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>Israel Faxx
>JN Aug. 28, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 148

Mifal HaPayis Birthday Gift Wins Big

By IsraelWire

A one-day old baby has become Israel's latest millionaire, having struck it big in the Mifal HaPayis national lottery last month. The baby received the standard four lottery tickets awarded to all newborns, one of which hit the NIS 1.5 million prize (approx. $357,000).

Soldiers May Have Been Killed by IDF Fire

By IsraelWire and Arutz-7 News Services

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Shaul Mofaz on Sunday said that a shootout, which took place in Samaria on Saturday night between IDF elite Duvdevan commandos and Hamas terrorists, and which resulted in the death of three Israelis and the wounding of a fourth, is under investigation.

Mofaz said the events that took place would be investigated with scrutiny, adding that it appears possible all three commandos were killed by IDF fire, perhaps due to their mistakenly being identified by other IDF forces as terrorists.

Efforts to capture one of the most-wanted Palestinian terrorists have failed. In an attempt to soften the blow of the botched mission, Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said that several weeks ago, the army did confiscate tons of explosives in a laboratory overseen by the terrorist.

The incident began at 9:45 p.m. Saturday, when IDF troops arrived in Kfar Atzira, north of the Shomron town of Shechem; the mission was to apprehend arch-terrorist Mahmoud Abu-Hunud, who was hiding in one of the houses there. For reasons not yet clear, Abu-Hunud was able to spot the unit, and shot at the soldiers from the rooftop of his house.

"After a difficult chase through orchards and terraced farms near the village, Abu-Hunud reached an Arab-run hospital in Shechem, and soon turned himself into the Palestinian Authority paramilitary police," reported Arutz-7. "It was during the pursuit through those orchards that the fourth soldier was injured, it seems, from 'friendly IDF fire.'"

Prime Minister Ehud Barak issued a statement offering his sympathies for the deaths, and expressing understanding for "the deep mourning of the families who lost their sons in the incident." He said that "despite the high price, Israel will continue to fight terrorism with all its strength. The terrorists and those who dispatch them will not escape. The IDF and the security forces will continue to stand guard and defend the State of Israel and its citizens."

IDF sources dismissed early rumors that PA paramilitary police had leaked information about the mission to Abu Hunud. Arutz-7 explained that, as a matter of routine, the IDF establishes contact with the PA forces in a given village shortly before launching such a mission: "The reason for this is simple: the area is categorized as 'Area B-plus'-joint Israeli and PA control, with the addition of a PA police station. If we were not to warn them that we are entering, we risk being shot at by the PA forces.

Mahmoud Abu Hunud is responsible for the deaths of at least 21 Israelis over the past five years. Arutz-7's Kobi Finkler reviewed Israel's file on the terrorist.

"Abu Hunud's worst atrocities were the Machane Yehuda and Ben-Yehuda street suicide bombings in the summer of 1997, attacks that killed 19 people. Of the six suicide bombers dispatched to carry out those attacks, four were from his village of Kfar Atzira. He began organizing 'local militias' about 10 years ago, but intensified his activity when he took the helm of a unit of the Hamas Izadin-el-Kassam terrorist cell. He was first cited in connection with the shooting of a Jewish doctor in the vicinity of the community of Elon Moreh in 1995, and he helped plan the 1996 murder of high-school student David Boim on the outskirts of Beit El."

Barak said that Israel will, in the future, demand that Abu Hunud be turned over to Israeli authorities. In August 1997, Palestine National Council member Hanan Ashrawi told a Voice of Palestine interviewer: "No Palestinian will ever be extradited to Israel. A decision has been made to this effect, and it is inconceivable to think that such a thing would ever happen."

For the Barak to pretend otherwise, National Religious Party leader Rabbi Yitzchak Levy said Sunday, is an "embarrassment and a national disgrace."

Barak: Israel will Maintain Sovereignty Over Temple Mount

By IsraelWire

During a meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorbjoern Jagland in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Ehud Barak stated that no prime minister of Israel would agree to turning over sovereignty of Jerusalem's Temple Mount to a foreign nation.

Barak told the visiting dignitary that the PLO Authority (PA) would have to show a willingness to achieve a comprehensive peace that is acceptable to both parties and Yasir Arafat's continued unwillingness to make necessary compromises would lead to a breakdown of the Oslo process.
Israeli forces liberated the Temple Mount from Jordanian occupation in the June 1867 Six Day War. It has since placed the day-to-day control over the Mount in the hands of the Wakf Islamic Authority. The PA is now demanding that Israel turn over control of the Mount to be included as part of the capital of a Palestinian state.

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