Newsletter : 6fax1005.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Oil Discovered in the Dead Sea
Oil was discovered Wednesday in the Dead Sea by the international petroleum company
Genco. Dr. Eli Tenenbaum, an official of the company, said that he expected the oil to be
of commercial quality. "We have seen that the pressure at the drill is very high. When we
opened the tap the oil flowed freely for several seconds." According to Tenenbaum,
drilling has been going on at the site for several weeks. The oil was discovered at a
depth of 2000 meters. Additional tests are required to determine the total amount of oil
available in the well.
Hizbullah Listened in on IDF Cell Phones
Hizbullah intelligence listened to cell phone conversations by Israelis, including
Israel Defense Forces officers, as part of its extensive intelligence gathering operation
during the recent Lebanon war.
The organization also eavesdropped electronically on messages sent to pagers; some of
these messages were transferred through satellite uplinks.
Just as Hizbullah improved its ability to utilize the antitank weapons it acquired and
its network of tunnels and bunkers, both along the border and inside southern Lebanon, it
also made significant efforts to improve its intelligence gathering apparatus. This effort
was primarily aimed at gathering intelligence on IDF units and their movements, both
inside and outside Israel.
This is clearly evident in the way Hizbullah operatives managed to track and map the
movement of IDF patrols along the border, and thus plan the July 12 raid and ambush in
which eight soldiers were killed and two others kidnapped.
Israel had identified Hizbullah's efforts to improve its intelligence gathering before
the outbreak of the war. The matter was raised with then prime minister Ariel Sharon by
then Military Intelligence chief Major General Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, who told Sharon that
if Israel does not take the necessary countermeasures, the IDF and its activities would
increasingly become transparent to Hizbullah intelligence. The issue was also raised by
field security officers at meetings of the IDF General Staff.
While Hizbullah has clearly made significant progress in the area of intelligence in
general, its main achievements during the war were in tactical intelligence gathering. The
organization received training from Syrian and Iranian intelligence officers and manned
observation posts along the border, in places such as Maroun al-Ras.
These observation posts were equipped with sophisticated and expensive gear, mostly
Western in origin, and during the war, they reported on IDF movements, especially inside
Israel. Hizbullah also tried to run agents inside Israel.
The group also operated listening posts, and it seems that it met with some success in
this area. For example, if a pager message were sent to reporters in northern Israel,
informing them of an expected visit by the IDF chief of staff or the defense minister to a
particular location, Hizbullah would most likely have intercepted this information. This
would have been sufficient for it to order more intense rocket attacks against that
particular area of the north.
Hizbullah also set up a center for the collection of publicly available information on
Israel, such as news reports in the Israeli media. The center was also responsible for
thoroughly analyzing this data and extracting information of tactical value regarding
operational plans, morale in Israel and differing opinions within the country.
Israel has been doing this sort of intelligence gathering for many years. But it seems
that Hizbullah has now become adept at this form of intelligence and analysis as well.
UN Accuses Hizbullah, Israel of Violating Humanitarian Law
By Lisa Schlein (VOA-Geneva)
Four U.N. human rights experts said Wednesday that both sides in the recent war in
Lebanon, Israel and the Hizbullah terrorists, committed serious human rights violations
during the month-long conflict. The investigators are experts in arbitrary executions,
health, displaced people and housing.
The experts presented the results of their fact-finding mission in Israel and Lebanon
to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The joint report describes what it calls the terrible human consequences of the
conflict and the magnitude of the human rights violations. It notes Hizbullah started the
war in mid-July by kidnapping two Israeli soldiers. This, it says, provoked the Israelis
The report said actions by both sides caused many deaths and injuries, widespread
destruction of homes and public infrastructure. Israeli attacks forced a million people
in Lebanon to flee their homes, and Hizbullah missiles forced 300,000 civilians in
northern Israel to flee to the south.
Israel's permanent representative to the U.N. in Geneva, Itzhak Levanon, was critical
of the report. He said it makes no reference to the responsibility of Lebanon to
investigate acts of hostility prepared and perpetrated within its territory.
"We are not aware of any Lebanese investigation into violations of the law of armed
conflict by Hizbullah," Levanon said. "Nor has this Council undertaken any investigation
of perpetrators of terrorist activities or of the continuous flow of military supplies
from neighboring countries to Hizbullah."
Rice Promises Redoubled Efforts to Help Palestinians
By Sonja Pace (VOA-Jerusalem)
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States is very concerned about the
humanitarian plight of the Palestinian people and will redouble efforts to help them. Her
comments come amid rising tension between rival Palestinian factions.
Rice held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and, at a news
conference afterward, repeated the need for renewed peace efforts. She also said the
increasing economic crisis facing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza figured
prominently in the talks.
"I told the President [Abbas], that we are very concerned, of course, about the
humanitarian conditions in the Palestinian territories, about the economic situation."
Rice promised that the United States would "redouble its efforts to help." That, she
indicated, includes talking to Israel about improving access and movement of people and
goods to and from Palestinian areas. "I will, of course, see what I can do to make sure
that some of these crossings are open longer and more frequently so that economic activity
Rice came to Ramallah from talks in Saudi Arabia and Egypt aimed at bolstering support
for President Abbas and a resumption of peace talks.
Her efforts come amid rising tension and a power struggle among Palestinians, pitting
President Abbas and his Fatah faction against the Hamas government. A dozen people have
been killed in fighting between militants linked to the two factions over the past several
Abbas confirmed Wednesday that talks on forming a new unity government have broken
down. The president said there is at this time no dialogue with Hamas or with other
factions. He also said he would carefully weigh all options available to him, hinting he
could dissolve the current Hamas-led government and call for new elections.
Western Wall Rabbi Forbids Proposed Burning of Prayer Notes
The rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, has decided to forbid the
proposed burning of prayer notes that millions of worshipers place in the crevices between
the stones of the Wall throughout the year.
The suggestion of burning the notes was raised due to their tremendous quantities -
four times a year the Wall's maintenance personnel transfer hundreds of sacks of notes
from the wall for burial on the Mount of Olives. Rabinowitz decided against burning the
notes, and to continue with the current practice.
This decision is one of many in his recently published book (in Hebrew) "She'elot
V'Tshuvot Sha'arei Tzion" (Gates of Zion Questions and Answers), which deals with
questions concerning the Western Wall and the holy sites. In his book, Rabinowitz
explained that burning the notes could be viewed as degrading to their writers.
And in a related story, a recent innovation at Mini Israel allows visitors to leave
notes in the cracks of its miniature Western Wall. The notes will be transferred to the
real Western Wall in Jerusalem once a week.
Mini Israel CEO Haim Rogatka said that since the opening of the park, hundreds of
thousands of visitors had stood in awe before the miniature Western Wall each year. "It
was as if they were standing before the true Western Wall in Jerusalem, the capital city,"
Rogatka spoke of Mini Israel's Satmar Hassidic visitors, who cannot visit the real
wall, and said, "They come to Mini Israel, to visit and admire the exact replicate of the
original Western Wall." He said that the visiting public demanded replicating the Wall to
its smallest detail, including leaving prayer notes between the wall's stones, just like
Following much consultation, the park's officials decided to complete the missing
detail, and placed a box for prayer notes in the wall's stone built square. Visitors will
place notes between the stones from the side of the box, in order to give them a more
authentic experience. "We didn't want it to feel like dropping an envelope into an
ordinary box," Rogatka explained.
Mini Israel employees promised to collect and convey the notes to Jerusalem weekly, and
to place them between the cracks of the true Western Wall.
Baghdad's Last Rabbi to Leave Iraq
Israel Faxx News Services
Baghdad's last remaining rabbi announced on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar that
he plans to leave Iraq.
Rabbi Emad Levy, one of about a dozen remaining members of the city's Jewish community,
which once topped 100,000, compared his life to "living in a prison" as he broke his Yom
Kippur fast Monday evening.
Levy said that his father fled to Israel after Iraq was invaded by the United States in
2003, but he stayed behind to care for a Jewish octogenarian sick with diabetes, The
Washington Post reported. Levy said he would exit the country as soon as possible.
Levy said that most Iraqi Jews are homebound out of fear of kidnapping or execution.
"It's like I'm living in a prison all the time," he said. "I have no future here. I must
go out to have a life for myself.
"What should I do?" he continued. "Of course this is not the way Yom Kippur should be.
When you are alone, it is very different than when you do it in the synagogue or with a
lot of people. It is sad. This is why I must leave for the Holy Land."
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)