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Stalactite Cave at the Avshalom Reserve


"The Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve, also called Soreq Cave, is dedicated to the memory of Avshalom Shoham. The 82-meter-long, 60-meter-wide cave is on the western slopes of the Judean Hills." "Although the Soreq Cave is relatively small, the variety of its formations rivals that seen in much larger stalactite caves... Scientists use them to study climactic changes that have transpired in this area from the time of their formation until the present."

Israel, PA to Announce Mutual Cease-Fire at Sharma Summit

By Ha'aretz

Israel and the Palestinians will effectively end more than four years of hostilities Tuesday at a summit meeting in the Egyptian resort town of Sharma el-Sheikh. The summit participants will be Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah of Jordan. The Egyptian protocol officers have decided that Abdullah will arrive first, followed by Abbas and then Sharon.

According to Israeli sources, Abbas will announce a cease-fire at the summit, while Sharon will promise to end Israeli military operations in the territories if the Palestinian violence stops. The two sides have been discussing the new security arrangements to be announced at the summit for the past few weeks. The four leaders will hold a news conference after their meeting at which each will deliver a speech, but to avoid the emergence of public disagreements, they will not take questions from reporters. Sharon, who will be on his first visit to Egypt since being elected, will also meet separately with Mubarak during the summit.

On Monday, the Israeli and Palestinian teams exchanged copies of Sharon and Abbas' speeches and tried to soften controversial passages. Sharon will speak of the importance of not missing the opportunity that has been created, call for "deeds, not words" in the war on terror and reiterate Israel's commitment to the road map peace plan. He will emphasize his determination to carry out the disengagement plan, but will say that Israel is interested in coordinating it with the Palestinians. He will also say that if the disengagement passes peacefully, it could serve to "jump start" the road map. Finally, he will detail Israel's planned goodwill gestures to the Palestinians, such as the release of 900 prisoners.

Abbas will reiterate his declaration from the 2003 Aqaba Summit about the need for the PA to have a monopoly on armed force within its territory. He also will express his hope that the current Israeli-Palestinian dialogue will lead to implementation of the road map, while warning that many thorny issues, such as the separation fence and the settlements, remain to be addressed in the future.

While the summit is taking place, Egyptian security officials will be continuing a round of talks in the territories with Palestinian security officials and the heads of the Palestinian militias in an effort to finalize the cease-fire arrangements. In Israel, police will step up the alert level throughout the country this morning, due to numerous intelligence warnings of possible attempts by terrorists to disrupt the summit with an attack inside Israel. Police will beef up their deployment and establish mobile checkpoints on various roads.

In Washington, President George Bush said Monday that he hopes to meet with the new Palestinian leadership in the White House this spring to discuss ways of furthering Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Speaking to reporters prior to a cabinet meeting, Bush noted that there is still much work to be done. However, he was full of praise for Abbas, saying that he had been very impressed by the new Palestinian leader's commitment to fight terror. Abbas, he added, received an electoral mandate from many Palestinians and enjoyed his public's confidence.

Bush said that he planned separate meetings with Abbas and Sharon as part of the American effort to build mutual confidence between Israelis and Palestinians. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered invitations to both leaders during her visit to the region this week, and Monday, she expressed confidence that the Sharm summit would succeed.

Interior Ministry to Expel Prostitutes Who Testified Against Pimps

By Ha'aretz

The Interior Ministry is planning to expel some 15 women who were brought into Israel to work as prostitutes and agreed to testify against the men who imported and sold them. The Justice Ministry, however, is planning to help them fight expulsion, through its department for legal assistance to the needy.

The women are residents of a hostel set up by the state for the purpose of protecting them. Some of them have already testified against the pimps and women-traffickers; others have expressed the desire to do so, but are not needed. All would like to remain in Israel and work for another year. Then Interior Minister Avraham Poraz and Meretz-Yahad MK Zahava Gal-On, who headed a parliamentary committee on women trafficking, promised them they would be able to do so.

Yasmin Keshet, the lawyer who is representing the victims, last week applied to the Interior Ministry on behalf of a 19-year-old from the Ukraine, who infiltrated into Israel via Egypt. She grew up with an alcoholic mother and a stepfather who abused her and agreed to come to Israel as a prostitute. According to the charge sheet against her procurers, she was sold at a Tel Aviv parking lot to the owner of an escort agency, where she worked without being paid, ostensibly to pay for her travel expenses to Israel. She was raped by the agency owner and suffered injuries. Because of her testimony, the pimp, Grig Sholkin, was convicted of human trafficking, assault and other charges, by his own admission. He has not yet been sentenced.

Hadas Shafir of the State Prosecutor's Office confirmed that the young woman cooperated fully with the police and the prosecution, and provided evidence concerning several suspects. As a result, she has received threats and is scared to return to the Ukraine. She also tried to sue Sholkin in a labor court for not paying her, but withdrew her lawsuit after her family - including her 10-year-old half-brother - was threatened. Meanwhile, she received a temporary visa and is working in a cosmetics firm. The lawyer said that the woman hopes to continue working there another year and to earn money before returning home.

I Fear for America

By Emanuel A. Winston (Commentary)

Mystical - Superstitious...perhaps. But, given the Bush plan to re-partition Israel, I think the Bush conglomerate of family, oil interests, partnership with the Saudis and the Palestinian Arab Muslims will bring disaster upon our nation.

The Bush spokesmen have told Israel that, not only will they have to deport Jews from Gaza/Gush Katif but also everything East of Sharon's Ghetto Wall must be removed. All of Judea and Samaria, including defensive border settlements of the Jordan Valley and that part of Jerusalem occupied by Jordan for 19 years from 1948 to 1967, and very likely the Golan Heights.

Although the nine major terrorist organizations still proclaim that they will destroy Israel, nevertheless, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice carries with her President Bush's words that this is his mandate - despite what he has learned about Arab Muslim terrorists in Iraq.

Strange, isn't it, the Bush family with its roots in Germany is mandating that the Jews of Israel, so many of whom escaped Nazi Germany, that the Jews must be deported to please the Arab Muslims. I fear that the Bush Dynasty plans to defy God's Will and bring terrible consequences onto America although we will be told this is all from Mother Nature.

I think we are likely to see a major seismic movement under the Ohio Valley with the Great Lakes sloshing in their basins (something like an inland tsunami). Or perhaps the San Andreas' Fault is likely to slip, making the San Francisco earthquake seem like minor tremor. In any case, the message will be unmistakable.

In a previous article I commented that one must be either very brave or very stupid to confront God's Will when He stated that the Tribe of Abraham (the Jewish people) were to settle the Land of Israel. There are many players beyond Bush. God has His price. We have already started to pay. The question now is: How much?

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