Newsletter : 11fx0819.txt
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Despite Strike Doctors Rush to Hospitals
Doctors have rushed to hospitals in Israel's south following terrorist attacks near
Eilat, the Israel Medical Association reported Thursday. The doctors are performing their
duties as regular despite a scheduled IMA strike.
Eilat's Yoseftal hospital and Soroka hospital in Be'er Sheva are operating in
mass-casualty mode. Residents of Be'er Sheva reported hearing gunfire and a possible
explosion in the city on Thursday afternoon, which does not appear to be connected to
terrorist attacks near Eilat.
Israel Retaliates in Gaza After Gunmen Attack Near Eilat
By Scott Bobb (VOA-Jerusalem) & IsraelNationalNews.com
Israeli aircraft hit Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip late Thursday, reportedly
killing 20, including leaders of the Popular Resistance Committee, which the Israeli
government accuses of being behind attacks in southern Israel that killed seven Israelis
and wounded 33 earlier in the day.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on national television, calling the
attacks in southern Israel an increase in the terror front. Netanyahu's short statement at
8:30 p.m. followed the lethal three-stage terror attack that claimed seven Israeli lives
and saw 33 wounded. "We all witnessed an attempt to ratchet up the level of terror
emanating from Sinai," he said. "If someone thinks that Israel will put up with this, he
"I have established a principle: when Israeli citizens are hurt, we hit back
immediately, and with force. This principle was implemented today. The people who gave the
order to murder our civilians, who were hiding in Gaza, are no longer among the living,"
Netanyahu's reference was apparently to the death of Abu Awad Kamel a-Neirab, commander
of the Salah a-Din Brigades, the "military" wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, who
was killed in the IAF airstrike around 5 p.m.
Netanyahu praised the Shin Bet, Yamam special forces and IDF for their courage, which
prevented a greater tragedy. He said if there is someone who thinks Israel will accept
this, they are wrong. When they harm the citizens of Israel, we react immediately and
with force. He said those who gave the order to murder our citizens, and who hide in Gaza
Hamas - the terror organization that rules Gaza - evacuated its security headquarters
after Thursday attacks in fear of a muscular Israeli response. The United Nations also
evacuated its foreign personnel from Gaza following the attacks.
Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat took full advantage of the lethal
terror attacks not to extend his condolences, but to issue a warning. "Israel stands
warned of any possible aggressive action or collective punishment measures against the
Palestinian population in Gaza," Erekat said.
Erekat made the requisite statement that the Palestinian Authority is "against violence
in all its forms," before outlining the PA's fear Israel would use the attacks as a
"pretext for aggression." The PA official called on the international community to ensure
calm in the region.
Earlier on Thursday, Hamas warned Israel not to attack Gaza, following a statement by
Defense Minister Ehud Barak that the IDF would strike back at the terrorist infrastructure
in Gaza in response to the deadly attacks. As a precaution, Hamas sent its senior
commanders into hiding and evacuated command centers, in anticipation of IDF strikes in
response to the terror attack that IDF sources speculated originated in the Gaza.
The IDF has asked the public to avoid the Eilat area for the time being and to allow
security and rescue personnel to conduct operations.
The entrances to the city of Eilat have been sealed off and security forces have thrown
a dragnet around the area as they search for terrorists involved in the multi-site
In addition, checkpoints have been set up outside the entrances to the city of Be'er
Sheva, home to Soroka Medical Center, a Level One trauma center where seven of the most
grievously wounded victims were flown by Yasour helicopters for advanced treatment
Thursday afternoon after being initially stabilized at Eilat's smaller Yoseftal Medical
Center. Be'er Sheva is considered by many to be the "capital" of Israel's vast southern
region, comprising almost 60 percent of the country's geography.
Woman Divorces Brain-Damaged Husband
For the first time in Israel, a woman will be allowed to divorce her dysfunctional
husband thanks to a legal precedent. An alternative rabbinical court granted the secular
women the longed-for divorce, which she had not been entitled to by law. The precedent was
achieved thanks to a new alternative halachic book of law presenting solutions for a
variety of halachic conflicts.
The affair began in the late 1990s. A. and D., a young non-religious Jewish couple, got
married in Europe, had four children and immigrated to Israel. Seven years ago, the
husband had a serious heart attack and suffered irreversible brain damage.
Due to his condition, he was defined by a court as a "ward", and his wife was appointed
as his legal guardian. She took care of him for two years and then decided she wanted to
remarry and build a new life.
When she turned to a lawyer and asked to file for divorce, she encountered a complex
legal problem: The divorce requires the agreement of both sides, and her husband is not
legally competent to make decision. Although she is his guardian, she cannot sign on his
behalf on an agreement she is a party to.
Her lawyer, Attorney Shalom Atli, turned to several famous rabbis, established an
"alternative court" and asked them to look into the medical issue. Using halachic tools,
the rabbis ruled that the husband was "alternately a ward", meaning that in some
situations his level of sanity is sufficient.
Atli took this opinion to the Supreme Rabbinical Court, and managed to convince the
judges to rely on their colleagues' ruling and approve the divorce. A. was recently
officially divorced. "I feel like I have come out of jail," she told her friends.
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