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Israel Would Approve Jordanian Forces in N. Samaria

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz stated on Thursday that Israel would approve of Jordanian troops entering northern Samaria to train Palestinian Authority forces. Counter-terrorism officials have issued a travel advisory against Israelis visiting Jordan. Officials announced the advisory is based on concrete intelligence information, explaining Israelis are high-profile targets in Arab countries. In a related story, 30 Egyptian security officers arrived in Gaza on Wednesday to assist in the training of some 5,000 Palestinian police officers to ensure order in the territory after the disengagement, Palestinian officials said.


Israeli Gunman Killed by Mob After Killing Four Bus Passengers

By VOA News, IsraelNationalNews.com, Ha'aretz & Ynetnews.com

A man described as an Israeli army soldier who had been AWOL for one month, shot and killed four people and wounded 12 others near a northern Israeli-Arab town, but was then lynched by a huge mob of angry townspeople. Israeli media quoted witnesses as saying the mob killing came shortly after the Israeli opened fire aboard a bus Thursday afternoon near the Israeli-Arab town of Shfaram. Witnesses said two girls and the bus driver were among the dead.

At least 12 others were wounded before locals stormed the bus and killed the gunman. He was identified as a religious deserter from the army who refused to take part in the upcoming Israeli pullout of the Gaza Strip. Israeli news reports said the shooter was a member of the outlawed extremist Kach party.

The killer was identified as Eden Natan Tzuberi, 19, from Rishon L'tzion, a city south of Tel Aviv. Israeli media reported that he recently moved to the Kfar Tapuach community in northeast Samaria after turning to religion and becoming involved in extreme political activism, but the administrator of the community said he never heard of the man. The killer's parents, worried over their son's radical change, said they had asked the army to take away their son's weapon but were told by officers there was no need to do so.

The bus reached the town of Shfaram, which is made up of Christians and Muslims, from Haifa when the assailant, dressed in a Border Police uniform, opened fire and killed the driver, another man and two girls. He continued to shoot at people inside and outside the bus as the bus continued to roll down the residential street. The bus came to a halt and at least one bus passenger managed to disarm the gunman. Police fanned out throughout Arab towns to ward off riots.

Tzuberi was in an IDF unit other than the Border Police and it is not known how or why he obtained the Border Police uniforms. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, "This was a reprehensible act by a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist who sought to attack innocent Israeli citizens.... I send condolences to the families of those who were murdered and my best wishes for a quick recovery to those who were wounded. The entire State of Israel, regardless of race, religion or sex, strongly condemns this act of terrorism."

The Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (Yesha Council) announced its shock, denouncing the murder as being committed by someone "crazy." Yesha spokesmen criticized "the cynical use of the incident by certain political entities to try to make a connection between the serious incident and the democratic, legitimate and nonviolent protest against the expulsion from Gush Katif being waged.

"Repeatedly referring to him as 'a settler' even though he was not a resident of any settlement is an attempt to slander a whole population who is leading a democratic protest in an exemplary way. It would be better to act with more responsibility instead of criticizing only in order to gain dubious political benefits."

Every authority seems to be getting ready for possible violence and rioting by angry Arabs as a result of the shooting incident. In another area, both the police and the Jail Authority have raised the level of alertness due to the fear of Arab riots all over the country. The Jail Authority is especially sensitive to what may happen where there are both Arab and Jewish criminals together. Police regions all over have also called up extra aid and are in a state of high alert due to the fear that riots may break out, especially in the Arab cities. The state of alert will continue on Friday because of the Arab communal prayers.

IDF sources said Thursday that Tzubeiri was a problematic soldier from the outset, and had been arrested twice for going AWOL. In mid-June, when he was ordered to take part in building the "tent town" in Re'im for soldiers participating in the Gaza Strip evacuation, he refused. Shortly afterward, he defected from the army in what was described as an "ideologically based" desertion to protest the disengagement.

Tzuberi, in a letter written before the killings, said, "I cannot be part of an organization that expels Jews." He left the letter at the basic training base in Nitzanim before going AWOL. "Just as I couldn't carry out an order that desecrates the Sabbath, I cannot be part of an organization that expels Jews." He added the anti-pullout slogan, "Jews don't expel Jews," to his letter, and concluded the message with the words: "I will consider how I will continue to serve."

The killer's mother, Debbie, told Ynet: "When we informed (the army) that Eden went AWOL, they told us they'll treat him as a missing person only after 45 days. Where was the army all this time? They can go to hell." His father, Yitzhak, expressed similar sentiments and said the parents asked the army to take away their son's weapons. "We were scared the rifle would end up in Arab hands but they didn't listen to us," he said. "We warned for a long time but the IDF's conduct wasn't good. They told us to go look for him."


Public Outrage Grows As Teenage Girls Remain In Jail

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Public outrage continues to grow at the incarceration and treatment of three teenage girls arrested protesting the Disengagement Plan. A protest took place Thursday morning at the Supreme Court against the continued imprisonment of the 13-year-old, 14-year-old, and 16-year-old girls who have sat in prison for month following their arrests. Protesters marched from the front of the Knesset building to the Supreme Court holding placards reading, 'Free the Girls', 'Danger to Democracy' and 'Outrage!'

Although the norm with regard to non-violent crimes is to release the accused with restrictions such as house arrest, the girls are being held until the end of legal proceedings against them. The decision was upheld by Israel's Supreme Court, which ruled that the children's' parents proved themselves incapable of preventing their offspring from repeatedly engaging in public disruptions in protest of the Disengagement Plan. There is currently another appeal being submitted to the Supreme Court requesting a wider panel of judges to examine the case.

As it is now, the teenage girls, Chaya Belogorodsky, 14, Moriah Goldberg, 13, and Peninah Ashkenazi, 16, will remain in prison until their Aug. 21 trial despite the fact that jail time is not an option as sentence for the crimes which they are being charged with - disrupting public order and insulting a police officer. Moshe Belogorodsky, Chaya's father, told Arutz-7 that what is taking place is "complete cooperation between the judicial system and the ruling clique - in order to keep those willing to protest the expulsion of Jews from their homes behind bars."

"The goal of this protest is to take a stand against this creeping totalitarianism before it becomes the norm in our beloved country," said protest organizer Nachum Duchin. "We must stop this dangerous precedent now!"

On Tuesday, a group of criminal law academics from all across Israel signed a petition demanding that police cease the practice of holding minors in jail, saying the security establishment must find a way to immediately free those currently being held. The professors and academics wrote that it is neither "appropriate nor moral" to jail minors charged with participating in illegal demonstrations or disturbing the peace, even if freeing them would enable to return and take part in demonstrations again.

Four hundred people are currently in jail for various protests against the Disengagement Plan. 150 were arrested Wednesday and 250 Tuesday. There have been 1,200 arrests in last four months, according to the Honenu legal assistance organization, which expects another 1,000 jailings in the coming week. The Israeli Supreme Court can be faxed at 02-675-9648 (972-2-675-9648 from overseas) or emailed: pniot@supreme.court.gov.il


No Time for Prayer; Proposed Clock Change Upsets U.S. Jews

By IsraelNationalNews.com

American Jews have a taste of the yearly dispute in Israel over the interference with prayer caused by extending daylight time. Congress OKed four extra weeks, leaving little time for prayer. Congress has added three weeks in March and one week in November to the spring and summer season of daylight saving time. Commuters fear that a late sunrise will not allow them to pray in the morning before arriving at work, and Conservative and Orthodox Jewish groups have asked President George W. Bush not to sign the bill.

Under the proposal, daylight time would last through the first week in November and would start after the first week in March. The original plan was to extend daylight time by two months. An aide to Congressman Edward Markey said that the orthodox Agudath Israel helped convince the congressman to offer a compromise proposal.

The proposed changes would mean that sunrise would be around 8 a.m. "It would make it impossible for those in certain parts of the United States to pray Shacharis (morning prayers) before work," according to the Orthodox Union (OU). The Conservative movement also is protesting the changes. Its public policy director Mark Waldman also pointed out that extending daylight time is dangerous. "[It] will force children to walk to school in pitch black streets during the time of year when inclement weather is more likely," he stated. The airline industry also is opposed to the proposed law, which it said would cause havoc by disrupting flight schedules.









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