Choose Day Below
Israelis Killed in Friday Attack on Kiryat Arba
** Palestinian Sniper Injures IDF Officer in Gaza
** PLC Approves New PM Post
** Israeli Teens Prepare for Humanitarian Mission to India
** Makuya Movement: Nothing Would Stop Us From Visiting the Holy Land
** Economic Briefs
Israelis Killed in Friday Attack on Kiryat Arba
Two Palestinian gunmen infiltrated the city of Kiryat Arba on Friday night and launched a shooting attack that killed Rabbi Eli Horowitz and his wife Dina in their home, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. The terrorists disguised themselves as religious Jews, wearing white shirts and knit skullcaps. They broke through Kiryat Arba’s security fence just before 9:00 p.m. and opened fire on Israeli residents Mordechai and Aliza Seyad who were walking in the area. The terrorists then proceeded to enter the ground floor apartment of the Horowitz family through a side window, throwing grenades and shooting in all directions. The terrorists killed both Eli and Dina Horowitz, and lightly injured their guest, who managed to escape from the apartment into the courtyard.
The Kiryat Arba emergency response squad quickly arrived at the scene and conducted an exchange of gunfire with the terrorists. Israel Defense Forces Nahal Brigade unit arrived moments later, killing the two terrorists. Four soldiers were lightly wounded in the ensuing gunfight.
Friends of the Horowitz family say that their marriage counseling to members of the community kept families together. The Horowitz’s children said their parents’ relationship and mutual respect served as a role model for others. They "were like a newlywed couple always finding time to walk together. Dad took pictures of mom among the flowers. They were people who always radiated warmth and love."
Dina and Eli Horowitz, former American residents, who lived in Kiryat Arba for 19 years, were buried in Jerusalem. They leave behind four children – Batsheva, 30; Zvi, 26; Nehama, 22; Shulamit, 20 – and five grandchildren.
Sniper Injures IDF Officer in Gaza
An IDF officer was seriously wounded on Sunday afternoon when a Palestinian sniper shot him near the Gaza neighborhood of Gedid, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. The IDF said the fire came from within a populated, residential building. The officer was evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, IDF forces demolished a house belonging to the family of Mahmoud Kawasma, who carried out last Wednesday’s attack on a Haifa bus, which killed 16 Israelis. IDF forces also uncovered eight explosive devices on Sunday night near the village of Yamun, west of Jenin. IDF sappers safely detonated the devices and no injuries were reported. In other news, IDF soldiers destroyed a tunnel over the weekend that was used for smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip, operating along the Israeli-Egyptian border near Rafiah.
Approves New PM Post
The Palestinian Legislative Council approved the creation of the new post of Palestinian prime minister today, by a vote of 64-3, with four absentations, HA’ARETZ reported. The council has yet to define the prime minister’s role and to approve the appointment of Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen), as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.
According to Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL, Minister of Foreign Affairs Silvan Shalom said that the important aspect of the creation of the new post was not the person who occupied it, but rather the powers granted to him. "The process in the Palestinian Authority is a positive one, but the question is will he have the possibility of choosing his own government, will he be able to dictate his own policy." Shalom added that the new Prime Minister needs to begin the process of stopping the acts of terrorism within Fatah and other organizations and stop the anti-Israel sentiment within the Palestinian educational system.
Teens Prepare for Humanitarian Mission to India
The Israeli Medical Cadet organization will take a group of 16 teenagers to India to teach basic medical treatments to their peers, ISRAEL21C reported. The group of specially-trained young Israelis will teach their Indian counterparts the basics of first aid, how to maintain personal hygiene and the importance of health awareness.
"My goal for the trip is to expose them to Israeli culture and people, so maybe when they’re older, they’ll visit us. They’ll realize that there are good things happening in Israel", Tahel Ben-Yehuda, a member of the group, said. Like Ben-Yehuda, most of the participants in the program are active in volunteer work during the year in different Israeli medical aid organizations and various health care facilities. The members of the team were chosen after a process of strict screening, and are trained for specific tasks.
In its organization of the trip, the Israeli Medical Cadet organization collaborated with Magen David Adom, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel’s Department of Education, India’s Ministry and local Indian authorities.
Movement: Nothing Would Stop Us From Visiting the Holy Land
Despite travel advisories by the Japanese government, a 46- member delegation representing Makuya, a Japanese Zionist movement, came to Israel this weekend and was received by President Moshe Katsav in his home on Sunday, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. After praying at the Western Wall and dancing in the streets of Jerusalem, the visitors made their way to the President’s home and were able to share the experience through a live video stream to members of their ministry back home. Makuya began their annual pilgrimage in 1955.
Waving Japanese and Israeli flags and dressed in traditional kimonos for women and blue jackets with menorah and Star of David prints over their suits for men, the group sang as Katsav and his wife entered the reception hall. A member of the delegation told Katsav "even though many people warned us of the hazards of traveling to this part of the world, nothing would stop us from visiting the Holy Land." (Visit Makuya Online)
* Israel Venture Association will be gathering April 6-8 at the Dan Intercontinental Hotel for its annual international conference, ISRAEL21C reported. The event will include keynote speakers representing venture capitalists’ and funds from Israel and abroad. There are more than 80 venture capital funds active in Israel, as well as a growing number of venture investors such as corporations, institutional investors, investment banks, holding companies and the likes, both local and foreign that belong to the association. Sponsors of the event include Bank Hapoalim, Vertex, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
* Israeli café chain Arcaffe is in advanced negotiations to open its first café in New York, as a pilot for the establishing 15 branches in the city, GLOBES reported. Arcaffe is simultaneously negotiating with a local entity to invest in the US venture, in exchange for a 50 percent stake. An Israeli Arcaffe manager will run the New York chain. Arcaffe Israel is a 16 percent partner in Arcaffe Italy, which makes the coffee blends used by the chain.
Road Map to be Released After PA Prime Minister Confirmed
** IDF Says Killing of Two Israelis was a Tragic Mistake
** Israel Remembers
** Netanyahu, Sheetrit Introduce Emergency Economic Plan
** Economic Briefs
Road Map to be Released After PA Prime Minister Confirmed
Speaking today at the White House, U.S. President George W. Bush announced his intention to present the U.S.-backed "roadmap" for Mideast peace "immediately" after the confirmation of a Palestinian prime minister with "a position of real authority," HA’ARETZ reported. Bush added that in light of Israel’s recent elections and the Palestinian Authority’s creation of a new prime ministerial position, the moment offers a new opportunity for peace and reconciliation between both sides.
Meanwhile, according to THE JERUSALEM POST, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell testified at the House hearing on Thursday and said that the fault for a lack of progress in the peace process between Israel and the PA is the ongoing terrorist activity by the Palestinians. He added that the administration is enthusiastic about the appointment of a Palestinian Prime Minister and is looking for the right time to restart negotiations and create a Palestinian state by 2005. Powell stated that establishing a new Palestinian leadership is imperative to creating a peaceful dialogue in the future because the current leadership "was not coming forward with initiatives or ideas that would help us build a dialogue with Israel."
Says Killing of Two Israelis was a Tragic Mistake
The Israel Defense Forces announced today that the two Israelis killed by one of its units on Thursday near the neighborhood of Pnei Hever were mistakenly identified as armed terrorists, HA’ARETZ reported. The victims were identified as Second Lieutenant Yoav Doron of Jerusalem, 23, and Yehuda ben-Yosef, 22, from Maaleh Adumim.
GOC Central Command Major General Moshe Kaplinsky said the IDF had received warnings of a possible terror attack in the area and that the two Israelis had not heeded soldiers’ calls to stop. The IDF expressed regret and announced an investigation into the incident. "This was a tragic mistake, as in other incidents in which innocent people are killed on either side," Major Sharon Feingold, from the IDF Spokesman’s office said.
Meanwhile, security forces are investigating the shooting attack of a father and son in Jerusalem’s Musrara neighborhood on Thursday. According to the police, David Mordechai, 57, and his son Menahem, 25, had just finished parking their car, when an assailant ran up and shot them at close range. A municipal traffic inspector, who happened to approach the car for a routine inspection a few minutes later, found them lying in a pool of their own blood and called security forces and an ambulance. The two were evacuated to Hadassah Hospital, Ein Karem, where Menahem is being treated for wounds to his stomach and David for wounds in his shoulder.
Yoav Doron, 22, a second lieutenant, had been working as a security officer in the hills south of Hebron and received his new assignment as a platoon commander in Golani Brigade. Doron enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces at the age of 20 after spending 18 months studying at the Shavei Hebron yeshiva in Kiryat Arba. His brothers described him as a quiet and shy young man who loved both Torah studies and bicycling. He played guitar and wrote poetry. Yehuda Ben-Yosef, 22, was working as a security guard at the hilltop outpost south of Hebron. Yosef was the oldest of four children born in Kiryat Arba. Eight years ago, the family moved to Mitzpe Nevo, at Ma’ale Adumim.
Sheetrit Introduce Emergency Economic Plan
Minister of Finance Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister without Portfolio Meir Sheetrit, along with top Finance Ministry officials, presented Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with their emergency economic plan on Thursday, GLOBES reported. If Sharon approves the plan, it will be submitted to the cabinet next week. Netanyahu and Sheetrit plan to complete the budget cut by Passover. The plan centers on a budget cut of at least NIS 10 billion (approximately $2.1 billion). The cut includes an 8 percent across-the-board pay cut for all public sector employees, and a 14 percent cut for senior officials and director generals, in addition to increasing the retirement age from 65 to 67. The Ministry of Finance also proposes freezing promotions and salary hikes until the end of 2004. Also, the National Insurance Institute’s payments will be cut, including child benefits. The budget cut follows two previous budget cuts, totaling NIS 13 billion, (approximately $2.8 billion) approved by the previous government. The budget cut will apply to all ministries.
The economic plan is meant to help the business sector and the high and average-to-high income earners. Investment in infrastructures will be increased and the privatization of government companies on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange will be accelerated. Measures to revive the capital market include a Ministry of Finance plan to comprehensively reform the capital market and pensions, intended to encourage investment in the local capital market, and possibly overseas investment as well.
Netanyahu and Sheetrit reached an agreement on the Ministry of Defense’s budget late Thursday night, in which the Defense Ministry will receive an additional NIS 2 billion (approximately $0.4 billion) on top of the budget agreed upon at the end of 2002, bringing the defense budget to a total of NIS 43.334 billion (approximately $9.2 billion).
Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Zevulun Orlev submitted to the government secretariat today a proposal to protect employees from being fired during emergency situations such as war, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. Currently, the law enables an employer to fire a worker who fails to show up at work, even if his absence is due to war. According to Orlev’s proposal, a worker is was absent from work due to Home Front Command orders during a state of emergency, or because he had to look after his children due to the closure of schools, will not be fired.
* Israeli-produced DentSim dental simulator helps to hone dental students’ skills by allowing them more hands-on practice, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Each unit, priced at $70,000 is comprised of a mannequin’s head with infrared sensors and a large orifice containing artificial teeth; two infrared cameras; a focused lamp, a flat computer screen and mouse; a dental drill equipped with tiny sensors, water sprayer and suction device; and a very complex computer program. At the Jerusalem dental school, there are 10 units, where each student can spend several hours a week actually learning to prepare simulated teeth for fillings, crowns or bridges. The simulators display the optimal treatment on three-dimensional, tooth-filled upper and lower jaws and the result of the student’s actual work.
* Biotech start-up
Gamida-Cell announced that Teva Pharmaceuticals will invest $3 million
in its stem cell research, HA’ARETZ reported. Gamida-Cell has developed
a technology that expands the population of stem cells with minimal differentiation.
It is currently enrolling patients in the United States for a Phase I
clinical trial of its cord blood stem cell product StemEx, for the treatment
of advanced stages of blood diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma, which
affect more than 1.5 million people worldwide