Newsletter : 5fax0527.txt
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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
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
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
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
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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