Israel in the News Mar/Apr 2002

Israel seizes Hamas plans to build rockets; PA hiding weapons
THE JERUSALEM POST INTERNET EDITION—Plans by the terrorist organization Hamas to produce homemade Katyusha rockets in the West Bank were foiled after the Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency, arrested a Hamas operative at the Rafah border crossing as he attempted to travel to Saudi Arabia to organize funding for the project.

In addition, security sources have learned that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is hiding stocks of Katyusha, antitank, and antiaircraft missiles in the Gaza Strip and is refraining from using them until Israel and the Palestinians reach a heavier, more critical stage in the fighting.

The PA uses a number of methods to smuggle weapons and ammunition from Arab and other countries into the territories, including fourteen tunnels in the Rafah area used to smuggle war materiel from Egypt, according to the sources.

However, the munitions have not yet reached the hands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, although Hamas is continuing with partial success to produce mortar shells, along with the Kassam 1 and 2 short-range missiles, Israel Radio said.

According to the Palestinian Web site Al-Bawaba, Palestinian security officials told Time magazine that the rockets Hamas wants to build are a locally produced adaptation of a North Korean design, and that Hezbollah had acquired the rockets from Syrian soldiers in Lebanon and passed them on to Hamas. The rockets were then smuggled into the Gaza Strip, where a Hamas engineer began duplicating them.

Hamas has perpetrated a number of missile attacks against Israeli communities in the Gaza Strip, as well as inside Israel, in recent months. Hamas terrorists are able to fire the rockets, which have a range of several kilometers, from a “safe” distance that prevents them from being caught.

Although Palestinian security officials were aware of the Hamas rocket attacks, they did nothing to prevent them or hinder the terrorists, Israeli security officials said.

Israeli security agents arrested Osama Zuhar Hamed Karika, 28, at the Rafah border crossing as he attempted to leave for Saudi Arabia, purportedly to seek medical treatment. Alerted by his behavior, Israeli border authorities discovered documents describing the production of the rocket, known by Hamas as the Kassam, hidden in Karika’s clothing. The documents detailed Hamas’s manufacture of the rockets in Gaza, names of terrorists, and the organization’s plans to transfer expertise and funds to cells operating in the West Bank.

Karika told his interrogators that he had been recruited by the Gaza Strip Hamas military commander, Nadel Fathi Rabah Farahat, last August and was sent to Saudi Arabia in September to meet with Hamas operatives, coordinate funding, and explain the movement’s plans for the rocket project and for setting up an infrastructure in the West Bank similar to the one established in Gaza.

Arafat tells Palestinians Oslo agreement was only a ‘Trojan horse’
Yasser Arafat, a long-time terrorist before his elevation to Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman, showed his true colors recently when he told a crowd in Ramallah that he never intended to use the Oslo Accords to make peace with Israel but, rather, to make war.

“The Oslo Agreement is a Trojan horse with which to get senior Palestinian leaders into Israel,” Arafat said. Arutz-7 reported that Israeli government and security officials are studying the material in which Arafat is quoted as having said, “The intifada that the Palestinians began last year represents their coming out of the insides of the horse.”

Arutz-7 also reported that Feisal Husseini, the PA minister in charge of Jerusalem affairs, echoed Arafat’s remarks in an interview with Egypt’s Al-Arabi newspaper. Husseini said, “The [ancient] Greek Army was unable to break into Troy [following the Greeks’ apparent defeat]. . . . The people of Troy climbed on top of their city walls and could not find any traces of the Greek army, except for a giant wooden horse. They cheered and celebrated, thinking that the Greek troops had been routed and had left behind only a harmless wooden horse. So they opened the gates of the city and brought in the wooden horse. We all know what happened next. Had the United States and Israel not [thought], before Oslo, that all that was left of the Palestinian National movement and the Pan-Arab movement was a wooden horse called Arafat or the PLO, they would never have opened their fortified gates and let it inside their walls. . . . The Oslo Accords were a Trojan horse; the strategic goal is the liberation of Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.”

Arutz-7 also reported that a mere two days following Arafat’s so-called call to end terrorism against Israel, he told a crowd in Ramallah, “All the Palestinians are martyrs, and are all Muhammad al-Dura!”

Al-Dura was a 12-year-old boy whom Palestinians claimed was killed by Israeli crossfire in the early days of the recent war. His death has been used repeatedly to whip up frenzy among Palestinians. Evidence, however, shows the boy was killed by Arabs.

Arafat also said, “This brave people will continue to protect and defend our holy land with its blood and soul, and all its property. . . . We will meet next time in Jerusalem, because we are fighting in order to bring the victory to our prophets, every baby, every child, every man, every woman, and every elder person, and all the youth. We will sacrifice ourselves for our holy places, and we will establish our dominion over them. We are prepared to give seventy of our martyrs for every martyr of theirs in this campaign.”

Israel builds system to collect sewage from Palestinian cities
THE JERUSALEM POST INTERNET EDITION—Construction of an emergency reservoir to collect wastewater from Nablus has begun near Bat Hefer in the Sharon region.

The reservoir is intended to prevent the polluting of Hefer Valley streams.

The Israeli Ministry for Environmental Affairs said it intends to build five more similar reservoirs along the Green Line and in the south in order to collect sewage from the Palestinian cities of Hebron, Gaza City, Kalkilya, and Jenin.

The ministry said building the reservoirs will cost approximately NIS 100 million.

The Palestinians have rebuffed all attempts to broach the subject, including European offers to pay for water purification devices and waste water reservoirs within Palestinian Authority-controlled territory.

According to waste management experts, raw sewage will start flowing into the reservoirs within a few months, and will be suitable for irrigation.

They said the reservoirs are not a long-term substitute for the construction of water purification installations, Israel Radio reported.

Light at the end of the intestine
Given Imaging is testing its video-camera capsule on people and having good success, according to an article in The Jerusalem Post.

The M2A capsule contains a unique, 4mm video camera, flashlight, optics, CMOS imager, batteries, transmitter, and aerial that “broadcasts digital images of the digestive system to a Walkman-like recorder worn like a belt around the patient’s waist,” said the Post. The newspaper reported that the pill can be used to diagnose a range of gastrointestinal disorders, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, ulcers, Crohn’s Disease, rectal bleeding, and infections.

It is not invasive or uncomfortable, as are the current diagnostic methods of colonoscopy and gastrointestinal endoscopy.

The Post reported that Gavriel Meron, Given Imaging’s chief executive officer, has been the second person to swallow the pill and said it went down like an aspirin.

Said Meron, “You don’t feel anything as it goes down. Then you see images of your gastrointestinal system on a screen, and you can’t believe there is something inside you transmitting these images.”

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