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Israeline — Monday, November 18, 2002 —

** Abba Eban, "The Noble Voice of Israel", Dies at 87
** Israeli Woman Killed in Shooting Attack in West Bank
** Israel Remembers
** El Al Sky Marshals Stop Terrorism Attempt by Israeli Arab
** Economic Initiative Promotes Cooperation Between Israelis and Palestinians


Abba Eban, "The Noble Voice of Israel", Dies at 87

In learning of the death of Abba Eban on Sunday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon issued the following statement: "We lost a statesmen from the founders’ generation that left his mark and Israel’s mark on the international consciousness more than any other statesman in our era, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. Sharon added, "he will be missed, now more than ever." Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres said Eban, "was Israel’s noble voice in its difficult hours and was one of the world’s greatest statesmen of the twentieth century."

Eban was Israel’s former deputy prime minister, former minister of foreign affairs, first ambassador to the United Nations and an Israel Prize winner. He passed away at the age of 87 at the Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva.
Eban was born in Cape Town, South Africa and was taken to England as an infant. In his youth Eban was an active Zionist and stood up as a sharp intellectual and a great orator. In the midst of his academic studies of Oriental Languages at Cambridge, World War II broke out and Eban enlisted and served in Egypt and Palestine. When the war ended he chose to remain in Palestine, joined the Jewish Agency and became a member of its delegation to the United Nations. During this period, Eban was responsible for convincing the world to support the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine. He played an extremely influential part in the UN vote on November 29th that led to the creation of the State of Israel.

With the establishment of the State of Israel, Eban became the country’s first ambassador to the UN. From 1950 to 1959 he simultaneously served as ambassador to the UN and to Washington. After his return to Israel, Eban was elected a Member of Knesset for the Mapai party and served in the successive Labor Party cabinets of David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol, and Golda Meir, as minister of education, deputy prime minister, and minister of foreign affairs respectively. In the years from 1974 to 1988, he served as Chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense committee.

In 1988, Eban left politics to devote his full time to writing, lecturing, and the production of three television documentary series: "Heritage: Civilization and the Jews," about the history of the Jewish people; "Personal Witness: A Nation is Born," his eyewitness account of the birth of the state of Israel; and "Brink of Peace," an overview of the history of the peace process between Israel and the Arab world.

Over the years Eban was awarded twenty honorary doctorates, membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Israel Prize (in 2001) and wrote many books ranging from an autobiography to histories of Judaism and Israel, as well as political essays and books on diplomacy.

Eban was buried in Kfar Shmaryahu. He is survived by his wife, Suzy, a son, Eli, and a daughter, Gila.

Israeli Woman Killed in Shooting Attack in West Bank

An Israeli woman was killed this afternoon and another woman was lightly wounded, when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on their vehicle near the Jewish Community of Rimonim in the West Bank, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL, reported.
Over the weekend, Israeli security forces, including helicopters, tanks and ground troops, entered the Palestinian Authority Preventative Security Forces Headquarters in the Gaza Strip and discovered an explosives laboratory and illegal weapons, including at least one Kassam rocket. IDF troops seized documents found in the headquarters.

Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz praised the operation and said that the documents discovered "have again proven the strong link between the PA security services and Palestinian terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, whose members perpetrated last Friday’s attack in Hebron." According to security officials, the Preventative Security’s headquarters in Gaza produced mortar shells, explosive charges, and grenade launchers against tanks, which were then distributed to Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror cells.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Mofaz authorized a military operation in Hebron on Saturday night in response to the Palestinian ambush killing 12 people and injuring fifteen who were coming back from Sabbath prayers at the Cave of the Patriarchs. IDF redeployed in Hebron to provide security for Israelis and to act against the terrorist infrastructure. Forty-one Palestinians, including four terrorists who are on Israel’s wanted list, were arrested.


Israel Remembers

Palestinian terrorists opened fire and threw grenades at a group of Jews accompanied by an armed escorts returning from Sabbath prayers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Friday evening, killing twelve people and wounding fifteen, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. Magen David Adom ambulances and rescue workers came under fire after responding to the attack and were prevented from reaching the wounded for more than 30 minutes. In the end, Israeli helicopters were brought in to help evacuate the dead and wounded. Hamas and Islamic Jihad both claimed responsibility for the terrorist assault. The following are victims of that attack:

Col. Dror Weinberg, 38, of Jerusalem’s Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, who commanded the Hebron Brigade, was an outstanding field officer and was slated to become commander of the Paratroop Brigade. He is the most senior IDF officer killed in the conflict to date. OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky said that, "in a symbolic way, he was killed directly defending what he so much believed in: providing security for the Jewish residents of this region, just as in any other place where he was responsible." At the funeral, Chief Rabbi of Israel Yisrael Meir Lau eulogized that, "Dror died defending not only those praying in Hebron, but all the people of the land of Israel." Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz added that Weinberg was a hero destined for greatness, "your children will grow to learn of an outstanding officer who fell in the battle for our existence in the land of Israel," Mofaz said.

Weinberg was buried in the Kfar Sava Military Cemetery. He is survived by his pregnant wife, Hadassah, and five children: a son Yoav, 14, daughter Yael, 11, and sons Eitan, 8, Yishai, 5, and Uri, 3.

Lt. Dan Cohen, 22, of Jerusalem, served as the Deputy Company Commander in the Nahal Brigade. He was shot and killed while directing his armored personnel carrier to assist a group of soldiers pinned down by sniper fire. Cohen, named after his uncle who was killed in the Yom Kippur War, graduated from yeshiva high school in Efrat. He joined the Nahal where he served as a platoon commander and was slated to be discharged in August. Cohen’s father, Yehuda, said that, "Danny was a wonderful boy, very sensitive, a boy who always loved to help and now, we return him to his creator." Cohen’s commander Lt. Col. Eran Niv said that he "was an officer who truly and simply just loved his soldiers."

Cohen was buried at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery. He is survived by his parents and two sisters.

Chief Supt. Samih Sweidan, 31, of Arab al-Aramsh, was the operations officer of Hebron’s Border Police unit and took command of the battle until he was killed fighting the terrorists shortly after the firing began.
Sweidan served in the paratroops and took an officer’s course before joining the Border Police. His company commander, Sudki Dabor, said Sweidan was a brave soldier who didn’t know the meaning of fear. "He was a role model for his men," Dabor said.

Sweidan was buried at the Arab al-Aramsha Military Cemetery. He is survived by his father, six brothers and sisters, wife Ruhiya, and sons Salman, 4, and Imran, 2.

St. Sgt. Yeshayahu Davidov, 20, of Netanya, was a medic in the Hebron Border Police and was killed while trying to treat and remove the wounded. Davidov immigrated to Israel with his family from Azerbaijan in 1990 and lived in Netanya. He graduated high school with honors and volunteered to perform his compulsory service in the Border Police. He was to be discharged in six months and begin his law degree.

Davidov is survived by his parents, a sister, 21, and brother, 11. He was buried in the Netanya Military Cemetery.

St. Sgt. David Marcus, 20, of Ma’ale Adumim served in the Nahal Brigrade. Six years ago he immigrated from Russia six years ago with his father, Immanuel and brother Vitali, while his mother stayed behind. Immanuel Marcus said that he spoke to his son on Friday afternoon for the last time. "He was happy and said everything was fine. He told us the Jewish residents of Hebron were giving the soldiers fruit and drinks."

St. Sgt. Netanel Machluf, 19, of Hadera, joined the Hebron Border Police three month ago after completing a company commander’s course. His friends said that "Netanel was an exceptional person, with whom the commanders loved working." His father Joseph eulogized him saying: "You were born on Passover eve and everyone said ‘an angel has arrived.’ You and 11 other pure souls were killed while guarding worshippers in Hebron. For me, you are not dead, you are my angel." Machluf’s sister, Shoval, said she will always remember her brother as a hero, "who was not afraid to try and save others and died while trying."

Netanel was buried on Sunday at the Military cemetery in Hadera. He is survived by his parents and three siblings.

Sgt. Igor Drobitsky, 20, of Nahariya served as a medic in the Nahal Brigade in Hebron and died trying to treat and evacuate his wounded comrades. He immigrated to Israel with his parents in 1996 from Birobidjan and lived in Nahariya. After graduating from the naval academy in Acre and training as a medic, Drobitsky was posted in Hebron a week before the ambush. "He loved looking after people and planned to become a qualified nurse after the army," said friend Danny Slutzky. His brother, Roman said "I’ve lost a dear, beloved brother and a good and pure man." Drobitsky’s company commander Capt. Yaniv said, "a person who leaves the country of his origin for Zionist reasons and out of longing for another place, even knowing that he has to deal with the difficulties of language and the new culture, that in my mind is a hero."

Drobitsky is survived by his parents and brother. He was buried in the Nahariya Military Cemetery.

Sgt. Gad Rahamim, 19, of Kiryat Malachi, was killed while trying to save his wounded comrade in the line of fire. Rahamim received a certificate of recognition just four months ago after helping to capture the second most wanted terrorist in Hebron. Rahamim’s best friend Effi Elian said that, "Gad was a quiet guy, a serious, intelligent, giving man."
Rahamim is survived by his parents, a sister Liat, 17, and two brothers, Nir, 12, and Avi, five. He was buried at the Kiryat Malachi Military Cemetery.

Sgt. Tomer Nov, 18, of Ashdod, chose to do his compulsory service in the Hebron’s Border Police. While eulogizing Nov, his elder brother, Guy, said , "You always wanted to enlist, and that you did, you always wanted to run first, and that your did, you always wanted to give your soul, and that your did." Nov was to celebrate his19th birthday this week.
He was buried in the military section of the Ashdod Cemetery. He is survived by his parents, Lea and Moshe, his brother Guy, and sister, Limor, 28.

Yitzhak Buanish, 46, was the veteran Kiryat Arba security officer. While having Sabbath dinner with his family, Buanish heard gunshots and set out with his emergency response team and died while trying to help evacuate the wounded. "Yitzhak was a man who talked little but did a lot. He was a symbol of heroism, determination, and courage. His death was a tough blow to the morale of all the inhabitants of the area, and a blow to security," said a friend. OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky called Buanish "a pillar of the region’s security."

Buanish is survived by his wife, Rivka, and seven children: Ma’ayan, 20, Yehuda, Hedva, Naomi, Yohai, Noa, and Oz. He was buried with two other members of his team in a military ceremony at Har Hamenuhot Cemetery in Jerusalem.

Alexander Dohan, 33, of Hebron was a member of Kiryat Arba’s emergency response team. He immigrated to Israel from France 15 years ago and moved to Hebron ten years ago with his wife Rebecca. On Friday night Dohan left home with his colleagues in the emergency response team as soon as they heard of the shooting. When they reached the scene, Dohan evacuated some of the wounded before he was killed by gunfire and stun grenades.
Dohan received a military burial at the Givat Shaul Cemetery in Jerusalem. He is survived by his wife and four children.

Alexander Zwitman, 26, immigrated to Israel from the Ukraine. He and his wife Leda were celebrating her birthday at home together with their five-year-old son, Eyal, when he was called to the scene of the attack. "Today I understand that I have lost the most precious thing in my life," Zwitman’s sister Helena said in a eulogy. "I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye," said Leda.

Zwitman received a military burial at the Givat Shaul Cemetery in Jerusalem. He is survived by his wife, son and parents.


El Al Sky Marshals Stop Terrorism Attempt by Israeli Arab

El Al security guards restrained an Israeli Arab who confronted a flight attendant on El Al Flight 581 from Tel Aviv to Istanbul, carrying 170 passengers, YEDIOT AHARONOT ON-LINE reported. According to initial security reports, the assailant, Tawfik Foukra, 23, pushed a flight attendant and ran toward the cockpit before he was overpowered by the plane’s sky marshals. The sky marshals found a pocketknife on the perpetrator.

"What is important is that the incident ended within seconds, and that it ended in a manner that proved that El Al’s security arrangements worked as they should," said El Al Airlines Chief Amos Shapiro.

Director-General of the Israel Airports Authority Gabi Ophir launched an investigation to determine how the attacker managed to smuggle a pocketknife past the ground security guards.

El Al is widely regarded as the best protected airline in the world, and its formidable security includes armed guards at check-in, sky marshals and extensive baggage searches. Passengers are told to arrive three hours ahead of flights to allow enough time for the security checks.

On the Fourth of July of this year, an Egyptian immigrant, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, opened fire at the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles Airport, killing two people before he was shot dead by the airline’s security guards.


Economic Initiative Promotes Cooperation Between Israelis and Palestinians

The Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development will launch an Israeli-Palestinian MBA program in 2003, training Middle Eastern business leaders to work together and promote joint ventures, GLOBES reported. The initiative called Building Business Bridges, will start with 30 students, ten Israeli Jews, ten Israeli Arabs and ten Palestinians.

CJAED co-Director Helmi Kittani said notices about the program were published in the Palestinian press in recent months, and almost 100 applications were received. "Despite the situation, we believe dialogue should be maintained at all times," said Kittani. . "We must not burn all bridges. To the contrary, they must be preserved," he added.

CJAED was founded in 1988 by Israeli Arab and Jewish business people using the premise that Israel’s diverse population provides the country with an invaluable resource. Building Business Bridges will be managed academically by the University of Haifa and is funded by the European Union and the United States.

Israeline — Tuesday, November 19, 2002 —


** Mother of Seven Laid To Rest
** Labor Party Primaries Today
** Israeli Archeologists Find Artifacts From 2nd Century Jewish Revolt
** Christian Coalition Plans Mass Rallies in US in Support of Israel
** Economic Briefs


Mother of Seven Laid To Rest

Esther Galia, 48, Kochav Hashahar and mother of seven, was shot dead in a Palestinian ambush northeast of Ramallah on Monday evening, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL, reported. Galia was on her way home from Jerusalem when a lone Palestinian gunman fired at least nine bullets into her car. Galia was hit in the abdomen, continued driving until she lost consciousness and her car ran off the road. Residents of Kochav Hashahar driving in the opposite direction noticed Galia’s car, alerted Magen David Adom and provided first aid to the injured woman. She later died of her injuries in Hadassah Mount Scopus University Hospital in Jerusalem. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack.

Galia and her husband, Alexander, were founding members of Kochav Hashahar 22 years ago. The family has seven children; the oldest just finished his army service as an officer in the Givati Brigade and the youngest is in the fifth grade. MK Rabbi Benny Elon tearfully eulogized her: "Historians will yet analyze the character of this woman, the leader of this entire community. A woman who raised seven children, all of them with a respect for their faith."

Galia was laid to rest in the community’s cemetary.

Meanwhile, Israel Defense Forces troops arrested a Palestinian early today from the West Bank village of El Khader, near Bethlehem, who the army says was on his way to carry out a homicide bombing attack in Israel. According to the report, Fadi Ramdan is a member of the Tanzim faction associated with Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement. The IDF also lifted curfews today in the West Bank cities of Tulkarem, Ramallah, Jenin and Qalqilyah. Also overnight on Monday, IDF troops arrested 23 Palestinians across the West Bank – in Ramallah, Abu Dis, Nablus, Tulkarem and Burka.


Labor Party Primaries Today

Labor Party members will cast their ballots for their prime ministerial candidate today, HA’ARETZ reported. Currently, the polls show Haifa Mayor Amram Mitzna in the lead. The 268 polling stations opened at 10:00 a.m. and will remain open until 9:00 p.m. and initial results will be released tonight. The number of party members who have the right to vote in the primaries is 110,405.

According to a Dialog poll, the primary result is preordained. Even if Ben-Eliezer’s campaign staff outdid itself, it can’t overcome the gap faced by Mitzna, who, as the polls predict, will score 53 percent of the votes. The polls show Ben Eliezer winning just 35 percent of the votes, and Ramon garnering 11 percent.

Israeli Archeologists Find Artifacts From 2nd Century Jewish Revolt

According to archaeologists, a cave survey in the Judean Desert has uncovered papyrus scrolls, coins and arrow heads from the period of the Jewish rebellion against the Romans in the second century, HA’ARETZ reported. According to Zvika Tzuk, an archaeologist from the National Parks Authority, the scrolls, while believed to be less significant than the Dead Sea Scrolls found in the region in 1947, will shed light on the time of the revolt led by Shimon Bar Kochba. The artifacts were found in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, near the Dead Sea, by a team of archeologists headed by Professor Hanan Eshel from Bar Ilan University and Amos Frumkin of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. Rappelling into a cave, the archaeologists found papyrus scrolls as well as coins bearing the name "Shimon," a reference to Bar Kochba, the leader of a 132-135 C.E. rebellion. Historians believe the rebels fled to the desert after the Romans crushed the revolt, hiding out in hillside caves dotted throughout the rugged terrain. The scrolls, as yet unopened, have been given to the Israel Museum, where they will be researched.

Between 1947-65, archeologists discovered hundreds of ancient Jewish documents at Qumran, the area where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Archeologists then believed all the scrolls in the area had been found until the discovery of a number of documents near Jericho between 1986-93. The second century artifacts are the first of this nature to be discovered in the area since then. "After two generations where we didn’t discover anything, this find is very important," Tzuk said.

Christian Coalition Plans Mass Rallies in US in Support of Israel

The Christian Coalition of America intends to hold mass rallies in support of Israel next year in every U.S. state, and is also planning to bring large groups of tourists to Israel, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Roberta Combs, president of the CCA, which represents two million members, made the announcement Monday while in Israel leading a five-person fact-finding delegation. Combs said the state rallies are part of a follow-up to a large demonstration that took place in Washington on October 11. "After we did that in Washington, and there was so much enthusiasm, we just felt like it was something we should take to all 50 states, to activate people more in support of Israel," she said. "It’s kind of a new avenue for us in our organization, and we’re excited about it."

Michael Brown, National Church Liaison and Chief US House of Representatives lobbyist, said many states did not get to send a delegation to the rally in Washington to show their support for Israel. "There are very strong states that want to express their support for the Jewish state," Brown said.

The CCA delegation met with Minister for Housing and Construction Natan Sharansky and Member of Knesset Benny Elon on Monday and will continue their tour today with a visit to Hebron and Jewish communities in the West Bank.

Magen David Adom and the U.S. Red Cross signed a cooperation agreement on Monday concerning mutual assistance in the event of multi-casualty disasters or attacks with weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations, HA’ARETZ reported. The agreement includes programs for training and preparedness planning through information exchanges between the two organizations. Working sessions between the two organizations will be held twice a year. David McLaughlin, the chairman of the U.S. Red Cross has been in Israel in recent days for the signing.


Economic Briefs

* Foreign investors have expressed great interest in Bank Leumi and have said there is a good chance they will participate in the tender for shares in the bank, HA’ARETZ reported. The bank will make a presentation in London to Merrill Lynch, Capital Group, Deutsche Bank, Barings and UBS. The 6 percent issue of the bank through options packages will take place November 21 and will be open to the general public. In a preliminary tender on November 14, 75 percent of the packages were auctioned to institutional investors. That tender was oversubscribed and closed at NIS 29.5 (approximately $7.375) – 9 percent above the minimum price.

* Hewlett-Packard will use mSafe technology in the Hutchison data communications tender, GLOBES reported. Hewlett-Packard won the contract thanks to its use of the technology of Israeli start-up mSafe. Based in Rehovot, mSAFE has 20 employees. It has developed IP-based billing technology for end devices, such as cellular telephones. mSAFE already has a marketing agreement with Texas Instruments and is reportedly holding preliminary negotiations with Microsoft for a similar agreement.

Israeline — Wednesday, November 20, 2002 —

** Haifa Mayor Wins Decisive Victory in Labor Party Primary
** Egypt Severs Agricultural Ties with Israel on Anniversary of Sadat’s Visit to Jerusalem
** Block in Manhattan Dedicated to Victim of Hebrew University Homicide Bombing
** Israel’s First Astronaut May Cast his Election Ballet from Space
** Economic Briefs


Haifa Mayor Wins Decisive Victory in Labor Party Primary

Haifa Mayor Amram Mitzna won a decisive victory in the Labor Party primary elections on Tuesday and will serve as the party’s chairman and candidate for prime minister in the upcoming elections, MA’ARIV reported. Mitzna took 53.92 percent of the vote, compared to former Minister of Defense Binyamin Ben-Eliezer’s 38.17 percent and Knesset Members Haim Ramon, who finished with 7.24 percent.

Mitzna called on Ben-Eliezer and Ramon to join forces with him and help Labor defeat the Likud. "I have been elected by a majority of members of the Labor Party to lead the Labor Party at such a difficult hour for Israeli society, and this is what I shall do," Mitzna said. He also offered former party chairman Ben-Eliezer the number two spot on the Labor list of candidates for the Knesset. Ben-Eliezer called for unity, and offered the support of his camp to help the party win the elections. But Ben-Eliezer also warned of Labor turning into an "elitist party" and also conditioned his support on Labor not being transformed into a clone of the left-wing Meretz party due to Mitzna’s dovish views. In his victory speech at party headquarters in Tel Aviv, Mitzna called on "all of the Labor Party, without connection to this camp or that: let us walk together, contend together with the important, the great confrontation, with the Likud, not only to change the regime, not only to build a coalition, but to create in the course of a four-year term a new reality in the state of Israel, a new society in the state of Israel. This is the Labor Party that will lead the state of Israel to a reality different from today’s."

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres said, "The battle is over, and now the national interest must take over. The need to continue as a unified party is essential. Mitzna is a fitting candidate and a responsible person, and we will all stand behind him."


Egypt Severs Agricultural Ties with Israel on Anniversary of Sadat’s Visit to Jerusalem

Twenty-five years to the day after Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s landmark journey to Jerusalem, Cairo has elected to sever agricultural ties with Israel, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. An-Nahar newspaper, which reported that the Egyptian agriculture minister said the government decided to end agricultural ties, wrote that the reason is "the Israeli government’s negative position, which is not in line with the principle of peace in the region."

One Israeli official expressed surprise at the report, saying most of the agricultural ties were cut following Operation Defensive Shield earlier this year. "We are very sorry about this," he said, "but it is nothing new." He said although the move is a disappointing sign of the state of "normalization" between the two countries, the peace treaty has lasted for a quarter of a century and withstood a number of crises, including the Lebanon War and the Baruch Goldstein massacre in Hebron. The channels of communication remain open, he said, noting the meetings Egypt’s intelligence chief Omar Suleiman held in Israel last Thursday with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Moshe Katsav. "Despite everything," the official said, "the diplomatic relations still remain."


Block in Manhattan Dedicated to Victim of Hebrew University Homicide Bombing

A block in Manhattan was dedicated yesterday to one of the nine victims of July’s homicide bombing at the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Janis R. Coulter, a convert to Judaism and the former Deputy Director of Hebrew University’s Overseas Student Department, was honored at a ceremony on the block now bearing her name. She was remembered for her love of Israel and the Jewish people, and her devotion to the university. "Janis, for once, would be speechless today to be remembered this way," her sister, Dianne Albert, said. Coulter’s father, Robert, and her brother, Robert Jr., also attended the ceremony, and the New York City Council, which organized the naming, presented Coulter’s family with a proclamation celebrating her life and work and a street sign bearing her name. "Our family will always treasure this little street in Manhattan," Albert said.

New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, who decided to rename a street after Coulter during a solidarity mission to Israel in August, Hebrew University President Menahem Magidor, and Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Yehuda Lancry also spoke at the ceremony. Consul General Alon Pinkas also attended.

"The death of Janis is a poignant reminder that terrorism can occur everywhere and sometimes it can occur against those close to us," Lancry, who lost his niece to a homicide attack on a bus in April, told the group. "The ceremony helps us and others to remember that in this way, every victim of terrorism is remembered."


Israel’s First Astronaut May Cast his Election Ballet from Space

Israeli Air force Colonel Ilan Ramon, slated to be the country’s first astronaut is likely to cast his ballot in Israel’s upcoming general elections from space, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Ramon, who is scheduled to be on the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Columbia space shuttle when his fellow Israelis vote for a new Knesset on Jan 28, was offered the opportunity to vote from space. Ramon accepted on condition that his vote be secret and that NASA approve.

David Leffler, Director-General of the Culture, Science, and Sport Ministry, called Knesset Member Efi Oshaya and asked him to ask the central elections committee to look into the possibility of Ramon voting from space. The committee responded by saying that "in principle," Ramon may vote from space. Leffler is now looking into the logistical and technical problems and is seeking permission from NASA. Ministry Deputy Director-General for Information Moshe Fogel said the astronauts can send e-mail from the shuttle. The elections committee would establish a Web site and, by using a secret code, his vote from space would be registered.

If the shuttle’s blastoff should be postponed and Ramon is in Houston, Texas, he can vote more conventionally by double envelope, like other emissaries abroad.


According to a special report issued by the Central Bureau of Statistics for International Children’s Day, 137,000 babies were born in Israel in the year 2001, MA’ARIV reported. Of the infants, 91,000 were born to Jewish parents; 36,000 to Arab parents; 51.4 percent were male and 48.6 percent were female. In addition, the report showed that children comprise a third of the Israeli population, numbering 2.25 million. The CBS also reported that the most common names given to new babies was Daniel for boys and Noa for girls.


Economic Briefs

* Representatives of Athens High Technology Incubator Ltd, and Sharelink Financial Services Venture Capital department in Cyprus visited Israel this week to meet with local hi-tech companies interested in relocating to the nearby island, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Athens CEO Phanos Pitiris said the incubator offers a number of advantages, including funding and tax benefits. He also said that Cyprus expects to be admitted as a full member of the European Union in 2004, adding new trading opportunities to businesses there. At the same time, it is close to home, with just a 40-minute flight separating the two countries, he noted. Bilha Gordon, Business Development manager at Partners 500, which organized the event, said more than 60 hi-tech companies expressed interest in the site.

* The budget deficit is expected to reach between 3.9 percent and 4.5 percent of gross domestic product or NIS 18.5 billion to NIS 22 billion (approximately $4.6-5.5 billion) due to election season spending, according to Rami Amir, Chief Economist at Bank Discount, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Treasury’s fiscal planning had set a budget deficit of 3 percent of GDP for 2002, but the economic slowdown which cut government revenues has resulted in rise in deficit. Stagnant GDP growth also hurt the chances of meeting the 3 percent mark.

Israeline — Thursday, November 21, 2002 —

** Eleven Killed in Homicide Bus Bombing in Jerusalem
** Kurtzer: PA Not Doing Enough to Institute Reform
** Israeli Arabs Pleased at Labor Party Selection
** Memorial Unveiled for Victims of Jerusalem Attack
** Economic Briefs


Eleven Killed in Homicide Bus Bombing in Jerusalem

Eleven people were killed this morning and more than 45 injured, eight of them seriously, when a Palestinian homicide bomber boarded a crowded Egged bus No. 20 traveling through the Kiryat Menachem neighborhood in Jerusalem and blew himself up, HA’ARETZ ON-LINE reported. The bus was traveling toward the center of the city during morning rush hour. Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Police Commissioner Shlomo Aharonishky told reporters that the homicide bomber, identified as Nael Azmi Abu Hilail, 23, from Bethlehem, detonated the explosive device in the front of the bus, shortly before it arrived at a bus stop.

The names of the victims were released this afternoon: Hodaya Asaraf, 13; Marina Bazarski, 46; Dikla Zino, 20; Sima Novak, 56; Yafit Revivo, 13; Hadassah (Helena) Ben David, 32; mother and son Ella, 44, and Michael Sharshevsky, 16; Grandmother and grandson Kira, 67, and Ilan Perlman, 8, from the Ir Ganim neighborhood. Varga Mirse, 25, a tourist from Romania, was also killed.

According to MA’ARIV, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met with Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz to decide on Israel’s response. In addition, Israel Defense Forces soldiers arrested two of Abu Hilail’s brothers in the village of Dura, south of Hebron.

Since September 2000, 104 infants, children and teenagers between the ages of 4 months and 19 years have been killed in terror attacks


Kurtzer: PA Not Doing Enough to Institute Reform

Speaking to a delegation of New York elected officials, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer said that the Palestinian leadership has made no progress in instituting reform or in stopping violence and terror, the two prerequisites for a Palestinian state laid out by President George W. Bush on June 24, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. "So far the Palestinians have chosen not to eschew violence and terrorism, but in fact in the past few months in some ways there has been an intensification of suicide bombings and other efforts to commit what’s now called a mega-terrorist act," he said.

Kurtzer added that, "on the reform efforts, we have had equally a lack of success. We have seen too much control continuing to be exerted by Mr. Arafat, and too little control evolving from other members of his cabinet, or upon the Palestinian legislature." And also that "political reform has not progressed very far, and security reform – which is the second area of reform – has almost not progressed at all."

Israeli Arabs Pleased at Labor Party Selection

Israeli Arab leaders applauded the election of Haifa Mayor Amram Mitzna as leader of the Labor Party, THE JERUSALEM POST reported.

"Mitzna, as mayor of the largest mixed Jewish-Arab city, proved he was a mayor of all of Haifa’s residents by also consulting Arabs and bringing some of them into positions of authority," Muhammad Zeidan, head of the local council of Kafr Manda near Nazareth, said on Wednesday. "He also succeeded… in helping to preserve the good relations between Jews and Arabs in the city despite the very difficult times. If he can copy his actions in Haifa on the national political map it will be a very fine thing," he added.

Zeidan’s comments were echoed by Sameach Abu-Mukh, a Labor Party supporter who headed Mitzna’s primary campaign in Baka al-Gharbiya. Abu-Mukh said he was disappointed with the voter turnout in the primaries, which reached just over 40 percent of the more than 14,500 Arab members of the Labor Party who were eligible to vote. Nevertheless, he expressed optimism that support for Labor under Mitzna would increase as his attitude and views became more widely known.

Memorial Unveiled for Victims of Jerusalem Attack

A memorial for 11 youths, aged 14 to 20, who were killed on December 1, 2001 in a double homicide attack on the Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, was unveiled on Wednesday at the scene of the attack, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, Jerusalem Police Chief Mickey Levy and family members of the victims attended the ceremony and stood for a moment of silence.

The 11 victims were killed and about 180 injured when two homicide bombers detonated themselves and minutes later a car bomb exploded nearby. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.


Israel and Nepal signed their first aviation agreement on Wednesday to establish a weekly direct flight from Tel Aviv to Katmandu and back, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. The agreement was signed between the Ministry of Transportation and an aviation and tourism delegation of Nepal. Before the agreement, Israelis traveling to Nepal were forced to stop in India or Thailand en route to Nepal.


Economic Briefs

* Cimatron, a developer of computer aided design solutions for the tooling industry, announced the signing of a distribution agreement with Mexican company Tecnum, GLOBES reported. Tecnum General Manager Guillermo Bonilla said that, "the distribution agreement with Cimatron will enable us to offer customers a full solution for the design and manufacturing process, including specialized CAD/CAM for tooling software, Computer Numeric Control machining and high-level technical support."

* M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers is in advanced negotiations for a joint investment with the government seed fund, GLOBES reported. Ministry of Industry and Trade Director General Amir Hayek, who manages the fund, said that M-Systems had presented an investment model suitable for the seed fund’s mode of operations. According to Hayek, the Ministry of Industry and Trade encourages major high-tech companies with extensive experience in investing in start-ups, to invest together with the seed fund along with Israeli venture capital funds.

Israeline — Friday, November 22, 2002 —


** Israel Remembers
** IDF Sergeant Killed in Gaza
** IDF Moves Into Bethlehem in Repsonse to Terror Attack
** Tourism Ministry Planning Eco-Friendly Resorts
** Economic Briefs


Israel Remembers

Eleven people were killed on Thursday and 48 injured, when a Palestinian homicide bomber boarded a crowded Egged bus No. 20 traveling through the Kiryat Menachem neighborhood in Jerusalem and blew himself up, HA’ARETZ ON-LINE reported. Among the dead were a mother and her son, and a grandmother and her grandson. Four of those killed were schoolchildren. These are the names and stories of the victims:

Dikla Zino, 22, of the Ir Ganim neighborhood of Jerusalem, used to take the no.20 bus to the center of the city every morning together with her 16-year-old sister, Sivan. On Thursday Dikla got up late and Sivan left on an earlier bus. Dikla boarded the bus along with the homicide bomber and was seriously injured in the head and chest when he detonated the bomb. She died on the operating table at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem. Dikla was released from the army four months ago and worked as a book-keeper. She is survived by her parents and three siblings. She will be laid to rest today at the Givat Shaul cemetery.

Sima Novak, 56, of the Ir Ganim neighborhood of Jerusalem, immigrated to Israel from the Ukraine eight years ago with her daughter Svetlana. She took the no. 20 bus as usual Thursday morning to her job as a house keeper in a home in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood. In the Ukraine, Simashe was a teacher of chemistry and biology. Novak lived with her daughter and husband, and her toddler grand-daughter. Her daughter said that several months ago she had averted death by crossing a sidewalk seconds before a suicide bomber detonated a bomb at the King George and Jaffa Street intersection. Novak will be laid to rest today.

Hodaya Asraf, 13, of the Ir Ganim neighborhood of Jerusalem, was an eighth grader enrolled at Beit Ulpana, an arts school in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem. She boarded the bus several meters from her home and was killed in the blast. Rachel Lifschitz, principal at the school Asraf attended, described Asaraf as kind and generous, and noted that she had taken part in school plays. Others remembered her as infinitely gentle. "She was the kind of girl who would not harm an ant," uncle Albert Asraf said. Hodaya was the first to be buried, in the Har Hamenuhot cemetary on Thursday afternoon.

"Her friends said the last thing she drew were leaves," Chana Ben-Ya’acov, a teacher who attended the funeral said. "The leaf has fallen."

Marina Bazarski, 46 , of the Ir Ganim neighborhood of Jerusalem, lived in a modest apartment in with her husband Alexander and their two teenage boys. Thursday, as she did every day, she took the 7 a.m. bus from Ir Ganim to Ma’ale Adumim, where she worked as a bookkeeper in a factory. "She was a charming lady," her shocked husband of 23 years said. While the family asked for its privacy, neighbors said the family arrived in Israel 10 years ago, and that "Marina was the dominant personality," in a " model family."

Kira Pearlman, 67; Ilan Pearlman, 8, both of the Ir Ganim neighborhood of Jerusalem. Kira and Ilan, grandmother and grandson, and immigrants from the Ukraine, were killed on the bus together. Kira made aliya with her family from Russia 10 years ago; Ilan was the pride of the family for being the only member born in Israel. Kira was escorting Ilan to school when they were killed. They are survived by the boy’s parents and 15-year-old brother. Kira and Ilan Perlman were buried at the Har Menuhot Cemetery in Givat Shaul.

Yafit Ravivo, 13, of the Ir Ganim neighbourhood of Jerusalem, took bus no. 20 bus every morning to Beit Hinuch, the religious school in Kiryat Moshe, where she attended the ninth grade. According to neighbors, Yafit was the quiet middle daughter of three. She is survived by her mother, Rachel, and her two sisters, and was buried Thursday at Givat Shaul. Neighbours remembered her as a "nice, shy, gentle girl, who used to read psalms every Sabbath to protect the people of Israel from terrorist attacks".

Hadassah Helena Ben-David, 32, of the Ir Ganim neighborhood of Jerusalem, immigrated to Israel with her parents from Latvia, 12 years ago. She taught mathematics at Denmark comprehensive school in Jerusalem and had recently been living with her parents after getting divorced. Ben-David had three girls aged four, three and two. Her parents heard the explosion from their home and immediately tried to reach her on her cell phone. There was no reply. On Thursday the family agonized over how to break the news to the three children. Ben-David was buried Thursday night at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem.

Yirga Mersa, 25, of Romania was a tourist who arrived in Israel five weeks ago and was staying in the Ir Ganim neighborhood of Jerusalem. He joined his sister who has been working here for several years, and began working in Jerusalem to pay back debts he incurred in Romania. He is survived by his parents and two sisters. His sister said last night that she intended to return to Romania immediately, because the sitaution here "is too dangerous."

Ella Sharshevsky, 44; Michael Sharshevsky, 16, mother and son of the Ir Ganim neighborhood of Jerusalem.
"This building is full of suffering," a neighbor of Ella Sharshevsky and her son Michael, in Ir Ganim said. "We have a single mother without money, a mother with chronic illnesses, and now this, the Sharshevsky’s and Yafit Revivo." The Sharshevskys moved in last month and were hardly known yet to their neighbors. "I left Russia to come here to lose my wife and son," one neighbor quoted the widower as saying. The mother and son were buried yesterday at Givat Shaul.


IDF Sergeant Killed in Gaza

Sergeant Major Shigdaf Garmai, 30, from Lod, was killed this morning, when a patrol near Tel Qateifa came under fire from a Palestinian sniper, HA’ARETZ reported. The soldier, a tracker, was critically wounded and died a short time later. The attack, which was followed by prolonged gunfights, occurred in the northern part of the Gush Katif just before 7am. The attacker apparently fled to territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority, entering the Dir al Balah refugee camp. Hamas’ military wing, Azzadine al Qassam, claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier today, Israel Defense Force troops killed an armed Palestinian trying to infiltrate the Netzarim community. Soldiers intercepted a group of Palestinians trying to approach the communtiy, fired at them, and in searches carried out later, found the body of the terrorist dressed in Palestinian police uniform and carrying a rifle and hand grenades.


IDF Moves Into Bethlehem in Repsonse to Terror Attack

In response to the homicide bombing attack in Jerusalem on Thursday, in which 11 Israelis were killed including four children, the Security Cabinet decided to discontinue the "Bethlehem-Gaza First" plan of former Minister of Defense Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, and ordered "wide scale, extensive operations against the terrorist infrastructure" in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, HA’ARETZ reported. The consultations with Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz yielded the decision to order the Israel Defense Forces to move into Bethlehem.

The attacker and the cell which planned the attack, are believed to have originated from Bethlehem where the IDF recently redeployed in accordance with the "Bethlehem-Gaza First" plan. Security sources said the operation would include both arresting suspected terrorists, and action against the Palestinian Authority’s security services in the city. Soldiers imposed a curfew and were searching for 30 Palestinians involved in planning Thursday’s homicide bombing and other attacks. A total of 20 people were arrested, including three who the IDF says were planning suicide attacks inside Israel. Lieutenant Colonel Aviv, the commander of the troops in Bethlehem, said today that the operation, named "Chain Reaction", has no time limit and will carry on as long as is needed.

IDF spokesman Doron Spielman, accompanying the troops, said the goal of the incursion was "to change the reality in Bethlehem." He said since Israeli forces pulled out of the town in August, Palestinians have set up a "terror infrastructure" and prepared suicide bomb attacks. He added that the PA had "failed miserably" in its responsibility to prevent attacks.


Tourism Ministry Planning Eco-Friendly Resorts

The Tourism Ministry is currently formulating plans for the development of the "the lowest park in the world" in the Dead Sea area, HA’ARETZ reported. The plan includes environmentally friendly hotels to be integrated with natural surroundings to provide a unique natural phenomenon near Masada, Qumran and Jerusalem. The eco-friendly resort will appeal to tourists seeking therapeutic, pilgrimage and desert tourism. Specifically, Kibbutz Ein Gedi will take advantage of the growing eco-tourism and offer yoga classes and herbal therapy treatment using locally grown plants. In addition to the guesthouses and baths, the kibbutz has two restaurants and safari trucks for desert treks. Kibbutz Ein Gedi’s botanical garden, the only one inhabited in the world, was chosen by National Geographic magazine as one of the 10 best botanical gardens in the world.


Economic Briefs

*Cellular telephone chipmaker DSPG is negotiating the purchase of an American company with $100 million in annual sales, HA’ARETZ reported. The acquisition candidate is involved in a related field and specializes in the development of DVD and digital camera video compression chips.

CEO Eliyahu Ayalon confirmed yesterday that the company had hired three leading U.S. investment banks to locate acquisition candidates. The companies are progressing in their negotiations, and DSPG could announce the acquisition in early 2003.

*Teva has announced that European researchers have uncovered new evidence that its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) has potential neuroprotection roperties, GLOBES reported. *According to a study published in the November issue of "Brain", which is published by Oxford University Press, Copaxone stimulates T-cells – a type of white blood cell – to produce the neuroprotection factor BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor).