Newsletter : 2fax0416.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Anti-Semitic Attack in Berlin Subway
A 58-year-old woman and her 21-year-old daughter were attacked in a Berlin subway on
Sunday night after the assailant asked them if they are Jews.
According to local police, the men, who appeared to be Arabs, assaulted the two, ripped
a Star of David necklace from the daughter's neck and fled. The victims were treated in a
Powell Works on Mideast Conference Idea
By VOA News
Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that a Middle East conference held at the
foreign minister level could be the way to re-start talks aimed at ending the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Powell's suggestion appears to be an apparent attempt to
work around Israel's insistence that Palestinian Leader Yasir Arafat be excluded.
Israel's conference proposal has been endorsed by Arafat, but Palestinians insist that
Israel must withdraw its forces from Palestinian towns and cities before the meeting can
Powell talked about the conference idea to reporters as he flew back to Israel from
brief visits to Lebanon and Syria Monday. Powell urged Beirut and Damascus to rein in the
Hizbullah guerrillas, warning that their attacks against Israeli forces in the
Lebanon-Israel border region could trigger a wider conflict. Lebanon's Foreign Minister
Mahmoud Hammoud described Hizbullah attacks on Israeli forces in the Shebaa Farms as
resistance to Israeli occupation. Powell told reporters that Syria's President Bashar
al-Assad said he would contact Hizbullah on the issue.
Marwan Barghouti Captured by Israel
By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli forces have captured Marwan Barghouti, a close aide to Palestinian leader Yasir
Arafat and a leader of the current uprising against the Jewish state. Barghouti was
arrested in an apartment in the West Bank city of Ramallah, not far from Arafat's
Barghouti is the head of Arafat's Fatah movement in the West Bank and has allegedly
been behind scores of attacks against Israelis. He is a top militant leader and is an
outspoken supporter of using violence as a tool during the current conflict, although he
has not admitted to being directly responsible for planning attacks.
The Fatah chief has been mentioned as a possible successor to Arafat and has gained
popularity as a leader of the "intifada," the Palestinian uprising against Israeli
Israel said Barghouti is a leading figure in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a group
linked to the Fatah faction. The militia has claimed dozens of attacks against Israelis,
and in recent months has begun staging suicide bombings as well. The group claimed
responsibility for a suicide bombing last Friday in Jerusalem that killed seven people.
The al-Aqsa Brigades announced that if Israel harms Barghouti, they will target Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon and Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, adding they know where
the two senior officials live and how to strike out at them.
Barghouti was arrested as a teenager for membership in an armed Fatah squad. He served
six years in prison before being deported in the late 1980s. In 1994 he was among the
first exiles to return home, following interim Palestinian peace agreements with the
Israelis. Barghouti was known then as a supporter of the peace process, and many Israelis
have been puzzled by his transformation into one of the most radical Palestinian
Israeli forces have been searching for the Fatah leader since they launched a major
West Bank offensive late last month, following a series of suicide bombings that killed
scores of Israelis.
Patriotism Among Israel's Islamic Community
When 17-year-old Rajada Saav from the Israeli Druze village of Abu Snan agreed to be
one of the torch lighters in the official Independence Day celebration, she thought it
would be an honor. To her dismay, after the news spread in her village, she was placed in
isolation by her Islamic friends who she explains have spat at her and verbally abused
Rajada explained she is not afraid and is determined to represent her village despite
the disdain of the Islamic community. Rajada, a senior in high school, explained that her
Islamic friends will not deter her despite the obscene telephone calls and acts that have
distanced her from former friends, adding she plans to serve in a national service program
following completion of high school.
The Druze community does serve in the IDF with many of its members being the leading
army trackers as well as serving in other combat units.
Israel's Population on Her 54th Birthday
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel's population numbers 6,500,000
residents. Eighty-one percent, 5,300,000 are Jews, while 19 percent, 1,200,000, are
non-Jews, mostly Arabs.
The Jewish population comprises 37 percent of the total world Jewish population as
compared to 6 percent in 1948. There are about 2 million Israelis alive today in Israel
from the establishment of the state in 1948. They comprise 37 percent of the state's
Jewish population. In 1948, the day the state was established, the population numbered
800,000. The annual growth averages 4 percent. The population increase is attributed to
the natural birth rate which accounts for about 60 percent of the total number, as well as
the immigration minus the number of Israelis who have left the country to live elsewhere.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)