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October 03, 2005

THE YEAR 5765

The past Jewish year of 5765 has ended with the state of Israel and the Palestinians at a new juncture. Israel has withdrawn from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements under the leadership of a national unity government while the Palestinians are now in the throes of an internal confrontation. David Essing sums up the outgoing year and looks ahead to the new Jewish year of 5766.

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September 30, 2005

NEW RULES

After launching forty Qassam rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel's western Negev, Israel renewed its counter-terror operations. By week's end, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and even the Islamic jihad were calling for a return to the former cease-fire. However, Israeli officials say 'new rules' now apply; after Israel's total withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, there will be no return to the 'low intensity' warfare. What are the implications on the ground and for the Roadmap peace process? What is the approach of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon after implementing the unilateral withdrawal and nearly being trounced by former Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the Likud party convention? Dr. Raanan Gissin, Sharon's media advisor discusses the issues in this interview with David Essing.

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September 23, 2005

IRAN TO LAUNCH SPY SATELLITE BY THE END OF SEPTEMBER

By the end of September a Russian Cosmos 3 missile will be launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome 800 km north of Moscow, carrying two Iranian satellites into orbit. Although the satellites are claimed to be for meteorological and experimental purposes, experts believe that one of them will possess surveillance capabilities allowing it to observe American and Israeli military facilities throughout the Middle East. More importantly, experts believe that the Iranian space program serves as a cover for developing more advanced long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

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September 09, 2005

ZINC POWDER WILL DRIVE YOUR HYDROGEN CAR

A revolutionary method of using concentrated solar energy for producing hydrogen in a clean, safe and inexpensive way was developed by a cooperation of scientists from Israel, Sweden, Switzerland and France. This new method, based on the production of pure zinc, may enable an easier and quicker move to a hydrogen-based economy thus reducing the need for the depleting petroleum and its polluting side effects.

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September 07, 2005

PALESTINIAN ANARCHY RULES GAZA

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian gunmen have again gone on the rampage. In a pre-dawn they stormed the home of Moussa Arafat and after a thirty minute gun-battle, dragged him into the street and shot him to death. Moussa Arafat, currently an advisor to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was one of the most unpopular officials in the Gaza Strip notorious for corruption and torturing other Palestinians in the past. In another incident, Palestinian rioters tried to storm an Israeli tank as the IDF prepares to withdraw after the settlements have already been evacuated.

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September 02, 2005

PAKISTAN, PALESTINIANS & POLITICS

What's behind the dramatic meeting between Israel's Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and his Pakistani counter-part Kharshid Kasuri in Istanbul? Is Likud candidate Bibi Netanyahu defying U.S. President George W. Bush by announcing that, if elected Prime Minister, he will build housing to link Maale Adumim with Jerusalem? And what impact might a Likud split between incumbent Arik Sharon and challenger Netanyahu have on the next Israeli election? These are some of the key issues discussed by Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli Ambassador to Washington in an interview with IsraCast.

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August 24, 2005

NEW TECHNOLOGY PRODUCES SAFER WATER

An Israeli company developed a new technology for water disinfection. It uses ultra violet (UV) light to disinfect water and is 10,000 more effective then existing techniques. With impending regulatory changes in the U.S. and other countries, the move from chemical disinfectants to green non-toxic advanced disinfection solutions can improve the safety of the water while reducing its cost. The new system is also strong enough to kill the kind of biological agents bio-terrorists might use inside water reservoirs.

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August 23, 2005

SHARON OVERTAKES NETANYAHU AS WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS EVACUATED

The IDF and Israel Police continued the disengagement by evacuating four West Bank settlements in northern Samaria. There was some resistance by protesters. A senior defense ministry official Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad expects that Israel will hand over control of the Gaza Strip earlier than expected to the Palestinian Authority.In party politics, Channel 10 TV released a poll of Likud central committee members indicating that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has again taken the lead over former Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The question was: 'If the primary for Likud leader was held today who would you vote for?'Sharon - 35.5% | Netanyahu - 28.3%A poll taken just before the Gaza withdrawal showed Netanyahu leading Sharon and is thought to have triggered Netanyahu's snap resignation from the cabinet.

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August 22, 2005

Israel Wraps Up Gaza Withdrawal & Moves On To West Bank

Thirty-five years of Israeli settlement in the Gaza Strip has come to an end. Netzarim, the last of the twenty- one settlements, was evacuated on Monday, August 22nd. Tomorrow, the IDF moves into four West Bank settlements in northern Samaria to evict the remaining settlers and 'infiltrators' there. Back in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on his controversial withdrawal plan. Several right-wing MKs lashed out at Sharon saying he would go down in Jewish history as a tyrant.

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August 18, 2005

GAZA WITHDRAWAL - CIRCLING THE WAGONS OR SLIPPERY SLOPE?

The inexorable eviction of the Gaza settlers continues amid heart-rending scenes of IDF soldiers dragging children, women and men from their homes. Most are religious Jews who believe they have also fulfilled an important national mission at the their country's calling and have now been evicted by a Prime Minister who for some reason has changed his mind. Some of these residents and their children have been killed in Palestinian attacks and all have come under the repeated shelling of more than 5,000 Qassam rockets and mortars launched since the outbreak of Palestinian violence in September, 2000.Why has Ariel Sharon changed course so dramatically? What can be expected from Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas who declares he will not confiscate the terrorists' weapons and Hamas that vows to use those arms to attack Israel when the time is ripe? Then there's the U.S. and the rest of the Quartet eager to plunge into the Roadmap process.

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August 16, 2005

ISRAEL WARNS OF IRANIAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS WITHIN TWO-FOUR YEARS

Israel has reacted with grave concern over Iran's renewed drive to acquire nuclear weapons. Last week, Iran defied the international community by resuming its enrichment of uranium required to produce an atomic bomb. At a closed door hearing of the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, IDF intelligence commander General Aharon Zeevi Farkash reported on the implications for Israel. After the session, committee chairman Yuval Steinitz of the Likud was interviewed by IsraCast.

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August 10, 2005

ISRAELI SUPER BANDAGE SAVES LIVES

Israeli medical doctor developed a revolutionary bandage that can replace both ordinary bandages and Tourniquet and can even be used to treat burns. The new bandage has already proved itself by saving lives of soldiers and civilians in Israel and South Africa in recent years. The Israeli military and Red Cross are considering the bandage, and its inventor hopes that when it enters mass production its low price and superior performance will allow it to save lives across the world.

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August 06, 2005

GRAND DESIGN FOR GAZA STRIP DEVELOPMENT

What happens after Israel's upcoming withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements? Geographer Joshua Ben-Arieh says he doesn't know but he is certain of one thing; that unless jobs are created for the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip, the Roadmap is doomed to failure. Professor (Emeritus) Ben-Arieh of the Hebrew University has discussed his plan with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian officials. In this interview with IsraCast, Ben Arieh presents his program that may be put on the future Middle East agenda.

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July 31, 2005

ISRAELI PEACE APPEAL TO IRAN

Israel's State President Moshe Katzav has called on Iran to open a new chapter with Israel and drop its declared goal of destroying the Jewish state. The President declared that Israel is not the enemy of Iran and he cannot understand Iran's hostility. Katzav, who was born in Iran, said he has warm feelings for the Iranian people and its rich cultural heritage. The President was interviewed by David Essing for IsraCast on the fifth anniversary of his taking office.

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July 25, 2005

Cell-phone radiation can cause visual damage

In a recent scientific study conducted by a team of researchers from the Technion, a possible link between microwave radiation, similar to the type found in cellular phones, and different kinds of damage to the visual system was found. At least one kind of damage seems to accumulate over time and not heal, challenging the common view and leading the researchers to the assertion that the duration of exposure is not less important than the intensity of the irradiation. The researchers also emphasized that existing exposure guidelines for microwave radiation might have to change.

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July 22, 2005

THIS WEEK - 22.07.05

The week ended with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice returned to the region trying for a smooth Israeli evacuation of the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements in August. The massive Palestinian shelling of Israeli communities both in and out of the Gaza Strip and the tense confrontation between tens of thousands of Israeli settlers and Israeli security forces near Gaza, have raised some question marks about future developments. In the aftermath, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has turned down the idea of going for an early pull-out while Egyptian trouble-shooter Omar Suleiman succeeded on his mission to curb the massive shelling by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups in Gaza. And Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid presented an eyewitness the extent of lawless in the Palestinian controlled areas. He warned if Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas does not act to halt the internal violence, there is no hope for a democratic Palestinian state.

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July 19, 2005

ONE THOUSAND BALLISTIC MISSILES

Uzi Rubin, a leading Israeli missile expert, warns that Iran and the Arab states now have an arsenal of about 1,000 ballistic missiles that can target Israel. Rubin, a founder of Israel's counter missile project known as 'Homah', was addressing an open session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Affairs & Defense Committee which discussed the missile threats now facing Israel. Yair Ramati the Arrow Project Director at Israel Aircraft Industries told the committee that the Arrow is capable of coping with a ballistic missile attack on Israel. But why has Israel yet to find an answer to the primitive Qassam rockets that Palestinians in Gaza Strip launch daily at Israeli settlements and communities inside Israel?

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July 17, 2005

Yissum - technology transfer company

A small Israeli company has been tapping into the knowledge of some of the best scientific minds in the country for more than forty years in order to bring forth new and innovative technology. The ability to successfully commercialize academic research is a goal shared by every University across the world and it is this dream that the Hebrew University turned into economic reality. Helping develop projects ranging from cherry tomatoes to cancer and Alzheimer drugs Yissum - TTC of the Hebrew University, has not only helped save lives but also received millions of dollars in royalties for its patents.

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July 15, 2005

PALESTINIAN ATTACKS MAY SPELL END TO MAHMOUD ABBAS

To date this week's casualty toll - Six Israelis murdered, scores more injured as Palestinian terror attacks continue without let-up. After an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber strikes in Netanya, Hamas and other terror groups step-up the shelling from the Gaza Strip. Within ten minutes, they launch eight Qassam rockets at civilian targets inside Israel and in the Gaza Strip. Israel Air Force gun-ships are sent into action while IDF forces operate against the Islamic Jihad stronghold on the West Bank. All this, during what the Palestinian call the Tahdia cease-fire and a month before Israel is to start its evacuation of Gaza.

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July 13, 2005

SHARON TARGETS ISLAMIC JIHAD & CLOSES OFF GAZA STRIP SETTLEMENTS

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is targeting Islamic Jihad terrorists on the West Bank after one of their suicide bombers murdered two Israeli women and two sixteen-year old girls in the town of Netanya. The IDF is now carrying out a combing operation for Jihad members in the town of Tul Kerem area, which was recently evacuated by Israeli forces. Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, Sharon declared the settlements off limits to outside visitors. The settlers have lambasted the decision charging that the Israeli Prime Minister has declared a part of the Land of Israel to be 'Juden Rein'.

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