Choose Day Below
Officer Killed in Raifah; Israel Easing Conditions for Palestinian Civilians
** Deri to be Released on Parole
** Israel, PA to Work Together Against Spread of Mad Cow Disease
** Israel Wins Gold Medal at World Sailing Games
** The first preparatory course for former Bedouin soldiers
** Economic Briefs
Israel Defense Forces officer Haggai Lev was killed this morning by a Palestinian sniper in Rafiah in the southern Gaza Strip, HA’ARETZ reported. Lev, 24, from Jerusalem, was Deputy Commander of the Givati commando unit. His funeral will be held tonight at Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem. Lev and fellow members of the Givati unit were conducting searches in Rafiah for tunnels used to smuggle weapons across the Egyptian border to Palestinian-controlled areas in Rafiah. Following the attack, IDF soldiers conducted house to house searches near the border in search of the gunmen.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Lev is the first IDF fatality in action since June 19, near the outset of Operation Determined Path, launched in response to a series of homicide bombings that left 52 Israelis dead during the month of June. The Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, affiliated with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the shooting in announcements at several mosques in Rafiah.
Meanwhile, in an effort to ease conditions on the Palestinian civilian population, the IDF lifted the curfew in the cities of Jenin, Ramallah, and Tulkarem for several hours today to allow residents to stock up on food and medicine. In addition, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres, Minister of Defense Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, and Minister of Finance Silvan Shalom agreed in a meeting in Jerusalem on Monday to unfreeze funding Israel owes the PA. The four ministers agreed that the funds must be provided in a way that ensures no money goes to fund terrorism.. "This money belongs to the Palestinian people, not the PA," a source close to Sharon said. "We want to make sure that the money intended to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people inflicted by their own leadership does not go to the people killing us. We need to find a way to make sure it gets to the needy, not to the greedy."
Former Shas party leader and Cabinet Minister Aryeh Deri will be released on parole from the Ma’asiyahu Prison next Monday, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. The decision to release Deri was made by the prison’s parole board and will effectively shorten his three-year sentence by a third.
Deri was jailed in September 2000, after being convicted of fraud, violation of public trust and taking a bribe while in office. According to IDF radio, the board ruled that until his full sentence ends in September 2003, Deri "in his status as a prisoner, will be unable to be involved in political activity, which, by its nature is liable to spill over to harm to the governing system."
Israel and the Palestinian Authority will continue cooperation in an effort to prevent the spread of Mad Cow Disease in Israel and the Palestinian controlled territories, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Minister of Agriculture Director-General Itche Lidor met on Monday with his counterpart from the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abu Samra, at the Erez crossing to coordinate action on fighting the spread of the disease. "It is in everyone’s interest to prevent an outbreak of the disease in this area," Ministry of Agriculture spokeswoman Tali Sultanik said.
The PA agreed to take measures similar to those already taken in Israel on meat destined for consumption. Brain samples will betaken from cattle slaughtered in the Gaza Strip and sent to the Veterinary Service laboratories in Beit Dagan, where samples from Israeli livestock are already tested. Only after receiving a clean bill of health will the meat be made available to the public. The Ministry of Agriculture will cover the costs of the tests and members of its Animal and Vegetation Inspection Unit will bring the samples to the laboratory. Two Palestinian vets will visit Beit Dagan to learn more learn about the tests involved and to finalize the details of the work arrangement.
At first the program will involve only beef from the Gaza Strip, but hopes are to include meat from the West Bank in the future.
The Israeli sailors Yogev Yosef and Shahaf Amir won the gold medal at the World Sailing Games in Marseille this afternoon, IDF Radio reported. The two finished in first place in the double-handed dinghy boat 470 series after ten races in which they won a close match with the French duo Benjamin and Romai Benau.
Gidi Kliger and Udi Gal, the other Israeli couple in the event, finished in sixth place. In the women’s competitions in the same series, Linor Kliger and Anat Fabrikant finished in fifth place, while Nika Kornitzky and Vered Buskila followed in seventh.
first preparatory course for former Bedouin soldiers…
who wish to join the Israeli Police was launched on Tuesday in the Bedouin village of Beit Zarzir in the north, HA’ARETZ reported. Senior police officers, Bedouin mayors and Bedouin police and army officers attended the inauguration. The first class consists of thirty men who recently finished their military service.
* Israel start-up CT Motion has signed an agreement to sell its location-based systems in three Asian countries. The agreement, which includes systems and licenses, is worth an estimated NIS 15 million (approximately $3.75 million), in the first stage, GLOBES reported. The agreement follows a cooperation agreement between CT Motion and a Hong Kong-based concern supplying ASP services. Under the agreement, the concern has already bought its first system, which it is operating in Hong Kong, and the Cellebrity system, CT Motion’s flagship product, which will be supplied to two more Asian countries, one of which is China, where the system will be installed next quarter. CT Motion developed a platform for providing and managing location-based technology and services. Its shareholders include Nisko, Neurone Venture Capital Fund, Kardan Communications, Vertex Venture Capital, and Poalim Capital Markets.
* Shares on the Tel Aviv
market rallied in late morning trade, as investors were encouraged by an impressive
appreciation in the value of the shekel, GLOBES reported. The Israeli currency
strengthened to NIS 4.72/$ at web-posting, nearing levels last seen in March
2002. The shekel’s recovery today may be a sign that investors are increasingly
confident in the management of Israel’s economy. At web-posting, the Tel Aviv
25 is rising 0.13 percent to 368.58 points, the Tel Aviv 100 index is rising
0.1 percent to356.26 points, but the Teltech is declining 0.55 percent to
195.97 points. Turnover is NIS 75 million (approximately $18.5 million).
Reveals "Jump-Start Plan" for MidEast Peace
** Amnesty International Denounces Suicide Bombings as "Crimes Against Humanity"
** New Study Shows Increasing Number of Muslim Women Do Not Marry
** Economic Briefs
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer unveiled a three-stage plan for jump-starting the peace process to the representatives of the "Quartet" on Wednesday, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The plan was presented to US Middle East envoy William Burns, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and European Union foreign policy supreme Javier Solana who were meeting in London Wednesday. The meeting was intended to focus on international financial support for Palestinian reforms. The Quartet will continue its collective deliberations in Washington next week.
The first phase of the Fischer plan calls for the appointment by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat of an internationally acceptable caretaker prime minister, who would create an effective security apparatus and introduce reforms. His tenure would end at the start of 2003, when elections are held in the Palestinian areas. The second phase, which would run until December 2003, would lead to a provisional Palestinian state. This provisional state would not be contingent on resolving final-status issues, such as refugees and Jerusalem. These issues would be negotiated later and would be resolved by the end of 2005, when a Palestinian state would be formally established. The third phase involves Israel moving in parallel with the timetable – lifting restrictions on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while establishing security co-operation with the Palestinians. In addition, the plan calls for a UN Security Council representative with executive powers to oversee Palestinian institutional reforms.
A recent report by human rights watchdog Amnesty International has condemned attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinian armed groups or individuals as crimes against humanity, finding no justification for them under international law, JERUSALEM POST reported. In a report launched in Gaza, Amnesty International documented 128 attacks by Palestinian groups or individuals, which claimed 350 civilian lives since September 2001, most of them Israeli. Palestinian officials rejected this report, dismissing it as biased and unbalanced. Palestinian Authority Cabinet Secretary Ahmed Abdul Rahman said, "all that is happening to Israeli citizens is a normal consequence for their occupation."
A new demographics study published by the Central Bureau of Statistics shows that a new phenomenon has developed among Muslim and Druze women over the past three decades: An increasing number of them do not marry, HA’ARETZ reported. By the end of the 1990s, approximately 10 percent of Muslim and Druze women aged 40-44 had not married, compared with 4 percent at the beginning of the 1970s. At the same time, the age of marriage in the two sectors went up by one year, over this period. The study, focused solely on demographic, social and economic changes in the year 2000, in the Muslim, Christian and Druze sectors in Israel and part of the Statistikal series, also brings comparisons with the past and with the Jewish population.
Another phenomenon revealed by the statistics is the rapid rise in the rate of education of the Arab population. In 1970, the mean education level of the Jewish population was four years higher than that of the Arab population, but the difference now is three years. A marked change was also reported in the infant mortality rate among Israel’s Arab population. In 1970,more than 30 babies died for every 1,000 live births in this sector. By the year 2000, the infant mortality rate had dropped to below 10 deaths per 1,000 births. This is double the mortality rate among Israeli Jewish babies, but significantly lower than the infant mortality rate in neighboring Arab countries.
The study also showed that as in the Jewish sector, the Arab sector registered a drop in the number of men who are part of the work force, among all ages but particularly among the young (who apparently are studying more) and the elderly. One out of five Arab women between the ages of 25 and 44 work.
John Wallach, founder of the Seeds of Peace summer camp for teenagers from regions of conflict, died at age 59 After a long battle with lung cancer, HA’ARETZ reported. After serving as foreign editor for Hearst Newspapers from 1968 to 1994, Mr. Wallach gave up journalism to set up a summer program for youths from Israel, Egypt, the West Bank and Gaza. The camp is located in a beautiful setting in Maine and serves as a neutral soil and a learning ground for young people who would otherwise consider each other enemies. Mr. Wallach is survived by a wife and two sons.
* UltraShape will begin clinical trials in Israel next week of its non-invasive ultrasonic body contouring solution, GLOBES reported. The trials are an alternative to liposuction and will test the safety and toxicity of the company’s treatment. UltraShape has raised $2 million to date, including $500,000 at seed stage. The company is now holding its second financing round to raise $1 to 5 million, to be completed bythe end of the year. *
A group of Israeli scientists
has successfully isolated the "good" sunrays for the treatment of
acne, HA’AARETZ reported. Researchers at CureLight have developed a phototherapy
device for treating acne with light rays. The device costs about $40,000 and
in the past year 250 have been sold in several countries. "The device
uses light energy with a wavelength of between 405 and 420 nanometers, known
as blue-violet light," said Dr. Yoram Harth, a dermatologist and president
of CureLight. The wavelength of light is particularly effective against the
bacteria that cause acne but does not damage the skin. The device, which is
in the process of being patented, has been approved for marketing by the European
food and drug administration and is awaiting approval from the U.S. FDA.
** Rice: Replace Entire PA Leadership
** IDF Intelligence: Hizbullah is Mobilizing Israeli Arabs for Terror Activities
** New Group Trains Dogs to Detect Homicide Bombers
** French Jewish Investors Establish Chai TV
** Economic Briefs
In an interview with Israel’s
Channel 2 on Thursday, U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said
the Bush administration has determined that its not just Palestinian Authority
Chairman Yasser Arafat who must go, but rather, the entire PA leadership,
HA’ARETZ reported "It’s not just a question of one man," Rice said.
"It’s an entire political regime that needs to be changed, so that one
man does not control the lives of the entire population."
Meanwhile, a delegation of Arab Foreign ministers met in Cairo today to discuss how to respond to U.S. policies in the Middle East, outlined in a speech by U.S. President George W. Bush last month. The ministers will also discuss the Saudi Arabian peace initiative, adopted in March by the Arab League to end escalating Palestinian-Israeli violence.
A report compiled by the
Israel Defense Forces intelligence division shows evidence linking Hizbullah
and the Israeli Arabs population in Israel, MA’ARIV reported. The report claims
that Hizbullah is trying to mobilize, sometimes by blackmail, those Israeli
Arabs with prior criminal backgrounds, to become active in terror-related
According to the report,
those Israeli Arabs who move freely within Israel are being used to smuggle
weapons from Hizbullah inside Lebanon into Israel and Palestinian Authority
areas. "The Hizbullah is taking advantage of the countries bordering
Israel (Lebanon, Syria and Jordan), and is helped by criminal infrastructure,
in order to smuggle weapons to activists ‘inside,’" the report states.
In addition, the report declares that recently Hizbullah accelerated its efforts to transfer weapons into PA territory, to be used in attacks against Israel. The organization also transferred money to the PA and to other Palestinian terror organizations and brought Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip into Lebanon for terror training.
Minister of Internal Security
Uzi Landau announced on Thursday that a group in the American Jewish community
has initiated a project that will provide bomb-sniffing dogs to Israel and
train them to help find Israeli security find Palestinian homicide bombers,
THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Landau explained that the dogs would be trained
to smell explosives at a distance and attack the bomber, pinning him to the
ground before he is able to reach a crowd of civilians.
The Los Angeles-based
group, named "Pups for Peace," has offered to buy the dogs and build
a school in the Golan Heights where they will train both the animals and their
Israeli handlers. "Pups for Peace" founder Glenn Yago said that
the project’s goal is to train 1,000 dogs and handlers. He added that 60 dogs
would be deployed in the first stage of the project, with the ultimate goal
being at least 200 dogs trained, in a year.
Yago began working on the project after the Passover Massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya on March 27, where 29 people were killed. He believes that if a sniffing dog had been stationed at the entrance to the hotel, the bombing may have been prevented.
A group of French Jewish
investors recently established Chai TV, a new television station that will
broadcast Jewish and Israeli related content in French and English to viewers
throughout Europe and the United States, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Chai
TV is expected to start broadcasting in November, and will be fully operational
by 2003. It is estimated that initially the broadcast will reach some 400,000
households in Europe and that the investment in the project will reach $20
The station has already
hired several prominent television professionals, including co-president and
former French presidential spokesman and president of France Television Xavier
Gouyou Beauchamps. Former CNN reporter Michael Greenspan will be in charge
of Israeli news. Station managers have also signed an agreement with Tel Aviv-based
IsraTV, which will supply the station with four hours a week of programming
on Israel’s cultural and social life.
ChaiTV’s goal is to reach
not just a Jewish population, but the general European and North American
audience as well. The station will not be politically or religiously affiliated,
and will be pluralistic and culturally diversified. The new venture is expected
to broadcast 24 hours a day, with half of the programs in English and half
in French. It will also be provided to cable and satellite TV viewers for
free, as part of the basic subscription package.
The project was presented to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and won the support of the Jewish Agency.
* Policy makers are debating the feasibility of allowing provident funds and insurance companies the right to loan funds for infrastructure projects, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. According to Minister of Finance Silvan Shalom, the move would bolster investments in infrastructure, as the banks are having difficulty in meeting financing needs. "The government and banks are discussing the creation of a new model that will allow infrastructure projects to be carried out. Most of the banks have reached a situation where they are not able to offer the same type of credit as in the past, and the government’s intention is to be more involved in guaranteeing that loans are given, so that projects are carried out," said Shalom.
* IBM recently signed cooperation agreements with 19 Israeli technology companies and start-ups, such as Retalix, Satsmart.tv, Regisoft, Sintecmedia, and Cash-U Mobile Technolgoies GLOBES reported. The agreements aim to assist the marketing of the companies’ products and solutions overseas, present them to IBM’s customers worldwide and integrate them in IBM’s solutions. Sources said IBM is not ruling out additional investments in technology companies this year.