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Six Israeli Soldiers Killed


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Six Israeli soldiers were killed by a land mine during a raid in Gaza City. On Tuesday morning, Israeli forces entered Zeitun, a Gaza neighborhood known as a Hamas stronghold, in a hunt for weapons factories. Security sources said a landmine was detonated alongside an Israeli armored personnel carrier, setting off ordnance carried by engineering troops inside. Six soldiers were killed in the explosion. As Israeli forces struggled to extricate the casualties, they battled Gaza gunmen, killing at least four Palestinians. Hamas claimed responsibility for the ambush.


(JTA) - Senate backs anti-Semitism monitoring


The U.S. Senate passed legislation requiring the State Department to report on acts of anti-Semitism around the world. The Global Anti-Semitism Review Act passed the Senate last Friday. The act mandates that the government report annually on harassment and acts of physical violence against of Jews in each country and the governmental responses, as part of its annual reports on international religious freedom and human rights. The bill awaits action in the U.S. House of Representatives.


(JTA) - House passes Iran bill


The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill urging countries to cut ties with Iran until it opens its nuclear weapons program to inspectors. Pro-Israel groups lobbied for the bill, which called on Europe, Japan and Russia to cut their ties with the Islamic republic. The bill now faces Senate debate after its 376-3 House passage May 6. "None of us can close our eyes to the ominous and growing danger posed by the government of Iran," said House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). "It is a committed enemy of the State of Israel, our staunch ally and the lone democracy in this most volatile region."


(JTA) - Churches press Bush on fence


Some U.S. Christian leaders are calling on President Bush to ask Israel to protect access to Christian sites. Churches for Middle East Peace, in a letter to the president last Friday, said Israel's West Bank security barrier is "damaging Christian institutions and the daily livelihood of individual Christians." In addition, the church leaders are concerned about delay of visas for clergy and church personnel to travel to Israel and attempts to tax church organizations in the country. The group is made up of 50 leaders of evangelical and mainline Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox churches and church-related organizations.


(JTA) - JINSA wants Rumsfeld to stay


The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs is pushing for Donald Rumsfeld to keep his job. The U.S. defense secretary is under pressure from some Democrats to resign after photographs surfaced of Iraqi prisoners being abused by American soldiers. While deploring the prisoner abuse, JINSA said Rumsfeld's resignation would be a "far greater tragedy." "Secretary Rumsfeld's strong and dedicated leadership is needed now more than ever," said Tom Neumann, JINSA's executive director. "His resignation at this critical time of transition in Iraq would have consequences far greater, and far more tragic for Iraq and the United States, than the regrettable abuse of prisoners."


(JTA) - Racist community service


White supremacist David Duke, released from jail, is doing his community service with his "white civil rights group." Duke was released to a halfway house in Louisiana last month after serving a year in jail for fraud. "My work-release plan was approved in the normal channels," Duke told The New York Times on Monday. The Web site for Duke's group, the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, says the group is an answer to the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League and other anti-European American organizations.


(JTA) - Confession sparks controversy


Israeli police and the Shin Bet security agency traded blame over a false confession extracted from an Israeli Arab terrorist suspect. Tarek Nujeidat was indicted for the July 2003 murder of an Israeli soldier based on a confession in which he also implicated two other Arabs. But the trio was released Sunday after new evidence pointed to other suspects. Nujeidat, who was interrogated by both police and the Shin Bet, told reporters his confession was false and forced. Police said their investigators merely picked up the questioning from where the Shin Bet, which takes priority in security cases, left off. Shin Bet officials insisted Tuesday that their interrogators were convinced of the three Arabs' innocence months ago and made this clear to police, who nonetheless kept the suspects in custody. A legal source said the Justice Ministry could make it mandatory to record interrogations to avoid such controversy in the future.


(JTA) - Brother of Rabin assassin questioned


The brother of Rabin assassin Yigal Amir was questioned on suspicion of threatening the lives of Israeli officials. Sagiv Amir, a 20-year-old infantry sniper, was interrogated and released this week after the Shin Bet received reports of threats against Israeli politicians that he allegedly made during conversations with friends, security sources said. His lawyer accused the Shin Bet of overzealously scrutinizing Amir, whose brother Yigal was jailed for life for killing Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.


(JTA) - Torahs join the army


A group of U.S. rabbis recently donated 10 Torahs for use by Israeli soldiers. One Torah brought over by the rabbis from the National Council of Young Israel is less than 12 inches high and will be used on an Israeli submarine. During the past three years, the group has sent 100 Torahs to the Israel Defense Forces. The Torahs were donated by U.S. individuals and synagogues.


(JTA) - Hebrew scholar dies at 93


Hebrew scholar Samuel Iwry, an authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls, died Saturday in Baltimore at age 93. Iwry wrote the first doctoral dissertation on the scrolls, which shed light on Judaism and the origins of Christianity. He also was one of the world's leading Hebrew scholars. Born in Poland, Iwry was a direct descendant of the Ba'al Shem Tov, the founder of Chasidism.


(JTA) - Rally against anti-Semitism planned in Paris


France's main anti-racist organization called for a demonstration against anti-Semitism in Paris on Sunday. Following a wave of attacks on Jewish targets in recent days, SOS Racisme, a group set up in the 1980s to combat the rise of the far-right National Front, said it is calling "on all citizens to march on Sunday in order to show that French society unequivocally says 'no' to anti-Semitism." In a statement issued Monday, the organization said that "anti-Semitism was not a Jewish affair but a scourge which every sincere anti-racist has to fight." French Jewish groups say that since the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada, they generally have had to tackle anti-Semitism without the support of mass demonstrations supported by groups outside the organized Jewish community.


(JTA) - Three jailed in Jordan


Jordan jailed three people for plotting to attack U.S. and Israel tourists. One of three men jailed Monday is a nephew of a known Al-Qaida leader. The men were sentenced to three years in jail.


(JTA) - Slain Chechen leader reached out to Jews


Chechnya's assassinated president sought Jewish help last year in monitoring his election. During a visit to the United States last September, Akhmad Kadyrov, who was killed Sunday by a bomb in the Chechen capital, met with Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, to ask for a delegation of three or four "Jewish leaders" to monitor October elections in his country. Schneier turned Kadyrov down and advised him that Jewish participation was impossible since the election was slated for Yom Kippur. "He said he'd provide a synagogue, would get a cantor," Schneier said. "He was very committed to having some Jewish participation. He viewed this more as a Jewish-Muslim opportunity than a United States-Chechnya exchange." Kadyrov served as Chechnya's chief Islamic religious leader and commanded Chechen nationalist forces against the Russians during the mid-1990s, before switching allegiance to the Russians when fighting broke out anew in 1999.


(JTA) - Soldier accused of killing British activist


An Israeli soldier went on trial for killing a British student in the Gaza Strip last year. Tom Hurndall was shot in the head while trying to help Palestinian children move out of the line of fire in April 2003. He never regained consciousness and died in London nine months later. The soldier accused of killing him, Sgt. Idier Wahid Taysir, is pleading not guilty to six counts, including manslaughter and obstruction of justice.


(JTA) - Sniffer dog laid to rest


The Israeli army laid a bomb-sniffing dog to rest with a full military funeral. The funeral Monday was for Toska, a 3-year-old sniffer dog, who was killed last Friday on the Lebanese order in an attack that killed one Israeli soldier and wounded eight others. Toska, a Malinois dog a type of Belgian shepherd was part of the Pups for Peace program, an American-Israeli initiative that trains 90 dogs to detect explosives and identify bombers in Israel.


(JTA) - Israeli film wins in N.Y.


An Israeli movie shared the Best Documentary award at the Tribeca Film Festival. "Arna's Children," co- written by Juliano Mer Khamis and Israeli filmmaker Danniel Danniel, shared the documentary prize at the third annual film festival in New York City. The film one of some 250 films from 42 countries featured at the festival tells the story of Mer Khamis' mother, Arna Mer, who led a theater group for Palestinian children in the West Bank city of Jenin.


(JTA) - P.A. says it will hold elections


The Palestinian Authority said it would hold municipal elections within the next year. Before Monday's announcement, the P.A. Cabinet always had linked elections to an Israeli withdrawal from West Bank cities. The elections will began in Jericho, the quietest of West Bank cities, a P.A. official said.


(JTA) - Israeli Embassy trial delayed


The trial in Australia of a man accused of plotting to bomb the Israeli Embassy was delayed for a week. The trial of Jack Roche, a convert to Islam, was delayed Monday after several jurors read a newspaper article on the subject that defense lawyers argued would compromise their impartiality.


(JTA) - 'Pianist' director honored in Rome


Roman Polanski, Academy Award-winning director of "The Pianist," received an honorary doctorate from a university in Rome. The Literature and Philosophy Department of Sapienza University honored the Polish-born filmmaker with a ceremony Monday in recognition of "the fundamental relationship of a Polish Jewish intellectual and artist to the entirety of European culture." The department recently introduced a course on Slavic-Jewish relations. Polanski, who survived the Krakow Ghetto during the Holocaust, fled the United States after being convicted in 1978 of having sex with a 13-year-old girl.


(JTA) - Neo-Nazi party illegal in Argentina


A neo-Nazi party in Argentina was declared illegal and will not be allowed to participate in elections. Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral made the decision regarding the New Triumph Party last Friday. "The group's identification with the regime created by Hitler is fundamental" and its ideology is incompatible with the country's constitution, Corral said.


(JTA) - Pennsylvania philanthropist dies


Muriel Mallin Berman, a philanthropist for many Jewish causes, died April 13 in Allentown, Pa., at the age of 89. Along with her husband, Philip, she supported many Jewish causes, including the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Publication Society, Hadassah and Hebrew University. She also was a generous supporter of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.



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Guest guest14
Six Israeli soldiers...



Israeli soldiers accused of selling arms to Palestinians

By Ross Dunn, Herald Correspondent in Jerusalem

July 19 2002


Israel has been rocked by the revelation that some of its soldiers may have been smuggling arms to the Palestinians, knowing that they could be turned on their own people.


Several Israelis, including a reserve major, have been arrested and military officials said they may be only "the tip of the iceberg".


The news followed Wednesday's double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv which killed an Israeli and two foreign workers, as well as the bombers.




"Their acts were not acts done in innocence," said an Israeli

detective, Ari Ben Lulu.






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Let's try this again.


Israeli soldiers accused of selling arms to Palestinians

By Ross Dunn, Herald Correspondent in Jerusalem

July 19 2002




Israel has been rocked by the revelation that some of its soldiers may have been smuggling arms to the Palestinians, knowing that they could be turned on their own people.


Several Israelis, including a reserve major, have been arrested and military officials said they may be only "the tip of the iceberg".


The news followed Wednesday's double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv which killed an Israeli and two foreign workers, as well as the bombers.


The reserve officer allegedly sold thousands of bullets to four soldiers who then passed them on to Palestinian merchants.


Four Israelis living in two West Bank settlements were also arrested and interrogated over the alleged smuggling of weapons to Palestinians in the Hebron area over the past four years.



Police suspect that they also wore their uniforms to smuggle Palestinians into Israel in return for money.


"Their acts were not acts done in innocence," said an Israeli

detective, Ari Ben Lulu. "They knew exactly what the target of each bullet was. They exploited the trust the army put in them and I would call this treason."


He added: "Who knows if the bullets they sold are not the bullets with which civilians and children from Adora [a Jewish settlement] were killed and dozens of others."


Some police believe that they will eventually uncover a wider smuggling network that has

enabled Palestinians to buy

advanced weapons such as anti-tank missiles.


One officer blamed the smuggling on a "decline in moral norms in Israeli society". Another reason was the country's severe recession, which had motivated some soldiers to pick up the "easy money to be had by selling arms to the Palestinians".


The twin suicide bombing in south Tel Aviv dashed hopes once again that the international community might be able to calm the region and restart peace talks.


The United States President, George Bush, deplored the attack, which followed the ambush of a bus the previous day which killed eight Israelis.


"These terrorist acts are also attacks on our efforts to restore hope to the Palestinian people," Mr Bush said. Peace could not be built on a "platform of violence against innocents", and the hopes of the many should not be held hostage to the acts of extremists.


Israel immediately cancelled plans to ease restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank, where many have been living under curfews since troops moved into the cities last month after suicide bombings.


As well, the Israeli Defence Minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, ruled out any early withdrawal of soldiers from Palestinian areas.


The Transport Minister, Ephraim Sneh, said that while the army had not prevented all attacks, it had limited the ability of militants to carry out many more acts of terrorism.

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