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Security Officials to Jews: Don't Panic

By Israel Faxx News Services

U.S. Jewish security officials urged the Jewish community to be vigilant but not to panic after a major terrorist attack was thwarted in Great Britain. "We have been advised" by federal, state and local law enforcement "that there is nothing directly concerning the Jewish community," the director of the Secure Community Network, Paul Goldenberg, told Jewish media on Thursday.


Israel Delays Sending Main Invasion Force to Lebanon

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem) & IsraelNationalNews.com

Despite heavy fighting in southern Lebanon, the Israeli government said Thursday that it has not sent its main invasion force into the country, to give time for diplomatic efforts to bring about a ceasefire.

Hizbullah terrorists said they destroyed two Israeli tanks early Thursday and 11 tanks in overnight fighting near the Israeli border. The heaviest fighting of the month-long conflict remains under way about five to 10 kilometers inside Lebanon, where Israeli troops early Thursday moved toward the town of Marjayoun near the Litani River.

An IDF soldier was killed and 16 were injured in clashes with Hizbullah terrorists. Staff Sgt. Kobi Idan, 26, of Eilat fell in battle when an advanced anti-tank missile hit the Merkava-3 tank in which he was riding. Idan and another soldier had arrived a few days earlier with the 434 Brigade and were operating near the southeastern Lebanese village of al-Khiam when they were attacked.

The other 15 wounded soldiers were operating above the Litani River in the eastern sector on Lebanon, in a village near the Hizbullah stronghold of Marjayoun, where heavy fighting continued throughout the day.

On Wednesday, 15 soldiers, all reservists, were killed and 34 soldiers were wounded in separate battles across southern Lebanon. Some 40 Hizbullah terrorists were killed as well. Six of the wounded soldiers, including two regular army troops and four reservists, sustained serious injuries. Nine of the 15 dead soldiers and 11 of the wounded troops were hurt by an anti-tank missile fire aimed at a house in which they were operating in the village of Debil.

At least one soldier was killed by friendly fire in the village of a-Taiybeh after his group was mistaken by IDF tank troops as a Hizbullah terror cell. The tank opened fire on a house in which IDF paratroopers were operating.

Four reservists serving with an armored brigade were killed in a tank explosion and others were wounded in clashes near the village of Ayta al-Sha'ab. Another soldier was killed by a mortar

While some Israeli troops did move into Lebanon, Israeli officials such as Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said the bulk of the invasion force would not proceed for a few days to allow more time for United Nations diplomats trying to reach a ceasefire deal.

Livni said it is important to allow diplomatic efforts to continue as part of the effort to get Hizbullah to leave southern Lebanon.


Poll: 73% of Public Displeased with Government's Treatment of Northern Residents

By Ha'aretz

A large majority of the public is dissatisfied with the government's treatment of residents of the north, according to a poll conducted by Ha'aretz-Dialogue. Some 73% of those polled said they are dissatisfied with the way the government treated residents of the north, while only 19% expressed satisfaction with the government's performance in this realm.

Some 200 individuals from the north complained at the Histadrut labor federation, stating that their employers informed them that they would not receive July wages, which violates a law approved by the Knesset earlier this month. According to the new law, employers must pay workers who were not present at their jobs due to the security situation, and the employers will be compensated by the state.

And at least 30 Thai workers have complained in the past few days that their employers are forcing them to work in fields in the north, even as Katyusha rockets launched from Lebanon rain down on towns near the border.

Most of the workers employed by farmers outside of the northern town of Metula said their employers are causing them to risk their lives. They are also violating the Home Front Command's strict orders regarding safety during the rocket fire. The army has warned that people should not expose themselves to Katyusha fire by walking around outside during an attack.

The workers filed their complaint with Kav La'Oved, a non-profit organization which specializes in assisting disadvantaged employees, such as Palestinians and migrant workers.

Some of the employers threatened to withhold the workers' pay if they didn't come to work. This is also a violation of an agreement made by the government, local business owners and the Histadrut labor federation obligating employers to pay their employees' July salaries even if they couldn't come to work due to the attacks. The agreement also reimburses employers for their losses due to the fact that employees couldn't come to work.


Rocket Attack Kills Mother and Child, Wounds 11

By IsraelNationalNews.com

A three year old boy and his mother were killed in a rocket attack Thursday morning in the Muslim Arab village of Dir el-Assad near the western Galilee community of Carmiel.

The boy and his 22-year-old mother were killed as she watched her children play in their yard. Her four-year-old son and mother-in-law were seriously injured in the attack. Another person was moderately injured and eight others suffer light wounds. They were taken to Nahariya Hospital.

More than 90 rockets were fired at northern communities by 3 p.m. Thursday. A Katyusha also scored a direct hit on a home in Tzfat. Five rockets hit Kiryat Shmona. Sixteen more slammed into Nahariya. Seven rockets hit the Krayot suburbs of Haifa. Three rockets landed in Tiberias as well, where one man was lightly injured from flying shrapnel and two others suffered shock. No injuries or damage were reported in the rest of the attacks.

Air raid sirens blared throughout the north for most of the morning. A day earlier, eight long-range rockets landed in areas around the region. Another long-range rocket landed near the Palestinian Authority village of Faqua.


Lieberman: Hamas Plans Southern War on Hizbullah Military Model

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Yisrael Beitenu party Chairman and Knesset member Avigdor Lieberman said that Hamas is planning to change the way it is waging war on Israel's southern front – based on the Hizbullah model.

Lieberman said the PA is preparing to wage a war on southern Israel modeled on the Hizbullah military strategy against communities in northern Israel. He also expressed criticism of the media for ignoring the ongoing PA Kassam rocket attacks on the cities of the Negev.

Lieberman said that PA terrorists are "smuggling Katyushas and Grad missiles into the Gaza Strip. The southern Lebanon script must be prevented in southern Israel."

Prior to the Gaza withdrawal, even many proponents of the Disengagement were wary of handing over the Philadelphi Corridor, between Gaza and Egypt - where the IDF fought a constant battle against weapons smuggling.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon told reporters in May that the threat of Katyusha rockets being smuggled via tunnels from Sinai into Gaza is a major concern. Two Katyusha missiles have already been fired toward Israeli towns from Gaza - one in Marhc, on the day of the elections, and then again in May.

Lieberman further criticized the government for failing to keep the Knesset apprised of Hamas war preparations, charging that better information can be found on the Internet than in parliamentary committee sessions. He added that the government must not close its eyes to the fact that Hamas intentions are to destroy Israel, a goal the terror group does not hide.

The group's party platform focused on its refusal to formally recognize the State of Israel, disarm or renounce terrorism. Foreign funding to the PA by most western nations was frozen when the terrorist organization took over the government.

If Hamas obtained similar Katyusha's to those used by Hizbullah in the early days of the Re-Engagement war, it would place cities such as Ashdod, Ashkelon and Kiryat Gat within striking range. And if the IDF were to create an anti-missile security zone in Gaza similar to that it is carving out in southern Lebanon, it would entail re-entering all of Gaza.


Israel Warns South Beirut Residents to Leave

By Margaret Besheer (VOA-Beirut)

Israeli war planes blanketed three Shi'ite suburbs of Beirut Thursday with leaflets warning of a painful and strong response to Hizbullah attacks, and urging residents to evacuate. Earlier, an Israeli missile hit an old lighthouse in West Beirut, injuring three people.


Beirut's southern suburbs have been targets of repeated Israeli bombardments The leaflets, signed, "The State of Israel," fell in the densely populated suburbs of Hay El-Sollum, Burj El-Barajneh and Shiyah. They warned residents to immediately evacuate these areas for their own safety. Hundreds of families heeded the warning, and were leaving the southern suburbs, some in cars, and others on buses provided by the government.

Lebanese officials said they are concerned about where they are going to house the additional displaced people, because schools that are being used as shelters are already over-crowded.

Meanwhile, an Israeli missile targeted an old lighthouse in West Beirut damaging the structure. Police said three people were injured. The mid-day strike was in a heavily guarded neighborhood that houses the Saudi Arabian Embassy, a university and the family home of slain former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

To the north of Beirut, Israeli planes dropped more leaflets, warning trucks to stay off the coastal highway after 8 p.m. local time or face attack. The road links northern Lebanon with Syria, and the leaflets said vehicles out after the curfew would be suspected of carrying rockets and supplies for Hizbullah.


Italian Tourist-Volunteer Stabbed to Death in Jerusalem

By YnetNews.com

A tourist, Angelo Frammartino, who had traveled to Israel last week to do volunteer work, was stabbed to death Thursday evening by Herod's Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The perpetrator, who was described as having an Arab countenance, escaped the scene. Police were searching the area and said the attack was nationalistically motivated.

Police opened an investigation into the incident, and initial findings revealed that a small group of three to four tourists from Europe, all in their 20s, were walking down Sultan Suleiman Road by Herod's Gate in the Old City when they were assaulted.

An Arab youth jumped out from behind them, stabbed one of them in the back with a knife, and fled, leaving the weapon at the scene. The tourist was severely wounded and died of his injuries shortly afterwards. Jerusalem Police launched searches after the attacker. It was unclear whether he was a resident of East Jerusalem or a Palestinian.

Roughly three weeks ago, an East Jerusalem resident stabbed a Yeshiva student on Haneviim Street in Jerusalem and moderately wounded him. Days later, the stabber was nabbed and claimed the war in Lebanon motivated the attack.

The Shin Bet, IDF and Police have thwarted eight Palestinian attempts to carry out suicide bombing attacks and kidnappings within Israel in the past month. Altogether 396 terror activists were arrested, among them 12 would-be suicide bombers. The foiled bombings planned to target Bnei Brak, Rehovot, Alon Moreh and Oranit. A planned kidnapped was thwarted in Tel Aviv.


243 N. American Immigrants Arrive in Israel Thursday

By IsraelNationalNews.com
The first chartered plane of a record-setting week of Western Aliyah arrived in Israel Thursday, with not a single one of the 243 immigrants signed up backing out or postponing due to the war.

The plane touched down and pulled alongside a special hangar near Ben Gurion Airport's Terminal 1, where the new immigrants were greeted by hundreds of well wishers. The flight was the 18th chartered flight of immigrants organized by the Nefesh b'Nefesh Aliyah assistance organization, together with the Jewish Agency.

"A few months ago, 243 people registered to be a part of this flight today," Nefesh b'Nefesh co-founder Rabbi Yehoshua Fass said. "They listened to the news and watched the scenes of war on television. But today, that plane landed with 243 olim (immigrants to Israel). We asked God to comfort the Jewish people on [the fast of] Tisha B'av last week. Not one person cancelled, and it brings great comfort to all of Israel."

Kim Richardson, 21, arrived from Poughkeepsie, NY to join her sister, Jen, who moved to Israel two years ago. Both sisters said they never thought about moving to Israel while growing up, but attended a program called Netiv during their freshman year of college, during which they worked on Kibbutz Saad, studied at Hebrew University and fell in love with the Jewish state.

"The hair stylist I went to before I boarded the plane yesterday understood why I decided to move here the best," Kim said. "His name was Hugo, and he told me, `It's all about your generation – you can change the world.'"


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