Israel in the News Nov/Dec 2003
What is the Palestinian fascination with the Kassam rocket, an imprecise weapon containing 10 to 15 kilograms (22–33 pounds) of explosives with a range of six to eight kilometers (3.73 miles)?
Caroline Glick of The Jerusalem Post has reported that Hamas is assembling Kassams in Nablus with help from Hezbollah. “Several rockets with extended ranges have been test-fired into the Mediterranean.”
If terrorists can extend the rocket’s range, they will be able to fire into the heart of Israel, including into Jerusalem, Netanya, Petah Tikva, and into Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
Glick reported that Maj.-Gen. Ya’acov Amidror, former head of Israeli military intelligence, said the hudna (so-called cease-fire) greatly strengthened the terrorists’ position and enabled the PA to “acquire and develop new and more sophisticated weapons” without IDF hindrance, rebuild its terrorist cadres, and revamp its influence over PA areas and Palestinian society.
“All the new weaponry they will be able to field will be a direct consequence of the hudna,” he said.
Israelis find fatal flaw
in GSM service
JERUSALEM POST INTERNET EDITION— Cryptology experts at the Technion in Haifa have managed to crack the code used by 850 million cellular phones, finding faults that could be used by thieves to steal calls and even to impersonate phone owners in the middle of ongoing calls.
If the cellular phone companies in 197 countries want to correct the errors, they will have to call each customer and change the cell phone’s programming.
Three researchers discovered the flaw in the encryption system of the GSM (global system for mobile communications) network, which is used by 71 percent of all cellular phones in the world.
They revealed their discovery recently at the Crypto Conference in Santa Barbara, California. The 450 participants, many of whom are world leaders in encryption research and encryption industry, “were shocked and astounded” by the revelation that most cell phones in the world are susceptible to misuse.
The researchers cracked the GSM encryption system at the initial ringing stage, even before a call begins. Later they could listen in on calls and broadcast. They found it possible to steal calls and assume the identity of a phone’s owner even in the middle of an ongoing call. The Technion researchers even managed to overcome a security improvement to the system.
A free copy of the research has been sent to the GSM Association in Dublin so member companies can correct the problem if they wish.
Arabs buying up city of Acco
ARUTZ-7—The downtown, upscale Wolfson neighborhood in Acco is now 95 percent Arab. More than 10,000 Jews have left the city over the years, and their apartments are snatched up by Arabs.
Local Chief Rabbi Yosef Yashar said, “I assume that there is a guiding hand behind all this. It turns out that every time a Jew puts his apartment up for sale, an Arab shows up at the door with the full amount, with no haggling. Where does the money come from? They’re trying to [take over] the entire city.”
“When they take over a neighborhood,” Rabbi Yashar said, “they make life unbearable for the Jewish residents. They celebrate weddings for three loud days, with music broadcast over the muezzin speakers on the loudest volume, and the like.”
Cases of anti-Jewish violence have been reported in the city as well. A local yeshiva headquartered in the Wolfson neighborhood is trying to stem the tide. The yeshiva’s Rabbi Nachshon Cohen says that although the Noam religious school almost closed for lack of students, “now, religious families are moving in.” Six families joined over the summer.
Bus-bombing massacre due to ‘hurt feelings’
ARUTZ<-7—What does the Arab press have to say about the August 19 Jerusalem bus bombing that killed 21 people returning from prayers at the Western Wall?
The Egyptian Gazette implied that the attack was the result of “hurt feelings.” The paper wrote that the bombing “followed the Jewish passengers’ pilgrimage to the Wailing Wall in the Holy City, where non-Muslim visitors are allowed by the Israeli authorities to go into al-Haram al-Sharif [the Temple Mount], a move which hurts the Muslims’ feelings.”
The English-language Gazette columnist implied that such attacks help defend the Temple Mount: “Al-Aqsa mosque is the Muslims’ third holiest site, a fact which makes it imperative to defend it and regain it from the occupiers.”
A third explanation provided by the Gazette is, “Israeli officials’ statements add to the Palestinians’ frustrations and fuel their vindictiveness to demonstrate their unpreparedness to give up their inalienable rights under all circumstances.”
Another Egyptian publication, the weekly magazine Akher Sa’a, said that Israel “forces” the terrorists to murder Jews. Commenting on the U.S.-backed Road Map, which the magazine praises for envisioning a Palestinian state, Akher Sa’a editorialized, “The Sharon government clearly rejects the plan and seeks to undermine it. [But] they cannot openly declare this, and thus resort to provoking the Palestinians and force them to commit suicide bombings.”
Israelis fear hits on schools
ARUTZ-7—Bracing for a wave of terrorism, Israeli Minister of Public Security Tzachi Hanegbi promised unprecedented protection at the nation’s schools.
The intelligence community has warned that a fully renewed campaign by Arab terrorists may include attacks on schools located in areas bordering the Green Line between Israeli and (Palestinian Authority) PA areas.
Security officials reported that a terrorist dressed as a student, teacher, or security guard may target a school, carrying a school bag or backpack containing a bomb. Other bleak scenarios put forth included a car bomb that would crash a school gate, or a bomb-laden ambulance, public vehicle, or delivery truck. Attack scenarios also included a lone terrorist armed with an automatic weapon, as well as multiple terrorists working in unison.
There are 9,405 kindergartens in Israel, and 2,924 schools, for a total of 12,329 educational facilities.
What about Jewish refugees?
ARUTZ-7—The UN must fairly examine both sides of the Middle East refugee issue—Arab and Jewish—if it is to play a meaningful role in finding a solution to the conflict, representatives of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) has told the international body.
Maya ben-Haim Rosen, the WJC representative in Geneva, told a UN subcommission on Human Rights, “Truth is the link to justice and peace. There will be no lasting and cohesive peace in the Middle East without also addressing the gross and systematic violation of the human rights of the Jewish communities of Arab lands.”
The WJC presented two recent studies on the issue— “The Jews of Iraq: A Forgotten Case of Ethnic Cleansing,” and “UNRWA, Terror, and the Refugee Conundrum: Perpetuating the Misery.”
The studies document the forced expulsion of the Jews of Iraq and many other Arab countries, and how the UN agency responsible for the Arabs displaced during the Arab war against Israel has been hijacked by terrorist groups. The WJC has submitted the studies to the White House, members of the U.S. Congress, the British parliament, the European parliament.