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Six Egyptian Suicide Bombers Stopped


Egyptian sources have confirmed that in the past week, six Egyptians have been stopped making their way to Israel to perpetrate homicide-bombing attacks. According to a New York Times report, one of the six was Milad Mohammed Hemeida, who failed to comply with orders from IDF soldiers to stop and was killed by gunfire as he headed towards the border to Israel shouting "Ala Akbar" ("God is great").

PA Terrorists Try To Blow Up Skyscraper


Palestinian terrorists are now concentrating on attacks on a larger scale than Israel has ever known - "Satanic," one security source called them.

One such attack was thwarted over the weekend when Israeli forces, acting on intelligence information that Israel had previously transferred to the U.S., raided the PLO-controlled city of Kalkilye and found the carbomb that was to be used to blow up a Tel Aviv skyscraper.

Three terrorists were killed and 46 more were arrested, including wanted terrorists, during the IDF raid in the Kalkilye terrorist stronghold. One of those killed was local PFLP head Mussa Ibrahim Nazal, who was responsible for the suicide murders at the Karnei Shomron pizzeria that killed three Israeli teenagers. The IDF also uncovered bomb-making factories and explosives during the operation.

Israel Accepts Plan for Ending Arafat Confinement

By VOA News

The White House has welcomed as helpful and constructive Israel's decision to accept a U.S. plan for ending the confinement of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat to his Ramallah headquarters. Israel announced Sunday that it accepted proposals made by President Bush for using U.S. and British personnel to guard Palestinians wanted by Israel for the murder of an Israeli Cabinet minister last October.

Under the plan, once six men wanted by Israel are under American and British guard, Arafat would be free to travel anywhere in Palestinian- controlled territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Israeli decision followed a call by Bush to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Saturday. Asked why the White House had not mentioned the call earlier, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer mentioned the President's preference for quiet diplomacy. Israel Radio said the plan was approved at the urging of Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Defense minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer. The Palestinians have not yet formally responded to the U.S. plan.

Four Palestinians were tried and sentenced last week for killing the Israeli interior minister and drew sentences ranging from one to 18 years in prison. Israel had insisted the men be turned over to them, along with two other wanted Palestinians.

In another development, the Israeli cabinet on Sunday again delayed the arrival of a U.N. fact-finding mission which will investigate Israel's assault on the Jenin refugee camp. Although their was no official statement on the decision to delay the investigation, officials said conditions are not yet right for the U.N. team to begin the mission.

The United Nations had agreed earlier to delay its mission by one day to give the Israeli cabinet time to vote on the investigation. The main sticking point has been Israel's demand that it be allowed to decide which Israelis the U.N. team will question and the U.N.'s demand for unimpeded access to all witnesses.

Israeli officials previously had expressed concern over the composition of the investigative team, and their worry that the U.N. mission would focus on the destruction at Jenin, while ignoring Israel's contention that the camp was a haven for terrorists. Palestinians say hundreds of people, mostly civilians, were killed during the offensive. Israel says about 50 Palestinians, most of them fighters, died.

Meanwhile, no progress was reported in Israeli-Palestinian talks aimed at resolving the nearly month-long standoff at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity. About 200 Palestinians, including 30 gunmen wanted by Israel, have taken refuge in the church, which has been surrounded by Israeli forces for nearly a month.

Hizbullah Offers to Exchange Israeli Prisoners

By Greg LaMotte (VOA-Cairo)

Lebanon's Hizbullah guerrilla group has offered to trade some of the Israeli prisoners it holds to free more than 200 Palestinians surrounded by Israeli troops at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's headquarters.

The offer was made by Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah in a statement read on the guerrilla group's Lebanese television station. Hizbullah, which is listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization, captured three Israeli soldiers in October 2000 in the disputed territory of Shebaa Farms, along Lebanon's border with the Golan Heights, now occupied by Israel. A short time later the group captured an Israeli businessman.

Now Hizbullah says it would negotiate a trade of those prisoners for the release of about 200 Palestinians in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity and four Palestinians in the Arafat compound in Ramallah. The four in Ramallah are accused of assassinating Israel's tourism minister last October.

Nasrallah said Hizbullah is ready to negotiate, through any mediator possible, to achieve the release of all those brothers and solve those two cases in return for whoever is agreed upon from the prisoners Hizbullah holds. Hizbullah officials in Beirut contacted by VOA say they have not received an Israeli response to the group's latest offer.

Earlier this month, Hizbullah offered to trade the Israeli businessman for an Israeli guarantee that it would spare about 100 Palestinian guerrillas in the West Bank's Jenin refugee camp. Just hours after the offer, Israeli troops allegedly killed dozens of the gunmen during a battle in the Jenin camp.

Israelis Buying More Toronto Apartments
Courtesy of Israel's Business Arena

For the past several years, Israelis have been increasingly investing in overseas apartments and incoming-producing properties. However, the scale of these investments has reached huge proportions in recent weeks.

The Jerusalem Economic Development Authority announced its first overseas investment, buying a Paris office building for $37 million, and Israel has bought 75 percent of a Montreal office building for $17 million.

Amot Investments is also expanding its real estate purchases in Britain and has entered its first deal in the U.S., with a $30 million purchase of office buildings.

Private individuals are also increasingly buying overseas apartments. In recent weeks, hundreds bought apartments in Toronto, now a hot location in the apartment market.

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