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>Israel Faxx
>JN April 16, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 64

Bomb Rocks Israeli Checkpoint

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

A bomb exploded Sunday near an Israeli army checkpoint in the West Bank as Middle East violence continued to flare on several fronts. The blast occurred after two similar explosions inside Israel and renewed fighting along Lebanon's southern border.

The pipe-bomb blast rocked an Israeli army checkpoint near the West Bank town of Qalqilya. The explosion occurred along a road connecting Jewish settlements in the territory to Israel. The incident followed two similar blasts Saturday in the nearby town of Kfar Saba, in Israel.

The attack came during a weekend of escalating violence, during which Israel sent warplanes against guerrilla fighter bases inside Lebanon. The raids were in response to rocket fire from the militant Islamic group, Hizbullah in Lebanon, which killed one Israeli soldier.

In other developments, Israeli troops entered a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip for the second time in a week, razing to the ground at least 15 homes. Israel said Palestinian militants in the camp had been hurling grenades and firing rifles at Israeli soldiers.

Israeli officials and Jordanian Foreign Minister, Abdullah Khatib are to meet Monday. It will the first visit to the Jewish State by an Arab minister since the election of Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon.

Mideast Israel Promises Continued 'Tough Stance'

By VOA News

Israel says there will be no let-up in its push to protect itself from attacks by Palestinian and Lebanese militants. Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said Sunday that pre-emptive and retaliatory strikes will continue until violence against Israel stops.

The Israeli's comments came less than a day after a deadly missile attack on an Israeli tank along Lebanon's southern border, and retaliatory Israeli air strikes.

Christians Observe Holy Land Easter

By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)

Thousands of Christians celebrated Easter in Jerusalem, rejoicing on the day and in the place believers say Jesus was resurrected from the dead. More than 1,000 people gathered for a contemporary religious sunrise service at a place called the Garden Tomb, just outside the walls of the ancient Old City.

As dawn broke in Jerusalem, the sounds of modern religious music set an upbeat tempo to Easter celebrations, reflecting the Christian belief that Jesus rose from the dead after his crucifixion in this holy city about 2,000 years ago.

While many scholars say the death and resurrection of Christ occurred in the place now marked by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre a short distance away, the Garden Tomb is an alternative site for some to remember the central miracle of the Christian faith.

Peter Wells, General Secretary of the Garden Tomb Association, said the exact location is less important than the resurrection. "Jesus, who so gloriously rose on resurrection morning, was it in this garden? Was it this tomb? We do not know. But the fact is Jesus rose, the tomb is empty."

For most Christians, the site of the resurrection is less important than the significance of the event itself. John Marshall, Chaplain of the Garden Tomb, put it this way:

"We are celebrating the greatest outpouring of dynamic power, of spiritual power that the earth has ever seen. When eternal light invaded the darkness of death because Jesus is alive."

Easter celebrations were held this year against a backdrop of nearly seven months of a violent Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Wells said the Easter message carries a lesson for everyone, Christians and non-Christians, and especially those living in places where conflict is a part of everyday life. "I think the Easter message is a great message for certainly this land and any other land of conflict. Which is to put your hope and your trust in the plan of God rather than merely in the discussions of man."

So despite the violence and bloodshed that have plagued the Holy Land for months, Christians in Jerusalem celebrated with confidence that the message of hope brought on by the first Easter is still as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago.

Signs of the Times in Haifa

By Arutz-7 News

Some 200 Arabs living in Haifa, Israel's third-largest city, have signed a petition demanding that one of its most famous streets, Zionism Blvd., be re-named with its pre-1948 name, El Jabel (the mountain).

The road climbs from the lower part of the city through an Arab neighborhood, through the middle-level Hadar neighborhood, and up the mountainside through the Bahai Temple area to the Carmel neighborhood. The street was named United Nations Blvd. in 1948, but after the UN voted that "Zionism is Racism" [a resolution which it later rescinded], the city decided to rename the street Zionism Blvd.

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