Newsletter : 5fax0308.txt
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600,000 Migrating Storks Flying Over Israel
This week, Israeli ornithologists of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Kfar
Rupin, in the north of the country, spotted the first storks returning from their
migration to tropical countries south of Israel. The storks, which fly over Israel during
autumn months as they fly south, are now crossing through Israel's skies as spring begins.
The birds are heading toward Europe. In the next few days many more flocks of the birds
are expected to fly over the Jewish State. 600,000 storks are expected to grace skies
above Israel before the end of April.
West Bank Shooting Threatens Fragile Israeli-Palestinian Ceasefire
By Larry James (VOA-Jerusalem)
Palestinian gunmen opened fire on an Israeli military post, near a religious shrine in
the West Bank city, Hebron, Monday, wounding two border policemen and threatening a
fragile Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire. The army said the gunmen opened fire at troops
guarding the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a shrine revered by both Muslims and Jews.
Witnesses said gunmen fired dozens of shots in Monday's attack. Three weeks ago in the
city, Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian who the army said tried to stab a
soldier. Hebron is often a flash point for violence. Some 400 to 500 Jewish settlers,
protected by Israeli soldiers, live among a Palestinian population in the city of some
120,000. The attack threatens a fragile ceasefire agreed to last month between Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, at a meeting in the
Egyptian Red Sea resort, Sharm el Sheikh.
Israel has been calling on Abbas to crackdown on those militant groups who do not abide
by the ceasefire. For his part, Abbas has said a promised Israeli pullback from
Palestinian cities in the West Bank would be vital in his efforts to restore calm. Abbas
is expected to meet Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz to discuss the
possible handover of West Bank towns. Some Palestinian officials also said Israel would
hand over Tulkarem, Tuesday, removing most, if not all the checkpoints around the
Galilee Arab Arrested in Plot to Attack the Knesset
A 20-year old Arab from the Western Galilee was arrested on the Temple Mount three
weeks ago by the Shin Bet (Israel's domestic intelligence service) and the police for
planning to carry out an attack in the Knesset.
The man was seized after he had applied for a job as a construction worker in the
Knesset and after having preparing the explosives for carrying out the attack. The suspect
apparently learned how to prepare the explosives from the Internet. The suspect made
contact with the building contractor who lived in the same village and tried to enlist his
help in planning the attack. According to the police, the suspect had intended to measure
the thickness of walls in the building in order to prepare the attack.
Police and security officials suspect that the Galilee Arab also tried to enlist other
Arab youths from his village to carry out two other attacks: kidnapping and seizing the
weapon of a soldier living in another town and attacking an IDF base in the north.
Commander of the Galilee police, Danny Hadad said that the suspect bought materials for
putting together bombs and started experimenting with them. "One successful experiment
caused a small explosion and damage to his home." Some of the materials the suspect used
to prepare his bombs were mercury and filament that he extracted from light bulbs.
A Knesset spokesman said that about 200 workers are employed on construction site for
the Knesset's new wing, including Israeli Arabs. The spokesman said that all workers are
investigated before being hired. Although the suspected was arrested on Feb. 13, news of
the story broke Monday only after a court in Akko lifted a gag order barring publication
of the incident.
Another Israeli Arab, from a neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem, has also been arrested
on suspicion that he was to take part in an attack on the Knesset. The Jerusalem Arab
denied the charges and said that he is being accused because he spoke with someone
"suspicious" on the Temple Mount.
PA Media Glorify Bomber of Tel Aviv Night Club
While PA leader Mahmoud Abbas issues tersely worded condemnations of the Feb. 25th
suicide bombing of a Tel Aviv night club, the PA news media has been glorifying the memory
of the bomber, Abdalla Badran, calling him a "shahid," a martyr, a person who died for the
highest ideals of Islam. Taking a page right out of Arafat's book, Abbas has been
projecting a moderate, pragmatic image abroad while the PA's state-controlled media
depicts the suicide bomber as a hero fighting for Allah.
The daily newspaper, Al-Ayyam, for example called Badran's family, "the family of the
Shahid" and the bomber an "istish-shahid" a shahid who sought death for Allah and
succeeded. Another paper, Al-Hayat Al-Jedida, printed a giant color photo of the terrorist
on the front page with a caption calling him the "Executor of the Tel Aviv Operation", a
caption more appropriate for a fighter carrying out a daring commando raid behind enemy
lines than for a terrorist who killed five innocent people at a birthday party.
IDF Troops Receive Real-Time Surveillance Footage on Their Wristwatch
IDF troops are now equipped with video watches that can display images shot by unmanned
aerial vehicles (UAV), giving soldiers a full view of areas where they are operating.
The screens are about three inches (7.5 cm) wide, and weigh just a few ounces. The LCD
screens display color video beamed in real time directly from the UAVs. "We are living out
what we have seen in science fiction movies," said Yitzhak Beni, chief executive of
Tadiran Electronic Systems, who designed the devices.
The communications system has shortened the amount of time it takes security forced to
identify and strike a terrorist target. "Before it was 10 to 12 minutes, now it's a matter
of seconds," Beni said.
Last Chance to Hunt Down Nazi War Criminals
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is willing to pay 15,000 Euros for information leading to
the capture of Nazi war criminals---before it's too late to bring them to justice. "Last
Chance" is what the center is calling its latest, and possibly last drive to locate and
capture Nazi war criminals that were involved in the slaughter of six million Jews during
World War II.
The center, headed by Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff, noted that since the fall of
communism in Romania in 1989, not one Nazi living in or taking up refuge in that country
has been prosecuted, perhaps because of the government's denials that its citizens had
been involved in war crimes during World War II. Last week, the center announced that it
had new, substantive information regarding 15 people who had participated in the murder of
Jews during the Holocaust. The Romanian government has already started investigation four
of the new files.
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