Newsletter : 6fax0202.txt
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Sharon Undergoes Surgery for Feeding Tube
By VOA News
Doctors at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital have inserted a feeding tube into the stomach
of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. A hospital statement said Sharon remained in critical but
stable condition after the procedure, called a gastrostomy. It did not say why the
operation was necessary. One stroke expert says the procedure is recommended when patients
are not expected to make a swift recovery.
Bush Vows to Come to Israel's Defense If Iran attacks
President George W. Bush vowed on Wednesday that the United States would rise to
Israel's defense if needed against Iran and denounced Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad for "menacing talk" against Israel.
In a Reuters interview aboard Air Force One en route to Nashville, Bush also said he
saw a "very good chance" that the governing board of the International Atomic Energy
Agency would refer Iran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.
"I am concerned about a person that, one, tries to rewrite the history of the
Holocaust, and two, has made it clear that his intentions are to destroy Israel," Bush
"Israel is a solid ally of the United States, we will rise to Israel's defense if need
be. So this kind of menacing talk is disturbing. It's not only disturbing to the United
States, it's disturbing for other countries in the world as well," he added.
Asked if he meant the United States would rise to Israel's defense militarily, Bush
said: "You bet, we'll defend Israel."
Ahmadinejad has prompted international condemnation for anti-Israel rhetoric in recent
weeks, including saying it should be wiped off the map, and also calling into question the
Bush also commented on Hamas' recent electoral victory in the Palestinian election. He
said Hamas must change its platform, its attitude toward Israel and get rid of its armed
group for the United States to support a Palestinian government run by Hamas.
"In order for the United States to support a Palestinian government run by Hamas, Hamas
must change its party platform and change its way of thinking and get rid of this armed
group, as well as change its attitude toward Israel," Bush said.
Hamas remained defiant despite mounting world pressure a week after its win in
Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas' parliamentary slate, rejected Bush's latest call for the
group to disarm and condemned Israel's suspension of monthly tax payments to the
cash-strapped Palestinian Authority.
Hamas Leader: Why Recognize Israel? Arab State Must Replace It
In an interview that aired on Al-Manar TV on January 25, Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar
put the organization's principles forward very clearly, including plans to continue with
His remarks included a determination to continue to murder Israeli civilians, a defiant
refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist, and plans to replace Israel with an Arab
state. "We will not give up the resistance in the sense of Jihad," stated Al-Zahar. He
added that "the war of tunnels and of security against the Israeli enemy, which ultimately
led to its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank" would only continue.
Al-Zahar also described Hamas' territorial aspirations: "Our education system will not
represent Palestine [merely] as a coastal strip stretching from Rafah to Beit Hanoun [the
Gaza Strip]," he stated. "Palestine means Palestine in its entirety - from the
[Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River, from Ras Al-Naqura to Rafah. We cannot give up
a single inch of it."
Senior Egyptian Official Says Hamas Must Renounce Violence
By Challiss McDonough (VOA-Cairo)
There are conflicting reports from the Middle East about whether the Palestinian
president will require the terrorist group Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel
before forming a new Palestinian government.
Egyptian officials said it is a coincidence that senior delegations from Israel, the
Palestinian Authority, and Hamas were in Egypt on the same day for talks with President
Hosni Mubarak and other senior Egyptian leaders.
But it is clear that all sides are looking for help in the frenzied leadership
negotiations that have been going on since Hamas won a resounding victory in Palestinian
parliamentary elections last week.
After the meeting between Mubarak and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas,
Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman told reporters that Abbas would not invite Hamas
to form a government if it does not renounce violence and recognize Israel.
"They have to be committed in three issues," he said. "First, they have to stop the
violence, no violence. Everything should be by negotiation. Secondly, they have to be
committed also with all the agreements, which the Palestinian authority has signed.
Everything. Thirdly, they have to recognize the existence of Israel. This is the three
conditions on the table now."
Suleiman said if Hamas does not do those things "no one will deal with them."
But a senior Palestinian official close to Abbas quickly denied that the Palestinian
president had set those conditions.
The Egyptian intelligence chief also said that he believes Iran will finance the
Palestinian Authority if other international donors, like the European Union, withdraw
their funding, as they have threatened to do if Hamas does not acknowledge Israel.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni also met with Mubarak on her first foreign trip
since taking office. She said she hopes Egypt, as a leader in the Arab world, can help
bring stability to the situation, which she said is in everyone's interest.
"There is a need for the international community now to speak in a very clear and loud
voice saying and putting, what we call, the conditions for any kind of future Palestinian
government," she said.
But her Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, declined to categorize the talks with
Hamas as setting conditions. He indicated that he thought the militant group could be
convinced to change its longstanding demand for the elimination of Israel.
"The word conditions is out of our vocabulary," he said. "Why is it so? Because we do
not put conditions. We persuade people to move from one position to another and we are
sure that eventually when you come to power, and when you deal with a situation, and when
you have to deal with the Israelis, and when you have to engage on daily basis on issues
related to the interests of the people and the prosperity of the people, then things will
As he spoke, a senior delegation from Hamas was making its way toward Cairo for more
talks with senior Egyptian officials.
Mubarak's spokesman told reporters that the results of the Palestinian election
represent what he called "a new reality" that everyone - Israelis, Palestinians and the
international community - would have to deal with.
Israeli Troops Clash With Settlers at West Bank Outpost
By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)
More than 170 people were injured when Israeli troops clashed with Jewish settlers in
the West Bank, after serving an eviction order. It is a sign that the settlers and the
government are on a collision course.
Hundreds of Jewish settlers barricaded themselves around nine homes in Amona, a
so-called illegal West Bank outpost, as thousands of Israeli troops in riot gear stormed
in to remove them by force.
"We are not afraid of you!" the settlers chanted as they pelted the soldiers with a
hail of stones. Troops wielding batons beat the settlers and dragged them away. Other
soldiers scaled ladders to remove the protesters from rooftops. Then bulldozers moved in
and demolished the nine homes.
Security forces launched the operation after Israel's Supreme Court cleared the way for
the settlement's evacuation.
It was the most violent confrontation between the army and settlers since Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon pulled Israel out of the Gaza Strip in August. Sharon is in a coma
after suffering a massive stroke a month ago, and this was the first confrontation between
acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the settlers.
Olmert, who is expected to win national elections on March 28, is committed to the
internationally backed "road map" peace plan that calls for all of the 100 illegal
outposts in the West Bank to be dismantled. He has warned the settlers that illegal
actions will not be tolerated.
He also appears to be setting the stage for future Israeli withdrawals from some areas
of the West Bank, as part of Sharon's plan to draw defensible borders. Polls show a
majority of the Israeli public supports the plan, but settlers are bitterly opposed to
relinquishing any territory in the biblical heartland of the West Bank.
A Revolutionary Way to "Visit" the Western Wall
Israel News Faxx Report
A new desktop application will allow thousands of users to view live video streaming
and full control of the camera from the Western Wall in Jerusalem, at the click of a
button located on their desktop. VirtualJerusalem.com announced the release of its live
Kotel camera desktop application.
The new application will allow thousands of users to view live video streaming from the
Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel at the click of a button located on their desktop. The
application opens a small window on the user's desktop from which the streaming can be
viewed. The window can be moved by the user and placed anywhere on the desktop to allow
room to run other applications while keeping an eye on the live action.
In addition, end-users can obtain control of the camera at the click of a button and
move the camera in all directions. The camera allows for 33X magnification-zoom as well as
full vertical and horizontal panning. Users may move the camera to see all areas of the
Western Wall as well as the temple mount and surrounding areas.
"This camera will allow millions of Jewish and non-Jewish people to feel connected to
Israel," says Jess Dolgin, CEO of Virtual Jerusalem and E-shop Enterprises. "For over
2,000 years, the Western Wall has served as the last remnant of the Temple and his
considered the most holly place for the Jewish people. For many, visiting the Western Wall
remains a far off dream. Now, thousands of Jews can feel connected any time of day with
the click of a button."
The Kotel Camera application has already been licensed to several large Jewish websites
including the Jerusalem Post, the Forward, Aish.com and others who are using co-branded
versions of the system.
Israeli Stamp to Honor Chabad Lubavitch
The Israeli Postal Authority is set to issue a stamp in honor of the Chabad Lubavitch
Chassidic movement and its late leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, known as the
Lubavitcher Rebbe. The stamp, now in the last stages of production, will be released on
The stamp carries a picture of Chabad-Lubavitch world headquarters at 770 Eastern
Parkway in Crown Heights, New York City, with pictures of religious ritual items whose use
was promoted and spread by the movement among Jews worldwide. To symbolize Chabad's global
reach, a world map serves as the background to the images.
Chabad Chassidim explained that despite the Postal Authority's desire to honor the
Rebbe with his picture on the stamp, they explained that the Rebbe himself ruled out
printing a stamp carrying the image of a previous Chabad Rebbe. Thus, the Authority and
Chabad activists decided that the stamp should feature the famous Crown Heights home of
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