The sophisticated technology allows users worldwide to access a treasure trove of millions of personal, historical and genealogical documents using cutting-edge web search systems from the convenience of any computer.

The Names' Database is an international undertaking led by Yad Vashem to attempt to reconstruct the names and life stories of all the Jews who perished in the Holocaust. Through interactive features, users can submit information, perform comprehensive searches and take part in educational programs.




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