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L' Frankie, Yom Haledet Sameach

Happy Birthday Frankie

Israel to Implement Gaza Pullout Despite Growing Opposition

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem) &

Israel is promising to implement its pullout from Gaza on schedule this summer, despite a lack of cooperation from Jewish settlers. But, Israeli public support for the withdrawal is diminishing.

With the target date for starting the Gaza pullout just over two months away, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon convened Cabinet ministers to discuss progress. And for Sharon, the news wasn't good. The top official planning the withdrawal said only 87 of 1,800 Gaza settler families have applied for compensation.

Gaza resident Rachel Sapperstein says the aim is to pressure the government to call off the pullout. "The people here want to stay home, and we are going to resist up until the end," she said.

Sharon accused the settlers and their supporters of incitement, and warned that demonstrations and vandalism will not stop the evacuation of 21 Gaza settlements. "The evacuation will take place exactly on schedule," he said, referring to the target date of mid-August. But a new poll shows that Israeli public support for the pullout is plunging. The Israel Radio poll showed 50 percent support for the plan, down from a high of 64 percent last year. The drop is attributed to warnings by senior military officials that the Gaza pullout will be followed a new wave of Palestinian terror.

As one man on the street, Ilan Zovuler, told VOA. "What's going to happen after we pull out from Gaza? They're not going to be shooting rockets into Ashkelon? Of course they're going to," he said. Ashkelon is the closest Israeli city to Gaza.

But British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who met with Palestinian leaders in the West Bank, said the Gaza pullout is good for peace. "It's in everybody's interest for this withdrawal to take place and be successful," he said. Straw said Sharon would have a lot more room to maneuver if there's an end to Palestinian terror.

Haifa University students scattered live fish on the campus Wednesday afternoon to symbolize what they termed the "stinking" evacuation plan. In Safed, anti-evacuation slogans were sprayed on the walls of the local volunteer police station. And in the south, cow manure was spread on army vehicles at the Negev base set up to direct the planned evacuation. The action may have been the work of area residents who oppose environmental damage caused by the base.

Israel Attacks Terrorists in Gaza

By BBC News

An Israeli aircraft has launched an airstrike on militants in the Gaza Strip, but the targets of the attack escaped unhurt, witnesses said. The Israeli military said it targeted a mortar launcher and a vehicle carrying mortar shells near Khan Younis. The assault followed a missile attack on a Jewish settlement in Gaza on Tuesday that killed three people. They were among six people killed in violence that continued despite a ceasefire agreed by both sides.

The terrorist group Hamas said that both the vehicle targeted on Wednesday and the people nearby belonged to the organization. They managed to escape before the explosion, witnesses said. In Tuesday's attack, a missile launched from Palestinian areas of Gaza into a Jewish settlement killed four Palestinian workers and a Chinese worker. On the same day three Palestinians, including a militant leader, were shot dead by Israeli troops.

Tuesday was therefore one of the most bloody days since a ceasefire was agreed in February between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Israel has warned the Palestinian leadership to do more to prevent militant groups launching attacks. Palestinian Interior Minister Nasser Yussuf on Tuesday urged all Palestinian factions not to break the truce.

Jesus Died of Blood Clot, Researcher Says

By & Reuters

Anyone who flies in a plane knows that doctors recommend moving around every hour or two. The fear is that prolonged sitting raises the chances of a blood clot being carried to the lungs, which can be fatal. In fact, a researcher at Haifa's Technion-Israel institute of Technology argues that that is exactly what killed Jesus.

Prof. Benjamin Brenner, the head of the Coagulation Unit at Haifa's Rambam Medical Center, published his findings in an international journal dealing with the topic. Brenner contends that, contrary to popular belief, it was not blood loss that killed the savior of the Christians but pulmonary embolism.

Brenner bases his belief on the Gospels' description of the last 24 hours in the life of Jesus, and on ancient Roman documents. "Pulmonary embolism, brought on by blood clots in the veins of the legs of the crucified victim, is more likely to bring on death when combined with dehydration, multi-trauma, orthopedic surgery and loss of movement," Brenner concluded.

During Jesus' last days, his body suffered intense strain as he was forced to walk three miles while carrying an extremely heavy crucifix, Brenner said, adding that he did not receive enough water during an 18-hour period and sustained multiple lashings causing trauma to his body. Brenner said that Jesus' inability to move after being nailed to the crucifix by his lower and upper limbs increased the chance of blot clots developing in his legs. His fast-paced breathing made him lose fluids quicker, causing him to dehydrate, he said.

Brenner told Ynet that additional proof substantiating his thesis is the fact that Jesus' death was sudden and in a relatively short period of time - between three to six hours - indicating that blood clots spread from his legs to his lungs. In addition, Jesus came from the Galilee where research shows that 25 percent of the population suffers from thrombophilia, an increased risk of developing blood clots in veins and arteries. "Doctors who researched the New Testament and Roman documents from that period all agree that Jesus' death was quick and sudden, which substantiates my thesis," Brenner said.

In response to the possibility that his thesis may cause outrage among the Christian world, Brenner said the editor for the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis is in fact Italian and accepted his article for publication immediately. The reason for publishing such a controversial article was to increase and strengthen awareness for this dangerous illness, which is the main cause for 10 percent of most hospital deaths in recent years, he said.

A 1986 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association mentioned the possibility that Jesus suffered a blood clot, but concluded that he died of blood loss. But Brenner said research into blood coagulation has made significant strides over the past two decades. He noted that before crucifixion Jesus underwent scourging, but the researcher concluded that "the amount of blood loss by itself" would not have killed him.

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