(JTA) Israel is scaling back military missions in the West Bank before Palestinian Authority elections. Security sources said Monday that raids against Palestinian towns in the West Bank would be suspended until Wednesday's balloting, to enable voters and foreign observers to move about unhindered. But Israel still reserves the right to act pre-emptively in urgent cases of "ticking bombs" - terrorists en route to carrying out attacks. Before the decision was enacted, Israeli forces arrested 24 suspected terrorists in overnight raids in the West Bank.

The AP reports that part of a roof collapsed today at the historic First Roumanian-American Congregation in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It is uncertain if insurance will cover the damage.

(JTA) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will bring disaster upon his people, Israel's defense minister said. Shaul Mofaz's remarks, in an address to the Herzliya strategy conference Saturday, added fuel to speculation that Israel could take military action to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, especially in light of Ahmadinejad's recent statements questioning the Holocaust and calling for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map."

Mofaz, who was born in Iran, said: "You, who are leading your country with an ideology of hatred, terror, and anti-Semitism, had better take a look at history and see what became of tyrants like you who tried to annihilate the Jewish people. They only brought disaster upon their own people." Though he stopped short of threatening military action, the defense minister said Israel "will not reconcile itself" to Iran getting the bomb.

An Iranian official brushed off Mofaz's comments.

"We consider Mofaz's comments a form of psychological warfare. Israel knows just how much of a fatal mistake it would be" to attack Iran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters. "This is just a childish game by Israel."

The semi-annual report on national report on poverty in Israel shows that roughly 25% of the population lives under the poverty line. Story from Arutz Sheva here.

(JTA) Benjamin Netanyahu said that as prime minister he would accept further territorial concessions to the Palestinians. "In the framework of a peace accord, a government under my leadership would agree to make real territorial concessions, but will not compromise our security borders," the Likud Party leader said Sunday in a policy speech at the Herzliya strategy conference. "In any event, with or without an accord, we have no intention of returning to control or annexing Palestinian cities and population centers" already ceded to the Palestinian Authority, he said.

According to political analysts, Netanyahu is trying to soften the Likud's hard-line image ahead of March 28 elections in Israel. Opinion polls show the Likud trailing the ruling Kadima Party and the Labor Party in the race.

Globes reports about the strike that was declared today in Israel by the Oil Refineries workers.

(JTA) Yad Vashem launched an online resource to coincide with the United Nations' first commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day this week. The resource is available at the Web site of Israel’s Holocaust memorial, www.yadvashem.org.

The information includes suggested educational activities, survivors' video testimonies, online exhibitions and a link to Yad Vashem’s database of Holocaust victims' names.

TheTiphereth Israel Synagogue in Mumbai, India is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year and in honor of the anniversary dedicated a new mikvah there yesterday, according to The Hindu, India's National Newspaper.

(JTA) Jewish philanthropist Andrea Bronfman died Monday in New York City after she was hit by a car. Bronfman was the wife of Charles Bronfman and the co-chair of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. The Bronfmans have been major supporters of numerous programs and initiatives aimed at strengthening Jewish life, including birthright israel. The Bronfmans have five children.

An IDF rescue team was sent Monday night to Kenya, to rescue people trapped in a collapsed building in Nairobi, according to the Jerusalem Post.


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