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Worshippers Arrested at Jericho Synagogue


Seven Jews were taken into custody after they tried praying at the Shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue in Palestinian Authority controlled Jericho on Thursday. The seven, who did not seek to coordinate their visit to the synagogue with security forces in accordance to regulations, were detained by PA security forces and handed over to the IDF at the Vered Yericho Checkpoint. They are now in the custody of Shai police and face charges stemming from their violating an IDF order prohibiting Israelis from entering PA autonomous areas.

Israeli General Orders Army to Stop Using Palestinians as Human Shields

By VOA & Ha'aretz

Israel's top general has ordered the army to stop using Palestinian civilians as human shields in arrest raids. Thursday's order from General Dan Halutz came hours after the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the army's practice of forcing Palestinian civilians to approach the homes of suspected militants violates international law.

The court ruling grew out of a 2002 case brought by Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups, after a Palestinian teenager was forced to knock on the door of a suspected West Bank militant. The teenager was shot dead when gunfire erupted moments later.

In August of 2002, the court issued a temporary injunction against the practice. But a 2004 photograph of a Palestinian boy strapped to the front of an Israeli jeep under attack by Palestinian stone-throwers prompted human rights activists to complain the army was ignoring the court order.

The chairman of the National Union's Knesset faction, Tzvi Hendel, has called on the judges of the Supreme Court to "sacrifice their own sons and grandson who serve in the IDF." Hendel said that IDF troops would be needlessly endangered as the result of a court decision invalidating the army's ability to coerce Arabs into helping locate wanted terrorists. He called on the court to live by its own moral code and have their own sons replace the soldiers whose lives they have endangered.

The IDF has also begun to formulate alternative arrest procedures that would allow the army to continue making far-reaching raids while minimizing the danger to soldiers. The IDF is permitted to continue practices such as sending dogs into the homes of wanted men, destroying the homes in which they are hiding if they refuse to surrender. IDF officials said soldiers are expected to report any use of human shields and that the army would examine and deal with any such cases, Israel Radio reported.

Chief Justice Aharon Barak said, "You cannot exploit the civilian population for the army's military needs, and you cannot force them to collaborate with the army. Based on this principle, we rule it illegal to use civilians as human shields, and we also rule it illegal to use civilians to pass military warnings from the army to those the army wants to arrest." Barak criticized the "early warning" procedure, citing the Geneva Convention's prohibition against an occupying army using civilians in military operations against their will.

PA Wants to Release Killer of Israeli Tourist Minister


Crossings into and out of Gaza are not the only items on the agenda for next week's Sharon-Abbas meeting. The PA wants to free the man responsible for killing Rehavam Ze'evi. In preliminary talks scheduled for Friday between Palestinian Authority negotiator Saab Erekat and Sharon advisor Dov Wiesglass, Erekat will demand that Israel begin releasing Arab terrorists who murdered Israelis.

In addition, Erekat will announce the PA's intention to release Ahmed Sa'adat, head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who was responsible for the murder of Rehavam Ze'evi, Israel's former tourist minister. Ze'evi was gunned down in a Jerusalem hotel in October 2001. Under a U.S. brokered agreement, Sa'adat remains under custody in a PA jail in Jericho.

Responding to the PA's demands, Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister Ehud Olmert said on Israel radio Thursday morning, "I don't think he [Abbas] can expect the release of prisoners with blood on their hands."

Aside from freeing terrorist killers, Erekat is expected to demand that Israel cease all construction and expansion of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria and stop work on the security barrier going up around Jerusalem and roughly along the pre-1967 armistice lines. Already on the agenda for the Sharon-Abbas meeting are a number of matters that have yet to be resolved following Israel's unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza area in August. These issues include the management of crossings for people and goods between Gaza and Israel, and Gaza and Egypt.

Also on the table are measures negotiated last February between the two men in Sharm e-Sheik providing for an Israeli pullback of IDF troops from Arab-populated cities in Judea and Samaria. A pullback from the city of Tulkarem was carried out earlier this year, but an upsurge of terrorism halted further planned withdrawals from Shechem and Ramallah.

Olmert said that Israel would consider taking measures to ease the day-to-day life of Arabs living in Judea and Samaria. "Anything that can ease the plight of residents in Judea and Samaria and protect Israel from danger is something that should be legitimately considered," Olmert told Israel radio.

Congressmen Trying to Avert Lulav Crisis


U.S. legislators and Israeli and American Jewish leaders are trying to convince Egypt to allow at least a partial shipment of lulavim, palm leaves used on the Succoth holiday. Egypt announced last month it would prohibit exports of 700,000 lulavim, but Gary Ackerman (D-NY) has raised the issue with the Egyptian ambassador and with a close aide to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Sen. Erick Santorum (R-Penna.) also has contacted the ambassador and urged him to "consider the needs of Jewish communities around the world."

Egypt has agreed to release a limited number of the 700,000 palm leaves it exports every year, according to Aguda Israel director Rabbi Abba Cohen. The lulav is one of the four species used on the Jewish holiday of Succoth (Feast of Tabernacles), which is celebrated seven days (eight days outside Israel) starting the night of Oct. 17. Prices for the lulavim will skyrocket if none come from Egypt, the prime supplier.

The Egyptian Agriculture Ministry has insisted that cutting the palm leaves damages the trees' growth, a similar complaint among Israel environmentalists who have protested against people taking the leaf from the center of palm trees. Other major suppliers are in the western United States and Israel, but distributors have began contacting Jordanian officials following Egypt's ban on exporting lulavim.

Arab World Commemorates 32nd Anniversary of Yom Kippur War

By Ha'aretz

The Arab world commemorated on Thursday the 32nd anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, which Egypt and Syria consider a victory despite the Israeli recovery from a surprise Arab attack. Israel commemorates the anniversary of the war on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which this year takes place on Oct. 13.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak marked the war's anniversary, known throughout the Arab world as the October War, by releasing 861 prisoners and telling the nation that success on the battlefield had led to freedom and a better life. "This victory has moved us from liberating captured land to a similar liberation in our political life and national economy," Mubarak said in a televised speech. "The October victory was, and still is, a watershed in the history of the homeland," he added.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad laid a wreath of flowers on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Damascus. The Syrian defense minister, Maj. Gen. Hasan Turkmany, and the Syrian chief of staff, Ali Habib, accompanied Assad during the ceremony.

The Yom Kippur War began when Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel on the Day of Atonement. Caught off guard, the Israel Defense Forces sustained heavy casualties as Arab armies advanced deep into Israeli territory. However, the IDF soon recovered and pushed the Arab armies back, crossing the Suez Canal in the south and coming within range of artillery fire from Damascus in the north.

Despite the Israeli recovery, the war is seen as a victory throughout the Arab world because of the initial gains, which restored Egyptian and Syrian self-confidence.

Report: Al-Qaida Places Job Advertisements on Internet

By Reuters

Al-Qaida has put job advertisements on the Internet asking for supporters to help put together its web statements and video montages, an Arabic newspaper reported. The London-based Asharq al-Awsat said on its Web site this week that Al-Qaida had "vacant positions" for video production and editing statements, footage and international media coverage about militants in Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and other conflict zones where militants are active.

The paper said the Global Islamic Media Front, an Al-Qaida-linked Web-based organization, would "follow up with members interested in joining and contact them via email." The paper did not say how applicants should contact the Global Islamic Media Front.

Asharq al-Awsat said the ad did not specify salary amounts, but added: "Every Muslim knows his life is not his, since it belongs to this violated Islamic nation whose blood is being spilled. Nothing should take precedence over this."

The Front this week issued the second broadcast of a weekly Web news program called Voice of the Caliphate, which it says aims to combat anti-Qaida "lies and propaganda" on major global and Arab television channels such as CNN and Al Jazeera.

Correction: for Oct. 6 Letter to the Editor

By Frances Bernay-Cohen

Responding to Kenneth Swerdlow's commentary in which he stated "(God) was in tremendous pain...because his precious land that He gifted to His children was thrown back to the dogs. (Yes, God loves those dogs too) but His plan was for his Jewish children, not Ishmael's."

We must remember that God chose the Hebrew nation for a mission, of being "a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation" (Exodus 19:6). Isaiah charged us to be "a light unto the nations). When its people stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, trembling in awe and fear at the might of God, it took on this obligation to obey His Commandments and to teach them diligently to their children.

With this obligation came the warning that punishment for backsliding from this mission would be followed by exile from the land. Today's Jews have inherited this educate mankind, even the "dogs" of the world. When, and only when, every knee bends to God will we see salvation.

Maximum Frustration

By Steve Sharon (Commentary)

"The militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia."-----President George W. Bush, October 6, 2005

No American president has ever so succinctly and accurately predicted and portrayed the threat that the world faces from the forces of Islamic terror. President Bush separated himself from the rest of the world's leaders, who only articulate policies of appeasement in the face of the Islamic threat. Even his choice of countries to use as his oratorical borders were perfect: Spain, the cradle of Islam's European Hegemony of centuries ago, and Indonesia, the largest of all Muslim nations in the world, the one which recently suffered another fatal attack by Jemaah Islamiyah.

Tragically, these words were stated by the same man who is responsible for pushing the creation of exactly what he believes endangers the world the most, especially the free world, and specifically and initially, Israel.

President Bush is right. The militants, (terrorists) do believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, and that country is.....PALESTINE! The militants (terrorists) are conducting successful experiments of this theory every minute in Gaza, where Hamas is rallying the masses behind its Islamic Resistance Front, where control of that portion of land is sending the message, successfully, throughout the entire Muslim world that western powers can be overthrown and displaced by Islamic ones. Gaza is only part of what the Palestinian-Arabs of all groups want to be part of their country of Palestine, and it is in Gaza where the President's words are proving accurate and prophetic. Unfortunately, it is his administration that created this proof! "controlling one country....enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region."

This is especially true if the overthrown government is Israel's. Israel has always been the key to saving the Arabs from themselves. This was proven as far back as 1970 when the Jordanian Kingdom was saved by the Israeli military, the five times Mossad tipped Egypt's security forces of assassination attempts on Anwar Sadat before he was finally killed, the daring escapades of Israel's Air Force which saved the world from being nuclear blackmailed by Saddam Hussein almost a quarter century ago, and countless other ways as well, far too many to list.

It is fear of the power of David's sword, which has stabilized the most volatile region in the world, it is NOT the existence of Israel, which has created the instability. This is why the taking of Gaza by whatever means is so important to the Islamic terrorists because it is the equivalent of an overthrow of government. The Arabs have overthrown the moderate government, Israel, and it is being used as the staging ground to spread its power throughout the region, starting with Egypt, where security breaches along the border have now become commonplace, daily events. Once again, the president is proven correct by his own policy folly. It is the ultimate frustration that the president who best recognizes the danger the most is now most culpable in creating it.

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