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Today is Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day). Go to for a special 22-minute "Israel Salad' trip to Jerusalem

IDF Commander of Yesha: 'We Must Remain Brothers'


Speaking in Bet El Sunday night at the Jerusalem Day celebrations, Brig-Gen. Yair Golan expressed his wish that following the difficult weeks and months ahead, "We will remain brothers." He was referring to the period during which the IDF will be called upon to forcibly expel Jews from their homes in Gaza and northern Samaria.

Golan, who is the commander of the entirety of Judea and Samaria (Yesha), said that he would fight for the right of the Yesha residents to protest. He said that in his 25 years of army service, he spent much of it in Judea and Samaria alongside the local Jewish residents. "The army was embraced by the Jews here as brothers, and the feeling was mutual." The commander related a recent incident in which one of the officers serving under him was called a Nazi, and he said that there is no place for such language. "We must remain brothers. This is my wish for all of us."

Bet El Rabbi Zalman Melamed, a leading figure among Yesha rabbis and an outspoken opponent of the planned withdrawal from Gaza, spoke after Golan. After extending a hearty welcome to the top military commander, Melamed said, "We are in complete agreement with your words. Such calls do not represent us at all. It would even be worthwhile checking if the person who uttered such remarks at IDF soldiers is really a resident of Yesha, or a plant whose purpose is to be a provocateur."

The rabbi said that the government decision to expel Jews from parts of the Land of Israel no longer represents the majority, and that even if it did, there is a limit in a democracy to how much a majority can force upon a minority. Melamed wished upon the general. that he and the IDF fail in their mission to evacuate Jews from their homes, "and this will be your success." He warned that if the army "'fails' and does carry out this mission, it will cause an unprecedented rift in the military and in society at large." The rabbi dismissed the orders to carry out the withdrawal as a task of secondary importance and said that the real agreed-upon mission of the army is "the strengthening of the State of Israel and increasing its might and vigor. By adding fortitude and remaining strong, then we will reach an era of peace."

Only half of Israelis now support the government plan to force 9,000 Jews out of their homes, according to the latest poll published Friday by Ma'ariv. The poll reflects a continual and gradual decline in support, which dropped to 60 percent several months ago, and then to 55 percent last month. Opposition has grown to almost 40 percent from less than one-third a year ago.

The poll reinforces statements made by military officials to Ynet news that the intensity and depth of the anti-evacuation public could "shut down the country" and that the defense establishment will not be able to carry out the plan. The drop in support parallels an increasing feeling of insecurity among Israelis. The polls state that the feeling of "personal security" has dropped from 71 percent to 61 percent.

One explanation for the drop in support is an escalation in incitement and terror over the past two months, even as PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was telling President George W. Bush that the PA has made major reforms in its security organization. American officials have noted that the changes are administrative. The reforms not only have been ineffective in stopping terror but also have been received with rebellion.

Arab and Leftist Demonstrators Take Out Soldier's Eye


An IDF soldier lost an eye in a violent demonstration staged by Arabs and leftists protesting the security barrier. A new non-lethal weapon failed to disperse the crowd before the violence began. The demonstration took place against Israel's anti-terrorism partition barrier on Friday near the PA-administered village of Bal'in, near Modi'in. Towards the end of the long protest, it turned violent, with demonstrators hurling stones at IDF troops and taking out an eye of one soldier. The soldier was rushed to Tel HaShomer Hospital near Tel Aviv, but despite efforts to treat the wound, the soldier was left totally blind in his left eye.

Among the protestors were left-wing extremist activists from Israel and foreign countries. Arab MK Ahmed Tibi and a senior official of the Palestinian Authority also took part in the demonstration. A commander of the brigade providing security for the demonstration, Maj. Ronen Tamim, told Army Radio, "As they [the demonstrators] were ending their prayers, and as if it were an integral part of [the prayers], they began shouting inciting remarks at the soldiers, and immediately began attacking them" with rocks.

The attack occurred despite the use of a new non-lethal weapon for dispersing demonstrators, a device that emits very high and loud bursts of sound at a special frequency. The device, positioned about a quarter mile from the demonstration, emitted several bursts of sound, approximately one minute in length. The sounds reportedly caused some of the Arabs to cover their ears, but apparently proved ineffective in precluding violence against IDF troops.

Terrorism at my Doorstep

By Naomi Ragen (Commentary)

On Friday, the morning news reported that two terrorists from Islamic Jihad working out of Beit Hanina had planned a double suicide attack against the Jerusalem suburb of Ramot. They had planned to walk into a synagogue on Shabbat when it was full of worshippers and/or take a bus, or walk into the local shopping center and blow themselves up.

I felt my hands begin to shake. Ramot is where I live, and Beit Hanina is a 15-minute walk across the hills. What makes this especially horrible, is that it is happening all over the country daily since Mr. Abbas took over. There have been hundreds of attacks against Israeli civilians. And those are the ones that are successful. You won't even hear about those prevented, like the one in my neighborhood, if not for the alertness of our soldiers at the much-maligned checkpoints.

The fact is, things are quiet because our fence is working and our soldiers are successful. But most of the world (Jewish community included) doesn't understand that. They think there has been a slow down in terror because the Palestinian Authority is doing something. And they think that this deserves to be rewarded, otherwise we will go back to the days when buses were blowing up everyday. We are already "back" in those days, except we have been fortunate enough to catch these people.

But all our success has done is to shore up the reputation of a disreputable man and his despicable regime. Here are two web sites where you can read incident by incident the terror attacks that have been launched against our people in the last few months alone. You won't find any mention of attacks that didn't take place, like the one that nearly blew up a synagogue in my little Jerusalem suburb. ( and

Jerusalem Day Began Sunday Night


As Israel celebrates Jerusalem Reunification Day on Monday the Central Bureau of Statistics announced that Jerusalem is Israel's largest city. At the end of 2004, the number of residents in the capital city was 706,000 - more than 10% of Israel's total population, estimated at about 6.9 million residents.

Jerusalem is also one of Israel's youngest, with 32% of the Jewish population under the age of 15 and 11% over the age of 65. In Tel Aviv and in Haifa, 17-18% are under 15, while about 15% are over age 65. Jerusalem is also Israel's largest city in terms of area, measuring close to 50 square miles. Both Haifa and Tel Aviv are each less than half this size.

Israel's capital city was only its western half - until 1967, when a Jewish country regained control of the Holy City for the first time in 1,850 years. This occurred in the Six Day War, when Jordan - which had controlled eastern Jerusalem since 1948 - joined the hostile Egyptian-Syrian alliance against Israel, and promptly lost Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

Half-a-million people took part in Jerusalem Day celebrations last year, according to city officials. Most of them took part in festive activities, but some participated in memorial ceremonies. These included the official ceremonies for the 776 fallen Six Day War soldiers, and, for the first time, an official memorial for the 4,000 Ethiopian Jews who died en-route to Israel. The main feature of Jerusalem Day festivities is the "Rikudgalim" - the now-traditional dance/march to the Old City by tens of thousands of people waving Israeli flags.

However, Israel's Supreme Court has rejected a petition by the "Temple Mount Faithful" movement to ascend the Temple Mount Monday in honor of Jerusalem Day. The judges accepted the argument of Jerusalem's police commander that the decision must be made based on the situation at the time of the event. They also went so far as to accept the state's request that Gershon Solomon, the head of the movement, be banned from ascending the Temple Mount altogether, saying it would "disturb the public order."

Former Shin Bet Chief Warns Temple Mount Attack Would Trigger 'Total War'

By Ha'aretz

An attack by extreme-right Jews on the Temple Mount would trigger a large-scale war between Israel and the Muslim world, former Shin Bet chief Carmi Gillon told Ha'[ readers recently. During an Ha'aretz Q&A session responding to questions from readers, the former head of the domestic security service said far-right militants now pose serious threats to mosques in Jerusalem's Temple Mount compound.

"The consequences of such an act can be a disaster for the existence of the State of Israel and can bring a total war between the Muslim world, Israel and maybe against Jewish targets abroad," Gillon said.

Gillon headed the domestic security service in the mid-'90s, when rising Israeli political tensions over the Oslo Accords culminated in the November 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. A few months before the assassination, Gillon warned that fiery rhetoric by right-wing figures was encouraging radicals and fostering an atmosphere of violence. He left the service following the assassination.

Gillon warned that another assassination of a prime minister would pose a strategic threat to Israeli society. The former domestic security chief said that, despite the recent upsurge in Palestinian violence, he still has hopes Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is motivated to seek peace. "For the time being, he [Abbas] is not demonstrating the ability to act against the militants but we should give him time to gather his forces and to show his ability to rule the PA."

He also said the PA security forces possess both the knowledge and the means to enforce order in the Palestinian-controlled territories. "What they still need is motivation to act against violence," Gillon said. Calling for an end to Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Gillon said "the pullout is an Israeli need and not necessarily a Palestinian need and it comes to serve the needs of Israeli society." .

Google to Launch Israeli Subsidiary

By Ha'aretz

Internet portal giant Google is about to open an Israeli subsidiary and broaden its business here, Ha'aretz has learned. The company plans to create a Hebrew version of its portal Web site. Google is currently interviewing candidates for the CEO position for its Israeli operations. Last week, two business development managers from the Google branch in London visited Israel and met with managers of major portals and Hebrew language web sites to find future business partners.

Google has had a Hebrew language site for several years. It primarily serves as a search engine and is very popular in Israel. The site is managed from London. Expanding its Israel operations would greatly improve Google's Hebrew language support, both for its search engine and for additional services. Google Israel would not be limited to a search engine but would be a content-bearing portal providing news, e-mail services and business searches by category.

Should Google expand its services to include content, the move could reduce the numbers of surfers turning directly to major news sites. The very thought stirs up news organizations' fears of Google Israel's potential. Google's strength is also expected to greatly affect the Internet advertising market; the local industry fears that the Internet titan would take a constantly growing share of the advertising pie and control paid advertising in the portals' indexes.

Internet search engines earn money in two ways: Companies pay to appear in one of the first places in the search results or to appear in ads alongside the results. The Israeli search engine market currently generates $6 million in annual revenues, up almost 100 percent from a year ago. The total Israeli Internet advertising market stands at around $30 million annually.

Israeli Technology a Blessing For Those With Hard-to-Find Veins


Israeli technology will make life a whole lot easier for nurses and a whole lot less painful for people with hard-to-find veins. Israel's Vascular Technologies, founded in 1996 by CEO Eli Matalon, has developed an electronic device that can find a rollaway vein by beeping the moment the needle enters it.

Globes magazine reports that Matalon, who was a combat medic in the IDF, thought of the idea after realizing how difficult it was to insert a catheter into the vein of a soldier injured in the battlefield. Together with a team of eight engineers, he began developing the Vein Entry Indicator Device (VEID) in 1998. The device attaches to the back end of a catheter.

The VEID device comprises a pressure sensor, signal-processing unit, battery and miniature speaker. It operates by sensing the change in pressure when the needle penetrates a vein. The VEID then beeps within a tenth of a second, completing the procedure.

Since then, Vascular Technologies has obtained U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. Matalon said research conducted by his company at the Schneider Children's Medical Center, headed by Dr. Yaakov Katz, found that success rate for inserting a needle and catheter into children's veins rose from 70% to 91% using the device. Among patients with hard-to-find veins, the success rate rose from 26% to 90%.

The VEID currently costs $120 per unit, and can be reused about 2,000 times. The cost of a VEID-catheter adaptor is an extra 20 cents.

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