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Jerusalem News-746
Date 20th March 2008, 14th Adar-2 5768
1. Water Authority Director: Crisis Expected in July
Poll:Israelis opposed to further withdrawals
3. Israel Produces Unmanned Drones Over Beaches


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1. Water Authority Director: Crisis Expected in July
by Hillel Fendel

( The Knesset Interior Committee held a session on Israel's looming water crisis, and its members heard some dire warnings.  Uri Shani, the Director of the Water Authority, told the MKs, "I have no doubt that the level of the Kinneret will drop this coming July below the red line, and water will not be able to be drawn."

The Kinneret, or the Sea of Galilee, is Israel's largest reservoir, and its height is a mirror of Israel's water supply.  If, because of heavy rains and water streaming into it from the northern mountains, it climbs to a height of 208.8 meters below sea level, its dams must be opened to prevent Tiberias and Ein Gev from being flooded.  This last occurred some 17 years ago. 

The problems, however, usually occur in the opposite direction.  The Kinneret's level currently stands at only some 212 meters below sea level - and if it drops much further, the water will be unsafe for drawing.  The official level as recorded on Monday was 212.06 meters below sea level, only two centimeters higher than last week.  This can be compared to rainy years such as 2003, when rains and runoff helped the Kinneret rise an average of five centimeters each day during the month of March.

Shani, who served as ex-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Bureau Director several years ago, told the Committee that the reasons for the water crisis include the shift of rain concentrations to southern Israel, and the agricultural changeover from field crops to more water-needy orchards.

March signals the beginning of the end of Israel's rainy season, which this year has produced only some 75% of an average year's rainfall.

Since Israel transferred municipal sovereignty over most of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority some ten years ago, some underground water reservoirs which are part of the mountain aquifer have become unfit for drinking, due to overdrawing of water by local Arabs.

2. Poll:Israelis opposed to further withdrawals
From: Menachem <>
Subject: (Fwd) Poll:Israelis opposed to further withdrawals

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Israelis opposed to further withdrawals Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 19, 2008

According to a recent poll the number of Israelis who support further
withdrawals from the West Bank has dropped significantly in the years
since the 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria.

The question asked by the "Motagim" poll was: "In light of the results
of the disengagement process from the Gaza Strip, are you in favor of a
continued withdrawal from Judea and Samaria?"

64.9 percent responded that they were opposed to further withdrawals
and 23.9 percent said they were in favor. The rest refused to answer the
The poll also divided the results according to various sectors in
Israeli society, showing that 95 percent of haredim were opposed to further
withdrawals, as were 90.9 percent in the religious community and 57
percent of the secular community.

The poll was commissioned by the SOS Israel organization.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

3. Israel Produces Unmanned Drones Over Beaches
 by Hillel Fendel

( A new fleet of Heron-1 UAV's (unmanned aerial vehicles), made by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) are soon to be deployed by the Israel Air Force for coastal air patrol. The new Herons will replace most manned air patrols, easing the burden of flight and ground crews, Globes reports.

Earlier, Defense News reported that with Israel becoming increasingly more of a target for missile-launching terrorists from Gaza, Lebanon and possibly soon even Judea and Samaria, the Jewish State is considering purchasing fighter planes that do not require long runways (see below).

The Heron UAV
The Heron-1 is the first marine patrol UAV developed and built in Israel. It will replace the 30-year old Westwind Seascan patrol planes - the military version of the Westwind executive jet - currently used for the coastal patrol mission.

Defense News adds that the Heron-1 will be equipped with reconnaissance and surveillance radars made by IAI subsidiary Elta Systems Ltd.  Flying at an altitude of 32,000 feet, the Heron-1 can stay aloft for more than 50 hours.

Defense News quotes Israeli defense industry sources as saying that the combination of sophisticated radar with the Heron's extended endurance will enable the IAF to monitor Israel's coastline and territorial waters more extensively and efficiently than currently.

IAI unveiled this latest variant of the Heron UAV last June.  The Heron is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV designed as a multi-payload, multi-role platform to meet Israel Air Force requirements.

Wanted: Short-Runway Fighter Jets
The missile threats on significant portions of Israel's borders may require Israel to change its purchase plans for new jet fighters. Israel currently plans to purchase 25 units of the U.S. Air Force's F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, of the CTOL (Conventional Takeoff and Landing) version.  However, it is now considering changing the order to F-35B Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) planes. 

The reason: Because runways might become vulnerable to missile threats from several directions, and the IAF may therefore be compelled to operate in the type of improvised, austere environments envisioned for the STOVL variant of the JSF.

The Lifestyle Doctor

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