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>Israel Faxx
>JN March 18, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 54

10% of the World's Cranes are in Israel

By IsraelWire

Only 1,000 cranes remain in the world, and 10% of them are in Israel, most in the Hula area in the Galilee, while others are in the Negev. On their migratory path northward, some cranes were spotted near Damascus, Syria. The crane is a large bird, and is in threat of extinction. Every winter, the cranes migrate from Europe, heading south. In the spring they return north.

Shas Leader Guilty of Accepting Bribes

By Deborah Tate (VOA-Jerusalem)

The leader of an ultra-Orthodox political party and close ally of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to appeal his conviction on bribery in a case that has raised ethnic tensions in the Jewish state. A Jerusalem court found Aryeh Deri, leader of the influential ultra-Orthodox Shas party, guilty of taking more than $150,000 in bribes when he served as interior minister in the 1980s.

Supporters of the Moroccan-born Deri say the verdict is an example of the bias against members of Shas, who are of Middle Eastern origin. Deri is a close ally of Netanyahu, and his Shas party is the third largest after Likud and Labor. With 10 seats in the 120-member Knesset, it often controls the balance of power in the divided parliament.

Netanyahu -- in a brief response to the ruling -- said his heart is with Deri. He called for restraint among Deri's supporters in the wake of threatened violence. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for March 25.

Senior Citizen Tied to Table

By IsraelWire

Tens of thousands of German marks and 1/2 kilogram (1.1 pound) of gold were stolen from a safe belonging to an 85-year-old Tel-Aviv man. The thieves tied the elderly man to the table in his home and then worked on cleaning out the safe.

The elderly man told police that his son lives in Germany and sends him money from time to time. He saved the money until he had enough to purchase the gold. Until about two months ago, he kept the savings in a bank safety deposit box but after he purchased a safe, he brought his "pension" home. Now, he explained, he was wiped out.

Hotels Abroad Full for Passover

By IsraelWire

Israelis are packing their bags and preparing to leave for Passover abroad. According to tourist officials, 50,000-60,000 Israelis will spend the Passover Holiday abroad. Tourist officials report the average trip for a 4-5 day stay will cost $300-$500 per day.

Tourism officials report 45 percent of Israelis leaving the country will be heading for Europe, with most choosing to visit France which took the place of England which was in first place last year. Thousands of Israelis will also be heading for Sinai, Egypt.

Charlie Chaplin's Daughter Sues Lottery

By IsraelWire

Josephine Chaplain, 45, the daughter of Charlie Chaplin, came to Israel from France to take part in her suit filed in the Tel-Aviv Magistrate's Court against the Mifal HaPayis Lottery Agency.

Chaplin maintains that television commercials over the past years in Israel -- in which a person depicted her father with his familiar mustache, cane and hat -- were a violation of the family's copyright.

In the $1 million suit, it was pointed out that the family in the past has permitted the image of Chaplin to be used for commercial purposes but only in a limited number of cases and for monetary remuneration

Thousands of Dollars Nearly Went to Laundry

By IsraelWire

A wounded soldier of the Israel-allied Southern Lebanese Army who was hospitalized in Israel hid thousands of dollars, which he brought with him under the sheets of his bed. When the linen was changed, the money was almost sent to the hospital laundry.

The incident took place in a Safed hospital when the wounded soldier was brought in from the security zone of southern Lebanon. On Friday night, the money was apparently lost when the linen of his bed was changed. When the soldier returned to his room, he panicked when he realized his nest egg was gone.

Following an extensive search of soiled linens, the director of the hospital's laundry service, David Ohana, found the soldier's money in a sealed envelope.

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