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>Israel Faxx
>JN Sept. 26, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 166

Israelis will Gain 5.5 lbs Over Rosh Hashanah

By IsraelWire

The average Israeli will gain 5.5 lbs over the upcoming two-day Rosh Hashanah holiday according to the Clalit HMO's chief dietician, Irit Poraz. Poraz stated that the average holiday meal will be 1,500 calories and persons must exercise a modicum of control to keep one's waistline in check over the holiday season.

Successful Syrian Scud Launch

By IsraelWire

Syria successfully tested its Korean Scud-D missile on Saturday, a reality that has Israel's intelligence community on its toes. The missile has a 360 mile range and experts stated with confidence that the Arrow anti ballistic missile system can intercept an incoming Scud-D.

Prime Minister Ehud Barak told reporters that he was concerned over the successful launching. Amid concerns by Israel's defense community, Barak added that Israel was capable of dealing with the new threat, but senior military experts pointed out that the new missile with its extended range enables the Syrians to place launchers deeper into Syrian territory, making it more difficult for Israel to locate them. Israeli officials acknowledged the new missiles are within striking range of Tel Aviv.

West Nile Virus Claims Three Lives on Monday

By IsraelWire

Health officials confirmed late Monday night that three persons died of the West Nile virus in Israel on Monday, bringing the death toll to 17.

Health Ministry officials remain divided regarding the severity of the illness which Dr. Boaz Lev, the director-general of the ministry has labeled an "epidemic." Minister of Health Roni Milo, in an effort to instill calm, rejected the doctor's labeling of the virus as an epidemic, with other senior officials pointing out that more persons die annually of the flu than the numbers of illnesses and fatalities connected to the virus.

Officials at the Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba report that the Ministry of Health has banned them from reporting deaths due to the West Nile virus.

Arab Media: Indyk Spied for Israel

By IsraelWire

Arab media around the world did not waste time following the reports of the suspension of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, for breaches of security protocols, accusing him of spying for Israel.

The media in Kuwait, Jordan, Cairo, Syria, and other Arab states have already accused Indyk, who is Jewish, of spying for Israel. This despite official State Department announcements that the investigation against Indyk stems from his using a non-classified laptop computer to record his work, a violation of State Department security protocol. Officials in the U.S. were quick to state without hesitation that the investigation, involving the FBI and Department of State, was in no way espionage related.

Chabad Emissaries in Jerusalem Fined

By IsraelWire

The Chabad emissaries who have become part of the scenery of downtown Jerusalem, manning their tefilin (phylactery) booths near the Mashbir department store and Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall, have been issued summonses by city inspectors for their efforts.

When it was learned that the booths are not licensed, left-wing city council members demanded they be fined as any vendor attempting to do business in the city without an operating license.

Chabad officials admitted that if the booths are targeted daily by inspectors, they will have no alternative but to shutdown, adding the organization lacks the fund to pay for licenses even if they desired to operate legally, adding all booths are manned on a volunteer basis.

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