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Invented: Anti-Cancer Virus


Researchers developed a genetically engineered virus that can detect cancerous cells in the body when injected into the blood stream. The virus attacks only cancerous cells in the body and leaves the healthy cells unharmed.

Scientists project that this discovery will lead to major developments in the fight against cancer. Although using viruses to combat cancer is not a new concept, they typically must be injected into tumors. However, the new engineered virus is injected into the blood and only attacks tumors.

High Alert for Terror Continues in Southern Israel


Israel's military establishment is continuing to maintain a high alert along the Egyptian border amid fears of an impending terrorist attack. OC Southern Command Maj.Gen. Tal Russo toured the area Wednesday, meeting with soldiers stationed at strategic checkpoints along the border.

The IDF is hoping to prevent a repeat of the Aug. 18 multi-pronged terrorist attack that left eight Israelis dead, 40 wounded and its diplomatic relations with Egypt tense for days.

Five Egyptian soldiers were also killed in the melee as Israeli security personnel fought a bloody battle with more than a dozen gunmen from the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees terrorist organization.

Parallel investigations by the IDF and Egyptian security later revealed that at least three of the 20-plus operatives involved in the attack were Egyptian nationals. Meanwhile, authorities have revealed the identity of the perpetrator of a separate terrorist attack executed earlier this week in Tel Aviv.

Muhammad Sa'afan, a 20-year-old resident of the northern city of Shechem, was caught on site after having stabbed eight people at a club in south Tel Aviv. One of the victims was critically wounded in the attack. Sa'afan was remanded for an additional 10 days by the court.

Tekoa Rabbi Supports PA's Statehood Bid


One of the leading rabbis in Judea and Samaria on Wednesday expressed his support of the Palestinian Authority's unilateral bid for statehood in the United Nations on September 20.

According to a report in the PA-based WAFA news agency, Rabbi Menachem Froman of Tekoa supported and expressed his and other Israeli rabbis' wishes for success to the PA bid to gain full United Nations membership of a Palestinian state. The report said Froman made the comments during a meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

Froman said that establishing a Palestinian state benefits the peace process and Israel and also works to achieve comprehensive, just peace and stability for the region and the world.

For his part, Abbas reiterated his commitment to the peace process with Israel and claimed that the PA's statehood bid is a result of Israel's refusal to abide by international law and agreements.

WAFA said Froman congratulated Abbas on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic holiday which marks the end of Ramadan. Froman also reportedly offered to establish a committee made up of both Arab and Israeli religious figures to stop mutual instigation.

"Establishing a Palestinian state in cooperation with the State of Israel is good for peace and for Israel and it will inspire the building of a just and lasting peace and stability in the region and the world," Rabbi Froman was quoted as saying.

He warned, however, that "resistance by Israel on the one hand and the establishment of the Palestinian state contrary to Israel's position on the other hand, will harm Israel, the Palestinians and the establishment of peace in the region and such a state would very quickly become an Iranian state."

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Israel's Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren said the PA statehood bid would likely jeopardize all existing agreements between the PA and Israel. In an interview with Foreign Policy magazine, Oren said the move would render invalid economic treaties, including export, import and water sharing, as well as security cooperation agreements.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Wednesday the statehood bid at the United Nations is a greater threat to Israel than terrorism. "This Palestinian initiative represents a more serious threat than that posed by Hamas," Steinitz told Voice of Israel radio.

Iron Dome Hits 85% of its Targets

By Washington Times

Israel's cutting-edge missile defense called Iron Dome scored an 85% success rate in knocking out rockets launched against Israel's southern cities in recent clashes with Gaza. "Iron Dome in April became the first anti-ballistic missile system to be used in combat," said Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States.

Israeli officials said the country's two batteries of Iron Dome missile interceptors shot down Russian-made Grad and Qassam rockets fired from Gaza positions by smaller terrorist groups such as the Popular Resistance Committees and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The battlefield success of Iron Dome could change the political calculus in Israel by providing protection against attacks that prevented Israel from withdrawing after it dismantled settlements in Gaza in 2005.

Oren said 1,000 Qassam rockets were fired into southern Israel from August 2005 to May 2006. At the time, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon formed a political party, Kadima, to complete what he called disengagement or the withdrawal of Israeli forces and the dismantlement of settlements in Palestinian areas of the West Bank that the Jewish state did not intend to keep within its final borders. The continuous barrage of rockets from Gaza is widely seen as stopping disengagement in its tracks.

"This restores Israel's deterrence against a weapons system that Israel's enemies believed Israel was incapable of defending against," said Patrick Clawson, the director of research for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "Second, by doing that, it makes it politically possible to talk about trading territory for peace, even if you are not confident that the new authorities can stop missile attacks by terrorists from that territory."

The Obama administration has supported Iron Dome. In the current defense budget, the Pentagon provides $205 million for Iron Dome deployments, in addition to the nearly $3 billion Israel received in U.S. military financing for 2011.

Rep. Steven R. Rothman, a New Jersey Democrat who is the lead lawmaker on the House Appropriations Committee that secured the additional money for Iron Dome, said the missile defense system "serves as an essential part of Israel's multilayered umbrella of anti-rocket and anti-missile defenses, and over the past week this system has shown just how capable it is."

A former senior Israeli defense official with detailed knowledge of the Iron Dome system said it is a crucial element of Israeli defenses. "But it is not a silver bullet because there will always be 10 times more rockets than Iron Dome interceptors can stop," he said.

Despite the high success rate, one Grad rocket did get past the Iron Dome battery protecting the Israeli city of Be'er Sheva, killing one and wounding eight, according to Israeli news reports.

Oren said the Iron Dome system can distinguish between rockets and missiles that will land in civilian areas and rockets that do not need to be intercepted because they will impact in remote areas. One criticism of Iron Dome is that it costs about $100,000 to fire an interceptor, compared with the cost of about $1,000 for Palestinians to fire a Qassam rocket.

Einat Wilf, a member of Israel's Knesset who serves on the foreign affairs and defense committees, said "the cost is a major issue with Iron Dome." She added that the system works well for populated areas and strategic targets. "We don't use it to stop everything. This is one way to balance the equation financially," she said adding that Iron Dome cannot defend areas close to rocket launch areas, such as the southern Israeli town of Sderot.

Carl Shearer, an Israeli blogger who closely follows the development of Iron Dome, said the system cannot operate at short distance. "They don't deploy at anything less than 7 kilometers from Gaza," he said. "This means that Israel's cities that are less than 7 kilometers from Gaza, like Sderot, can't be covered by Iron Dome because it takes too long for the human being operating the system to fire on the rocket after it's launched from Gaza."

Clawson said Iron Dome still could end up doing for missile attacks what Israel's security barrier did to stop the threat of suicide bombers. "The concern was how do you stop suicide bombers, and the answer was the security barrier," Mr. Clawson said. "Now the problem has been missiles, short range missiles and rockets. Iron Dome is making a big dent on this problem."

Female Soldiers: Religious Men Pushing Us Out


The gender controversies rage on in the IDF: a battery commander in the IDF Artillery Corps' 55th Battalion has informed four female soldiers – three of them commanders – that they will be removed from the battery because religious "Hesder" soldiers are about to join the battalion. They were offered alternative positions, including command posts in a Commanders' Course.

Religious soldiers, in combat units out of all proportion to their percentage of the population, are averse to serving alongside women because of real concerns relating to modesty – a core principle in the Jewish religion, and impossible to preserve in mixed combat units, when facilities are often out in the field.

The female soldiers sent a long letter of protest to their commander and leaked it to Voice of Israel Radio's military affairs reporter, Carmela Menashe. Menashe, an avowed fighter for women's empowerment within the IDF, read out the entire letter on the radio.

"The feeling is a harsh one, of humiliation and pain," the soldiers wrote. "We are commanders, combat soldiers; we carry out our work with all our soul and the greatest motivation, and are proud to be part of the Artillery Corps. They are kicking us out, not because we are not good enough, but because we are women. We have nothing against the yeshiva boys and nothing against Halakhah [Jewish Law – Ed.]. There are battalions in the IDF that have no women in them, and these soldiers can be placed there."

The female soldiers noted that they volunteered for an additional year of service and will therefore serve in the IDF for three years, as most men do. They completed the combat training cycle and have been serving alongside about 80 men for two years.

The IDF said in response that a final decision regarding the removal of the women has not been made and that in any case, their status as combat soldiers will not be diminished.

Female combat soldiers are the pride of the Israeli gender feminist movement. Israeli culture places a premium on service in combat units and leaders of the gender feminist movement believe that the presence of women in combat lends greater credence to women's demands in other spheres.

Opponents of female service in combat units note that the number of women who volunteer for such service is small, that the physical requirements for entering the units have to be lowered in order to allow the women in, and that injuries such as stress fractures render a large proportion of the women incapable of service within a relatively short time and other injuries they sustain may harm them for life.

Once they are married, they may opt to leave the service, whereas men cannot. Some of these claims are hotly disputed by proponents of women's participation in combat. In the past, women were rejected from combat units so as to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy.

The turf war between religious soldiers and female combat soldiers has great political and social significance because the two groups represent opposing religious and cultural mindsets that are at loggerheads in Israeli society on this subject.

Miracle in Itamar: Ark Falls on Baby; Baby Survives


An incident which can be described as nothing short of a miracle occurred in the Shomron community of Itamar on Tuesday. A synagogue ark containing heavy Torah scrolls fell on a baby and the baby survived.

"Yesterday we celebrated a brit milah (ritual circumcision –ed.) of a son of one of the residents here," David Shneerson, whose son was the one on whom the ark fell, told INN. "During the brit we had a farbrengen (a Hasidic tradition involving a night of Torah learning and celebration –ed.) and the Mashpia (lit. person of influence, the leader of the study –ed.) was talking about a lack of love within Israel, and as soon as he said those words we heard a huge boom.

"We looked and saw that the entire ark with all the Torah scrolls fell on the floor," added Shneerson. "My two-year-old baby was under the ark, and we lifted the ark and saw him screaming. We thought that the worst had happened, but it turned out that nothing happened and he was just screaming because he was startled."

Shneerson recalled that earlier, the synagogue's gabbai (sexton) suggested placing a partition in front of the ark. "The gabbai suggested placing the partition so that when it comes time to eat, the congregants won't eat in front of the ark," he said. "I asked the rabbi and he said that we should place the partition. My son was between the partition and the ark and that's what saved him. The ark fell on the metal of the partition and the metal pierced a hole through the ark. The ark weighs 150 to 200 kilograms. The metal saved my son."

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