Newsletter : 2fax0501.txt
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A new Internet website has made hundreds of Hebrew-language books
accessible to those who have a free Acrobat reader available from
the Israel Faxx home page. The URL is www.hebrewbooks.org. The
website boasts 119 American journals and 650 seforim. Among the
books is Avne Yehoshua by Rabbi Joshua Falk, New York, which is the
very first sefer written in the U.S. in 1860.
Israeli Forces Leaving Hebron
By VOA News
Israel is withdrawing its forces from Palestinian-ruled areas of
Hebron after a search and arrest invasion that began Monday.
The Israeli army said it arrested 200 people in the West Bank city,
including men on its wanted list. The IDF said it plans to complete
the pullout later Tuesday. But Israeli troops remain stationed
around a Hebron hospital where about 20 Palestinian militants are
holed up inside.
At least nine Palestinians were killed when Israeli forces entered
Hebron on Monday. Israel says it launched the incursion to crush
what it called the city's terror infrastructure, two days after
Palestinian gunmen killed four Israelis at a nearby Jewish
An Israeli commander, Mosher Ager, said the Hebron raid may be the
last operation of Israel's month-long West Bank offensive.
However, Israeli forces also raided two West Bank Palestinian
villages early Tuesday, searching homes and arresting a number of
people before pulling out. The operations were in Shawara, near
Bethlehem, and Silat al-Harithiyeh, near Jenin.
In the Gaza Strip, one Palestinian was killed and another wounded by
Israeli troops at the Khan Younis refugee camp. The Israeli army
said it fired at armed men who approached a Jewish settlement.
In Ramallah, shooting erupted briefly near the besieged
headquarters of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. Israeli soldiers
blamed Palestinian gunmen for opening fire. There were no reported
U.S., British and Palestinian officials have reportedly resumed
talks to work out details of a plan ending Israel's siege of the
Arafat compound. Under the U.S.-brokered deal, Israel is to allow
Arafat freedom of movement, and six Palestinians wanted by Israel
will be taken to a jail in Jericho, where they will be watched by
U.S. and British guards.
26 Palestinians Leave Besieged Bethlehem Church
By VOA News
Twenty-six Palestinians have left the Israeli-besieged Church of
the Nativity in Bethlehem - the largest single group to emerge from
the compound since the standoff began nearly one month ago.
An Israeli army spokesman said half of the group are members of the
Palestinian security forces and the other half, civilians.
A Franciscan priest escorted the group - including many youths -
out of the church one-by-one Tuesday. Each person had his identity
checked and was taken into custody and interrogated by the Israeli
army about the Palestinian gunmen still inside the church. The
evacuation agreement was reached earlier by Palestinian negotiators
and Israeli military officials meeting in Bethlehem.
Between 180 and 200 people, including about 30 armed militants
wanted by Israel, are still in the church. Israel said the
civilians have been held hostage by the militants. The Palestinians
denied that anyone is being held against their will.
Palestinians Call For Sanctions On Israel
By VOA News
Palestinian officials are calling on the United Nations to impose
sanctions against Israel - unless the Israeli government cooperates
with a U.N. fact-finding mission to the Jenin refugee camp.
The Palestinians said Israel's refusal to work with the U.N. team
indicates Israeli forces committed war crimes in the camp. Israel
strongly denied Palestinian accusations that its soldiers carried
out a massacre at Jenin during their West Bank offensive this
Earlier Tuesday, a top U.N. official said Secretary-General Kofi
Annan is thinking about abandoning the mission because of Israel's
refusal to cooperate. Undersecretary-general Kieran Prendergast
said Annan believes a thorough, credible, and balanced report on
what happened at the camp is not possible unless Israel works with
Israel's government said it would not work with the mission until
its conditions on the U.N. team's mandate and make-up are met.
Annan told reporters Tuesday that the United Nations has "really
done everything to deal with their concerns." He said he was
waiting for a formal notification from Israel before deciding the
Annan recalled that Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and
Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer had told him that a U.N.
probe would be welcome and that Israel has nothing to hide.
Anti-Semites Smash London Synagogue
Anti-Semitic vandalism made a dramatic appearance in England this
past Saturday night. Vandals desecrated the Finsbury Park Synagogue
in London, such that worshipers who entered the synagogue the next
morning were greeted with a swastika painted on the rabbi's
lectern, torn prayer books, and over 20 smashed windows. Green
paint was splashed on the holy ark, and various religious articles
were destroyed. An Israeli flag, which had been stomped on and
covered in paint, lay on the floor.
Statistics show a seven-fold increase in attacks on British Jews
since the beginning of the year. Jeremy Newmark, the official
spokesman for the UK's Chief Rabbi, emphasized the seriousness of
this attack: "This is the first incident in the country that
resembles what's happening on the continent [the rest of Europe]."
Jewish communities throughout Europe have encountered a wave of
attacks on synagogues, Jewish schools, and cemeteries in the past
several months. A synagogue in Marseilles, France was recently
burned to the ground.
Girl Scout Stands Up for Israel
American Girl Scout Erica Belkin, 16, insists she will be marching
in her girl scout uniform in the upcoming New York City Salute to
Israel Day Parade. Girl Scout officials have already told her she
may not, explaining the parade is a "political event," and
therefore, she may not march in uniform.
Belkin however has a different view on the issue, explaining that
other scouts have in the past marched in uniform on the St.
Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, the Chinese New Year and other
religious and national holiday, the New York Post reported.
Erica announced it is an issue of her Jewish pride, rejecting the
ruling by scout leaders. She is accusing them of imposing a double
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