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Senior Kaplan Hospital Physicians Suspected in Unauthorized Experiments


Israel Police fraud division investigators announced that they suspect hundreds of senior citizens were unknowingly subjected to testing in Holon's Kaplan Hospital. Police on Monday reported they plan to bring four senior physicians before the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court for allegedly conducting unauthorized medical experimentation of the elderly patients. According to reports, 12 patients died during or shortly after the experiments. Hospital officials failed to make the required notification to the Health Ministry.

Israel Says North Korean Nuclear Test Will Embolden Iran

By Sonja Pace (VOA-Jerusalem)

A senior Israeli official said North Korea's announcement that it has conducted a nuclear test shows the failure of the international community's efforts to stop Pyongyang's nuclear program and will only embolden others, like Iran, to step up their own efforts to develop such weapons.

Like most everywhere in the world, North Korea's reported nuclear test was the top story on Israeli radio and television news.

North Korea may be far away, but Israelis have been looking with increasing concern over their shoulders at nearby Iran, which adamantly seeks to develop nuclear capability, although Tehran denies that it wants to develop nuclear weapons.

Talks between the international community and Iran have not succeeded in halting Tehran's ambitions, and the U.N. Security Council is expected to discuss possible sanctions.

Senior Israeli lawmaker Ephraim Sneh said North Korea's reported nuclear test should be a lesson that condemnations and talking are not enough. Sanctions may work he said, but noted that if sanctions are imposed on Iran, they must be tough ones. Sneh advocates an embargo on refined petroleum to Iran. He said, while Iran has plenty of crude oil, it lacks the refineries to adequately supply the country's needs. He says such sanctions might make Iran take note.

Soli Shawhar takes a tougher approach. He does research on Iranian issues at Haifa University and told Israel radio, the reported North Korea test shows that, even that country's economic hardships did not deter its quest for a nuclear bomb.

Shawhar warned that sanctions will not work with Iran either. He advocates more aggressive action - toppling the regime. He said the North Korean action could be the last warning before a nuclear test by Iran.

IDF Destroys Gaza Weapons Facility


The IDF continued its counter-terror activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza with increasing reports of multiplying terror gangs in Gaza and increased Al-Qaeda involvement in the Palestinian Authority. The air force demolished a building in Gaza used for weapons storage overnight. The weapons were located in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza. A warning was issued in advance to allow civilians to clear the area.

"The IDF will continue to act with determination against terrorist organizations and terror infrastructure in order to create the conditions for the return of Cpl. Gilad Shalit and to stop terror attacks and the launching of missiles towards Israel," an IDF statement following the strike read.

The IDF did not specify to which terrorist organization the weapons belonged. The Olmert government itself has facilitated the arming of PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas' militia. Olmert allowed the transfer of hundreds of hundreds of rifles from Jordan and Egypt to Abbas' Force 17 earlier this year, following Hamas' election victory.

IDF soldiers operating in Gaza Sunday night were targeted with mortar shells. No injuries were reported. Latest intelligence assessments number at least 16 separate terrorist groups operating in the Gaza region.

Hamas spokesman Abu Obaida claimed Sunday that the ruling group has a force of more than 10,000 fighters. Israeli sources put the number at about 7,500.

Al Qaeda claimed Sunday that it was responsible for setting off a bomb at a coffee house in the Gaza region Saturday night. No injuries were reported, but the building sustained heavy damage. The group claimed it acted against corruption in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and against "immoral activities" in the Arab community. Three weeks ago, the terrorist network headed by Osama Bin Laden took responsibility for the murder of a senior PA intelligence officer and his four bodyguards.

Wafa Idris, Movie Star

By Angela Bertz (Commentary)

As President Anwar Sadat delivered his stirring words of peace and reconciliation to Israel's parliament in 1977, a pretty little girl from Cairo with alluringly large brown eyes was dreaming of becoming a ballerina. Hanan Hassan Mohamed Abd El-Karim, a.k.a. Hanan Turk, was not even three years old. By 1993, she had blossomed into a beautiful teenager and was a member of the Cairo Ballet Group.

Her talent and destiny though did not lie in ballet. As early as 1991, Hanan's sultry good looks had already attracted a famous Egyptian director who offered her a role in a movie. By the year 2000, Hanan Turk had relinquished her career as a ballerina and was well established as one of Egypt's best-known and best-loved actresses.

By some curious coincidence, Hanan Turk was almost 27 in the early part of 2002, the same age as Wafa Idris. Their lives could not have been more different, but they were destined to cross paths.

Wafa Idris was divorced after nine years of marriage and, worse still, was childless. Scorned and tainted in the eyes of Palestinian society, she moved back in with her mother, brother and sister-in-law and their five children, close to the Palestinian Authority town of Ramallah. With little hope of remarrying, and almost certainly destined to remain at the lowest level in her society's hierarchy, she was proud of the two certificates that adorned the walls of the living room. They attested to her training in a profession dedicated to saving lives.

On Jan. 27, 2002, investigators believe, she used her position as a secretary to the Red Crescent medical organization to issue documentation, and possibly the use of a medical vehicle to ease her way through Israeli army roadblocks. She then headed for the center of Jerusalem.

On that same morning, an 81-year-old, and a proud, fifth generation Jerusalemite, Pinhas Tokatli, father of four and grandfather to 13, left his home and made his way to the center of town in pursuit of one of his greatest passions - art. At just after midday, he was standing at a spot on the Jaffa road not far from where British soldiers had caused permanent damage to his vision by beating him up in the 1940s. He had no possible way of knowing that what happened to him 60 years ago would be as nothing when compared to what Wafa Idris had planned for him that fateful day.

Just after midday, Wafa came out of a nearby shoe store, where she had spent a couple of idle minutes, emerging into the packed thoroughfare of one of Jerusalem's busiest streets. Pinhas, a keen cyclist and one of the founders of the Jerusalem cycling club, chose to leave his bike at home that morning and he was now on his way to buy some paints. He never made it.

By February 1, the Palestinian Authority, whose society had had little use for the divorced and childless woman, had turned her into a figure of iconic heroism, with street parades and young girls carrying posters of her picture, eulogizing her with the words, "The Fatah movement... eulogize with great pride the heroic martyr Wafa Idris."

Wafa Idris had become the first Palestinian woman to become a suicide (homicide) bomber, killing Pinhas Tokatli. Despite her supposed dedication as a medic to save lives and live by the abiding motto of Hippocrates - which is, "First, do no harm" - she wounded more than a 100 more people that day.

True to form, a year later, this society - which thrives on encouraging their poor, demonized children to long not for a life with a bright future, living in peace with neighboring Israel and dreaming of being a prima ballerina or an aspiring actress like Hanan Turk - named one of their summer camps after Wafa Idris. One hundred girls attended the camp that summer and at the closing ceremony, special thanks were given to UNICEF for its funding and support of the camp.

This year, Hanan Turk, whose fame and beauty now puts her among one of the most influential actresses in the Arab world, was proud to announce her acceptance of the leading role in a new film dedicated to the life of Wafa Idris.

Hanan says she is busy reading all she can about Wafa's life so she can give a believable rendering of a woman who she says symbolizes true faith and courage. She wants to understand what lead this "strong woman" to sacrifice her life for the Palestinian cause and to reflect the humanistic aspect of a woman who was willing to die for her beliefs.

No doubt a precedent has been set by that other epic, Paradise Now, which was awarded the 2005 Golden Globe award for a very "humanistic portrayal" of mass murder. Of course, it's easy enough for a bunch of useful idiots sitting comfortably in multi-million dollar suites in Los Angeles - far away from the pizza parlors of Jerusalem and the buses of Tel Aviv - to be magnanimous when it's not their children who might not come home at the end of the day.

Pinhas Tokatli lived a long and full life. He was described by one of his sons as a gentle man who refused to grow old. He enjoyed painting with his grandchildren. Maybe Hanan Turk should spend the same time familiarizing herself with the life off Wafa Idris' innocent victim, or even spend some of her time in the company of his grandchildren. Maybe spend an afternoon painting with them, as he did.

Will her pride in portraying their grandfather's murderer in a human light, or in any light at all, be extinguished by such a sobering experience? Maybe she will think for a moment of an Egyptian man that almost a quarter of a century ago to the day died not making war or inciting hatred, not preaching denial or breeding ignorance - as the Palestinians do 24/7 - but extending his hand in peace and friendship.

Hanan won't be Pinhas' age for another half a century. Will she be sitting, by then, with her own 13 grandchildren at her feet and showing them her epic 96 minutes of cinematic glory? Maybe her eyes will fill with tears as she watches her closing scene, facing the camera with a handful of earth clutched in her hand to represent the soil of Jerusalem, and a mascara filled tear running down her cheek as the camera shows a splendid Hanan, a.k.a. Wafa, saying, "This is the land I am prepared to die for," before handing the scene over to the special effects team for Wafa to detonate and kill a gentle Jerusalem grandfather.

Is that the sort of pride that anyone really wants? Will Hanan still think that Wafa was "a strong woman," and, more importantly, in half a century will good have finally prevailed over evil to the extent that one of her grandchildren will look his grandmother squarely in the eye and say: "A strong woman? Don't make me laugh."

Polish Righteous Gentile Woman Nominated for Nobel Prize

By Ha'aretz

Holocaust survivor groups in Israel have joined the recommendation of the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, to award the Nobel Peace Prize to 96-year-old Irena Sandlar.

Sandler, who was a member of the Polish underground group Zegota that was dedicated to saving Jews, was recognized by the Yad Vashem Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority in 1965 for smuggling numerous Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto.

The children received false papers and were either adopted by Christian families or sent to convents. Sandler, however, recorded the real names of 2,500 children on lists that were placed in glass jars and buried, with the hope that the youngsters would eventually be returned to their families.

The Gestapo arrested Sandler in October 1943. Despite being tortured, she refused to reveal the children's identity, and was sentenced to death by a Nazi court. The underground group freed her, and she lived in hiding under an assumed identity until the end of the war.

If Sandler, who still lives in Poland, is chosen for the Nobel award, it would be the first time the honor would be bestowed to a righteous Gentile.

"Giving the Nobel prize to a Righteous Gentile is a fitting response to those who still dare to deny the Holocaust," the chairman of the umbrella organization of Holocaust survivors in Israel, Noah Poleg, said. Poleg added that if Sandler receives the prize, it would be the first time it has been awarded in conjunction with the Holocaust.

The chair of the Association of Cracovians in Israel, Lili Haber, wrote to Kaczynski that Sandler had never publicized her actions, but rather shied away from publicity. She used her wisdom and goodness to save lives and then educate others to understand the difficulties encountered by the survivors.

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