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Israeline — Monday, September 9, 2002 —


** Arafat Condemns Terror, Stops Short of Calling for an End to Bombings
** Attempt to Poison Café Rimon Customers Intercepted
** Threat of Terror Does Not Deter Rosh Hashanah Holiday Celebrations
** Inventor of "Uzi" Dies
** Economic Briefs

Arafat Condemns Terror, Stops Short of Calling for an End to Bombings

In his first appearance in 18 months, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat told the Palestinian Legislative Council today that he condemns "every act of terror against Israeli civilians," HA’ARETZ reported. An advanced copy of Arafat’s speech, obtained by the Associated Press, contained paragraphs wherein Arafat also called directly for a halt on suicide bombings in Israel. The speech Arafat actually delivered, however, did not include such a statement.

In his address, Arafat also indicated that presidential and general PA elections would be held in January 2003, and in an uncharacteristic statement, he also said that he would step aside if called upon to do so.

Meanwhile, following Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s recent agreement to meet with senior Palestinian officials who have rejected terrorism as a strategy, a meeting is anticipated in the coming days with Arafat’s deputy, Abu Mazen, in an attempt to return to peace talks.

Attempt to Poison Café Rimon Customers Intercepted

Israel’s Security officials arrested three Palestinians who attempted to lace pitchers of Coca Cola with a tasteless, odorless poisonous substance at the popular Café Rimon in Jerusalem, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. According to a police report, the men confessed to making the substance after following instructions on the Hamas Web site. If ingested, the poison would cause death within 15 hours, with the victim appearing to suffer a heart attack.
Two of the three suspects, Sufian Fahri, 23 a Laundromat operator at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who lives in Jabel Mukhaber, and Mousa Mohammed, 22, an insurance worker from Ras el-Amud, are expected to be charged today in Jerusalem’s Magistrate Court. The third, an alleged ringleader named Othman Said, 22, is a chef at Café Ramon and comes from the Silwan neighborhood. He is expected to be charged with attempted murder later this week.

Threat of Terror Does Not Deter Rosh Hashanah Holiday Celebrations

The Jewish National Fund reported that more than 400,000 people visited its forests and picnic areas over the Rosh Hashanah holiday, 20 percent more than last year, THE JERUALEM POST reported. The security situation did not deter hundreds of thousands of Israelis from traveling to various parts of the country, especially the North, over the weekend. Nature reserves and national parks were packed, and police reported that most of the beauty spots in the North, especially the Dan and Banyas reserves, were full.

Nevertheless, heightened security measures will stay in force, amid general warnings that Palestinian organizations might try to strike over Yom Kippur or Sukkot, although there were no reports of any specific warnings.

Hoteliers reported a generally high occupancy rate in Western and Upper Galilee and expressed the hope that there would be a further influx of visitors during Sukkot. Thousands of police, Border Police volunteers, and other members of the security forces were on duty throughout the holiday.

Inventor of "Uzi" Dies

Uzi Gal, 79, inventor of the famous "Uzi" submachine gun, passed away on Saturday after a long battle with an unknown illness, YEDIOT AHARONOT ON-LINE reported.

Gal retired from the Israel Defense Forces in 1976 and moved to Philadelphia, where he served as a weapons advisor and reportedly worked on developing a new pistol that would have transformed the international weapons industry. Gal was a shy and quiet person whose superb technical abilities and unique mind were apparent from the time he was a small child. Throughout his life, Gal patented several major inventions.

By the mid-1950’s, the "Uzi" gun had gained recognition as one of the best lightweight weapons of the 20th century, and Uzi was named one of the most important armory developers. The "Uzi" became one of the most popular guns of its kind, earning Israel billions of dollars in the military export market.


Close to 150 Israeli travelers celebrated Rosh Hashana at the newest Chabad House in India, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. A Friday night dinner was served as the inaugural event for the House in Pushkar, a small town in the state of Rajasthan, popular among backpackers. Following the prayer services that evening, the House became crowded with Israeli travelers clad in trendy Indian clothing.


Economic Briefs

* Israeli start-up Voltaire has announced that telecommunications giant Hitachi has invested $2 million in the company. The company also raised $13.2 million raised in early 2002, GLOBES reported. Hitachi and Voltaire have signed a cooperation agreement for developing InfiBand-based solutions to improve connectivity in storage server environments and saving costs in the IT components.
* A joint Israeli-Singapore high-tech business development center has been established in Singapore to help Israeli companies penetrate the Asian market, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The incubator is a joint project of two companies: Israel’s Tech Match-Tech Link and Singapore’s Biomedical Strategic Consultants. Singapore already has four other binational high-tech incubators with Germany, China, India and New Zealand.

Israel Line is a daily summary of new items taken directly from the Israeli media.

Israeline — Tuesday, September 10, 2002 —

** Sharon Names Meir Dagan Head of Mossad
** Senior Fatah Official Claims Cease-Fire Will Be Announced Within ‘Hours or Days’
** CNN and Channel 2 Expose Two Terror Cells
** Booklet Comparing US Administration to Pharoh in Egypt, Best Seller in Palestinian Territories
** Economic Briefs

Sharon Names Meir Dagan Head of Mossad

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced the appointment of Major General (res.) Meir Dagan as head of the Mossad today, HA’ARETZ reported. Dagan will replace outgoing chief Ephraim Halevy, who will serve as the new national security adviser.

Dagan’s appointment still requires the authorization of a committee headed by retired Judge Gabriel Bach, and also includes state services commissioner Shmuel Hollander and Major General (res.) Shmuel Arad.

Dagan and Sharon have been close for 30 years. In the early 1970s, when Sharon headed the Israel Defense Forces Southern Command, he assigned Dagan to lead a special anti-terrorist unit in the Gaza Strip. In February 2001, Dagan coordinated Sharon’s election day staff. Among his military assignments, Dagan commanded Israeli troops in southern Lebanon and helped to establish the South Lebanese Army (SLA). He also helped form the special undercover units Rimon, Shimshon and Duvdevan.

During the first Palestinian uprising in the late 1980s, Dagan served as a special assistant to the IDF Chief of Staff. In 1993, he was promoted to major general and went to the general staff as deputy operations chief. He left the army in 1995 and joined the Israeli security services a year later as deputy director to Ami Ayalon.

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu named Dagan to head the Unit for the War against Terror in 1997 and he continued to serve under Ehud Barak.

Senior Fatah Official Claims Cease-Fire Will Be Announced Within ‘Hours or Days’

Hussein a-Sheikh, a senior Fatah official in the West Bank, confirmed to Ha’aretz newspaper, that a draft document of a cease-fire drafted by Fatah leaders, had been completed and could be formally announced "within a few hours or days, HA’ARETZ reported. In a statement, the organization was expected to say that "in accordance with the higher interests of the Palestinian people, and with our moral values, tolerant religions and belief, we, the Fatah movement reject and we will prevent any attacks against Israeli civilians." The truce, however, does not extend to Israeli forces. "We remain commmitted to our legitimate right to resist the occupation of our land occupied in 1967," the text states.

According to Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL, the announcement was the result of two weeks of intensive negotiations between Fatah figures and EU officials led by special envoy Alastair Crooke. It said the initiative would include the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the militant Fatah wing responsible for large numbers of Israeli civilian casualties in bombings and shootings since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising nearly two years ago. The move to call for a halt to attacks follows a Monday speech by Arafat to the Palestinian parliament, in which Arafat condemned all operations targeting civilians, stating that strikes against Israeli civilians were counterproductive to the Palestinian cause.

CNN and Channel 2 Expose Two Terror Cells

A covert al-Qaida cell was planning to use suicide bombers to blow up Israeli and American embassies in the Philippine capital of Manila, according to a report on CNN Monday evening, HA’ARETZ reported. The cell members had apparently stolen four tons of explosives from the Philippines, according to information gathered by U.S interrogators from a senior al-Qaida defector. CNN based its information on documents and sources in U.S. intelligence.
The informer was named as Mohammed Mansour Jabara, a Canadian citizen who was born in Kuwait. Jabara was said to have conferred personally with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in July 2001 and sent on his mission on September 10, 2001, a day before the U.S. attacks. He was entrusted with carrying out terror attacks in Singapore and the Philippines on Israeli, American, Australian and South American legations.
According to a report on Israel’s Channel Two Monday evening, an al-Qaida cell had planned to blow up the bridges over the Jordan River, between Israel and Jordan, on the night of the Millennium. According to the report, the plot was uncovered a month in advance. The cell reportedly consisted of Palestinians with Jordanian citizenship, an Iraqi and an Algerian. Channel Two said the group may have planned to use chemical weapons in the attack.

Booklet Comparing US Administration to Pharoh in Egypt, Best Seller in Palestinian Territories

A booklet that anticipates the destruction of the U.S. by 2004 has become a best seller in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The author of the 32-page publication, Salah Eddin Abu Arafeh, a young Muslim preacher from Jerusalem, also prepared videotape on similar material. According to Palestinian sources in Ramallah, there is a huge demand for the booklet and tape.

Palestinian journalists also said they have been warned against reporting on such any expressions of joy. Some of them were told they would be arrested and put on trial if they defied the instructions. Last year, Palestinian Authority security forces confiscated tapes from cameramen who covered the celebrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip immediately after the September 11 attacks.

Abu Arafeh says his study was conducted following the attacks in Washington and New York. The booklet, which sells for only NIS 2 (approximately 50 cents), is entitled "The Koran Anticipates the Destruction of the US and the Sinking of the American Army." In the booklet, Bin Laden is compared to Moses. "Moses represents the right in the confrontation with the evil," the author states. "And in my view, it is Sheikh Osama bin Laden who is facing injustice today." Abu Arafeh also explains that he found many "striking similarities between the US administration and the corrupt Pharaoh who oppressed the believers and enslaved them."


A recent study of female entrepreneurs in Israel indicated a rise in commercial ventures, GLOBES reported. The average age of an Israeli woman opening up her own business is 50; 76 percent are married, and 92 percent are mothers. The study also indicated that 82 percent of female entrepreneurs in Israel had no previous management expertise, and 78 percent were undergoing their first business endeavor. Seventy-seven set up the business with their own money; only 2 percent used financing from banks or other external sources. The study was introduced at the Entrepreneur Issues and Policies – Promotion of Women Entrepreneurs in Israel conference last month in Geneva.


Economic Briefs

* More than 140 Israeli firms will take part in 17 overseas conferences to promote Israeli products between October and November 2002, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. The conventions will be held in Cameroon, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hong Kong, Sweden, and the U.S. The events will showcase Israeli agricultural products, auto components, fashion, textiles, food, communications, movies, books, cosmetics, and medical equipment.

* Bank Hapoalim has been recognized by two international trade magazines as the top Israeli bank, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Global Finance selected Hapoalim for its World’s Best Banks list based on a combination of factors including performance, reputation, and quality of management. The bank was the magazine’s only selection in the Middle East. The Banker magazine called Hapoalim "the outstanding financial institution in Israel" based on its "targeted international expansion, quality Internet services, and restructuring… in the best international standards."

Israeline — Wednesday, September 11, 2002 —

** Israel Memorializes the Lives Lost on September 11th
** Twenty-five Wanted Terrorists Hiding in Arafat’s Compound
** Lebanon Continues to Divert Water Despite Israel’s Warnings
** Jewish-American Patron Lays Cornerstone for Nazareth Child Development Center
** 4,000 Israelis to Attend Maccabi Match in England
** Economic Briefs

Israel Memorializes the Lives Lost on September 11th

President Moshe Katsav, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert and American Ambassador Dan Kurtzer will participate in the official state ceremony tonight to commemorate the first anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks on the United States at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. After the ceremony, the museum will open an exhibit of photographs of Ground Zero by the American photographer Joel Meyerowitz, the only photographer granted access to the site since September 11.

Israeli firefighters will hold a ceremony today for the 100 New York firefighters who lost their lives during September 11th outside the Prime Minister’s Bureau in Jerusalem. Taxi drivers will also mark the event by keeping their lights on during the day.

Twenty-five Wanted Terrorists Hiding in Arafat’s Compound

Twenty-five Palestinians on the Israel Defense Forces’ wanted list have taken refuge in Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s compound in Ramallah, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. Among the 25 terrorists is the Force 17 commander who is responsible for the deaths of 15 Israelis.

Meanwhile, the IDF redeployed forces today from the villages of Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun located in the Gaza Strip, after arresting four suspected terrorists in the area. During the IDF operations, Palestinian gunmen shot and lightly injured two soldiers.

In other incidents today, a pipe bomb exploded under a car belonging to an IDF officer in the town of Harish near the seam line in the Wadi Ara. No injuries were reported, however, police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the blast.

Also, the Security Cabinet decided today to include Rachel’s Tomb on the Israeli side of the security fence being constructed around Jerusalem.

Lebanon Continues to Divert Water Despite Israel’s Warnings

Lebanon has recently intensified its efforts to divert water from the Hatzbani River, drastically reducing the flow of water into Israel’s Lake Kinneret, MA’ARIV reported. Officials estimate that 30 percent of the Hatzbani flow is being diverted.
"Israel cannot agree to allow Lebanon to divert essential water sources," Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. He added that "if the Lebanese proceed with plans to pump water from the Wazzani River this would be the type of thing that Israel could not tolerate."

Over the weekend, Lebanese workers continued to lay pipes and infrastructure for a new water pumping station north of Ghajar. According to recent reports government officials there have vowed to increase the quantity of water pumped from the river despite Israeli protests.

Jewish-American Patron Lays Cornerstone for Nazareth Child Development Center

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Rabbi Michael Melchior and the mayors of Nazareth participated in the laying of the cornerstone ceremony in Nazareth on Wednesday for the city’s first child development center, HA’ARETZ reported. The funds for the new center were provided by Irving Green a Jewish-American philanthropist.

Following the conflicts between police and Israeli Arabs in October 2000, Green as per the suggestion of Melchior decided to sponsor a project in the Arab community to promote Arab-Jewish coexistence. He donated a half million dollars to the project.

4,000 Israelis to Attend Maccabi Match in England

Issta Lines Travel Agency Dircetor Ronen Karso said on Wednesday that 4,000 Israelis are expected to travel to Manchester for the September 18 soccer match between Maccabi Haifa and Manchester United, HA’ARETZ reported. Karso expects an additional 2,000 Jews from Manchester and London to come watch the game.

Due to the large number of games Israeli teams are playing abroad this year, 15,000 Israelis are expected to accompany the different teams at a cost of nearly $8 million.

Economic Briefs

*Gilat Satellite Networks announced on Tuesday that it had been selected by JSAT Corporation, Asia’s largest satellite operator, to install a two-way satellite communications network in Japan, GLOBES reported. JSAT intends to use Gilat’s VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) technology to provide shared-hub services to companies in a variety of industries throughout Japan.

*The Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday reported 7,880 building units were started in the second quarter, a 4 percent increase, GLOBES reported. The constructions of residential building units have increased by 22 percent in the past nine months. 9,290 apartments were completed in the second quarter, similar to the number completed in the first. 7,220 apartments were built privately and 2,070 were publicly constructed.

Israeline — Thursday, September 12, 2002 —


** Palestinian Drive-by Shooting Injures 1
** Bush Addresses the United Nations
** Charges Filed Against Jerusalem Terror Cell Involved in Hebrew University Bombing
** Mossad Goes On-Line
** Economic Briefs


Palestinian Drive-by Shooting Injures 1

A female resident from the Jewish community of Einav in the West Bank was lightly wounded by terrorist gunfire today while she traveling from her residence to Avnei Hafetz, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. According to initial reports the shots were fired from a passing vehicle.

In other incidents, Palestinians fired two mortar shells at Israeli neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night and two additional shells were fired today. No injuries or damages were reported.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces demolished the house of Hamas terrorist Osama Hales, who was killed in a previous IDF operation, this morning in the Shijaiya section of Gaza City. Hales was responsible for a terror attack at the Gush Katif junction last year, in which one Israeli was killed.

Bush Addresses the United Nations

In an address to the United Nations, United States President George W. Bush said today that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein must comply with UN resolutions or face possible military action to remove him, YEDIOT AHARONOT ON-LINE reported. Bush also accused Iraq of sheltering and supporting terrorist organizations and said members of al Qaeda had found refuge there.

Referring to the Israel-Palestinian conflict Bush said that "there can be no peace for either side without freedom for both sides. America stands committed to an independent and democratic Palestine, living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security."

Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres, head of Israel’s delegation to the UN General Assembly said that the President was decisive unambiguous and powerful, and that he clearly stated the necessity of continuing the world campaign against terrorism.

Peres added that the President justly emphasized the grave dangers to world peace and to Middle East peace and stability posed by Saddam Hussein’s regime, which makes continuous efforts to arm itself with nuclear weapons.
Bush also said that if Iraq ends all support for terrorism and act to suppress it, ceases persecution of its civilian population, release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown, and end all illicit trade " it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq."

Charges Filed Against Jerusalem Terror Cell Involved in Hebrew University Bombing

The State’s Prosecutors Office Jerusalem division filed charges today against four East Jerusalem residents, accused of involvement in the deaths of 35 Israelis and foreign citizens, HA’ARETZ reported. Wa’al Kassam, Wissam Abassi, Aladin Abassi and Mohammed Odeh were indicted for operating a Hamas cell that organized terror attacks including the attack on the Hebrew University campus, two attempts to derail trains near Lod, and two bombings of fuel tankers – one inside the Pi Glilot fuel depot north of Tel Aviv, and the other at a Rishon Letzion gas service station.

The Israel Security Services said that the cell was one of the most dangerous ever uncovered. The terror cell has a total of 13 members, most of them East Jerusalem residents holding Israeli identity cards.

Meanwhile, the Jerusalem District Court handed down a 22-year prison sentence to Nidal Mishal, the would-be homicide bomber who attempted to attack patrons inside the Cafit coffeeshop in Jerusalem in March.

Mishal, 21, tried to carry out the attack at one of Jerusalem’s most popular cafes, but the device failed to explode, however, and Mishal was overcome by a waiter. About 50 patrons and staff members were there at the time.

Mossad Goes On-Line

The Israeli Intelligence Agency known as the "Mossad", has launched a new web-site in attempt to attract potential employees, YEDIOT AHARONOT ON-LINE reported. Recruitment via the Internet is considered a revolutionary change within the intelligence organization. The website’s job offer invites people to take part in special operations, saying "if you have sophistication, creativity, and personal ability to persuade and lead, if you have the high values and the interest to express them in a highly challenging position, you are invited to apply for positions both in Israel and abroad.

The Mossad has also recently begun recruiting people through ads in newspapers, as opposed to the old policy of recruitment, which involved approaching people suitable based on their military experience and personal recommendations.


Thirteen thousand people donated their blood on Wednesday in hopes of finding a bone-marrow match for three-year-old Noya Dankampf of Nesher who suffers from from leukemia, HA’ARETZ reported. Donors lined up on Wednesday at 29 different locationss from Kiryat Shmona in the North to Be’er Sheva in the South.


Economic Briefs

*The Bank of Israel announced today that Israel has the second largest number of foreign workers relative to its population in the world, 12.8 percent, GLOBES reported. The data also indicates that foreign workers salaries are above the minimum wage. Only Switzerland has a greater proportion of foreign workers to the proportion of its labor force, 18.1 percent. Israel is followed by Austria, Belgium and Germany.

*Electric Fuel and its vehicle armoring company subsidary MDT Protect Industries introduced on Wednesday the new armored Mercedes Vario 815D minibus, providing 360 degree protection from AK 47 and M-16 gunfire, GLOBES reported. Electric Fuel said the vehicle has passed a rigorous three-week test at the Israel Defense Forces testing facilities and manufacturing has begun for various customers with backlog orders reaching $1 million.

Israeline — Friday, September 13, 2002 —

** IDF: Rockets Recently Fired From Gaza Strip May be Kassam-3’s
** Iraq Transfers Arms and Money to Palestinian Areas
** Channel 1 Transfers English News Program to New Network
** IDF Says "Thank You" to Wives of Reserve Soldiers
** Economic Briefs


IDF: Rockets Recently Fired From Gaza Strip May be Kassam-3’s

A home in Kibbutz Sa’ad in the western Negev was seriously damaged by a Kassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip last night, Israel Radio, KOL YISRAEL reported. The residents were not home when the rocket landed in the kitchen. The rocket did not explode upon impact. Police sappers neutralize the rocket. No injuries were reported.
According to HA’ARETZ, Israel Defense Forces military experts believe the rockets fired over the past two days by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip were Kassam 3’s. This would be the first time that Palestinians have used Kassam 3 rockets, which have a longer range and more explosive power than Kassam 2 rockets used in the beginning of the year.

In other incidents, eight Israel Defense Forces soldiers were lightly injured today, when a tank collided with an armored vehicle following an IDF operation in Rafiah in the Gaza Strip.

Iraq Transfers Arms and Money to Palestinian Areas

Iraq has stepped up its operation to move weapons and financial aid to the Palestinian Authority areas, in an effort to resume terror attacks against Israel, HA’ARETZ reported.

The Iraqi funded Arab Liberation Front held a rally in Gaza where financial grants from Saddam Hussein were handed out. The rally included an appearance by Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who called for "unity in the ranks of the resistance," and drew a connection between Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation and the U.S. threats to strike at Iraq.

Meanwhile, security sources in Israel expressed disappointment with Mohammed Dahlan’s failure to reach an agreement with Hamas on Thursday to restrain its members from attacking Israel. Dahlan is considered one of the most influential of Fatah leaders in Gaza and the West Bank and served as National Security Advisor to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Channel 1 Transfers English News Program to New Network

Israel Broadcasting Authority Director-General Yosef Barel announced at a press conference this week that Channel 1 will be transferring its English and Arabic news broadcasts to the Arabic-English Middle East Satellite Network next month, THE JERUSALEM POST reported.

The new network is available via satellite throughout Europe and the Middle East, and may eventually be broadcast to the United States.

IDF Says "Thank You" to Wives of Reserve Soldiers

In an effort to show gratitude for the wives of reserve soldiers who serve more than 32 days during the year, The Israel Defense Forces Personnel Branch has begun a new initiative of distributing gift certificates for a day at the beauty spa, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. The IDF estimates a few thousands wives will be included in the new initiative

Several months ago, the IDF began sending movie tickets and vouchers for free popcorn to all soldiers who have been serving twelve straight days or more, in reserve duty.

Economic Briefs

* Israeli start-up KaVaDo and VeriSign of the U.S. have signed a strategic cooperation agreement, estimated to be worth $4 million over the next two years, GL0BES reported. KaVaDo develops web application protection solutions and VeriSign provides digital trust and information security services. Under the agreement, VeriSign will include KaVaDo’s solutions in its services and products.

KaVaDo was founded in 2000 and has headquarters in New York, a development center in Tel Aviv, and offices in Tokyo, London, Atlanta, San Francisco and in Virginia.

Smart card technology developer OTI, which trades on the Neuer Market (OT5), expects to complete a listing on Nasdaq during October of 2002, GLOBES reported. OTI chairman, president and CEO, Oded Bashan, commented, "We are aware of the challenge that we are undertaking by listing on Nasdaq and we embrace this challenge. Moreover, we are confident that our business initiatives will complement our listing in the US market and that our plans already underway for reaching out to professionals in the US investment community will be successful."