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December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Negev’

8:27 AM – 2 Rockets at Negev – Homes Damaged

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Two Gazan rockets were launched towards the Sadot Hanegev area.

Two people were treated for shock

Two homes were lightly damaged by rocket shrapnel.

Negev Loses Airport Night Trains

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Residents of southern Israel – particularly those living in the periphery communities in the Negev – will no longer have the option of taking the train to and from the airport after 11:00 p.m.

A spokesperson for Israel Railways told The Jewish Press on Thursday morning the service just didn’t pay for itself. “The government and the railway company made the decision together,” said the spokesperson, who added the figures totaled only an average of five or six riders per night on the line. “It wasn’t cost effective.”

Instead, it was decided the Metropoline Bus Service will take over the route, she said. Bus #469 will begin at the Arlozorov station in Tel Aviv and then make a stop at the airport, travel to Kiryat Gat and then go to the central bus station in Be’er Sheva.

That’s a solution for folks who live in the city of Be’er Sheva itself, perhaps – but what about those who live in the small periphery towns where bus service doesn’t exist overnight?

“Tough luck, baby,” said one consumer. “We’re stuck with paying hundreds of shekels for travel after 11 pm, just like we always have – and that after first spending hours traveling to the other cities just to get a little closer. Instead of paying NIS 600 to get home, I end up paying NIS 300 from Be’er Sheva, but spend three more hours after a 12-hour flight and another hour or more in baggage claims. Forget it.”

The Negev region comprises 60 percent of the nation’s land mass – but its travel network has yet to be developed to the point that even half of its communities have any access to railway service at all.

When asked why there is still no railway branch route to Arad, for example — while Dimona, a city of similar size and population, has had one for several years – the spokesperson for Israel Railways could not find a reason. Arad, a ‘clean air’ resort town located about 45 minutes east of Be’er Sheva and 25 minutes west of the Dead Sea, is in the midst of a major development boom due to the expansion of Route 31, which runs between the two points.

The Nevatim air base is located near Route 31 – described in Hebrew media as ‘death road’ due to the high number of motor vehicle fatalities that have occurred along the highway — as is the Nahal army base at Tel Arad.

Negev Bedouins Attack IDF Soldiers

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Bedouin villagers attacked a group of Israeli soldiers Sunday as the soldiers tried to issue demolition orders for their illegal encampment near Beer Sheva.

The attack was not the first time villagers from the encampment have attacked Israeli officials: Several people were injured last August when Bedouins demanded Israel rescind the demolition orders and cancel the Prawer Plan to settle Bedouins in recognised towns around the Negev.

About 1,500 people live in the village, near the Bedouin town of Khoura. All the structures in the town are illegal, meaning Israel does not collect national or local taxes on the land.

In 2007 the encampment was declared a closed military zone, but families refused to vacate the land. Since then, residents have waged a legal battle against Israeli authorities and have consistently rejected Israeli offers help villagers find substitute residences in exchange for the homes they will have to move.

 

A Female Role Model of Humanity in Israel

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

A startling contrast presently exists in the world between the extraordinary educational and cultural success of a woman of minority origin in Israel and the denial of education for females by a brutal, fanatical Islamist group in Nigeria.

Israel can be unquestionably proud of Dr. Rania Okby, a specialist in maternal fetal medicine, who is the first female Bedouin doctor in the world and a role model for Bedouin women in Israel.

On the other hand, Nigerians, and those who regard themselves as peaceful Muslims, must be embarrassed by or ashamed of the actions of Boko Haram. This is the Islamic terrorist group that specializes in non-medical matters: bombings, murders, assassinations, and, on April 14, 2014, the abduction of more than 275 mostly Christian teenage girls from their secondary school in Chibok in northeast Nigeria. This in order to prevent them from being educated in a secular manner and to sell them into sexual slavery.

The Bedouin community in Israel, numbering about 250,000, is the least developed group in the country. Its members have been handicapped by their lifestyle, which among other things has meant the following: lack of a strong educational system, forced marriages of underage girls, consanguineous marriages, high average birthrate of six per Bedouin woman, restrictions on women working outside the home, and high unemployment. Part of the community lives in unauthorized villages without electricity or proper medical care. In those villages, life expectancy is lower than elsewhere in Israel.

Positive social and cultural change does not happen overnight, and it is rewarding when it does occur. Programs at Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in Beersheba in the Negev are helping to change Bedouin lives. In 1997 the Arnow Center for Bedouin Studies and Development was founded. At that point there were no Bedouin women studying at BGU. Today, more than 60% of the 2,678 Bedouin students at BGU are women.

From the Bedouin community, in its interaction with modern Israeli society, emerged Rania Okby with a remarkable success story. Okby was raised by a single mother who had divorced her husband when he, following Muslim law, wanted to exercise his right to take a second wife. Okby did well in high school, spending extra time to learn English, and enrolled at the age of 16 in the medical school at BGU – the first Bedouin girl to study medicine. As a student, she moved between the Israeli western milieu at the university, during the hours between 8 am and 4 pm, and the traditional society and world of her Bedouin community after 4 pm. She graduated in 2004, having been fully funded by BGU’s outreach program, and after that has been a post-grad both in Israel and in other countries.

As well as being a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, with at least two important articles concerning the cycle of pregnancy to birth, she has influenced Bedouin society as an informal psychologist, sociologist, counselor, and social worker, especially on marital issues among the Bedouins. At present, 12 out of every 1,000 Bedouin children die within their first year, and most women are married by the age of 18.

Dr. Okby’s objective is to educate the women of the community and thus change this situation. She has explained that these women are afraid to use contraception since their husbands want more children. In a broader context, she has been concerned with “honor killings” by Muslim men and has helped to protect young women from their families.

With her concern for the education of women, Dr. Okby is a symbol of the future – not only in regard to people of the Bedouin community, but also through the significance of her role for women elsewhere.

Unexpected Downpour Swells Lake Kinneret, Creates Havoc in Israel

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The sun peeked out just long enough Thursday afternoon for Israelis to see the flooding caused by the “sound and light show” they endured over Wednesday night.

Cracks of thunder and long streaks of lightning interspersed with the downpour that sent sheets of rain down through the skies over Israel, drenching the entire country.

Downpours at this time of year are unusual but not unheard of, meteorologist said. By mid-afternoon Thursday, the skies in southern Israel were once again filled with leaden clouds that appeared once more to be pregnant with rain. It was not clear whether in fact more precipitation was on the way; the forecast calls for the possibility for rain, continuing even into as Friday morning.

Rain is considered a blessing in this part of the world no matter when it arrives. There has been a 2.5-centimeter (one inch) rise in the water level of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) as a result of the record-breaking downpour.

But some may have seen it as a mixed blessing: Fifteen members of the Bnei Akiva youth group were trapped in a southern Israeli parking lot due to the flooding. They were rescued by special teams and evacuated from the scene by helicopter. IDF vehicles prepared to enter the area to help evacuate remaining hikers who had been touring in the area.

Bezeq phone lines were still down around the Dead Sea area at midday and service was sporadic at best.

Cell phone companies were scrambling to restore service in the central region. In the Jerusalem area, Cellcom customers reported all kinds of difficulties in placing their calls and in sending text messages Thursday afternoon.

The company had not formulated a response to the complaints by mid-afternoon.

Further south, near Eilat, Route 90 was still closed to traffic by late afternoon due to flash flooding that swamped the road after a night of thunder and lightning that swept Israel from north to south. Route 31, which had been closed earlier in the day, is now open.

Common Blood Pressure Drug Prevents Post-TBI Epilepsy

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Israeli researchers working with an international team have discovered that a common blood pressure medication can prevent epilepsy from developing after a traumatic brain injury.

The discovery is described in an article published in the current issue of the Annals of Neurology.

Physiology and Neurobiology Professor Alon Friedman works at the Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in southern Israel. He worked with Daniela Kaufer, UC Berkeley Associate Professor of Integrative Biology at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and Uwe Heinemann of Charite-University Medicine in Germany on the 10-year study.

In 60 percent of the experimental rats tested, the medication – losartan (Cozaar) – prevented the development of seizures following injury in which 100 percent of controls developed seizures. Of the 40 percent that did develop seizures, the researchers said the rats averaged only one quarter of the number of seizures typical for untreated subjects.

Medication administered for three weeks following injury was sufficient to prevent most cases of epilepsy in normal subjects in the subsequent months, the researchers said.

“This is the first-ever approach in which epilepsy development is stopped,” Friedman explained, “as opposed to common drugs that try to prevent seizures once epilepsy develops… so we are excited about the new approach.”

The researcher added that the study provided a new way to potentially prevent epilepsy in patients after brain injuries occurred, and once they had already developed an abnormal blood-brain barrier. The best news, he said, is that the drug stops the epilepsy from starting, rather than simply suppresses the symptoms.

British Soccer Club Owner Rents Entire Israeli Hotel for Passover

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

If you are looking for a hotel room for Passover in Mitzpeh Ramon in the Central Negev, start looking elsewhere.

Roman Abramovich, owner of Britain’s Chelsea soccer club, has booked all 111 rooms in the Beresheet Hotel in the mountain desert resort city, the London Daily Mail reported.

Abramovich reportedly will fly to Israel today (Sunday) in his private jet with Darya Zhukova and their children Aaron and Leah, and travel by limousine to the hotel.

The bill will come to approximately $450,000, not including tips. He will conduct the Passover Seder in a tent that was built for him at the Beresheet Hotel, which has a view of the Ramon Crater, the world’s largest crater created by erosion.

He can afford it. His personal wealth is estimated at  slightly more than $14 billion making him the 50th richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

The last time  Abramovich was in Israel for Passover was in 2009, when he rented out an entire floor of a hotel in Eilat.

The Daily Mail reported, “Abramovich is a frequent visitor to Israel. In the past year alone he has been to the country five times, including visits to technology incubators in Tel Aviv with a view to investing in high-tech startups and attending a fundraising event for an organization that carries out archeological excavations, which he supports financially.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/british-soccer-club-owner-rents-entire-israeli-hotel-for-passover/2014/04/13/

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