Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JPS) — Motti Zigdon, a mail carrier in Jerusalem's Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood, denied reports Tuesday that he was assaulted there for trying to distribute Israel Defense Force booklets for protection against chemical and biological warfare.

Zigdon said he was asked by members of the Neturei Karta sect not to hand out the leaflets in the neighborhood because a woman on the cover is immodestly dressed. But nobody assaulted him. "I am fine and healthy," he said.

Zigdon said that media reports published Monday about him being attacked were wrong. The reports did not identify Zigdon by name, but he is sure they were referring to him because he is the only carrier for the Postal Authority to deliver in that neighborhood.

United Nations details Palestinian ecosystem

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A U.N. report details environmental damage in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Released in Kenya at a meeting of the U.N. Environment Program, the report finds rising water pollution, loss of natural vegetation and waste dumping.

Some problems, such as asbestos contamination after buildings are destroyed and the clearing of forested land, are due to the intifada.

Others, such as a lack of proper waste disposal facilities, are longer term, the report said.

While the report makes no mention of the terrorist threat that has led Israel to take steps that may have damaged the environment, Israel's ambassador to Kenya, Ya'acov Amitai, said it was "generally free of the propaganda we are used to."