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Massive Reserve Call-Up Planned for Evacuation


The IDF will put into action almost all available reserve soldiers this summer during the planned evacuation, Brig. Gen. Ariel Hyman said Thursday. In a normal year, only 60 per cent of the reservists are called for duty. They will not be used for the actual evacuation but field medics, rabbis and lawyers will be called on to assist with the evacuation. Other soldiers will service in order to free regular soldiers to be available for action, depending on circumstances, he said.

Hizbullah: More than 12,000 Missiles are Deployed on Israeli-Lebanese Border


Five years after Israel's rushed retreat from southern Lebanon, Hizbullah terror chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said he commands more than 12,000 missiles deployed along Israel's northern border. Speaking at a rally on Wednesday marking the fifth anniversary of Israel's withdrawal, Nasrallah said ominously, "The entire north of occupied Palestine [sic], its settlements, airports, seaports, fields, factories and farms is under the feet and hands of the Islamic resistance."

The IDF is taking the threat seriously, carrying out a three-day military exercise aimed at testing the army's capabilities in the event of an escalation by Hizbullah along Israel's northern border. Of particular concern is the likely possibility that Hizbullah will launch attacks during the planned withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria.

Hizbullah attacked IDF positions along the northern border and fired Katyusha rockets at Israeli towns during "Operation Defensive Shield" of April 2002. That operation was a massive and largely successful attempt to dismantle the terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria following the Park Hotel Passover massacre and other terror attacks.

In January, Hizbullah terrorists blew up an Israeli bulldozer in the Har Dov region. Last Friday, Hizbullah terrorists fired a series of mortar shells and rockets at Israeli positions in that same region. Israel responded to those attacks with focused air strikes and artillery fire on Hizbullah positions. Brig. Gen (res.) Yaakov Ayash told Yediot Acheron that the IDF is also preparing for the possibility that not only Hizbullah, but other terror groups operating in Lebanon, might attack during this summer's planned uprooting of Jewish towns.

Hizbullah sees the Gaza withdrawal as confirmation that the group's methods of terrorism worked and continue to work in bringing about Israeli retreats. Banners featuring the Hizbullah logo were hung throughout Lebanon this week, reading, "May 25: The gift to Lebanon and to the children of liberty." The signs allude to what Hizbullah views as a decisive victory over the IDF and its "gift" to Arab terror groups in Israel and PA areas in teaching it how to bring about further withdrawals.

Bush Meets Palestinian Leader at White House

By Paula Wolfson (VOA-White House)

President Bush said that for the first time, the United States would provide direct aid to the Palestinian people through their own government. It is a show of support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Bush made the announcement with Abbas at his side, fulfilling one of the main objectives of the Palestinian leader's trip to Washington.

Speaking to reporters in the White House Rose Garden, Bush praised Abbas for his commitment to democracy and reform, steps the White House considers vital for the creation of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state. He said a great achievement in history is now within reach, noting that Israel is moving forward with a plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip. "To help ensure that the Gaza disengagement is a success, the United States will provide to the Palestinian Authority $50 million to be used for new housing and infrastructure projects in Gaza," Bush said.

In the past, American aid to the Palestinians was funneled through non-governmental organizations. Bush indicated the change was a sign of faith in Abbas. "Mr. President, you have made a new start on a difficult journey, requiring courage and leadership each day. And we will take that journey together," Bush said.

Abbas made clear that while the withdrawal from Gaza is welcome, it must not be seen as a substitute for a comprehensive peace plan. He called for efforts to revitalize the framework for negotiations known as the "Road Map." Speaking through an interpreter, he warned that time is of the essence. "Time is becoming our greatest enemy. We should end this conflict before it is too late.".

Abbas spoke of his determination to maintain calm in the region, noting violence is now at its lowest level in four years. But he emphasized Palestinians remain very concerned about Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, and the erection of an Israeli security barrier." These settlement activities, in addition to undermining President Bush's vision in establishing a Palestinian and contiguous state, that is a viable state that can live side-by-side with Israel, it also contributes to the feeling of frustration and despair."

Bush said illegal Israeli outposts must be dismantled and settlement expansion must stop, noting they are not permitted under the Road Map. He also called for the Palestinian Authority to take more action to curb terrorist groups. Bush was then asked about the presence of candidates from Hamas on the ballot for July 17 Palestinian elections. The president said the United States still sees the militant group as a terrorist organization, adding he does not believe it will get elected.

This is Mahmoud Abbas's first trip to Washington as president of the Palestinian Authority. Bush refused to meet with his predecessor, Yasir Arafat, calling him "an obstacle to peace."

Israeli Firm. Produces Clothes hat Adjust to Body Temperature


An Israeli clothing manufacturer has designed a line of clothing using a fabric that automatically adjusts to a wearer's personal body heat. Bagir is using a high technology wool blend designed to maintain a wearer's comfort level regardless of the temperature of his surroundings.

The special fabric was created by Bagir's sister company, Polgat Textiles, Globes reports. A specialist in developing unique fabrics for apparel manufacturers, Polgat combined wool with a technology developed for NASA called "Smart Fabric Technology." The special technology contains patented microencapsulated phase-change materials, called Thermocules, that absorb, store and release heat - maintaining a balance in temperature.

Outlast Technologies, the developer of the Smart Fabric Technology, issued Polgat the exclusive global license on all wool blend fabrication. Polgat CEO Ofer Gilboa told Globes that the high-tech capability has been introduced into a collection of classically tailored suits being marketed by men's haberdashery chain Jos. A. Bank, located throughout the United States. The suits are being marketed under the "Stays Cool" label, and Jos. A. Bank staff report excellent sales on the line so far.

Early Balfour Declaration Draft Goes on the Block at Sotheby's

By Ha'aretz

A rare early draft of the Balfour Declaration is on sale at Sotheby's, as part of a collection of 175 documents from the beginning of Zionism. The estimated sale price is between $500,000 and $800,000.

The documents, including the Balfour Declaration draft, belong to an owner who wishes to remain anonymous, said David Ryden, one of Sotheby's directors. The final draft of the Nov. 2, 1917, declaration states, "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." The letter from then-British foreign secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild also expresses Britain's "declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations."

The owner bought the documents several years ago from the estate of the daughter of Leon Simon, a senior British Civil Service official and an important Jewish activist who worked behind the scenes to formulate the Balfour Declaration. The documents will go up for sale on June 16 in New York.

The original Balfour Declaration has been found in the British government archives, said Ryden, adding that what Sotheby's is offering cannot be found elsewhere. He called it a wonderful document that shows history in the making. It is written by hand, with erasures and changes, said Ryden.

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