Choose Day Below
Monday – Wednesday
* ISRAELI ARAB WOUNDED IN SHOOTING ATTACK; KFAR DAROM ATTACK AVERTED
* MUBARAK ACCEPTS CREDENTIALS FOR ISRAEL’S NEW AMBASSADOR
* SHARON TO MEET PA OFFICIALS IN TEN DAYS
* JERUSALEM TERROR VICTIMS REMEMBERED
* ECONOMIC BRIEFS
ARAB WOUNDED IN SHOOTING ATTACK; KFAR DAROM ATTACK AVERTED
An Israeli was seriously wounded when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on his vehicle in the West Bank this morning, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The shooting took place on the road between Mevo Dotan and Shaked in the northwestern region of the West Bank near Palestinian Authority-controlled Jenin. The victim, who lives in nearby Umm el-Fahm, was traveling in a vehicle with yellow Israeli license plates when he was shot. He suffered gunshot wounds to the stomach.
Meanwhile, according to Israel Radio KOL YISRAEL, shrapnel from exploded shells landed on Kiryat Shmona today. No injuries have been reported. Also, Hizbullah gunmen opened fire along the western end of the Israel-Lebanon border near Shlomi.
The anti-aircraft fire was directed at Israeli jets patrolling along the UN-designated border between the two countries.
On Friday, Israel Defense Forces soldiers countered an attack by terrorists on an IDF outpost near Kfar Darom’s hothouses. Soldiers at the outpost spotted at least three armed Palestinians, who began throwing grenades and shooting at them. A powerful bomb planted by Palestinians exploded at about 6:30 near the army post, damaging an exterior wall around the community. One soldier was lightly wounded from shrapnel and taken to Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital.
In retaliation, Israel Air Force helicopters fired four missiles at the Palestinian Naval Police headquarters in Deir el-Balah next to Kfar Darom on Sunday. Prior to the retaliation, Palestinians were notified and cleared the building.
ACCEPTS CREDENTIALS FOR ISRAEL’S NEW AMBASSADOR
President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak accepted the credentials of Israel’s new ambassador to Cairo, Gideon Ben-Ami, today, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Mubarak asked the new ambassador to convey a message to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples should live in peace.
Israeli Embassy spokeswoman Ayellet Yehiov said the Ambassador conveyed to Mubarak Israel’s appreciation of Egypt’s role in supporting the peace process. "President Mubarak conveyed a message to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon emphasizing that both the Israeli and Palestinian citizens should be able to live in peace," she said.
Egypt has not yet named a new ambassador to Israel since recalling Mohammed Bassiouny from Tel Aviv in November 2000. Bassiouny retired from diplomatic service after Mubarak appointed him in June as a member in the Shura Council, Egypt’s upper house of parliament.
Ben-Ami, who is replacing Ambassador Zvi Mazel, presented his credentials along with new ambassadors from Malta, Ghana, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Croatia, Algeria, North Korea, Australia and Singapore.
SHARON TO MEET PA OFFICIALS IN TEN DAYS
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is scheduled to meet with Palestinian officials in ten days, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The announcement followed an interview on Sunday that Sharon gave to Israeli CHANNEL 2 where he mentioned that talks held with PA officials last week addressed only with how to bring about an end to violence, and not with diplomatic issues.
According to HA’ARETZ, during Sharon’s meetings with Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Ahmed Qurei and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat’s unofficial deputy Mahmoud Abbas, he said that a cease-fire must be reached, bound not by a time schedule, but rather by a "table of expectations" that would impose tasks on both sides.
According to YEDIOT AHARONOT, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell praised Sharon’s meetings with the Palestinian leaders, saying it indicates progress. "I’m very pleased that they’ve met. Dialogue is an important thing," he said.
JERUSALEM TERROR VICTIMS REMEMBERED
A special gathering to honor the memories of the 11 young people killed in a suicide bombing attack on the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall on December 1 was held on Sunday night at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The gathering was co-sponsored by the Bank of Jerusalem and the One Family Solidarity Fund. Mayor of Jerusalem Ehud Olmert said that together with the pain and the anguish, Jerusalem had experienced its most beautiful moments when people put aside their differences to demonstrate their care and concern. He expressed the hope that this manifestation of unity could be achieved not only in times of tragedy, but also when life is progressing more or less normally.
Meanwhile, Police Inspector General Shlomo Aharonishki told the Cabinet on Sunday that terrorists killed 31 people and wounded 475 in Jerusalem last year. Aharonishki said there were 90 terror attacks, a dozen of which took place in or near the Rehov Ben-Yehuda-Jaffa Road-King George Avenue triangle. He also said there were a total of 209 terror attacks inside the Green Line, of which 67 were bombings and 48 were shooting attacks. May was the worst month, with 32 attacks. While the Jerusalem district had the most attacks, the Tel Aviv district had the fewest, with nine attacks reported.
Twelve members of the New York Police Department and the U.S. Army, who were involved in rescue efforts following the September 11 terror attacks, are scheduled to arrive in Israel next week for a seven-day visit, HA’ARETZ reported. The visit was organized by the Consulate General of Israel in New York, the Israel Government Tourist Office for North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The members of the delegation were selected because of their extraordinary composure, resourcefulness and determination during the rescue.
* GreenTech, the Kiryat Arba-based incubator, has launched Israel’s first environmental venture capital fund to promote investment in technologies that will make the water and air cleaner, efficiently dispose of waste and offer alternative, clean energy sources, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The goal of the fund — which GreenTech hopes will reach $20 million — is to bring private investors into start-ups at the pre-seed stage. The start-ups were previously financed by the government and the companies themselves.
* Israeli start-up Adyoron is raising $5.5 million in its second financing round, at a company value of $25 million, GLOBES reported. The round is being led by Syntek Capital, which is investing $4 million. The company previously raised $5 million from private investors. Adyoron has developed a digital security system that allows real-time monitoring by video at a rate of 30 frames per second. The company recently signed contracts to install its system at Ben Gurion Airport, the municipalities of London and New York City, and five North and South American airports, including Salt Lake City.
Today’s Israel Line was prepared by Maya Jacobs and Adina Kay at The Consulate General of Israel in New York.
* BORDER POLICE ARREST SUSPECTED SUICIDE BOMBER
* BEN-ELIEZER: ALTERNATIVE TO ARAFAT EXISTS
* MOFAZ: HOME FRONT PREPARED FOR LONG-RANGE MISSILE THREAT
* ISRAEL INCREASING TRADE WITH RUSSIA, KAZAKHSTAN, UZBEKISTAN
* ECONOMIC BRIEFS
POLICE ARREST SUSPECTED SUICIDE BOMBER
Security forces apprehended a Palestinian man today wearing an explosive belt at the A-Zaim roadblock on the road between Ma’ale Adumim and the French Hill neighborhood in Jerusalem, HA’ARETZ ON-LINE reported.
Border Police restrained the suspected suicide bomber as he attempted to board a bus at the roadblock. Initial investigations revealed that the driver of the Egged bus was suspicious of the man and alerted the Border Policemen at the roadblock. The troops then boarded the bus and restrained the man after a brief struggle, handcuffing and isolating him.
ALTERNATIVE TO ARAFAT EXISTS
Minister of Defense Benjamin Ben-Eliezer told senior U.S. officials in Washington on Tuesday that alternative leadership to Yasser Arafat exists and that efforts should be made to foster their influence, HA’ARETZ reported. After a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Ben-Eliezer told reporters, "There is a need for the United States to continue to put pressure on Arafat and to open a line of talks with other leaders that are surrounding Arafat and opposing Arafat." In response to a question asking for the names of Palestinians that he viewed as alternative leadership, Ben-Eliezer said, "Abu Ala, Abu Mazen, Jibril al-Rajoub, Mohammed Dahlan, all of them."
According to IDF RADIO, Ben-Eliezer said that he had asked Washington for prior warning in the event that the U.S. war on terror turned its sights on Iraq, saying that Israel needed to prepare for the possibility that it would be the first target of Iraqi military retaliation.
According to YEDIOT AHARONOT, in his meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Tuesday, Ben-Eliezer announced that Israel knows of a third video tape relevant to the kidnapping of the three Israel Defense Forces soldiers by the Hizbullah on the northern border in October 2000. Ben-Eliezer said that the United Nations needs to show Israel the tape and any other visual matter concerning the kidnapping. He also said that Annan should do everything possible to help find the soldiers’ bodies, saying that "every mother has the right to see her son, dead or alive." Annan promised Ben-Eliezer that the United Nations, "will check these demands and if there is more material, we will pass it to you."
According to THE JERUSALEM POST, Ben-Eliezer told Jewish leaders in New York on Tuesday that Iran’s growing arsenal of weapons of mass destruction is a threat to the entire world and that Iran is expected to have nuclear capability by 2005. He also noted that Iran is receiving development help from North Korea and Russia.
He said that Iran’s involvement in the Karine-A weapons smuggling operation and its attempts to gain a foothold in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak concerned. "He’s not less worried than we are about the movement of the Iranians in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. He’s worried about the escalation, and he wants to help in order to stop it," Ben-Eliezer said.
HOME FRONT PREPARED FOR LONG-RANGE MISSILE THREAT
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz addressed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday and said that the home front is well prepared to face long-range missile threats and that the IDF has also developed defense capabilities to prevent attacks, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. He also said that the missile threat readiness plan was formulated over the past year.
A senior IDF Intelligence Branch officer told the committee that the threat issued by the Iranian defense minister on Monday has been interpreted as an attempt to deter Israel from taking any moves against it. He said he does not envision an Iranian attack on Israel soon. The Iranian minister said Iran would retaliate in ways "unimaginable" if Israel attacks its nuclear power plant.
Meanwhile, Iran is continuing to supply arms to both Hizbullah and Palestinian terror organizations with the aim of foiling any progress in the peace process. Mofaz said Hizbullah received Fajjar-5 missiles that could reach Hadera.
On the Palestinian front, Mofaz said the Palestinian intention to escalate the conflict is unchanged, and the violence is now being reduced because of visits to the United States by both sides. He also said that the Tanzim have the go-ahead to carry out suicide attacks within Israel, which sends a green light to Hamas for attacks.
Mofaz told the committee that the Kassam-2 rocket was developed by Hamas in Gaza and then transferred to the West Bank for production. He said the rocket was tested in the Nablus area and is now on a "production line." The plan is to station the rockets in Palestinian cities near the Green Line.
ISRAEL INCREASING TRADE WITH RUSSIA, KAZAKHSTAN, UZBEKISTAN
According to Lev Leviev, the Head of the Israel-Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce, there was an increase of 11 percent in Israeli exports to Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan during 2001, HATZOFEH reported. The sum of exports to those countries was $260 million. In addition, Israeli imported goods from this partnership total $567 million.
Leviev said that even though the increase in trade between the countries is very impressive, Israel is still doing more to penetrate this market even further.
According to a report released by the Port Authority, Israelis are traveling by train more than ever, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL, reported. Train travel increased by 33 percent in the January 2001. The most dramatic increase was on the Beersheba-Tel Aviv route, which had twice as many passengers as last year.
* Intel Corporation in Israel is developing a new laptop computer that incorporates a chip system enabling users to connect to the Internet via any available cellular network, HA’ARETZ reported. CCDi, a Petah Tikva company purchased by Intel, is working on a cellular communications chip that will be incorporated in future Intel chip sets. The chip will enable laptop users to connect directly to cellular networks without the need for a modem, in the same way that PCs in a local network connect with each other.
* Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) received a record $2.9 billion in new orders in 2001, up 12 percent from 2000, HA’ARETZ reported. IAI’s president of marketing Shimon Eckhaus noted that IAI’s wide range of activities spread over numerous technologies, services and products, and its trade connections with nearly 100 countries helped the company weather downturns in demand for a particular product or from a particular region.
Today’s Israel Line was prepared by Batsheva Genut and Michal Rachlevsky at the Consulate General of Israel in New York.