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Newsletter : 7fax0827.txt

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Sharon's Brain Not Functioning


Ra'anan Gissin, an advisor and personal friend of Sharon, told journalists Sunday that doctors cannot find any signs of activity in Sharon's brain, but that the Sharon family does not want him taken off the respirator, because "they believe he will yet recover."

The spokesman for Sheba Medical Center said Sunday that there has been no change in the condition of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and that he continues to be unconscious and to breathe with the aid of a respirator. Sharon suffered a stroke on Jan. 4, 2006 and went into a coma. Six months later he was taken to Sheba Hospital and has remained there ever since.

Israel Considers Military Action in Gaza after Palestinian Infiltration

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem) &

Israel is considering a military response in the Gaza Strip after an infiltration by Palestinian terrorists. Israel sees Gaza as a growing threat since the Islamic terrorist group Hamas seized control of the territory from the less terroristic Fatah faction two months ago.

Israeli Cabinet ministers demanded tough military action Sunday after two Palestinian gunmen scaled the heavily fortified Gaza border wall on Saturday and infiltrated Israel. The gunmen, who were on their way to attack an Israeli community, were intercepted and killed by Israeli troops. And on Sunday, six unarmed Palestinian youths scaled the wall in the same area and were arrested by Israeli troops.

In the wake of the infiltrations, and daily Palestinian rocket attacks on border communities, Israel is running out of patience. Avi Dichter, the government's public security minister, told Israel Radio that the country must restore deterrence in Gaza. He said there are military measures that Israel has not taken yet that could convince Hamas to halt rocket attacks and infiltrations.

Dichter said Israel should create a buffer zone or no-man's land along the Gaza border, where any Palestinian entering the area would be considered a terrorist and shot. He said some Palestinian neighborhoods in Gaza which militants use to launch rockets at Israel should be evacuated.

So far the measures have not been approved by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who fears they could torpedo peace efforts with the internationally-backed Palestinian government in the West Bank. But many Israeli officials believe that with Hamas in power in Gaza, a major military offensive is just a matter of time.

At least one of the three terrorists who infiltrated Saturday was a member of Fatah; all were wearing IDF uniforms and were heavily armed.

The three took advantage of heavy fog to use a rope and ladder to cross the much-touted security fence, which is being replicated in Judea and Samaria due to its purported effectiveness. To date dozens of Arab terrorists have crossed under the fence, through tunnels, including the terrorists who kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Shalit last year at Kerem Shalom.

Northern Gaza Region IDF Commander Gen. Moni Katz told Yedioth Ahronoth that the terrorists had managed to get past the security fence using a "sophisticated device" and were on their way to a vehicle driven by two other terrorists, who escaped back into Gaza during the gunfight. Katz did not elaborate on the nature of the device that allowed the terrorists to enter through the fence.

It has been speculated that the means by which the terrorists breached the wall were not at all sophisticated, consisting of ropes, pulleys and ladders, according to photos published in the major newspapers Sunday. But due to the government's heavy investment in the construction of an identical fence across Judea and Samaria the facts are being kept under wraps.

Katz said the men were armed with assault rifles, several clips of ammunition, hand grenades and bulletproof vests. He admitted that due to the weather and the terrorists' method of crossing over the fence, "Until the moment they opened fire we did not know it was an infiltration."

The Popular Resistance Committee, a joint Hizbullah-style group made up of members of Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad, said its members carried out the infiltration.

Israeli-Arab Galilee Terrorist Group Claims Another Murder


The terrorist who was killed while carrying out an attack in Jerusalem's Old City carried out a murder last month of a Jewish man, a new Israeli-Arab terror group said.

The Galilee-based Israeli-Arab terror group, which calls itself the Arab-Israeli Galilee Liberation Organization (GLO), told the PA-based Maan News Agency that Ahmad Khatib, who was shot to death after stealing an Israeli security guards gun and shooting wildly in the Old City's Christian Quarter two weeks ago, had already carried out another attack.

The group said that Khatib murdered 68-year-old Upper Nazareth resident Michael Ronkin outside his home just over two weeks ago. Ronkin was found covered with stab wounds by medics, but the investigation and circumstances of his death were the subject of a gag-order prohibiting publication until now. Ronkin's family was sure that it was a terrorist attack from the day he died. The GLO also claimed responsibility for the killing of IDF soldier Oleg Shaichat in July, 2003.

Hamas Planning Mega Attack in Israel

By Ha'aretz &

The deputy director of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) told the cabinet on Sunday that Hamas leaders in Damascus have ordered its followers in Judea and Samaria to carry out a large-scale terror attack in Israel. The news shows the growing influence of Hamas in Judea and Samaria since its takeover of the Gaza Strip following Israel's retreat.

The official, identified only as Y., said also that smuggling into the Gaza Strip has increased. Since the Hamas takeover, he said the Arabs have managed to smuggle in over 40 tons of explosives, half the amount brought in since Israel's uprooting of area Jews, two years ago. Thirteen tons have been brought into Gaza so far this month.

"There are efforts on the part of the Hamas leadership in Damascus to put together a plan to foil diplomatic efforts between Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Israel," said Y., the Shin Bet deputy head.

The Olmert government claimed that after handing over security control to Egypt the smuggling of weapons and explosives into the Gaza Strip would stop. Lately, 150 RPG rockets were smuggled in from Egypt.

He also noted that there has been a rise in terror incidents lately: Last week there were 56 incidents of shooting and rocket fire, but the week before that only had 43 such events.

Jewish Boy Served as Nazi 'Mascot'


More than 60-years after the Second World War came to an end, Alex Kurzem of Australia revealed to his family that he was a Jew who survived the war by being adopted by the SS at the age of five and becoming a Nazi mascot.

Kurzem, 70, revealed his story to his wife and two children in 1997, and now, 10 years later, a book entitled The Mascot and written by Kurzem's son Mark, has been published in London. "Who would have believed such a story?" Kurzem told Yedioth Ahronoth over the phone last week.

"Only after my son decided to dedicate himself to research did we realize that I was documented in Nazi propaganda ads and Nazi press and Nazi newsreels where the photographs appearing in the book were taken from. In newsreels I was nicknamed 'The Reich's youngest Nazi'." Dressed in a little SS uniform and armed with toy gun, Kurzem looked like a real Nazi.

"Only one Nazi knew I was Jewish, and he made me swear not to tell," Kurzem said, "This was a daily struggle, because I was troubled by it every day. Luckily, I did not look Jewish, but more German than the Germans, and so, despite my fears, no one ever doubted my identity."

Kurzem's story begins in 1941, when his Belarusian village was invaded by Germany. The then five-year-old boy managed to escape the massacre, but witnessed the death of his mother and two siblings, along with the rest of the villagers.

The young boy wandered through the woods for nine months, surviving on wild berries and handouts, until he was handed over to the Latvian police brigades, which later became incorporated into the Nazi SS.

The Latvians were convinced Kurzem was a Russian orphan of German descent. "They were sure I was a German orphan, and that's why I deserved to become their mascot," he said.

Kurzem said he does not remember Hitler, but was documented in a Nazi newsreel as being paraded before Adolf Hitler, who hailed him as an upstanding example to German youth.

"I was too young to know who was who," said Kurzem, "I don't even know my exact age. I believe I'm about 70-years-old. I didn't have any documents and I never found my birth certificate, but I have discovered that my real family name is Galperin and that I was born near Minsk."

Young Alex was given little jobs to do like polishing shoes and lighting fires. With the Russian army approaching Latvia, the Nazis sent Kurzem to live with a Latvian family in Riga.

"The family's father was a chocolatier," Kurzem said, "When the Russians approached we fled to Germany and ended up in Dresden just as the horrible bomb set the city ablaze. From there I was transferred to a refugee camp in Hamburg, and in 1949 I was asked by representatives of the Allied countries who were aiding refugees if I was interested in going to Australia where refugees were being taken in, and I've been here ever since.

"Why did they take me in and keep me as a mascot? Maybe they wanted to feel more humane in the midst of the atrocities that they caused," said Kurzem. He said that he has never visited Israel as he could never afford to do so, but told Yedioth Ahronoth that he thinks he has cousins living there from his father's side. "If the people of Yad Vashem invite me for a visit, I would love to come to Israel," he said.

Pentagon Pulls Apocalyptic Video Game

By Israel Faxx News Services

The Pentagon stopped delivery of a proselytizing videogame about the apocalypse after complaints led by a Jewish activist.

"Military Religious Freedom," headed by Mickey Weinstein, a Jewish former Air Force officer, had uncovered a plan by Operation Straight Up, a group that targets U.S. troops for evangelism, to send the "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" game to troops stationed in the Middle East.

"It's a horrible game because in it you either kill or convert the other side," Weinstein said in a statement about the game, based on the hugely popular "Left Behind" novel and movie series.

The Pentagon last week withdrew its approval of Operation Straight Up's plans to distribute the game. Muslim groups had also complained.

Nazi Films on YouTube

By DPA &

Nazi and Neo-Nazi films promoting racial hatred of Jews are being shown on the YouTube website. It is possible to watch videos of an anti-Semitic film released by the Nazis during World War II called Jud Suess on YouTube. Outlawed videos of the neo-Nazi groups Kommando Freisler and Landser are also available on the site.

Germany's Central Council of Jews is reportedly considering a criminal complaint against YouTube for allowing videos that promote racial hatred and glorify war. Such action makes the video-sharing website liable to charges of incitement to racial hatred, the council's vice president, Salomon Korn, told the German television program Report Mainz.

"I expect the prosecutor's office, other relevant authorities and, if necessary, the German government to take action against this," Korn was quoted as saying in the program due to be aired Monday.

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