NORTH Safed’s 26th annual three-day International Klezmer Festival was held last week, drawing thousands of Jewish soul music lovers to the city’s historic streets and alleys. Festival goers were invited to participate in musical tours accompanied by klezmer musicians, run in cooperation with KKL-JNF.Speaking at the event, KKL-JNF chairman Efi Stenzler said that one of the important functions of KKL-JNF was to maintain Israel’s natural, spiritual and cultural assets.“That is why we are here,” he said, “with a host of public figures and thousands of people celebrating the klezmer festival. We are pleased and proud to support the existence of the klezmer festival in Safed to encourage tourism in the North because the klezmer festival is the spiritual asset of the State of Israel. It’s the Maccabiah of Jewish music.”This year’s lineup included David De’or, Mirel Reznik, Aharon Razel, Eyal Shiloah, Golan Azulai, Hamadregot, Ben Snof, Daniel Zamir, Musa Berlin, Jimmy Lloyd, Klezmiriot and other groups and artists from around the world.CENTER Police uncover explosives lab in Netanya apartment Two weeks ago a police unit from the Lachish region arrested three residents of Central Israel on suspicion of trafficking, preparing and distributing explosives and weapons to crime organizations throughout the country, the Israel Police reported this week. The three, aged 24, 31 and 47, were arrested following covert operations carried out by the unit, through which police discovered a laboratory for manufacturing explosives in an apartment in Netanya.During the probe, police succeeded in thwarting an assassination attempt using a bomb. Some of the explosives found were ready to operate, and police suspect they were intended to be used in a conflict between organized crime organizations.The investigation began a year ago when police received information about plans of organized crime syndicates to bring explosives into southern Israel. The probe led to the exposure of the three suspects, who allegedly sold munitions for hundreds and thousands of shekels. One of the methods adopted by the suspects was using seals and stamps from IDF cargo to give the impression that their munitions were the property of the IDF. According to police, the explosive devices found are sophisticated and capable of being operated by remote control. The suspects are denying all allegations. Hair-cutting campaign launched to aid women and girls battling cancer A campaign was launched last week to create wigs for women and girls battling cancer, led by Pantene Hair Care in cooperation with the Zichron Menachem Association for the Support of Children with Cancer and their Families. Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s wife, Lihi, participated in the event, as well as TV host Danny Roup, actor Dvir Bendek and comedian Tzipi Shavit.Explaining the importance of the campaign, Haim Erenthal, chairman of Zichron Menachem, said, “Our experience shows that the first question a female patient asks the physician who tells her she has been diagnosed with cancer does not involve the severity of the disease; rather, she asks about the effect chemotherapy would have on her hair. We have worked with hundreds of girls and women of all ages who are ill with cancer. Time and again, we witnessed the undeniable psychological and emotional impact that the hair’s existence and appearance have on their well-being.”Pantene announced the start of the global campaign in the US in 2006, but this is the first time it has been launched in Israel. Under the name Beautiful Lengths, the campaign calls on girls and women to support patients suffering from cancer by donating their hair.The donations are collected in “hair-cutting parties,” with the help of 200 hair stylists in Israel who have volunteered to cut the hair of interested donors in their hair salons.Elena Kudryashova, general manager of Procter & Gamble in Israel – the manufacturer of Pantene – said, “Healthy hair means a lot for each one of us, and beautiful healthy-looking hair means even more for women fighting cancer. We want to support these women by helping them look and feel better. “ To date, Pantene has donated 24,000 natural hair wigs in the US and is now collaborating with Zichron Menachem to establish a donation platform that increases public awareness about the need for high-quality wigs for women fighting cancer, encouraging more women to donate their hair when they decide to cut it.Singer and actress Sharon Haziz was named the spokesperson to lead the campaign as a woman who battled cancer herself.“I could write a book about the shock I felt when I was told that I had been diagnosed with cancer.The terrible fear of the unknown, the therapy, the pain and the pain of losing my femininity, which has always been so important for me,” she recalled. “I was ashamed to have been so preoccupied with the loss of hair while in this chaos. But this was one of the topics that came up in the many talks I had with women who became ill with cancer,” she continued. “As if struggling with the disease was not enough, it is when your hair starts falling out that the disease looks you in the eye. With every strand of hair I lost, I could feel that pieces of my femininity, power and beauty were falling out, too.”Hair must be in good condition to be donated, and it must be at least 30 cm. long and free of significant chemical treatment.Erenthal expressed the hope that the campaign would garner 10,000 hair donations in its first year.TEL AVIV embarks on campaign for cyclist and pedestrian safety The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality is embarking this month on an informational campaign for safe cycling, emphasizing that the bicycle lanes are for cyclists only. This will involve new signage on the bicycle lanes on Rothschild Boulevard, signs in public areas and stickers with messages on Tel-O-Fun city bikes regarding the importance of riding only in the designated lanes. Daily awareness activities will also be conducted in which cyclists and pedestrians will receive messages about observing separation markings between bicycle lanes and pedestrian paths.SOUTH Beersheba unveils the South’s first skate park A new extreme sports park was unveiled this week in Beersheba, marking the completion of the first skate park in southern Israel.The park covers 2,500 square meters of concrete with ramps, walls, stairs and sloping surfaces. The park meets professional international standards, offering skateboard and roller-blade enthusiasts a challenging and fun experience.The large complex includes a perimeter lighting system, safety fencing and controlled entry and exit facilities. The park is the fruit of a joint initiative between the Beersheba Municipality and Mifal Hapayis. The project cost an estimated NIS 7.5 million.The skate park was built as part of an immense sports complex covering three hectares of land, which includes soccer pitches and locker rooms. Volleyball and beach soccer pitches, fitness facilities and bicycle paths are among other features planned for the grounds.Ashdod mayoral candidate’s Facebook account hacked The Facebook account of Ashdod mayoral candidate Irma Tzur of the One Ashdod movement was hacked last week with pornographic material. The hack attack was soon discovered, and a complaint was registered to the managers of Facebook, after which the posts were removed.Tzur said this was not the first time she had been the victim of attempts to sabotage her extensive activities on the Internet. The latest incident was preceded by attempts to hack her email account and the movement’s website.Tzur said that in addition to trying to sabotage One Ashdod’s activities, the attack constituted a blatant attempt to invade her privacy and to try to extract information from her photographs and conversations. She added that the offenders should know that such attacks only strengthen her resolve and encourage her to move forward.12-year-old Beduin dies after becoming entangled in rope in Negev town A 12-year-old Beduin boy died on Sunday night after reportedly being entangled in a rope in a southern Negev town near Arad. Paramedics arrived on the scene and took him to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba in critical condition, but he succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter.According to Israel Radio, the father said his son had become entangled in the rope, which wrapped itself around his neck. Police were investigating the circumstances of the incident.