Four Israeli doctors were detained over alleged human experimentation. (JTA)

The doctors, who hold senior positions in Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot and Hartzfeld Geriatric Hospital in Gedera, were arrested Monday on suspicion of illegally experimenting on humans. Dr. Shmuel Levi and Dr. Nadia Kagenski were remanded for three days by Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.

Dr. Alona Smirnov was released to house arrest for five days, and the fourth suspect was released.

According to an investigation by the Health Ministry and exposed by Ha’aretz, the hospitals conducted illegal and unethical testing on thousands of elderly patients between 2000-2003, resulting in at least one death.


Israel joined the global condemnation over North Korea’s nuclear weapons test. (JTA)

After Pyongyang stunned the world Monday by announcing it had conducted its first controlled atomic blast, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the move was “irresponsible and provocative” and “could pose a serious threat to the stability of Northeast Asia and to global and international security.”

Israeli officials noted that a nuclear-armed North Korea was likely to help Iran attain its own atomic arsenal.

Army Radio quoted a senior Israeli diplomat as calling for tough Western action against North Korea, including, if necessary, resorting to military force.


Qatar´s efforts to broker a Palestinian Authority coalition government failed. (JTA)

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani left the Gaza Strip on Tuesday after inconclusive talks aimed at bridging differences between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

According to Palestinian Authority officials, Sheik Hamad had tried to secure agreement from Haniyeh´s Hamas for de facto recognition of past peace deals with Israel, but was rebuffed by the radical Islamist group.

Abbas´s formerly dominant Fatah wants to enter a "unity" government with a more moderate Hamas in hope of lifting a Western aid embargo on the Palestinian Authority and reviving negotiations with Israel.


Syria´s president said his country was bracing for a possible attack by Israel. (JTA)

Bashar Assad told a Kuwaiti newspaper over the weekend that, in the wake of the Lebanon war, he believed Israel had no intent of pursuing peace talks with Syria.

"Syria expects Israeli aggression at any time," he told Al-Anba. "Naturally, in the absence of peace, war can happen. Therefore we have begun making preparations within the framework of our capabilities."

Jerusalem officials, in response, reiterated Israel´s stance that it sought no confrontation with Syria. In Israel, Assad is regarded as having been frustrated by Syria´s inability to win back the entire Golan Heights through diplomacy. Israel rules out such preconditions for talks, and has called on Damascus to stop supporting Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist groups if it is sincere about peace.


An international ad campaign will target anti-Semitism. (JTA)

The ads, produced by Russell Simmons, a hip-hop mogul who is co-leader of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, feature Simmons and rapper Jay-Z encouraging young people to fight anti-Semitism in their communities.

The ads will run in English, German, French, Spanish and Russian.


An Israeli hospital unveiled a maternity ward designed for fervently Orthodox Jews. (JTA)

The five new delivery rooms at Jerusalem’s Bikur Cholim Hospital feature a special partition which allows the birthing mother to see her husband sitting beside her, but not for him to see her, Ma’ariv reported Monday.

This provision satisfies Orthodox requirements of modesty.

The rooms also have the options of stands for women’s wigs and piped-in Chasidic music.

According to the newspaper, the renovations cost Bikur Cholim some $1.3 million, most of it donated.

“The delivery rooms are the hospital’s flagship,” said hospital director Barry Bar-Tziyon.


A record number of Jews turned out for Sukkot services at Jerusalem’s Western Wall. (JTA)

An estimated 65,000 worshipers attended Monday’s prayers at Judaism’s most important site, which included the traditional blessing of the Cohanim, or high priests.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, director of the Western Wall and Holy Places authority, described it as the largest turnout in a quarter-century.


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