August 23, 2001
Five Settlers Arrested
Israeli police arrested five residents of a settlement near Jerusalem on suspicion of stoning Palestinian cars on a local road. The five were detained after two Palestinians filed complaints about being stoned from a car driven by young Jews. Israel Radio said the five admitted to the allegations.
Study: Regional War Possible
Israeli commandos killed two Palestinians early Wednesday morning who were allegedly planting a bomb in the area of Shavei Shomron, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank city of Nabulus.
Hamas Vows More Bombs
Hamas said it had suicide bombers in Israel awaiting orders to avenge the death of a Palestinian and his two children in the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army said Samir Abu Zeid, a member of Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, was killed Sunday by a bomb he was preparing, and not by Israeli fire as the Palestinians claimed. There was no evidence of any shelling at the deceased man's home, according to an Associated Press reporter.
A conference on transcendental meditation in Israel was canceled after the Interior Ministry refused visas to most of the participants. A ministry official said many of the attendees hailed from countries such as Ukraine and Moldova, where residents have exploited tourist visas in the past to remain in Israel illegally.
U.S. Opposes Mideast Observers
While the international observer force in the West Bank city of Hebron suspended its patrols after complaining to police over alleged abuse by Jewish residents of the town, the U.N. council discussed a resolution that would call for an international observer force to monitor the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The U.S., which has a veto on the council, opposes the Arab- and Muslim-backed resolution.
Police Testify at Inquiry
An Israeli commission looking into the killing of 13 Israeli Arabs by police during riots in Northern Israel last October began hearing testimony from senior police officers.
One witness agreed with a commission member's assessment that a former commander deviated from his orders when he responded to the rioting.
Katsav vs. U.N. Forum
Israeli President Moshe Katsav sent a letter to 64 heads of state urging them to prevent the upcoming U.N. conference on racism from turning into a tool for condemnation of Israel. Katsav's letter comes after proposals to denigrate Zionism as racism and condemn Israel's treatment of the Palestinians have provoked considerable discussion in preforum meetings. The Bush administration has not yet decided whether U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell will attend.
Conductor: I Want to Go Back
A Jewish conductor who created controversy in Israel when he played an encore last month by Richard Wagner, Hitler's favorite composer, said he would like to perform again in the Jewish State.
An Israeli parliamentary committee has recommended that Daniel Barenboim be banned from conducting in Israel because of his actions at the July 7 performance of the Israel Festival.
Barak Gets Rich Questions
A U.S. congressional committee sent former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak a list of questions they want answered about his role in President Clinton's controversial pardon of philanthropist Marc Rich. According to White House notes of conversations between Clinton and Barak, obtained by the House of Representatives' Government Reform Committee, the two leaders discussed the pardon on three occasions.
Rabbi's Jury Selection Launched
Jury selection began Monday in the New Jersey trial of a rabbi who allegedly arranged his wife's death. Fred Neulander could face the death penalty if he is convicted in the 1994 murder of his wife, Carol.
Orthodox Rabbi Dies at 88
Thousands of mourners turned out last Friday for the funeral of Rabbi Avrohom Pam. One of the most respected leaders of fervently Orthodox Jews in America, Pam died early last Friday morning at the age of 88.
Faith-Based Leader Quits
The head of President Bush's effort to open government programs to religious groups is resigning after seven controversial months. John Dilulio Jr., director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, will leave as soon as a transition team can be put into place, the White House said. Some Jewish groups back the Bush administration initiative, but most oppose it because they are concerned that an expanded partnership between the government and faith-based institutions could infringe on religious liberties.
Chagall Held Hostage for Peace
A group claiming responsibility for the recent theft of a Chagall painting from the Jewish Museum in New York says it will not return the painting until there is Middle East peace, according to The New York Times.
Authorities say the letter received from the "International Committee for Art and Peace" is not a hoax because it has information about "Study for 'Over Vitebsk'" that could only come from someone who has the painting in his possession.
The painting was discovered missing the morning after a June 7 reception at the museum.