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Israeline — Monday, October 21, 2002 —


** At Least 14 Dead and 50 Injured by a Car Bomb Near Pardes Hana
** Two Palestinian Terrorists Attempt to Infiltrate Kfar Dorom
** Sharon: Any Attack Against Security Forces is an Attack on the Rule of Law
** Bin Laden Planned to Attack Israeli Targets
** Sharon Grants Special Benefits to All New Immigrants
** Economic Briefs


At Least 14 Dead and 50 Injured by a Car Bomb Near Pardes Hana
At least fourteen dead and fifty injured in a bus bombing near the Karkur Junction outside Pardes Hana, YEDIOT AHARONOT ON-LINE reported. The bombing was similar to one at the Megiddo Junction at the beginning of June, which claimed the lives of 18 people.

Police spokesmen said the car that caused the attack crossed into Israel from the West Bank in the Umm el-Fahm area.The injured were taken to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera and Haemek Hospital in Afula.
Islamic Jihad, Al Quds Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two Palestinian Terrorists Attempt to Infiltrate Kfar Dorom
Israel Defense Forces killed two Palestinian terrorists attempting to infiltrate the Jewish neighborhood of Kfar Dorom in the Gaza Strip today, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. Meanwhile, Palestinians opened fire at IDF soldiers positioned in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, and at soldiers in the Gush Katif area in the Gaza Strip this morning. No injuries or damages were reported.

Also, a high security alert was in effect in the central part of Israel today following intelligence reports of a planned terror attack. Increased security forces are present in the area surrounding Wadi Ara located in northern Israel.
In other news, IDF forces destroyed the home of Islamic Jihad terrorist Rafik Sharif Rob in the village of Katbia south of Jenin today. Rob was responsible for carrying out an attack in Neve Shaanan last year.


Sharon: Any Attack Against Security Forces is an Attack on the Rule of Law
Jewish residents in the West Bank clashed with Palestinians near the neighborhood of Shvut Rachel, south of Nablus today, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. A rumor was disseminated in the mosques in the area that Jewish residents killed a Palestinian and that in response Palestinians in the area burned a field belonging to Shvut Rachel.
It was also reported that Jewish residents in the West Bank confronted Palestinians in the olive groves of Turmisaya and burned three Palestinian vehicles today. Police arrested four young Jewish residents in illegal outposts near Har Bracha in the Nablus area, after a Palestinian resident of Klil lodged a complaint that the four had stolen his olive harvest.

In other news, a commander of a reserve division accused of abusing a Palestinan man in the West Bank city of Bethlehem during Operation Defensive Shield earlier this year, has been relieved of his post, HA’ARETZ reported. Lt. Col. (res.) Geva Saguy was charged with extortion, behavior unbecoming an officer and exceeding his authority to the point of endangering human life during his battalion’s service in the Bethlehem area last April.

Meanwhile, one hundred and eighty Jewish residents in the West Bank clashed with Israel Defense Forces soldiers on Saturday evening after the IDF dismantled an illegal outpost in Havat Gilad, injuring 40 people on both sides, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. Residents were burning tires, setting brush fires in the fields surrounding Havat Gilad and throwing stones at soldiers to thwart the planned demolition of the outpost.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Sunday sharply condemned the demonstrators’ forceful resistance against the army’s orders to evacuate. "Any attack against the IDF, the security forces or the police, is an attack on the rule of law," Sharon said. He added, "Protest, no matter how justified, must be within the framework of the law."

Bin Laden Planned to Attack Israeli Targets
Osama bin Laden planned a series of attacks against Israel and Israelis in Asia, HA’ARETZ reported. The information was revealed during testimony given to the CIA by one of bin Laden’s senior assistants, Omar Farouk, and in documents seized by the American intelligence services.

Farouk was arrested in Indonesia in June and extradited to CIA investigators in Afghanistan. He told investigators that bin Laden, together with other al-Qaida militants, had a variety of plans to kill Westerners, Indonesians and Israelis, including a plan to shoot Americans and Israelis staying in hotels in Indonesia. The plan was abandoned as it would not have a large-scale impact. Another plan was to hijack a passenger airplane and to crash it into an Israeli target.


Sharon Grants Special Benefits to All New Immigrants
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Deputy Minister of Immigration and Absorption Yuli Edelstein decided on Sunday to extend eligibility of immigration benefits to all new immigrants, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. To date, benefits have been extended only to immigrants from ‘distressed countries’ such as Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, Argentina and Uruguay.

North America is not on the list of 40 countries "in distress" whose immigrants are given a first year benefit of $10,000 per family, in addition to mortgage reductions, tax reductions, and tuition for Hebrew classes or scholarships for schools. Other immigrants receive $2,500 over the first six months, in addition to tax and mortgage reductions.
Edelstein was inspired to provide additional benefits after 400 North Americans made aliyah this past summer through a privately funded program, Nefesh b’Nefesh, founded by Rabbi Joshua Fass. "I thought if one private person can do this, why can’t the State of Israel, Edelstein said."

The move to offer equal aid would require Cabinet approval. Edelstein said he believes it will come before the cabinet in the next few weeks.

Economic Briefs

* Cellcom announced on Sunday that it is launching a color multimedia services platform, bought from Samsung subsidiary MPEON, GLOBES reported. the agreement between the two companies is worth $800,000, including the purchase of content, such as games, icons, tones, animation and video clips. Cellcom also announced it will begin marketing the new Nokia 7650 cellular telephone, equipped with a built-in digital camera, capable of filming and sending 15-second video clips.

* The South Korean government is attempting to expand its defense ties with Israel, GLOBES reported. South Korean Air Force Major General and head of military procurement Shin Bo-hyun will visit Israel this week for talks. In recent years, South Korea’s military relations with Israel have been reflected mainly in the procurement of military systems and the upgrading of existing platforms. Israeli industries are competing in a number of large tenders published in Seoul.

Correction: The headline of First Arab Deputy Minister Appointed on Friday, October 18th should have read First Arab Deputy Director General in an Israeli Government Office Appointed.

Israeline — Wednesday, October 23, 2002 —


** Israel Remembers
** Burns Arrives in Region to Discuss White House "Road Map"
** Leader Of Islamic Jihad Calls for Continued Terror Attacks
** IDF Kitchens Donate Leftovers To Charities
** Waitress Receives Full University Scholarship as Tip
** Economic Briefs


Israel Remembers
At least 14 people were killed on Monday afternoon and over 40 injured, twenty-five of whom are still hospitalized, after two homicide bombers in a car laden with 250 lbs of explosives detonated next to a bus filled with passengers near Hadera, HA’ARETZ reported. Several of the victims have yet to be identified to the severity of their burns. The following are the names and stories of some of the victims who were positively identified.

Sgt. Esther (Etti) Pisahov, 19, a border policewoman from Givat Olga, Pisahov had boarded the No. 841 Egged bus at the stop adjacent to the Border Police Memorial in Wadi Ara, where she served with two others killed in the attack, St.-Sgt. Aiman Sharuf and St.-Sgt. Liat Ben-Ami. Pisahov was in charge of maintaining contact with the bereaved families. "We served together for half a year," a friend from her unit said. "She was so devoted to her job. She visited the bereaved families, cared for them. She was an angel in uniform." Pisahov’s cousin, Shoshana Reis, was murdered by a terrorist car bomber in Hadera two years ago. Pisahov will be buried in the Hadera Military Cemetery. She is survived by her parents, Shmova and Ella, a sister, Raya, 20, and two brothers.

Cpl. Sharon Tubol, 19, of Arad, boarded the bus for home and was killed instantly in the explosion. Tubol was on special leave from the army, where she served on a base in the Golan Heights. She was heading home to prepare for her sister Miri’s wedding. The affair, which had been scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed. The youngest in the family, Tubol grew up in Arad and graduated from the Mitzpe Ramon High School of the Arts, majoring in theater. She was inducted in the army just a month ago. Army mates described her as a "colorful, warm-hearted person," who loved to go out to the pub in Arad, and with whom "every phone call turned into an laugh-filled event." Her father, Avraham Tubol, a former director of the Masada archeological site, died last year. Cpl. Sharon Tubol was buried in the military section of the Arad Cemetery. She is survived by her mother, two brothers, and a sister.

Iris Lavi, 68, of Netanya, was traveling in a car close to the booby-trapped jeep that exploded at the Karkur junction. She died on the spot. Her husband, Zion, and her brother and sister-in-law, who were also in the car, sustained burns in the attack. The four were returning home after visiting holy grave sites at Meron. Lavi came to Israel from Libya at the age of 15. Her daughter, Rahel, related that her mother always helped people in need. Before her retirement, Lavi had worked as an aide in a pre-school and she volunteered on behalf of Israel Defense Forces soldiers. Lavi was buried in Netanya on Tuesday. She is survived by her husband, Zion, five children, eight grandchildren, and their first great-granddaughter, Noga, born just two months ago.

Suad Jaber, 23, of Taibe, was a student of political science and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Haifa. She was the eldest of three children. Jaber was on her way to the university to hand in a final paper in order to complete her degree requirements when she was killed. Suad Jaber was buried in Taibe on Tuesday. She is survived by her parents, a brother and sister.

Burns Arrives in Region to Discuss White House "Road Map"
S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs William Burns arrived in Israel today for talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders excluding Yasser Arafat, HA’ARETZ reported. Burns is due to meet tonight with Peres, Director of the Prime Minister’s office Dov Weisglass, and several senior defense offcials. On Thursday, Burns is slated to meet with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Minister of Defense Benjamin Ben-Eliezer. He will also be meeting with senior Palestinian officials.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres said that the talks with Burns over the "road map" peace plan were unlikely to yield significant positive developments right away. He added, however, that Israel was closely studying the draft. "President Bush’s vision speaks of the establishment of a Palestinian state in another three years. The road map naturally relates to that statement of the president." Peres added that Israel had to right to provide input on the plan expected to be the focus of Burns’ meetings. "We have accepted President Bush’s vision. What I can say is that the road map given to us can be considered a draft, and they expected us to submit our remarks by December," Peres said.

Speaking on the same topic on Tuesaday to representatives from the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League in Jerusalem, Sharon said "…we have to stick to what was agreed in Washington regarding the Bush plan. It is of utmost importance that any progress to each stage be conditioned to the implementation of the previous stage. All progress has to be conditioned to determined action against terror and incitement. If that doesn’t happen, it will be impossible to move toward a demilitarized state without final borders."

The six-page plan issued by the White House was worked out by the Quartet, the U.S., EU, UN and Russia, and the Americans are now collecting Israeli, Palestinian and other regional comments on it before a final draft is approved by the Quartet in December. Among other things, the plan calls for the Palestinians to name a prime minister, reorganize their security forces into a single entity, and to reinstate security coordination and cooperation with Israel. A new security cooperation agreement is also envisaged. The plan would put Quartet supervisors in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to judge when the sides have reached each stage, so they can move onto the next one. For its part, Israel is to withdraw to September 28, 2000 lines, dismantle illegal outposts and cease military operations in PA areas.

Leader Of Islamic Jihad Calls for Continued Terror Attacks
The leader of the Islamic Jihad movement in Jenin attacked Palestinians who have criticized suicide bombings on Tuesday, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. He said his group is determined to continue its attacks against Israel and called on the Palestinian Authority to abandon the Oslo Accords and return to the ‘resistance option.’ Bassam Sa’di, 42, who has been on Israel’s wanted list for many years, was speaking shortly after his movement claimed responsibility for Monday’s car bomb attack that killed 14 people near Karkur. "The Palestinian people are realizing now, more than ever, that resistance, unity, and the dismissal of all so-called peace agreements should be our strategy," Sa’di said. Israel holds Sa’di responsible for a series of homicide bombings that took place inside the Green Line over the past two years. Attempts to arrest him during Operation Defensive Shield failed because he fled his home in the Jenin refugee camp

Asked to describe the relationship between the PA and Islamic Jihad, he said: "Our relationship is governed by the right to resist and to fight the occupation, and to adhere to the main principles of the Palestinian people. All the attempts of our enemy to destroy our internal unity will fail. The Islamic Jihad strategy is built on resisting the occupation. The closer the Palestinian Authority gets to resistance, the better our relationship becomes."

IDF Kitchens Donate Leftovers To Charities
Beginning today, fifty Israeli army kitchens will donate leftover meals from soldiers’ lunches to food charities and soup kitchens around the country, MAARIV reported. The new army policy will allow 10,000 cooked meals worth 18 million shekels (US$ 3.75 million) to be delivered daily to organizations that help feed the needy and the poor. The policy dictates that only frozen items and food remaining in the pots can be donated while leftovers from the tables will still be disposed of.

The decision to offer the meals to charities came after the army recognized that it was discarding tons of cooked food each day because of over-supply. "The thousands of people who try each day to fill empty bellies with a bowl of soup and a piece of bread will now be able to enjoy the excellent food produced by the Israeli Defense Force and keep healthy," Deputy Minister of Defense, Weizman Shiri who spearheaded the move along with Deputy Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi said.

Waitress Receives Full University Scholarship as Tip
A waitress in Eilat received a full university scholarship after she won the hearts of two patrons to whom she served food, YEDIOT AHARONOT ON-LINE reported. The two older men said they were captivated by the young woman’s friendly disposition and chatted with her about her life’s goals and her dream of attending university. "Do you believe in fate?" one of them asked, revealing that they were philanthropists from Israel and Switzerland who had donated money towards building the new Ben-Gurion University campus in Israel’s southern city of Be’er Sheva. The two, who were in town to attend the university’s inauguration of the new campus, went on to offer the waitress a full scholarship worth more than 30 thousand shekels ($7,500).

Although the woman doubted the truth of the offer, she arrived at Ben-Gurion the next day to find that she had been registered. "It’s the biggest tip I’ve ever received in my whole life," she said. "The scholarship has shown me that miracles do happen." She said that she had taken the men’s email addresses and that they planned to stay in touch. "I want to thank these two men from the bottom of my heart for making my dream come true." The two philanthropists, who prefer to remain anonymous, said that there was no ulterior motive behind the story. "We saw a young woman who excelled at her work and we wanted to make her happy."

Economic Briefs

Ra’anana-based Nice Systems announced that it has won a seven figure deal to install its video recording solution at Toronto Pearson International Airport, GLOBES reported. Under the terms of the deal, NICE will supply the airport with high-resolution digital video recorders supporting hundreds of cameras. According to NICE, the solution will be part of a larger security system upgrade to address growing security requirements. NICE’s portion of the project is expected to be completed by the spring of 2003.

Motorola Israel will supply 630 communications systems to the police in Pennsylvania for $6.9 million, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The systems, along with Premier MDC software packages needed for their usage, will be produced in Motorola’s plant in Arad. The systems to be installed in 1,200 police vehicles, will provide cellular access to police databases, allowing officers to check out photographs, maps, and text.

Israeline — Thursday, October 24, 2002 —


** Burns: PA Must Act Against Terror if it Wants Statehood
** Israel Remembers
** IDF Officer Suspected of Spying for Hizbullah
** Shalom Introduces 2003 State Budget
** Economic Briefs


Burns: PA Must Act Against Terror if it Wants Statehood
During a meeting with senior Palestinian Authority officials today, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs William Burns said that the Palestinians must take action against "militants" and get serious about internal reform if they want to embark on the road to statehood, as outlined in a new Mideast peace plan, HA’ARETZ reported. "It is only through decisive action to end terror and violence, and decisive action to reform in preparation for Palestinian statehood, that we are going to be able to move ahead on a practical pathway to end this terrible conflict," Burns said.
Meanwhile, the Israeli ministerial team for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians is slated to meet this evening with its Palestinian counterparts to continue talks from last week. In the meeting with Burns on Wednesday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres said Israel was currently allowing 50,000 Palestinians to work within Israel, which means that some $250 million would go "directly into the pockets of the [Palestinian] residents."


Israel Remembers

All 14 people killed on Monday afternoon when two homicide bombers in a car laden with explosives detonated next to a bus filled with passengers near Hadera, have been identified as of Wednesday night, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. The following are the rest of their names and their stories:

St. Sgt. Liat Ben-Ami, 20, a border policewoman from Haifa boarded the No. 841 Egged bus at the stop adjacent to the Border Police Memorial in Wadi Ara, where she served with two others killed in the attack, St. Sgt. Aiman Sharuf and Sgt. Esther Pisahov. Having passed a squad leadership course with honors, Liat spent time in active service before transferring two months ago to become a guide at the Border Police memorial site at the Barkai junction. While serving in a combat unit along the Green Line she participated in patrols in the Jenin region. Kobi Levi, a family friend, said that "when Liat was in dangerous places nothing happened to her. And now, she gets killed on her way home."
Liat was buried in the military section of the Neve David Cemetery in Haifa. She is survived by her parents, and two siblings.

Osnat Abramov, 16, from Holon, was killed while returning home by bus after spending a fun day with friends in Tiberias. Her family immigrated to Israel from Bukhara in Uzbekistan in 1991. Osnat was in the eleventh grade at the Yavne High School in Holon. Her classmates described her as "a quiet, excellent student, who always had a smile on her face."

Osnat was buried at the Ramle Cemetery. She is survived by her parents, a brother and three sisters.

Indelou Ashati, 54, from Hadera, was killed on his way home from visiting his daughter, who is in a medical facility in Tiberias. The Ashati family immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia in 1991, during Operation Solomon and settled in Hadera. Indelou worked for the Jewish National Fund and the Israel Electric Corporation. Four years ago, his son, Solomon died at the age of 5. Asher Chekol, who was in charge of the absorption process of the family, said "the Ashatis are a warm and humble family and that Indelou was its pillar."

Indelou was buried at the Hadera cemetary. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Sergei Shavchuk, 35, from Afula, was on his way home from his work in Tiberias and should have gotten off in Afula but fell asleep and missed the stop. Sergei immigrated to Israel from Ukraine with his wife, Alexandra, over seven years ago. He promised his son, Alex, to bring him balloons and a cake to celebrate his seventh birthday today. Sergei’s body will be flown to the Ukraine for burial, where his elderly parents live. "I still have a son," his wife said. "His parents have nothing, so I felt they should at least have a grave."

Anat Shimshon, 33, from Ra’anana, was on her way home from visiting her father in Kiryat Shmona when she was killed. After her army service in the Paratroopers Brigade, she studied management at Tel Hai College. For the last five years she was personnel manager for a furniture company. A relative remembered Anat as "a warm and loving person." Anat’s younger sister, Tal, arrived at the funeral from the United States where she worked for the "Pups for Peace" program, which trains dogs to locate explosives. Her father Amos cried "while my youngest daughter learns how to combat terrorism, my eldest is killed by terrorism."

Anat was buried at the Ra’anana Cemetery. She is survived by her parents and siblings.

IDF Officer Suspected of Spying for Hizbullah
Israel Defense Forces Lt. Col. Omar Al-Hayeb, 40, from the Bedouin village of Beit Zarzir in northern Israel, is suspected of spying for Hizbullah in exchange for drugs and money, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Al-Hayeb, who is one of ten other suspects, was brought today before a military court in Tel Aviv. Five others were charged this morning in the Nazareth District Court.

The Israel Security Agency and the police recently uncovered the Hizbullah-operated spy ring in Israel, the largest of its kind since the IDF redeployed from southern Lebanon two-and-a-half years ago. Al-Hayeb and the others are accused of trading information to Hizbullah for a prolonged period, in exchange for drugs and substantial cash payments totaling millions of dollars. According to HA’ARETZ, the suspects, relayed (or tried to relay) maps, details about sensitive intelligence facilities, and personal information about former IDF Northern Commander Maj. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, today IDF Deputy Chief of Staff, and another senior Northern Command officer. The data about the key officers was to be used by Hizbullah to assess the feasibility of an assassination attempt on them. In addition, they allegedly relayed information about IDF operations along the northern border fence, the size of deployments on the border, soldiers who serve in sensitive facilities and about tank ambushes in the north.

The spy ring, which operated for about 18 months, was discovered when a cell phone that was transferred to Hizbullah by the ring members, was found on the body of a terrorist. The terrorist penetrated Israel last March and carried out a terror attack near Kibbutz Metzuba in which six Israeli citizens were killed. The monitoring of calls to this phone was one means by which Israeli authorities cracked the spy ring case. A senior security official said that the ring caused grave security damage to the state and the recruitment of a top IDF officer is very alarming, especially given the suspect’s rank and past army experience which helped him aide the terrorists further.

Al-Hayeb is one of the most senior Bedouin officers in the IDF. He was the first Bedouin to volunteer for the Paratroopers Unit and served in many senior security positions. In 1996, he was seriously injured by a Hizbullah roadside bomb in Lebanon.


Shalom Introduces 2003 State Budget
Minister of Finance Silvan Shalom presented the NIS 269.9 billion (approximately $60 billion) 2003 state budget on Wednesday, MA’ARIV reported. The budget is based on a treasury forecast of one percent growth in 2003, which the Bank of Israel disputed in a separate statement to the press. According to the treasury presentation, the tax burden will grow by 0.7 percent, despite the expected implementation of the first year of tax reductions for the middle class as recommended by the Rabinovich Committee earlier this year.

During a press conference, Shalom said that the "budget is meant to preserve stability, and the route to stability first of all requires passing the budget in the Knesset by the end of December. If we don’t do the right things, if we don’t approve the budget, if we don’t meet our targets for the deficit, our situation could become fragile." He added that the budget includes a series of reforms, including changes to the defense budget, the labor market, income tax, and the deportation of illegal foreign workers.

The largest part of the budget, NIS 41.2 billion (approximately $9 billion) will go to the Ministry of Defense, and the smallest part of it, NIS 232 million (approximately $52 million), will go to the Ministry of the Environment.


Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Rabbi Michael Melchior received the Coventry Prize for Peace and Reconciliation by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England on Wednesday, HA’ARETZ reported. Other recipients of the prize were Archbishop Michel Sabbag, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, and Sheikh Talal Sidr of the Palestinian Authority. The three received the prize for their initiative in coordinating the Alexandria talks, which took place a few months ago and aimed to promote dialogue between the three monotheistic faiths.


Economic Briefs

Spacenet was selected by the Texas Department of Health to provide a high-speed satellite communications network, GLOBES reported. Spacenet will provide TDH with a network designed to support interactive data applications and interactive distance learning services in 520 offices throughout Texas.

* Electric Fuel announced on Wednesday that the United States Federal Transit Administration granted new funding of $1 million for its phase III of its zinc-air electric transit bus program, GLOBES reported. The total project, expected to cost $2 million, is also being funded by Electric Fuel itself and General Electric Global Research. The new Phase III effort will include an evaluation of the performance of zinc-air battery propulsion systems for transit buses; the installation of new advanced ultra capacitors; and the implementation of an advanced control system for auxiliaries.