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Yatom: Mashaal is a Dead Man

By IsraelNationalNews.com

During a Monday TV interview, MK (Labor) Danny Yatom stated that Hamas politburo leader Khaled Mashaal is marked for death, and the "long arm of Israel" will eventually reach him as well. The former Mossad Intelligence Agency director stated that he is not referring to events in the past, but present, stating Mashaal is not one of the rehabilitated terrorists who may have turned to a different path, adding he has also been and continues to be a terrorist. Yatom stated Israel will continue efforts to hunt down all terrorists who act against the state, including Mashaal, who he stated is already marked as a dead man.


Palestinians Try to Rocket Central Israel

By IsraelNationalNews.com, Israel Hasbara Committee & YnetNews.com

PA terrorists, having bombarded Sderot for two years and fresh off their success in hitting Ashkelon with deadly Kassam rockets, have turned their attention once again to central Israel.

Sources in the Palestinian Authority have confirmed that terrorists fired a Kassam rocket - some reports say three were fired - from a village near Tul Karem. Tul Karem is a small Arab city under Palestinian Authority-control, located some 10 miles east of Netanya (Israel's 8th-largest city, population 175,000). The rocket was fired from the village of Shuweika, just north of Tul Karem, towards the Jewish community of Avnei Heifetz.

The PA sources reporting the launch said it did not succeed because the rocket exploded prematurely, and that the launch attempt was "amateurish." It was not immediately clear why the terrorists chose to fire towards a sparsely-populated area.

"There is no doubt that terror organizations are trying to copy the technology and knowledge in Gaza in terms of high-trajectory fire in a bid to threaten the Sharon region," a senior Israeli officer told Ynetnews.com "Different attempts were made in the past, some failed, some partially succeeded. There is no doubt that these attempts will continue and will maybe bear fruit in some stage or another," the officer said.

After attempting to fire rocket from Tul Karm, Palestinians claim they launched a second rocket from Jenin into Israel. An Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades spokesman said, "All Israeli cities within our rockets' range."

IDF officials denied any knowledge regarding the rocket launch attempt, saying that if one took place the rocket may not have reached the lift-off stage

The statement regarding the rocket launching from Jenin came from al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades members calling themselves "the cells of the Martyr Yasir Arafat" and from Islamic Jihad's armed wing, the al-Quds Brigades. According to the sources, the rocket was fired as retaliation to the IDF operation in the Gaza Strip in to mark the one year anniversary of the death of a senior al-Aqsa member Warad Abahara, who was killed by the IDF.

The head of the Gilboa Regional Council, Danny Atar, said in response to the Palestinian claims "It simply did not happen."

Exiled Hamas Chief Demands Israel Prisoner Trade

By VOA News & IsraelNationalNews.com

The exiled political leader of Hamas is demanding that Israel release Palestinian prisoners to win freedom for captured Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit. Khaled Mashaal spoke at a rare news conference under tight security in Damascus.

Mashaal demanded that Israel free Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of the Israeli soldier, who was captured by Palestinian terrorists two weeks ago in a raid on an Israeli border post in the Gaza Strip. "The solution is simple: an exchange," said Mashaal. "Israel is deluding itself, if it thinks it will bring the soldier back by military escalation."

Israel has ruled out a prisoner release in exchange for the captured soldier's freedom. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has also ruled out negotiations with the Hamas-led Palestinian government. The State Department, European Union, and Israel consider Hamas a terrorist organization.


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has ruled out any possibility of a prisoner swap, or negotiations with the Hamas-led Palestinian government, to gain the release of Shalit. He also said the latest crisis in the Gaza Strip would not affect his plans to withdraw from large parts of the West Bank.

Speaking to foreign journalists in Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert rejected any criticism of Israel's military incursion into the Gaza Strip, saying the operation to free Shalit and stop Palestinian terrorists from firing Kassam rockets into Israel would continue as long as necessary.

"I will stop when I feel that I can provide security for the people of Israel," he said. "I will not stop until then. I will continue to take every possible legitimate measure of self-defense that will help provide better security for the people of Israel. The timing will be determined by the aggressors. The timing will be defined by those who initiated the terrorist actions against Israel. It is entirely up to them, if they stop it [attacks] we will stop it."

Hamas officials have demanded Israel free more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Mashaal said Hamas was interested in a peaceful solution, and accused Israel of escalating the situation. He criticized the international community for focusing on Israel, rather than the plight of Palestinians.

"It has been a matter of days that this soldier has been captive, yet the world has put it on the top of the agenda, while 10,000 Palestinian prisoners have been in Israeli custody for 20 years, but the world forgets about them," he said.

Mashaal told reporters that Shalit is a "prisoner of war" and must be kept alive. "Our goals and our morals command us to keep the soldier alive." The terrorist chief said the kidnapped soldier was "a prisoner of war and international conventions and laws should be applied to his case."

He praised the terrorists who carried out the attack as "a heroic operation," one that had united Palestinian Authority Arabs "in a way that they had not been in the past," adding Israelis are dreaming, if they think they can defeat Hamas and that the militant group will continue its attacks against Israel. In his remarks, Mashaal accused Israel and the United States of practicing terrorism against the Palestinian people.

Meet NYC's New 'Hebrew Hammer

By The New York Post

The New York Police Department has recruited an unorthodox new officer - its first Hasidic cop.

Joel Witriol, a 24-year-old Talmud scholar from Brooklyn, started his training at the department's Police Academy Monday. "I realized there were so many things you could do [as a cop] - everything from community service to fighting narcotics," Witriol said, coming off the heels of a stint with the department's auxiliary police force. "There are a hundred things, and every day is different."

Witriol has a degree from United Talmudical Seminary in Monroe, where he studied "religious stuff, mostly." But the Brooklyn native wanted something more - and believes he found it five years ago when, while volunteering for an ambulance company, he heard about the police auxiliary. "I decided to go and check it out," Witriol said. "I went for training and passed."

Growing up in Williamsburg, Witriol admitted that he had the same cops-and-robbers ideas about policing as many youngsters. "I thought it was only about arresting people," he said. But his auxiliary work in the 77th Precinct in Crown Heights - home to a large Hasidic community - was an eye-opener for him.

Auxiliary officers, who do not carry weapons, are "eyes and ears" for the department, Witriol said. "They do patrolling, they go to parades. "I saw a lot of things that were going on in the precinct," he said. The police officers "are not only locking up people, but they are helping people, too. I figured it's a good future."

Because of his religion, Witriol will need exemptions from police hairstyle rules so he can keep his beard and his peyot, the long side locks worn by Hasidic men. He'll also have to be excused from working on the Sabbath and on Jewish holidays.

Witriol said the Police Department doesn't have any problem with his needs, so long as they're backed up with a letter from a rabbi. Department sources noted that the NYPD has granted a number of religious exemptions to its rules in recent years.

When Witriol graduates from the academy, it is believed that he will be only the third Hasidic officer in the United States. The other two officers include a Hasidic man hired a decade ago by the sheriff's department in Rockland County, a suburb of New York City.


The Mysteries of Einstein's Love Life

By Reuters

Albert Einstein had half a dozen girlfriends and told his wife they showered him with "unwanted" affection, according to letters released on Monday that shed light on his extra-marital affairs.

The wild-haired Jewish-German scientist, renowned for his theory of relativity, spent little time at home. He lectured in Europe and in the United States, where he died in 1955 at age 76. But Einstein wrote hundreds of letters to his family.

Previous-released letters suggested his marriage in 1903 to his first wife Mileva Maric, mother of his two sons, was miserable. They divorced in 1919 and he soon married his cousin, Elsa. He cheated on her with his secretary, Betty Neumann.

In the new volume of letters released on Monday by Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Einstein described about six women with whom he spent time with and received gifts from while being married to Elsa.

In the early 1980s, Elsa's daughter, Margot, gave almost 1,400 letters to Hebrew University, which Einstein helped found. But Margot directed that the letters not be released publicly until 20 years after her death. She died on July 8, 1986.

Some of the women identified by Einstein include Estella, Ethel, Toni, and his "Russian spy lover," Margarita. Others are referred to only by initials, like M. and L. "It is true that M. followed me (to England) and her chasing after me is getting out of control," he wrote in a letter to Margot in 1931. "Out of all the dames, I am in fact attached only to Mrs. L., who is absolutely harmless and decent."

In another post to Margot, Einstein asked his stepdaughter to pass on "a little letter for Margarita, to avoid providing curious eyes with tidbits."

The new batch of letters for the first time included replies from Einstein's family, Hanoch Gutfreund, chairman of the Albert Einstein Worldwide Exhibition at Hebrew University said.

This, he told reporters, helped shatter myths that the Nobel Prize-winning scientist was always cold toward his family. "In these letters he acts with much greater friendship and understanding to Mileva and his sons," Gutfeund said.

Gutfeund said that though Einstein's later marriage to Elsa was best described as a "marriage of convenience," he wrote to her almost every day, describing, among other things, his experiences touring and lecturing in Europe. "Soon I'll be fed up with the (theory of) relativity," Einstein wrote in a postcard to Elsa in 1921. "Even such a thing fades away when one is too involved with it."

Einstein lived and studied in the 1930s at Oxford, where he hid from the Nazis. A German colleague, he said in a letter to Else, had told him "to not even come near the German border because the rage against me is out of control."

In the same letter, which he wrote in 1933, less than a decade before the start of World War II and the Nazi Holocaust, Einstein writes: "One fears everywhere the competition of the expelled 'brainy' Jews. We are even more burdened by our strength than by our weakness."


Portman Signs Up for Nude Role

By YnetNews.com

On Sunday Ynetnews reported that Natalie Portman is about to appear fully naked in her new feature film, and on Monday ContactMusic reported she is keen to teach her future children about her Jewish religion, even though she is still struggling to meet the right Jewish man.

The Israeli-born star immigrated to the United States when she was a 3-year-old toddler. But sadly for Portman, she discovered that her interest in the ancient religion wanes when she is not in the Holy Land.

The report quoted her as stating that "a priority for me is definitely that I'd like to raise my kids Jewish, but the ultimate thing is to have someone who is a good person and who is a partner... I get much more Jewish in Israel."

Portman added that her father is still very much in touch with his Jewish roots, and loves to make jokes at the expense of her gentile boyfriends. "He always makes this stupid joke with my new boyfriend, who is not Jewish," she explained. "He says 'it's just a simple operation.'" The actress will be seen completely naked during torture scenes in the historical drama Goya's Ghosts, which focuses on revered artist Francisco Goya. Portman plays Goya's muse, Alicia, who becomes embroiled in a scandal after she is accused of being a heretic by a monk. It is not the first time Portman has stripped off for a movie role. She previously exposed her body in the complex romantic drama Closer, which also starred Jude Law, Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, but the explicit scenes were eventually cut. The 24-year-old actress, who appeared in the three Star Wars' prequels, has previously admitted she is uncomfortable being a sex symbol because of her role in 'Leon'.

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