Newsletter : 5fax0408.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Calls to Come to the Mount to Stop the Jews
Calls were heard throughout Palestinian Authority autonomous areas on Thursday, seeking
to draw the masses to make their way to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Friday, to sleep
on the Mount to prevent Jews from taking part in a prayer service on Sunday. While police
plan to restrict the number of Islamic worshipers permitted on the Mount for Friday's
Islamic prayer services, tens of thousands of Islamic worshipers are planning to remain on
the Mount through Sunday to act as human shields to prevent Jews from making their way
onto the Mount.
Special Command will Oversee Elite Pullout Units
(Israel News Faxx editor's note: This "news story" appears to be slanted. However in
this journalist's opinion, it offers an illuminating view into the mindset of various
governmental elected officials.))
The Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police have recently set up a special command to
coordinate the activities of the select units that will take part in implementing the
disengagement plan. Teams from the select units will be deployed close to the settlements
slated for evacuation, and will serve as "intervention forces" to deal with possible
violent opposition to the pullout, including the use of live weapons.
Brig. Gen. Amos Ben-Avraham, who has extensive experience in overseeing the operations
of small, elite forces, will head the special command. Ben-Avraham, who now heads the
IDF's Leadership and High Command School, spent a large portion of his military service in
the General Staff's elite commando unit, heading the unit in the early 1990s. In 2002, he
served as commander of the IDF's Judea Division, which was responsible for the areas of
Bethlehem and Hebron for a few months.
Ben-Avraham's command will oversee teams from a number of elite units, including the
Police Special Anti-Terror unit, the Naval Commando, the Israel Air Force's Shaldag unit,
the Prisons Service's Massada unit, and the Eilat District's Anti-Terror unit, which is
made up of reservists. If necessary, the inclusion of additional units will be
The units chosen for the task have extensive experience in dealing with complex
situations that arise in small areas; for example, tackling armed individuals who are
holed up in homes and take hostages. In this regard, it appears that the Police Special
Anti-Terror unit and the Prisons Service Massada unit are the best trained and
A senior security source told Ha'aretz that members of the "intervention teams" would
not be deployed in the settlements themselves, so as not to stir up extra tension.
Instead, they will be deployed near the settlements, and will be called into action only
if required. In such an event, Ben-Avraham's special command will take responsibility for
dealing with the crisis.
The soldiers and police who participate in the pullout will be unarmed, with only the
members of the special units allowed to carry arms in the area slated for evacuation.
The rules of engagement for the operation have yet to be determined, but they are
likely to be restricted to extreme cases in which the lives of the security forces are at
risk. Both the IDF and Israel Police are preparing for various "horror scenarios,"
including possible attempts to reconstruct the "bunker" set up by Kach members during the
evacuation of Yamit in Sinai in 1982, when those holed up there threatened to blow
The special units assigned to the pullout mission will soon begin specific training
exercises in preparation for dealing with possible developments during the evacuation
operation. The units will be instructed to use discretion and minimal force, but they will
also be prepared to storm a building or home in the event that such action is
The defense establishment has various assessments with regard to the intensity of the
expected opposition to the evacuation. On one hand, following the approval of the state
budget, security officials are sensing erosion in the opposition of the central stream of
the Gush Katif residents and increased willingness to enter into talks on an orderly
pullout. On the other hand, right-wing extremists, most of whom are not Gush Katif
residents, seem to be stepping up their actions.
In recent weeks, a number of settler leaders, politicians and rabbis have been holding
behind-the-scenes talks with IDF and police officers in an effort to ensure that the
evacuation does not deteriorate into bloodshed. One issue under discussion is for the
settlers to give up their arms a day or two before the evacuation begins, so as to prevent
the possibility of shooting incidents.
Former Chief Rabbis Renew Call to Disobey Pullout Orders
The Rabbis' Union for the People and Land of Israel, headed by former chief Rabbis
Mordechai Eliyahu and Avraham Shapira, Thursday reiterated its call to security forces to
refuse orders to evacuate settlements under the disengagement plan.
Speaking in Jerusalem at a convention of some 2,000 yeshiva students from around the
country, Shapira called for help in the anti-pullout campaign of the Gush Katif and
northern West Bank residents. "We all have to support and maintain strong ties with the
Katif and Samaria residents, and to act with daring and courage, without flinching,"
Shapira urged. "This plan goes against Jewish law and the Torah, and we must not be
accomplices to a crime. ... We must put into practice the true way of the people of
Israel, the way of the Torah."
Black Minister: Israelis and African-Americans Natural Allies
Pastor Glenn Plummer, previous chairman of the National Religious Broadcasters
Association and an influential American minister spoke at this month's Christian Allies
caucus meeting in Jerusalem.
Plummer proposed measures to begin repairing relations between African-American
communities and the State of Israel. "The African-American and Jewish communities should
be natural allies. In a recent poll, 62 percent of African-Americans said they had read
from their Bibles within the previous seven days. They certainly know the difference
between Isaac and Ishmael. We get it."
Plummer urged Jews to remind black Americans of the past alliances with the Jewish
community during the Civil Rights era. He also said two other issues elicit a strong
pro-Israeli sentiment among American blacks. One, he said, is the common experience of
slavery in countries that still exist today. The other is the rescue and resettlement of
thousands of black Jews from Ethiopia. The pastor said he was unaware of the existence of
black Jews until his trip to Israel last summer. "There has never been a people of color
brought out of a country of oppression to freedom-you did that," he said. "That story
needs to be told."
Lasek Surgery Disqualifies Pilots from Training Program
If you are one of many who underwent Lasek laser surgery for the removal of eyeglasses,
perhaps in the hope of becoming eligible to apply for the Air Force's pilot training
program, you may as well begin looking for an alternative military career.
The IDF's weekly BaMahane magazine reported that people who underwent Lasek surgery are
not eligible to apply for the pilot training program under regulations established by the
air force's medical board. Those who wear eyeglasses or had the surgery are ineligible to
The decision was handed down last week after Air Force medical experts consulted with
ophthalmologists, admitting data and long-term studies and patient follow-up are not
available. Lt. Col. Dr. Bella Azzariya admits data is limited, adding the air force is
unable to determine how altitude, lack of oxygen and other factors will impact a person
who underwent the surgery, so the medical experts are compelled to take a hard-line
approach in the matter.
Azzariya added pilots who underwent the surgery will be permitted to continue flying,
but will be compelled to undergo periodical examinations to monitor the situation.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)