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10,000 Rosh Hashanah Kits to be Distributed by B´nei Akiva Youth


Ahead of the holidays, 10,000 Rosh Hashanah kits will be distributed by members of the B'nei Akiva youth movement in the Haifa and central region. The kits include an apple, honey, dates, and a card with the words of the special phrases to be recited when eating the sweets, which symbolize prayers for a sweet and good new year. In a Rosh Hashanah Internet posting, has released a 30 second-long holiday video. It can be accessed by going to

IDF Air Strikes Continue in Gaza for Fourth Day

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem) & Ha'aretz

Israel has launched air strikes in the Gaza Strip for the fourth straight day, with the aim of stopping Palestinian rocket attacks. The offensive, which plunged the city into darkness, may have helped Prime Minister Ariel Sharon win a vote of confidence in his ruling Likud party. Israeli aircraft fired missiles at bridges, roads, and buildings in Gaza, as Israel kept up the pressure on Palestinian terrorists. Troops also detained more than 90 alleged terrorists in the West Bank, bringing the total of arrests this week to around 400.

The offensive continued into its fourth day, despite a declaration from the Islamic terrorist group Hamas that it is stopping the rocket attacks that sparked the Israeli raids. "We are calling our militant group to stop their activities against the Israeli occupation outside Gaza Strip," said Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar. But Israel was not impressed, especially since Hamas claimed responsibility for kidnapping and killing a 50-year-old Israeli man in the West Bank. Also, smaller terrorist groups like Islamic Jihad have not agreed to stop firing rockets.

Missiles landed in at least three locations. One air strike hit a two-story building used by the ruling Fatah party in Gaza City. The attack left a big hole in a wall of the building, smashed windows and destroyed an electrical transformer. Windows on several nearby houses were broken, and a car was damaged by flying debris. Ambulances raced to the scene minutes after the blast, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, Palestinian witnesses said. Missiles also landed in the Bureij refugee camp, just south of the city.

Minutes later, an aircraft attacked a building belonging the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a small terrorist group, in Bureij, and fired missiles into central Gaza City. The PFLP office suffered heavy damage. The army said it was attacking offices used for terrorist activity. Israel has carried out a series of air strikes in recent days aimed at Islamic terrorist targets.

IDF troops also swept into two West Bank towns before dawn on Wednesday in a raid on offices of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, witnesses said. Witnesses said 15 army vehicles had stopped outside offices of both groups in the central West Bank town of Tul Karm where troops launched searches and confiscated equipment. More than two dozen other army vehicles raided the offices of Islamic charities suspected of aiding Hamas in the town of Qalqilyah, south of Tul Karm, witnesses said.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Tuesday he was "not satisfied" with the Hamas commitment, hours after the group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and killing of Sasson Nuriel, a 55-year-old Jerusalem man who was found dead Monday.

Hamas men said in a statement that they had kidnapped Nuriel, whom they identified as a Shin Bet security service agent, on Wednesday with the intention of trading him for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. However, after Israel began a series of arrest raids against West Bank militants, they decided to kill him, the statement said. The militant group later released a video showing Nuriel, bound and blindfolded, asking for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

In the short video released Tuesday, Nuriel was shown sitting in front of a green Islamic flag often used by Hamas. His hands were bound behind his back, and he was blindfolded with a green Hamas cloth. On his leg rested what appeared to be his Israeli drivers license. "Release the kids and boys from prison," he said in muffled Arabic on the video.

The kidnapping and release of the video tape appeared to signal a new tactic for Hamas militants in their fight against Israel. "Hamas committed an unforgivable act, and we have to dictate new rules for the game," Mofaz told Army Radio. "We will not let this pass quietly. Hamas needs to know that Israel will act to protect its citizens." "Mahmoud Zahar's words do not satisfy me," Mofaz said, adding that attacks haven't stopped, and that he wants other Hamas leaders to issue the same declaration.

"If Hamas continue firing Kassam rockets, we will send Zahar, [Hamas leader] Ismail Haniya and others to where Abdel Aziz Rantisi and Sheikh [Ahmed] Yassin are," Mofaz said, referring to two senior Hamas leaders Israel killed in air strikes in recent years.

Regarding the cannons stationed at the Gaza border, Mofaz told Israel Radio they are not only for decorative purposes and will be used if needed be. He added that if the children of Sderot, the western Negev town most frequently targeted by Kassam, must suffer from insomnia, then the leaders of terror organization would not sleep peacefully.

U.S. to Apologize for WWII Seizures

By the Miami Herald

Hungarian Holocaust survivors whose possessions were plundered by the Nazis and later seized by American soldiers will finally get what has eluded them for 60 years: an apology from the U.S. government. The apology is part of a $25.5 million settlement approved Monday between the government and Hungarian Jews who lost art, jewels and other items when the 40-car German ''Gold Train'' was seized in Austria in 1945 at the end of World War II.

Instead of returning the property to its owners, U.S. officials auctioned much of it to pay for refugee relief efforts, though a presidential commission later found some luxurious items were kept by American generals.

At a hearing in federal court in Miami, Justice Department lawyers did not specify what the apology would say, or even which branch of the government would issue it. The apology will be released 10 days after U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz signs the papers formally ending a class-action lawsuit and approving the agreement with about 60,000 survivors who lost their belongings -- including about 475 Hungarian Jews in Miami-Dade County."' The acknowledgement is definitely an important part of the case,'' said attorney Sam Dubbin, who was among several lawyers who filed the suit for the survivors in 2001. ``The case was never about money primarily. The case is about accountability.''

For those who initiated the lawsuit, the end brought relief. ''It was like carrying a burden,'' said David Mermelstein of Kendall, president of the Coalition of Holocaust Survivors in South Florida. ``We felt terrible that we had to sue the United States of America. We love our country.'' The money from the settlement will not go to individual victims, but instead to social services organizations worldwide to benefit Jews who lived in Hungary at the end of the war.

A panel of experts devised a population-based formula allotting 42.5 percent of the settlement to organizations in Israel, 22.7 percent in Hungary, 20.1 percent to the United States, and the rest to other countries. ''The majority of these people are in their 80s and 90s,'' Dubbin said. ``This is going to be a lot of help to a lot of people.''

About 350 survivors filed formal protests to the settlement terms -- objecting primarily to the lack of personal claims and the division among countries -- but in the end, Seitz approved the settlement formula. Among those who urged the judge to approve the settlement was U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, who lobbied presidential advisor Karl Rove to get the Bush administration to settle the case.

Thank You Simon Wiesenthal

By Emanuel A. Winston (Commentary)

It has been reported that, none of Sharon's Cabinet attended the burial to give deserved honor to Simon Wiesenthal, the famous Nazi hunter. I am not surprised because I believe that one day soon another like Wiesenthal will begin the process of hunting those like Sharon, his Cabinet and all others who have committed crimes against the Jewish people.

During his long lifetime, Simon Wiesenthal was approached by so-called leaders of the Jewish communities in Europe and America to call off his hunt for Jew killers lest it provoke a new round of anti-Semitism. But, Wiesenthal, having lost 86 members of his own family to the Nazi killing machine, was not dissuaded by trembling Jews, fearful of a backlash. Nor was Wiesenthal persuaded by hidden Nazis and their friends who frequently threatened to assassinate him.

Wiesenthal was, indeed, a hero of the Jewish people. We would say to him that he inspired us. Despite all the establishment self-named Jewish leadership pressuring him NOT to search for Nazis, he went forward and found as many as 1100 Nazis whom he brought to justice. Simon Wiesenthal was a proud Jew who was not ashamed of his heritage, as are too many Jews of today.

It was also not surprising to see no high level personages in the Sharon Government honoring him. I do not recall ever feeling this sense of shame for the Jewish people for having such a corrupt group of scoundrels as Sharon's Mafia - at least not since Rabin, Peres, Beilin made a secret deal with Yasir Arafat to subvert the Jewish nation.

Perhaps it is just as well that Sharon and his co-conspirators did not show up at Wiesenthal's levaya (funeral). Clearly, they knew that his spirit would have been present, pointing an accusing finger at these traitors, telling them that he would make a special trip down to insure that they would be sent howling through eons of Gehenna (Hell).

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