Newsletter : 11fx0517.txt
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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 & IsraelNationalNews.com
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Palestinian Official: Peace Possible in Days but Israel Isn't Interested
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
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
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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