Choose Day Below
BOMB EXPLODES IN SOUTHERN JERUSALEM
*ZINNI: GAPS TOO WIDE FOR JOINT SECURITY COMMITTEE
*ASHKENAZY TO BE NEXT IDF DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF
*HANAN ASHRAWI QUITS AS SPOKESWOMAN OF THE ARAB LEAGUE
*ZE’EVI’S SON TO RUN FOR MOLEDET LEADER
BOMB EXPLODES IN SOUTHERN JERUSALEM
Police officers and Israeli Security Agency Officials prevented civilian casualties today when they discovered a car laden with explosives traveling in southern Jerusalem, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. After police ordered the driver to stop, the vehicle increased speed. Police began chasing the car when it suddenly exploded, killing the two Palestinian terrorists inside.
The al-Aksa Martyr’s
Brigades, a terrorist group linked to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser
Arafat’s Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Jerusalem police chief Commander Mickey Levy said the car was identified at a roadblock set up after intelligence warnings were received regarding specific terrorist movement in southern Jerusalem. Police forces, backed by Israel Defense Forces troops, have been operating on a state of high alert in Jerusalem this morning.
GAPS TOO WIDE FOR JOINT SECURITY COMMITTEE
United States Special Envoy Anthony Zinni said today that gaps between the Israelis and Palestinians were too wide for the two sides to reconvene the joint security committee, HA’RETZ reported. The next meeting of the committee has been postponed and no new date has been set. Zinni’s bridging proposal for implementing the Tenet plan was presented to both sides on Sunday and contained a compromise between the Israeli demand that security measures be implemented over a four-week period and Palestinian insistence on moving to the implementation of diplomatic steps within two weeks. On Monday evening, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided in principle to accept Zinni’s bridging proposal for implementing the Tenet plan, and today the Palestinians were meeting with Zinni to present him with their response to compromise proposals. The committee would have reconvened today, if there had been any progress in the talks between Zinni and Palestinian officials.
TO BE NEXT IDF DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF
Major General Gaby Ashkenazy is slated to be appointed Israel Defense Forces Deputy Chief of Staff, Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer announced on Monday, HA’ARETZ reported. Ashkenazy, who has been General Officer Commanding Northern Command for the past four years, is expected to move to his new position in several weeks. Ben-Eliezer made the decision on the advice of incoming chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon, who will replace Shaul Mofaz on July 9. In the meantime, Ya’alon will take three months leave to prepare for his new position. Ashkenazy, 48, and was born on Moshav Hagor near Kfar Sava. He joined the IDF Golani Brigade in 1972, was a squad commander in the Yom Kippur War and a deputy battalion commander in the Litani Operation, where he was wounded. During the Lebanon War, he was deputy commander of the Golani Brigade,and in 1986 became its commander. Other positions he has held include head of the District Coordinators Command Office with Lebanon and head of the Operations Division in the General Staff. He was raised to the rank of Major General in 1996.
ASHRAWI QUITS AS SPOKESWOMAN OF THE ARAB LEAGUE
Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi quit her position as spokeswoman for the Arab League after less than a year in office, HA’ARETZ reported. Sources close to her say that Ashrawi felt she could not compete with the worldwide Israeli public relations system. "Ashrawi’s success was in the Arab world," the source said. "She felt that in the international arena the Israeli PR was much better, and that she was not getting the backing she needed from her peers."
The announcement came as the Arab League convened for a summit in Beirut, Lebanon, slated to begin on Wednesday. This is not the first time Ashrawi has resigned from a public position. She resigned her cabinet post as minister of higher education in 1998 after Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat failed to dismiss ministers who had been named in a corruption report.
SON TO RUN FOR MOLEDET LEADER
Yiftah-Palmah Ze’evi, son of the late Minister of Tourism Rehavam Ze’evi, who was assassinated by Palestinian gunmen five months ago, announced on Monday night that he will run for Knesset (Parliament), THE JERUSALEM POST reported. He said that he intends to run for the leadership of the right-wing Moledet Party founded by his father. Moledet is to choose its new leader on May 19.
"My stand here, in the place where my father was murdered… should be a signal the eternal one of Israel does not lie, and our intentions to live in this land are proven," he said. Moledet is a senior partner in the National Union-Yisrael Beiteinu bloc, which left the Government last week after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon rescinded his demand for seven days of quiet preceding any cease-fire talks and canceled an order confining Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to Ramallah.
*After a five-year delay, Ofer Brothers reached an agreement in principle with the state and Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to build a power station in Ramat Hovav, GLOBES reported. The station will be the first large private power station in Israel. It will use natural gas to provide 370 megawatts of electricity. Under the new timetable, the station will begin operating in mid-2004.
* Israeli start-up G-Connect has contracted to sell its POPMaestro product to UOL (Universe Online), the largest ISP in Latin America GLOBES reported. G-Connect develops advanced Internet access solutions for communications companies and ISPs. The amount of the deal was not disclosed
The Government decided Sunday to allot NIS 23 million (approximately $5.5 million) to finance improvements and renovations to the area surrounding the Western Wall, as well as allocate funds to a program sponsoring visits by soldiers and youths to the Wall and its surrounding areas, The JERUSALEM POST reported. The program aims to improve the fundamental and functional condition of the area surrounding the Western Wall, in order to provide visitors with suitable conditions, a Government spokesman said.
Israel Line is a daily summary of major news items taken directly from the Israeli media.
A DOZEN ISRAELIS KILLED IN SUICIDE BOMBING IN NETANYA
* 2 TIPH MEMBERS KILLED BY PALESTINIAN
* ARAB LEAGUE SUMMIT BEGINS SANS ARAFAT
* PASSOVER HOLIDAY BEGINS TONIGHT
* ECONOMIC BRIEFS
Police carry a body after a bomb exploded in Netanya, Israel March 27, 2002.
Laszlo Balogh / Reuters
A DOZEN ISRAELIS KILLED IN SUICIDE BOMBING IN NETANYA
Over a dozen Israelis were killed and scores wounded today when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in the lobby of the Park Hotel in Netanya where many Israelis were celbrating Passover with their families, HA’ARETZ reported. Police said that the terrorist walked into the hotel’s lobby and detonated an explosive device he was wearing on his body. According to a Magen David Adom spokesman, a large number of people were injured in the blast. The wounded were taken to Laniado Hospital in Netanya, Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava and Hillel Yaffeh Medical Center in Hadera.
Police have asked people not to approach the scene of the explosion. Security forces are checking how a terrorist succeeded in entering the city after security was beefed up for the holiday.
TIPH MEMBERS KILLED BY PALESTINIAN
Two members of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, (TIPH), one from Turkey and one from Switzerland, were killed last night when a terrorist fired at their vehicle west of the city, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. A third observer in the car, also from Turkey, was lightly wounded in the attack.
The Turkish observer was later identified as Maj. Cengiz Soytunc. The wounded observer was identified as Capt. Hussein Osam Salam. The Swiss observer, a female office worker, was not immediately identified. According to Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL, Salam shouted at the terrorist pleading to him that they were observers. The terrorist ignored him, shooting at their car. These were the first TIPH members to be killed since the force was set up eight years ago. TIPH consists of 85 members from six European Union countries: Denmark, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey.
In another incident last night, an Israel Defense Forces officer and soldier suffered gunshot wounds during a clash with terrorists north of Kibbutz Kissufim.
LEAGUE SUMMIT BEGINS SANS ARAFAT
The Arab League Summit in Beirut began today without President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, King Abdullah of Jordan and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, HA’ARETZ reported. The Palestinian delegation to the Arab League summit walked out on the first day of the two-day conference after a speech by Arafat via satellite was not aired for the participants. Arafat delivered his remarks on the Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite TV station, but his speech was not heard by those attending the summit.
Arafat announced on Tuesday that he had decided to skip the Arab summit rather than meet the requirements that were set by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for his departure. Those requirements stipulated that Arafat would have to declare a cease-fire in Arabic and address it to his nation. In addition, Sharon asked that the U.S. grant Israel the right to bar Arafat’s return to the territories, in the event of terror attacks against Israel during his absence.
Meanwhile, U.S. Envoy Anthony Zinni forged ahead with his quest for a cease-fire between Israel and the PA. Zinni was to decide this morning whether to convene the joint security committee after he gave a modified version of a bridging proposal to both sides yesterday. The Palestinians rejected the draft presented to them on Sunday.
HOLIDAY BEGINS TONIGHT
Many Israelis will take advantage of the seven-day Passover holiday to enjoy nature and shopping centers, despite the current security situation, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Security forces have been put on maximum alert for the holiday in light of warnings of pending terrorist attacks. Some 8,000 police, border police, and volunteers will be on duty throughout the country over the holiday, and armed guards will be posted outside synagogues. Police are also intensifying security measures at entrances to cities and towns considered to be especially at risk, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa, as well as Hadera, Afula, Netanya, and other places that have been hit in the past.
Schools will remain closed during the intermediate days of the festival, as will many businesses. Post offices and banks will be open, but will have reduced hours. Public Seders will be held in Jewish communities around the world, including some for Israeli backpackers in the Far East. Chabad has organized ceremonies and meals for 850 Hebrew speakers in Thailand, while others will be held in Peru, Bolivia, and India.
Despite the security situation and the continued recession, owners of food stores and shopping malls have reported higher sales in the days precceding Passover this year as compared to last year, HA’ARETZ reported. Yoram Dar of Blue Square Israel, owners of the Co-Op and Mega stores, reported that shoppers had started their spending spree last weekend, and the average basket of purchased goods ranged from NIS 500 to NIS 1,500 (approximately 125- 375 dollars). Yakov Ginzburg of Clubmarket reported that buying for the holiday had started in earnest last Saturday evening, earlier than usual, and the average shopper was spending NIS 550 (approximately 140 dollars), 2 percent more than the year before.
* India’s defense establishment is preparing a multi-year program to procure $400 million worth of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), GLOBES reported. India will buy the Heron long-endurance UAV, capable of 50 hours in the air. India has already begun using the UAV’s along the Indo-Pakistani border. India reports claim the procurement is intended for all of India’s defense branches: Air Force, Army, Navy and Special Forces.
* Nexus, which provides location based information systems, announced today that it had received a $1 million order to deploy its telocation network infrastructure in Beijing, China, GLOBES reported. The Nexus infrastructure will cover all five rings in the city of Beijing, with potential expansion to other nearby cities. The system will provide a variety of advanced security, safety, management and other location based services. Deployment of the network is expected to begin in the second half of the year 2002, resulting in additional orders for end-user devices. Nexus president and CEO Shlomo Sadowsky said, "This first purchase order from China is very significant for Nexus and proves that Nexus technology can also provide location based services to the promising market of China after being successful in Israel, South America and recently in South Florida."