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Sadat Nephew to Run in Egypt

By Reuters

The nephew of assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat announced Thursday he would contest the country's first multi-candidate presidential elections in September against his uncle's successor, President Hosni Mubarak. Talaat Sadat said he plans to stand for the tiny Socialist Liberals Party, but the party as a whole has not endorsed him.


U.S. Seeks to Blend Roadmap with Oslo Accords

By DEBKAfile

Ahead of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's visit to the Israel on Sunday, June 19, Bush administration officials are outlining a proposal for execution after Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. DEBKAfile's Exclusive Washington sources disclose their thinking is to resuscitate the 1993 Oslo Accords Phase 3, which calls for Israel's withdrawal from 60 percent of the West Bank - excluding East Jerusalem, Israeli communities and military facilities.

The U.S. conception would blend Oslo 3 and Middle East roadmap clause 2 which would establish an interim Palestinian state without permanent borders. Bush planners hope thereby to follow up on initial Israeli pullback with a sweeping withdrawal from large tracts of the West Bank. The Palestinians, for their part, would be asked to accept an interim state without pressing their basic demands on Jerusalem and refugee return. The timetable execution would spread over two years at least, winding up in 2007, i.e. the end of the Bush presidency.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was pressed by opposition leader Tommy Lapid after a string of parliamentary defeats to detail his plans post Gaza pullout. He said it will then be the Palestinians' turn to dismantle all terrorist organizations - else there would be no negotiations and no Palestinian state. DEBKAfile's sources add Sharon's line of thought is not exactly compatible with the latest thinking in Washington.


Golani Brigade Says No to Expelling Jews

By IsraelNationalNews.com

The IDF has decided to relieve the prestigious Golani Brigade of the task of removing Jewish residents from their homes, fearing mass refusal and lack of motivation among soldiers and officers. It was decided that the soldiers of the brigade, many of them either religious or children of immigrants, will be charged with defending the region from Arab terror attacks during this summer's withdrawal instead of removing Jews from their homes, which was their original assignment.

Hagit Rothenberg of the B'Sheva weekly reported that Golani Brigade commander, Col. Erez Zuckerman, informed the commander of the 36th division, Brig. Gen. Gershon HaCohen - who is supposed to command the uprooting of the residents of Gush Katif - that the soldiers of the brigade and their commanders are unable to fulfill the expulsion mission. The Golani Brigade Commander came to this conclusion in light of recent conversations with senior officers in the brigade.

The situation became apparent following a conference of Golani officers, when lectures on the importance of fulfilling the Disengagement mission and maintaining loyalty to democracy and the rule of law were delivered. The Brigade Commander noticed that officers were purposely avoiding addressing questions having to do with the question of fulfilling the expulsion order. Following the conference, the Brigade Commander invited all the deputy battalion commanders to a discussion to clarify the matter. The deputies told him unequivocally that the brigade was simply not built to fulfill the expulsion order, which they said was not the reason they joined the IDF.

An entire company of yeshiva-graduated Golani soldiers serving in the Philadelphi corridor informed their commanders that in the event that they are assigned to carry out an operation against a Jewish civilian population, they have no intention of carrying out that order. They say they will only act in a capacity against Arab attacks, but that if assigned any other task with regard to Jewish towns, the commanders warned of mass disobedience. "The sentiment of the commanders in the brigade is that they are being forced to choose who they are more loyal to - their father or their mother, to settlement or to the IDF," the deputy battalion commanders said, "and they want to continue to be loyal to both of them."

As a result of the briefing, the Brigade Commander informed the Division Commander that the brigade would not be able to take part in the uprooting of residents. The decision was then made to limit the actions of the brigade to combating Arab attacks, removing them from any of the assignments that would force them to clash with residents and their supporters, for fear of widespread lack of cooperation on the part of soldiers in the brigade. The situation was also brought to the attention of the Chief of Staff.

Ari Abramowitz, a former Golani sergeant who served in the Philadelphi Corridor, told Arutz-7 that the news of Golani's removal from the task of expelling Jews from their homes was to be expected. "I am not surprised one bit," he said. "I and all the former Golani soldiers I know, would refuse the orders alongside them. The stereotype of Golani, which is somewhat true, is that they are first and second generation immigrants from Arab countries. They understand Arabs on a much deeper level than the Ashkenazi Jew from Tel Aviv. They understand that the Arabs understand power and strength and know that the transfer of Jews from their homes will be a victory to Arab terror and encourage further attacks on Jews."


Southern Hospitals Preparing for Expulsion

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Medical Centers Soroka in Be'er Sheva and Barzilai in Ashkelon are preparing for the wave of injuries expected from the planned uprooting in Gush Katif two months from now. "We are working closely with the police, army and Ministry of Health," Soroka spokesperson Irit Bibi told Arutz-7, "and they have shared with us their scenarios of what they believe could happen. We are preparing in accordance with the number of injured they are expecting." She refused to say what this number was, however.

The hospitals are preparing to treat people who may be hurt during the uprooting, as well as victims of terrorist attacks during the scheduled withdrawal.

Soroka Medical Center (Editor's Note: Editor's children, Tamar and Golan Canaan, were born at Soroka) replaced its old emergency room with a newer one four years ago, and the old one has since been used as a stockroom. Dismissing reports that this stockroom is now being readied to serve again as an additional emergency room, Ms. Bibi acknowledged that it is "being prepared to absorb additional patients that might be needed as a result of the disengagement." She said that only 10 beds would be placed there at this stage. The hospital currently has 1,200 beds in total.

In both Barzilai and Soroka, all employees have been asked not to take vacation starting from August 15 - the scheduled date of the uprooting - and onwards. A Barzilai Medical Center spokesperson told Arutz-7 that no beds are being added at this stage to the 478 it currently has. She said, however, that the hospital is "working closely with the police and army" in preparation for what could be a violent and injury-ridden uprooting. A nurse at Barzilai said that the staff has been informed that the hospital is preparing to accept as many as 100 new patients a day - victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks while the uprooting is underway.


Draft of Balfour Declaration Sells for $884,000

By Barbara Schoetzau (VOA-New York)

Sotheby's International auction house has sold an archive that includes the only known surviving handwritten draft of the Balfour Declaration, which eventually led to the creation of the State of Israel. An anonymous collector, bidding over the telephone, paid $884,000 for the archive. The handwritten draft declaration is part of an archive of 175 documents pertaining to the formation of Israel that once belonged to Leon Simon.

Simon was a key member of the Zionist Political Committee that met at the Imperial Hotel in London on July 17, 1917, and drafted a text for British support of a Jewish state. David Redden, vice chairman of Sotheby's, said it was not clear if Simon was taking notes in an official capacity for the group. "The notes are quite complete because he not only writes down the final draft of the declaration as composed by the Zionist organization, but he also lists all of the members present, he notes the date, he notes that copies should be sent to Lord Bryce and Winston Churchill."

The draft proposes that the British government accept the principle that Palestine be "reconstituted" as the National Homeland of the Jewish People.

The British war cabinet, led by Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, modified the document, and issued it on Nov. 2, 1917. The Declaration includes a clause stating that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine." David Redden calls it one of the crucial documents of the 20th century. "It is the kind of document that, if you are involved with manuscripts and archival information, you like to have very much because it places the document exactly in the location were it was written and the time," he said. "It was on hotel stationery where the Zionist committee met on July 17, 1917. It is dated and it has a list of the members who were present."

The archive includes manuscripts and letters, which document the formation of the Zionist Political Committee and different points of view within the group. It also includes a diary Leon Simon kept during a visit to Palestine in 1918 to begin coordinating Jewish affairs there and establish links between the Jewish and Arab communities.


Israeli Pilot Saves Woman in New York

By Ynetnews.com

An Israeli man who saved a British woman from drowning after the tourist helicopter he was piloting crashed in New York City's East River was praised by Israel and by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday.

Yossi Ben-Bassat, 51, said the sightseeing chopper he had flown over Manhattan on Tuesday plunged into the water after he lost control of it. One of the six passengers, British tourist, Karen Butler fell into the water and was later found to have sustained a serious head injury.

The former Air Force pilot told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper he lost control of the helicopter after he felt it jolt sharply as a result of strong winds. One of the passengers, Alejandro Diaz, said shortly after takeoff, they felt the chopper move backwards and forwards before it turned over on its side. Shortly before the crash, Ben-Bassat blew up the emergency buoy, which essentially saved the lives of the passengers. While he held onto the helicopter as it crashed sideways into the river, he heard one of the tourists call out: "(My wife) is in the water and she doesn't know how to swim!"

Ben-Bassat dived into the water and found the women within seconds. Pulling Butler by the hair, he pulled her out of the river. The Coast Guard then rescued the passengers and helped evacuate them to a hospital, where the woman was admitted and later slipped into a coma. Butler's husband said they came to New York to celebrate her 40th birthday.

After the rescue, Ben-Bassat was greeted at home by cheers from friends. He later visited Butler in the hospital. "I don't feel at all like a hero," Ben-Bassat said. "I did what I had to do. I couldn't leave her in the water." His wife said Ben-Bassat called her shortly after the incident. "He told me, 'I feel good, I just have a little accident," she told Yedioth. "When we moved here six years ago he started working as a marketing manager. Then one day he said he misses being a pilot. He told me, 'I want to be a pilot of peace, not war."

Mayor Bloomberg later told reporters that Ben-Bassat was to be commended. "The pilot encountered a malfunction in the aircraft, and helped save the passengers," he said. "When the tourists return to their countries they'll have stories to tell."

Ben-Bassat served in the IDF for 23 years. "I was a helicopter pilot and was discharged in 1996 with the rank of lieutenant colonel," he told Ynet." "I have been working with choppers here (in New York) for almost two years, but I am from Tel Aviv - I have an apartment there and my children are in Israel."


Aquaman -- Israeli-Style: Israeli Invention Enables Diving Without Oxygen Tank

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Israeli inventor Alon Bodner has found a way to use the small amounts of air already in the water to provide oxygen to divers and even to submarines.

Bodner's device has the potential to overcome limitations imposed on divers by oxygen tanks. The tanks limit not only the amount of time a diver can remain under water, but also affect the diver's buoyancy and they empty out over the course of a dive. Divers carefully monitor their buoyancy - the tendency to either float up toward the surface or to sink - and actually wear weight belts to be able to keep it at zero. This enables them to concern themselves only with swimming in the direction they want, without having to fight against a potentially increasing tendency to float up or sink. In addition, of course, tanks must be brought to refueling facilities to be reused.

Nuclear submarines and the international space station have long used systems that generate oxygen from water by performing 'Electrolysis' - the separation of oxygen from hydrogen. However, these systems require too much energy for standard submarines, let alone divers, to use. Bodner told IsraCast that he got the idea for his invention from fish, which do not perform chemical separation of oxygen from water. Instead, they use the dissolved air that exists in the water in order to breathe.

The system uses a physics principle known as "Henry's Law," which states that the amount of gas that can be dissolved in a liquid body is proportional to the pressure on the liquid body. Using a rapidly rotating centrifuge to create increased pressure inside a small sealed chamber containing seawater, Bodner was able to extract enough oxygen from the water for a human being to breathe.

A laboratory model of the system has already been built and tested. It runs on rechargeable batteries, and can be worn in the form of a vest. Bodner is now building a full-sized prototype. He has already received a patent for the invention in Europe, and is expecting to receive one in the U.S. as well.



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