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Policeman Attacks Hebron Jewish Boy


Jewish residents of Hebron say a police officer beat a boy in the Giv'at Avot neighborhood of the city on Thursday evening. They add that the boy was not allowed to receive treatment for his wounds.

The residents deny the policeman's charge that the beating followed the boy's violation of house arrest and called the attack a deterioration of relations between police and the community.

Experts: Iran has Enough Nuclear Material for a Bomb

By Israel Faxx News Services

Iran has produced nearly enough nuclear material to create one atomic bomb, nuclear experts told The New York Times.

The experts used the figures reported in an International Atomic Energy Agency routine update, released Wednesday, to determine that Iran could make the bomb, with some additional work, including purifying the material and putting it into a nuclear warhead. Experts do not know if Iran has this know-how.

"They clearly have enough material for a bomb," Richard Garwin, a nuclear physicist who helped invent the hydrogen bomb, told the Times. "They know how to do the enrichment. Whether they know how to design a bomb, well, that's another matter."

The IAEA report said that as of early November, Iran had enriched about 1,390 pounds of uranium. While Iran claims it is planning to use its nuclear program to generate power, the United States, Israel and other Western nations believe Iran is planning to make nuclear weapons.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog also said Iran was obstructing investigations and that without the requisite transparency the group "will not be able to provide credible assurances about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran."

Barak: West Must Unite with Russia, China Against Iran

By Ha'aretz

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has called on Western powers to set aside their differences with China and Russia to create a united stance against Iranian efforts to develop nuclear weapons, in an interview published Thursday with

"The triad of nuclear proliferation, radical Muslim terror, and rogue states, epitomized in the Iran case, can be defeated only through a paradigm shift in international relationships," Barak told Bloomberg during the interview.

Barak said that U.S. and European concern over Russian military presence in Chechnya and Chinese human rights violations was proving an obstacle to unified action against Iran's nuclear program.

He also told Bloomberg that the U.S. should rethink its plan to deploy missiles in Eastern Europe considering Moscow's opposition to such a move. "The other issues are not as urgent. The time for sanctions is still there, but it is short... The way I see to make it effective is to cut through the psychological obstacles about cooperating with Russia and China and open a new discourse."

Peres: Evacuation of Settlers May Lead to Civil War

By Ha'aretz

President Shimon Peres told members of the British Parliament Wednesday that Israel would have difficulty dismantling West Bank settlements without causing a civil war in Israel.

On the second day of his state visit to Britain, Peres Wednesday became the first Israeli leader to address members of both houses of Parliament in the House of Lords' Robing room.

"The State of Israel began to take shape as Great Britain, under the leadership of Winston Churchill, saved the world from the Nazi threat. It was a time when many countries closed their gates to Holocaust survivors," Peres said.

"My family arrived in Israel when it was still under British mandate. In our pockets were British Palestinian passports. In our hearts was the Balfour declaration. Israel would not have a vibrant democracy if it hadn't been for the British legacy."

While Peres spoke, some 20 pro-Palestinian protesters called on Britain not to maintain ties with the "apartheid state" Israel and the "war criminal" Peres. A larger demonstration was held outside Oxford University's theater on Tuesday, when Peres' speech on 'Peace and Globalization" was disrupted by some 150 anti-Israel protesters.

Some of the demonstrating students entered the lecture hall, which was open to all students and interrupted Peres' speech repeatedly, protesting Israel's conduct in the territories.

The protesting students were removed, except for one who approached the president, but were silenced by a majority of the audience while the president carried on with his speech.

In his address to the parliament members, Peres said he "responded positively" to the Arab peace initiative. "However, it should be clear that agreement can not be achieved by a simple 'take-it-or-leave it' offer. We couldn't accept all the articles of the Arab Initiative. The truth is that it's hard to answer all demands at a time when some parties in the region reject peace. Hamas violently rejects compromise. It continues to fire rockets at Israeli civilians. We can understand land for peace but will not accept land in return for rocket fire."

Olmert Gov't Continues Secret Peace Talks


Though even Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz says Ehud Olmert has no legal mandate to conclude a peace agreement as lame-duck Prime Minister, secret talks to this end continue. So reports Aaron Klein for WorldNetDaily, based on "multiple informed Israeli and Palestinian sources."

The negotiators' are hoping to conclude a major, though not complete, agreement before the end of President George W. Bush's term two months from now, on Jan. 20. Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas is also expected to leave office around that time, if elections between Hamas and Fatah are held on January 10, as currently scheduled. Elections in Israel are scheduled for shortly afterwards, on February 10.

"The sources, including a senior Palestinian negotiator, said the aim is to reach a series of understandings to be guaranteed by the U.S. that would result in an eventual Israeli withdrawal from the vast majority of the West Bank," Klein reported.

One of Israel's three leading prime ministerial candidates – Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of Kadima, who has been heading the negotiations for Israel for the past year – is actually opposed to reaching an incomplete agreement that leaves certain issues unresolved. Both she and Abbas have long agreed that "nothing is considered agreed until everything is agreed."

Some say that this is because of the lessons she learned from previous partial agreements, which led to the Oslo War and over 1,300 Jewish deaths. Others say that Livni is concerned that an agreement on Jerusalem or refugees before elections would further harm her prospects among center-right voters.

Though final-status talks on Jerusalem are not being considered at this time, the secret talks currently underway also deal with granting permission to the PA to open official institutions in Jerusalem in the meanwhile.

An agreement might allow the PA to open scores of offices and institutions in eastern Jerusalem, such as the building it long used as its headquarters, Orient House. Thousands of documents captured by Israel from Orient House after it was closed down several years ago proved that the offices were used to directly finance terrorism.

Teams of Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have been quietly meeting regularly over the past few weeks, Klein reported. There is no expectation of concluding a deal on Jerusalem or Arab refugees; the talks are concentrating on reaching an agreement emphasizing borders, including a pledged Israeli evacuation of the vast majority of Judea and Samaria - the strategic West Bank, which borders central Israeli population centers.

A PA source told WorldNetDaily that the U.S. is actively desirous of an Israeli withdrawal from almost all the areas it liberated in 1967, and to this end is closely monitoring Jewish settlement activities there. Israeli forces have evacuated and destroyed several start-up neighborhoods in recent weeks.

Will Child Circumcision be Banned in Denmark?


At a time where anti-Semitic acts seem to be on the rise in Europe, a bill was proposed in Denmark that will affect mainly Jews – the banning of male child circumcision.

Denmark's National Council for Children has recommended the legislation of a law banning circumcision of boys under the age of 15. The passing of this law would make the Jewish mitzvah and tradition of circumcising a child on his eighth day a crime.

The country's Ethics Council supported the proposal and now only the parliament's medical committee can intervene and prevent the proposal from being heard. "Circumcision is the irreversible damage to a child's body before he is given the chance to object," the National Council for Children argued.

The Council further claimed that the banning of male child circumcision was a matter of equality among the sexes. "Just like female circumcision was banned five years ago, male circumcision should be banned," the Council said.

The new proposal caused a storm among the Jewish and Muslim populations in Denmark, with 95 percent of the 7,000 Jewish population circumcising their sons.

Denmark's Chief Rabbi Bent Lexner – who is also a certified circumciser in the community – said he hoped the matter would be left alone. "The comparison between circumcision and the intentional mutilation of the female sex organ in certain societies is simply complete nonsense," Lexner told Yedioth Ahronoth. "If the law forbidding circumcision is ever passed in Denmark, Jews will have to leave the place they have been living in for hundreds of years."

IDF Envisions Army of Animal Robots for Rescue Missions, Military Ops

By Ha'aretz

A cat-bot that climbs the walls using its claws, a dog-droid that responds to human movements, and a robot which releases glue through its wheels while scaling buildings met Wednesday in Herzliya. This might sound like the beginning of a joke or a description of the scene of a science fiction movie like Star Wars. In reality though, this was the scene at a robot exhibition in the central coastal town.

The wall-scaling robot may look like a small mechanical toy, but in practice it is quite a sophisticated device: it is capable of crawling up vertical walls, can turn corners without falling, and successfully navigate through obstacles without difficulty.

The robot is the offspring of a family of robots which were developed by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; a project which was launched following the abortive 1994 operation to rescue abducted soldier Nachshon Wachsman. Wachsman and an officer from the elite reconnaissance Sayeret Matkal unit, Captain Nir Poraz, were killed in the operation.

"They held Nachshon Wachsman on the second floor of the building, but the forces on the ground that carried out the rescue did not know that," Dr. Amir Shapira of Ben-Gurion University said. "After the operation, the army came to us and requested that we build something that would allow it to 'peek' inside the second floor, so we looked for a robot that could stick to the wall."

Shapira said there were a number of ways to create a robot that could do this, and his team of researchers explored each possibility: the robot could adhere to the wall through the use of glue, a vacuum, magnets, or claws. "The robot with claws climbs the wall like a cat climbs a rough-textured wall," Shapira said. "Another robot has wheels with glue and it can move on completely smooth surfaces, even glass."

Aside from military observation missions, the wall-climbing robots could be used in the future for planting antennas as well as for cleaning windows. Ben-Gurion researchers have also developed "robot snakes" capable of slithering on the floor and passing through pipes and narrow openings.

Also on display at the exhibition were little dog robots manufactured by Sony and developed at Bar-Ilan University. The dog, called Aibo, responds to being petted, wiggles his ears, and dances. It also obeys instructions through the use of camera attached to its nose. The camera can also identify objects like balls.

Bar-Ilan researchers use the Sony robots and reprogram them to cooperate with other robots. The dogs know, for instance, to march in a pack and to gather objects and place them at a collection point

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