Choose Day Below
TO MEET SHARON; TRILATERAL SECURITY MEETING TAKES PLACE
*SENIOR PA OFFICIAL APPLAUDS TERRORISTS
*SUICIDE BOMBER EXPLODES IN JERUSALEM WOUNDING OVER 20
*FIFTY-FOURTH YOM HA’ATZMAUT CELEBRATIONS KICKS OFF AT PM’S OFFICE
*COCA COLA ISRAEL TO BUILD FACTORY IN KIRYAT GAT
TO MEET SHARON; TRILATERAL SECURITY MEETING TAKES PLACE
United States Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in Israel this morning, the last stop on his 11-state Middle East tour, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Upon arrival, he participated in a ceremony at Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office and then visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum with Sharon. The two leaders are slated to conduct an official meeting at 7:00 p.m.
Cheney is also scheduled
to meet with President Moshe Katsav on Tuesday morning, followed by another
meeting with Sharon and a joint press conference. Meanwhile, a high-level
trilateral security meeting took place today to discuss ways of implementing
the Tenet plan. According to IDF RADIO, Israeli, Palestinian and U.S. officials,
including Israeli Security Agency head Avi Dichter, Preventive Security Service
chiefs Jibril Rajoub and Mohammad Dahlan and U.S. Envoy Anthony Zinni, attended
Following the meeting,
Minister of Defense Binyamin Ben-Eliezer released a statement saying that
Israel will begin transferring security control this evening to the Palestinian
Authority in areas that the Israel Defense Forces recently entered.
Today’s meeting followed a meeting late Sunday night between Israeli and Palestinian security commanders near Beit El in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.
PA OFFICIAL APPLAUDS TERRORISTS
Senior Palestinian Authority security official Jibril Rajoub was quoted today as hailing the Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade as "the noblest phenomenon" in the PA and declaring that PA forces would not take action to curb the armed group, HA’ARETZ reported. Most recently, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for two terrorist attacks that took place on Sunday, hours apart from each other, in Kfar Saba and in Jerusalem. According to Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL, Rajoub applauded the terrorist group because it "restored Fatah’s honor, and bolstered the political and security echelons of the Palestinian Authority." Rajoub is the head of the West Bank Palestinian Preventative Security Service, established under the Oslo Accords to prevent groups like the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade from operating.
The first attack on Sunday was carried out by a Palestinian terrorist who opened fire at a busy intersection in Kfar Saba, killing Noa Auerbach, 18, and wounding more than 16 others. Noa was the youngest of four children and turned 18 last month. Her family had worried in recent years about her brother Ido, who served in a combat unit that has lost several soldiers, and was relieved that he was scheduled to complete his army service the following day. Friends commented that Noa had planned to follow in her brother’s footsteps and had wanted to serve as an instructor in an IDF infantry unit. Noa Auerbach will be buried in Kfar Sava and leaves behind her parents, Naftali and Haya, and her three older brothers, Yaniv, 31, Amit, 24, and Ido, 21.
According to THE JERUSALEM
POST, most of the wounded were students from the Tel Aviv High School who
were on their break. Other students witnessed the shooting from the school
windows. The Sharon District Chief Cmdr. Aharon Franco said that policemen
at a nearby station and security guards in a nearby court building arrived
at the scene when they heard gunshots and killed the terrorist. The wounded
were taken to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba and The Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson
Campus in Petah Tikva. Guy Shmueli, a court guard said, "We heard shots
coming from the area of the Avazi restaurant and several of us ran outside.
I ran to the place where the shots were coming from and saw a young girl lying
on the ground."
Shmueli said he chased
the terrorist into a nearby restaurant. "After I got a better view of
the terrorist, I fired at him. Together with the police who were on the scene,
I neutralized him," he said. Security forces identified the terrorist
as Amar Abed Almajid, 27, from Nablus. The military wing of Palestinian Authority
Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Prime Minister’s Office condemned the attack which was carried out on
the fourth day of U.S.
Envoy’s Anthony Zinni’s visit aimed at achieving a cease-fire. Zinni was in a meeting with President Moshe Katsav at Beit Hanassi when word of the attack reached him.
BOMBER EXPLODES IN JERUSALEM WOUNDING OVER 20
A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on Sunday next to a bus waiting at a red light near northern Jerusalem’s French Hill intersection, wounding more than two dozen passengers, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. This marked the third suicide bombing in the city in just over two weeks, and came two and a half hours after the shooting attack in Kfar Saba.
Nearly all of the wounded were passengers on the bus, which was en route to the northern Jerusalem neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev and Neveh Ya’acov from the city center. Most of the wounded were treated at Jerusalem’s Hadassah-University Hospital, Ein Kerem and Mount Scopus. The bus itself and a taxi cab just in front of it were severely damaged by the blast, which ripped apart the bomber’s body. Jerusalem Police Chief Cmdr. Mickey Levy said the bombing "could have ended much worse," and that the terrorist had apparently been deterred from carrying out the attack at the nearby bus stop due to heavy security atthe site, which has been frequently targeted in the past. Levy said there had only been general alerts over impending terror attacks in the city, and reiterated that it was impossible to hermetically seal off the capital, especially from its porous northern edge. He noted that police would study the city’s surveillance camera in the area, which could give them further information about the bombing. Half an hour after the attack, dozens of high school students and passersby sat huddled on the pavement in shock as rescue workers completed their tasks at the site.
YOM HA’ATZMAUT CELEBRATIONS KICKS OFF AT PM’S OFFICE
Israel’s 54th Independence Day events, which will focus on Children and Youth in Israel, opened on Sunday with a ceremony at Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office, MA’ARIV reported. A poster designed by students of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design was presented during the ceremony. The poster shows a child waving to the Israeli flag, which turns into a dove.
Sharon said that "the children are the future and the strength of the State of Israel. And our hearts are filled with pride and hope." For the first time, children and teens will light twelve torches at the opening ceremony at Mount Herzl.
COLA ISRAEL TO BUILD FACTORY IN KIRYAT GAT
The management of Coca Cola Israel presented Minister of Industry and Trade Dalia Itzik with a plan to build a new factory in Kiryat Gat with an investment of $70 million, MA’ARIV reported. The company is planning to move from its factory in Bnei Barak.
Itzik said that the new factory will provide jobs for about 700 people directly, and thousands of others indirectly. The factory is expected to be completed in two years.
This year’s Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement will be awarded to satirist Ephraim Kishon, outgoing president and CEO of Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Eli Hurvitz and to the Jewish National Fund, HA’ARETZ reported. Kishon’s work, which focuses on issues confronting Israeli society including unemployment, poverty and housing conditions, has been translated into 37 languages, making him the most widely read satirist of our time. Hurvitz was chosen for "taking Teva to the top of the most advanced pharmaceutical companies in the world." The panel concluded that the JNF deserved the award for "taking upon itself the broadest forestation project in the country and for helping to develop the Negev, the Arava and the Galilee."
* The Pitango Venture Capital and Giza Venture Capital funds, together with pharmaceutical companies Teva and Johnson and Johnson formed a consortium to bid in the tender for establishing a biotechnology incubator in Jerusalem, GLOBES reported. It is believed that Pitango and Giza will each hold 30 percent of the shares in the consortium, while Johnson and Johnson will hold not more than 20 percent, as the conditions of the tender limit the amount that a foreign pharmaceutical company can hold.
* Israeli company Jet Air signed a $20 million contract to supply bathroom and kitchen products for a project being undertaken by New York developer Donald Trump, GLOBES reported. Together with real estate company Sunny Isles Beach, owned by Israeli Michael Dezer of Florida, Trump recently announced the signing of a $600 million contract for the construction of residential towers in Miami Beach.
Israel Line is daily summary of news items taken directly from the Israeli media.
* IDF OFFICER
KILLED BY PALESTINIAN GUNMEN
* CHENEY: I WILL MEET WITH ARAFAT WHEN HE IMPLEMENTS CEASE-FIRE
* ISRAELI-ARAB ENTREPRENEURS PARTICIPATE IN BIOTECH EXHIBITION
* EIGHT-HUNDRED ARGENTINEAN FAMILIES BEGIN ALIYAH PROCESS
* SHLOMO AMAR ELECTED CHIEF RABBI OF TEL AVIV
* ECONOMIC BRIEFS
OFFICER KILLED BY PALESTINIAN GUNMEN
An Israel Defense Forces officer, First Lieutenant Tal Zemach, was killed and three soldiers were injured, one seriously, when two Palestinian gunmen opened fire at an army tent encampment this morning in the Jordan Valley, near the community of Mehula, HA’ARETZ ON-LINE reported. Zemach, 20, from Kibbutz Hulda, was a commander in an elite IDF unit. He was laid to rest today in the Kibbutz Hulda cemetery. Both gunmen were shot dead by soldiers who chased the gunmen after the initial burst of fire.
The attack took place at the IDF training area at Hamam El-Maliahn at the northern edge of the Jordan Valley. Colonel Yehiel Sopher, the head of the IDF’s Jordan Valley division, who submitted his resignation to IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz on Monday, participated in the hunt for the two gunmen. Sopher decided to step down following the findings of an internal IDF committee investigating an incident where a Palestinian terrorist infiltrated the farming community of Hamra in the Jordan Valley on February 6 and killed Miri Ohana and her daughter Yael and an IDF reservist.
Meanwhile, following an agreement reached at the U.S. brokered Israeli-Palestinian security meeting on Monday, IDF forces completed their pullout overnight from the Bethlehem area in the West Bank and from the northern Gaza Strip. In two separate incidents during the withdrawal, IDF soldiers killed three armed Palestinians. In the first incident, a Palestinian armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and hand-grenades was shot dead on the road running from the Kissufim crossing into Israel. In the second incident, soldiers spotted five Palestinians trying to penetrate the Gush Katif settlement bloc from the north. After a chase by IDF troops, which lasted several hours, two of the Palestinians were killed, while the others escaped. Kalashnikov rifles and hand-grenades were found near the bodies of the two dead Palestinians.
I WILL MEET WITH ARAFAT WHEN HE IMPLEMENTS CEASE-FIRE
United States Vice President Dick Cheney said today that he would meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat if he begins the implementation of the Tenet cease-fire agreement, and if he issues instructions to his people to enforce the truce, HA’ARETZ reported. Cheney made his comments at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at Sharon’s office in Jerusalem this morning, at the conclusion of his 24-hour visit to Israel. Once Arafat agrees to implement the Tenet plan, Cheney said, a meeting between himself and Arafat could take place "rather soon," although he added that no date or locale had been set.United States special envoy to the Middle East Anthony Zinni will pass on Cheney’s message to Arafat during their meeting today.
Meanwhile, Sharon said he would allow Arafat to travel outside the West Bank and Gaza Strip once the Tenet plan went into effect. Arafat’s exit, Sharon said, "is conditional on the implementation of the Tenet decisions."
ENTREPRENEURS PARTICIPATE IN BIOTECH EXHIBITION
Four companies established by Israeli-Arab entrepreneurs are participating in a biotech exhibition sponsored by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, HA’ARETZ reported. The three-day Biotech Exhibition 2002, is slated to open today in Tel Aviv. "We are very excited that we have gotten the chance to present the technological contribution made by Arab Israelis to the country, "Nasri Sayid, deputy manager of the technological greenhouse at the Galilee’s Moshav Misgav said. "It is a blessed development that the areas that were once closed to Arab scientists and entrepreneurs have opened."
Sayid, who previously served as coordinator of technological initiatives at the Industry and Trade Ministry, said 11 companies established by Israeli-Arabs work with technological greenhouses throughout the country.
EIGHT-HUNDRED ARGENTINEAN FAMILIES BEGIN ALIYAH PROCESS
Eight hundred Jewish families in Argentina began filling out paperwork last week in preparation for Aliyah (immigration) to Israel, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. As a result of the economic crisis in Argentina, the Jewish Agency anticipates that as many as 20,000 Jews from the 200,000-member community could arrive in Israel this year. Jewish Agency spokesman Yehuda Weinraub said that since January, more than 800 Jews have immigrated from Argentina. Ninety eight additional immigrants are expected to come this week. Last year, a total of 1,421 Jews from Argentina made Aliyah. To assist the Argentinean Jewish community, the Jewish Agency last week held an immigration information fair for 8,000 people in Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Rosario.
AMAR ELECTED CHIEF RABBI OF TEL AVIV
Rabbi Shlomo Amar, head of the Petah Tikva Rabbinical Court, was elected Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv on Sunday, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. He is the first solo chief rabbi of the city, following a decision by the municipal council to abolish the system, prevalent throughout the country, of having two chief rabbis, one Ashkenazi and one Sephardi. Amar, who is considered close to former Sephardi chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual mentor of Shas, was elected by a body of 30 electors, consisting of representatives from the municipal council, local synagogues and the public. He ran unopposed. The only candidate who had been named as a possible opponent was North Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, who dropped out of the race when it became apparent Amar had overwhelming support.
The post of Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the city has been vacant since Rabbi Yisrael Lau was elected chief rabbi of Israel almost nine years ago.
The Israeli Bus Company Egged is taking steps aimed at reducing air pollution within three years, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. Egged will purchase a new model of "environment friendly" buses that use lean-sulfur fuel. The project is being conducted in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment.
* Bank Jacob Safra AG, the Swiss bank belonging to the Safra group, will be opening a representative office in Israel, HA’ARETZ reported. The office is expected to open in early May at the Millennium Towers in Tel Aviv. Senior bank executives said that the bank is opening the office in Israel to serve potential Jewish clients. Unlike most other private banks, which focus on investments and deposits, Jacob Safra also promotes credit activity, providing its clients with credit for investments.
* Bus fares between Beersheba and Tel Aviv dropped dramatically yesterday as part of a Transportation Ministry reform. Fares for the five local and two express lines were almost cut in half, from NIS 21.50 (approximately $5.50) to NIS 11.70 (approximately $3), THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The local lines are operated by a new transport company, Metropolitan, while the two express lines are operated by a subsidiary of Egged, the bus cooperative that previously operated all inter-city lines on the route. Fares have also been reduced on routes between Beersheba and Kiryat Gat, and between Kiryat Gat and Tel Aviv, from NIS 18.80 (approximately $4.25) to NIS 10 ($2.50).
Israel Line is a daily summary of major news items taken directly fromthe Israeli media.
SCUTTLE U.S. CEASE-FIRE ATTEMPT, AS BOMBER EXPLODES, KILLING 7
*ISRAEL JOINS AS MEMBER OF WORLD INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION
*LYNNE CHENEY VISITS INTEGRATED JERUSALEM KINDERGARTEN
*RA’ANANA ACHIEVES INTERNATIONAL ISO-14000 MANAGEMENT STANDARD
SCUTTLE U.S. CEASE-FIRE ATTEMPT, AS BOMBER EXPLODES, KILLING 7
One day after Prime Minister Sharon and US Vice President Dick Cheney offered incentives to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat to accept a cease-fire, a Palestinian suicide bomber exploded himself on Egged bus number 823 at 7:00 this morning, killing 7 Israelis and wounding dozens more, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The bus was on route from Tel Aviv to Nazareth Illit during morning rush hour. The blast nearly ripped the bus in two. The driver of the bus, Yossi Ben-Yosef, said the terrorist, reportedly in his 30s, was not carrying any bags and did not seem suspicious. The terrorist was wearing a jacket similar to the other passengers on the cold morning, paid his fare and said he wanted to travel to Afula. A soldier who was on the bus said he spotted wires protruding from the terrorist’s coat asthe man sat down. The soldier said he was about to shoot the Palestinian, when the bomb blew up.
"I saw everything
go black, and seconds later the smoke cleared and I saw everyone screaming
and crying," said a witness, truck driver Nahum Borochov. Mohammed Agbariya,
a resident of Mus Mus, said he had just left his home near the highway when
he heard a loud blast. "I looked toward the road and saw a cloud of smoke,"
he told Channel 1 television. "When the smoke cleared, I saw a bus torn
Dozens of ambulances arrived
at the scene and evacuated the wounded to Ha’emek Hospital in Afula and Hillel
Yaffe Hospital in Hadera. Dr. Eran Halperin, director of Afula’s Ha’emek Medical
Center explained that Jewish and Arab staffs are working together to help
the mixed Arab and Jewish victims.
Among the wounded was
Kamli Massalha, a relative of Member of Knesset Nawaf Massalha (Labor). Massalha,
anIsraeli Arab, works as a nurse and regularly travels on Bus 823. "Every
morning I travel with fear. The bombers made no distinction between Arabs
and Jews. I know that they don’t care who you are," Massalha said.
Four Israel Defense Forces
soldiers were among the dead, including Sgt. Michael Altifero, 19, of Pardes
Hana, St. Sgt. Shimon Aderi, 20, of Pardes Hanna, Sen. Warrant Officer Meir
Fahima, 40 of Hadera and Cpl. Aharon Revivo, 19, of Afula. Two of the three
Israeli civilians that were killed were Alon Goldenberg, 28, of Tel Aviv,
and Mahanto Mogos, 75, of Holon. The name of the third victim has not been
Islamic Jihad claimed
responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to The Associated Press.
The group identifiedthe attacker as Rafat Abu Diyak, 24, from the West Bank
town of Jenin. The organization applauded the attack through mosques and car-mounted
loudspeakers throughout Jenin. Groups of armed Palestinians gathered in the
streets to celebrate the attack.
At a Cabinet meeting this morning, Sharon told ministers that U.S. Special Envoy Anthony Zinni and the United States share Israel’s view that the attack was a grave development. Sharon said, "Arafat has not modifiedhis policy, his policy of terror. He has not taken a single step up until now, not given one order [to end the violence]. We will take the necessary steps in light of this." Zinni is presently meeting with Arafat. The PA condemned the attack, which it termed the "Umm el-Fahm operation," in a statement issued a short time ago, calling on Palestinians not totarget Israelis within Israel because it "hurts the Palestinian cause in world opinion." According to Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL, PA Preventive Security Service chiefs Jibril Rajoub and Muhammad Dahlan both praised the attack.
JOINS AS MEMBER OF WORLD INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION
Israel was accepted as a member of the World Inter-Parliamentary Union at its conference in Marrakech, Morocco this week, HA’TOFEH reported. Fifty-four countries voted for Israel’s addition to the Union. The IPU, established in 1889, is an international organization of Parliaments of sovereign states fostering dialogue and cooperation among peoples and the firm establishment of representative democracy. Members include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and Switzerland.
CHENEY VISITS INTEGRATED JERUSALEM KINDERGARTEN
Wife of U.S. Vice President Lynne Cheney and Minister of Education Limor Livnat visited an integrated kindergarten classroom at the Jerusalem YMCA on Tuesday, helping Muslim, Christian and Jewish children with an art project,THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The class presented Cheney with a picture with the phrase "All for one and one for all" in three languages. They also sang a song for her in Hebrew and Arabic and gave a present for her granddaughter Elizabeth. "This school makes a special statement in troubled times," Cheney said.
ACHIEVES INTERNATIONAL ISO-14000 MANAGEMENT STANDARD
The municipality of Ra’anana is the first in Israel to be recognized for achieving the international ISO-14000 management standard, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The ISO-14000 is a standard for minimizing harmful effects on the environment caused by activities of organizations.
According to the ISO-14000 standard, the Ra’anana Municipality is an organization that applies "sustainable" policies to balance economic, social and environmental demands without over-taxing its environmental resources. Ra’anana is also recognized for its quality of public services to its constituency when it received the international standard ISO-9002 five years ago.
Israel Railways is scheduled to start building two stations in Modi’in, one in the city center and the other on the edge of the town, close to the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. The line to Modi’in will be part of the high-speed railway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, via Ben-Gurion Airport and Sha’ar Hagai. In addition, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered Israel Railways to start building another railroad for express trains from Be’er Sheba to Tel Aviv.
*The economic cabinet passed two resolutions in regard to the ongoing water crisis today, GLOBES reported. 50 100 million cubic meters of water will be immediately imported from Turkey, and the quantity of desalinated sea water will be doubled to 400 million cubic meters a year. The cabinet also decided to promote the construction of additional water desalination plants of up to 100 million cubic meters a year in the Hadera region, and choose a contractor for such a facility by October, so that it can start operating by the end of 2004.
*After three days of talks with the Europe Union in Brussels, an Israeli-Palestinian delegation formulated proposals to stimulate the economies on both sides, the Konrad Adenaur Foundation (KAS) announced today, GLOBES reported. Among some of the Israeli-Palestinian economic stimulus proposals to secure the movement of Israeli investors, employers and buyers associated with the Karni industrial park on the border of the Gaza Strip and establish several checkpoints for the movement of Palestinian goods and licensed Palestinian passengers into Israel. KAS is a German organization dedicated to promoting international cooperation.
BOMBING IN DOWNTOWN JERUSALEM
*Hapoel Tel Aviv Soccer Team to Play Milan in Quarterfinals of UEFA Cup
*CHAIM HERZOG REMEMBERED
BOMBING IN DOWNTOWN JERUSALEM
Two killed, 87 injured as suicide bomber hits downtown Jerusalem At least two people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up in downtown Jerusalem on Thursday afternoon. Over 70 people have been evacuated to Jerusalem’s four hospitals, among them three seriously and six who suffered moderate injuries. The bomber struck at the junction of King George Street and Agrippas, close to the scene of several suicide bombings over the past months. Jerusalem police chief Mickey Levy said that the bomber detonated his device, which had been packed with metal spikes and and nails, in the center of a crowd of shoppers. Levy told reporters that police had detained for questioning "a large number of suspects in the area", including Arabs who had been wounded. According to Magen David Adom, which has completed evacuating the injured to nearby hospitals, more than 87 people have been evacuated to Jerusalem’s four hospitals. In a telephone call to The Associated Press, the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a militia linked to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the bombing. The Al Aqsa Brigade identified the assailant as Mohammed Hashaika, 22, a resident of the West Bank village of Talooza, north of the city of Nablus. All roads in and around the site of the bombing have been closed to traffic. At the scene of the blast, Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert said Israel was "at war, and we will be at war for the forseeable future. I am not willing to turn Jerusalem into a closed military base."
A Palestinian suicide bomber exploded himself on Egged Bus number 823 en route from Tel Aviv to Nazareth Illit on Wednesday, killing seven Israelis and wounding dozens of others, HA’ARETZ reported. Staff Sergeant Shimon Edri Edri, 20, from Pardes Hannah, was head of discipline at an Israel Defense Forces base in Na’ura. He moved with his family from Be’er Sheva to Pardes Hannah in 1991."He was a loving and quiet boy," his father said. "He loved his work in the army. He would always get up first, dress immaculately, polish his shoes, and tell me he had to serve as an example." Edri was laid to rest in Pardes Hannah on Wednesday evening. He is survived by his parents and a younger sister and brother.
Sergeant Michael Altafiro
Altafiro, from Pardes Hannah, would have turned 20 in three weeks. A Liverpool
football fan, he took Bus 823 on Wednesday after switching guard shifts on
the IDF artillery base where he served, so he could watch the team’s game
against AS Roma at his home. Altafiro immigrated to Israel with his family
from Moldavia in 1990. His father Alex said he was an avid reader of Hebrew
and Russian language books. "He loved knowledge; he would watch trivia
shows on television and know most of the answers," he said. "Just
yesterday I hired a carpenter to come and expand Michael’s bookshelf."
Altafiro is survived by his father, his mother Rina and a 14 year old brother named Stav. Corporal Aharon Revivo Revivo, 19, was traveling on Bus 823 on his way to visit his mother in Afula, after getting a furlough from the army for a few hours. He was born in Eilat, but left the southern port city with his mother when he was 11 and moved to Afula. His father, Eli, remained in Eilat, where he works at the fire station at the city’s airport. Revivo last visited his father three weeks ago. He is survived by his parents, two sisters and a two-year-old brother.
Mahanto Mogus Mahanto
Mogus, 75, was on his way to Nazareth Illit to pay a condolence call to the
family of Maharto Tagnin who was killed in a suicide bomb attack on the Afula
central bus station on March 5, when he himself was slain in Wednesday’s attack
on Egged Bus No. 823. Maharto immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia during Operation
Shlomo in 1991. He first lived in an absorption center in Hadera, before moving
to an immigrant center in Holon, not far from one of his daughters in Kiryat
Sharet. He is survived by four children and thirteen grandchildren. Friends
said that he spent most of his time helping with his grandchildren. He will
be laid to rest today at the Yarkon Cemetery.
Meir Fahima IDF Non-Commissioned
Officer Meir Fahima, 40, from Hadera, was buried on Wednesday evening at the
town’s military cemetery. He is survived by his wife Etti, two daughters and
a son. His wife said on Wednesday, "I don’t know what I’m going to do
now. My angel has gone. I have to live now just for the children." Alon
Goldenberg Goldenberg, 27, left his home in Tel Aviv on Wednesday at 5:30
a.m. and headed to Nazareth, where he had a few errands to run. He was killed
in the suicide attack on bus 823. After serving in an IDF anti-aircraft unit,
Goldenberg traveled extensively in South Africa and the Far East.
Recently he had been involved in the building of a youth village near Nitzanim. He loved the sea, and to surf. His father Shlomo is a popular, well-known fisherman in Jaffa and Goldenberg often helped his father at sea. He is survived by his parents and a younger brother.
TEL AVIV SOCCER TEAM TO PLAY MILAN IN QUARTERFINALS OF UEFA CUP
Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer team will play Italy’s AC Milan tonight in the second round of the UEFA Cup’s quarterfinals, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Hapoel beat Milan, five times European champions, in the first round 1-0, marking the greatest international achievement by an Israeli team ever. Hapoel also beat England’s Chelsea, Russia’s Lokomotiv Moscow and Italian giants Parma.
Hapoel’s achievement is even greater as their victory against Milan was won not in Israel but in Cyprus, after UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, decided Israel was too dangerous a venue to host the match due to the volatile security situation. With approximately 7,000 fans who made the trip from Israel in attendance, Hapoel will have ample support in Milan’s San Siro Stadium, one of European football’s most famous venues. There will be a high level of security at the stadium.
To try and accommodate fans who want to watch the match together, the Tel Aviv Municipality will erect a giant screen at Hapoel’s Ussishkin basketball hall for the many fans who are staying at home after spending vast amounts of money on previous trips abroad to see Hapoel play. Speaking at the team’s hotel, Hapoel’s Hungarian midfielder Gabor Almai tried to describe what training in the 80,000-capacity stadium felt like. "It is like the church or the shrine of European football," he said. "The feeling was absolutely amazing."
People of the caliber of Chaim Herzog, Israel’s sixth President, are sorely needed today, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said on Wednesday at memorial service on Mount Herzl marking the fifth anniversary of Herzog’s death, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Sharon described Herzog as a courageous and proud Jew who had seen his people humiliated and persecuted and who had fought like a lion for their honor. Between liberating Jews from the Nazi death camps and taking office as President, he said, Herzog had an illustrious and wide-ranging career of service. Sharon made particular reference to Herzog’s service as ambassador to the United Nations, when he tore up the infamous resolution equating Zionism with racism, emulating his father, Rabbi Isaac Halevy Herzog, who publicly tore up the British White Paper. Sharon also recalled what a calming and reassuring influence Herzog was on the nation during the Six Day War, and said the lesson learned then is still valid today.
Wreaths were laid by President Moshe Katsav and Sharon on behalf of the Government, and Amichai Orkaby on behalf of the Council for the Commemoration of Deceased Presidents and Prime Ministers of Israel.
* Israeli start-up InfoCyclone is about to complete a $6-8 million financing round, GLOBES reported. InfoCyclone, set up in September 2000, develops solutions for high-speed information retrieval from large databases. The solution addresses a problem that is not related to Internet infrastructure or bandwidth, but to site servers that carry out millions of information retrieval operations, which slows down search requests. The problem is even more critical for an Internet site serving thousands of surfers simultaneously. Intel Capital, the investment fund of the international chipmaker, also participated in the round, with an investment estimated at $1.5 million. A beta version of the product is scheduled for release in the next quarter. * More than 750 visitors, including approximately 100 guests from abroad, attended the opening of the Biotech 2002 convention on biotechnology, HA’ARETZ reported. The convention opened in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. "If participants came to the biotechnology conference from abroad at such a hard time for Israel, it means we’re doing something right," Dr. Yaffa Beck of the D-Pharm company said. The conference speakers number 11 foreigners, including a representative of the French investment fund, Sofinova Partners.
KILLED, 87 WOUNDED IN PALESTINIAN SUICIDE BOMBING ATTACK IN…
*U.S. BRANDS AL-AKSA MARTYRS’ BRIGADES A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
*SENATORS, CONGRESSMEN SUPPORT ISRAEL IN WAR ON TERRORISM
*JERUSALEM-TEL AVIV RAIL LINE TO REOPEN BY 2004
*HAPOEL TEL AVIV SOCCER TEAM IS SCHEDULED TO RETURN TO ISRAEL TODAY AFTER
KILLED, 87 WOUNDED IN PALESTINIAN SUICIDE BOMBING ATTACK IN
Jerusalem; Bomber Recently Released from PA Prison Three Israelis were killed and 87 wounded when a Palestinian suicide bomber wearing an explosive device studded with nails around his waist blew himself up on Jerusalem’s King George Street on Thursday afternoon, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades, an arm of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to the Associated Press, identifying the bomber as Muhammad Hashaika, 22, of Talluza, north of Nablus. According to security sources, Hashaika, a former PA policeman, was released from a PA jail in Ramallah last week.
According to MA’ARIV, Gadi Shemesh, 34, and his wife Tzipi Shemesh, 29, as well as Yitzhak Cohen, 48, of Modi’in, were killed in the attack. Tzipi Shemesh was five months pregnant and was on her way home from an embryonic scan with her husband when they were killed by the suicide bomber. They are survived by two daughters, Shoval, 7, and Shahar, 3. Cohen is survived by his wife and six children, ages 4-16. The bombing was the second attack in two days and the second in Jerusalem in less than one week. Two weeks ago, 11 people were killed when a Palestinian suicide bomber exploded himself at Moment Café. The week before, 10 people, including six children ranging in age from 7 months to 15, were killed when another Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in the Beit Yisrael neighborhood. On Sunday, a disaster was narrowly averted when an Islamic Jihad bomber blew himself up outside a bus near the French Hill intersection, after noticing a large security presence at the crowded bus stop. There were no serious injuries. In response to the attack, Israel cancelled the joint security talks with the Palestinians scheduled for Thursday night.
BRANDS AL-AKSA MARTYRS’ BRIGADES A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
The U.S. State Department announced on Thursday its decision to add al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades, a terrorist group linked to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction, to the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), THE JERUSALEM POST reported.
The al-Aksa Brigades claimed
responsibility for Thursday’s suicide bombing in Jerusalem, which killed three
Israelis and wounded 87 others, as well as for dozens of other terrorist attacks.
The FTO designation makes it illegal for Americans to provide funds or material
support to the group, and requires U.S. banks to freeze all funds held in
its name. Also, members of the group may also be denied entrance to the United
United States Secretary
of State Colin Powell decided to designate the al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades on
Tuesday and the necessary Congressional panels were notified on Wednesday.
Barring any opposition, the designation should take effect within a week,
a State Department official said. Because FTO designations can be challenged
in court, the State Department has been amassing information over the past
several weeks to ensure that its argument that the al Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades
is a terrorist organization would stand up in court.
Mark Regev, spokesman
for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., said on Thursday, "It’s
very clear to any honest observer that the al-Aksa Brigades has been involved
in some of the most murderous terrorist operations. In every interview that
they give they say they would not conduct their operations without a green
light from Chairman Arafat. By placing them on the list, the State Department
is sending a clear signal to Chairman Arafat that the Americans have a no-tolerance
policy for terrorism."
This is the first time a group linked to Arafat’s Fatah movement has been designated as a terrorist organization since the United States established ties with the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Other Palestinian groups on the list are Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
CONGRESSMEN SUPPORT ISRAEL IN WAR ON TERRORISM
At a demonstration in Washington, D.C. on organized by the Zionist Organization of America on Thursday, a group of U.S. Senators and Congressmen slammed the Palestinian Authority and its Chairman Yasser Arafat for failing to stop terrorism and pledged their full support for Israel’s counter-defensive measures, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Among those who attended were Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada) and Mike Pence (R-Indiana) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).
Meanwhile, Rep. Ben Gilman (R-NY), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, said in a statement, "these latest barbaric attacks by a Palestinian suicide terrorist against innocent civilians in central Jerusalem are a further egregious demonstration of Yasser Arafat’s failure to control the violence, his lack of commitment to peaceful negotiation of differences, and once again, raise the question of the relevancy of his leadership."
AVIV RAIL LINE TO REOPEN BY 2004
Minister of Transportation Ephraim Sneh said this week that train service between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv should resume by the middle of 2004 upon completion of work on the century-old rail line, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The commute on the new line will take under one hour. Initially, 30 trains will commute between the cities daily. This week, Israel Railways issued a tender for the renewal and restoration of Jerusalem’s train station, located in the Baka neighborhood. Six other tenders have been issued in the last few months for work on upgrading the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv line, after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reached an agreement with Sneh and Minister of Finance Silvan Shalom in August to renovate the line at a cost of NIS 400 million (approximately $100 million).
The agreement also included
a plan to construct an express line between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv that would
run through the Ben Gurion Airport and Modi’in. The express line, which will
cost $750 million, will cut travel time between the two cities to 28 minutes,
and is expected to be completed within 10 years.
There has not been train service between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem since July 1998, when the four daily trains were halted due to poor track conditions and repeated derailments.
TEL AVIV SOCCER TEAM IS SCHEDULED TO RETURN TO ISRAEL TODAY AFTER
losing 2-0 to AC Milan in the second round of the UEFA Cup’s quarterfinals on Thursday, HA’ARETZ reported. Still, Hapoel’s showing is the greatest ever for an Israeli team in an important international competition. Hapoel beat such European giants as Chelsea, Lokomotiv Moscow and AC Parma, as well as beating Milan in the first round of the quarterfinals.
* SeeCode of Korea announced it has chosen Israel’s BrightCom Technologies to replace its Bluetooth Application Processor, GLOBES reported. SeeCode develops wireless communications products. The deal for the production of hundreds of thousands of units is worth an estimated $2 million. BrightCom’s President and CEO Yuval Ben-Zeev said there will be many SeeCode products using BrightCom’s Blueetooth processors on the market within a few months.
* El Al and Israir made $1 million in profit from Hapoel Tel Aviv fans, as planeloads of soccer supporters headed to Milan for Thursday’s game, HA’ARETZ reported. El Al operated 14 round trip flights for 1,400 fans. Israir brought 215 fans and sold 400 package deals to supporters flying on foreign airlines. An Israir package deal, including the round-trip ticket, one night in a three-star hotel near Milan, and a ticket to the game, cost $566.
Israel Line is a daily summary of major news items taken directly from the Israeli media.