by Avi Machlis and Lawrence Cohler-Esses
JTA Reporter and Staff Writer
Al-Burg, West Bank — From her hilltop village of Al-Burj, located southwest of Hebron, Majida Talahmeh closely followed Israeli and Palestinian negotiators last month as they put the finishing touches on the Wye River Memorandum in the United States.
Like many Palestinians, Talahmeh, 27, worried about how a new agreement on security cooperation would affect the Palestinian people. Her family feels that it has already paid a heavy price for Israeli security demands.
Just four days after the Palestinian Authority pledged cooperation with Israeli security forces, its intelligence services arrested two men Tuesday who reportedly confessed to the murder of a yeshiva student in the West Bank city of Hebron just a day earlier.
Palestinian officials said they were expecting Israeli authorities to be just as vigilant in arresting the person who stoned to death an elderly Palestinian in an apparent revenge attack shortly after the murder of the student, Danny Vargas, who worked as a security guard in Hebron.
Sarah Bouhel, a 24-year-old Israeli soldier, froze when she saw a Palestinian at the Beersheva Central Bus Station Monday morning pull out a hand grenade and toss it about 12 feet from her.
“I was in shock,” she recalled. “I didn’t think he would throw it. The soldier I was standing with saw I couldn’t move, so he took my hand and pulled me, shouting at me to run. In the middle of the run, there was a big blast and we fell. I fell on my stomach because of the blast.”
by Michele Chabin
Tekoa, West Bank — For the people who live here, the Jewish settlement of Tekoa is something akin to paradise. Built atop a mountain in the starkly beautiful Judean Desert, its comfortable homes afford a breathtaking view of the camel-colored cliffs that extend in all directions. Here and there Arab villages, as well as the nearby settlement of El David, dot the parched mountainsides, adding a bit of color to the desert landscape.
What the Israeli government is calling the largest merger in the country’s history will bring together two “premier” telecommunications companies that are expected to have a combined annual revenue next year of $1.5 billion.
ECI Telecom Ltd. and Tadiran Telecom are joining in an effort to challenge bigger competitors.
by Michele Chabin
Jerusalem — Lynda Prince, a Native American from British Columbia, Canada, received more than a few curious stares last week when she explored the Israeli capital in Indian authentic garb.
Prince, who was in Israel to attend an annual evangelical Christian conference called the Feast of Tabernacles, wore a 30-pound deer-skin wedding dress and brightly colored feathered headdress during much of her visit, despite the sizzling autumn heat.