Newsletter : 10fx1020.txt
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Plane Collision Narrowly Averted
The IDF reported that on September 25 a collision between a British passenger plane and
an IDF warplane was narrowly averted. The British plane had taken off from Sharm el-Sheikh
in Sinai and entered Israeli airspace without a permit and without coordination with
The British plane entered an air corridor where IDF planes were conducting exercises,
and a collision was averted at the last minute. Israel has filed a sharp protest with
Egyptian aviation authorities over the incident.
Survey Indicates Large Oil Field Buried Under Negev Sands
A new preliminary geological survey indicates 26 million barrels of recoverable oil
worth $2 billion may be sitting underneath the sandy soil in the area of two kibbutzim in
the Western Negev, near Gaza.
Energtek announced it has received a geological survey on the Nir-amSa'ad block,
"identifying the potential for exploitable oil and natural gas reserves." Its subsidiary
Energtek Products has the exclusive license to explore and exploit the resources in the
The firm added, "Current estimates will need to be confirmed by additional studies.
Additional seismic analysis, modeling and further verifications are required to compile
more accurate data on the fields and to provide more accurate reports on actual
Besides the estimates of oil at a depth of 2,000 meters, or approximately 1.25 miles,
the preliminary survey also reports an additional estimate of 12 million barrels of
recoverable oil at depths of up to 4,000 meters, worth $900 at current prices.
The area is adjacent to the small Heletz oil field, which so far has produced more than
16 million barrels of oil. If the new field is drilled, it will be the first deep-well
drilling in the area in decades.
The announcement of the possible new field comes one day after Israel entered a new era
with the beginning of drilling of the huge Leviathan natural gas and oil field off the
northern Mediterranean Coast.
Drilling and exploration over the next five months will cost $150 million, according to
Delek Energy, the parent of Delek Drilling and partner Avner Oil. American-based Noble is
also part of the consortium.
"The drilling is intended to examine the potential of the Levantine basin," according
to Delek chief executive officer Gideon Tadmor, chief executive officer. "If this drilling
project turns out to be a success, it will significantly strengthen Israel's energy
Noble also operates the nearby Tamar gas field, which it said may hold twice the
reserves of reserves in Britain and can supply Israel with enough gas for decades.
Oren: No One will Dictate Israel's Borders
Israel's ambassador to the United States Michael Oren remarked on Tuesday that Israel
would not allow anyone to dictate its borders. "Like Ben-Gurion, Netanyahu will not allow
the United Nations, or any other organization, to dictate our borders, he told the Chamber
of Commerce in Washington D.C.
In September, Israel entered into U.S.-sponsored direct peace negotiations with the
Palestinians, which subsequently broke down in the wake of the expiration of a temporary
Israeli moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements. As part of the negotiations,
Palestinian negotiators have demanded the establishment of a Palestinian state along the
"Today, too, Israel is blessed with principled and courageous leadership. While facing
terrorist groups sworn to destroy every last one of us - women, children, senior citizens
- and some 60,000 Hamas and Hizbullah rockets pointed directly at our homes; with
so-called human rights organizations and boycott movements and campus coalitions denying
our right to defend ourselves and even our right to exist, and with Iranian leaders
swearing to wipe us off the map and striving to produce the nuclear means for doing
. With all of those challenges, the Israeli government under PM Benjamin
Netanyahu has not for a nanosecond reduced its commitment to peace," Oren said.
"But not a peace at any price," he added. "Not a peace that will impair Israel's
security or impugn its identity as the nation state of the Jewish people.
As Netanyahu said last year in his Bar-Ilan speech, he will not allow any future
Palestinian state to become another Lebanon or Gaza."
Report: Cuban Pilots Helped 150,000 Jews Flee to Israel in 1950s
Five Cuban pilots were responsible for bringing to Israel 150,000 Jews from Iraq, Iran,
India and Yemen during the 1950s, the French daily La Liberation reported on Monday.
According to the report, which is based on an interview the Cuban historian Rolando
Marron gave to the Cuban daily Juventud Rebelde, the details of the operation have been
kept secret for over 60 years until this past Sunday. Marron said that among the Jews
brought between 1951 and 1952, 115,000 refugees were from Iraq, 25,000 were from Iran, and
several hundreds from Yemen and India.
"The condition of the Jewish populations in the surrounding Arab states was difficult
due to historic conflicts", Marron was quoted as saying. "Since the governments of those
Arab countries prohibited the Jews to leave by land, and since transport by sea was
difficult, the Israeli government organized one of the most important aerial mass
migrations in history."
Israel Invites Chilean Miners for a 'Spiritual' Christmas
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov on Monday extended an official invitation to the 33
Chilean miners who were rescued last week to experience a "spiritual journey" this
Christmas in the Holy Land.
The men, who were trapped underground for 68 days in a mine in Chile, are invited to
Israel with their spouses for a week-long, all-expense paid sightseeing tour of various
sites holy to Christianity.
"Your bravery and strength of spirit, your great faith that helped you survive so long
in the bowels of the earth, was an inspiration to us all," the tourism minister wrote in
his invitation. "It would be a great honor for us to welcome you as our guests in the Holy
"This December, Christians around the world and here in the Land of Jesus - will
celebrate Christmas. During that time, we welcome tens of thousands of pilgrims and we
would be pleased to offer you this uplifting and extraordinary experience, as our
The Tourism Ministry invitation includes flights, hotels and full board for 5-7 days,
as well as sightseeing tours and visits to holy sites.
IDF to Block Facebook, Gmail to Prevent 'Gifts for Hamas'
The Israel Defense Forces plans to block several prominent websites, among them social
networks Facebook and Twitter, as well as email sites like Gmail a military
intelligence official told Channel 2 on Tuesday.
The head of the intelligence corps information security Gadi Abadi said that the sites
would blocked on computers that have internet connections on army bases and offices where
classified materials are kept. However, these sites would be accessible from computers
situated in the unit's break room. Soldiers would still be able to access the blocked
sites on their cellular phones.
Abadi explained that the block aims to maintain information security. "We give IDF
soldiers a lot of credit," he said. "They are good soldiers who care deeply about
security, but they are human. When a soldier is in his office at the unit, the risk of
confusion and mistakes is higher. When you separate the work environment from the
non-operations environment, the number of mistakes drops significantly."
Following the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the IDF established a special unit whose
purpose was to prevent the leakage of classified information onto the internet via social
networks. The unit scans a list of popular websites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace
looking for breaches of security.
Military Intelligence also disseminated a memo on the protocols of transfer of
information online in efforts to raise awareness on the dangers of such inadvertent
"Who has been handing out gifts to Hamas?" the memo read. "Images from which classified
information can be gleaned have been located online on a Hamas forum! These photos include
IDF weapons, military exercises during Cast Lead, photos of senior officials, a photo of a
drone and more. Most of these pictures were uploaded to social networks by IDF soldiers.
Exposure of such classified information undermines the element of surprise and could lead
to attacks on our forces."
Dead Sea Scrolls Go Public and Digital
The Israel Antiquities Authority is cooperating with Google Israel on a huge project:
the creation of an online digital library that will finally display the Dead Sea scrolls
to the general public, more than 50 years after their discovery. The scrolls include all
of the books of the Bible and date from the late Second Temple period.
The project The Leon Levy Digital Library of the Judean Desert Scrolls
will display 900 manuscripts online. The manuscripts are made up of about 30,000 pieces of
different sizes. Besides a grant from the Leon Levy Fund, it is being underwritten by the
Arcadia Fund and Yad HaNadiv Fund.
The images of the scrolls will be created using innovative imaging technology by
scanning each fragment with light in different wavelengths. The scrolls have been
reconstructed by researchers, who put the fragments together in a way that they believe
reflects the original.
However, once the project is complete, online researchers and lay viewers will be able
to use the library's online tools to select a fragment and move it around on their
computer screen, to try and see if it fits better in another place. All the text will also
come with transcriptions and translations. The new scans may also reveal letters that
have faded over the years, leading to more discoveries.
IAA Director Shuka Dorfman said that the project is "a historical connection that we
have made with progress, in order to preserve heritage for future generations."
Prof. Yossi Mattias, Director of Google Israel Research and Development Center, said:
"We are proud to take part in a project that makes the IAA's rich collection available to
the entire world. This project will enrich and preserve an important part of the world's
cultural heritage by making it available for web users everywhere."
The director of the project for the IAA is Pnina Shor, who has been assisted by leading
experts from Israel, the US and Italy.
For decades, the Dead Sea Scrolls were the subject of intense academic dispute, not
just because of varying interpretations of their content but also because only a select
group of researchers had access to them, causing great frustration and anger among those
who did not.
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