Newsletter : 0fax0620.txt
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>JN June 20, 2000, Vol. 8. No. 105
Syrian News Report: No Major Policy Changes
Syrian newspapers, including the English language Syrian Times,
reported that with the new administration of Bashar al-Assad, there
are no expectations of major policy changes.
The Baath Party held its first congress in 15 years in Damascus and
it reportedly was a sign of a first step to pave the way for a new
generation of leaders.
The Israel intelligence community continues to monitor the
situation in Syria closely, with official statements indicating
that no move was expected regarding the peace initiative with
Israel, for at least several months. That will allow Bashar
al-Assad time to establish himself and secure his domestic policy.
Kiryat Gat Toddler Beaten Because of Soccer Game on TV
The autopsy on the 30-month-old Kiryat Gat toddler found dead on
Friday morning revealed 16 bruises to his head area. The boyfriend
of the toddler's mother told police that he struck the child
because his crying was interfering with his watching a soccer match
on television. The autopsy revealed the official cause of death was
The 37-year-old boyfriend, Sunday evening, reenacted his crime for
police, explaining he could not hear the soccer game over the
child's cries so he struck him with a belt and then held his
The mother, 35, and boyfriend are in police custody and may face
murder charges as well as charges of interfering with a police
investigation and other related crimes in connection with the
death of the toddler.
The mother telephoned police on Friday close to midnight after
arriving home, finding the lifeless infant on the sofa. Emergency
medical service personnel were unable to resuscitate the child and
had no alternative but to pronounce the boy dead.
The body exhibited signs of abuse but police were cautious not to
make any statements prior to the autopsy which in this case,
confirmed their suspicions. The body displayed signs of beatings,
scratches and physical abuse.
The mother rejected allegations of abuse, telling police her son
was ill over past weeks with a virus, and probably died as a result
of the illness. She also explained she had a falling out with her
boyfriend whom she now alleges raped her.
Police investigators indicated that the statements given by the two
were full of contradictions, prompting police to continue to
suspect foul play was involved in the death.
Archaeologists Call for Halt to Temple Mount Destruction
Senior members of Israel's archaeological community are continuing
to call upon the government and state attorney general to
immediately halt the ongoing illegal construction on the Temple
Mount in Jerusalem, sponsored by the Muslim Wakf Authority and the
Israel Islamic Association.
The experts reiterated that the ongoing work has caused irreparable
damage to the holy site, destroying artifacts that will impact the
international archaeological community as well as all cultured
societies. Experts are now realizing that over the past months,
while the government turned a blind eye, the construction on the
Mount has destroyed thousands of years of history while continuing
to eradicate all traces of the Jewish right to the holy site.
One expert told Israel Radio that the work has far exceeded the
reports that improvements are underway in the Solomon's Stables
area, and the Wakf and IIA are working to overtake the entire Mount
in violation of the law and agreements with the government and
antiquities officials. Officials explained that the use of heavy
construction on the most important archaeological site in Israel
was a recipe for disaster and the prime minister and state attorney
general must bring an immediate halt to the illegal activities.
Bibles Found in Trashcan
Tens of IDF Bibles and Passover haggadot that were taken out of
Lebanon by soldiers have been found thrown next to a trashcan near
The sacred books were found by a security officer from Metulla,
Amir Shoshani, during a security check done by jeep along the
border. Shoshani was shocked to find the books left by the
trashcan. The area had been used in previous days as a central
gathering point for army equipment removed from southern Lebanon.
Shoshani took the bibles and other books in order to return them to
the IDF. According to the IDF spokesman, the incident will be
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