Israel in the News Mar/Apr 2003

Fall down the stairs? Why not blame it on the Israeli army?
ARUTZ-7-The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that Arab residents of Yesha have found a new way to take advantage of the Israeli government. They file bogus medical claims against IDF soldiers.

Several suspects have already testified that they filed such claims in order to receive compensation from Israel. They also maintain that many others have filed similar fraudulent claims in the past. One man testified that an Arab child had mistakenly hit him with a rock meant for IDF forces. When he was evacuated to an Arab hospi­tal, a doctor told him that he would be given a complaint form blaming the IDF, which would enable him to claim com­pensation from Israel.

“The doctor said he would write me a form blaming the army,” the man said, “so that I would receive compensation. I paid the doctor 35 shekels ($7.50) and he gave me the form, which I gave to a founda­tion called ‘Foundation for the Wounded.’ They told me to say that I had been injured by gun­s hots, so I went back to Dr. Zahar and told him what the foundation had said. He offered to change the complaint form.”

The suspect said that Dr. Zahar, who had treated him for his injuries, had persuad­ed him to file the fake com­plaint by telling him that this had been done many times before. Another incident involved an Arab who broke his leg while falling down the stairs in his home on Oct. 26, 2002. According to the suspect’s testimony, his neighbor convinced him to file a claim that the injury was a result of a beating at the hands of IDF soldiers.

The neighbor told him, “Go to the hospital and get it X-rayed. Tell them that Israeli soldiers beat you. They will write it in your medical file, and you’ll be able to receive a lot of money in compensation for the broken leg.”

The suspect followed the instructions, filled out a med­ical form stating he had been beaten by IDF soldiers, filed the complaint and received $200. He said that he knew of many other PA residents who had filed similar bogus claims, emphasizing that the aim was to get as much money in compensation out of Israel as possible.

France publishes teen novel praising suicide terrorists
ARUTZ-7-A new, best-selling French novel for teens enti­tled Reuer la Palestine (“Dream of Palestine”) sym­pathetically portrays a young Arab who becomes a suicide bomber-and the Simon Wiesenthal Center is spear­heading a major protest. The author is herself only 15 years old, an Egyptian living in Italy, who writes about Palestinian teenagers fighting “bloodthirsty Jews who assas­sinate children and old peo­ple, profane mosques, and rape Arab women.”

One of the novel’s heroes calls for Jihad against the Jews, “a doomed people,” and to “kill all Israelis.” The main charac­ter in fact blows himself up along with five Israelis.

The book, published by Flammarion, France’s third largest publishing house, quickly sold out in major book­stores in Paris. Flammarion is a subsidiary of the Italian media giant Rizzoli Corrier della Sera, owner of one of the largest Italian daily newspapers, as well as Rizzoli bookstores in the United States. The Wiesenthal Center is urging Amazon France and other French online Web sites to stop selling the book, which it says is “full of libelous accusa­tions and which clearly incites racist violence and validates terrorism.”

Hamas launches online newspaper for children
Using captivating, colorful cartoons and winsome charac­ters like “The Conquerer,” the terrorist organization Hamas now attracts children over the Internet with “hero-ic” tales of suicide bombers and Jihadists.

The newspaper combines fanciful stories with tales of armed struggle against Israel and stories of real suicide bombers, reported The Media Line.

The Media Line said one story, which is “the last will of one of Hamas’ suicide bombers,” has the bomber declaring, “I will turn my body into shrapnel and bombs, which will chase the children of Zion, will blow them up and will burn what is left of them.”

The suicide bomber then says, “There is nothing greater than killing oneself on the land of Palestine, for the sake of Allah.”

The children’s newspaper also presents a short bioraphy of the hero of the movement, Yahya ‘Ayyash, called the “Engineer,” who planned and executed many of the attacks, reported The Media Line. The Hamas news­paper glorifies Yahya ‘Ayyash and tells children, “The Engineer was exceptional and became a legend .. . he transferred the struggle to the heart of the occupied lands … and sowed fear into the hearts of the Jews.”

Jews, Arabs unite over kitchen stove
Young, hearing-impaired Israelis, both Arab and Jewish, have become comrades in cooking. All are pursuing professional cooking certificates at the Amal Hasharon boarding school, Kfar Saba, and share the common chal­lenge of making their way in a hearing world.

“We deaf people are all brothers, and we are all unit­ed,” said Nassim Al Karvani, an 18-year-old Bedouin from Rahat, in the Negev. According to Israel News, the fifty students also include Druze from the Galilee, immigrants from the Ukraine and Ethio­pia, an Arab Israeli from the north, and many Jewish Israelis. Their common dis­ability, they said, binds them together.

The teacher is a profes­sional cooking instructor whose words are signed by a translator. The students, from all regions of Israel, are learning to cook ethnic foods, Israel News said. “During the holiday of Ramadan, they all joined to prepare the traditional post-Ramadan feasts. Each day of Ramadan, the Jewish students would wrap the food and send it home with their Muslim counter­parts so they could eat it after sundown.”

Students will graduate with Grade One Israeli Cooking Certificates, qualifying them to be chef’s assistants in restaurants. From there, they can work their way up the lad­der to become qualified chefs, Israel News said.

Pay rent by credit card
ARUTZ-7-The Isracard credit company is launching a first of-­its-kind effort for a piece of the 550-million-shekel-a-month home rental market.

Tenants will be able to pay their rent via their Isracard credit card under a special agreement between them, their landlords, and Isracard. The cost: 1.5 percent of the monthly rent, charged to the landlord’s account.

Benefits to the sides include choice of linkage ( dol­lar or cost-of-living index), certainty regarding payment terms, convenience, no missed payments, and the like. Isracard hopes to gain 10 to 15 percent of the market, which would pan out to about three­quarters-of-a-million shekels a month for the company.

Rains of blessing in times of drought
Due to recent rains, the level of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) has finally risen, and all streams and springs are full for the first time in over a decade, said an official respon­sible for monitoring Israel’s fresh water supplies.

The Kinneret has risen 33.5 inches since the begin­ning of winter to around 700 feet below sea-level-IS feet below its maximum mark of 685 feet. Israel’s water company has been working to increase rainfall over the Kinneret, Israel’s largest reservoir. The cloud-seeding, which increases rainfall by some 10-15 percent, con­tinues in accordance with weather conditions.

Experts still agree, howev­er, that desalination of ocean water is the chief solution to the country’s water problems.

PA soccer tourney honors terrorist
The notorious Palestinian terrorist who blew himself up at a Netanya hotel during a Passover seder last year, killing twenty-nine Israelis, including children, now has a soccer tour­nament named in his honor.

The official Palestinian Authority (PA) daily, Al Hayat Al Jadida, has reported that the Tu! Karem Shahids Memorial soccer championship tourn­ament of the Shahid (“mar­tyr”) Abdel Baset Odeh was being held in a local school.

Participating were seven teams named after other terrorist murderers, includ­ing one for an Arab youth who requested that cake be distributed after his martyrdom; one for a terror­ist who killed three Jews In the Shomron town of Hermesh almost a year ago; and another in honor of an Al Aksa Martyrs Briga de terrorist.

Controversy billows over wind turbines
Stopping short of recom­mending a wind turbine project near the Sea of Galilee be scrapped, the Israeli Environmental Min­istry has suggested the Israel Electric Corporation (!EC) put its turbines some­where less popular with hikers and outdoors people.

The IEC wants to post several dozen turbines 60 meters high along an open stretch at Ramat Sirin, considered the largest open space north of Be’er Sheva, reported Ha’aretz Daily. It also wants to place turbines on a range of hills in the Gilboa. No one objected to the Gilboa turbines, which would generate 20 megawatts of electricity.

However, Ramat Sirin is among the last hills in north­ern Israel unscarred by build­ing. The Environment Ministry said the 35 megawatts of pollu­tion-free electricity the tur­bines would generate is insig­nificant compared to the environmental damage they would produce.

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