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Violent Mob Rushes Israeli Embassy in Cairo


Dozens of protesters were arrested Sunday night and 350 people were injured in a violent demonstration held outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

According to the state-run MENA news agency, protesters burst through barricades around the building and tried to storm the embassy in order to rip down the Israeli flag.

Despite Intelligence Tips, IDF Unprepared for Syria Border Breach

By Ha'aretz, VOA News &

The army's deployment around the Golan Heights town of Majdal Shams on Sunday was insufficient in light of intelligence received by the Israel Defense Forces' Northern Command, officers serving along the northern border said.

Moreover, they said, incidents that had occurred in the area in previous days - well before hundreds of Palestinian residents of Syria mobbed the border on Sunday and broke through - similarly indicated the need for more troops, but were ignored. Specifically, one officer said, there had been a noticeable rise in infiltration attempts across the Syrian border in recent weeks.

Sources in the Northern Command confirmed the existence of intelligence indicating that Nakba Day demonstrators planned to try to cross the border near the "Shouting Hill," across from Majdal Shams. However, they said, the IDF had based its deployment on past experience, and expected the Syrian army to prevent the demonstrators from breaching the border.

The IDF's initial investigation of the Nakba Day incidents determined that the reserve battalion stationed in the Majdal Shams sector did not have the backup forces necessary to respond to a mass border crossing attempt. In addition, they lacked sufficient crowd control equipment to disperse such demonstrations. Such equipment is routinely provided to IDF troops in the West Bank.

The army officially acknowledged that 137 people crossed the border, all of whom were either returned to Syria or arrested. But IDF sources say the true number is probably closer to 150 and that some individuals apparently evaded the police roadblocks around Majdal Shams and traveled further into Israel.

Israeli police carried out searches for infiltrating Syrian protesters in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights Monday; a day after Israeli troops killed at least 15 people when pro-Palestinian crowds demonstrated on the anniversary of Israel's creation.

A Syrian citizen who had participated in the massive border crossing into Israel near Majdal Shams on Sunday got as far as Tel Aviv, wandered around the city during the day, and then turned himself in using a Channel 10 news correspondent.

The Syrian is Hassan Hijazi, an official with the Syrian Ministry of Education whose family is originally from Jaffa. Hijazi said during an interview with Channel 10's Tzvi Yehezkeli, who had later turned him in, that he took advantage of the commotion in the square in Majdal Shams and managed to leave the Golan Heights area with the help of local Arabs and Jewish left-wing activists.

"My dream was to get to Jaffa, the city where I was born, but I expected that when I get to do it, I would be accompanied with millions of others as I read on Facebook," Hijazi said during the interview.

He said that he traveled on a bus along with soldiers from the Golani Brigade. "I do not care about Israeli law, I do not recognize the so-called State of Israel," he said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police searched the Golan Heights town of Majdal Shams for suspects. He said they arrested an unarmed man from Syria who was trying to make his way into central Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning Monday for the 15 killed in protests along Israel's borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza the day before. The Palestinian protests marked what they call the "Nakba," or the "catastrophe." It describes the uprooting of Palestinian families at the time of Israel's creation in 1948. Israeli troops fired on protesters to prevent them from crossing into Israel.

Palestinians have called Sunday's protests a turning point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The head of the Lebanese militant group Hizbullah, Hassan Nasrallah, praised protesters and said they had given the Nakba "new meaning."

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told parliament Monday the "real catastrophe" is that the Palestinian leadership has not been willing to make a peaceful compromise with Israelis.

The White House has urged all sides to show maximum restraint. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Israel has the right to prevent unauthorized border crossings, and its neighbors have the responsibility to prevent those crossings.

Israel announced Monday it will file a complaint with the U.N. against Lebanon and Syria for violating international law and breaching U.N. Security Council Resolutions. Lebanon has already filed a complaint with the U.N. against Israel, and Syria has condemned Israel for firing on the protesters, calling the actions "criminal."

Carney said the White House is "strongly opposed" to the Syrian government's involvement in inciting the protests. U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner also criticized what he called Syria's "cynical use" of the Palestinian cause as it continues to repress its own people.

Speaking with U.S. Secretary Hillary Clinton in Washington Monday, Jordan's King Abdullah said the "core issue" in the Middle East is still the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The king will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday at the White House.

More than 700,000 Palestinians are estimated to have fled or have been forced to leave their homes during the war that followed Israel's declaration of statehood in 1948.

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz termed the Majdal Shams incident "not good" and ordered an increase in the number of soldiers deployed in the northern Golan. He also ordered the border fence reinforced to make future breaches more difficult. But several senior IDF officers said the army's defense doctrine in the Golan Heights requires more drastic measures.

To date, the IDF has deployed relatively few troops along the Syrian border; most troops in the Golan are stationed well back from the border. This policy derived from the fact that for years, the main threat has been an attack by the Syrian army, and the IDF relied on lookout posts and electronic monitoring to provide it with sufficient warning of such an attack to mobilize additional forces.

But to counter this new threat of a mass incursion of unarmed civilians, many more troops - equipped with nonlethal crowd control devices - will have to be stationed along the border. Lookout posts will also need to operate differently.

Sunday's incident also highlighted the lack of fixed lines of communication with leaders of the Golan's Druze community. Because the Golan has been annexed to Israel, there is no army liaison office tasked with this job, as there is in the West Bank. Thus when the demonstrators broke through the border, Druze liaison officers serving in the West Bank had to be hastily brought in organize the protesters' return to Syria.

But for all their criticisms of the army's deployment, senior officers were lavish in their praise of how the troops in the field handled Sunday's situation: Both the reserve battalion stationed in the area and the additional troops they summoned reached the scene quickly. They also praised the order given by the brigade commander, Col. Eshkol Shukrun, to shoot "selectively" at the demonstrators' legs.

Netanyahu Adds Settlement Blocs to Peace Conditions


In a speech before the Knesset's plenum in its special Herzl Day session, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu laid down five conditions for a peace treaty with the Palestinian Authority Arabs. These are:

The Palestinians must recognize Israel as the Jewish nation's state; The treaty must be an end to the conflict; he Arab refugee problem must be solved outside of Israel's borders; A Palestinian state will have to be demilitarized and a peace treaty must safeguard Israel's security; The settlement blocs will remain within the state of Israel and Jerusalem will remain its united capital.

Netanyahu's speech can be seen as an accurate indication of what he intends to say when he addresses the U.S. Congress next Tuesday. It is unlikely that he will go back on any of the principles he laid down, given the venue: a Herzl Day address before the Knesset plenum.

By and large, the speech does not depart from the one he delivered at Bar Ilan University in June 2009. In that speech as in the latest one, Netanyahu said that a PA state would be demilitarized, and that Israel would require security arrangements in a peace treaty. He also said that Jerusalem would remain united as Israel's capital and that Arab refugees would be resettled outside Israel.

The condition added by Netanyahu in this speech is Israel's retention of the large settlement blocs. In the Bar Ilan speech, Netanyahu said that the territorial issues would be determined in negotiations and that until then; Israel would not be building new settlements or expropriating land in Judea and Samaria.

In Monday's speech he was less defensive and more confident on this issue, raising the ante and announcing that Israel would insist on keeping the large settlement blocs in its possession.

Palestinian Official: Peace Possible in Days but Israel Isn't Interested

By Ha'aretz

The Palestinian Authority on Monday rejected statements Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made at a parliament session, which he described as pre-conditions for peace. Netanyahu said that the Palestinians have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, solve the refugee problem outside Israel and accept a permanent Israeli army presence in a demilitarized Palestinian state in parts of the West Bank that does not include Jerusalem.

Netanyahu also said that that Israel would be prepared to compromise and "cede parts of our homeland" for true peace with the Palestinians, but added that he did not believe the latter was ready to be a true partner for peace.

Netanyahu's statements "are unacceptable pre-conditions," said presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeineh. "Any peace deal means that East Jerusalem will be the capital of the state of Palestine and all permanent status issues should be resolved at the negotiations table according to international resolutions and the road map," he said.

Abu Rudeineh criticized Netanyahu's statements saying, "they once again show that Israel is not interested in peace and defies the will of the international community, but that will not stop the Palestinian people from asking for their full rights, including going to the United Nations."

The Palestinians plan to ask the UN Security Council and General Assembly in September to recognize a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Also Monday, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told a Geneva Initiative conference in Tel Aviv that there could be a peace agreement within days, but that no Israeli official seemed willing to make that decision.

Israel and Palestinians need to make decisions, not start from scratch with negotiations, Erekat said. He also warned that the Palestinians would turn to the UN for recognition of statehood if the peace process did not resume. Peace must not be looked at as a favor from the Palestinians to the Israeli or vice versa, said Erekat, but rather as a mutual interest.

Rabbi: Don't Use Dead Man's Sperm


Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of the Petah Tikva hesder yeshiva, says frozen sperm must not be used for insemination purposes if its owner is no longer alive. According to the rabbi, the deceased should be commemorated in a variety of other ways, but not by generating offspring who will be born fatherless.

Rabbi Dov Lior says Jewish Law prohibits sterile couples from conceiving using non-Jew's sperm, as it causes adverse traits. On subject of single mothers he says, 'Child cannot be 100% normal'

Cherlow, who is considered an expert on ethics and Halacha, in the medical field as well, and is a member of different committees dealing with these issues, was asked by a reader on the Petah Tikva hesder yeshiva's website: "One of my relatives died at a young age, without having children. We know he had his sperm frozen. What should be done so that his name is not erased?"

The rabbi replied, "It's a real pity, (but) I believe it won't be right to use this sperm. His name can be commemorated by naming other newborns after him, by studying Torah and by doing justice for the transcendence of his soul."

Cherlow stressed that this was his own stance and that "there is a possibility to think differently". He explained why using a dead person's sperm for insemination was "wrong" in his opinion. "My fundamental halachic and ethical stance is that medical technologies are there to deal with defects found in nature but not to invent new realities. Thus, I see no room for using a person's sperm after his death."

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