October 31, 2002
Three Killed in Settlement Attack
Three Israelis, including two teenagers, were killed by a Palestinian gunman who infiltrated a West Bank settlement Tuesday night. Linoy Saroussi and Hadas Turgeman, both 14, as well as Orna Eshel, 53, were killed when the terrorist opened fire on residents of Hermesh in the northern West Bank. Linoy and Hadas were killed as they were chatting at the entrance to Linoy's house. The gunman later was shot dead by residents and soldiers. Two Hermesh residents, including Eshel's husband, were moderately wounded, and a soldier sustained light injuries. The Al-Aksa Brigade, the military wing of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the attack. The gunman was identified as a 22-year-old resident of Tulkarm, Israel Radio reported.
Following the attack, a group of Jewish settlers assaulted Palestinian olive pickers and foreign peace activists in the West Bank.
The attack followed an Oct. 21 suicide bombing of a bus in northern Israel that killed 14 people.
Jewish Kids Among Hostage Deaths
At least four Jews, including two children, were among the dead in last weekend's hostage crisis in Moscow, according to the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. At least 20 Jewish hostages survived, some of whom are still recuperating in local hospitals.
Sniper Suspects Linked to Shul Shooting
The two suspects in the Washington, D.C.-area sniper case allegedly fired gunshots at a synagogue in Washington state last May. The latest allegations against John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo surfaced after a man in Tacoma, Wash., told police he had lent the pair his guns. The duo also is believed to be behind the killing last February of a Tacoma woman who was shot in the face when she opened the door to her house. Then, between May 1 and May 4, shots were fired at Temple Beth El in Tacoma. There were no injuries, and damage was minimal.
Church Affirms Interfaith Ties
The Catholic Church is more committed than ever to improving relations with Jews, a top Vatican official said.
Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican official in charge of relations with Jews, told an interfaith conference Monday that after 2,000 years of antagonism, Catholics and Jews may still disagree, but that they do so now as brothers.
Kasper spoke at a conference marking the 37th anniversary of the publication of Nostra Aetate, the landmark Vatican document that officially opened the door to Catholic-Jewish dialogue.
A Jewish scholar, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, told the conference that the Catholic Church was in an "almost impossible" position when it came to dealing with the Jews. "Basically, monotheistic religions cannot be tolerant," he said. "Can you speak about two truths?"
Brazil's Jews Wary of New Vice President
Brazilian Jews are warily eyeing the nation's newly elected vice president.
The victory of leftist presidential candidate Luis Inacio Lula da Silva in Sunday's vote also swept his vice- presidential running mate, Jose Alencar, into office.
Alencar recently caused an uproar among Brazil's 120,000 Jews after he declared on national TV that the only solution to the Middle East conflict was for Israelis to pick up and leave the region.
Alencar later apologized, but many Jews consider the apology politically motivated and insincere.
Briefs courtesy of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.