PALESTINIAN TV BROADCASTS 1964 PLO CHARTER CALLING FOR ISRAEL’S DESTRUCTION: Palestinian Authority television allegedly repeatedly broadcasted an educational series in early March highlighting the outdated 1964 Palestine Liberation Organization Charter that explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel, as reported by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) on Wednesday.
The broadcast did not make any mention of important amendments made in 1993 and 1995 that recognized Jewish connections to the land, in addition to forming the basis of acceptance of a two-state solution. Rather, the television broadcast included a slide referring to Clause 16 of the charter, which calls for “the liberation of Palestine, from an international perspective, [as] a defensive operation necessitated by self-defense, as determined by the UN Charter.” (JPost / VFI News)
IRAN BUILT NEW BALLISTIC MISSILE LAUNCH POSITIONS: The Iranian Khorgo underground ballistic missile site is almost operational after new launching positions were constructed, satellite images show.
Images taken by Maxar Technologies reveal four holes dug into the side of a mountain. Three of the shafts are hardened vertical launch positions in their final construction phase, according to a separate analysis done by the civilian intelligence group Intel Lab. “Considering the geographic location as well as the existing topography, once this complex reaches full operational capability, it will not be an easy task to neutralize it by conventional means,” said Chief Intel Lab Analyst Itay Bar-Lev. (Fox / VFI News)
IRAN TO CONDUCT INITIAL TESTING OF REDESIGNED ARAK NUCLEAR REACTOR: Iran will “cold test” its revamped Arak nuclear reactor as a prelude to its full inauguration later in the year, the country’s Atomic Energy Organization said on Friday, according to a report.
Cold testing of reactors usually includes the initial startup of fluid systems and support systems. The nuclear agency spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi said it will take place sometime early in the Iranian new year, which begins Sunday, the report said. While Iran had agreed to shut down the reactor at the Arak facility under the 2015 deal, Tehran says it has been working on redesigning it for medical and agricultural use. (TOI / VFI News)
ICELAND RECOGNIZES JUDAISM AS AN OFFICIAL STATE RELIGION: Iceland has finally recognized Judaism as a religion. The process took over a year and, despite being home to a small Jewish community, Iceland has never before acknowledged the religion. Recognition was finally awarded on March 8.
The country has only one rabbi, Avi Feldman, who initiated the Chabad Lubavitch of Iceland in 2018. Feldman and the community members have worked hard to gain Iceland’s formal approval of their presence. “For Iceland to formally recognize the world’s oldest religion is in itself very significant,” Feldman explained. The decision is so significant because it allows Jews to pay taxes towards their own religious institutions. Jewish marriages, baby-naming, and funerals will also be accepted by civil law. (JPost / VFI News)
DEAD SEA SCROLL DISCOVERY BRINGS TANTALIZING PROSPECT OF MORE YET TO BE FOUND: On a day that saw the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) unveil the first Bible scroll fragments found in decades and numerous other dazzling artifacts from the “Cave of Horror” above the Dead Sea — including a huge 10,500-year-old complete woven basket, the oldest in the world — perhaps the most extraordinary news is that there are another 20 promising caves, holding untold potential treasures, that have yet to be excavated.
That means the dozens of fragments shown to the public on Tuesday could mark the beginning of an exciting new era of discovery, 60 years after the last major scroll finds. Since 2017, the IAA has spearheaded an ambitious survey of some 500 caves in the Judean Desert in an unprecedentedly wide-ranging and physically daring operation involving rappelling down rockfaces and setting up work camps on sheer cliffs. (TOI / VFI News)
OLDEST WOVEN BASKET IN THE WORLD FOUND IN ISRAEL, DATES BACK 10,000 YEARS: A perfectly preserved large woven basket dating back some 10,500 years was unearthed in the Judean Desert, the Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday.
Experts believe the artifact is probably the oldest of its kind ever uncovered. It was excavated in a Judean Desert cave by the IAA in cooperation with the Civil Administration’s Archaeology Department. “This is the most exciting discovery that I have encountered in my life,” Dr. Haim Cohen said during a press briefing at the IAA lab in Jerusalem. Materials from four different parts of the basket were analyzed to date it. The researchers concluded that the object was manufactured around 10,500 years ago during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period. (JPost / VFI News)
CORONAVIRUS: KNESSET OKAYS ELECTRONIC BRACELET FOR RETURNEES FROM ABROAD: All Israelis returning from abroad can be required to wear an electronic bracelet to ensure that they isolate at home, or be quarantined in a hotel, according to a bill approved by the Knesset on Wednesday.
The legislation gave the government authorization to force those who enter the country from abroad or from specific countries to choose between the two options, except for children under 14 and other special humanitarian cases. All those currently entering the country are required to isolate unless they present a vaccination or a recovery certificate issued by the Israeli Health Ministry. Those who were inoculated or who recovered abroad can be released from the quarantine if they undergo a serological test to prove their level of antibodies. (JPost / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff