Newsletter : 12fx0612.txt
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Israeli Authorities Detain Dozens of African Migrants
By VOA News
Israeli immigration authorities have detained dozens of African migrants as part of a
new operation to deport illegal immigrants. Officials said the immigration police
arrested at least 55 migrants, mostly South Sudanese, during raids in the southern city of
Eilat and parts of central Israel. Rights activists criticized the raids, saying they
create fear among migrant families who worry about returning to dangerous living
conditions in their African homelands.
Israeli immigration authorities began the crackdown on Sunday, detaining eight Africans
days after a Jerusalem court approved the government's plan to deport an estimated 1,500
South Sudanese who entered Israel illegally. Rights groups had petitioned the court to bar
the expulsion.The Israeli government has called the migrants a threat to the country's
Jewish identity and has been building a fence along the border with Egypt to stop the
Around 60,000 Africans have sneaked into Israel across its porous desert border with
Egypt since 2005. Many of them have looked for work. Some have requested political
Israel's parliament passed a law earlier this month designating all people who sneak
into the country as "infiltrators" who can be detained prior to deportation. Israeli
Interior Minister Eli Yishai said he would begin enforcing the law against South Sudanese
migrants before seeking approval to detain and deport Eritreans and Sudanese.
U.S.-based rights group Human Rights Watch called for the Israeli parliament to repeal
the law, saying it punishes asylum seekers and their children in violation of
international refugee standards. In a statement issued Sunday, the group also accused
Israeli officials of inciting recent attacks by extremist Jews on African migrant
communities. Many Israelis blame the migrants for a series of rapes and other crimes in
Tel Aviv and other cities.
Peres Will Ask Obama for Humanitarian Pardon for Pollard
President Shimon Peres will ask President Barack Obama to grant a pardon for Jonathan
Pollard on humanitarian grounds. Pollard, incarcerated for some 27 years on a single
charge of passing classified information to an ally (Israel), has been in increasingly
poor health. He was hospitalized several times over the past year, including for emergency
Peres has said he will discuss the issue of a pardon for Pollard with Obama during a
private meeting. Since he is himself a president who has the ability to grant pardons,
Peres said, he understands the many concerns involved. The Israeli president spoke with
reporters at a briefing he held at Blair House, the official White House guest residence
at which he is staying while in Washington D.C.
A petition for Pollard's release bearing some 70,000 signatures of prominent Israelis,
backed by media support from the entire political spectrum, will be underlying the
Netanyahu, Peres Condemn Yad Vashem Anti-Zionist Graffiti
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned on Monday evening the anti-Zionist hate
slogans and graffiti praising Hitler that were sprayed on the Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum.
"I saw the outrageous graffiti today at Yad Vashem," Netanyahu said in a statement. "It is
hard to believe that a human being could be capable of writing such things. I hope that
the police will apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to the justice they
President Shimon Peres, who landed in Washington, DC, on Monday, also condemned the
incident, saying, "This is one of the most horrible things. What, are we trying to imitate
those who tried to kill us? All the people must stand united, as one man, against this
Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum officials were shocked Monday morning to discover the
graffiti, which said "Hitler, thanks for the Holocaust" and "If Hitler didn't exist the
Zionists would have had to invent him." Another hate message stated, "Jews wake up
the Zionist regime is dangerous," and the vandalism was signed by "The global Zionist
Yad VaShem director Avner Shalev said, "I am shocked and horrified by this blatant act
of burning hatred against the country and against Zionism. It has crossed the red line and
is very worrisome."
Holocaust survivor and former Israeli Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau said that the
graffiti is a "defamation of the name of God of the worst level." Lau called the graffiti
an "idiotic act" and said that the nature of the slogans is not the style of anti-Zionist
hareidi religious Jewish groups. He added that only a "deranged Jews" would write such
hate slogans praising Hitler.
"Where is the honor to those who sacrificed their lives in the name of HaShem?" he
asked rhetorically. "Whoever wrote these idiotic messages calls on the Polish government
not to memorialize victims of Auschwitz. It is ugly and sad."
Police said that an initial investigation points to extremist hareidi religious Jews
but they added they have not yet reached a conclusion. Yad VaShem was closed in the
morning while workers tried to erase the damage.
With New Cameras, IAF Could Peek into the Ground
The Israel Air Force is currently examining hyper-spectral camera technology, which
could allow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to collect a wide variety of information, some
invisible to the human eye, the IAF Website writes. Among other things, the camera could
identify hidden weapons and underground bunkers camouflaged with vegetation.
"The camera will alert its operator regarding the location of suspicious targets and
even of spots that are saturated with chemicals and other substances," Lt. Col. Yoav,
chief of the Intelligence Department of the IAF's Equipment Squadron, told the website.
"Its mode of operation is based on sensing the wavelengths invisible to the human eye that
are emitted by different substances in nature. Every natural substance emits waves at
lengths that are unique to it, and the camera can tell the difference between them because
of its high sensitivity."
If, for instance, a bush appears to emit abnormal wavelengths it could be a sign
that something is hidden beneath it.irborne hyper-spectral cameras already have civilian
uses, and serve to identify pests in fields, environmental damage and air pollution.
Experiments are currently underway in order to examine if the system is suitable for
use by the IAF. If approved, the cameras will be integrated into the UAV squadrons,
following an extensive training process that will be conducted by professional
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