« January 2009 | Main | March 2009 »

February 27, 2009

MERF Appearence

For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.

The time of the show is 2pm EDT, 11AM Pacific, 12 noon in Arizona, 9pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the host radio program web page http://kknt960.townhall.com/

True Colors

Fatah, Hamas agree to form transitional government Date: 26 / 02 / 2009 Time: 21:04 www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=36076

Cairo - Ma'an - Rival Palestinian factions have agreed to form a new
transitional government that will operate until presidential and
parliamentary elections can be held, a top Hamas leader said on Thursday
evening.

Flanked by officials from 14 different factions at a press conference in
Cairo, Hamas political leader Mussa Abu Marzuq said that they had reached
agreement in principle on forming a transitional government. The factions
are in Cairo in an effort to end nearly two years of Palestinian political
disunity.

Ahmad Qurei, the leader of the Fatah delegation at the Egyptian-brokered
talks, said, "This government could be formed approved by all of the
Palestinian factions or could be technocrat government, or [another form of]
government approved by the committees," referring to the panels overseeing
the specifics of the reconciliation.

"The committees will work in a balanced way through separate meetings for a
specified period of time. there will be outcomes of these committees that
will be implemented immediately," said Qurei.

Abu Marzuq addressed the issue of the reconstruction of Gaza which he said
"will need support, support that is delivered to the people directly."

He also talked about the issue of the Gaza Strip's border crossings: "Egypt
will work on solving the problem of the crossings with Israel, particularly
the Rafah crossing, on which Egypt will work on a new agreement."

Mustafa Al-Barghouthi, the secretary-general of the Palestinian National
Initiative, said "All of the Palestinian factions and together will confront
any Israeli assault."



This is the true face of the Palestinian people, all groups have come together to defeat Israel.

February 26, 2009

PA Officials Reiterate Warning of Renewed 'Armed Struggle'

Adar 2, 5769, 26 February 09 10:55
by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

(IsraelNN.com) A Palestinian Authority official reiterated on Wednesday the oft-repeated threat that Fatah will "return" to armed attacks against Israel if negotiations do not produce the results the movement wants.

Addressing a pro-Fatah rally of more than 100,000 people in the Samaria city of Shechem (Nablus), the PA Mayor Jamal Muhsein threatened: "Whoever thinks that negotiations are the only choice for Fatah is wrong. On the contrary, all options are open, including armed struggle, as long as we seek peace and others do not. Jerusalem is the gate to peace as well as the gate to war."

Another high-ranking local representative of Fatah, which is headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, told the crowd that his organization is "renewing its pledge to the PLO as it had done before."

Regarding reconciliation talks with the Hamas organization underway in Egypt at this time, the Fatah official said that his movement "seeks dialogue and real reconciliation," but first Hamas had to "give the Gaza Strip back to legitimate Palestinian [authority]." Clarifying his view of the relations between the two movements, he added, "We are ready for Hamas to join the PLO, not for the PLO to join Hamas."

Abbas Also Threatened 'Return to Armed Struggle'
The threat that the PA would "return" to the option of armed struggle is far from a new one. It has been made regularly, at least once a year, since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993.

One year ago, almost to the day, in a February 27 interview with Jordan's Al-Dustour newspaper, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas was quoted as saying, "At present, I am against an armed struggle against Israel because we can't do it, but in the coming stages, things may change. ...I do not rule out a return to the way of armed struggle against Israel."

This is in line with the Fatah Constitution, which states (Article 19): "Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated." %ad%

A Fatah communique issued while the Fatah-led PA was in the midst of negotiations with Israel, in 2001 explained its pursuit of this struggle: "Fatah believes that... a legitimate Palestinian entity forms the most important weapon that Arabs have against Israel."

A Return to Terrorism?
Over the years, while Fatah spokespeople were threatening to return to terrorism, their operatives in the field never ceased their participation in terrorist attacks.

Most recently, on the first day of this month, Abbas's Fatah organization in Gaza claimed to have launched a short-range rocket towards Jewish targets in southern Israel. It was one of three launched that day.

Other examples of attacks perpetrated by Fatah during the ongoing negotiations with Israel include a double suicide bombing in February of last year. Three people were killed in the attack on an open-air mall in Dimona. In 2007, Fatah claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in the southern city of Eilat that killed three people.
www.IsraelNationalNews.com
© Copyright IsraelNationalNews.com



Great, bring it on then maybe we can turn loose the full might of the IDF and end the terrorist war for at least fifty years or maybe even forever.

But in order to achieve such a goal Israel, will need a new type of leader, which we have not been able to produce, ever.

Right Wing?

Lieberman: I Support PA State

Reported: 23:48 PM - Feb/26/09

(IsraelNN.com) Yisrael Beiteinu head Avigdor Lieberman expressed support for “the creation of a viable Palestinian state" in Judea and Samaria in an article written for the Jewish Week this week.

In the article, Lieberman defended himself against accusations of racism. Many countries demand “responsible citizenship” from immigrants, he said, defining “responsible citizenship” as a commitment not to undermine the state or call for violence against it.

Right Wing?

Right Wing?

Lieberman like Bibi is a bluff and is not a pro Israel conservative.

Right Wing?

If an Israeli politician speaks of victory over our enemy, not one more inch of the land that G-D gave us to our enemies.

Brings about a new idea on how Israeli politicians should serve the Israeli public with lower salaries being paid to members of Knesset and with a goal of ending corruption.

Cutting taxes and creating an environment that will be good for business and banking, so as to attract outside money into Israel.

Lastly ending the aid from America to Israel,

Then we have a person or party that if provided with the large amount of funding needed to do a serious political party, then we could have a real right wing.

February 25, 2009

Hamas says it reserves right to bring arms into Gaza


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


By Reuters Last update - 19:42 24/02/2009
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1066603.html

Gaza-based Hamas strongman Mahmoud Zahar declared Tuesday that his Islamist
militant group reserves the right to bring arms into Gaza.

"It's our right to bring in everything - money and arms. We will not give
anyone any commitment on this subject," Zahar told Reuters in an interview
in the Egyptian town of Ismailia.

One the goals of Israel's recent offensive against Hamas in Gaza was to stem
the flow of weaponry into the coastal strip.

Zahar, who served as Palestinian foreign minister in the government Hamas
formed in Gaza after winning elections in 2006, also said Hamas had asked
Egypt to let it import 1,000 containers into Gaza for use as temporary
housing for Palestinians displaced during the Israel Defense Forces
campaign, which ended in mid-January.

A group of Hamas engineers arrived in Cairo on Monday to study the purchase
of the 1,000 containers.

Hamas has also asked Egypt to press Israel to let wood, glass, aluminium,
steel and electrical supplies into Gaza to rebuild what was destroyed in the
offensive, Zahar said.

Israel has restricted supplies of building materials to Gaza, saying some of
them might help Hamas rearm and earn the movement credit with Palestinians
living in Gaza.

Zahar added that Palestinian officials, backed by the United States, were
obstructing the dialogue due to open between Palestinian groups in Cairo on
Wednesday.

"There are people who want this dialogue not to take place because they will
lose their positions and their privileges," he told Reuters in an interview
in the Egyptian town of Ismailia, where he was visiting his wife's Egyptian
relatives.

Zahar repeated Hamas complaints that Fatah has detained dozens of Hamas
members in the West Bank in the past week. "These matters [the arrests] do
not serve dialogue," he said, adding that "there are U.S. [intelligence]
agencies working in the West Bank."

The arrests have added to the tension between the two largest Palestinian
groups during preparations for the dialogue.

Zahar, who was visiting his wife's Egyptian relatives in Ismailia, also
rejected Fatah complaints about arrests by Hamas in Gaza.

"We have published pictures of what they call political detainees in Gaza.
These are people who have confessed that they provided the enemy [Israel]
with information about where fighters were stationed and the tunnels [to
Egypt] and the type of weaponry," he said.

Two Qassam rockets fired from Gaza hit Negev; no casualties


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Two Qassam rockets fired from Gaza hit Negev; no casualties
By Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz Correspondent Last update - 09:23 25/02/2009
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1066851.html

Two Qassam rockets struck the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council in the western
Negev on Wednesday, causing no injuries or damages.

On Monday, an Israel Air Force helicopter on Monday attacked a group of
Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip as they attempted to flee the border
area where they had been planting explosives aimed against Israel Defense
Forces troops.

The Israeli soldiers stationed near the Kissufim border crossing opened fire
on the militants laying the explosives, and the IAF subsequently bombed the
militants' car as they tried to escape.

Neither the soldiers nor the militants sustained any casualties.

Shortly after the incident, a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza exploded in an
open field in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. Later Monday afternoon,
another rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into the same area. There were
no casualties or damages reported in either incident.

February 23, 2009

US to donate $900 million in aid to Gaza

State Department official says money for reconstruction of Strip will be transferred via UN; money meant to help strengthen Palestinian Authority, will not go to Hamas, official says
Reuters

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to announce a $900 million pledge of US aid for Gaza and the Palestinian Authority at a donors' meeting in Egypt next week, a State Department official said on Monday.

The money, which needs US congressional approval, will be distributed through UN and other bodies and not via Hamas, which rules Gaza, said one official.

"This money is for Gaza and to help strengthen the Palestinian Authority. It is not going to go to Hamas," said the official, who asked not to be named.

The March 2 donors conference in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort aims to raise humanitarian and rebuilding funds for Gaza after Israel's offensive at the end of last year.


Preliminary estimates put the damage in Hamas-run Gaza after Israel's offensive at nearly $2 billion.

Clinton's bid to get "substantial" funds could face an uphill battle in Congress where requests for Gaza will likely meet resistance as Hamas continues to rule there and the US focus is on its own souring economy.

In December, the former Bush administration said it would give $85 million to the UN agency giving aid to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

The United States wants the Palestinian Authority, under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas, to play a central role in the reconstruction effort in Gaza, hoping this will increase its influence in the Hamas stronghold. Washington is also putting pressure on other donors to bolster the Palestinian Authority.

"We call on donor countries to focus their pledges to meet the Palestinian Authority's priorities, including budget support, and on projects that can be funded through the Palestinian Authority and other existing, trusted mechanisms," said the State Department official.

The quartet of Middle East mediators are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Egyptian conference where they will work on strategy on Gaza, US officials said.

"We will also emphasize the importance of laying the conditions for successful negotiations toward the two-state solution and an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict," the State Department official said of discussions in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Egypt will be Clinton's first stop on a trip expected to include Israel and the West Bank – a public demonstration of the Obama administration's promise to make Arab-Israeli peacemaking a foreign policy priority.



Why are the American tax payers being forced to pay almost 1 billion dollars to help the Palestinians rebuild?

Is it because the Palestinians have seen the error of supporting terrorism and have entered into a path of peace?

No, it is clear from multiple rocket attacks coming out of Gaza once again on an almost daily basis and daily rock and molotov cocktail attacks in Judea and Samaria that the Palestinians are still supporting terrorism.

So the question remains why give them any money?

February 20, 2009

MERF Appearence

For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.

The time of the show is 2pm EDT, 11AM Pacific, 12 noon in Arizona, 9pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the host radio program web page http://kknt960.townhall.com/

Future

Netanyahu to rivals: Time to unite for Israel's sake By Yossi Verter, Mazal Mualem, Yuval Azoulay, and News Agencies Haaretz Last update - 16:35 20/02/2009 www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1065790.html

Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday accepted a mandate to form
Israel's next government and immediately called for a broad, national unity
coalition with centrist and left-wing partners.

"I call on Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni and Labor party chairman Ehud Barak
and I say to them - let's unite to secure the future of the State of Israel.
I ask to meet with you first to discuss with you a broad national unity
government for the good of the people and the state," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu on Friday accepted the formal invitation from President Shimon
Peres to form the next government, saying he feels a great responsibility to
provide Israel with security and peace.

Netanyahu said that Iran poses the biggest threat to Israel since its War of
Independence, and that Israel also faces tough economic times ahead.

Netanyahu, who was prime minister in the 1990s, has six weeks to forge a
coalition cabinet.

"I believe that it is in the national interest to establish a government as
quickly as possible," said Peres at the press conference in Jerusalem.

"The people of Israel need governmental and political stability so that we
will be able to cope with the challenges standing before us," Peres
continued. "The challenges are varied and urgent. And the public expects
expects that following the elections, a fitting government be formed that
will roll up its sleeves and perform its duties faithfully."

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni earlier on Friday reiterated that her centrist
Kadima party will likely join the opposition and not sit in a right-wing
coalition headed by Netanyahu.

"A broad coalition has no value if it does not lead the way," said Livni
after meeting with President Shimon Peres.

"There is a coalition here based on a lack of political vision," said Livni,
"a coalition that will not allow me to exercise the way of Kadima."

Peres on Friday met separately with Netanyahu and with Livni at his official
residence in Jerusalem for talks on coalition-building.



If Livni blocks Kadima joining a Bibi government then I predict you will see a number of Kadima members bolt from Kadima and join the Likud.

If this does in fact happen this will be the last election that Kadima is one of the bigger parties in the Knesset, it may even go into the history books like so many others have done in Israeli politics.

I also predict that Bibi will give our land away and he also will not strike Iran.

February 19, 2009

Jewish family flees Yemen in secret operation

After a grenade was tossed towards his home, Sa'adia Ben Yisrael decided the time had come for his family to leave the town of Raida for Israel
Yael Branovsky

All over the world Jewish communities are increasingly concerned with the growing wave of anti-Semitism. For Sa'adia Ben-Yisrael in Yemen, the grenade thrown at his family's home proved the final straw.

Under the cover of secrecy, a group of ten Jews, nine of them members of the Ben-Yisrael family, left their Arab homeland for Israel.

Landing in Tel Aviv on Thursday afternoon, Sa'adia, his wife and their seven children seemed overwhelmed by the media attention that welcomed them to their new home. Also waiting for them were representatives from the Jewish Agency, which helped organize the clandestine airlift.

A prominent member of Yemen's tiny Jewish sector, Sa'adi said ultra-Orthodox members of the anti-Zionist 'Neturei Karta' sect tried to convince him not to make aliyah. "But I'm very glad that I cam to the Holy Land, me and my family," he said.

The children, aged one year to 12, clung to their mother and mirrored her polite smile amidst the commotion. Two of the boys, six-year-old Menachem and eight-year-old Yehoshua were particularly cheerful. They sang songs in Hebrew for the cameras, recited the Hebrew alphabet and blessed the sweets they received.

The tenth member of the Yemenite entourage is a bachelor, also hailing from the town of Raida. The group will be housed at the Jewish Agency's center in Beersheva.


Only 280 Jews left

The new Israelis were also welcomed by Rabbi Moshe Tenami from Rechasim, who over the past several years has taken part in helping bring Yemen's Jews to Israel. Tenami makes an effort to maintain secrecy regarding the identity of the immigrants and those currently planning to come.

"They're actually in great danger, not long ago someone was murdered there. They're in real danger, we know who we're dealing with," the rabbi said.

The Ben-Yisrael family first departed Raida for the capital city of Sanaa and from there to Israel, with the help of the Jewish Agency and the Yemenite Jewish Federation of America.

Ezra Tzubari, Ben-Yisrael's cousin, said he hoped the family's decision would encourage others to do the same.

"To the people still there in Yemen who are even a little in danger – just come here and see this completely different world," he said.

There are currently 280 Jews remaining in Yemen. Most of them, nearly 230 people, reside in Raida. The rest are in Sanaa.

February 18, 2009

Peres: I was wrong about disengagement


Etgar Lefkovits , THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 18, 2009
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304815871&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

President Shimon Peres said Wednesday that he had erred in supporting
Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza.

The revealing remarks come three years after Israel's evacuation of the
volatile coastal strip which has since been seized by Hamas.

"Whatever will happen in the future, we shall not repeat the mistakes we
made in leaving Gaza," Peres said in a question and answer session with a
group of American Jewish leaders. "It should have been done otherwise. I was
for leaving Gaza. I consider myself as one of the persons mistaken."

The dovish leader, who has long been a champion of Israeli territorial
withdrawals, said that although "lessons must be drawn" from the 2005
unilateral Gaza pullout, demographic and democratic considerations still
necessitate the creation of a Palestinian state.

"It doesn't change the fact that there is a [demographic] reality," he told
the annual Israel meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American
Jewish Organizations. "I want to make sure that the state we have remains
Jewish."

February 17, 2009

Non-violence cannot tackle terrorism: Dalai Lama


Press Trust of India Saturday, January 17, 2009, (New Delhi)
www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20090080421

The Dalai Lama, a lifelong champion of non-violence on Saturday candidly
stated that terrorism cannot be tackled by applying the principle of ahimsa
because the minds of terrorists are closed.

"It is difficult to deal with terrorism through non-violence," the Tibetan
spiritual leader said delivering the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture in
Delhi. He termed terrorism as the worst kind of violence which is not
carried by a few mad people but by those who are very brilliant and
educated.

"They (terrorists) are very brilliant and educated...but a strong ill
feeling is bred in them. Their minds are closed," the Dalai Lama said. He
said the only way to tackle terrorism is through prevention. The head of the
Tibetan government-in-exile left the audience stunned when he said "I love
President George W Bush."

He went on to add how he and the US President instantly struck a chord in
their first meeting unlike politicians who take a while to develop close
ties.

"I told him 'I love you but some of your policies I oppose'," said the
spiritual leader to a loud round of applause from the audience which
included Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, Election Commissioner Navin Chawla and
several ministers, diplomats and artistes.

The Dalai Lama said in the aftermath of 9/11 attacks he had asked Bush to
spend billions of dollars on education and promotion of non-violence instead
of warfare.

Report: Hamas stole 7 tons of weaponry from UN warehouse


Ali Waked YNET Published: 02.17.09, 19:40 / Israel News
www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3673392,00.html

Senior UN officials were outraged Tuesday evening as they confirmed Hamas
has appropriated seven tons of weaponry and ammunition stored in UN
warehouses in Gaza and intended to be destroyed by sappers.

The warehouse was home to explosives gathered by UN forces in Gaza after
Israel's military offensive there.

February 15, 2009

Israel mulls releasing Barghouti

Channel 10 television reports Jerusalem considering releasing Palestinian uprising leader ahead of prisoner swap with Hamas in effort to bolster Abbas' fatah faction
Reuters

Israel is exploring the option of releasing Palestinian uprising leader Marwan Barghouti to bolster President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction ahead of any prisoner swap with Hamas, Israeli television said on Sunday.

Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is trying to negotiate a last-minute deal with Hamas under which Israel would release 1,000 or more Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

To help Fatah, one idea under discussion was the possibility of releasing Barghouti ahead of the prisoner swap with Hamas, according to Israel's Channel 10 television. An Israeli source told Reuters this option was under consideration but that no decisions have been taken.

"There will not be a Shalit deal without the release of Marwan Barghouti," Barghouti's lawyer, Hader Shkirat, told Israel's Channel 10 television.

"The deal is closer than ever. We think and hope it will be very, very soon, perhaps in a few days."

Barghouti is seen as a possible successor to Abbas, whose secular Fatah faction lost to Hamas in a 2006 election and was routed from the Gaza Strip in a June 2007 civil war between the Palestinian rivals. Barghouti was sentenced to five life terms by an Israeli court.



Call me old fashion but as far as I can see Barghouti's lawyer Hader Shkirat is a terrorist and not a lawyer. How dare he threaten the State of Israel by telling us that Shalit would remain a hostage as long as a terrorist murdering thug Barghouti stays in prison.

Shkirat should be at the very least arrested and tried for treason if he is an Israeli Arab and for terrorism if he is a Palestinian, but better yet he should have a traffic accident and be put out of the business of making threats against the Jewish State and it's citizens.

Likud may offer top spots to Kadima, Lieberman in bid to form quick coalition
By Mazal Mualem, Yair Ettinger, Lily Galili and Yossi Verter, Haaretz Correspondent

Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to offer the finance portfolio to Yisrael Beiteinu Avigdor Lieberman, in order to pull the latter immediately into pledging to join a government under his authority.

Netanyahu will then ask Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni to join his coalition, and may offer the rival party portfolios of foreign affairs (Livni) and defense (Mofaz). Former prime minister Ariel Sharon offered Labor's Shimon Peres and Benjamin Ben Eliezer these portfolios in 2001, immediately after he was elected prime minister in a similar bid to forge a quick coalition.

The Likud leader told Haaretz on Wednesday that he planned to tell opposing parties to put aside their political differences and join his government, for the sake of national unity.

"I plan to create a wide coalition and I will tell the other parties, 'if you're worried about national interest, lay aside your political interests and join a government under my leadership,'" he said.

Despite her slim chance of being able to form a government, Livni on Wednesday pledged to make every effort to do so "for my voters." However, she said she would not pay "an exorbitant price" for other parties' agreement to join her.

Livni, who met Lieberman in Jerusalem on Wednesday in her own bid to build a coalition, said she could offer Lieberman support for two issues that are crucial to him: passing a law that would enable couples barred from religious Jewish marriage to marry in a civil union, and making changes to the system of government.

At the very least, Livni is intent on convincing the Yisrael Beiteinu head not to recommend any party leader other than her to form the coalition.

Netanyahu, who commands a right wing ultra-Orthodox bloc of 65 Knesset members, cannot support either issue due to opposition from the Haredi parties.

"I can also put together a coalition that is united around the peace process. Netanyahu doesn't want that, and couldn't do it even if he did, with his right wing partners," Livni said.

Kadima officials: We won the battle, but we lost the war

A day of coalition talks made it clear to Livni that Netanyahu had a considerable advantage in forming a government. However, she said she was determined to try, mainly for the sake of all the left-wing voters who abandoned Labor and Meretz and voted for her.

Livni said that if she fails to put together a coalition within a few days she will have to decide between joining the opposition or a government headed by Netanyahu.

If Lieberman recommends Livni to President Shimon Peres as his choice for forming the government she would immediately lose her recommendation from Labor and Meretz, political sources said.

Six months ago, with a bloc of 70 center and left-wing MKs, Livni failed to form a coalition. Now, say the sources, she will not be able to do so now with a 44-strong bloc consisting of Kadima, Meretz and Labor, or a hypothetical 43-strong bloc of Kadima and Yisrael Beiteinu, the sources said.

Livni on Wednesday consulted with senior Kadima officials to decide on
how they could act to torpedo a right-wing bloc led by Netanyahu.
Ministers Shaul Mofaz, Meir Sheetrit, Roni Bar-On, Haim Ramon and
Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik were among those in attendance.

Mofaz on Wednesday met with Shas leader Eli Yishai, who told him that
Shas will join Netanyahu's coalition.

Despite Livni's vow to continue trying to forge a government, some
Kadima officials have said Netanyahu will likely be the next prime
minister. "We won the battle, but lost the war," said one minister.

Livni and Netanyahy playing 'complex' coalition game'

According to the sources, Livni and Netanyahu are playing a complex game - she is unwilling to give up and as long as she digs in her heels he is forced to pay more to his "natural" coalition partners. However, if he refuses to pay them and fails to put together a narrow coalition then Livni won't join him.

In addition, the more Netanyahu promises to the ultra-Orthodox Shas and far right Habayit Hayehudi and National Union, the harder it will be for him to add Kadima to the coalition and the harder it will be for Kadima to join him.

Kadima figures on Wednesday held preliminary talks with Likud figures to discuss the terms of a possible partnership.

Before offering any portfolios to Kadima, Netanyahu must deal with the demands of Lieberman, Shas and United Torah Judaism in exchange for joining his coalition.

Shas is demanding the Housing and Construction portfolio, including the Israel Lands Administration, which is in charge of all public construction in Israel. Some sources said Netanyahu has already promised the ILA to Shas chair Eli Yishai, although Shas sources have denied this.

Sources close to Labor leader Ehud Barak said Wednesday that he would take his party into the opposition after its crushing election defeat.

The announcement came after almost all of Labor's MKs made it clear to Barak that they would not go with him to Netanyahu's government. Even the three outgoing ministers Benjamin Ben Eliezer, Isaac Herzog and Shalom Simhon supported going to the opposition.

Herzog said Wednesday that he would run in the party's primary in about a year's time. MKs Ophir Pines-Paz, Amir Peretz and Avishay Braverman also intend to run for party leader. MK Shelly Yachimovich and Histadrut labor federation chairman Ofer Eini could also join the fray, party sources said.

Meretz is waiting for the final vote count in the hope that Zehava Gal-On (number four on the Knesset list) will get into the Knesset.

Gal-on, an outstanding parliamentarian and a staunch human rights fighter, volunteered two months ago to give her third place slot, which she won in the party's primary, to the new candidate Nitzan Horowitz. Meretz's plunge to three Knesset seats left her out.

Horowitz, formerly Channel 10's foreign correspondent, was asked by former colleagues Yaron London and Mordechai Kirschenbaum on Wednesday whether he would quit for Gal-On. He said he would not "deal with personal issues."

If Horowitz doesn't quit for Gal-On, several people in Meretz will demand party leader Haim Oron's resignation, Meretz sources said. He is the man behind the flop called The New Movement Meretz and foisted the new candidates onto his party leadership.

It would be immoral, improper and outrageous for Oron to continue serving as Meretz leader in the Knesset, while Gal-on remains out of it, the sources said.

February 13, 2009

MERF Appearence

For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.

The time of the show is 2pm EDT, 11AM Pacific, 12 noon in Arizona, 9pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the host radio program web page http://kknt960.townhall.com/

15 Palestinians escape from PA prison

Ynet learned that men were imprisoned in Jericho as part of amnesty agreement between Israel, PA

Ali Waked
Published: 02.13.09, 18:33 / Israel News

Altogether 15 prisoners escaped Friday afternoon from a Palestinian Authority prison in Jericho.

Ynet has learned that most of the prisoners belonged to al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military wing, and were being held there as part of Israel's amnesty agreement with the PA.

Twelve of the prisoners were wanted men from different parts of the West Bank who had been imprisoned in order to maintain an amnesty agreement between Israel and the PA, which grants pardon to members of terror groups who sign contracts committing them to good behavior.

PA officials stated that the prisoners had dug a tunnel dozens of meters long underneath their cells in order to escape.

Shame On Us, Second Time Around

Last update - 07:18 13/02/2009 Kadima official says party may join coalition led by Likud By Yossi Verter


Kadima will head for the opposition benches if Benjamin Netanyahu forms the government, Tzipi Livni said Thursday, adding that her party has no intention of accepting a right-wing, ultra-Orthodox government.

However, a senior Kadima official said the party probably would join Netanyahu's government eventually, and would demand the foreign and defense portfolios for Livni and Shaul Mofaz, or the foreign and education portfolios for Livni and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik.

In consultations over the last two days, Livni said it would not be possible to set up a real unity government after Netanyahu formed a 65-member coalition. This coalition probably would include the ultra-Orthodox party Shas, which objects to advancing the peace process, and the far-right National Union, one of whose new Knesset members is a former Kach member.

However, other senior Kadima figures believe the new government's guidelines are less important than its conduct. "Sharon's second government did not mention the disengagement in its guidelines," a senior Kadima figure said.

An associate of Netanyahu said Thursday that if Kadima agrees to join a broad coalition that he heads, he may exclude at least one right-wing party to avoid having a massive 93-person coalition. "Such a coalition would outrage the public and would be impossible to manage. Netanyahu would be forced to appoint about 30 ministers, which would make the Knesset almost redundant," the associate said.

"But if Kadima joins we could certainly do without the National Union (four Knesset seats) and perhaps another right-wing party," he said.

A Kadima source said Netanyahu might have a problem if Livni demands the education portfolio for Itzik, since he promised during the campaign that Likud would keep that portfolio.

In an effort to prevent Netanyahu from obtaining the support of a majority of the legislature before Peres begins consultations with the Knesset factions, Kadima sent former Shas chairman Arye Deri to Lieberman on Wednesday, asking him to allow Livni to form a government instead.

"Bibi is the same old liar he always was," Deri told Lieberman, according to Kadima officials. "He won't keep his promises on civil unions."

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304770143&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


For all of you that wanted Bibi, if the future is Likud and Kadima in bed together. Bibi will give away our land to the enemy.

Deri is 100% correct Bibi is a liar, he has lied to us in the past when it came to giving up our land and he in all likelihood has lied to us once again. So when Bibi moves to give away our gift from G-D our land we will have only ourselves to blame for voting for him once again.

February 11, 2009

Iran Builds Long-Range Anti-Aircraft System


11 February 2009
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8711231428

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran has built a long-range anti-aircraft missile system
capable of intercepting and destroying multiple targets simultaneously,
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced
on Wednesday.

".(Iran) has built a long-range anti-aircraft system capable of spotting,
tracing, intercepting and destroying multiple targets simultaneously,"
Brigadier General Najjar said on the sidelines of visiting 'Inventions and
Innovations Exhibition' here in Tehran.

He also reiterated the home-grown nature of the technology used for
manufacturing different ground-to-ground and ground-to-air missiles in Iran,
saying that all the materials and parts employed in the country's missile
industries are Iranian.

Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed
war on Iran, to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has
produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter
planes.

Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country's military and
arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a
threat to any other country.

Here is the latest according to several of my sources.

First the votes of the IDF could equal up to six mandates, which could mean a huge swing in who can claim victory.
Israel should know how this turns out later today at the earliest.

Second if Bibi forms a government with 65 mandates, he at some point might offer Kadima to join him as a coalition partner which Livni will turn down. If and when this happens look for members of Kadima that had in the past split from the Likud when Kadima was formed to resign from Kadima and rejoin the Likud which could bring the number of mandtes for the Nationalist camp up to 75 mandates.

Background: Basic Law does not obligate Peres as to who he picks to form Government


Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 11 February 2009

Basic Law: The Government (2001)
www.knesset.gov.il/laws/special/eng/basic14_eng.htm
...
The Knesset. Assignment of task of forming Government.

7. (a) When a new Government has to be constituted, the President of the
State shall, after consultation with representatives of party groups in the
Knesset, assign the task of forming a Government to a Knesset Member who has
notified him that he is prepared to accept the task; the President shall do
so within seven days of the publication of the election results, or should
the need arise to form a new government; and in the case of the death of the
Prime Minister, within 14 days of his death.

February 10, 2009

No Clear Mandate

Ynet poll: Kadima wins; Labor crashes

Tzipi Livni big winner of 2009 elections, according to Rafi Smith poll commissioned by Ynet; Kadima wins 28 Knesset seats, Likud comes in second with 26, Lieberman third with 16, Labor crashes to 14
Ynet

Kadima wins elections, but will it form the next government? Kadima and its Chairwoman, Tzipi Livni, are the big winners of the 2009 general elections, according to a Rafi Smith poll commissioned by Ynet, with Likud finishing a disappointing 2nd.

However, it appears that the rightist bloc won more Knesset seats than the leftist camp, suggesting that the mission of forming Israel's next government will be particularly challenging.


Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu delivered at crunch time to become Israel's third-largest party, while Ehud Barak's Labor party sustained a harsh blow. Exit polls by Israel's major television channels showed similar results

According to the Rafi Smith poll, Kadima won 28 Knesset seats, Likud came in second with 26 mandates, Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu won 16 seats, and Labor won 14 mandates. The rightist bloc won a total of 65 seats according to the poll.

Below are the complete results of the Smith-Ynet poll:

* Kadima 28
* Likud 26
* Yisrael Beiteinu 16
* Labor 14
* Shas 10
* United Torah Judaism 6
* Hadash 5
* Jewish Home 4
* United Arab List – Ta'al 4
* Meretz 4
* National Union 3

According to Channel 1, Kadima won 30 Knesset seats, Likud won 28 mandates, Yisrael Beiteinu won 14 seats, and Labor ended up with 13 mandates. Channel 2's exit poll predicted that Kadima won 29 Knesset seats, Likud came in second with 27 mandates, Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu won 15 seats, and Labor won 13 mandates. According to Channel 10, Kadima won 30 Knesset seats, Likud won 28 mandates, Yisrael Beiteinu won 15 seats, and Labor won mandates.


'Celebration of democracy'

The turnout rate, which reached nearly 60% by 8 pm, exceeded that of the 2006 elections, dispelled fears that the inclement weather would keep potential voters indoors. The final turnout rate was 65.2%, compared to 63.2 in 2006.

Earlier Tuesday Judge Eliezer Rivlin, chairman of the Central Elections Committee, said that "the elections are being held as planned and this is celebration of democracy."

Political party leaders cast their vote for Israel's 18th Knesset shortly after the polling stations opened all across the country at 7 am.

Allegations of voting irregularities surfaced just hours after the polling stations opened. The Meretz party filed a complaint with the Central Elections Committee claiming the party's ballots at a Jerusalem polling station were tampered with.

Livni called on Israel's citizens to carry out their civic duty, saying "rain or shine, you stand behind the curtain at the polling station, close your eyes and imagine – not out of fear or desperation – how you would like to feel once the election results are announced."



So what will these elections result in?

I see more of the same, no strong direction for the government to take and who ever will be the next Prime Minister will have to build a shaky coalition.

On one side you have a strong winner in Israel Beiteinu, but they are balanced against 20 mandates from the religious parties.

When will Israel have a strong leader from the right?

February 09, 2009

Poll: Right-wing voters more undecided than Left

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition


Feb. 9, 2009
TOVAH LAZAROFF and GIL HOFFMAN , THE JERUSALEM POST

More right-wing voters have yet to decide whom to vote for than left-wing ones, a poll released on Sunday by the right-wing grassroots group Mattot Arim shows.

Forty-three percent of respondents opposed the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, while 35% said they supported it, according to the telephone poll of 1,106 undecided voters carried out on February 2-3.

Mattot Arim said that a number of right-wing parties such as the Likud and Israel Beiteinu had ambiguous positions when it came to a Palestinian state. According to the poll, the Likud and Israel Beiteinu could have grabbed seven Knesset mandates from Kadima had they clearly articulated opposition to a Palestinian state.

In the last day before the election, parties that clearly oppose the creation of a Palestinian state, such as the National Union, Habayit Hayehudi and Shas, could gain votes at the expense of the Likud and Israel Beiteinu, Mattot Arim said.

According to the poll, 58% of Israel Beiteinu voters would change their vote if they thought their party would truly support the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Similarly, 56% of the Likud voters, 43% of Shas voters, 31% of Kadima voters, and 29% of UTJ voters would switch their support if they thought their party would support such a state.

The strongest opposition to a Palestinian state came from the National Union voters, where 92% did not want a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This was followed by Shas, at 79%, UTJ at 73%, Likud at 72%, Habayit Hayehudi at 62%, Israel Beiteinu at 60%, Kadima at 36%, Labor at 36% and Meretz at 6%.

In the opposite vein, the highest levels of support for a Palestinian state in the West Bank, 100%, came from the Arab parties, followed by Meretz at 94%, Labor at 53%, the Pensioners Party at 50%, Kadima at 46%, Habayit Hayehudi at 38%, Israel Beiteinu at 25%, Likud at 15%, Shas at 9%, National Union at 8% and UTJ at 0%.

Overall, 51% of those polled opposed the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, 32% said they favored it, 8% said they were not sure and 9% had another solution.

Some 52% said such a state would lead to rocket attacks, 22% said that it would not, 11% said it might, and 15% gave a variety of responses.

The study had a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

February 06, 2009

UNRWA suspends Gaza aid after Hamas steals food and supplies


Last update - 17:27 06/02/2009

By Haaretz Service and The Associated Press

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on Friday said it is suspending humanitarian aid in Gaza until further notice, after Hamas seized control of its warehouses and stole 200 tons of food and supplies.

The agency said it made the decision after Hamas personnel seized an aid shipment on Thursday. Earlier this week, Hamas police took thousands of blankets and food parcels meant for needy residents.

In a statement, UNRWA said 10 truckloads of flour and rice that had been
delivered into Gaza on Thursday were taken away by trucks affiliated with the Hamas-run Ministry of Social Affairs. Earlier this week, Hamas police took thousands of blankets and food parcels meant for needy residents.\


UNRWA said the suspension would remain in effect until the aid is returned and the agency receives credible assurances from the Hamas government that such thefts will end. There was no immediate reaction from Hamas.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said the agency would continue to distribute aid from its existing supplies in Gaza, but that stocks were running thin.

"There is enough aid for days, not weeks," he said. Complicating the situation, he said the agency has not been able to import plastic bags used for food distribution, and that existing supplies will run out early next week.

Some 80 percent of Gaza's 1.4 million people rely on the UN agency for food and other support, and UN officials say the need for aid has increased since Israel ended a military offensive in Gaza last month.

A UN spokesman on Wednesday said Hamas police in Gaza broke into a warehouse full of UN humanitarian supplies and seized thousands of blankets and food packages, creating a rare public clash between the international agency that feeds much of the territory and the militant group that rules it.

The incident highlighted difficulties facing donors seeking to bypass Hamas while helping Gazans survive and rebuild after Israel's three-week military offensive.

"Hamas policemen stormed into an aid warehouse in Gaza City Tuesday evening and confiscated 3,500 blankets and over 400 food parcels ready for distribution to 500 families," said UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness on Wednesday.

"They were armed, they seized this, they took it by force," Gunness said, terming the incident absolutely unacceptable.

Police seized the aid after UNRWA officials refused to voluntarily hand it over to the Hamas-run Ministry of Social Affairs, he said. Similar aid packages were distributed to 70,000 residents over the past two weeks, Gunness said.

Ahmad Kurd, the Hamas official in charge of the ministry, did not deny the aid was seized. Other Hamas officials defended their actions.

Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu demanded an apology and said UNRWA was spreading false news. Ihab Ghussein, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the incident occurred because the UN was storing the blankets in an area not authorized to be distributed.

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called UNRWA's decision unjustified.

He said Hamas supports UNRWA's work, but believes that some of the agency's employees were giving aid to groups attached to rival political parties.

"We as Hamas refuse all use of the people's needs for political ends," he said. "He called on UNRWA to put an end to using aid for political means, and to distribute it to all the needy equally."

UN officials said the aid was kept in a local storage facility because the organization's regular warehouses were full. The UN, human rights groups and Palestinians have often complained that a blockade by Israel and Egypt has left Gaza critically short of vital supplies.

Gaza residents are facing more hardship since Israel's devastating three-week military offensive, which ended Jan. 18. The operation, aimed at halting rocket fire by Palestinian militants, killed 1,300 including hundreds of civilians and left thousands destitute after their homes were damaged or destroyed.

Kurd said the Hamas government had already distributed $50 million in emergency relief to residents and promised additional payments for hardship cases.

Gunness said this was the first time Hamas seized UNRWA supplies. "Does anyone really think that the Americans, who are our single largest donor, or the Europeans, who are our largest multination donor, would give us aid in the generous way they do if they thought that aid would go to terrorists?" Gunness asked.

The West Bank-based government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a fierce rival of Hamas, was also planning to send $600 million in aid, hoping to earn the loyalty of Gaza residents. Hamas expelled forces loyal to Abbas when it overran Gaza in 2007.

Egypt is to host an international conference in coordination with Abbas's Palestinian Authority on March 2 on Gaza reconstruction, whose cost has been estimated at $2 billion. Saudi Arabia has said it would donate e1 billion.

Last week, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit urged Europe to help with fast aid for the Gaza Strip, saying the reconstruction meeting would require damage assessments and the support of the European Union, the United Nations and others.

MERF Appearence

For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.

The time of the show is 2pm EDT, 11AM Pacific, 12 noon in Arizona, 9pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the host radio program web page http://kknt960.townhall.com/

In Rafah, no light at the end of the tunnels


BRENDA GAZZAR, Jerusalem Post correspondant , THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 6,
2009
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304702212&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

The life of a tunnel smuggler in Rafah has just gotten more difficult.

Just ask 27-year-old "Abu al-Abed," one of 13 partners who co-own a tunnel
located a short stroll away from the Egypt-Gaza border.

Since his tunnel started operating a few weeks before Israel's military
operation in Gaza, he has smuggled old-fashioned kerosene stoves,
generators, automobile brake pads, chocolates, TV screens and faucet heads.
He says he only delivers goods requested by Palestinian merchants inside
Gaza who are forced to buy smuggled items due to Israel's tight 19-month
blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

But Abed's 20-meter deep tunnel was slightly damaged during Operation Cast
Lead. It took him and his partners a week to repair and cost them at least
$4,000. In addition, Egypt has recently installed cameras and motion sensors
to detect smuggling tunnels and to close them down.

The Egyptians "are closing the tunnels because the Jews and the Americans
are putting pressure on them," Abed told The Jerusalem Post.

Smugglers say tight security can cause delays in getting shipments through
and require that tunnel exits be dug farther out.

And since the war, he says, business has decreased by some 60 percent.
Merchants are more reluctant to order goods from tunnel smugglers, fearing
that the tunnels will be attacked and their merchandise damaged or
destroyed.

Abed says tunnel owners used to make between $20,000 and $30,000 for one
large shipment smuggled in over one or two days, but are now earning only
around $10,000 a batch, he said.

"The situation now is dangerous," he said, noting that the media are very
focused on the smuggling phenomenon. "The tunnels don't bring anything but
goods. If [Israel] opens the crossings, the tunnels will close on their own.
Goods will be cheaper."

Israel destroyed hundreds of tunnels during Operation Cast Lead that it says
were used for arms smuggling. But smugglers here say there is a small number
of specific tunnels used for weapons smuggling, and the vast majority of
tunnels are used to smuggle necessities.

Weapons tunnels are controlled by Hamas and other factions, but they are
likely deep underground and extremely difficult to locate, they say.

"It's all hidden from us," Abed said. "We don't know where they are. No one
knows. It's a secret."

Another tunnel owner, who was working meters away and gave his name as
Muhammad, also insisted that he doesn't deal with weapons.

"We are only dealing with food, chocolate, diapers," he said. "There are
people who specifically deal with weapons. Not just anyone works in those
tunnels, only specific people. We don't deal with this."

One of the many young workers gathered around him also chimed in.

"We are just poor people," he said. "We are only looking for money. We have
children and we need to feed them."

They also say it would be impossible to smuggle weapons since they work out
in the open, where Israel could easily locate them and attack.

Muhammad said that Egyptians on the other side sometimes "close their eyes"
during a tight Israeli blockade. "But if there is no siege, they will close
off the area," he said.

Despite the rather substantial income tunnel operators earn, they insist
that they would prefer that Israel lifted its blockade.

"If Israel opens the border, we will close the tunnels," al-Abed said. "What
would we bring? Goods? It will be cheaper to bring them through the
crossings."

Just as he was talking, a strong explosion sounded in the distance. Egypt,
he said, had destroyed another tunnel from its side with explosives and gas.

The explosion was a solemn reminder of the risks smugglers take in their
field. Many tunnel workers have died or have been injured either by Israeli
or Egyptian bombings of tunnels, because of a tunnel collapse, or because a
leaking gas canister being smuggled was ignited by a cigarette. Workers have
also lost fingers while getting their hands caught in electric pulleys used
inside the tunnels, he said.

"It's a good business," said Abu al-Abed, who is the new father of six-month
old daughter. "But it's dangerous."

2 rockets hit south Israel


Projectiles fired by Palestinians in north Gaza land in open areas in Sha'ar
Hanegev Regional Council, south of Ashkelon; no injuries, damage reported
Shmulik Hadad YNET Latest Update: 02.06.09, 09:49 / Israel News
www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3667690,00.html

A rocket fired from northern Gaza on Friday at around 9:30 am landed in an
open area south of Ashkelon. No injuries or damage were reported.

Earlier a Qassam rocket landed within the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council's
limits, but caused no injury or damage. Israel has made it clear that it
would respond "disproportionately" to any rocket fire emanating from the
Hamas-controlled territory.

February 05, 2009

Israel to send impounded Gaza-bound ship back to Lebanon

Last update - 01:19 06/02/2009

By Anshel Pfeffer, Avi Issacharoff and Roni Singer-Heruti, Haaretz Correspondents

Israel has decided to release a cargo ship it detained Thursday for attempting to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip. The freighter and its passengers will be redirected back to Lebanon on Friday with the help of international organizations.

The Israel Navy boarded the vessel after it tried to break the blockade, and escorted it into the port of Ashdod, Israeli officials said.

The Israel Defense Forces said that troops found about 150 bottles of mineral water and a few dozen kilograms of food and medicine on board, despite earlier claims that it was carrying dozens of tons of humanitarian aid.

The Tali, a cargo vessel flying the flag of the West African state of Togo, was sent by the Palestinian National Committee Against the Siege in cooperation with the U.S.-based Free Gaza Movement. Its cargo was claimed to have included about 60 tons of medicine, food and toys, plus 10,000 units of human blood plasma which requires constant refrigeration.

No weapons were found aboard the ship, an Israeli army spokesman said.

It was the first apparent attempt by a foreign ship carrying aid to reach the Palestinian territory since Israel ended its 22-day offensive against Hamas in Gaza two weeks ago.

Military sources said that on board the vessel - dubbed the "Brotherhood Ship" - were nine people, including Greek-Catholic Archbishop of Jerusalem Monsignor Hilarion Capucci, who was arrested in 1974 after being caught smuggling weapons from Lebanon to activists in the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Capucci was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but was released after three years upon a papal request to the Israeli government. He has made frequent anti-Israel comments since his release.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed that the navy boarded the vessel and ordered it to Ashdod.

Barak said the navy had initially allowed the ship to sail to Egypt but its captain made a U-turn towards Gaza's shore.

The army had earlier said in a statement that, "The actions of the boat crew raised suspicion, as it could threaten security concerns, or furthermore, the boat could be used for smuggling banned equipment [weaponry, etc.] in to or out of the Gaza Strip," the IDF said in a statement.

"As a result of the actions taken by the boat crew, an Israel Navy force intercepted, boarded, and took control of the cargo boat, directing it towards Ashdod," the army said.



I called on Israel to sink the boats that were the first attempt to enter Gaza by the sea last summer.

If Israel would have sunk those two boats then that would have been the end of the attempts to violate Israeli waters by these terrorist supporters.

It is very simple Israeli territorial waters are being violated and this must be stopped using deadly force if needed.

IDF Takes Action

Soldiers shoot Palestinian with grenade

IDF patrol shoots Palestinian approaching border fence with hand grenade after firing warning shots

Hanan Greenberg
Published: 02.05.09, 22:43 / Israel News

IDF forces prevented an attack by a Palestinian man Thursday by firing shots that apparently killed the assailant. The Palestinian approached the border fence in southern Gaza and pulled out a hand grenade, which exploded when the troops fired at him.

At around 9 pm the man was spotted near the Sufa crossing, and Golani Brigade troops were alerted. They entered the Palestinian territory and called to the man to halt, but the latter pulled a grenade from his bag.

The IDF stated that the soldiers first fired warning shots in the man's direction, but he continued his approach until they were forced to shoot him. He was apparently killed by the explosion of the grenade he was holding.

The IDF stated that despite the low profile character of the incident, it testified to the need for high alert and preparation for any scenario near the Gazan border.

The Gaza Division has instructed soldiers operating near the Strip to treat any event in which a Palestinian approaches the border fence as an attempt to commit an act of terror, as the IDF is currently working under the assumption that Hamas and the other terror organizations plan to continue to carry out attacks against soldiers near the border.



Why is the IDF still risking our soldiers with a policy of firing warning shots?

If a person presents a threat then enough of this stupid policy give a verbal warning to halt and if the person does not comply, then if the threat warrants deadly force then use it.

Their is not a single police agency in the USA that fires warning shots due to the stupidity of such actions and the danger to the public since with a warning shot you have fired a round that sends a bullet out that could strike a bystander.

February 04, 2009

By Palestinians For Palestinians -Must Read


Wednesday, February 4, 2009
PCPO Poll of Palestinians: Hamas gained from Gaza war, support rocket attacks against Israel now 39.3%:27.2%, "militant resistance" fulfilled its task

08) What is your attitude to the firing of rockets at present on Israel
from Gaza?
18.5% 1. Strongly favour
20.8% 2. Favour
33.5% 3. Undecided
14.3% 4. Oppose
12.9% 5. Strongly oppose

09) To which extent do you think the militant resistance has fulfilled its
task during the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip?
40.1% 1. To a great extent
33.3% 2. To a middle extent
23.9% 3. To a small extent
02.7% 4. I don't know

PCPO Poll No.167 Date: 04.Feb.2009

The most recent poll prepared by Dr. Nabil Kukali revealed that:

(72.0 %) evaluated their economic situation as 'bad'.
(34.1 %) believe that Hamas has won the Gaza war.
(54.4 %) hold Israel responsible for the war that recently flamed in Gaza.
(43.5 %) believe that Hamas' power has increased after the Gaza war.
(40.6 %) are in favor of Fateh, (31.4 %) of Hamas.
(61.2 %) oppose the deployment of multinational (UN) forces in Gaza Strip.
(46.0 %) propose for the present the formation of a national unity
government.
(57.8 %) were in favor of the participation of Khaled Misha'l and some
factions' heads in the Doha's Summit Conference.
(51.3 %) of the Palestinians are of the opinion that Hamas is navigating
the
country towards the wrong direction, (46 %) believe Fateh
is doing that.

Beit Sahour - The Information Bureau:

In the most recent poll prepared by Dr. Nabil Kukali, being conducted during
the period January 25th to January 31st 2009 and published by the
Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), a random sample of (673)
Palestinian adults (over 18 years old) representing the various demographic
specimens in the Palestinian society in the West Bank, including East
Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, were face to face interviewed.

The most important finding of this poll is that the overwhelming majority of
the Palestinians, (88.2 %), are for the present in favor of a
Palestinian-Israeli truce, specifically (86.1 %) in Gaza Strip and (89.6 %)
in the West Bank. Dr. Kukali further commented the outcome of the poll
saying that the rate of support for Fateh (40.6 %) among the Palestinians
lies now higher than that for Hamas (31.4 %). The rate of Fateh's popularity
in Gaza Strip, established at (42.5 %), lies much higher than that of Hamas
on its own terrain, reaching namely the rate of (27.8 %). The same trend has
been found in the West Bank, where Fateh scored (39.2 %) of the
Palestinians' support, whilst Hamas has to content itself with only (23.7
%).

In addition, Dr. Kukali said that the majority of the Palestinian people,
( 54.1 %), believe that none of the parties involved won the war recently
blazed in Gaza. This rate consists of (34.7 %) from Gaza Strip and (66.3 %)
from the West Bank. Dr. Kukali pointed out that (56 %) of the residents of
Gaza Strip believe that Hamas is navigating the country towards the wrong
direction, whilst (48.3 %) of the Palestinians in the West Bank believe
that. Regarding the inauguration of the new US-president Barak Obama, (41.7
%) of the Palestinian public have a positive opinion of him as they hope
that Mr. Obama will undertake practical and serious measures to achieve
peace in the Middle East region.

Dr. Nabil Kukali said the results of the poll where as follows:

01) How would you assess nowadays your attitude or support to Hamas?
25.9% 1. My support increased
12.8% 2. My support decreased
14.1% 3. My support remained unchanged
47.2% 4. My attitude remained unchanged. I'm not a Hamas supporter

02) How would you assess nowadays your attitude or support to Fateh?
19.4% 1. My support increased
16.3% 2. My support decreased
28.5% 3. My support remained unchanged
35.8% 4. My attitude remained unchanged. I'm not a Fatah supporter

03) Do you think, in general, that Hamas is navigating our country in the
right or in the wrong direction ?
41.7% 1. In the right direction
51.3% 2. In the wrong direction
7.0% 3. I Don't know (DON'T READ)

04) Do you think, in general, that Fateh is navigating our country in the
right or in the wrong direction?
46.0% 1. In the right direction
46.0% 2. In the wrong direction
8.0% 3. I Don't know (DON'T READ)

05) Who should, in your opinion, be held responsible for the recent war in
Gaza?
07.6% 1. Fateh
14.5% 2. Hamas
54.4% 3. Israel
04.8% 4. Egypt
04.8% 5. Iran
00.7% 6. Syria
13.0% 7. US
00.2% 8. EU

06) Who, in your opinion, won the war that recently blazed in Gaza Strip?
10.5% 1. Israel
34.1% 2. Hamas
01.3% 3. Fateh
54.1% 4. Nobody

07) Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way President Mahmoud
Abbas (Abu Mazen) is handling his job as PA president?
28.7% 1. Satisfied
48.8% 2. Dissatisfied
22.5% 3. Refuse to answer

08) What is your attitude to the firing of rockets at present on Israel
from Gaza?
18.5% 1. Strongly favour
20.8% 2. Favour
33.5% 3. Undecided
14.3% 4. Oppose
12.9% 5. Strongly oppose

09) To which extent do you think the militant resistance has fulfilled its
task during the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip?
40.1% 1. To a great extent
33.3% 2. To a middle extent
23.9% 3. To a small extent
02.7% 4. I don't know

10) Do you think, after the war in Gaza . (READ THE LIST) has gained or
lost power? How would you assess at present this power?
(Gained:Lost)
37.7%:35.3% 1. Israel
43.5%:26.8% 2. Hamas
25.5%:22.3% 3. Fateh
22.9%:26.3% 4. The Palestinian Authority
21.3%:38.1% 5. Mahmoud Abbas
41.6%:30.3% 6. Khaled Mish'al

11) Some people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were in favor of the
participation of Khaled Mish'al and some factions' heads in the Doha's
Summit Conference. Others opposed that. Which of the following opinions is
closer to yours?
57.8% 1. I was in favor of the participation of Khaled Mish'al and some
factions' heads.
24.6% 2. I opposed their participation
17.6% 3. I don't know

12) What do you think, after the Gaza war, would be the best solution to
the Palestinian people ?
21.1% 1. To return to the negotiation table with Israel
46.0% 2. To form a government of national unity
37.0% 3. To conduct new presidential and PLC elections
01.2% 4. To affiliate Gaza Strip to Egypt
03.7% 5. To call UN forces to take over the responsibility in Gaza Strip

13) I'm going to read to you a list of groups, organizations,
institutions or individuals. Please tell me for each group, organization,
institution or individual I read whether you have a very favorable opinion,
a somewhat favorable opinion, a somewhat unfavorable opinion or a very
unfavorable opinion.
(Favorable:Unfavorable)
50.2%:49.8% 1. PA President "Abu Mazen"
50.0%:50.0% 2. Head of Hamas, "Khaled Mish'al
63.7%:36.3% 3. Prime Minister, "Salam Fayyad"
55.9%:44.1% 4. Head of the deposed government, "Ismael Haniyyeh"
62.8%:37.2% 5. PLO Secretary, "Yassir Abed-Rabbu"
41.7%:58.3% 6 .The new US-President, "Barak Obama"
87.3%:12.7% 7. Al-Jazeera TV-station
82.4%:17.6% 8. Al-Arabiyya TV-sation
82.0%:18.0% 9. Doha Summit Conference
77.6%:22.4% 10. Kuwait Summit Conference

14) Are you in favor of deploying multinational (UN) forces in Gaza Strip,
or not? (READ 1-4).
06.4% 1. Strongly favor
31.1% 2. Somewhat favor
28.6% 3. Somewhat oppose
32.6% 4. Strongly oppose
01.3% 5. I don't know

15) Please mention the name of the Palestinian organization, party,
movement or faction you are in favor of / or consider yourself on of its
supporters .
OPEN QUESTION.
40.6% 1. Fatah
31.3% 2. Hamas
05.4% 3. The popular front for the liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
02.7% 4. The Islamic jihad
01.8% 5. The Palestinian National Initiative
01.3% 6. The democratic front of the liberation of Palestine (DFLP)
00.9% 7. People's party
00.7% 8. FIDA
05.8% 9. Independents
05.0% 10. Refused
08.8% 11. None of the above

16) If, with the consent of all political powers and parties, new
presidential elections would be conducted. For whom would you vote to be
the President of the Palestinian Authority ? OPEN QUESTION.
15.8% 1. Ismael Haniyyeh
14.4% 2. Marwan Al-Barghouthi
12.6% 3. Mahmoud Abbas
09.2% 4. Yassir Abed-Rabbu
08.9% 5. Khaled Misha'l
04.4% 7. Mohammed Dahlan
04.1% 8. Mustafa Al-Barghouthi
03.6% 9. Salam Fayyad
03.5% 10. Aziz El-Duwaik
03.3% 11. Mahmoud El-Zahhar
02.2% 12. Ahmad Sa'adat
02.1% 13. Ramadan Shallah
00.8% 14. Qais Abed-Alkareem
00.6% 15. Munib Al-Masre
00.6% 16. Saeb Ereikat
00.2% 17. Bassam Al-Salhi
05.5% 18. Independent
01.6% 19. Hamas Candidate
00.8% 20. Fatah Candidate
03.5% 21. None of the above
02.3% 22. I don't know

17) What is your attitude towards a Palestinian-Israeli cease-fire at
present? (READ 1-4)
49.3% 1. Strongly favor
38.9% 2. Somewhat favor
05.8% 3. Somewhat oppose
04.0% 4. Strongly oppose
01.9% 5. I don't know

18) Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly
oppose peace negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis?

20.0% 1. Strongly favor
53.6% 2. Somewhat favor
11.5% 3. Somewhat oppose
12.7% 4. Strongly oppose
02.2% 5. I don't know

19) Who, do you think, is the best party to bear the responsibility for the
reconstruction of Gaza Strip? (READ 1-2).
36.2% 1. Salam Fayyad's government
37.4% 2. The deposed government of Ismael Haniyyeh
26.4% 3. Otherwise, please specify:

20) In view of the political and economic situations prevailing nowadays in
the Palestinian Territories, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the
future? (READ 1-2).
61.2% 1. Pessimistic
33.9% 2. Optimistic
04.9% 3. Don't know

21) How would you assess the general economic situation in the Palestinian
Territories?
Is it (READ 1-3)
02.8% 1. Good
24.7% 2. Mediocre
72.0% 3. Bad
00.5% 4. I don't know

22) Up to which extent are you worried at present about the subsistence of
your family?
(READ 1-4).
40.7% 1. Too much worried
40.7% 2. Worried
12.1% 3. Not so much worried
04.6% 4. No worried at all
01.9% 5. Don't know

23) What is your main concern at present?
28.6% 1. The job / money
40.5% 2. The security
11.5% 3. The health
19.4% 4. The future

24) Given an assessment scale from (1) to (10), where (1) stands for "very
much dissatisfied" and (10) for "very much satisfied", how would you assess
your satisfaction or dissatisfaction, in general, with the life you're
living?

Answer from (1) to (10): The outcome was in average: 3.61

25) Now think of the future, and particularly when your children become in
your age. Do you think there would be peace between Israelis and
Palestinians? (READ 1-5).
02.4% 1. Yes, definitely
14.4% 2. Yes, likely
16.5% 3. Peace is possible
23.3% 4. Unlikely
40.8% 5. Definitely, No
02.6% 6. Don't know

Methodology of the Survey Study:

Mr. Elias Kukali, a staff member of the Research and Studies' Section at the
PCPO, said that all interviews of this survey were conducted inside the
respondents' homes, i.e. face-to-face during different working hours, at
least 5 hours a day, including the evening time, in order to ensure proper
representation of those sub-groups of the population, which would otherwise
be difficult to reach and selecting one individual in each household using
Last Birthday Method. The choices were taken from a total of (150 election
sites, from which (110 sites are located in West Bank and (40) sites in Gaza
Strip according to the distribution of the Central Election Commission.
These election sites were randomly chosen by using the method of the simple
random sample. These in turn were the beginning of the random sample choice
made from those regions in accordance with PCPO's long experienced
methodology.

Mr. E. Kukali has further established that the margin of error was (±3.78)at
a significance and confidence levels of (5%) and (95%) respectively. He
added that the rate of the female respondents in this survey was (49.8%)
against (50.2%) male respondents. The distribution of the random sample
between the Palestinian two major regions was (61.5%) in the West Bank,
including East Jerusalem, and (38.5%) in Gaza Strip, and allocated as
follows: (49.6%) for the towns, (31.6%) for the villages and (18.4%) for the
camps

Contact Persons: Dr. Nabil Kukali & Elias Kukali
Tel: 00970 2 277 4846, Fax: 00970 2 277 4892
Mobile: 00970 599 726 878
P.O. Box 15, Beit Sahour - Palestine
Email: kukali@p-ol.com
Website: www.pcpo.ps

February 03, 2009

Grad rocket hits Ashkelon for first time since Gaza op


jpost.com staff , THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 2, 2009

A Grad rocket hit Ashkelon Tuesday morning, the first instance of such a
rocket being fired into Israel since the end of Operation Cast Lead
approximately two weeks ago.

There were no reported casualties in the incident, but some damage to the
surrounding area was reported.

On Monday night Gaza terrorists fired a Kassam rocket that hit a kibbutz in
the Sha'ar Hanegev region. No one was wounded and no damage was reported in
that attack either.

Earlier Monday, minutes after a mortar shell struck an open area in the
Eshkol region, IAF warplanes responded, launching a missile at a vehicle in
the southern Gaza Strip.

According to witnesses in the area, one person was killed and three others
were wounded in the attack. The IDF said that the men were part of the cell
which fired the mortar shell into Israel.

Late Sunday night, IAF planes struck Hamas targets throughout Gaza after at
least 15 Kassam rockets and mortar shells had hit the western Negev since
the beginning of the day.

There has been growing frustration in the political echelon at the
increasing Palestinian truce violations. On Monday, Defense Minister Ehud
Barak said that while Operation Cast Lead was effective in damaging Hamas's
capability to threaten Israel, the day may come when a similar operation
would be necessary.

"The quiet in the South is a result of the serious blow dealt to Hamas in
Gaza, and even if it takes a little more time and a few more shots are
fired, this is the nature of events of this kind," Barak told Army Radio,
but he added that "if we have to, we will hit Hamas again."

The defense minister also said that Israel was interested in Egyptian
cooperation in the battle to halt arms smuggling into Gaza through tunnels.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised a "harsh" and "disproportionate"
response to the renewal of rocket fire into Israel when he addressed the
cabinet on Sunday, shortly after a rocket landed near a kindergarten in the
Eshkol region.

"The cabinet's position from the outset was that if firing continues against
residents of the South, there will be a sharp Israeli response that would be
disproportionate vis-á-vis the firing," he said.

The Palestinian Authority and Hamas leaders, meanwhile, were said to be
close to reaching a Gaza cease-fire deal in talks with Egyptian officials in
Cairo.

Yaakov Katz, Tovah Lazaroff, and Brenda Gazzar contributed to this report.

February 02, 2009

IDF estimates that the Gunman Hit South of Hebron Intended to Execute a Terror Attack in Israel

IDF Spokesperson February 2nd, 2009


Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni, GOC of the IDF Central Command, has conducted an
initial investigation of the incident this morning in which a Palestinian
gunman opened fire at an IDF patrol force near the Community Yatir, south of
Hebron.

As a result of the investigation, the Central Command assumes that the
terrorist, who was carrying an AK-47 assault rifle, a nine millimeter
handgun and five matching ammunition clips, was intending to execute a
terror attack against Israeli civilians. The area of the incident is used as
an illegal route into Israel for both terrorist activity and for illegal
infiltrators. The terrorist who executed a suicide attack in Dimona on
February 4th 2008 infiltrated into Israel via the same route.

The investigation of the incident showed that an IDF force patrolling the
region noticed a vehicle driving off road, in what they suspected could be
an attempt to cross into Israel. The force instructed the vehicle to halt
and when it failed to do so, fired a number of warning shots in the air. The
gunman stopped their vehicle and began firing directly at the soldiers. The
force responded by firing back and identifying a hit. The assault rifle,
handgun and ammunition were discovered during searches of the area that
followed the incident.

Maj. Gen. Shamni praised the soldiers involved in the incident for their
actions.

February 01, 2009

Israel warns of major Hizbullah attack


Feb. 1, 2009
Haviv Rettig Gur , THE JERUSALEM POST

Israelis overseas face a "concrete and high-level threat" of being kidnapped or killed by Hizbullah agents seeking to avenge an alleged Mossad killing of the Lebanese group's top commander, Imad Mughniyeh, on February 12, 2008.

According to the Counterterrorism Bureau in the Prime Minister's Office, Israeli intelligence agencies possess reliable intelligence of a Hizbullah effort to kidnap Israelis and commit a terrorist attack on an Israeli target overseas.

"Based on our information, we believe the organization is planning one large revenge attack close to the anniversary of [Mughniyeh's] death," Brig.-Gen. (res.) Elkana Harnof of the Counterterrorism Bureau told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday night.

"All we can say publicly is that Hizbullah has gone to enormous effort to prepare various kinds of terror attacks, and the big one is likely going to take place soon," Harnof said.

Warnings by the bureau have been known to precede terrorist strikes such as those that have hit Sinai resorts in recent years. Just last week, a media report claimed that Israeli and European intelligence agencies thwarted a Hizbullah attack against an Israeli target in Europe.

In a speech on Thursday, Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah placed the blame for Mughniyeh's death in Damascus squarely on Israel, and said that his group had yet to carry out its response. He also said that the issue of a prisoner swap between Israel and Hizbullah had yet to be finished, raising concern that it was focusing its attack on kidnapping Israelis.

Instructions for Israelis abroad are posted on the Prime Minister's Office Web site, but the principle is simple, Harnof said.

"You dramatically reduce the potential for harm by paying a little more attention to your surroundings and taking care to notice strange things happening around you. Report anything out of the ordinary to the local police. Don't accept an unexpected invitation from unknown persons to a meeting or a party or a free meal. Don't bring unfamiliar people into your hotel room. Don't enter a cab that stops of its own initiative," he said.

Anti-Semitism, Hamas Support Growing in Iceland


Shevat 7, 5769, 01 February 09 12:53
by Hana Levi Julian

(IsraelNN.com) Anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head in the capital of the island nation of Iceland, where the door of a bicycle shop displays a sign baldly stating "Judar Ekki Velkomnir" -- "Jews Not Welcome Here."

The word used on the sign, "Judar," carries a derogatory connotation in the Icelandic language, according to the Icelandic native that brought the sign to the attention of the Jewish Agency for Israel. "Gydingur" is the correct neutral word for Jew, according to Vilhjalmur Orn Vilhjalmsson, who emailed information about the shop and its owner to a friend in Israel.

Vilhjalmsson, who has written about the Jews in Iceland for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA)'s Institute for Global Jewish Affairs, noted in a past article that no Jewish presence existed on the island prior to the 1930s.

An article about the anti-Semitic sign and shop owner in Reykjavik appeared Thursday on Iceland's DV.is news website, which also featured a photo of the owner in his shop.

An Aryan-looking man with light hair, the shop owner appears to be in his 60's, possibly older, of medium build. The words "Hamas" and the Icelandic word for "solidarity" were mentioned in the caption below the photograph.

Also included in the article was information about the shop's website, which includes an English-language page with information for tourists who wish to rent bikes. No warning about Jews being unwelcome is posted on the English page of the shop's website.

About Yoni

E-Mail Yoni

Please support our efforts to build a new Israeli political party by check to
P..O..Box 18052
Seattle, WA 98118

Categories

Blog Feeds

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2
Designed by
Joshua Sharf