Shorts: mideast

Fumes from pot overwhelm police

jerusalem (ap) | The fumes from several tons of marijuana stored in an Israeli police station were so strong that officers had to leave their work place.

The police station in the town of Dimona in the southern Negev desert is used to store all the marijuana confiscated along the Israeli-Egyptian border, a busy smuggling route. Between 3 and 4 tons were seized in the past two months.

“The smell was overpowering,” police spokesman Gil Kleiman said Friday, Jan. 23.

Next week the marijuana will be destroyed, but the room is expected to fill up again in a couple of months, Kleiman said.

Sharon skips vote confirming top attorney

jerusalem (jta) | Ariel Sharon was absent from a vote confirming Israel’s new attorney general, who will decide whether to indict Sharon.

Menachem Mazouz, who was approved by the Cabinet on Sunday, Jan. 25, succeeds Elyakim Rubinstein as attorney general.

The changeover comes amid a corruption scandal that threatens the prime minister. A businessman friend of Sharon has been charged with trying to bribe Sharon’s sons when Sharon was foreign minister.

Sources close to Sharon said he decided to recuse himself from the vote on Mazouz’s appointment to avoid the appearance of any impropriety.

Khadafy points finger over Israel’s nukes

jerusalem (jta) | Moammar Khadafy accused the world of turning a blind eye to Israel’s “weapons of mass destruction.”

The Libyan leader said in comments published Monday, Jan. 26, that the world has been “deaf and blind” to Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

It is widely acknowledged Israel has nuclear weapons, but Israel has never admitted it.

Israel intercepts computer bomb

jerusalem (jta) | Israel discovered a bomb hidden inside a computer bound for Tel Aviv.

Israeli security retrieved a bag with explosives rigged behind a computer screen, near the Gaza Strip settlement of Elkana, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The attack was planned by a member of the Tanzim militia, an offshoot of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement, who was arrested as he headed to Tel Aviv.