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Israeline — Monday, August 19, 2002 —

** PA Agrees to Quell Terrorism, While Israel Withdraws from Gaza and Bethlehem
** Israel Sends Humanitarian Aid To Czech Republic
** Diaspora Jews Help Secure Israel’s Educational Institutions
** Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs’ Father on ‘Jewish Hit List’
** Palestinian Terrorist Abu Nidal Found Dead in Baghdad
** Economic Briefs

PA Agrees to Quell Terrorism, While Israel Withdraws from Gaza and Bethlehem

Minister of Defense Benyamin Ben-Eliezer and Palestinian Authority Minister of Interior Abdel Razek Yehiye agreed on Sunday night that Palestinian security forces will take immediate measures to quell terrorism in the Gaza Strip and Bethlehem and in turn Israel Defense Forces will begin withdrawing from these areas, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. A statement released by the Ministry of Defense read: "Israel for its part would do everything in order to ease conditions on the Palestinian population." Both sides agreed that the withdrawal would be complete within 48 hours. Israeli security officials said the goal of the agreement was to bring quiet to the Palestinian neighborhoods, emphasizing that the PA’s actions will be judged by actual results. If concrete actions are taken by the PA to thwart terror attacks, Israel would ease additional restrictions and will make further withdrawals, said Israeli officials. An IDF withdrawal from Hebron was mentioned as a possible next step.

Meanwhile, according to Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL, Egyptian security officials will train a new Palestinian Authority security force as part of an agreement signed on Sunday in Cairo by PA National Security Advisor Muhammad Dahlan and Egyptian officials. The contract is part of a promise by the PA to implement reforms.

Israel Sends Humanitarian Aid To Czech Republic

Israel is sending humanitarian aid to the Czech Republic to help the country deal with the recent severe flooding there, HA’ARETZ reported. The aid includes chlorine tablets to disinfect the overflowing sewage systems, which could cause widespread disease, and55 portable pumps that can be used to clear flooded houses. Israel is also considering contributing to the restoration of Prague’s historic Jewish Quarter and the city’s ancient Jewish cemetery, both of which have been damaged by the floods.

Diaspora Jews Help Secure Israel’s Educational Institutions

The United Jewish Communities (UJC) organization donated $20 million to bolster security at educational institutions in Israel, THEJERUSALEM POST reported. The support includes the deployment of guards at small schools and nursery schools and increased guard hours at educational institutions, such as high schools, that already employ security personnel.

Money being relayed by North American Jewish communities to bolster security at schools is just a portion of the $175 million total collected in the emergency fund for Israel.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs’ Father on ‘Jewish Hit List’

Muslim fanatics in Denmark have prepared a "hit list" of 15 prominent Jewish leaders in that country, including former Chief Rabbi of Demark Binyamin Melchior, father of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Melchior, HA’ARETZ reported. The "hit list" specifies cash prizes to be paid to anyone who succeeds in killing someone on the list. Initial security sources say the organization responsible for the "hit list" is Hizb ut Tahrir (Liberation Party), an extremist organization that has expressed support in the past for killing Jews.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Melchior said "there is no need for any Israeli pressure on the matter, since the Danish authorities are taking the necessary steps themselves."

Melchior who recently started an association for interfaith dialogue in Denmark, said the reported hit list is no indication of the general state of Jewish-Muslim relations in Denmark. "I will be meeting today with the heads of our organization, and I am certain everyone will denounce it," he said.

Palestinian Terrorist Abu Nidal Found Dead in Baghdad

The corpse of Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal was discovered in Baghdad today, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. According to initial police reports, Nidal committed suicide because of complications with Leukemia. Nidal, a.k.a. Sabri Al Banna, broke off relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1974, claiming that the PLO was too moderate. He cooperated with leaders of Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Libya.

Nidal was responsible for 90 terrorist attacks in 20 countries. Targets included the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, moderate Palestinians, the PLO, and various Arab countries. He was responsible for the Rome and Vienna airport attacks in December 1985, the slaughter of worshippers in Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul, and the Pan Am Flight 73 hijacking in Karachiin September 1986.

His organization attempted to assassinate Israel’s ambassador to Britain, Shlomo Argov in June 1982.

Economic Briefs

*Human Eyes Technologies, which develops software for the creation of 3D pictures using standard digital printing equipment, announced today that it had raised $5 million in its first institutional financing round, GLOBES reported. The funding is earmarked for product development and initial marketing of Human Eyes’s innovative software solution for creating 3D pictures in the outdoor advertising and packaging markets. Human Eyes Technologies has its headquarters in Jerusalem, and has a subsidiary based in New York.

*According to Israel Export Institute, industrial exports, excluding diamonds, fell 1 percent in the second quarter of 2002 due to a 5.5percent drop in high-tech exports, GLOBES reported. However, Israel Export Institute Chairman Shraga Brosh said that industrial exports will increase moderately in the coming period as global markets slowly recover from the recession. Today’s Israel Line was prepared by David Nekrutman

Israeline — Tuesday, August 21, 2002 —

** IDF Soldier Killed By Palestinian Sniper
** Agreement Reached on State Hospitals’ Crisis
** First New Bedouin Negev Town in 20 Years Planned
** New Ethiopian Immigrants Celebrate Bar and Bat Mitzva
** Economic Briefs

IDF Soldier Killed By Palestinian Sniper

Israel Defense Forces soldier Sgt. Kevin Cohen, 19, from Petach Tikvah, was killed by a Palestinian sniper today at the Yakinton Outpost outside of the Gadid community in Gush Katif, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. The Hamas claimed responsibility for the killing and said that one of its snipers opened fire from the Khan Yunis refugee camp in central Gaza at the soldiers and "hit the target." Kevin’s funeral will take place this evening at the Petach Tikvah military cemetery.

Meanwhile, The IDF anti-terror offensive in Tul Karem continued today. Fifteen terrorist suspects were arrested and two Palestinian terrorists were killed in a gun battle. Also, IDF soldiers discovered another bomb factory near Jenin.

Agreement Reached on State Hospitals’ Crisis

An agreement was reached today between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance regarding the coverage of state hospitals’ debts for equipment and drug suppliers, MA’ARIV reported.

The Ministry of Finance agreed to loan NIS 150 million (approximately $33.3 million) to state hospitals in order to cover their debts, and the loan should be returned within three months.

Also, as part of the agreement, hospitals will receive an increase in their budgets to compensate for the rising Consumer Price Index and the weakening of the shekel against the dollar. Additionally, hospitalization fees will be raised, in order to significantly increase the hospitals’ incomes.

First New Bedouin Negev Town in 20 Years Planned

For the first time in 20 years, the Southern District’s planning committee authorized on Monday a plan to build the first new town for the Negev Bedouins, HA’ARETZ reported. The new town is slated to be built in Be’er Hayil in the Negev and will be home to 8,000members of the Al-Azazme clan who are currently scattered around the Upper Negev area.

According to the plan, the Be’er Hayil community will cover an area of 6,000 dunams (approximately 7,176,000 square yards) and each family will receive one dunam (approximately 1196 square yards) for building and four dunams (approximately 4784 square yards) for agriculture. The community will provide municipal services including schools, sports and health facilities and public spaces.

New Ethiopian Immigrants Celebrate Bar and Bat Mitzva

Sixty Ethiopian children that recently immigrated to Israel celebrated on Monday their Bar and Bat Mitzva at Moshav Safsufa Synagogue in the Upper Galilee, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. The event was organized by the Upper Galilee’s Regional Council and Religious Council and the Jewish Agency.

The children, residents of absorption centers in the Galilee, received gifts such as new clothes for the occasion, prayer books, prayer shawls and candlesticks. After the ceremony, the children along with their families went on a special tour of Jerusalem.


The Jerusalem Municipality is slated to build a monument in memory of the September 11 atrocity in New York City, IDF Radio reported. The monument will be six-meter high (approximately 19.7 feet) and will sit at the entrance of the city. It will be cast in bronze and inscribed with the names of all those killed. A steel block that remained at the site in New York will be placed in the monument’s center.


Economic Briefs

* The Carmel consortium, compromising Baran Engineering and Projects Ltd., Dor Chemicals Ltd. and U.S. based Ionics, was awarded a contract on Monday to construct a 30 million cubic meter (39.24 million cubic yard) desalination facility in the Haifa area, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The construction, operate and transfer (BOT) project is expected to cost $90 million.

* Some 3,500 people that ere recently laid off from high-tech companies will be employed in technology projects for various government ministries by the end of 2003, HA’ARETZ reported. According to Senior Deputy Accountant General Itzik Cohen, who is responsible for the ministries’ computerization, the unemployed will be hired through employment agencies for three to seven years with an average salary of NIS 7,000 per month (approximately $1,550).

Israeline — Wednesday, August 21, 2002 —

** Hamas Cell Responsible for Hebrew U Bombing Captured
** IDF Soldier Laid to Rest
** Health Ministry Authorizes 15,000 Smallpox Vaccinations
** Washington Capitol Police to Train in Israel
** Economic Briefs

Hamas Cell Responsible for Hebrew U Bombing Captured

Israeli Security Forces captured an East Jerusalem-based Hamas cell suspected of carrying out eight major terror attacks over the last year, including the bombing at the Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem, in which nine people were killed and dozens injured, IDF Radio reported. The cell was also responsible for carrying out the homicide attack at the Moment Café in Jerusalem and at a pool hall in Rishon Lezion. In addition, it is responsible for planting four bombs on two different train tracks and on two different fuel tankers.

Five terrorists were arrested, four of them are Israeli Arabs from East Jerusalem, who carried Israeli identity cards, the fifth was a Palestinian from Ramallah. According to security forces, further arrests are expected.

The cell was captured in Jerusalem on their way to carry out another attack in the center of the country.

Mohammed Uda, from Silwan was responsible for the bombing attack at Hebrew University. Uda worked as a painter for a building contractor employed by the University and was ordered by Hamas to gather information on the target in order to minimize Arab casualties. The night before the attack he jumped over the university wall and hid the explosive device in the bushes. The next day he entered the university with his worker’s pass, wearing gloves covered with perfume to disguise the smell of explosives, and then picked up the device, placed it on a table in the Frank Sinatra Cafeteria and covered it with a newspaper. Uda immediately left the University and detonated the device using a cellular telephone. The following day Uda was called to the University to paint the building that was destroyed.

IDF Soldier Laid to Rest

St.-Sgt. Kevin Cohen, 19, from Petah Tikva, who was killed by a Palestinian sniper at the Yakinton outpost in Gush Katif, was laid to rest on Tuesday night at the Petah Tikva Military Cemetery, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported.

Kevin immigrated with his family from Iran in 1987 and graduated from the Amal Bet vocational school in Petah Tikva, where he studied electronics and computers. He started a special program to become an electronics engineer, but decided to cut short his studies to join the Shimshon Brigade.

Kevin’s girlfriend Nathalie Elbaz spoke with him a few hours before his death. After their conversation Kevin sent a text message to her cellular phone saying: "I was born for you, I would fight for you, I would die for you." His elder brother, Eran, eulogized him and said "there is no way to bid farewell from a brother. We immigrated to Israel together and grew up like twins. We will never forget you."

Kevin is survived by his parents and three siblings.

Health Ministry Authorizes 15,000 Smallpox Vaccinations

The Ministerial Committee on National Security Affairs today discussed the issue of the nation’s readiness in the event of a biological warfare threat from Iraq and decided to immunize "first response teams" with smallpox immunization as designated by the health system, HA’ARTEZ reported. Response teams from the security and health establishments, the Interior Ministry, the Public Security Ministry and the Environment Ministry consisting of approximately 15,000 people will be immunized. The Ministerial Committee reported however, that in light of current situational assessments, there is no immediate danger of a smallpox attack on the State of Israel. Therefore, immunizing the entire population of the State is not called for at present. Additional situational assessments will be carried out as necessary.

Referring to the 15,000 the emergency workers, who would have to respond in the event of a bio-warfare attack, Minister of Agriculture Shalom said that "at a later stage, if necessary, the vaccinations will be given to the entire population. At the present time there is no threat that demands vaccination of the whole population, but if it becomes necessary, the systems will be ready." The Health Ministry recently announced it has produced enough smallpox vaccine for the entire population of 6.6 million people. The ministry said there was also enough to inoculate tourists and some 300,000 foreign workers. The Health Ministry has said it would begin inoculating the entire population if the United States attacks Iraq. It said such a campaign would take a week.

Washington Capitol Police to Train in Israel

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer announced this week that a delegation of his division will travel to Israel in October to learn about tactics for preventing and responding to suicide bombings, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. Gainer said he and other officers will meet with Israeli police officials and try to gauge how the public reacted to various security measures. Gainer is concerned about the potential for such a bombing, because "we see what a powerful, destructive tool it can be" in Israel and other countries.

Meanwhile, according to YEDIOT AHARONOT, during a solidarity visit to Israel, eleven Chiefs of Police from the United States met with Police Chief Inspector General Shlomo Aharonisky and gave him a Magen David (Star of David) made out of pieces of steel that were taken out of the remains at Ground Zero in New York City.

The Security Cabinet approved on Sunday the appointments of Oded Eran as Ambassador to the European Union, Shlomo Avital as Ambassador to Senegal (and non-resident Ambassador to Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone), and Noam Katzas Ambassador to Nigeria. Israel today has 102 embassies, consulates, and special missions worldwide, and overall 162 countries maintaining formal diplomatic ties with it.

Economic Briefs

* Yokne’am-based firm Lumenis, which specializes in medical laser technology, announced on Tuesday that it won the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its new Clear light anti-acne system, which analysts view as a positive sign that the previously troubled company is getting back on track, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The approval will allow the firm to market its product in the United States. The Clear light system is based on photo-clearing technology, which uses intensive light rays to destroy acne bacteria.

* The Globes/Business Data Israel state of companies index shows that Israeli software houses and high-tech industries were stable in January-July 2002, GLOBES reported. The BDI survey is based on 550 companies and businesses in the software and high-tech sectors. BDI figures indicate that the sector’s weighted risk rating was 6.4, compared to 6.5 in the corresponding period last year. BDI economists stated that January-April figures indicate a 3 percent increase in software exports, compared to 2 percent last year. Software exports in January-April 2002 totaled $900 million. Israel Line is a daily summary of new items taken directly from the Israeli media.

Israeline — Thursday, August 22, 2002 —


** PM Sharon Praises The Capture of Hamas Cell Responsible for Hebrew U Attack
** CIA To Oversee PA Security Progress
** Lone Soldiers to Receive a "Meal for Shabbat"
** Economic Briefs

PM Sharon Praises The Capture of Hamas Cell Responsible for Hebrew U Attack

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon praised Israel’s security forces and police for arresting five Jerusalem-based Hamas cell members on Saturday. The five were implicated in a number of attacks including the Hebrew University bombing and the Moment Café attack in Jerusalem. At the time of the arrest, two of the suspects were preparing to carry out a bombing in Tel Aviv, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. "Following the uncovering of a murder cell which perpetrated the most serious acts and the most serious and dangerous attacks, I would like to congratulate the security services, the Israel Police, and the IDF for this impressive achievement," the Prime Minister said. "This is another piece of dedicated work by the security forces in halting and eliminating terror, so that we can make progress to achieve quiet and a subsequent political process."
After the arrest, terrorists from eastern Jerusalem confessed to leaving a bomb inside a bag in an abandoned Arab village near Jerusalem. The bomb was found and detonated by police sappers on Tuesday afternoon, causing police to close down portions of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway for several hours.

CIA To Oversee PA Security Progress

CIA Agents are traveling to Israel next week to oversee the reorganization of the Palestinian Authority security forces. The United States administration believes that the step is crucial to help reestablish political stability, HA’ARETZ reported. Minister of Defense Benyamin Ben-Eliezer reiterated to the PA that Israel would continue to take steps to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure by conducting mass arrests and weapons collections. The immediate objective is to achieve and maintain quiet and eliminate terror, mortar fire and suicide bombings. The Israel Defense Forces redeployed its battalion to the outskirts of Bethlehem to prevent any suicide bombers from leaving Palestinian controlled cities.

In the meantime, Palestinian officials are in Paris today to discuss the implementation of reforms in the Palestinian Authority with members of the ‘Quartet’ – U.S., Russian, European Union and United Nations officials. The issues being discussed included: financial transparency, administrative reform, elections, and market reforms.

Lone Soldiers to Receive a "Meal for Shabbat"

The Israel Defense Forces initiated a new service providing soldiers without families with a "meal for Shabbat," YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. A few months ago Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi notified the General Staff of the IDF that many lone soldiers preferred to stay at their army bases rather than leave without plans for a Shabbat meal. Ashkenazi also said that in some cases, commanders allowed the soldiers to take food from the base when they left.
All the major supermarkets around the country will distribute a "meal for Shabbat" on Thursdays and Fridays. The soldiers will be required to show their IDF identity card along with a special magnetic identification pass. The meal will be provided to the soldiers at a significantly reduced price.

Economic Briefs

* The Central Bureau of Statistics released information today that there was a 0.3 percent drop in the rate of unemployment in the second quarter of 2002, GLOBES reported. The decline was due to the call-up of 20,000 reservists and the hiring of thousands of security guards. The rate of unemployment now stands at 10.3 percent.

* Supermarket chain Blue Square Israel reported today that its net profit in the second quarter of 2002 was NIS 38.6 million (approximately $8.6 million), GLOBES reported. Blue Square President and CEO Yoram Dar said that the company expects "improved top line performance during the second half due to a number of important developments, including the opening of new stores, the reopening of renovated branches, the continued re-branding of existing stores to discount formats and other exciting activities."

Israeline — Friday, August 23, 2002 —

** IDF Thwarts Palestinian Terrorist Attack on Kfar Darom
** Police Question Greek Orthodox Priest on Ties to Terror
** Yemenite Jewish Family Arrives on "Magic Carpet 2002
** Israel’s Lumenis Helping to Reduce Pain of Dental Care
** Economic Briefs

IDF Thwarts Palestinian Terrorist Attack on Kfar Darom

Israel Defense Forces thwarted an attempted terrorist attack in the Jewish community of Kfar Darom in the Gaza Strip today, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. Three armed Palestinians disguised as Israeli soldiers were spotted by an IDF patrol near the community’s security fence and were asked to surrender. The terrorists fired at the soldiers. IDF returned fire killing two of three terrorists. IDF units are still searching for the third terrorist. The Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, a militia linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the failed attack.

Meanwhile, Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups refused an agreement with Palestinian Authority Minister of Interior Abdel Razak Yehiyeh on Thursday to halt attacks against Israelis. As part of the agreement between Israel and the PA, Israel would turn over security duties to Palestinian forces in the West Bank town of Bethlehem this week and would take similar measures in Gaza. Israel said that if the Palestinians can prevent terror attacks from Gaza and Bethlehem, they will ease restrictions in other parts of the West Bank.

Police Question Greek Orthodox Priest on Ties to Terror

Archimandrite Hana Atalla of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate was questioned by police on Thursday on suspicion of supporting terror and traveling illegally to Syria and Lebanon, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Police spokesman Gil Kleiman said Atalla is suspected of having met with Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah during a recent visit to Syria and Lebanon, where he allegedly expressed support for terrorist organizations. He is also suspected of calling on Christians to participate in the Palestinian uprising.

"Some freedom fighters adopt martyrdom or suicide bombing, while others opt for other measures. But all these struggles serve the continued intifada for freedom. Therefore, we support all these causes," Atalla said in a speech in Dubai on June 20. A report in Itim said he also appeared recently on Hizbullah’s television station.

The Patriarchate, in an official statement, denied that Atalla is a spokesperson for the church. Bishop Aristorchus, a spokesperson for the Patriarchate, said Atalla is a clerk in the Arabic department of the Patriarchate’s secretariat. He added that the Patriarch does not agree Attla’s statements. The Patriarch also said that Atalla was not given permission to travel to Syria and Lebanon.

Yemenite Jewish Family Arrives on "Magic Carpet 2002"

For the first time this year, a Yemenite Jewish Family immigrated to Israel, MA’ARIV reported. Yehuda and Hamama Sa’id-Tsabari arrived with their four children, ages 1-10, on a special flight on Thursday.

The family, from Sana’a, Yemen, had previously visited their family in Israel four occasions. A few months ago they decided to make Aliyah. A representative of the Jewish Agency greeted them at Ben Gurion Airport, where members of the family received Israeli identification cards. The Sa’id-Tsabari family will reside at the Jewish Agency’s absorption center in Ashkelon.

Emigration from Yemen has almost come to a complete halt with only a few families making aliyah in the last several years.

Israel’s Lumenis Helping to Reduce Pain of Dental Care

Lumenis, a medical laser supplier based in Yokneam, received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use of its OpusDent Erbium dental lasers on soft tissue that would reduce the use of dental drills in treating dental needs, GLOBES reported. Previously, Erbium lasers only had approval for use on hard tissue, which includes bones and teeth.

The dental laser is used for tooth whitening, cavity removal and preparation, as well as, gum surgery. In most cases, the patient does not need any anesthesia. The dental laser would also reduce treatment time without the numbness and swelling associated with use of Novocain. It also reduces pain and bleeding during dental surgery and shortens recovery times after procedures.

The company was created in 2001, when Israel-based ESC Medical Systems merged with Coherent Medical Group, formerly headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. The synergized company is the world leader in the medical laser industry and controls more than 30 percent of the world market. Lumenis is the second-largest supplier of dental lasers in the United States following Biolase Technologies of San Clemente, Calif., the first company to receive FDA clearance for use of its Erbium laser with soft tissue.

French Ambassador to the United Kingdom Daniel Bernard, who achieved notoriety when he described Israel as "that shitty little country" which threatens world peace, is being recalled, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The decision to recall Bernard, 18 months after his undiplomatic remarks were first reported by French officials to be connected to the outcome of the recent elections.

Economic Briefs

* According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the industrial output rose by an annualized 1 percent in the first half of 2002 and the high-tech output rose by an annualized 9 percent since April, GLOBES reported. The trend figures indicate that in the second quarter of 2002 there is a 4.5 percent growth. High-tech industrial output which includes the electronics, aviation and pharmaceutical sectors rose by an annualized 9 percent since April.

* M-Systems announced today that its DiskOnChip device was selected by electronics giant Royal Philips Electronics, GLOBES reported. M-Systems, a developer of chip based storage products that operate like hard disks, said Philips would use DiskOnChip in its Net display module device. The module is a touch screen and an integrated processor board designed to be used by original equipment manufacturers producing products such as Web tablets, information display kiosks and thin clients.