Newsletter : 10fx0108.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Iranian Students: Khamenei's Family Has Fled to Russia
Iranian pro-democracy activists say that family members of Ayatollah Khamenei have been
secretly flown to Russia. The Iranian Students Solidarity organization claims that
contacts within the regime leaked the information to them.
The move was allegedly prompted by concerns over continuing anti-regime protests and
resistance. According to these sources, Khamenei's family, including his son,
daughter-in-law and grandson, were evacuated to Russia in a private plane.
Israel Strikes Gaza in Response to Rocket Attack
By Ha'aretz & YnetNews.com
The Israel Defense Forces launched air strikes early Friday against targets in the Gaza
Strip, hours after a Qassam rocket fired from the Strip hit south of Ashkelon. Three
targets in Gaza City were destroyed in the bombings, witnesses and Hamas sources
The Qassam exploded just south of Ashkelon on Thursday, causing no casualties or
damage. The rocket fire came at the heels of a barrage of mortar shells earlier in the
day, with Gaza terrorists firing at least 10 shells into Israel, and an anti-tank missile
being fired at Israel Defense Forces troops patrolling the border with Gaza.
According to reports, the IAF struck targets in Gaza City and echoes of the explosions
were heard throughout central Gaza. Hamas and Palestinian radio stations said the
explosions heard were the result of an Israeli air strike, adding that flames and smoke
were spotted in the strike zones. Israeli media reports said Israel had targeted a weapons
factory in Gaza City.
Hamas said an Israeli warplane bombed a building in Gaza City that witnesses said
appeared to belong to the Islamic Jihad militant group. Militants barred reporters from
reaching the area.
Earlier Thursday, the Israel Air Force dropped thousands of warning leaflets over Gaza,
warning Gaza residents to stay away from the border with Israel and to avoid involvement
in smuggling, Ma'an news agency reported. One of the leaflets featured a map, and warns
Gazans that anyone within 300 meters of the security fence is endangering himself.
Syrian Druze Doctor Buried in Native Golan Heights village
In a joint effort of Israeli and Syrian authorities, a Druze doctor on Thursday was
brought to burial in Israel after living in Syria for the past 30 years. The doctor, Afif
Jamal al A'aur, was born in the Golan Heights village of Bukata and passed away last
Monday. He was in his 50s. The deceased was transferred to Israel via the Red Cross and
was laid to rest in his native village.
In 1977, al A'aur left his village and moved to Syria in order to attend medical
school. His parents and brothers stayed behind. After completing his studies, al A'aur
married in Syria and had two children. After 1982, he was forbidden to return to Israel
and began working as a doctor in the Druze village of Suwayda, near Damascus.
Once receiving word of al A'aur's death, his family members turned to Israeli
authorities and requested that they allow their loved one to be buried in Israel. The
family members turned to Deputy Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galilee Ayoob
Kara, who initiated talks with representatives of the Red Cross as well as the ministries
of interior, defense and health.
"As part of efforts to boost relations and open the Quneitra Crossing for humanitarian
and economic purposes, as well as for the passage of religious figures, students and
apples from the northern Golan Heights to Syria, there was a true willingness to allow a
deceased person's body to be returned for burial in his native village," said Kara.
"For us it is joy mixed with sadness," said al A'aur's family member. "We haven't seen
him in 30 years, since he left to study medicine. We are at least consoled by the fact
that he will be buried in his birthplace, where he spent the beginning of his life."
Yemen's Jews Fear for Their Lives, Yet Refuse to Make Aliyah
Remaining members of Yemenite Jewish community say they have paid heavy price for
radicalization of country, but won't leave for fear they will lose property, and will not
be able to return
The small Jewish community, centered in the capital of Sanaa, has been dealing with
harsh circumstances due to fundamental Islamic factions taking control of the country.
Many of its members fear for their lives but refuse to immigrate to Israel.
The community, which has only some 200 members, paid a heavy price following the
radicalization of Yemen. Only a year ago, a former pilot with the Yemeni air force shot to
death Moshe Yaish-Nahari, the brother of one of the community's chief rabbis, because he
refused to convert to Islam.
Although the members of the community do not make a special effort to conceal their
Jewish identity and long side-locks, they think twice before uttering a word in
Y., 44, who resides in the city of Dhamar and is a member of a prominent family in the
Jewish community, refused to be identified in an interview with Ynet, because he said he
feared for his life.
"Yemen is not the same country anymore," said Y., who insisted on conducting the
interview in Hebrew, after making sure he was not being listened to. "The Taliban took
control over the whole northern region; it is not easy being a Jew or a Christian here. We
do not hide, but we still prefer to travel in large groups so that we do not attract the
attention of the Muslims," he said.
According to Y., the tense reality caused several members to convert to Islam. "We are
among the few that are still Jewish. We have a community life, but there are no more
operational synagogues, and so we pray in our houses. Radical Islam has taken control of
everything. If they were to find out I am speaking in Hebrew they would have me murdered,"
Y.'s comments did not surprise the President of the Israeli Federation of Yemenite Jews
Dr. Moshe Nachum. "I have been trying to convince them to immigrate to Israel for the past
33 years. There is nothing we haven't done." According to Nachum, one of the main factors
deterring Yemenite Jews from making aliyah is the financial aid provided by members of the
Jewish Satmar community in the United State, which is known for its radical stance against
Zionism and the State of Israel.
The situation in Yemen is like a time bomb, Nachum added, calling on the remaining Jews
to leave as soon as possible. "Yemen is not itself; the Taliban has taken over it. At this
rate it will become a radical and racist country just like Iran. If the US is worried
about the situation of the Yemenite Jews and wants to take them out of there that
means the community is in very bad shape," he said.
Nachum warned that members of the community are being watched by Taliban and al-Qaeda
members and estimated that the only way to pull them out was by "using a special unit of
CIA, FBI and church factions."`
Scarves for Soldiers Campaign Announced
Standing Together (http://www.stogether.org) `has launched a new project encouraging people all over the world to knit scarves to send to Israel Defense Forces soldiers. Those wishing to participate should send an email to email@example.com.
The program is being chaired by two volunteer immigrants from the United States and
Canada, dedicated to doing their part for Israel's soldiers. Barbara Steinberg and Linda
Kaufman are looking forward to receiving the emails and hoping to get hundreds of scarves
to distribute to the soldiers this winter.
Knitters all over the world can add their personal support for Israel's troops by
knitting black, navy or dark khaki scarves for the young men and women protecting the
Jewish state this winter.
If you are not a knitter you can still help. Standing Together is also looking for
volunteers to bring the scarves to Israel. If you are planning to travel to Israel this
winter and can bring some of these hand-knitted scarves, please send an email with your
travel dates and address so the organization can make arrangements to get the scarves.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)