Choose Day Below
IDF RESERVISTS KILLED IN PALESTINIAN AMBUSH
* PALESTINIAN MEDICAL AUTHORITIES REJECT IDF OFFER TO EVACUATE BODIES
* HIZBULLAH LEADER THREATENS MISSILE ATTACKS ON HAIFA
* POWELL ANNOUNCES MIDEAST PLANS
* SHARON, KATSAV HONOR HOLOCAUST VICTIMS AT YOM HASHOAH CEREMONY
* ECONOMIC BRIEFS
IDF RESERVISTS KILLED IN PALESTINIAN AMBUSH
Thirteen Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed this morning in a Palestinian ambush in the town of Jenin in the West Bank, HA’ARETZ reported. All of the casualties were reserve soldiers. Seven other soldiers, also predominately reservists, were hurt in the clashes, one critically, one moderately and the rest lightly. They were taken to Haemek Hospital in Afula for treatment. The IDF initially had difficulty locating the bodies of three of the soldiers, sparking fears that they had been kidnapped by Palestinians. By early afternoon, however, the bodies had been accounted for. According to a statement released by the IDF, an army patrol by reserve soldiers was ambushed during operations in the Jenin refugee camp. "The ambush included the use of explosive devices detonated against them and gunfire from nearby rooftops." According to IDF sources, dozens of wanted armed Palestinians are still holding a number of buildings in the Jenin camp. The IDF has deployed a large number of troops and intense firepower in an effort to break the Palestinian resistance. In a separate incident in Dura today, south of Hebron, another IDF soldier, a paratrooper brigade officer, was seriously wounded by Palestinian fire.
MEDICAL AUTHORITIES REJECT IDF OFFER TO EVACUATE BODIES
A senior Israel Defense Forces official contacted the Palestinian Ministry of Health, The Palestinian Red Crescent Society and Palestinian hospitals today to coordinate efforts to allow for the evacuation of all Palestinians killed and wounded in battles with IDF soldiers in Jenin, IDF RADIO reported. The IDF official guaranteed Palestinian medical personnel that they would be able to move safely about the city to collect their dead and wounded. According to the official, however, the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the medical organizations collectively refused to cooperate with this initiative
LEADER THREATENS MISSILE ATTACKS ON HAIFA
Hizbullah spiritual leader, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, said on Monday that if Israel responds to Hizbullah attacks on Israeli communities in the north by hitting Lebanon, Hizbullah will fire Katyusha missiles that can reach Haifa. Fadlallah’s remarks come one day after Hizbullah terrorists fired salvos on Israel Defense Forces positions in the Mt. Dov and Hermon regions, the eighth straight day that the Iranian-backed terrorist group has attacked Israel’s northern border.
Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah also warned of a wider confrontation. "There are people waiting for the front to expand from the sea to Mt. Hermon," Nasrallah said. Last week, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan delivered a warning from Israel to Syrian and Lebanese leaders that stepped-up attacks by Hizbullah could bring "alarming consequences" for the Middle East. U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte accused Hizbullah and its backers of violating U.N. resolutions. "Hizbullah actions can only be understood as a deliberate effort to escalate the situation and widen the conflict just as Secretary of State Powell arrives in the region to promote Security Council resolutions demanding an immediate Palestinian-Israeli cease-fire and withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian cities," he said. U.N. Ambassador Yehuda Lancry told the Security Council that Hizbullah’s supporters, Lebanon, Syria and Iran, had not responded to calls from Annan and the international community to prevent attacks across the Blue Line.
ANNOUNCES MIDEAST PLANS
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell announced today that he intends to meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, while on the second leg of his Middle East tour, HA’ARETZ reported. Outlining his itinerary from Egypt, where he held talks with President Hosni Mubarak, Powell said he would head to Spain and then to Jerusalem and is "looking forward to conversations with the prime minister [Ariel Sharon]," and intends to meet with Arafat afterwards. A senior U.S. State Department official traveling with Powell told reporters he would seek support in Egypt for coordinated mediation on the Middle East crisis, as he had done in Morocco, where he met with King Mohammed.
According to THE JERUSALEM POST, Powell is reaching out to Egypt for help in persuading Yasser Arafat to clamp down on terrorism against Israel.
Meanwhile, speaking from Knoxville, Tennessee today, U.S. President George W. Bush said peace will require leadership by both sides. "The United States is firmly committed to achieving peace," Bush said.
KATSAV HONOR HOLOCAUST VICTIMS AT YOM HASHOAH CEREMONY
Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Martyrs’and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, honoring the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, as well as those who rose up in revolt against the Nazis, began on Monday evening with a State ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
According to THE JERUSALEM POST, six survivors of the Holocaust kindled torches at Yad Vashem last night, and President Moshe Katsav, speaking at the ceremony, said "The memory of the Holocaust will certainly remain in the consciousness of the Jewish people for generations to come; however, we must also see to it that the lessons of the Holocaust guide our people in the coming generations. There is no certainty that coming generations of humanity will internalize the memory and lessons of the Holocaust. We, the Jewish people, must also bear the responsibility for this mission." Prime Minister Ariel Sharon also spoke at the ceremony, and referred to the global wave of violence and libel against Jews. "The eternal people is not afraid of a long journey – one that has continued for four thousand years…" Sharon said. " This is the only country in the world where Jews have the right and strength to defend themselves."
* First America Israel Fund (FAIF), controlled by Zalman Shoval and Shlomo Grofman, has raised $25 million, GLOBES reported. Major investors include a group of U.S. businessmen. Shoval, currently in Washington, said FAIF would focus on the construction of middle-class housing projects, mainly apartment blocs, but also other types of units. One of FAIF’s target markets is the immigrant population from the former USSR.
* The Herzliya and Santa
Clara, California-based DSP Group Inc. announced it would merge its IP licensing
business with the Dublin-based Parthus Technologies, THE JERUSALEM POST reported.
The merger will create a provider of core technologies for all digital communication
and multimedia devices in a deal worth more than $600 million. The combined
company, which will capitalize on the IP solutions of Parthus and the Digital
Signal Processing cores developed by DSPG, is expected to see revenue growth
of 20 percent in 2003 and take a leadership stance in the wireless communications,
mobile computing, automotive, consumer entertainment, and computer networking
markets. Israel Line is a daily summary of major news items taken directly
from the Israeli media.
BOMBER KILLS 8, WOUNDS 17 ON COMMUTER BUS NEAR HAIFA
* HIZBULLAH FIRES ROCKETS ACROSS NORTHERN BORDER
* PERES: PALESTINIANS WILL DISTORT JENIN BATTLE
* U.S. TO UN: NO MORE MIDDLE EAST RESOLUTIONS
* ECONOMIC BRIEFS
Police officers and rescue workers investigate the scene in and around a bus after an explosion on a main road near the port city of Haifa, April 10, 2002. A suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his body blew up the crowded bus during morning rush hour, killing at least eight people and wounding 14.
(HO, Israel Defense Force/AP Photo)
BOMBER KILLS 8, WOUNDS 17 ON COMMUTER BUS NEAR HAIFA
A suicide bomber exploded himself on a Jerusalem-Haifa bus today near the Yagur junction, killing at lease eight people, and wounding fourteen, HA’ARETZ reported. Passing cars were also hit by the blast and hurled from the highway, wounding some of the motorists. Israeli security officials believe that Hamas terrorists based in Tulkarem carried out the attack. Noa Shlomo,18, the niece of Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Yehuda Lancry, was among the victims.
Northern police commander Yaakov Borovsky said at the scene that "The suicide attacker apparently blew himself up soon after he boarded the bus." He added that despite alerts for stepped-up attempts by Palestinian terrorists to carry out attacks, there was no direct warnings of this attack.
"To my regret, the sight is horrible," said eyewitness Yitzhak Rotman. "There are many dead bodies, some outside the bus, some inside. The bus is shattered, from one end to the other." Another witness, who identified himself as Moti, described the site of the bombing as "an atrocity. The bus was driving about 100-150 meters in front of me. Suddenly, a huge blast, the bus flew in the air, three or four meters, than landed. This is simply catastrophic. There are pieces everywhere, people are thrown about in every direction."
Israeli officials went on to say that the attack stresses the need for the continuation of the Israel Defense Forces Operation Defensive Wall offensive in the West Bank. Arieh Mekel, a Government spokesman, said the bombing was a sign that the Palestinians were intent on disrupting Powell’s truce mission.
FIRES ROCKETS ACROSS NORTHERN BORDER
Hizbullah terrorists fired rockets on Israel Defense Forces positions on Har Dov and Mount Hermon today in one of the biggest cross-border attacks since Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon two years ago, HA’ARETZ reported. Hizbullah fired more than a dozen Katyusha rockets at the Golan and northern Galillee overnight, marking the eleventh straight day that the Iranian-backed group bombarded Israeli positions.
United States Vice President Richard Cheney spoke to Syrian President Bashar al-Asssad on Monday, demanding that Syria restrain Hizbullah. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said on Tuesday, "we are demonstrating restraint and are not interested in an escalation in the violence, but we cannot hold back for much longer."
The fresh violence came in spite of assurances that the Lebanese government was not interested in opening up a new front with Israel at a time Israeli troops were engaged in incursions against Palestinians in the West Bank. Hizbullah spiritual leader Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah said on Monday that if Israel attacks Lebanon, Hizbullah will respond by firing Katyusha missiles that can reach Haifa. Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah warned of a wider confrontation if Israel caused a mass migration of Palestinian refugees.
"There are people waiting for the front to expand from the sea to Mt. Hermon," Nasrallah said.
The Security Cabinet convened to discuss the situation on the northern border. A military plan was proposed and backed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Minister of Defense Benjamin Ben Eliezer and IDF commanders. The meeting concluded, however, with a decision to continue the policy of restraint after objections to the plan by Ministers Shimon Peres, Uzi Landau, Matan Vilnai, Dan Meridor and David Levy. In light of the differences of opinion within the cabinet, Sharon announced that he would not order military action, but rather give diplomatic efforts another chance.
PALESTINIANS WILL DISTORT JENIN BATTLE
Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres said on Tuesday that he feared Palestinian officials would distort the battle between IDF soldiers and gunmen in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin in order to portray it as a "massacre," HA’ARETZ reported.
Thirteen IDF soldiers were killed in a series of explosions in the Jenin refugee camp on Tuesday morning, bringing the total number of soldiers killed in the refugee camp since the start of the offensive to 22. Troops faced fierce resistance on Tuesday from Palestinian militants holed up in a small pocket in the Jenin refugee camp.
Israeli officials say militants in Jenin have waged a fierce battle with guns and explosives rather than surrender to troops who have pledged not to harm them if they lay down their arms. Deputy Minister of Defense Dalia Rabin-Pelossof said Palestinians have refused Israeli offers to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) into the camp to remove the corpses for burial. She said Israel had also offered to evacuate the bodies. Witnesses said they saw bodies still lying in the streets of the camp on Monday.
"When the other side refuses to remove bodies it must be clear to the whole world that the Palestinians are trying to increase the drama so the world continues demonstrating support for them," Pelossof told Israel Radio, Kol Yisrael.
TO UN: NO MORE MIDDLE EAST RESOLUTIONS
United States officials called on UN Member States to concentrate their efforts on implementing peace in the region rather than drafting documents in New York after a Security Council draft resolution calling for international monitors to be sent to the Middle East was presented on Tuesday, THE JERUSALEM POST reported.
"We do not support a resolution at this time," a U.S. official said of the new draft, circulated by the Arab bloc. The resolution calls for "an international presence that could help provide better conditions on the ground and help the parties in implementing agreements." It also demands the immediate implementation of Resolution 1402, which called for Israel to withdraw its forces from the West Bank. Palestinian suicide bombings are not mentioned in the draft.
The IDF found two barrels of suspected chemical substances in Arafat’s compound today, YEDIOT AHARONOT ON-LINE reported. The chemicals were to be used in attacks against Israelis. A team from the Ministry of the Environment determined that the substance is Bromine.
* Telecom service provider Comverse announced on Monday that it had signed an agreement with BMG Europe for BMG to supply both international and local music content for Comverse’s VoiCD advanced mobile music solution, GLOBES reported. Comverse said the agreement represented the collaboration of two players in their respective industries, resulting in a complete and comprehensive music solution providing premium value to telecom service providers. With this agreement, Comverse will be able to deliver BMG music content to mobile users, enabling operators to launch a content-rich music portal service to their subscribers, providing an extra revenue source.
* The Israeli Ministry of Finance Ministry announced today a series of provident and pension fund reforms that will end the ceiling on foreign investment, GLOBES reported. The reforms, which are slated to take effect on October 1, 2002 ease current restrictions on investment allocations for the funds, which managed assets totaling about $52 billion at the end of 2001. The quota on foreign investment was lifted to 20 percent from 5 percent last December as part of a monetary reform package deal between the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Israel. The plans called for getting rid of the ceiling by the end of the year.
SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 6 IN JERUSALEM’S MARKET
*PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS KILL BORDER POLICEMAN AT GAZA’S EREZ CROSSING
*POWELL: ISRAEL HAS A RIGHT TO RESPOND TO TERRORISM
*HIZBULLAH ATTACKS IDF POSITION AT MOUNT DOV
SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 6 IN JERUSALEM’S MARKET
At least six Israelis were killed and more than 62 injured today when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew herself up next to a crowded bus stop near Jerusalem’s Machne Yehuda market, HA’ARETZ ON-LINE reported. Seven of the injured are in serious condition.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the military wing of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the attack in an announcement made on the Hizbullah television station Al-Manar.
According to initial reports, the attack was carried out by a Palestinian woman who attempted to enter the nearby market but was deterred by the large number of police and soldiers on duty. She apparently blew herself up at a pedestrian crossing. Jerusalem police chief Mickey Levy called the attack "very serious," and added that it could have been much worse had the bomber succeeded in boarding a bus.
United States Secretary of State Colin Powell was reportedly flying over Jerusalem with Minister of Defense Binyamin Ben Eliezer on his way to an aerial tour of the northern border when the attack took place.
TERRORISTS KILL BORDER POLICEMAN AT GAZA’S EREZ CROSSING
Border policeman Sgt. David Smirnov, 22, was killed today and three Israelis wounded when Palestinian terrorists opened fire in the vicinity of the Erez crossing in the Gaza Strip, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. A Palestinian laborer was also killed in the shooting. Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the attack. Smirnov was laid to rest in Ashdod today.
According to initial reports, the gunman entered the crossing, opened fire in discriminately and hurled a hand grenade. A Magen David Adom employee at the crossing reported that one of the wounded Israelis was in moderate to serious condition. The wounded were evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon and Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva. Several hours after the incident, shots were fired at the crossing from a moving vehicle.
Meanwhile, Israel Defense Forces soldiers entered the West Bank village of Kalil, near Nablus, on Thursday night and arrested wanted individuals before withdrawing. An IDF statement stated that "activities in Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Dura and Dahariyah, south of Hebron, continue."
ISRAEL HAS A RIGHT TO RESPOND TO TERRORISM
United States Secretary of State Colin Powell said today that Israel has a right to respond to terrorism, HA’ARETZ reported. Speaking at a brief press conference following his meetings with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Security Cabinet, Powell said, "We do understand what terrorism is, and as we have responded to terrorism, we know that Israel has a right to respond to terrorism." He also stressed the need to go beyond a military response and the importance of eventually renewing diplomatic negotiations.
Sharon addressed Israel’s war on terrorism as well, saying that "Israel is waging war against the infrastructure of Palestinian terrorism and Israel hopes to conclude this war very soon." He added that "the suicide bombers’ terrorism represents a danger for Israel and the entire free world. Israelis the only democracy in the world in which there are guards in every school and in every kindergarten in order to protect the children against Palestinian terrorism."
Powell is slated to meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat on Saturday. He arrived in Israel from Jordan, where he met with King Abdullah II at his palace. While the two men were meeting, Jordanians took to the streets, protesting against the United States and Israel. Morethan500 Jordanian protestors set fire to American and Israeli flags, chanting" Death to America!" and "Death to Bush!"
Meanwhile, senior U.S. officials have recently reiterated their support for Israel and Sharon. White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer addressed the conflict in the Middle East on Thursday, calling Sharon "a man of peace." U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri said, "we will stand with Israel." Rep. Tom Lantos of California, a ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, was pushing for a vote on a resolution expressing support for Israel and Senators Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, and Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, prepared a bill to designate the Palestine Liberation Organization a terrorist group.
ATTACKS IDF POSITION AT MOUNT DOV
Hizbullah attacked an Israel Defense Forces position at Mount Dov on the Israeli-Lebanese border today, HA’ARETZ reported. There were no injuries and no damage was caused. United States Secretary of State Colin Powell was touring the area at the time of the attack, but was not near the scene of the actual attack. In response, IDF artillery and warplanes carried out strikes on the sources of the shelling in southern Lebanon.
During his tour, Powell alluded to Syria’s responsibility to quell Hizbullah violence and said, "all parties in the region must play a role to restrain any aggressive activities across Israel’s northern border."
On Thursday, Hizbullah carried out a similar attack. In that attack, the shooting intensified with a number of Katyusha rockets falling near Mount Hermon and in the northern Golan Heights. The IDF responded with aerial strikes and an artillery barrage aimed at Hizbullah positions inside Lebanese territory. No damages were reported.
* Magal Security Systems announced that it has won a $2.2 million tender to provide perimeter intrusion detection systems at nine Canadian correctional facilities, GLOBES reported. Magal said its fully owned Canadian subsidiary, Senstar-Stellar Corporation, signed a contract to deploy its Perimitrax sensor as part of a perimeter detection security system at Correctional Service Canada facilities. Perimitrax is a covert perimeter intrusion detection sensor that generates an invisible electromagnetic field around buried sensor cables. When an intruder disturbs the field, an alarm is sounded. In the case of a network system, the alarm is instantly communicated over sensor cables to a PC-based central control systems.
* Israeli-high tech firms
are moving essential work overseas, according to Israel’s economic consul
in Boston, HA’ARETZ reported. American investors do not want to risk coming
to Israel, so firms have adjusted their policies, he said. On April 25 in
Boston, 13 U.S. VC funds will meet with 15 Israeli firms, all of which have
concentrated activities in the United States.