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Israeline — Monday, October 7, 2002 —


** Israel Raids Hamas Stronghold in the Gaza Strip
** Israel Remembers the Soldiers Kidnapped by Hizbullah in Oct 2000
** Palestinian Involved in The Murder of Minister Ze’evy Receives Life Sentence
** Belgian Prime Minister Apologizes for Nazi Collaborators
** Economic Briefs


Israel Raids Hamas Stronghold in the Gaza Strip

Israel Defense Forces entered the Palestinian al-Amal neighborhood in the Gaza Strip today in response to 30 shooting attacks launched by Hamas from the area against the Israeli community of Gush Katif, HA’ARETZ reported. Israeli security officials called the area a Hamas stronghold that Israel had refrained from attacking since the beginning of the conflict in September 2000. IDF tanks backed by helicopters entered the city to dismantle the Hamas infrastructure. Israeli troops were withdrawing when Palestinian gunmen opened fire. During the exchange of fire, 13 Palestinians were killed and more than 50 were wounded.

Brigadier-General Yisrael Ziv, commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division said that the neighborhood was a Hamas "nest of terror" and that initial investigations into the incident revealed that Israeli forces had aimed only at armed men. "The most militant of Hamas men are located there," said Deputy Defense Minister Weizman Shiri adding that Israel regretted the loss of any civilian lives. In the course of the operation, troops arrested a Palestinian suspect and found a number of explosive devices.

Israel Remembers the Soldiers Kidnapped by Hizbullah in Oct 2000

Israel held ceremonies to mark two years since Hizbullah kidnapped three soldiers on the northern border, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. St-Sgts Benny Avraham, Omar Sawaid and Adi Avitan were abducted by Hizbullah in an ambush in the Mount Dov region in October two years ago.

President Moshe Katsav and Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon will attend a ceremony this evening in Tiberias where the Avitan family lives. Earlier this year, the IDF declared that the three soldiers were dead after receiving reliable intelligence information regarding the soldiers. According to Israel Radio, Israel is continuing its efforts to have the bodies of the three soldiers returned the families. Civilian businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was also kidnapped by Hizbullah immediately after the soldiers’ abduction, is still presumed alive.

Palestinian Involved in The Murder of Minister Ze’evy Receives Life Sentence

The Jerusalem District Court gave a life sentence today to a Palestinian found guilty of aiding and abetting the murder of cabinet minister Rehavam Ze’evi last year, HA’ARETZ reported. Mohammed Rimawi, a resident of Beit Rima near Ramallah, drove Ze’evi’s killer from the Hyatt Hotel after he gunned down Ze’evi in the hallway outside his room. The court also convicted Salah Alawi, a resident of Azzariyeh in eastern Jerusalem, for supplying food and lodging to Ze’evi’s killers in the days following the assassination. He will be sentenced in December.

Israel’s cabinet members commemorated the one-year anniversary of Minister Rechavam Ze’evi’s murder and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon praised Minister Ze’evi’s "vast knowledge of the land of Israel and its history, and his unshaken belief in the Jewish people’s right to their historical homeland." Sharon also said that, "the Jewish nation, in its struggle for its land, reserves great credit for Minister Ze’evi, from his youthful days in the Palmach, through his long and distinguished service in the IDF and until he became a Member of the Knesset and a minister." Minister of Education Limor Livnat has, in accordance with the decision by the Ministerial Committee for Symbols and Ceremonies, directed schools to dedicate one hour to his memory and discuss the late minister’s actions for the State of Israel.

Belgian Prime Minister Apologizes for Nazi Collaborators

Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt issued the country’s first official apology on Sunday, for his country’s complicity in deporting 70,000 Jews to Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. In a ceremony commemorating the 60th anniversary of the first deportations from Belgium, Verhofstadt said that his country must acknowledge those deeds and assume responsibility. "There were too many collaborators in Belgium. We should have the courage to say it, to acknowledge it and to bear it," he said. He also paid homage to those who did not cooperate with the Nazis, such as municipal officials in Brussels who refused to force Jewish residents to wear yellow stars on their clothes.

Dr. Avi Becker, the Secretary-General of the World Jewish Congress, said that Verhofstadt’s apology was a direct result of the report published two months ago by a committee of historians set up by the government. The report revealed that some Belgians had collaborated in the misappropriation of Jewish property."

Economic Briefs

* U.S. company NetScreen Technologies, which provides Internet security solutions, announced that it has opened a sales office in Hod HaSharon, not far from the headquarters of its Israeli rival, Check Point, GLOBES reported. The company said it expanded into the Israeli market after noticing a growing interest in the Internet security market for hardware-based network devices.

* The Industry and Trade Ministry’s Investment Center approved nine investment plans worth $14 million, HA’ARETZ reported. Haifa’s MediGuide received a grant for a $850,000 plant to produce cardiovascular tracking devices. About half the state money went to Nice Systems for a $7.1 million expansion of its Ra’anana production plant for digital recording and storage systems. Kiryat Shimona’s Rimoni, manufacturer of bottle caps and lids, gasoline filters and seat parts, received a $3.45 million grant for the expansion of its plant. A factory that manufactures citrus fruit sorting systems in the Western Galilee received $1.5 million for its expansion plans.

Israeline — Tuesday, October 8, 2002 —


** Four Israelis Wounded in West Bank Shooting Attack
** Hamas Issues Hit List of 100 Israeli Officers
** Arafat Likely to Appoint Hanna Siniora as Next PLO Ambassador to DC
** Israeli Woman Ranked 34th Most Powerful Female in Business World
** Economic Briefs


Four Israelis Wounded in West Bank Shooting Attack
Four Israelis were wounded today, in a shooting attack on a vehicle at an intersection south of the West Bank city of Hebron, THE JERUSALEM POST reported.

According to medical and military officials, gunmen fired on the car as it reached the Zeif Junction outside Hebron, shortly before noon.

One of the wounded was listed in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head, at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem. The driver and another wounded passenger were also being treated at Hadassah, with one listed in serious condition, the other moderate, while the fourth victim was taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. The victims’ identities were not released, but medics said they were not members of the same family.

According to Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL, the car ran off the road after being shot at, crashing into an olive grove. The report described the victims as residents of central Israel. as initially reported.

The site of today’s attack is the same intersection where St.-Sgt. Elazar Leibovitch, and civilians Ya’acov Dickstein, his wife Hannah and their nine-year-old son Shuv-El were gunned down in an ambush in July.

Meanwhile, according to YEDIOT AHARONOT, in a special interview with the Armed Forces Magazine, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak blamed the Palestinians for instigating the two-year long violent conflict with Israel. Mubarak said that Israel made many concessions at Camp David and Taba, and that the Palestinians were prepared to sabotage the peace process and turn to violence to force Israel to yield even more. Mubarak also emphasized in his interview that the Israel-Egypt peace agreement is still valid, despite ongoing pressures on his administration to cut ties with Israel.

Hamas Issues Hit List of 100 Israeli Officers
According to security sources, Hamas issued a hit list of one hundred Israeli pilots and Israel Defense Forces officers serving in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, MA’ARIV reported. The sources say that in addition to the names of the officers, the organization knows their private addresses and even their routes. The list shows that the terrorists focus on officers that live in places populated with military and security personnel, such as Kochav Yair, Modi’in, Mevaseret Zion, Ra’anana and Ramat Ha’sharon.

As a result of these warnings, the IDF has taken special security measures and increased the protection of high-ranking officers. In addition, thousands of IDF officers received a videotape instructing them how to protect their homes and how to vary their daily routine to throw off potential attackers.

Arafat Likely to Appoint Hanna Siniora as Next PLO Ambassador to DC
Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat met over the weekend with east Jerusalem publisher Hanna Siniora and reaffirmed that he will be appointed the next Palestinian ambassador to Washington, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Siniora, publisher of The Jerusalem Times and a longtime advocate of coexistence between Jews and Arabs, returned from a visit to Washington last week. During the visit, he met with U.S. officials and members of the Palestinian community in the U.S. One of the purposes of the visit was to prepare the ground for the new mission in Washington.

Arafat reportedly told Siniora he will be dispatched to Washington after the formation of a new Palestinian cabinet. On Monday, Arafat asked the Palestinian Legislative Council for an additional four weeks to complete setting up the new cabinet, which is expected to consist of 18 members.

Siniora, 63, a Christian from east Jerusalem, is expected to replace the current Palestinian envoy, Hasan Abdel-Rahman.

Israeli Woman Ranked 34th Most Powerful Female in Business World
The President and CEO of Bank Leumi Galia Maor was ranked by the American magazine Fortune as the 34th most powerful, on the annual international list "Most Powerful Women in Business," YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. Each year Fortune issues a list of the fifty most influential women in the world. Last year, Maor was ranked 41st.

According to the magazine, "Maor, who had spent 26 years at the Bank of Israel, took the reins of Israel’s second-largest bank in 1995. Last year, when the economy hit the skids, Bank Leumi had assets of $53 billion, $5 billion in revenues, and net income of $200 million."

Economic Briefs

* Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ Israeli life sciences corporate finance group has teamed with Burrill & Company of San Francisco in a new alliance aimed at helping Israeli biotech companies conclude significant strategic agreements worldwide, GLOBES reported.
Burrill & Company is a life sciences merchant bank, focused on companies involved in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, human healthcare and related medical technologies. The firm believes the alliance agreement with PwC’s Life Sciences Transaction Support unit in Tel Aviv will accelerate global partnering with biotech companies based in Israel.

* CIO magazine announced it has named Check Point chairman and CEO Gil Shwed as winner of the 2002 CIO 20/20 Vision Awards, GLOBES reported. CIO is a magazine for chief information officers and other information executives. Shwed is recognized as one of the "20 Who Made It Possible" with industry figures such as Microsoft Founder Bill Gates, Dell Computer Corporation Chairman and CEO Michael Dell, IBM Chairman Lou Gerstner, Sun Microsystems Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy and Siebel Systems Chairman and CEO Thomas Siebel.

Shwed has led Check Point to become the worldwide market leader in Internet security, with over 236,000 installations and over 107 million users, the report noted.

Israeline — Wednesday, October 9, 2002 —

** Israel Security Forces Prevent Homicide Bombing
** IDF Dismantles Illegal Outposts in West Bank
** Education Ministry Call for School Dialogue on Israeli-Arab Riots of October 2000
** Jordanians to Repair Temple Mount
** Two Israeli Authors Nominated for Nobel Prize for Literature
** Economic Briefs


Israel Security Forces Prevent Homicide Bombing
IDF forces stopped a Palestinian terrorist who was attempting to infiltrate the Jewish neighborhood of Morag in the Gaza Strip today Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. Soldiers opened fire on the terrorist, but he successfully fled the scene. Security forces are currently conducting searches in the area for suspects.

Meanwhile, a bomb contained in a hot water boiler made up of 100 kilograms (220 LBS) of explosive materials was discovered in Gush Katif today at the area known as the "Philadelphia Route", Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. Bomb squad personnel are working to neutralize the device.

According to MA’ARIV, a homicide bomber was shot dead by security forces operating between Chermesh and Baka el-Sharqiya, in the West Bank on Sunday.

Israeli Defense Force troops also arrested 15 Palestinians suspected of belonging to terror cells that carried out bombings in Hebron, Ramallah, Tul Karem and Nablus.

In other incidents, a group of youths from the Nablus refugee camp threw rocks at border patrolmen who responded with riot control measures. According to Israeli sources, "the soldiers fired into the air and when that did not help, they fired at the feet of two of the rioters. They saw one was hit and an ambulance took him away." Additionally, in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, two soldiers were lightly wounded by gunfire when shots were fired at an IDF post near Rafiah, on the Israel-Egypt border. The IDF spokesperson said that the pair was taken to hospital.


IDF Dismantles Illegal Outposts in West Bank
In accordance with a decision made by Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Israel Defesne Forces dismantled the two illegal outposts in the West Bank today HA’ARETZ reported.. "This will not be the last evacuation," Deputy Defense Minster Weizman Shiri said, adding that Ben-Eliezer "will continue to evacuate, because that is what must be done when we are speaking of an illegal action." It was initially reported that three outposts were removed, but one of the three was reportedly left standing. The move on Tuesday came hours after Ben-Eliezer on Tuesday ordered the army to begin evacuating illegal community outposts in the West Bank.

Security sources said that current plans call for the removal of an additional 20 to 30 illegal outposts. There were no Israelis living in the outposts evacuated on Wednesday and there was no resistance to the clearing of the site.

Community leaders in the West Bank condemned the move. Weizman responded to the criticism saying that "During this period, when IDF soldiers are stretched to the maximum, we can’t have a situation in which people are not only breaking the law by setting up illegal outposts which must be guarded, they are endangering IDF soldiers as well as their own families."

Education Ministry Call for School Dialogue on Israeli-Arab Riots of October 2000
For the first time since the outbreak of Palestinian violence two years ago, the Education Ministry is sponsoring a current-events initiative to foster discussion of controversial political topics, HA’ARETZ reported. Ministry Director General Ronit Tirosh said on Tuesday that the classroom time devoted to the events which occurred during the Israeli -Arab community riots in October 2000 will soon be incorporated in secondary school curricula for students in Arab language schools in Haifa and northern regions. This will enable thousands of junior high and high school students in 140 Arab-language schools to express their feelings about the tensions that developed during October 2000 and in subsequent months, Tirosh told school principals and senior education officials from the north.

Tirosh stressed the significance of the events in her comments on Tuesday and said "October is part of a series of hard experiences that Israeli society has experienced in relations between Jews and Israeli Arabs. Twelve Arab citizens and one Jewish citizen were killed in this trying month … A state committee of inquiry was formed to investigate the events. Feelings stirred by the ongoing situation … are complex and related to claims of continuing neglect of the Arab community." Tirosh also asked teachers and principals to encourage students to "express their anger, pain, frustration, disappointment and anxiety about the situation." The new initiative would provide room for "an array descriptions of reality provided by teachers, pupils and parents, all based on different standpoints."

Jordanians to Repair Temple Mount
A bulge in the southern wall of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount will be repaired by a team of Jordanian engineers who inspected the protruding wall earlier this week, easing a year-long dispute between Israeli authorities and the Islamic Wakf, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The decision to let the Jordanians perform the tests resulted from a top-level meeting headed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last week, and followed repeated warnings by Israeli archeologists that sections of the wall were in imminent danger of collapse. It also comes just a month before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in which hundreds of thousands of Muslims are expected to come to the site. Sharon met with Israel Antiquities Authority head Shuka Dorfman, Internal Minister of Security Uzi Landau, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, and Jerusalem police chief Commander Mickey Levy last week to discuss the issue. Facing a "Ramadan deadline," the group decided that it would be in Israel’s best interests to allow the Jordanians to carry out the work, Ra’anan Gissin said. "It was in our interests that the Jordanians be involved in the work," Gissin said, noting that the Palestinian-appointed Wakf could not reject the compromise suggestion due to the Jordanians’ past position as supervisors of the site.

Experts believe the bulge stems from unauthorized Wakf construction work at Solomon’s Stables, located just above the site of the bulge. That expansion work was most intense in 1996, shortly after Palestinian violence erupted over Israel’s opening of an emergency exit to the Western Wall tunnels. Fearing renewed Palestinian violence, police have barred non-Muslims, including archeologists, from entering the Mount since the violence began in September 2000, leaving the area without any archaeological supervision.

Two Israeli Authors Nominated for Nobel Prize for Literature
Two Israeli writers, Amos Oz and David Grossman have been nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature, YEDIOT AHRONOT reported. The 18- member academy has already chosen the winners and they will be announced tomorrow.
Amos Oz is regarded as one of Israel’s preeminent writers whose works include My Michael, A Perfect Peace, The Black Box and To Know A Woman. He is a Hebrew literature professor at Ben-Gurion University and his books have been translated into dozens of languages.
Second nominee, David Grossman, is the author of books including See Under: Love, Be My Knife and The Yellow Wind. Grossman refused to comment on the nomination while Oz, who is overseas at the moment, could not be contacted.

Economic Briefs

BigBand Networks announced a $3 million strategic investment from the Time Warner-AOL venture capital fund, HA’ARETZ reported. The financing completes a third-round for the Israeli startup, which supplies broadband systems for television broadcasts and BigBand recently signed a contract with AT&T Broadband, one of the five largest cable service companies in the United States. AT&T Broadband will be using the startup’s broadband multimedia router in the Atlanta, Georgia, area.

* The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences today announced its decision that the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, 2002, will be shared between Israeli-US citizen Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University and Vernon L. Smith of George Mason University. Kahneman was cited "for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty", and Smith was noted "for having established laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical economic analysis, especially in the study of alternative market mechanisms".

Today’s Israel Line was prepared by Jonathan Schienberg and Caryn Farber at the Consulate General of Israel in New York.

Israeline — Thursday, October 10, 2002 —


** Woman Killed in Homicide Bombing Near Bar Ilan University
** Israeli Wins Nobel Prize in Economics
** Jewish NYPD to Show Solidarity with Israel
** Economic Briefs


Woman Killed in Homicide Bombing Near Bar Ilan University
Sa’ada Aharon, 71, from Ramat Gan was killed this morning when a homicide bomber blew himself up while trying to board Dan bus No. 87 across from Bar-Ilan University on the Geha highway, MA’ARIV ON-LINE reported. About 30 people were injured, one seriously, while others sustained light injuries. The Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Minutes before 8 a.m., the bomber slipped as he tried to board the bus through the back door. Baruch Neuman, the bus driver, and a passenger, got off the bus to help him and discovered that he had an explosive belt strapped to his waist. The two gripped his hands to prevent him from detonating and shouted to the passengers on the bus to flee. Once the passengers were out of range, they released the bomber’s hands fled the scene too. The bomber got up, walked a few meters and blew himself up.

Neuman told reporters that he had "no idea the man was a terrorist … We started checking him. When we opened his shirt we saw the [explosives] belt. We saw the wires. I was in shock. We each grabbed one of his hands. I knew that if he blew himself up, there would be a lot of dead people." Tel Aviv police chief Yossi Sedbon said that Neuman and the passenger prevented a "major disaster." He added that had the bomber blown himself up on the bus, there would have been many casualties, as there were some 50 passengers on board.
Sa’ada Aharon had boarded the bus traveling from Petah Tikva to Tel Hashomer on her way to work when the bomber detonated the charge. She was mortally wounded and pronounced dead at the hospital. Sa’ada, from a Yemenite family, was devoted to her children and grandchildren. Her granddaughter Moran said that, "she was the best grandmother. We would go to her house to eat and to sleep. She didn’t look at all old – she had a pretty face, and always wore colorful scarves."

Sa’ada was buried today in Rosh Ha’ayin and is survived by her husband, three children and 15 grandchildren.

Meanwhile, according to YEDIOT AHARONOT, Oded Wolk, 51, from Modi’in, who was critically injured in a shooting attack south of Hebron on October 8, died of his wounds on Wednesday. Wolk, who worked at the Jewish National Fund for 20 years as a tour guide, was on his way home from the southern city of Arad and decided to travel via Hebron. His friends said he "had an encyclopedic knowledge of the land" and according to his girlfriend, Tiki Naveh, always dreamed of the day when Jews and Arabs would live together in peace.

Wolk was buried today at the Hod Hasharon cemetery and is survived by three children.

Israeli Wins Nobel Prize in Economics

Daniel Kahneman, 68, an Israeli professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University in New Jersey, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics on Wednesday, HA’ARETZ reported. Kahneman, who is the fifth Israeli to win the Nobel Prize, shares the prestigious award with his American colleague, Vernon L. Smith, who is a faculty member at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. The $1 million prize will be divided between the two winners.
Kahneman won the Nobel for his pioneering work on integrating insights from psychology into economics. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in its citation that "concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty, he has demonstrated how human decisions may systematically depart from those predicted by standard economic theory." In addition, Kahneman and another colleague, Amos Tversky (who died in 1996), developed an alternative model, known as the prospect theory, that according to the academy "can be used to better explain behavioral patterns which appear to be anomalies from the perspective of traditional theory."
Kahneman, who holds both Israeli and American citizenship, was born in Tel Aviv and received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology and mathematics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1961. He has taught at the Hebrew University, the University of British Columbia and was a professor at Berkeley. Kahneman has been at Princeton since 1993.

Jewish NYPD to Show Solidarity with Israel

Fifteen Jewish NYPD policemen and policewomen will arrive in Israel to show their solidarity, and support and help the state, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. The fifteen are members of Shomrim Society, an organization of Jewish police officers in New York, which has about 2,800 members. Fourteen out of the fifteen policemen are in active duty.

The policemen will not be able to arrive as an official delegation of the NYPD, because of the NYPD’s policy to avoid interfering in foreign conflicts. However, according to Shomrim’s President Harriet Bartomeo, they will be allowed to wear their uniforms during the visit. Bartomeo told Yediot Aharonot that "we may not be able to fight with Israel, but we want to show our solidarity and support, and to help as much as possible."

The organization’s spokesperson David Goldenberg raised the idea of showing solidarity with Israel after the Passover Massacre in Netanya. "As a Jew it was hard for me to see my brothers and sisters in Israel being murdered in terror attacks. As a policeman I thought about what can be done to help with the morale in Israel," Goldenberg said. He added that the group will arrive "whenever Israel will need our help."

Economic Briefs

* Israel leads the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries with the highest level of venture capital investment in proportion to Gross Domestic Product, according to a comparative study made by the OECD, which was presented during a recent conference in Paris, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Between 1998 and 2001, Israel invested 1.3 percent of GDP in venture capital investments while Britain invested 0.7 percent, the United States and Sweden 0.6 percent, the European Union 0.3 percent and Japan 0.03 percent.

* In an article in "Journal of Economic Literature," former International Monetary Fund First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer wrote that Israel is the only country that survived hyper-inflation with relative stability and without reverting to high inflation, thanks to the Bank of Israel’s determined monetary policy, GLOBES reported. Other countries that suffered hyper-inflation, especially in South America, reverted to high inflation and instability.