07.04.05 Update

7.04.2005

The Palestinian Authority wants Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip to include a village outside it, an official said. (JTA) Giora Eiland, Israel's national security adviser, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday that he had received an informal Palestinian request to include Nativ Ha'esra, a moshav located one mile north of Gaza, in land to be handed over the Palestinian Authority in August. According to Eiland, the Palestinian Authority claims the village was a part of Gaza which Israel annexed in the 1950s. Eiland said Israel would reject any formal Palestinian overture on the matter.

Jews from the FSU (former Soviet Union) will no longer be classified as "refugees"
in Germany. Story from Ha'aretz here.

The Russian News and Information Agency reports that Vladimir Slutsker, president of the Russian Jewish Congress, stressed to participants at the 32nd World Union for Progressive Judaism conference in Moscow the importance of interreligious efforts to combat terrorism and anti-Semitism.

Arabs from eastern Jerusalem appealed for Israel to keep them on its side of the West Bank security barrier. (JTA) Representatives of the Arab neighborhoods of Anata, Ras Hamis and Shuafat petitioned the High Court of Justice on Sunday with a request to order the Defense Ministry to reroute the fence so that it runs to the east, effectively corralling them in with western Jerusalem, which is predominantly Jewish. The current route would lump the three neighborhoods in with Palestinian areas of the West Bank, cutting them off from Israel. The petitioners claimed the route is a de facto future border for Jerusalem, drawn along ethnic lines to ensure that the city retains a Jewish majority. Israeli officials have said the fence is purely a security measure. There was no immediate date set for a court ruling on the petition.

Israeli President Moshe Katsav expresses fears of assassination for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon due to unrest over the Gaza pullout. Reuters reports here.

Britain’s main Orthodox synagogue body launched a plan to offer freebies to encourage younger people to join synagogues. (JTA) The initiative by Tribe, the youth wing of the United Synagogue, enables singles nationwide aged 21-30 to join their chosen shul as full members, including burial rights, for a nominal fee. In addition, participants could receive incentives such as free telephone calls and discounts on health insurance, travel, health and beauty services, as well as discounted kosher wine and food.

A new $30 million Jewish museum, built on the site of the Warsaw ghetto, will open in 2008. Reuters reports here.

An Israeli court convicted a foreign worker of infecting three women with AIDS. (JTA) Tel Aviv District Court found the 31-year-old Ghanan guilty of knowingly spreading disease by having intercourse with the women between 1997 and 2000. He was also convicted of raping a fourth woman. On the infection charge alone, the defendant could be jailed for seven years. He denied wrongdoing.

An Indian news agency reports that India and Israel will each contribute $1 million each year to fund collaborative efforts in technology sectors.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland settles with Jewish rock site Jewsrock.org. Story from Reuters here.

The Reform movement will translate a Torah commentary into Russian. (JTA) The announcement of the plans to translate the Plaut Modern Torah Commentary, which would be the first modern interpretation of the Pentateuch in the Russian language, came as more than 400 Reform Jewish leaders from 24 countries gathered in Moscow for the 32nd International Biennial Convention of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. The conference opened June 30 and runs through Monday. In another initiative announced at the conference, Russian Jewish, Christian and Muslim youths will start a new project that will include joint charity work.

Globes reports that an Israeli company will soon begin exporting sturgeon roe caviar.

Intel asks that Israel increase its grant to the company from $400 million to $490 million in order to build a larger wafer fab plant there. EETimes reports.

A two-shekel coin will be introduced by the Bank of Israel, in part due to the cost of issuing new notes for worn bills. Story from Globes here.

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