Newsletter : 2fax0410.txt
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Israel Unfurls Its Flags
David Shragai, director of Degalim U'Semalim, an Israeli flag
company, said that the demand for Israeli flags this year is very
much greater than in recent years. "It's clearly a result of the
security situation in Israel today. In situations like this,
everyone's eyes are turned to the... Israeli flag." He said that
sales are up 100% over last year, "and if I had another 100,000
flags in stock, I would also be able to sell them... In Bnei Brak
and in hareidi neighborhoods of Jerusalem, too, demand for Israeli
flags is up."
Red Heifer is Born in Israel
In these days of difficulty for the Land of Israel, there is
encouraging news as well.It can now be revealed that less than one
month ago, a red heifer was born in Israel. After the heifer's
owner contacted the Temple Institute, on Friday, April 5, Rabbis
Menachem Makover and Chaim Richman traveled to the farm where the
heifer is located, to inspect and validate her status.
The rabbis found her to be kosher and were satisfied that this
heifer could indeed be a candidate to be used in the process of
purification described in the book of Numbers, chapter 19. This is
a prerequisite for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.
Tradition records that a red heifer in our generation is a herald
of the Messianic era. It is certainly an important development
towards the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. Our sages taught that
Israel's redemption can be compared to the dawn. "In the beginning,
it progresses very slowly...but as it continues, it grows brighter
Sharon Says Offensive Will Continue; 13 Soldiers Killed
By VOA News
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Israel's West Bank offensive will
continue until, what he calls, the infrastructure of Palestinian
terror groups is destroyed. Sharon spoke Tuesday after 13 Israeli
soldiers were killed in the Jenin refugee camp, where Israeli
forces have met stiff resistance from Palestinian gunmen. The army
says booby-traps blew up a building which crushed some soldiers.
Others were killed by gunfire from surrounding rooftops.
The Israeli military said the soldiers died in an ambush, when a
booby-trapped bomb factory blew up. The army said the soldiers were
on the first floor of the building, when explosives were detonated
and the structure collapsed on them. The military said that after
the explosions, Palestinian gunmen opened fire on the troops from
the rooftops of surrounding buildings. It was the single deadliest
incident involving Israeli forces in more than 18 months of
fighting with the Palestinians.
Israeli troops have been going house-to-house in Palestinian towns
and refugee camps searching for weapons and wanted militants.
Palestinian officials estimate more than 100 Palestinians have been
killed in the Jenin camp over the last week, and there have been
heavy casualties elsewhere.
Elsewhere, witnesses say Israeli tanks and bulldozers have moved
into a Palestinian-controlled area of the Gaza Strip, reportedly
demolishing a Palestinian security post. Until now, the Israeli
offensive had left Gaza untouched.
In Nablus, F-16 fighter jets bombed the city's Al-Yasmina district.
Israel had claimed to take over the city but witnesses report
renewed fighting there between Israeli troops and pockets of
Palestinian gunmen. Witnesses also reported that Israeli forces
have blown up a factory in Nablus. Reuters news agency quoted an
Israeli spokesman as saying Israeli troops had found numerous bombs
inside the facility.
Early Tuesday, Israel pulled troops out of two West Bank
Palestinian towns, Tulkarem and Qalqilya, but invaded another,
Dura. Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in Dura and arrested
dozens of people. Israeli forces continue to enforce a blockade on
Tulkarem and Qalqilya. Israel says its operation to wipe out
militant networks there was a complete success.
In Bethlehem, a standoff continued where Palestinian militants are
hiding out in the Church of the Nativity. The Israeli military is
surrounding the church, but said it would not attack the holy site,
where tradition says Jesus was born. Palestinian gunmen inside the
Christian shrine are refusing calls to surrender.
The United States has been putting heavy pressure on Israel to
withdraw from Palestinian territory. The White House said President
Bush is still looking for results from his demand for Israel to end
the offensive now. The European Union called the pull-out from the
two towns positive but not enough, and demanded an immediate
Powell Says He Intends to Meet Arafat
By VOA News
Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is expected in Israel late
Thursday, said he intends to meet with besieged Palestinian leader
Yasir Arafat, as part of his peace mission to the Middle East.
Speaking in Cairo Tuesday after meeting with Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak, Powell said he comes to the region committed to
doing everything possible to end the raging violence in the West
He is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Friday. No timetable has been announced for the Arafat meeting. The
secretary praised the beginning of an Israeli withdrawal from
Palestinian cities, and said he will ask all Arab leaders to call
a halt to suicide bombings that triggered the Israeli offensive.
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