Choose Day Below
of Palestinian Terror Kills 13 and Injures over 60
** A Rise in Diaspora Volunteerism for Israel
** French Students Attend Hebrew University to Show Solidarity
** Saudi Arabia Boycotts Israel
** Indictments for Israeli-Arabs Passing Intelligence Information
** Economic Briefs
An Israeli man and his
pregnant wife were shot dead and one of their young children was injured when
Palestinian gunmen opened fire on their car north of Ramallah today, YEDIOT
AHARONOT, reported. In the fifth terror attack in less than 24 hours, Avi
Volansky, 29, and his wife Avital, 27, were murdered in an ambush on their
car near Luban Sharkiya, north of Ramallah. The couple’s son Yigal, 3, was
moderately wounded in the attack, while their 8-month-old baby was unharmed.
The family was on its way home to the neighborhood of Eli when the attack
The Volanskys moved to Eli four years ago, shortly after they were married. Avi, a native of Jerusalem, participated in the Israel Defense Forces Hesder program and served as a lieutenant in the Armored Corps. Avital was a teacher in the community’s religious school.
Meanwhile, a homicide
bomber blew himself up on a bus at the Meron Junction in northern Israel,
killing nine people and injuring more than 40. In a separate incident, an
Israeli security guard and a Palestinian bystander were killed when a terrorist
opened fire on Border Police and a Bezeq telecommunications vehicle near the
Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. Yekutiel Amitai, 34, worked as a security
guard for the Bezeq telecommunications company. He was born and raised on
Kibbutz Sa’ar, served in the Israel Defense Forces Golani Brigade. Upon completion
of his military service, he moved to Jerusalem and began studies at the Meir
Institute. Seven months ago he was married. He is survived by his parents,
two brothers and two sisters. Nizal Awassat, 51, an innocent bystander who
lost his life in the crossfire between police and the Palestinian gunman outside
Jerusalem’s Old City. "He never argued, and never got into trouble with
anybody," a friend said. Awassat, an Israeli Arab was resident of the
Jabal Mukaber neighborhood of east Jerusalem. He is survived by a wife and
In other incidents, four people were injured, one seriously, when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on Sunday afternoon at a bus traveling near Avnei Hefetz, east of Tulkarem. Additionally, four Israeli soldiers were wounded, three of them seriously, when a bomb exploded alongside their jeep outside of Ramallah.
At least nine people were killed
and over forty were injured, eight of them seriously, when a bomb exploded
on a crowded bus near the Meron Junction, just west of Safed (Tzfat) in the
Galilee on Sunday morning, MA’ARIV reported. The blast occurred as Egged bus
number 361 was on its way from Haifa to Safed. A spokesman for Egged said
that the bus was crowded with Israeli soldiers returning to their bases after
the weekend. The homicide bombing was the first terrorist attack in the Safed
area. The terrorist organization Hamas claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Magen David Adom medic Itzik Weiner estimated that there were 40 to 50 people on the bus at the time of the blast. "I heard the explosion, and saw the bus rise up into the air. I immediately ran over to help," Weiner said.
Pinhas Cohen who witnessed thae attack said "The entire rear of the bus was blown off." He added that "A soldier came out with his face and uniform covered with blood, and two Arabs from the nearby restaurant gave him first aid."
The following are the names of the victims:
Mordechai Friedman, 24 of Ramat Beit Shemesh, was a member of the Hasidic group of Gerrer. He studied at the Yeshiva Hoshen Mishpat in Beit Shemesh. He was on his way home after praying at the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai on Mount Meron when he lost his life in the bus bombing. Mordechai died 13 years after his brother drowned during a family trip to the Banias River. A relative of the family said "we need much compassion from heaven." He is survived by a wife and a one-year-old son. Friedman was expecting another child within three months.
Sari Goldstein, 21, a resident of Carmiel, was on her way to her first day of classes at Safed College when she was killed in the bus bombing. She recently completed her army service. She is survived by her parents and two siblings.
Massoun Amin Hassan, 19, was a resident of the village of Sajur in the western Galilee. She recently was accepted to the psychology program at Haifa University. "Massoun was a lively red-headed, funny and kind hearted," said a family member, "we truly hope she would be the last victim of this horrible war." Her sister was seriously injured in the bombing. The Hassans are one of the most prominent families of Israel’s Druze community.
Yifat Gavrieli, 19, of Mitzpe Adi in the Galilee was on the way back to her base after a week’s vacation when she lost her life. Yifat lit the Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) torch in the local ceremony, and chose to dedicate her words at the service to a prayer to end the violence and bloodshed. She is survived by her father, her pregnant mother and two siblings.
Omri Goldin, 20, from Mitzpe Aviv in the Galilee, served with the Israel Defense Forces Northern Command and was on the way back to his base when he was killed. His girlfriend, Aviv, was traveling on the bus with him and was severely injured. Omri loved music and for the past few years was a member of a band. He is survived by his parents and two brothers.
Sgt. Maj. Roni Kamal Ghanem, 28 of the Druze village of Marer, was killed en route to the base where he had been serving on Israel’s Northern Border. Only two months ago, Ghanem married his wife Rita. "Roni served in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank and was never even scratched, and yesterday he was killed 5 minutes away from home," Roni’s brother said. He is related to Member of Knesset Ayoob Kara (Likud) who said that "no one is immune from terror, neither Arabs or Jews. I call on everyone to join ranks to fight Palestinian terror.
Marlene Miriam Menachem, 22 of Moshav Safssufa, was on her way to work in Safed. She was about to get on the bus at the Meron Junction when the bomb exploded. Her father Shimon Menachem drove her to the bus stop, as he did every morning. He heard the explosion as he arrived home, and immediately returned to the bus station. The police did not let him come close, but he recognized Marlene’s bag on the sidewalk. Marlene worked in a clothing store in Safed, saving money towards her academic studies, which she was supposed to begin next year. "We lost a beautiful child who always loved to help anyone in need. She was a true flower," said her uncle, Yossef Shukrun. She is survived by her parents, two sisters and a brother.
Adelina Kononen, 37, and Rebecca Roga, 40 – were two caregivers from the Philippines who worked on agricultural community of Safsufa. "If a woman with a golden heart reaches you, you’ll know its Adelina," resident Motka Elkavetz said. "She sacrificed herself for her two children, who stayed in the Philippines… For my mother, this is almost like losing a daughter. We lost a family member, not a caregiver." Adelina and Rebecca were good friends who came together to Israel from Menilla, in the Philippines. They already managed to disembark the bus when the explosion occurred and they were both instantly killed.
The Jewish Agency received 2,800
requests from Jews from the Diaspora to come to Israel partake in volunteer
work, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Some 500 of those who submitted requests
already participated in programs with Magen David Adom, the Civil Guard and
diverse relief organizations.
Twenty-two Jewish doctors from the U.S. and South Africa came to Israel for a week-long tour of emergency care units. They voiced their readiness to be standby doctors during a state of emergency.
French students arrived at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Sunday to spend four weeks studying at the Rothberg International School, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. "I am happy that the French students are joining us. Their arrival in Israel demonstrates the fact that they agree with our decision not to let terror triumph by interrupting the activities of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem," Professor Menachem Magidor said.
The students arrived at
the Allan Bronfman dormitory complex on Mount Scopus
campus of Hebrew University on Sunday.
Meanwhile, more than 500 new immigrants arrived in Israel today of them 380 immigrants are from Ukraine and 120 are from France.
Saudi Arabia has blacklisted about 200 foreign companies during the past 10 months for exporting $150 million of Israeli products, a Saudi trade official said today, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported.
Ahmed al-Ouda, a counselor in Saudi Arabia Chamber of Commerce said the companies, including 72 from Jordan, 70 from Cyprus, 23 from Egypt and 11 from Turkey, will not be able to trade in Saudi Arabia again. The other companies banned are based in United States, Britain, Singapore, Thailand, Portugal and Poland. Al-Ouda did not name any of the banned companies or give an exact total number of companies blacklisted. He said that Saudi Arabia authorities verified the goods originated in Israel after making checks on items exported by the companies, which include vegetables, seeds, mobile phones and other electronic devices.
Saudi Arabia boycotts Israeli companies in accordance with the Arab League boycott office established in 1951 to track down foreigners who do business with or support Israel, and then ban them from operating in the Arab world. However, the boycott, which once listed more than 8,500 companies and people from Coca-Cola to the Ford Motor Company has not been active for almost a decade. Recently, boycott calls against Israel because of the current situation.
Indictments were submitted today for four Arab-Israeli citizens suspected of passing intelligence information to Lebanese nationals in exchange for drugs and armaments, HA’ARETZ reported. The suspects, arrested last month, allegedly gave computer programs, maps and various documents and objects to ‘hostile elements’ in Lebanon, in exchange for some 50 kilograms of hashish, three grenades and two guns.
The main suspect, arrested on July 12, is Ibrahim Haib, 28, from Nazareth, who served in the Israel Defense Forces. The investigation revealed that the transfer of the intelligence information was done with the assistance of residents from the village of Ghajar, Hasin Hatib and Hatam Hatib, known to the police as drug dealers. It appears that Ibrahim’s cousin, Halad Haib, 41, from Nazareth, a former IDF tracker, may also be have been involved.
*New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey
will visit Israel this month as the head of a 50-member delegation of U.S.
business leaders, GLOBES reported. Delegation members will include Johnson
and Johnson executives, various investment groups and the New Jersey Science
and Technology Council. The New Jersey Israel Commission and Partners 500
initiated the meeting.
*Teva Pharmaceuticals and Johnson
& Johnson plan to establish a biotechnology investment company, HA’ARETZ
reported. The company’s seed capital is expected to be $15 million. The joint
company will invest in research projects with the aim of commercializing them
and establish startups and early stage biotech companies.
Today’s Israel Line was prepared by David Nekrutman and Maya Jacobs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York.
Offers "Gaza First Plan"
** Jewish Moroccan Teens Volunteer in IDF
** College Basketball Star From California to Play for Maccabi Tel Aviv
** Immigration to Israel Expected to Reach New Record High
** Economic Briefs
Minister of Defense Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, in an effort to bring an end to Palestinian violence, said that the Israel Defense Forces will withdraw from quiet areas in which the PA infrastructure is still functioning such as in Gaza and Jericho, and possibly Bethlehem and Hebron if the Palestinians assume responsibility for security in these areas, HA’ARETZ reported. The plan is meant to serve as a "pilot project" and if the Palestinians manage to prevent terror and violence in the cities that the IDF vacates, it will be extended to include other PA-controled areas.
Ben-Eliezer met this morning with Palestinian Authority Interior Minister Abdel Razeq Yehiyeh, and PA Senior Security Adviser Mohammed Dahlan to discuss the plan. Yehiyeh demanded that Israel begin its withdrawal in the Ramallah area telling the PA minister that Israel wants the withdrawal to begin with Gaza, where the PA security apparatus remains largely intact, and to see how the Palestinians operate. The meeting ended without an agreement and with the sides set to continue their discussions.
A group of 54 Jewish Moroccan teens, ages 17-18, arrived in Israel last week to volunteer in different sectors of the Israel Defense Forces, MA’ARIV reported. The group was organized by the Association of Moroccan Immigrants in Israel and the IDF, and was approved by the Moroccan Kingdom.
The Nahal Soreq base commander Lt.-Col. Yossi Ifargan greeted the teens, briefed them on the IDF and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For four days, the teens filled sand bags, which are used to protect the soldiers in the Gaza Strip, did kitchen and cleaning duties and armed rifle magazines. One of the teens said that he would like to return to Israel and serve in the IDF next year. About twenty of his friends expressed the same wishes. "We love Israel very much and due to the situation with the Palestinians we decided to come in a large delegation and to donate to the IDF," he said.
A military official said that this visit is a very important one, due to the fact that Morocco is a Muslim country with many connections to the Arab world. The official added that the fact that the Moroccan leadership agreed to let a large group of Jewish teens volunteer in Israel shows its "vast openness."
After completing a successful college career at University of Southern California, David Bluthenthal, a two-meter-tall forward (approximately 6 feet 7 inches) recently signed a contract to play basketball for Maccabi Tel Aviv, HA’ARETZ reported. According to coach David Blatt, Bluthenthal is an outstanding three-point shooter with great rebounding and defensive skills, which gives him the potential to be an impact player and have a lifetime career with Maccabi. Although his quickness and physical strength are somewhat below NBA level, his shooting skills, ability to play team basketball, and ambition make him an excellent candidate to succeed in Europe.
Bluthenthal has visited Israel once before as a member of the U.S. Maccabiah basketball squad in 1997, and his dream was to one day return to Israel. As a child of a racially mixed marriage, a Jewish mother and an African American father, Bluthenthal said he felt a strong connection to Israel and discovered a place where he could fit in, seeing a diversity of Jewish cultures he never knew at home.
Despite recent terror attacks, five hundred new immigrants arrived in Israel on Monday, and immigration officials are expecting the week’s total to reach a one-week record high for 2002 of more than 1,050 new immigrants, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Overall, 18,000 new immigrants have arrived in Israel during the first six months of 2002.
Also on Monday, the UJA-Federation of New York sponsored the arrival of a 35-member solidarity mission as part of the "Standing with Israel" campaign. In addition, 22 physicians from North America and South Africa arrived in Israel on Sunday for a Jewish Agency study tour, and have volunteered to replace Israeli doctors called up for reserve duty.
17 American College Students are slated to depart for a study-abroad program at The Ben-Gurion University of the Negev this evening, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The students will be participating in the Overseas Student Program at BGU which includes a total of 60 students, 30 of whom are American. Despite the situation in Israel, many students have decided to continue with their plans to study there. While there has been a noticeable decline in enrollment in the Overseas Student Program there have not been any cancellations at BGU in the past few weeks, even after the terrorist attack at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem last week.
* A change in the Canadian Israeli Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) will enable both sides to route imports and exports via the U.S. and undergo transformation there that increase the value of the goods by 10 percent or less without additional excise charges, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Before the change, both countries were charged an additional customs tax to route goods through the U.S.
* With the current political situation having taken a bite out of food industry revenues, the Israel Economic Mission together with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Israel Export Institute are launching a supermarket campaign to boost food exports to the United States. "The Israeli market in general is weaker because of the slowdown in the economy so we are trying to give it a push," said Zohar Peri, Israel’s Economic Minister Representative to North America. Peri said he was hopeful that the campaign, named "Fine Foods From Israel" would lead to a 50 percent increase within a year of Israeli food exports to the United States from an annual $100 million to $150 million.
Tanker Explodes in Rishon Letzion
** Rumsfeld Voices Reservation Over Transfer of Israeli Territory to Terror-Riddled PA
** FBI Begins Investigation of Hebrew University Bombing
** Kasparov to Play Israeli Chess Computer Program
** Economic Briefs
The driver of a fuel tank was lightly injured this afternoon when his truck, filled with 15,000 liters of fuel, exploded at a mechanics’ garage in Rishon Letzion, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. The Police believe that terrorists planted the bomb under the vehicle. The driver, who was delivering gas to Modi’in and Jerusalem, took the vehicle for repairs in Rishon Letzion after detecting a problem with the brakes.
Meanwhile, according to HA’ARETZ, security forces arrested two Arab women who were warned by the homicide bomber before he blew himself up on a bus at the Meron Junction near Safed on Sunday. The two got off the bus without telling the bus driver, passengers, or police of the impending the attack. Nine people were killed and more than 50 wounded in the explosion. The women met the terrorist while traveling on the bus. The bomber then told them of his plan to explode himself so that they could safely exit before the attack.
United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld voiced doubts on Tuesday that Israel could afford to cede what he called "so-called occupied territory" to the Palestinian Authority that is "entangled with terror," HA’ARETZ reported. Speaking to Pentagon workers two days before senior PA cabinet ministers are to arrive for talks with senior American officials, Rumsfeld said, "My feelings about the so-called occupied territories are that there was a war. Israel urged neighboring countries not to get involved in it once it started. They all jumped in and they lost a lot of real estate to Israel because Israel prevailed in the conflict," Rumsfeld said. He added he doubted Israel could transfer territory to such an entity.
"It would be different if you [were] giving it to an entity that has a track record," Rumsfeld said.
Rumsfeld also took issue with the Arab claim that the West Bank is "occupied" territory that should be handed over to the Palestinians, and declined to call on Israel to abandon settlements.
Meanwhile, according to YEDIOT AHARONOT ON-LINE, the PA cabinet approved Israel’s "Gaza first" plan on Tuesday. The plan was proposed by Minister of Defense Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and entails a gradual withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces troops from Palestinian controlled areas, in return for a Palestinian crackdown on terrorists. Following the cabinet meeting, Palestinian Planning Minister Nabil Sha’ath said "there is preliminary approval for the Israeli security plan."
Five United States FBI
agents arrived in Israel on Tuesday to investigate last week’s bombing at
the Hebrew University in Jerusalem that killed seven people (5 were American
citizens) and wounded 86, THE JERUSALEM POST. United States Ambassador Daniel
Kurtzer said that once those responsible for the attack are identified and
arrested, the American government might want to extradite them. In addition,
a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy said that by law, the FBI must investigate
all incidents in which U.S. citizens are killed, but since the U.S. has a
legal agreement with Israel, it defers to Israeli law enforcement in many
cases. Police spokesman Gil Kleiman said that there is significant cooperation
between Israeli and U.S. law enforcement. "Global terrorism is fought
by global law enforcement," he said.
Meanwhile, a memorial service for the seven victims killed in the bombing was held today at the Hebrew University’s Mt. Scopus campus. University President Menahem Magidor and several student representatives spoke at the ceremony, which was attended by Ambassadors and representatives of the states whose citizens were wounded and murdered.
On a solidarity visit to Israel, former world chess champion Gary Kasparov announced today that he would play against Junior, an Israeli-made chess computer program, in October, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Kasparov had quit playing chess computer programs in 1997, when he lost a second match with IBM’s computer chess program Deep Blue.
In a press conference with Mayor Ehud Olmert and Junior’s creator Shay Bushinsky, Kasparov said that he agreed to accept Junior’s challenge in order to show support for Israel at a difficult time. "This event will have political importance, will have scientific value, and will demonstrate that life at the end of the day goes on here no matter what happens," Kasparov said.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced during a meeting with Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Zaki Chakan on Tuesday that Israel will import a billion cubic meters of water from Turkey over a twenty-year period, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. The deal is worth more than $800 million.
* Japanese drug maker Fujisawa Pharmaceutical announced on Tuesday that it is expanding cooperation with the Israeli firm QBI to develop medications for stroke victims, HA’ARETZ reported. The cooperation is based on QBI’s technological and scientific capabilities and Fujisawa’s financing. The two companies have already cooperated in the search for the genes that cause strokes, and the development of therapies aimed at neuron protection and facilitation of post-stroke recovery. The companies have discovered chemicals that trigger reactions in the gene responsible for strokes and used them to create molecules that can depress the gene and cure the disease. The molecules are now undergoing animal testing and toxicity trials, and the new cooperation agreement will cover the clinical trial stage of development.
* Axsun Technologies of
the U.S. has announced a cooperation agreement with Israel’s CyOptics to jointly
develop Telcordia GR468, a new 10 Gbps module for optical communications,
GLOBES reported. The joint product is based on a chip developed by CypOtics.
The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Axsun develops high-speed communications routing equipment for optical networks. The company’s investors include Hewlett Packard spin-off Agilent Technologies. Axsun raised $111 million in early 2001.
PA working on Gaza-first details
** Druze Student Passes Info to Syria; Jaffa Cab Driver Transports Bombers
** Terror Attacks On The Rise
** Saddam threatens ‘Victory Over Israel with the Palestinians’
** Economic Briefs
Israeli Security Agency chief Avi Dichter and the Israel Defense Force’s Strategic Planning chief Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland met Wednesday with Mohammed Dahlan, the security advisor to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, and Amin al Hindi, head of the PA’s General Intelligence Service, to hammer out details of the "Gaza-first" plan that the PA cabinet accepted earlier that day, THE JERUSALEM POST reported.
As proposed by Minister of Defense, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, in a meeting with Palestinian officials earlier this week, the Gaza-first plan now also includes Bethlehem, and envisions the IDF deploying from the positions it held on September 28, 2002. PA forces would then take control of security in the areas the IDF deploys from. In addition, Israel would lift closures and travel restrictions, issue more work permits for residents of Gaza and Bethlehem, and take other steps to ease economic conditions.
Israel is expecting the process to take place in three stages, starting with an agreement between the PA, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad groups to reduce attacks. Israel also expects the PA to conduct house arrests and keep close guard on known terror activists. "There’s no point in expecting the PA to undertake an all-out war on terror," said a senior security source. "That won’t happen immediately. There has to be a realistic plan and not grandiose expectations. The plan could succeed in Gaza because the PA security forces were not badly damaged there and the PA still wields influence through Mohammed Dahlan. The limited number of settlements, the roads that serve them separately from the Palestinians, and the fence, all contribute to the much lower risk involved in trying Gaza first."
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shimon Peres, said that the U.S. is now insisting on three elements in the Middle East road to peace – the Palestinian Authority must fight terror, Israel must ease conditions for the Palestinian people in the territories, and both sides must work towards those goals laid out in President George W. Bush’s speech on June 24. Bush believes the "Gaza first" plan can succeed. He has said that if the Palestinians prove capable of reining in terrorism, it will quickly lead to political negotiations. "The ball is in their court," he said.
A Druze student was indicted today in the Nazareth Magistrates’ Court for allegedly passing information to Syrian Intelligence, HA’ARETZ reported. At the beginning of July 2002, the Israeli Security Agency and the Israeli Police arrested the student, a resident of the Druze village of Buka’ata in the Golan Heights, when he returned to Israel for his summer vacation from Damascus University. During interrogation, the student admitted to having contacted Syrian Intelligence organizations and divulging intelligence information. The suspect studied in Syria as part of a government policy that allows hundreds of Druze students to study at Damascus University, and permits them to maintain contact with their relatives in Syria.
Meanwhile, a taxi driver from Jaffa was indicted today in a Tel Aviv District Court on five counts of murder, for transporting two homicide bombers to Jaffa where they perpetrated an attack near a bus station in Tel Aviv on July 18. The prosecution claims that Khaled Ashur, 41, "received an unidentified phone call from a person named Mohammed, a Jenin resident," and under suspicious circumstances, agreed to transport two passengers from the Arab town of Umm al Fahm to Tel Aviv. According to the indictment, the terrorists told the cab driver that they were planning a homicide bombing and pointed at their bags of explosives, but he failed to use the emergency button installed in his taxi. Even after the men got out of the cab, Ashur did not notify the police of their intentions. In a similar case, Mahmud Nadi from Qalqilyah was convicted of murder for transporting the homicide bomber responsible for the Dolphinarium attack last year.
Israel Defense Forces Inspector, General Shlomo Aharonishky, announced that the number of terror attacks recorded in the second half of 2002 is 1,071: a 90 percent increase from the 562 recorded earlier this year, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Of the 1,071 attacks, 67 percent occurred within the Green Line, 49 percent occurred in Jerusalem, and a total of 238 people were killed.
Aharonishky also predicted that the number of terrorist attacks would grow and become more complex. However, Aharonishky also reported that officials were able to prevent twenty-five other attacks in recent months. The police also cracked down on 36,000 Palestinians who had entered Israel illegally. This is an 86 percent increase over the same period of last year.
Although there was an overall decrease in the crime rate, Aharonishky warned that the police budget and resources were tight because of the security concerns in addition to routine police work.
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said today during his speech in Baghdad marking the anniversary of the end of the Iraq-Iran war of 1980-88, that he would one day celebrate a victory over Israel with the Palestinians, IDF RADIO reported. The Iraqi leader also issued veiled threats against the United States, saying that anyone who attacks his country will die in "disgraceful failure."
As Hussein spoke, about 15,000 members of the Jerusalem Army marched through Baghdad in a display of support for the President. Dressed in khaki uniforms and carrying Kalashikov rifles, the marchers bore photographs of Hussein, and Palestinian and Iraqi flags.
In the past week, the government has organized several such demonstrations by the Jerusalem Army, a force of civilians that Hussein set up in 2000 with the aim of driving the Israelis out of Jerusalem and in support of the Palestinian uprising.
In addition, according to THE JERUSALEM POST, a prominent Iranian cleric visiting Jordan has called on Palestinians to continue the current uprising and launch further homicide bombing attacks against Israel. Ayatollah Mohammed Ali Taskhiri, said that, "For the Palestinian people, who are subject to the Zionist oppression the only way is the continuation of the intifada and martyrdom operations."
The Ayatollah also warned other Islamic clergymen against prohibiting homicide attacks, saying that any attempt to ban them would be a "grave betrayal of Islam and Palestinian ideals."
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shimon Peres, made a pledge during a meeting in Jerusalem on Wednesday with Congolese Foreign Minister Leonard She Okitundu, to send a delegation of agricultural and industrial experts to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to assess the war-torn African country’s needs and explore how Israel can help it rebuild, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Israel’s offer came a day after the World Bank approved more than $450 million in aid for Congo.
* M-Systems Flash disk Pioneers of Israel announced that it was cooperating with Accelerated Technology, a division of Mentor Graphics to support mass data storage for Texas Instruments mobile platforms, GLOBES reported. M-Systems develops flash-based data storage products known as flash disks, which are designed to provide the functionality of a mechanical hard drive in a silicon chip. The company’s products are based on its TrueFFS technology and target applications in a vast array of markets, including connected and mobile devices and telecom.
* Israel’s AudioCodes and Oki Electric Industry Co. of Japan announced a strategic alliance to develop and market voice-over-IP solutions for the Japanese telecom carrier market, GLOBES reported. AudioCodes said the partnership combines Oki’s top position in providing VoIP solutions to the Japanese market with its own expertise in providing Voice over Internet Codec and module gateway products. Under the agreement, Oki will incorporate AudioCodes’ VoIP modules into its new VoIP gateway equipment.