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UNESCO Names Tel Aviv a World Heritage Site


UNESCO plans to declare Tel Aviv a World Heritage Site for its treasure of Bauhaus architecture. Tel Aviv's White City is home to more buildings in the Bauhaus - or Modern Movement - style than anywhere in the world. The city will be inaugurated as a World Heritage Site next month. Immigrant architects trained in Europe who adapted the Modern style to suit Tel Aviv's culture and climate designed these buildings, built between 1931-1956. Tel Aviv-Jaffa is home to 400,000 residents, spread over an area of 33 square miles.

Iran Warns Israel Against Attacking its Nuke Facilities

By Xinhuanet

A top Iranian official gave a stern warning to Israel on Tuesday against staging any military attack on its nuclear facilities, state TV reported. "Israelis have repeated their threats against the Islamic Republic of Iran for a number of years, but I do not think that they will execute this stupid action," Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Hassan Rowhani said in an interview.

Referring to U.S. and Israeli press reports about speculations on a possible Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, Rowhani said, "Israel knows our reaction, and knows that we would answer with a full hand. They are aware of our abilities and power, Israel knows that we would not tolerate it, and it will get a very decisive reply," the top security official added.

The United States and Israel accused Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons, citing that the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors last year found traces of enriched uranium in Iran, the degree of which is much higher than needed for civilian purposes. But Tehran has repeatedly denied the accusation, insisting that its nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purpose.

Palestinian Terrorists Say They Are Holding Israelis' Remains

By VOA News

Palestinian militant groups say they are holding the remains of six Israeli soldiers killed in a day of fighting that also claimed the lives of eight Palestinians in Gaza City. Television footage showed militants triumphantly displaying what they said Tuesday were the remains of the six soldiers. In a joint statement, Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades said they would spell out conditions for handing the remains over to Israel.

The Israelis died when a roadside bomb planted by the Hamas militant group blew apart their explosives-packed armored personnel carrier. The vehicle was part of an Israeli force that pushed into Gaza City in what Israel says was a search for Palestinian weapons workshops. More than 100 Palestinians were wounded in the violence.

A roadside bomb exploded as their explosives-laded armored vehicle passed by. Hamas said it had used an anti-tank missile to force the vehicle into an area where it had previously planted bombs. Amid the fighting in Gaza, a senior Israeli official said there was no choice but to evacuate all Jewish settlers from the territory.

Israel's Deputy Premier, Ehud Olmert, told a conference of visiting mayors in Jerusalem that all settlers would have to be evacuated from Gaza. "There is no way that we can keep them [the settlers] living in a relaxed atmosphere without terror at any time in the future," he said. "They are destined to leave in this atmosphere of terror and almost endless confrontation."

Olmert said he was convinced that Prime Minister Sharon would press ahead with the idea despite the rejection of his disengagement plan in a referendum of the ruling Likud Party, one-week ago. "Prime Minister Sharon is a very courageous guy and I am sure that he will push through, in spite of the difficulties, in spite of the resistance, in spite of the certain opposition, because the majority of people in Israel, by the way, will support it."

Hamas claims to have filmed the deadly ambush, which is believed to have accounted for the highest death toll of Israeli soldiers in a single operation in nearly 18 months. Israeli troop reinforcements were sent to the area and conducted house-to-house searches for the remains of the soldiers after Hamas said it was holding on to the body parts.

In response, Israeli military officials condemned the public display of the soldiers' remains and said Israel has always attached great importance to retrieving the remains of its fallen soldiers. Israeli officials also said the government is not negotiating with the Palestinian militants over the return of the soldiers' remains. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has convened a meeting of his security cabinet to decide on possible further military action.

Inquiry Launched After Iranian Infiltrates Israel Through Lebanon

By Isralert

An Iranian national managed to infiltrate Israel's northern border undetected, entered a family's house in Dovev, and asked for political asylum Monday. Israel's defense establishment called the incident a "serious security failure" that would have ended badly if the infiltrator was a terrorist.

IDF forces rushed to the scene and took the infiltrator in for questioning. The man told his interrogators that he had left Iran on foot, walked through Syria and entered Israel via Lebanon. "I came to find a better life than what I had in Tehran", the man said. The infiltrator recounted where and how he had breached Israeli security and entered the country. The man had managed to get through due to a technical failure that occurred at the time.

The incident caused Northern Command great embarrassment. "It could just as easily been a terrorist", an IDF official said. Northern Command has launched an inquiry to see what went wrong and why soldiers failed to notice and apprehend the man before he reached Dovev.

The Yakuti family, whose house the Iranian entered, is still shocked over the affair. Shlomi Yakuti was sitting with his wife and friends on his porch when the man appeared. "We were sitting on the porch and the kids were playing on the grass when a strange man entered the garden", Yakuti recalled. "He was all scratched up, was shaking all over and asked us in broken English if this is Israel. He was not armed and I told him to stand up while I searched him. He then sat down on the porch with us and my father, who speaks Farsi, questioned him about his intentions", Yakuti said.

The 23-year-old Iranian told the stunned family that he had walked all the way from Iran to Syria and crossed into Israel through Lebanon. The Iranian told the Yakutis that he had come to Israel because it is a "democratic and enlightened country."

"He was scared. We gave him food and water and called the police. It took them 40 minutes to arrive. I don't understand how he got into the country undetected. My porch is 150 meters from the fence", said Shlomi.

The man told us that he had hidden from the Hizbullah on the Lebanese side of the border until he had the opportunity to reach the border, and then he jumped over the fence and walked freely to our door. If he was a Hizbullah terrorist our community would have turned into a killing field by the time security forces arrived", said Shlomi.

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