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Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Takes Post After Four-Year Gap

By VOA News

A new Egyptian ambassador has arrived in Israel to take up a post that had been vacant during more than four years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting. The restoration of full diplomatic relations between Israel and Egypt comes ahead of Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip later this year. Egypt and Jordan, the only Arab countries that have signed peace treaties with Israel, downgraded relations after the September 2000 outbreak of a Palestinian uprising, protesting what they said was Israel's excessively forceful response. Jordan's ambassador arrived in Tel Aviv on February 20.


Five Arabs Indicted in Plot to Bomb Knesset

By IsraelNationalNews.com

A Jerusalem court indicted five Arabs on Thursday for organizing a terrorist group that planned to bomb the Knesset. The group's goal was to gain entrance into al Qaeda. The terrorists hoped that after the bombing, they would be contacted by al Qaeda.

According to the indictment, one of the cell members, Morad Elian, 20, had just become a "devout Muslim". He is suspected of enlisting the other terrorists on the Temple Mount in the Al Aksa mosque. The suspects are also accused of attempting to assault an army check post, attack a Druze village in the Galilee in order to heat up Christian-Druze animosity, murder and rob a Jewish gas distributor, and set fire to the Jewish bakery where one of the Arabs worked.

None of the suspected Arabs were from Judea, Samaria, or Gaza. The multi-billion dollar security fence that Israel is erecting along the former 1967 ceasefire lines would not have prevented the planned attacks.


Israel Brings New Charges Against Nuclear Traitor

By VOA News

Israel has charged convicted nuclear traitor Mordechai Vanunu with violating the terms of his release from prison.

Vanunu was freed from an Israeli jail last year after serving an 18-year sentence for revealing secrets of Israel's nuclear program to a British journalist in the 1980s. Under terms of his release, the former Israeli nuclear technician was barred from contacting foreigners or leaving the country. He was re-arrested in November, after granting another interview in which he said Israel has up to 200 atomic warheads, a neutron bomb, and hydrogen bombs. Israel has never admitted or denied having a nuclear arsenal.

Reuters news agency reported a new indictment included 21 charges that Vanunu, a Christian convert, also violated release terms by trying to visit the West Bank in December to attend a midnight Christmas religious service.


Poraz Proposes Aliyah for Non-Jewish 'Great-Grandchildren'

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Knesset member Avraham Poraz (Shinui) has submitted legislation to amend the Law of Return in order to allow non-Jewish descendents of Jews, "great-grandchildren" of Jews to make aliyah (immigrate) to Israel.

The current version of the law allows non-Jews to immigrate to Israel so long as one of their grandparents was Jewish. Poraz said the law must be amended because "the [non-Jewish] grandchildren of Jews are not immigrating to Israel, something that causes a lot of difficulties."


Kibbutz for Sale? Yes - for $16 a Share on the NASDAQ

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Kibbutz Shamir, located in the Upper Galilee with 270 members is now listed on the NASDAQ. The kibbutz successfully took its subsidiary Shamir Optical to the NASDAQ with an initial public offering (IPO) that raised $56 million.

The sale of stock effectively diluted the kibbutz's share of the company from 80.6% to 61.1%. But members are laughing all the way to the bank. On its first day of trading, shares of Shamir Optical rose by 14.3% to $16, reflecting a market cap of $258 million. While Shamir Optical became a public company just recently, it's been in the optical business for 33 years. The company manufactures multifocal lenses to treat presbyopia.


Israeli Device Enables Tracking of Individuals at Risk

By ISRAEL21c.org (c) 2005

Wouldn't it be wonderful to let an elderly relative, who only occasionally becomes disoriented, have the freedom to go about his business knowing that he could easily call for help? Or know that if your child went missing, that there would be a reliable way to locate her? Or hit the ski slopes or go for a hike in the mountains, knowing that if an accident happened, you could be located?

A new system developed by Israeli company Ituran makes all of these things possible. The Personal Alarm & Locator (PAL) is the size of a standard pager, making it the first wearable location, tracking, and alarm device that can keep track of any person or object 24 hours a day, wherever he is. "After September 11, personal security became a major concern in the United Sates and around the world," Ituran CEO Nir Sharetsky told ISRAEL21c. "The PAL is a product whose time has come."

The Ituran tracking system on which it has built a solid reputation was jointly developed in the early 1990s by Air Touch-Teletrac and Tadiran. Based on the high-tech tracking system to locate downed pilots for the Israel Air Force, the Ituran technology is considered by many to be more reliable than the Global Positioning System (GPS) which relies on continuous, uninterrupted direct sky contact to successfully track and locate targets. By contrast, Ituran uses a terrestrial network of base stations to effectively track and communicate with mobile objects using a technology which is largely immune to electromagnetic disturbances and operates reliably even within dense urban environments and indoors.

The device can also be used for worried parents: with access to the Internet, parents can enter Ituran's web-site where they will have the ability to "see" their children any time of the day or night, and have the confidence of knowing their precise whereabouts. This may be when the children are on the way to school, at a friend's home, at the cinema or involved in any other kind of activity.

It can also be used to enhance the feeling of security of women or men who are traveling alone in dangerous areas. The panic button facility on the PAL application provides the ability for the first time, for help to be alerted, and provided at the precise location wherever it is required without any further assistance from the caller. The device clearly has commercial benefits as well. "Reducing the chance of protected merchandise with the PAL being stolen, will help companies and individuals receive high discounts on their insurance policies. Discounts from the insurance companies, and the fact that the PAL can be reinstalled between merchandise, gives the customer the ability to save money and see the system as a long-range investment," said Tuatara.

.By discreetly fitting the PAL to any valuable goods, which may be at risk, such as computers, diamond cases, cigarettes and so forth, the prospect of retrieval is greatly enhanced. Additionally, any cargo or courier carrying a PAL application can be tracked instantly and in real time anywhere in the world. In Israel, the device costs just under $300, with a monthly fee of $12. The price of the device in the US and other countries is $350-$400.


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