Newsletter : 5fax1005.txt
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Head of Zim-Asia Will Apologize to Japanese
The head of the board of Zim-Asia, Edan Ofer, will pay a visit to Japan's embassy in
Israel to formerly apologized for an accident last week off the coast of Japan in which a
ship owned by Zim crashed into a Japanese fishing boat and overturned it. Seven Japanese
fishermen were killed in the accident.
Jewish and Muslim Holidays Coincide in Holy Land
By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem) & IsraelNationalNews.com
The ram's horn was blown, as Israelis gathered in synagogues to observe Rosh Hashanah.
A lull in five years of fighting with the Palestinians has Israelis feeling more
optimistic as they begin the New Year. Jerusalem resident Benjamin Katz told VOA that it
is time to stop the killing. "And the feeling is that we want to end this whole business,
I want them to live in peace, us to live in peace."
In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinians were called to prayer. The Muslim
faithful fast from dawn to dusk during the holy month, Ramadan. Palestinian shopkeeper
Yasmin Husseini hopes the eight-month cease-fire will hold. "All the Palestinian people
want peace, want peace 100 percent," said Yasmin Husseini.
But in the past, Islamic terrorists have stepped up suicide attacks during Ramadan, and
Israeli security forces are high on alert. The army has sealed off the West Bank and Gaza,
barring Palestinians from entering the country. Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld
says the security is both obvious and hidden. "We, in fact, have a lot more police on the
streets," he said. "There are a lot more police that you'll be able to see and that you
won't be able so see."
Israel has also warned its citizens not to travel to Egypt's Red Sea coast in the Sinai
Peninsula over the Jewish holidays, because of a terror threat. Cabinet Minister Yitzhak
Herzog says Israelis could be kidnapped. "Israel is bothered by various information that
speaks specifically about al-Qaeda activities or other terrorist cells that operate in
Despite the threats, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is upbeat. In a Rosh Hashanah
interview, Sharon said he hopes there will be "great progress" toward peace in the coming
And the Sufa crossing point into southern Gaza opened for business Tuesday as IDF
troops transferred tons of food to the Palestinian Authority for distribution among the
Arabs of Gaza. Twenty trucks carrying milk, beef, fruits, entered the Gaza district, after
the food transfer was coordinated between the PA and an IDF unit responsible for
coordinating government activities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. The head of that unit,
Col. Nir Press, said that the food transfer was approved as "an exception" to Israeli
policy, by Gen. Dan Harel, head of the Southern Command of the IDF.
Since the August pullout from Gaza, crossing points from Israel into the Gaza district
have been closed, because Israel and the PA have failed to reach agreement on how to
operate them. Tuesday's food transfer was made pursuant to a PA request prior to the
Islamic holiday of Ramadan.
Iran Warns Israel: Don't Attack Us
The Speaker of the Iranian parliament told the London-based Arabic-language newspaper
al-Hayat, that 'Our goal is to establish trust with world and express our true intentions
to utilize our nuclear energy to achieve peace; we in Iran will never yield to the
arrogance of our enemies'
Ghulam Ali Haddad-Adel warned Israel against "folly that would lead it to strike at
Iran's nuclear facilities," the newspaper reported. "If Israel realizes its threats and
strikes our nuclear facilities, as happened in Iraq in 1981, we'll teach her a lesson she
will never forget," the official warned following his recent meeting with Syrian president
Bashar Assad in Damascus.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran is willing to provide other Islamic nations
with nuclear technology. Iran has said it is determined to pursue its nuclear program to
process uranium and produce energy, despite European attempts to limit it
Haddad-Adel added, "Our goal is to establish trust with the world and express our true
intentions to utilize our nuclear energy to achieve peace. In the past two years more than
1,200 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors have visited Iran, but they did
not find any proof indicating that we are planning to direct our nuclear plan toward
producing military weapons." According to Haddad-Adel, should the Iranian nuclear program
be referred to the U.N. Security Council, in accordance with the recent IAEA decision, "we
will regard this as certain pressure that is being applied on us. We in Iran will never
yield to the arrogance of our enemies."
Meanwhile, Iranian sources told al-Hayat that during his recent meeting with the
Iranian parliament speaker, Syrian President Assad said the U.S.'s "plot" to isolate
Syria and Iran has failed as "no one will be able to come between Tehran and Damascus." As
to Iran's nuclear program, an Iranian source said, "Assad supported Iran's right to use
atomic energy for peaceful purposes and denounced the U.S.'s attempt to prevent Iran from
upholding this right when it permits Israel to posses weapons of mass destruction."
Moderate Earthquake Hits Israel
An earthquake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale was felt Monday morning throughout the
country. According to police officials, no injuries or significant damage was reported.
The seismological department at the Geophysical Institute said the quake's epicenter was
18 miles north of the Dead Sea in the Jordan Rift Valley. The tremors were felt at about
Afula resident Esti Shadmi, 45, said she was in her house at the time of the quake.
"The chair and table moved. It was a familiar feeling, but lighter than the earthquake
felt about one-and-a-half years ago," she said. "I live on the seventh floor, but am not
Rishon Lezion resident Moti Toaf, 42, told Ynet about his experience. "I was sitting on
the balcony working on the computer. Suddenly I felt everything move," he said. "Then I
felt the tremor. I said to myself, 'what is happening here?' And another tremor occurred.
It lasted no more than 10 seconds."
Dr. Yoav Serna, chairman of the Israeli Engineering Association believes that the quake
was a wonderful thing. "I personally did not feel the quake, but it is wonderful it
happened, for two reasons. The first reason has to do with engineering. Every earthquake
releases energy, and if minor quakes occur frequently, the probability for a major quake
decreases, and if there is no damage to structures - we benefit," Serna said. "The energy
which has accumulated in the earth's core is released this way, and the greater the
seismic activity - more energy is released.
"The second reason is political," Serna continued. "The minor tremor today constitutes
a reminder for politicians and the public as a whole that a major earthquake in the future
is certain. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps in a hundred years. No one can tell for sure when,
but a major earthquake will definitely occur, and it will cause damage to property,
financial damages and maybe even claim lives. The last earthquake in Israel happened in
1927, and destructed Jericho and Safed. Back then not many buildings collapsed, so few
people were wounded or killed. But today there are significantly more buildings, which are
unprepared for such an event, and so the damage is likely to be much greater."
According to Serna, Israel is simply unprepared for a major quake. "There are several
overall plans, but nothing has been actually done. Only the buildings that were
constructed after 1995 are prepared for earthquakes, the rest will not endure. The State
must invest in reinforcing hospitals and public buildings that are necessary in
emergencies," Serna concluded.
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