The war in Lebanon is continuing to take a heavy toll from the children of northern Israel, and not only psychologically: In recent months a sharp increase has been noted in the number of new patients suffering from juvenile diabetes in the north. The presumed reason for the increase in the incidence of the disease is the feelings of tension and stress that the children experienced in the war, which caused an outbreak of the disease. This is reported by the juvenile diabetes department at Ziv Medical Center, Safed.

In recent weeks, Ziv Hospital in Safed, which is supervising the treatment of the young patients in northern Israel, recorded an increase in the number of patients suffering from an outbreak of the disease. The staff of the juvenile diabetes department still have no numerical data on the dramatic increase in the number of new patients, since they keep arriving at the hospital every day. The department staff will present the increase today to professionals and patients at a juvenile diabetes conference that will be held at the hospital.

“The children who have come to us over the past weeks live in Safed and other communities in the Galilee-populations that have not shown such a high incidence of the disease in the past,” said Dr. Orna Dali-Gottfried, director of the department of pediatrics, juvenile diabetes and endocrinology at the hospital. “Two sectors that were very prominent in the latest wave of illness are children from the Orthodox sector and Druze children, who experienced this kind of stress for the first time in their lives during the war.

“In the past, we saw similar incidents of illness after dramatic security events in the area of Kiryat Shmona, but this time, because the city was evacuated almost completely of residents in the first days of the war, the incidents of illness moved southwards, towards Safed, where the children experienced the full horror of the war. There is no doubt that we are continuing to pay a high price in the health of the children in the north.”

Hymn Instead Of Siren To Announce Sabbath

In the wake of the war in Lebanon, the city of Safed has replaced the siren which informs devout residents of the beginning of the Sabbath each Friday evening with a well-known Sabbath evening hymn, “Lecha Dodi.” Many residents still suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome caused by the Katyusha rockets that struck the town during the war, and the Sabbath siren reminds them of the siren which sometimes preceded the impact of the rockets. Towards the end of last week the new system was installed throughout the town, and now, a few minutes before the Sabbath begins, the “Lecha Dodi” tune is played.

“The residents were panic-stricken when they heard the sirens and, therefore, we decided to install a modern system, which makes it possible to play Hassidic melodies instead of sirens,” said Rabbi Yehuda Bayer. Officials in Safed said the new system was paid for by a Sabbath observant Jewish businessman.            

Mossad: Syria Arming Hezbollah Rapidly

Israel Mossad Intelligence Chief Meir Dagan told the Israeli Parliament Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Syria is arming Hizbullah at a rapid pace and is working to overthrow the Lebanese government and destabilize the American presence in the region.

As to the Iranian nuclear crisis, Dagan said Tehran is having technical difficulties in developing its nuclear program, adding that the international community is not applying sufficient pressure on Iran.

©The Bulletin 2006

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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