Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli government appealed to the Jewish National Fund to continue building and developing water projects in Israel.

The request came after the Israel Meteorological Service forecast lower than average rainfall this winter and began preparing for an extended drought.

"Since the water shortage has long exceeded the critical point," Water Commissioner Shimon Tal wrote to JNF World Chairman Yehiel Leket, "we need your support again on behalf of our government."

Israel wants the JNF to develop dams, water reservoirs and water recycling reservoirs, Tal wrote.

Palestinian radicals escape from prison

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Palestinian prisoners escaped from an army prison near Ramallah on Monday night.

The two, described in some reports as members of Islamic Jihad, were discovered missing during morning roll call.

There was a hole in one of the inner fences at the base, Army Radio reported. Islamic Jihad said the two Palestinians had reached a "safe place."

The army launched searches in the area and imposed a curfew on Ramallah.