Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Ehud Barak welcomed the deployment of U.N. forces along the Lebanese border and said he expects economic development to soon begin in northern Israel.

However, Ephraim Sneh, a deputy defense minister, criticized the troops for failing to stem a wave of firebombs that were thrown at Israeli soldiers from the Lebanese side of the border.

On Wednesday, 1,000 Lebanese police and soldiers were deployed in southern Lebanon, but not along the border, which the government says it will not take responsibility for defending. U.N. officials said another 11 positions would be sent to southern Lebanon, but did not say if the soldiers would be near the border fence.

Arab man loses life saving a Jewish boy

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Palestinian man drowned after he saved a 6-year-old Israeli boy from drowning in the Sea of Galilee.

Omri Jadda, himself an inexperienced swimmer, dove in when he saw the boy struggling and kept his head above water until rescuers came. Israeli legislators promised to help the dead man's pregnant wife and two children.

Druze denied entry into Israeli aircraft

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israel's Arkia Airlines recently refused to let Druze passengers board a flight from Kiryat Shmona to Tel Aviv, citing security reasons. The Druze are an Arab people who practice a secret religion that is not Muslim, and often serve side by side with Jews in the Israeli army.

In the second such incident in two weeks, the passengers had ordered tickets and paid for them in advance. However, they were told upon arriving at the Kiryat Shmona terminal they could not board because the required security checks could not be conducted.

The X-ray equipment needed for security checks was not hooked up due to a dispute between private contractors and an electric company.

Mossad agency looks for a few good spies

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel's Mossad intelligence agency is openly seeking new agents for the first time. The campaign will include newspaper ads and letters to college graduates.

The Prime Minister's office said it began the campaign because of increased competition with high-tech companies for qualified personnel.