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Israeli Muslims Have More Babies than Israeli Jews


Data released by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics report that Israel's Muslim citizens are reproducing at a much higher rate than Jewish citizens. There were approximately 1,142,000 Muslim citizens of Israel at the start of 2006, comprising 16% of the population and 83% of the Arab population. Israel's capital, Jerusalem, is 32% Muslim. Muslim growth was 3.1% while Jewish was 1.3% - though Jewish growth was due mostly to immigration while Muslim growth is 98% internal.

Doctors Knew of Sharon's Brain Disease After First Stroke

By Ha'aretz and VOA News

Physicians at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem knew during Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's first hospitalization in December that he suffered from cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), a disease of the blood vessels in the brain, a medical source told Ha'aretz on Tuesday.

Prescribing anticoagulant drugs to patients with CAA could increase their chances of suffering a cerebral hemorrhage, like the one Sharon experienced last week. In spite of this, the source said, Sharon received the blood thinners.

On Tuesday, Ha'aretz quoted a medical source as saying that Sharon suffered from CAA, but physicians did not diagnose the disease during his hospitalization after his first stroke last month.

Ha'aretz has since learned that the diagnosis was made in December, which leads to further questions over the decision to treat Sharon with blood thinners.

Without specifically mentioning the Ha'aretz report, Hadassah director Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef said Tuesday afternoon that, "A report in one of the newspapers today is incorrect. Hadassah physicians were aware of the brain diagnosis, and no new diagnosis has been made during the current hospitalization." In his statement, Mor-Yosef did not deny that the CAA diagnosis had been made.

The diagnosis occurred after examining CT scans Sharon underwent, according to testimony presented Monday to Ha'aretz by a medical source involved in the treatment of the prime minister.

Ron Krumer, Hadassah's external affairs director, said in response "We are busy treating the prime minister and fighting to save his life. We are not dealing with anything else."

The doctor who provided the testimony defined the administering of the blood-thinning medication after the first stroke as a "screw up."

According to a senior medical source, in some instances CAA is a genetic disorder, while sometimes its origin is unknown. The disease is diagnosed by means of interpreting CT and MRI scans, or by performing a biopsy on a small sample of the brain. However, medical literature is also filled with testimony that the disease is very difficult to diagnose, and can sometimes be detected only following a brain hemorrhage.

As reported in Ha'aretz, senior doctors - including two hospital directors and a senior physician at Hadassah itself - have raised numerous questions since Sharon's hospitalization regarding his medical supervision over the past two weeks; the administering of the blood-thinning medication; the dosage administered; the medical and laboratory supervision in the wake of administering the blood-thinning medication; and the decision to perform the cardiac catheterization as well as its timing.

According to a senior medical source, CAA can lead to bleeding into the brain as tiny blood vessels carrying amyloid deposits become heavier and more brittle, and are therefore more likely to burst with minor trauma or with fluctuating blood pressure.

Aneurysms, or ballooning of the blood vessel wall, may develop, and may also rupture as the stretched wall becomes thinner and is under more pressure. Amyloid deposits may destroy smooth muscle cells or cause inflammation in the blood vessel wall. This may also cause the blood vessel to break more easily.

A senior doctor told Ha'aretz on Monday night that CAA is one of the main causes of cerebral bleeding in elderly individuals, and that studies in recent years have shown that the administering of blood-thinning medication to individuals with CAA is a "significant factor" in causing cerebral hemorrhages.

Doctors treating Sharon told the Voice of America that his condition continues to improve and there is no immediate threat to his life. Sharon's doctors said he showed movement on his left side for the first time since he suffered a massive stroke and cerebral hemorrhage last week. They also say when one of his sons spoke to him there was a noticeable rise in Sharon's blood pressure. Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, the director of Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital said Sharon continues to show a slight improvement.

"Prime Minister Sharon moved his right hand and leg in a bigger amount than yesterday [Monday]," Mor-Yosef said. "Prime Minister started to move his left arm as well. The plan for the next 24 hours is to continue a reduction in the amount of anesthetic drugs and evaluate his neurological condition."

Mor-Yosef said Sharon is breathing spontaneously and his blood pressure, urine output, and fever levels are within normal limits. He said while medical tests indicate a slight improvement in Sharon's neurological functions, he remains in critical-but-stable condition.

The movement on the prime ministers left side is regarded as significant because Sharon's stroke is believed to have severely damaged the right side of his brain, which controls the left side of his body.

Doctors are testing a variety of sensory options on Sharon, including playing Mozart symphonies and placing some of his favorite foods in his room, in an attempt to elicit some sort of a response. They say while they will continue to reduce the amount of anesthesia Sharon is receiving, it will likely be days before they have any idea of how badly damaged Sharon's brain is from the stroke he suffered.

Health Ministry May Investigate Sharon's Treatment


Health Ministry officials on Tuesday night said that if there is enough public interest, a public investigation might be launched into the prime minister's treatment.

Some public sentiment is alleging inappropriate treatment by Hadassah Hospital for prescribing blood thinner medications to Sharon after he sustained his first stroke, which was described as minor. Some critics feel that the blood thinners resulted in the prime minister's massive cerebral hemorrhaging, which could have been avoided.

Health Ministry officials responding to the 'talk on the street' stated there is no evidence of malpractice, but quickly added an investigation may be launched if there is a public outcry.

And the convergence of world media on Hadassah Hospital in order to provide live updates on Sharon's health has created massive inconvenience for patients seeking regular treatment at the hospital.

Jerusalem resident Rabbi Binyamin Adilman told Arutz-7 that his daughter, who is treated at the hospital four times a week following a bone marrow transplant, has had great difficulty receiving her treatment since Sharon became hospitalized. "My daughter has been through two bone marrow transplants and is in fragile health. Since the Prime Minister has been hospitalized, the hospital has let the press of the world take over the plaza of the Main Building at Hadassah Ein Karem."

Adilman asked: "Why does the press corps need to gather around and block the entrance to the Emergency Room and the main building? Why can't a parking lot or other area be turned into a press area so that those who need to be in the hospital day in and day out don't need to have even more disruption in their lives. I think that the rights and the needs of sick people are being ignored. The story of the Prime Minister's health is important for the whole world, but let us not lose our humanity and let this be at the expense of sick children and others."

Arab Knesset Member: Sharon is "A Criminal," "A Butcher," "Swimming in Blood"


As Prime Minister Ariel Sharon lies incapacitated with a massive stroke, an Arab Member of Israel's Knesset, Abed Al-Malik Dahamshe, gave his opinion of Sharon to Islam Online.

Abed Al-Malik Dahamshe (United Arab List) has been representing Israel's Arab citizens democratically in the Knesset for nine years. In a recent question-and-answer session for the Internet portal Islam Online, Dahamshe was asked to comment on how he saw developments in the Middle East as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, hospitalized with a debilitating stroke, moves off the political stage.

Dahamshe, whose views regarding the State of Israel are reflective of other Arab Knesset members, responded by severely maligning Sharon, calling him the "butcher of the Palestinian people," "a criminal," and a man "swimming in Palestinian blood."

Some excerpts from Islam Online interview follow, as a way of providing a window into the hearts and minds of some Arab members of Knesset. "First of all the end of Sharon should not concern the Muslims. He was a butcher and part of a state, which will not exist within the next 50 years. Partly due to the increasing Muslim population who have Israeli passports. If Israel is a true democracy then demographically the Muslims will outnumber the Jews and could vote out the Zionist [sic] regime. My question is as the Muslim population within Israel increases will the Knesset experience a shift in its views?"

"I was one of the most hostile parliament members against Sharon in the Parliament and I was never afraid to describe him as the butcher of the Palestinian people, and that he is a criminal who killed hundreds of Palestinians and Arabs, specifically the Egyptian prisoners and Sabra and Shateela [sic]. I told him in person one day, when he said he is [sic] not going to release Palestinian prisoners because their hands are stained with blood, I told how dare you say this while you have been swimming in the [sic] Palestinian blood and here you are the Prime Minister.

Zarqawi: Bin Laden 'Ordered Rocket Fire on Galilee'

By Ha'aretz

Osama bin Laden ordered the Katyusha rocket attack on the Galilee some two weeks ago, according to a statement attributed to Abu Musab Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaida's Iraq-based faction. The statement was aired on Sunday on a Web site customarily used by Zarqawi's group, the Organization of Al-Qaida in Mesopotamia, which claimed responsibility for the rocket attack in an online statement on December 29.

"The rockets launched from north of Lebanon in December to the ancestors of monkeys and pigs are nothing but the beginning of a deep blow against the Zionist enemy. All of these are done upon the directives of mujaheed Sheikh Osama bin Laden," said the voice attributed to Zarqawi.

In response to the rocket attack, Israel carried out air strikes against the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command. Official Israeli spokesmen subsequently admitted that the attacks had been misdirected and that the defense establishment tended to believe the Al-Qaida claim of responsibility.

According to Reuven Paz, an expert in fundamentalist Islamic movements, "We are most certainly witnessing efforts by Al-Qaida... to strike at Israel... like the terror attacks at the Hilton hotel in Taba and the holiday resorts in Sinai, the firing from Aqaba to Eilat, the terror attack in Amman, and the one in Lebanon. We may also be seeing the beginnings of the rallying of Al-Qaida supporters in the Gaza Strip."

Meanwhile, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said that even if the Zarqawi tape turned out to be authentic, it would not lead to an immediate change in the IDF's fight against global terrorism. "What the Americans were unable to do in Tora Bora, we, too, will not be able to accomplish from one day to the next," Halutz said.

IDF Rejects Arab Air Force Applicant


The IDF has rejected an Israeli Arab citizen who applied to the air force. The candidate's father explained he hoped to become the nation's first Israeli Arab military pilot. The name of the applicant is not being released as well as his place of residence according to the report that was revealed by Yedioth Ahronoth.

The IDF Spokesman's Office rejected any hint of discrimination, explaining all applications are screened and a decision is made in accordance to the qualifications of an applicant, without regard to outside factors.

The family of the applicant explained that his son was offered the option of enlisting in the Paratroop Corps instead of the air force.

The young man's private flight instructor, Mickey Harpaz told Channel 2 TV News that the candidate has extremely high potential for becoming a fighter pilot, speaking as a former air force officer. He stated that he possesses all the skills sought after by the air force and his advanced flying skills would simplify his training as well as save the military money.

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