Shorts: Mideast

Israeli youths’ Web site promotes Jewish homeland

Israeli youths have created a Web site designed to help them argue their country’s case to counterparts abroad. Israel Online For You, at, marks the culmination of a year’s work by 40 girls and boys from all over the Jewish state in collaboration with the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

Using the multilingual site, the Israeli teenagers have communicated with foreign counterparts interested in the situation in Israel.

“They take part in various online activities such as replying to talkbacks, participating in forums and organizing online petitions,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday, May 21, adding that the scope of the project will be expanded over the coming year. “They have even e-mailed the Iranian president protesting his derogatory remarks regarding Israel.” — jta

Secret IDF report: hostages may be dead

A secret IDF report given to the families of kidnapped soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev stated that one of them was “probably hit by an RPG bomb, and the chances for a person to survive such an injury without receiving immediate complex medical treatment requiring surgical skills are slim.”

Regarding the second missing soldier, the secret report stated that “his condition is (at least) serious, after he was apparently hurt by an RPG bomb and lost a lot of blood.”

Regev and Goldwasser were kidnapped by Hezbullah on July 12, 2006, and the abduction led to an Israeli military response, which developed into the Second Lebanon War.

The report also says that the soldiers probably did not receive medical treatment in light of Hezbollah fighter’s need to escape. The injured troops were carried out of the burning patrol vehicle on the shoulders of two Hezbollah fighters and were taken into Lebanon.

When asked about the report, the IDF said, “Our work premise is that they are both alive.” —

Israel to elect president on June 13

The elections for the next president of Israel will be held on June 13 — and if there is no majority in favor of a single candidate, another vote will be held after a 15-minute break, Knesset officials announced this week.

MKs Reuven Rivlin and Colette Avital already have announced their candidacy, and Vice Premier Shimon Peres is rumored to be joining the race in coming weeks. — jps