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Technion Scientists Create Nano-Bible


Scientists at the Haifa Technion have written the entire Hebrew Bible on a silicon surface the size of a grain of sugar.

Scientists said the miniature Bible was created in order to demonstrate the powers of nanotechnology to store vast amounts of data in a small space. The nanobible was created by a special computer program using a focused ion device. It will be photographed and displayed at 10,000 times its size in a 7- by 7-meter frame in the Technion's physics building.

13 Palestinian Terrorists Killed in Israeli Air Strikes

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)

Thirteen Palestinian terrorists have been killed in a wave of Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the military would continue to target the heads of Palestinian militant groups in Gaza that fire rockets into southern Israel. And those militant groups are promising revenge.

Israeli aircraft launched three strikes on Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza with pinpoint accuracy. Missiles blasted two cars carrying militants and later, three more were killed as they emerged from morning prayers at a mosque.

Among the dead was top Islamic Jihad commander Majed Harazin, who was in charge of rocket squads that have been launching daily attacks on Israeli border communities. A master rocket maker was also killed.

Islamic Jihad promised revenge, and vowed to renew suicide bombings in Israeli cities. That has the backing of the Islamic terrorist group Hamas, which rules Gaza. Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan told Palestinian radio that all factions should retaliate. He said Israel must bear the consequences of its actions.

Israeli spokesman Mark Regev said no one who attacks Israel would be immune. "They will pay a price if there is continued missile attacks on the Israeli civilian population."

Hamas Plans Temple Mount Broadcast on Jewish Holiday


The Hamas terror organization is planning a radio broadcast Wednesday from the Temple Mount – Judaism's holiest site – while the Israeli government has completely banned Jews and Christians from ascending the Mount that same day for fear of offending Muslims, WND has learned.

"Our broadcast is very symbolic and is only the start," said Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas' so-called military wing in the Gaza Strip. "In the coming years, Hamas and other organizations will be broadcasting freely from the [Mount], which will be under full Islamic control protected by a Muslim army."

Wednesday marks the Muslim holiday of Ein ul-Adhaa, which commemorates the Islamic belief of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael for Allah. The Torah says Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac, not Ishmael.

Wednesday is also the Jewish fast day of the Tenth of Tevet, which commemorates the start of the siege of Jerusalem leading up to the destruction of the First Jewish Temple during the reign of the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar. The fast also was proclaimed to mourn the First Temple's destruction.

Jewish organizations and Temple Mount activist groups in Jerusalem were planning mass visits to the Temple Mount Wednesday morning during the fast. Rabbi Chaim Richman, director of the international department at Israel's Temple Institute, which planned to lead a tour of the Mount, told WND the Israeli police informed his group they decided the Mount would be closed Wednesday to non-Muslims for fear of offending Muslims on the Islamic holiday.

Due to Israeli restrictions at Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount is open only to non-Muslims Sundays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and not on any Christian, Jewish or Muslim holidays or other days considered "sensitive" by the Waqf, the Mount's Islamic custodians.

Meanwhile, WND has learned Hamas is planning to exclusively broadcast the Ein ul-Adhaa morning prayers and following sermons from the Mount's Al Aqsa Mosque, which Muslims say is their third holiest site.

The services are slated to be aired on Al Aqsa radio, Hamas' official radio network. The station routinely broadcasts sermons and speeches from Hamas leaders and Hamas-affiliated sheiks calling for the destruction of Israel and murder of Jews. It has been airing commercials the past few days promoting Wednesday's Temple Mount broadcast.

All broadcasts from the Mount must be approved by the Waqf, which guards the Muslim entrances to the Temple Mount along with the Israeli police. Broadcasts in theory must also be approved by the Israeli police, but cameramen and reporters routinely enter the site from Muslim gates to broadcast without prior police approval as long as Waqf agents allow the entry.

Asked if the police approved the Hamas broadcast, Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmulik Ben Ruby told WND, "As far as I know, the Israeli police is not engaged with this issue."

Hamas would not say how they planned to coordinate the broadcast from the Temple Mount. But Wednesday's scheduled broadcast would not be the first by a terror group.

WND broke the story in September that the Islamic Jihad terror organization exclusively broadcast daily Ramadan prayers from the Mount on their official station, the Al Quds Network. The radio network regularly features Iranian and anti-Semitic propaganda and death threats against Jews.

According to Palestinian security sources speaking to WND, Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds radio used technicians from the Voice of Palestine, the official radio network of the Palestinian Authority, to facilitate the Temple Mount broadcasts, even though the program is not aired on PA radio. The Voice of Palestine has a permit to broadcast from the Mount. The Palestinian sources said the Waqf as well as the PA was "well aware" Islamic Jihad was broadcasting from the Mount.

Islamic Jihad, together with Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, took responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel during the last three years. Islamic Jihad also carried out scores of deadly rocket and shooting attacks and is one of the most active Palestinian terrorist organizations.

Rabbi Richman called Wednesday's scheduled Hamas broadcast "astounding." "The siege of Nebuchadnezzar is recurring again in our time, this time through the Israeli government, which is banning Jews and Christians but is allowing Hamas, who will defile God in our holiest place. There is no greater demonstration of the total spiritual bankruptcy of the Israeli government."

The First Jewish Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century BCE. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 BCE after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in CE 70. Each Temple stood for a period of about four centuries.

The Jewish Temple was the center of religious Jewish worship. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's "presence" dwelt. The Al Aqsa Mosque now sits on the site. The Temple served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering place in Israel during Jewish holidays.

The Temple Mount compound has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. Jews worldwide pray facing toward the Western Wall, a portion of an outer courtyard of the Temple left intact.

The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed around CE 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark where Muslims came to believe Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven.

Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the farthest mosque" and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque later became associated with the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

The Temple Mount was opened to the general public until September 2000, when the Palestinians started their intifada by throwing stones at Jewish worshipers after then-candidate for prime minister Ariel Sharon visited the area.

Following the onset of violence, the new Sharon government closed the Mount to non-Muslims, using checkpoints to control all pedestrian traffic for fear of further clashes with the Palestinians.

The Temple Mount was reopened to non-Muslims in August 2003 but only on select days for certain hours. During "open" days, Jews and Christian are allowed to ascend the Mount, usually through organized tours and only if they conform first to a strict set of guidelines, which includes demands that they not pray or bring any "holy objects" to the site. Visitors are banned from entering any of the mosques without direct Waqf permission. Rules are enforced by Waqf agents, who watch tours closely and alert nearby Israeli police to any breaking of their guidelines.

White House Announces Bush Mideast Itinerary

By Paula Wolfson (VOA-Washington)

The White House has announced President Bush's itinerary for his trip to the Middle East in early January. Bush will make seven stops during the trip: Israel, the West Bank, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the president would be in the Middle East from January 8 to the 16th, seeking to build on the recent U.S. sponsored peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland.

"This visit will follow up on the progress made in Annapolis in helping Israelis and Palestinians to advance their efforts toward peace and achievement of the president's vision of two democratic states living side by side in peace and security as well as to encourage Israeli and Arab reconciliation," she said.

She said the president would reaffirm America's commitment to its allies in the region, and emphasize cooperation in fighting extremism and promoting freedom, peace and security. She said his meetings with regional leaders would also include developments in Iraq, and the challenges posed by Iran.

But Perino made clear that throughout his stay Bush would have one major goal - to help facilitate the peace process now underway between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority. "The president has said there are going to be good meetings and bad meetings and the important thing is for the leaders to keep their eye on the big picture."

Deputy PM Ramon: We Will Swap Pre-1967 Land with the PA


Speaking with IDF Army Radio on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Chaim Ramon acknowledged that Israel would continue construction within some of the larger Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria. However, he added, parts of pre-1967 Israel would be relinquished to the Palestinian Authority in return for those settlement blocs retained.

Those blocs of communities, Ramon said, would ultimately be formally annexed to Israel. The Deputy Prime Minister further acknowledged that the partition wall cutting through Judea and Samaria - which is touted as a security barrier to prevent incursion by PA suicide bombers - is to be the future border of a Palestinian state.

A swap with the PA of post-1967 Israeli territories in exchange for areas inside pre-1967 Israel is not a new concept; however, Ramon's statements were the first public endorsement of the idea by a highly placed government figure. The Geneva Initiative, a non-governmental model agreement negotiated by prominent left-wing Israeli figures and PLO representatives in 2003, proposed a 1:1 exchange of 2.2 percent of the land of Judea and Samaria. Ramon cited no figures for his proposed territorial exchange.

"The Palestinians won't say that this is good," Ramon told IDF Army Radio, "but there is no doubt the Palestinians understand that, at the conclusion of the peace process, the settlement blocs will be under Israeli sovereignty in return for a land swap."

Despite public statements by second-tier officials, the PA has never acknowledged the right of Jews to live anywhere in eastern Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria or Gaza.

In August, rumors of proposals for a land swap that would include Israel turning over several Arab-majority cities inside pre-1967 Israel prompted the Prime Minister's Office to declare: "Such a plan has not been considered, nor is it being raised for discussion in any forum."

Treasure-Hunting Sisters Find Human Remains from Roman Era

By Ha'aretz

Human remains believed to be 2,000 years old were found this week by two sisters near the ruins of the ancient city of Caesarea.

Julia Shvicky of Kibbutz Barkai and Janet Daws, visiting from England, found some bones that had washed up on the shore during a stroll by the beach. "I love taking strolls at this spot. I always look for special stones and coins from the Roman era," Shvicky said. "Just as we started walking I said to my sister: 'Wouldn't it be fun if we found something interesting?'"

At first, the sisters did not know they had found human bones. They took them to the kibbutz nurse who told them the bones were part of a human spinal cord and hip. They immediately handed their find over to the police who briefly quizzed them and sent the human remains to the National Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir for examination. Though test results are not yet in, police and the Israeli Antiquities Authorities estimate the findings date back to Roman times.

The city of Caesarea has a long and varied history. It was originally built by King Herod in the first century BCE, who constructed an artificial harbor, markets, baths and a grand palace. A large hippodrome where chariot races and other events were held was later added. The city, which reached its peak during the Byzantine period, nearly vanished during the early Arab era.

A small walled town was built on a small portion of it by the Crusaders but after they were expelled from the Holy Land it was finally abandoned.

Today, the archeological site is part of the Caesarea National Park administered by the Nature and National Parks Protection Authority. Much of its ruins have been excavated and are on display. In addition, its ancient amphitheater is a popular venue for concerts.

Reflecting on her experience, would-be treasure hunter Shvicky seemed rather amused. "My sister and I were rolling over laughing we wanted something interesting and we found it," she said.

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