Israel in the News Sep/Oct 2004
Palestinian rocket kills 3-year-old
An Israeli toddler being dropped off at nursery school by his mother was killed when a Palestinian Kassam rocket exploded in the heart of Sderot in the Negev. More than 20 others, including youngsters and the child’s mother, were wounded.
Three-year-old Afik Zehavi and Mordecai Yosefov, 50, were killed. Afik’s mother, Ruth, remained unconscious after having a leg amputated in an attempt to save her life.
According to a report filed by United Press International’s Joshua Brilliant, Afik’s mother “was lying on her back, eyes wide open, motionless. Little Afik lost an arm and a leg. What was left of his right arm was lying on her.” Yosefov “was lying on a pool of blood. . . . shrapnel was stuck in Yosefov’s skull. He had just taken his grandchild to kindergarten.”
Brilliant said the missiles “were the latest in more than 200 fired at Sderot and its environs since April 2001.”
Said Justice Minister Tommy Lapid, “It is unacceptable that we are a country whose citizens die from rocket attacks and we don’t retaliate. Things like this can’t happen without some kind of response,” reported The Jerusalem Post.
The Post reported that the Kassam attacks on Sderot came just 12 hours after a tunnel bombing that killed a 20-year-old Israeli soldier and wounded five others. The Kassam attacks are also reported to be much more sophisticated than in the past.
Reported the Post, “Municipality psychologists and social workers met and spoke with parents of children at the kindergarten and especially with the youngsters, many of whom were in a state of stress after the rocket attacks.”
THE INTERNATIONAL JERUSALEM POST— Deputy Prime Minister and Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister Ehud Olmert said he envisions at least six outlying east Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods being transferred to full Palestinian control in the future.
The move represents a dramatic about-face for the formerly hawkish Jerusalem mayor, who for years had declared that the capital must not be divided.
A close ally and confidant of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Olmert has often been the first to go public with future government policy. In what was widely viewed as a trial balloon, he called for unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank just weeks ahead of a similar move by Sharon.
Olmert said he would “absolutely” retain full Israeli control over the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives, as well as other “more central” Arab neighborhoods.
Olmert conceded that bringing PA-controlled territory so close to Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem might be dangerous, but he said that the security risk is ever-present.
Dying to kill
THE INTERNATIONAL JERUSALEM POST—In its first week of recruiting, Iran registered at least 10,000 young volunteers for “martyrdom operations” against Israel and U.S. forces in Iraq, according to the recruitment group, the Committee for the Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign.
The calls to join the “Army of Martyrs” began at mosques recently after Friday prayers, after which registration forms were distributed by the tens of thousands at local Islamic universities to prospective male and female suicide attackers.
New low in bestiality
THE INTERNATIONAL JERUSALEM POST—In an attack that seemed to mark a new low in terrorist bestiality, a pregnant mother and her four daughters were shot dead on the Kissufim road in the Gaza Strip recently.
Tali Hatuel, 34, who was eight months pregnant with a boy, and her daughters, Hila, 11; Hadir, nine; Roni, seven; and Merav, two, were shot at point-blank range after initial gunshots brought their car to a halt. The terrorists then sprayed the vehicle with bullets to ensure that all the occupants were dead.
The phony ‘sick’
THE INTERNATIONAL JERUSALEM POST— Israeli police have uncovered a network of fake ambulances used to smuggle into Israel Palestinian Authority officers disguised as patients, including members of Yasser Arafat’s personal presidential elite Force 17.
Police said it is possible the ring, which they believe may have been directly linked to Arafat, has also smuggled terrorists into Israel using the ambulances as cover.
The “patients” were hooked up to oxygen bags and other medical devices inside the ambulances and had ink spilled on them to create the impression that they were wounded and in need of urgent medical care. Police said that the ambulance drivers carried forged medic licenses and that the vehicles’ license plates were also fake.
“There is a strong possibility that Yasser Arafat was directly involved in the ambulance smuggling ring,” Judea and Samaria Police spokesman Doron Ben Amo said, adding that documents allegedly signed by Arafat and connected to the ring were found during a raid on a Force 17 office.
How hypocritical can you get?
ARUTZ-7—Former Mossad agent Gad Shimron reports that while the European Union (EU) attacks Israel mercilessly for the partition fence it’s building to protect Jewish lives, the EU itself funds and operates a similar fence designed only to protect itself from illegal immigrants.
The fence is located in a Spanish enclave in northwestern Africa, the coastal city of Ceuta just across the Straits of Gibraltar from Spain. Unknown to most of the world, when Spain handed over most of northern Morocco to the newly independent kingdom in 1956, Spain retained Ceuta and Melilla (about 250 kilometers further east). Thus the EU is present in Africa as well.
Poverty-stricken Moroccans attempting to cross into Ceuta, from where they will then be able to work anywhere in Europe because of the EU’s no-checkpoints policy, are stopped in their tracks by the eight-meter-high, double layer fence. Funding for the fence, some 60 million Euros, came from European Union coffers.
Frequent Spanish patrols, together with policemen who do not hesitate to beat potential infiltrators, render crossing the partition a nearly impossible mission, but the needy say they will continue to try.
The EU, which continues to oppose Israel’s fence to protect against murderous terrorists and suicide bombers, even plans to build another fence of its own around Spain’s second enclave in northern Africa, the Moroccan town of Melilla.
Nader rants about Israel
ARUTZ-7—Independent U.S. presidential candidate and environmental crusader Ralph Nader is seeking the support of various groups— and one of them appears to be the Muslim-American population.
As broadcast on the American cable network C-Span, Nader launched a scathing attack on Israel, saying that Israel is a puppeteer and that American presidents are the puppets:
“What has been happening over the years is a predictable routine of foreign visitation from the head of the Israeli government. The Israeli puppeteer travels to Washington. The Israeli puppeteer meets with the puppet in the White House, and then moves down Pennsylvania Avenue, and meets with the puppets in Congress. And then takes back billions of taxpayer dollars. It is time for the Washington puppet show to be replaced by the Washington peace show.”
Nader made this speech as part of a conference sponsored by the Council for the National Interest entitled, “The Muslim Vote in Election 2004.”
German institute teaches Christians about Israel
THE JERUSALEM POST INTERNET EDITION— For the first time, an academic institute has been established in Germany to further the study of Israel among Christian pastors and theology students.
Known as the Institute for Israelology, it will be based at the Free Theological Seminary in Giessen, north of Frankfurt, and will focus on subjects such as Israel in the light of biblical prophecy and the roots of Christian anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
The moving force behind the institute is Dr. Fritz May, a wellknown pastor who founded and directs Christen Fur Israel, a German-based pro-Israel group.
May said he decided to establish the institute “to do something about the serious lack of teaching and information about Israel among students of theology, pastors, and their congregations.”