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PAGE 2A / JTA Weekly Summary Following are Jewish Telegraphic Agency's news briefs for Tuesday, January 13, 2009. Arab journalists indicted for violating censor JERUSALEM (JTA)Two eastern Jerusalem journal- ists were indicted for reporting on the start of Israel's ground operation in Gaza before gaining clearance. The Arab reporter and his producer, who work for an Iranian television station, were indicted Tuesday in the Jerusalem District Court on charges of disclosing sensitive information and passing information to the enemy. Their offices are based in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The newsmen, who were arrested Monday, violated the military censor. During a live broadcast, they reported on the entrance of Israeli troops into Gaza several hours before the embargo on reporting the start of the ground operation was lifted. The report included estimates of the number of troops and their military vehicles. Jordanian soldier fires on Israeli patrol JERUSALEM (JTA)--A Jordanian soldier fired on an Israeli border patrol near Eilat. Israeli Border Police of- ricers returned fire in the Tuesday morning incident--the third such incident on Israel's border since Operation Cast Lead began on Dec. 27. Israel has closed the Yitzhak Rabin Border Terminal while security agencies investi- gate. On Sunday, a lone Syrian gunman fired on Israeli repairmen working on the Israeli side of the northern border, damaging vehicles in the incident. Last week, at least three Katyusha rockets were fired from Lebanon on Nahariya, slamming into a retirement home. Hezbollah denied participating in the incident. Rice: 'Hard' to avoid civilians WASHINGTON (JTA)--Condoleezza Rice said it was "hard" for Israel to avoid civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip war. "It is very difficult in a circumstance like Gaza, which is a very densely populated area," Rice said Friday when a reporter asked her whether Israel was meeting its humanitarian commitments. "I might note it's also an area in which Hamas participates in activities like human shields and using buildings that are not designated as military buildings to hide their fighters. So it's hard." Israel launched major operations on Dec. 27, about two weeks after Hamas terrorists controlling Gaza ended a fragile cease-fire with a mas- sive intensification of rocket attacks on Israel's South. More than 850 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict--authorities say an estimated half are civil- ians, and most of those are children. Thirteen Israelis have died, including four civilians. I r I ,! HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 16, 2009 I " f 7 I Captured soldier Shalit a pawn in Gaza operation By Marcy Oster KARNEI SHOMRON, West Bank (JTA)Two days into Israel's operation in the Gaza Strip, Arab media outlets be- gan reporting that captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit had been wounded in an Israeli airstrike. While Israeli defense of- ficials dismissed the reports as psychological warfare and manipulation, the report was a reminder that Hamas knows it is holding what the Israeli defense establishment has called a"valuable asset" in its conflict with Israel. Sgt. Gilad Shalit, now 22, was captured in a cross-border raid near the Kerem Shalom crossing in June 2006. Con- cern about his fate has gal- vanized Israelis from across the religious and political spectrum, making the report of his injury in an Israeli raid a powerful tool for Hamas to use against Israel. The initial report that Sha- lit was injured was published Dec. 29 on a Hamas-affiliated Web site, according to a Ynet report. "There are reports that the Zionist soldier held by Hamas was injured in one of the Air Force strikes," the Web site said. The report quickly spread to other sites. Hamas' mili- tary wing never officially confirmed the report, nor was it independently con- firmed. Dedicated To Serving Our Jewish Community Call on Central Florida's Exclusively Jewish Funeral Home for Details Regarding: Traditional Jewish Funerals Non-Traditional Services Interstate Shipping Pre-Arranged Funerals (Shalom Assurance Plan) Headstone, Grave Markers (Cardinal Memorials) 407-599-1180 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD Louis B. Wilson, LFD, Manager James R. Cardinal, Executive Director Samuel P. (Sammy) Goldstein, Assoc. Exec. Director Michael Meyer, Family Pre-need Counselor Brian Hendler A Hamas-affiliated Web site reported that capturedIsraeli soldier Gilad Shalit was hurt in an Israeli airstrike of the type seen here on a target in northern Gaza on Jan. 6. Shalit's family reportedly had been warned to expect such reports, likely false, be- fore the Gaza incursion. Israeli officials believe that Shalit is alive. His family received a letter, promised by Hamas during a meeting with former President Jimmy Carter, from the soldier last June. It was the third letter they had received since his capture. Experts confirmed that the handwriting was Shalit's. The Israel Defense Forces reported Jan. 5 that at least 100 Hamas terrorists had been taken into custody so far as part of the ground operation in Gaza. It is likely that de- fense and intelligence officials intend to use the prisoners as bargaining chips in a deal for Shalit's release. Hamas has demanded the release of 1,400 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, many of whom were involved in ter- rorist attacks that claimed the lives of Israelis, in exchange for Shalit. Israeli defense officials had stated before the Gaza opera- tion that the fact that Shalit was being held in an unknown location in Gaza had figured into their plans for the attack. They admitted such an attack could be dangerous for the captive soldier. Prime Minister Ehud Ol- mert acknowledged this fear during his address to the Israeli people shortly after the Gaza operation began. "Today, my heart is also with the Shalit family--Aviva, Noam, the children and grandfather Tzvi--who are certainly anxious this eve- ning, along with very many others, over the fate of Gilad," he said. Discussion about Shalit has become part of the political landscape in Israel in recent weeks in the run-up to na- tional elections on Feb. 10. In a talk to Tel Aviv high school students last month, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the head of the Kadima Party and its candidate for prime minister, responded to a question about why the teens should risk their lives in service to a country that had not brought Shalit home. "If you think that I could free Gilad Shalit right now, or the government could, but doesn'twant to, that isn't true," Livni said. "The government must always be responsible for the soldiers it sends out. We all wish there would be no casualties, but some of the willingness to fight is because we have no other choice. It is not always possible to bring everyone home." The statement prompted outrage from the leaders of organizations dedicated to bringing Shalit home. Rockets hit Israel's North as Israel mulls options in Gaza By Marcy Oster factionsin Lebanon thatwant have been killed in rocket at KARNEI SHOMRON, West Bank (JTA)--Katyusha rock- ets were fired on northern Israel from Lebanon, spark- ing fears that the conflict with Hamas would open on a second front, but Israeli and Lebanese officials downplayed the incident. Also on Jan. 8, as Israel's operation in the Gaza Strip entered its 13th day, an army officer was killed just hours before Israel suspended fight- ing for another humanitarian pause. During a tour of the troops in the South on Jan. 8, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Is- rael still had military options left in the Gaza Strip and could continue to step up its opera- tions in order to stop Hamas rocket fire on Israel. "The decision about how we make sure that the quiet in the South remains is still before us, and the Israel Defense Forces has still not been asked to carry out everything that is necessary to achieve this," Olmert said. One of at least three Katyu- sha rockets fired on the northern border community of Nahariya Jan. 8 crashed through the roof of an old- age home. The rocket landed in the kitchen of the home as 25 residents were eating in the dining hall next door. Two elderly Israelis were injured. There has been no claim of responsibility in the attacks, but speculation is rife. An IDF spokesman was quoted by the Ynet Israeli news site as saying the attacks were carried out by Palestinian to force Israel into war. Some 400,000 Palestinians live in Lebanon. Israel retaliated by shell- ing the area from where the Katyushas were fired. The Israeli army dismissed the rockets as"a minor event," The New York Times reported. Hezbollah, the terrorist or- ganization with whom Israel fought a monthlong war in 2006, has denied any connec- tion with the attack, accord- ing to Lebanese information minister Tarek Mitri. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora condemned the attack on Israel and Israel's response. Schools in Nahariya and surrounding communities have been canceled and the Home Front command has ordered northern commu- nities to open their bomb shelters. The missiles reportedly were fired from the same southern Lebanon town where last month the Leba- nese army found eight Katyu- sha rockets set on timers to be fired at Israel. The rockets were defused. In central Gaza, the army officer was killed and another soldier wounded by anti-tank fire in the former Netzarim settlement as their company was entering a building. The dead soldier was identified as Maj. Roi Rosner, 27, of Holon. Seven Israeli soldiers have been killed since Israel began its ground operation in the Gaza Strip and eight since the operation began on Dec. 27. Three Israeli civilians also tacks from Gaza. Shortly after Rosner's death was announced to the public, Israel halted attacks for three hours in the early afternoon to enable Palestinian civilians in Gaza to leave their homes and for international relief or- ganizations to carry out their humanitarian missions. Itwas the second straight day that Israel took a "humanitarian pause" from fighting Hamas gunmen in Gaza. During the break in fight- ing, some 300 Gazans with dual citizenship were permit- ted to leave the strip via the Erez crossing and were taken to Jordan across the Allenby Bridge, while a pool of foreign journalists reportedly was allowed to enter. In addition, 100 trucks of humanitarian supplies entered Gaza and 132,000 gallons of diesel fuel for the Gaza power stationwas to be transferred through the Nahal Oz fuel depot. More than 23 rockets were fired at southern Israel on Jan. 8. A long-range Grad missile landed in an Ashkelon elementary school, destroying its gym. Schools have been closed since the start of the operation. The Israeli Air Force at- tacked about 60 Hamas targets overnight Jan. 7, including the houses of Yaser Natat, who was in charge of the rocket firing program in the Rafah area, and Muhammad Sanuar, the commander of the Hamas Khan Yunis Brigade. It also targeted a mosque used as a weapons storage Rockets on page 19A