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February 28, 2010

Riots erupt on Jerusalem's Temple Mount

Hebron tension spreads to Jerusalem: Youths barricaded in al-Aqsa Mosque since Saturday evening throw stones at passerby, prompting police forces to enter compound. Palestinians say eight worshippers hurt by tear gas. Stones hurled at police in Old City as well. Border Guard officer lightly injured in head
Efrat Weiss

Morning of clashes in Jerusalem's Old City: Police forces entered the al-Aqsa Mosque plaza at the Temple Mount on Sunday morning after dozens of Arab youths who barricaded themselves in the mosque on Saturday night began hurling stones at passersby entering the Temple Mount compound.

A Border Guard officer was lightly injured in the head by stones hurled in the Old City's alleys. He received medical treatment on site and resumed his activity.

Sources in the mosque reported that at least eight worshippers were hurt by tear gas. According to the Palestinians, hundreds of policemen encircled the mosque, demanding that the youths evacuate themselves.

The police reported that some 30 Arab youths had barricaded themselves inside the mosques and that efforts made by the Waqf (the council managing Muslim sites) to remove them had failed. Police entered the mount's plaza following the stone throwing and closed its gates, and the youths fled into the mosque.

The police then opened the mount's gates to worshippers, but restricted entrance to the site to male worshippers with Israeli identity cards over the age of 50 and to female worshippers of all ages.

The mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority condemned the police forces' entry to the mosque compound, which he said was aimed at allowing extremists to enter the area. He warned against the serious implications of the police's entry.

Waqf sources said that Jewish worshippers had entered the compound and were protected by the police. A Jerusalem Police official strongly denied the claim, saying that "this is a lie. Some 1,000 visitors have entered the Temple Mount compound since the morning hours, both Jews and non-Jews."

Visits to the site continue as usual, although stones are occasionally being thrown from the mosques towards the police forces stationed at the entrances.

Clashes in Old City streets

Stones were occasionally thrown at police officers in the alleys of the Old City, including near the Antonia Fortress, which is one of the entrances to the Temple Mount. There were no reports of injuries. One suspect was detained for questioning.

Some 100 girls who attempted to launch a protest march in the Sultan Suleiman area in east Jerusalem were stopped by the police.

It is estimated that Sunday's events at the Temple Mount come following the tension that arose over Israel's decision to include the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem to its list of national heritage sites.

Members of the Waqf and various Islamic organizations, including the Islamic Movement, urged Muslims over the weekend to flock to the Temple Mount, claiming that "radical Jewish organizations have called on their followers to arrive at the mount today and on Tuesday in an attempt to lay the cornerstone for the temple."

The Islamic organizations also called on Muslims to be on high alert around March 16, when they said extreme Jewish organizations were planning to mark the global day for the temple's reconstruction.

February 26, 2010


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, 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 MERF web page

Hebron: Dozens hurl stones at IDF forces

Riots resume in West Bank city following cabinet decision to include holy sites in national heritage list. Security forces respond with crowd dispersal means. Palestinian PM Fayyad prays in Cave of Patriarchs. Earlier, security forces clash with some 300 Palestinians, left-wing activists near Nablus
Ali Waked

Dozens of young Palestinians rioted and hurled stones at Israel Defense Forces soldiers stationed near Hebron's Pharmacy Junction on Friday afternoon in protest of a cabinet decision to include the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb in a list of national heritage sites slated for renovation.

The security forces responded with crowd dispersal means. There were no reports of injuries.

So let them riot.

Israel must not back down on this plan, so let them riot.

I say this with my son being part of the security in Hevron, let them riot.

We can not turn our back on our heritage due to some rioting kids.

Bibi stick to the plan but back up the troops 100% give them the backing so they can do their jobs and it will be just fine.

"D" watch your back.

February 24, 2010

US slams Israel over designating heritage sites

As Clinton works to relaunch peace talks, State Department officials come out against Israel's inclusion of revered West Bank religious sites on Israel's national heritage site list
Associated Press

The Obama administration criticized Israel for designating two shrines on Palestinian territory as Israeli national heritage sites.

The criticism came as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday she hopes long-stalled peace talks between Israelis and the Palestinians will resume. Clinton told a congressional committee that groundwork is being laid to restart the talks with the help of US envoy George Mitchell.

The United States, Russia and their Middle East peace partners are trying to organize a strategy session among top diplomats next month in Moscow to prod the two sides to relaunch the negotiations.

"We hope that that will commence shortly," Clinton told the Senate Appropriations Committee, referring to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. "We think it is absolutely necessary that they begin to talk about the final-status issues that divide them, that have perpetuated the conflict over all of these years."

Underscoring those difficulties, the State Department on Wednesday sharply criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government for adding two shrines in the West Bank to Israel's list of national heritage sites. The move, announced Sunday, sparked Palestinian protests and has drawn criticism from other quarters, including the United Nations.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the administration viewed the move as provocative and unhelpful to the goal of getting the two sides back to the table.

Toner said US displeasure with the designations of the Cave of the Patriarchs in the flash point town of Hebron and the traditional tomb of the biblical matriarch Rachel in Bethlehem had been conveyed to senior Israeli officials by American diplomats.

The Palestinians claim all the West Bank as part of a future state and also protested the Israeli move as a provocation, a largely symbolic gesture. The move heightened long-standing tensions, particularly around the shrine in Hebron.

Jews revere the site as the Cave of the Patriarchs, where the Bible says the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were buried along with three of their wives. Muslims call it the al-Ibrahimi mosque, reflecting that Abraham is considered the father of both Judaism and Islam.

The State Department does not like what Israel has done.

Let me be honest and say the following.

When you vote for, G-D less liberal scum, don't be surprised if they don't know their bible.

If the G-D less liberal scum would read their bible they would know that Avraham our father bought the land where he is buried along with his son and grandson.

So it has been bought and paid for by the worlds first Jew and this Jew prays Israel never gives into pressure from G-D less liberal scum and gives it to our enemies.

Failure Named Rachel

Report: Rachel Corrie's parents to seek compensation from Israel

Seven years after American left-wing activist was run over by IDF bulldozer while trying to prevent demolition of Palestinian home in Gaza, her parents expected to sue Israeli Defense Ministry

The family of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an IDF bulldozer in Gaza seven years ago, is expected to file a civil suit over her death against the Israeli Defense Ministry in about two weeks, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Hearings in the case are set to commence on March 10 in Haifa.

According to the British newspaper's website, four key witnesses – three Britons and an American – who were at the scene in Rafah when Corrie was killed will give evidence. The four were all members of the International Solidarity Movement, the activist group to which Corrie belonged, and have since been denied entry to Israel. However, the Guardian reported, under apparent US pressure the Israeli government has agreed to allow them entry so they can testify.

Corrie's parents, Cindy and Craig, will also fly to Israel for the hearing, The Guardian reported. A Palestinian doctor who treated Corrie after she was injured and later confirmed her death has not been given permission by Israel to leave Gaza to attend the hearing in Haifa.

Israeli human rights attorney Abu Hussein was quoted by The Guardian as saying there was evidence from witnesses that soldiers saw Corrie at the scene, with other activists, well before the incident and could have detained or cleared her from the area.

"After her death the military began an investigation but unfortunately, as in most of these cases, it found the activity of the army was legal and there was no intentional killing," he told The Guardian. "We would like the court to decide her killing was due to wrong-doing or was intentional." If the Israeli state is found responsible, the family will press for damages, according to the report.

Corrie entered Gaza to act as a human shield and prevent the razing of a Palestinian home. She was crushed under an IDF Caterpillar bulldozer and died shortly afterwards. She was 23-years-old.

An IDF investigation determined that the soldiers were not to blame and said the driver of the bulldozer had not seen her and did not intentionally run her over. The army accused Corrie and the International Solidarity Movement of "illegal, irresponsible and dangerous" behavior.

So the USA has pressured Israel into letting ISM scum into Israel so they can testify in a case against the IDF.

I say let the ISM scum into Israel and then eliminate them, they side with our enemy.

If you want to stand in front of an IDF armored bulldozer then do so, what do I care.

But don't cry when you get run over.

Rachel's parents,failed as parents they raised a leftist, terrorist loving stupid idiot. So don't blame Israel and the IDF for your failure named Rachel.

I am going to stand in front of this evil IDF bulldozer to stop it. But wait maybe the operator can't see me due to the very small windows. No it will be ok because the driver is a Jew and he would never run me down.

As for the USA government what does the USA call people that help Al Qaeda and Bin Laden, oh yeah terrorist.

February 23, 2010

Abbas, Haniyeh: Heritage sites will ignite a war

Palestinian president, Hamas leader in Gaza warn of religious war or new intifada following Israeli cabinet's decision to declare Cave of Patriarchs, Rachel's Tomb national heritage sites. 'This is a serious provocation,' Abbas says in Brussels
Ali Waked

The cabinet's decision to include Rachel's Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs in the list of national heritage sites may ignite a war, Palestinian leaders say. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that the Israeli decision about the two sites, located in Hebron and Bethlehem, was "a serious provocation which may lead to a religious war."

Speaking at the Belgian Parliament in Brussels, Abbas said that the move taken by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed a request made by US President Barack Obama for trust-building moves towards the Palestinians.

"We have reached a very critical stage, which requires coordinated and intensive international activity, as we must stop the building in the settlements, which are killing the peace process and contradict Israel's commitments, which stem from the first clause of the Road Map and from the signed agreements," the Palestinian leader said.

Abbas said that the political freeze was not the result of the Palestinians' refusal to accept what has already been agreed on. "Israel asks to resume the negotiations on the backdrop of the ongoing settlement construction, claiming that everything can be put on the negotiating table, but this is happening while facts are being created on the ground.

"We expect the European Union to play an active role, which will complement the American role. Any delay will lead to a termination of the peace options and will send the region into a new swirl of violence."

The Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, presented an even firmer stand. He called on the Palestinians to launch a new intifada in protest of the decision to add the two places to the heritage sites list.

Haniyeh said the Israeli move was a show of complete disrespect towards the Palestinian negotiations team. "This move disrespects anyone seeking to keep the framework of the diplomatic settlement. Israel is implementing a plan spreading from Jerusalem to Hebron and Gaza, from Jaffa to Lod and Ramla, and all this on the backdrop of vague negotiations."

The Hamas prime minister said that all of Israel's moves are annulled and do not obligate the Palestinians. "Jerusalem is ours, the land is ours, and God is with us. We will not accept these decisions and they will have no ramifications."

Stones in Hebron, strike in Bethlehem

The Palestinian Authority continues to condemn the plan, and claims it proves Israel does not want peace. The PLO has expressed support for the Palestinians' battle in Hebron.

The Palestinian protest reached the ground as well. Dozens of Palestinian teens threw stones at Israel Defense Forces soldiers and torched tires in Hebron's city center and the Old City, which are areas under Israeli control. The forces responded with means for riot dispersal, and no injuries have been reported.

In addition, a general strike took place in Bethlehem because of the inclusion of Rachel's Tomb in the heritage plan.

All of the Palestinian Authority's organizations, schools, and private firms went on strike in protest against the decision, and eyewitnesses describe growing IDF presence in the area of the holy site. Stone throwing was also reported.

On Sunday the government approved a comprehensive plan to preserve heritage sites across the country. Following pressure from a number of ministers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added two sites to the plan: Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

Roi Kais contributed to this report

Let us think about wars that people start, when they don't have what to fight with.

It is called victory for the other side.

So please, start your war and see what it gets you.

Diplomats and dreamers have tried to turn the Middle East into something it is not since 1991 and the start of Oslo.

A war will correct the errors and a swift Israel victory will give the IDF back that big "S" they used to wear under their uniform on their T shirt.

So I am not afraid of your threats of war.

Heritage plan breeds clashes in West Bank

Controversial government decision answered by general strike in Bethlehem, riots in Hebron
Ali Waked

Clashes in Hebron between Palestinians and IDF forces were renewed Tuesday for the second consecutive day following a government decision to include the Cave of the Patriarchs in Israel's national heritage plan.

Dozens of Palestinian teens threw stones at security forces and torched tires in the city center and the old city, areas under Israeli control. The forces responded with means for riot dispersal, and no injuries have been reported.

The Palestinian Authority continues to condemn the plan, and claims it proves Israel does not want peace. The PLO has expressed support for the Palestinians' battle in Hebron.

In addition, a general strike took place in Bethlehem because of the inclusion of Rachel's Tomb in the heritage plan.

All of the Palestinian Authority's organizations, schools, and private firms went on strike in protest against the decision, and eyewitnesses describe growing IDF presence in the area of the holy site. Stone throwing was also reported.

On Sunday the Cabinet approved a comprehensive plan to preserve heritage sites across the country. Following pressure from a number of ministers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added two sites to the plan: Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

The UN Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry expressed concern over the government decision and the escalation in the region following the announcement.

Serry issued a statement in which he said that "these sites are located on Palestinian lands and have historic and religious significance not only to Judaism, but also to Christianity and Islam." Serry urged Israel to avoid taking steps that betray the trust between the two sides and harm the prospects of negotiations.

Efrat Weiss contributed to this report

February 22, 2010

* JPost.com * Israel Package bomb prompts nat’l mail freeze

National police headquarters issued an order to cease the delivery of mail throughout Israel on Monday, following the discovery of what is believed to be an explosive package near a post office in Migdal Haemek in northern Israel.

A strict gag order has been placed on nearly all details of the case, but police did say Monday that citizens are advised to exercise great caution when receiving any mail throughout the day.

A police spokesperson told The Jerusalem Post Monday that a 35-year-old woman received a package from a Migdal Ha’emek post office and when she opened it saw something that raised her suspicions.

The area was shut off to traffic and passersby and police sappers came and neutralized the package. The spokesman said the issue of whether or not the package, which was sent from inside Israel, contained a legitimate explosive device is still under the gag order.

The spokesman said police are still trying to determine whether or not the package was sent for criminal purposes or constitutes an act of terrorism.

In a related incident, a suspicious object was discovered in a post office in a Be’er Sheba mall. Police sappers rushed to the scene, and the entire complex was evacuated. However, the object turned out to be harmless, and the mall returned to its routine. The police spokesman said the seriousness with which the package was taken illustrates the gravity with which police are investigating the matter.

Police issued a statement Monday afternoon instructing the public on how to spot a suspicious package. Signs to look out for included if the identity or address of the sender of the envelope is unknown, if the envelope is disproportionately heavy for its size, and if it looks like it contains suspicious items including electric wires or a mechanical device.

The statement instructed the public that if they receive a suspicious pack age to under no circumstances open it and to call police immediately.

22/02/2010 12:17

Fatah: Israel's decision on heritage sites dangerous

Abbas' party says decision to include Rachel's Tomb, Cave of the Patriarchs in national plan to rehabilitate some 150 Jewish and Zionist heritage sites 'will add to the religious component of Arab-Israeli conflict'

Fatah said Sunday that Israel's decision to include two Jewish shrines in the West Bank in a national plan to rehabilitate some 150 Jewish and Zionist heritage sites was an attempt by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to "wreck international efforts aimed at returning to (peace) talks", which were suspended over a year ago.

Netanyahu was quoted in a statement as saying that Rachel's Tomb, near the city of Bethlehem, and the Cave of the Patriarchs, a site holy to Muslims and Jews in the tinderbox city of Hebron, would be part of the plan.

"Since I was asked, I would like to make my intentions clear, and this is what will be," Netanyahu said during a special cabinet meeting held in Tel Hai, a historical site in northern Israel where Jews and Arabs fought battles in 1920.

Israeli media reported that the two disputed sites had been included in the plan only after pressure from nationalist ministers in Netanyahu's right-leaning coalition government.

Rachel's Tomb which is revered by Jews as the gravesite of the matriarch Rachel, is guarded by Israeli soldiers and surrounded by a fence.

Israeli security is also tight at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where a Jewish settler shot and killed 29 Muslim worshippers in 1994 before being beaten to death at the scene. Some 400 Jewish settlers live in heavily guarded enclaves in the city, which is also home to some 150,000 Palestinians.

"This particular violation is especially dangerous because it will add to the religious component of the conflict in a way that might bring dangerous consequences," said Ghassan Khatib, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' government in Ramallah.

Also on Sunday, some 50 Jewish settlers and Israeli right-wing activists entered the Palestinian city of Jericho and barricaded themselves inside a synagogue. An Israeli army spokesman said soldiers had evacuated the settlers.

It was unclear whether the Jericho synagogue was part of Netanyahu's restoration plan, which he said would cost some 400 million shekels ($107 million).

Netanyahu, who last year ordered a limited 10-month freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank, says he is ready to resume peace talks immediately and without preconditions.

Abbas says peace talks cannot resume without a full settlement freeze that includes East Jerusalem.

Israel without the Cave of the Patriarchs or the grave of Rachel would not be acceptable.

Without the heartland of Biblical Israel to remind us every day of who were are and where we came from is an Israel one step closer to losing our way.

February 21, 2010

IAF introduces drone fleet

21/02/2010 18:03

Heron TP is size of passenger jet, can fly 20 hours nonstop, reach Iran.

The Israel Air Force on Sunday introduced a fleet of large unmanned planes it claims can fly as far as Iran.

Air force officials said the Heron TP drones have a wingspan of 26 meters, making them the size of passenger jets. They said the planes can fly 20 consecutive hours, and are primarily used for surveillance and carrying payloads.

The drones, built by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, were first used during Israel's Gaza war last year.

At an inauguration ceremony Sunday, officials refused to say how large the new fleet is or whether the planes were designed for use against Iran.

Makeshift bomb hurled at Cairo synagogue

According to Egyptian police, man checked into four-story hotel before abruptly throwing suitcase out the window at Jewish holy site across street. Explosive device causes brief fire but no injuries
Roee Nahmias and AP

Egyptian police reported Sunday that a makeshift bomb was hurled at Cairo's main downtown synagogue in the early hours of the morning, causing a brief fire but no injuries, the official news agency reported.

An Egyptian security source said the device was thrown by an unknown person who arrived at the Panorama Hotel, which is located across the street from the synagogue. The man was carrying a medium-sized suitcase and asked the reception clerk for a room. He abruptly walked out of the lobby towards the entrance, threw the suitcase and escaped into an alley.

The case, which contained a makeshift bomb made of gasoline cans and sulfuric acid, burned briefly but did not detonate.

There were no injuries and police were seeking the suspect, who fled the scene.

Egypt's once thriving Jewish community largely left the country 50 years ago during hostilities between Egypt and Israel, but a number of heavily guarded synagogues remain.

February 19, 2010


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, 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 MERF web page

Jew V Jew

'Settlers' conduct will be their ruin'

IDF taking off gloves following incident in which two soldiers were injured during clashes with settlers. Senior IDF officer tells Ynet, 'Should God forbid a terror attack occur, they will have some hard questions to ask themselves'
Hanan Greenberg

The incident in which two Israel Defense Forces soldiers were injured Wednesday by settlers in Yitzhar sparked uproar in the army which refuses to wane down. An IDF official told Ynet, "The disgraceful conduct of some of the settlers who hurt IDF forces and disrupted routine activity may one day be the ruin of them."

The official was referring to an exercise against terror attacks at the settlement that also included members of the local patrol unit. "It is completely unwarranted that an alertness exercise cannot end as planned due to such behavior and without any condemnation by the (local) leadership."

The official also added, "The riotes are located in a very dangerous area which may erupt into a terror attack at any moment. Instead of helping the soldiers maintain concentration, they do the exact opposite and should, God forbid, a terror attack occur they will have to ask themselves some hard questions."

The testimonies of soldiers who participated in the exercise illustrated a particularly grim picture of the rioters' behavior, some of whom were masked. "Some of them punctured tires with knifes and hurled stones which hurt a soldier's head. They torched tires and blocked the entrance gate into the settlement," one soldier related.

"We came in to perform an exercise to boost the security readiness in the community and got in return this event which left us with a bad feeling" one officer said.

Sources at the brigade described the settlers' behavior as that of "bullies" and noted that it appears as though there's no leadership controling the youths.

A senior IDF officer said that such conduct may even invite terror attacks. "Everyone sees these unnecessary confrontations, including those who want to carry out attacks. It is possible they may use it."

Tensions mounting

The tentions between IDF forces and settlers at the Nablus area has grown over the last few weeks. It began with the puncturing of tires of the brigade commander's car and continued with ongoing clashes.

The incidents are being investigated by the Judea and Samaria District Police. IDF sources implied that other ways of handling the situation will be considered. "A 17-year-old that deliberately hurts a soldier or prevents a wounded soldier from receiving treatment does not belong in the IDF and when the day comes that issue will be considered too," the senior officer said.

He added that "the soldiers are here on a variety of missions which are not of their choosing. Some of them had difficulties coping with what has been ordered them but they performed their duties impeccably. First and foremost in order to protect the communities and those living in them. The Jewish leadership must come to its senses and stop the lawbreakers."

The settlers on the other hand claimed that the exercise in Yitzhar had not been coordinated with them and said that they thought the forces arrived in order to demolish buildings set up against the freeze orders.

Efrat Weiss contributed to this report

We can not allow the thug element in the settler community to hurt our soldiers.

The settlers must resist the freeze imposed on construction using non violent means, think Martin Luther King, Gandi, use these men as your model for resistance.

Control the thugs and punks in your community, that will destroy IDF vehicles and injury soldiers

I have had e mails that were critical of my position that soldiers must refuse an order to remove Jews from their homes, I have not changed my position.

However if the settlers declare war on the IDF and do not resist using only non violent methods I will change my mind.

The State of Israel must make it clear that any teenager that engaged in violence or vandalism against the IDF will not be allowed to serve in the IDF. As strange as it may seem the dream of many of these teens is to get into as elite unit in the IDF as possible. Take this dream away from them, it will be a great deterrent.

I have seen these thugs first hand and they act without any thought as to what harm their actions will cause. I have been their when people talked of murder as a way of revenge for a Jewish family that was murdered. I am proud of the fact that my actions that night stopped these thugs from murdering an innocent person. I am proud of the fact that my actions later put an end to these thugs being able to do any stupidity for a period of time.

Judea and Samaria are Jewish land.

We must keep our land in our possession.

We must never let this land become the cause that turns Jew against Jew.

We lost the Temples because of hatred, please let us not loose Judea and Samaria over even all of Israel because of hatred of our fellow Jews.

Settlers resist with love of your fellow Jew and with non violence.

Soldiers please do not throw your fellow Jews from their homes. If you can not follow my request than please do not use any more force than the minimum necessary.

We can not allow hate to rule us, it is easy to hate in these situations, remember we are all Jews.

February 18, 2010

Hamas official: PA deeply involved in Mabhouh hit

Senior figure in organization tells Ynet that Anwar Shheibar and Ahmad Hasnain are two Palestinians extradited from Jordan to Dubai following Mabhouh slaying. Mohammad Dahlan's rivals claim two were members of 'death cells' who engaged in violent suppression of Hamas members
Ali Waked

A senior Hamas official told Ynet on Thursday that Anwar Shheibar and Ahmad Hasnain, two officers in the Palestinian General Security Services suspected of being involved in the assassination of Hamas' Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, fled the Gaza Strip after Hamas took power. The suspects were arrested in Jordan and handed over to the Dubai police following the hit.

Shheibar is a resident of the Sabra neighborhood, west of Gaza City, and Hasnain is a member of one of the large families in the Sajaiya neighborhood. The two, both in their 30s, were members in what was known until a few years ago as "the death cells" led by Nabil Tamus, who claimed he was an associate of senior Fatah member Mohammad Dahlan.

Tamus, who led the cells, also left the Gaza Strip around the time Hamas took power. According to Palestinian reports and according to the senior Hamas official, the three were employed by Mohammad Dahlan's real estate and investment firms in Dubai.

Thursday, February 18, 2010
Top Jewish Historical Sites Excluded From Israel Government "Heritage List"

Top Jewish Historical Sites Excluded From Israel Government "Heritage List"
Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA 18 February 2010

Major Rishon correspondent Sofia Ron Moria reports in today's edition that
the list of "National Heritage Sites" slated to be presented at a special
meeting of the Cabinet next Sunday in Tel Hai do not include the Cave of the
Patriarchs in Hebron, Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem or City of David in

According to Ron Moria, while there are almost no Old Testament sites on the
list there are some New Testament sites as well as numerous churches.

PM Netanyahu described the project in his 3 February speech at the Herzliya


"I know that one of my predecessors, Ariel Sharon, spoke from this podium
about disengagement. Today I would like to speak not of disengagement, but
rather of engagement: engagement with our heritage, with Zionism, with our
past and with our future here in the land of our forefathers, which is also
the land of our children and our grandchildren.


I believe that this education starts, first and foremost, in the Book of
Books - in the Bible - a subject that is close to my heart these days. It
starts there. It moves through the history of our people: the Second
Temple, the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment, leaving the ghettos, the rise of
Zionism, the modern era, the wars fought for Israel's existence - the
history of Zionism and of Israel. A people must know its past in order to
ensure its future.
At the end of next month, on Tel Hai Day, I intend to present the
government with a work plan that will reverse the neglect of heritage sites.
We initiated a national plan to rehabilitate and strengthen infrastructure
at heritage sites. I call it the "Heritage Plan." We are going to preserve
tourist sites, archaeological sites, historic
buildings and museums.

... Think about a father and son visiting a Jewish historic site, about the
profound significance of transmitting the legacy exactly as commanded in the
Bible: "And tell your son." ...

I know people will ask: "This is the topic you chose to speak of here, at a
discussion about our national strength?" My answer is yes. Sometimes small
steps lead to great things. I want to give you an example of two steps
similar to what I have just described that changed our people's history. I
was recently in London. I visited the basement of the Palestine Exploration
Fund. It was established in 1860 by Queen Victoria in order to map and
scientifically explore the Land of Israel. Queen Victoria sent two men
here. One was named Claude R. Conder, who was the head of the expedition.
The second was a 21-year-old second lieutenant named Kitchener, who would in
time become the 1st Earl Kitchener. Together, they began to map the
country, including this place. They made wonderful, accurate topographical
maps, and found all the ancient places and reinstated their names. They
came armed with all the most advanced measuring tools of the 19th century
and with the Bible. The PEF is responsible for some of what we now know.
For example, they brought Warren here, and he found Warren's Shaft and many
other ancient sites in Jerusalem and across the Land of Israel.

This fired up the imaginations of the both the aristocracy and common people
in Britain. You have no idea what an effect it had. It made them think
that perhaps the Land of Israel wasn't an abstract place. This land is
concrete, and maybe it could be revived, be brought back to life, if the
original people who lived there could return to it. That started people
talking. It took several decades to happen.

February 17, 2010

Barak: Prepared to make firm decisions regarding Iran

IDF Spokesperson 17 February 2010 , 11:02

Ehud Barak and Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi attended the Ground Officers' Training
Course graduation; 7% of graduates, female combat soldiers

The Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, and the Chief of the General Staff, Lt.
Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, participated in the graduation ceremony of the 26th
Ground Forces Officers' Training Course on Tuesday (Feb. 16) at the IDF
Officers' School. The ceremony was also attended by the Commander of the GOC
Army Headquarters, Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, the Chief Corps Officers and the
Commander of the IDF Officers' School, Col. Yehuda Fuchs.

The Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, addressed the issue of the Iranian
threat during his speech to the new officers. "The world is very aware that
Iran continues to display open hostility and hatred toward the Middle East,
through means of funding and the transfer of weaponry to Hezbollah and
Hamas," he said, and emphasized: "We are prepared to make firm decisions,
for the sake of a better future."

"Soon, when you are deployed on your new bases, remember that this is a
challenge few have the opportunity to undergo, a challenge which is a great
privilege, but also a great responsibility," said the Chief of the General
Staff during the ceremony. "Equipped with a set of values and the warm
embrace of the Israeli people, go on your way, take command, fulfill your
missions successfully and return home in peace. We have faith in you and are
proud of you," he added.

Three Caracal Battalion graduates

For the first time, three of the graduates of the ground forces course are
female combat soldiers of the Caracal Battalion, a unit composed mostly of
women and in charge of patrolling the Israeli-Egyptian border. Altogether,
7% of this semester's graduates are women.

American People Trust Us

America doesn’t trust us

Visits by top US officials meant to ensure Israel doesn’t strike Iran
Alex Fishman

You do not have permission to surprise us and embark on a military move vis-à-vis Iran without first coordinating it with us – this is the bottom line left behind by Admiral Michael Mullen, the US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He is not the first American envoy arriving here in order to make this message clear, and he will not be the last one either – Vice President Joe Biden will be arriving in Israel next month.

The message is unequivocal: Later on, don’t claim there was a misunderstanding. There will be no Israeli military operations against Iran that we do not know of in advance and approve.

The reality beyond the hugs, kisses, smiles, and flashy visits is that the Americans don’t trust us. They hear Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resolutely telling them that Iran’s nuke program constitutes an existential threat for Israel and they are very concerned.

The Americans fear that Israel will not be level-headed enough and that it won’t properly assess the aftershocks of a military strike on Iran – fire on various regional fronts, such as in the north vis-à-vis Hezbollah and the Syrians, coupled with the collapse of Arab regimes in the region.

Admiral Mullen undertook a very unusual step when it comes to America’s diplomatic conduct. He started his visit in Israel with a surprising press conference that was not planned in advance and spoke about the undesirable results of an Iran strike. In his meetings with top Israeli defense officials he likely spoke much more concretely.

When Biden visits, he will put less focus on the Defense Ministry and IDF, and more focus on the prime minister and on Israel’s public opinion.

China, Russia onboard
The sanctions on Iran are getting closer. According to American sources, China informed the permanent members of the UN Security Council that it will be willing to accept a decision to impose “tolerable” sanctions on Iran. Should the sanctions be very moderate, the Chinese promised, they will abstain in the vote or simply not show up.

For the Americans, this is a great achievement. The US would indeed impose sanctions even without the Security Council, yet a Council resolution on sanctions, as lukewarm as these may be, would provide America with an umbrella for escalating the actions vis-à-vis Iran.

In recent days, the Americans managed to convince one of the Persian Gulf states to join Saudi Arabia and sell discounted oil to China to replace Iranian oil. The US Administration also forced the Germany-based Siemens, one of Iran’s largest suppliers of equipment that can be used for non-conventional means, to sever its ties with Tehran as of summer 2010.

Meanwhile, the US secretary of state hinted that the Russians will also back the sanctions. Indeed, Russia’s top brass recently called off a visit by a very senior Iranian official; instead, Israel’s prime minister arrived in Moscow.

And so, the region is entering a new phase in the confrontation with Iran. We’re moving up a notch. Now, the Americans are sending the “kindergarten teachers” to Israel in order to maintain discipline.

We need to clear some things up.

The American people like us, trust us and will support an Israeli strike on Iran if the strike solves the problem.

Obama does not like or trust us, that is ok with me because the feeling is mutual.

Let us remember history, Reagan and his cabinet were not filled with joy when Israel hit Iraq's reactor. But I think now most would say Israel did America a favor.

Israel must not worry what a one term looser that happens to hold the office of President thinks about Israel defending herself from destruction.

Israel must hit Iran with more than enough power to achieve success .

Better to error on the side of we destroyed too much , rather than we blew our one chance and did not obtain success.

February 16, 2010

Nasrallah threatens to attack Ben-Gurion Airport

Hezbollah secretary-general says 'Israel needs no excuse' to attack Lebanon. 'If you destroy buildings in Dahiya – we will destroy buildings in Tel Aviv,' Nasrallah warns. He slams US President Obama, who he says cannot help Lebanon as he has failed in stopping settlements
Roee Nahmias

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah delivered a televised speech in Lebanon on Tuesday, saying that Israel "needs no excuse" to attack Lebanon.

"If Israel wants to, it initiates an excuse," he noted, warning the Jewish state that "if you destroy buildings in Dahiya (Beirut quarter known as Hezbollah's stronghold) – we will destroy buildings in Tel Aviv."

Nasrallah also threatened to attack infrastructures on the shoreline. "I am saying to the Israelis, if you attack the international airport in Beirut, we will strike Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. If you attack our ports, we will attack your ports, and if you attack our oil terminals, industrial zones and power stations – we will do the same to you," he threatened.

The Hezbollah leader added that his organization was "under a wave of threats on Israel's part", saying that "when Israel wants to attack a certain country, it needs no excuses. Even in the July 2006 war, the two hostages were not the excuse.

"If Israel wants, it initiates an excuse. It initiates a failed assassination attempt and blames Hezbollah, the Palestinians or anyone it wants," he said.

"These talks are dangerous because the responsibility for Israel's actions is being inflicted upon the resistance (Hezbollah). The dangerous thing in this context is what we have began hearing in the past month, that the existence of the resistance in Lebanon is a good enough excuse for the Israeli enemy to launch an attack on Lebanon, and that in order not to give this enemy an excuse, we must cancel this excuse and cancel the resistance.

"This is an overall justification for any Israeli excuse. There are Lebanese who say things that even entire sectors in Israel don't say. These remarks are very dangerous and justify any Israeli offensive."

The Shiite group's leader went on to address the internal situation in Lebanon, attacking the United States. "In the face of the wave of threats in the past few months, several questions are raised, the same ones as in 1982. For example, can the American promises defend Lebanon? If (US President Barack) Obama and (US Vice President Joe) Biden hit their chest and vow to defend Lebanon, can they do it?

"Is this something Obama can guarantee? He couldn't stop the settlements. Can the international community do so after failing to do so for 60 years?

"Today we read that (Foreign Minister Avigdor) Lieberman says that the principle of territories for peace is an illusion. And he is not only saying it about the Palestinians. If Lebanon takes a neutral approach, can it defend its territory and water under this approach? Our experience says it can't."

Nasrallah added that Lebanon today was stronger than ever. "There is no room for weakness among these calculations and equations. The strong ones are the only ones who can impose their will on the world. Can Lebanon be strong? Yes. We have proved it, and today Lebanon is stronger than ever."

Make no mistake war will again come to Lebanon because of Hezbollah.

This time Israel must win the war, in a way that gives us back a deterrence factor.

MOSCOW - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday asked Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to tell Hamas that Israel will not sweeten its offer for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

Meanwhile, Medvedev told his Israeli visitor that Russia will hold off on delivering an advanced air defense system, the S-300, to Iran.

Netanyahu asked Medvedev to tell Hamas that Israel wants to make a deal for Shalit, but will not agree to release more Palestinian prisoners than it has already. The Russian president offered Moscow's help in the talks.
A senior source in Netanyahu's entourage said the Israeli leader urged Medvedev not to legitimize Hamas. "We are not pleased with your relations with Hamas," he quoted Netanyahu as telling Medvedev. "But since they exist, we can relay messages on humanitarian issues. Tell Hamas they won't get a better offer from us on the [Shalit] deal."

February 15, 2010

Palestinian Official: Israel Should Release PA Officer Who Murdered Israeli Last Week

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 15 February 2010
[In English on Monday afternoon 15 February 2010]

Question: Last week a Palestinian Police Officer (Mahmoud Yusef Nimer
Hattib) killed an Israeli soldier (NCO Sgt 1st Class Ihab Khatib).

PA Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs - Information Department
Director General Osama Al-Ghoul: Yes

Question: Now he is being held by Israel. Is it the position of the
Palestinian Authority that he should be freed?

Osama Al-Ghoul: Of course. This is our struggle with the Israeli occupies

Question: He should be released. Fair enough. Not to be extradited but
instead just freed.

Osama Al-Ghoul: Of course. We are fighting the Israeli occupied. This is
our land.

Question: This is Osama Al-Ghoul right?

Osama Al-Ghoul: Yes.

Question: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Osama Al-Ghoul: Welcome. Anytime.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)

These are the people that we are supposed to make peace with?

Are we Jews really this stupid?

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights LTD (non profit)

Field Update
04 February 2010

Bomb Detonated by the Monument of Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa in Jabalya

Yesterday morning, unknown persons detonated a bomb under a monument of Abu
Ali Mustafa, the late Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip. The
monument was partially destroyed.

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human
Rights, at approximately 03:45 on Saturday, 13 February 2010, unknown
persons detonated a bomb under the monument, which is located at Abu Ali
Mustafa Square in the Be'r al-Na'ja area of Jabalya city. The monument
depicts Abu Ali Mustafa as well as George Habash, founder of the PFLP. The
explosion resulted in the destruction of Habash's portrait. Ten days
earlier, unknown persons had painted the monument with tar.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights condemns this attack, which is part
of the state of security chaos plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory,
and calls upon the Attorney-General's office to investigate it and bring the
perpetrators to justice.

Public Document
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8
2824776 - 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip.
E-mail: pchr@pchrgaza.org, Webpage http://www.pchrgaza.org

February 14, 2010

IDF nabs 3 Palestinian teens carrying bombs

Soldiers manning checkpoint east of Nablus seize three explosive devices, knife

Hanan Greenberg
Published: 02.14.10, 23:15 / Israel News

IDF soldiers manning a checkpoint east of the West Bank town of Nablus on Sunday apprehended three Palestinian teens who were carrying three explosive devices, a knife and two screwdrivers.

Captain Eliran Avnaim, commander of the Kfir Brigade's Haruv Battalion, said the explosive devices and knife were confiscated and the teens were taken in for questioning.

"The metal detector beeped as one of the Palestinians passed through it. He was asked to pass through it again, and it beeped once more. One of the explosive devices was found inside his pants, and the rest were found during a search of his friends' belongings," said Captain Avnaim.

Sunday's incident was the fifth since the Haruv Battalion began manning the checkpoint a few weeks ago.

Cut The Fat

'30% of kids are below poverty line'
Ahead of Family Day, Nat'l Insurance Institute divulges grim statistics.

A third of the children in Israel live below the poverty line, according to data published by the National Insurance Institute on Sunday ahead of Family Day, which falls on Monday.

According to the data, a quarter of families with children – 238,200 homes out of slightly over two million – live in poverty.

The institute also divulged data about the amount of children in every family. Reportedly, 32 percent of families in Israel have only one child. A slightly smaller percentage – 31 – were found to have two children. 20 percent of families have three children and only eight percent have five or six children.

Ninety-seven percent of single parents are women, according to the institute, and 30 percent out of 130,000 families with one parent are below the poverty line.

In its statement, the institute announced that steps would be taken to introduce automatic payment of birth allowances to women, who would no longer be required to fill out forms for that purpose.

The statement also included birth rate statistics: 160,000 babies were born in Israel in 2009, among them 3,500 sets of twins and 100 sets of triplets, quadruplets and more.

I have a novel idea why don't we cut the number of Minister and Knesset members by 50% and pass the savings on to those living below the poverty level.

February 12, 2010


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 3pm EDT, 11AM Pacific, 10pm 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 MERF web page

Oslo Exsposed

Soldier's murder was latest in new trend of terror by PA security

By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent 11 February 2010

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Wednesday condemned the stabbing
of an IDF soldier at the Tapuah checkpoint by a Palestinian police officer.

It is hard not to appreciate the political courage summoned by Fayyad
Wednesday in condemning the killing of an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in
the occupied territories.

But Fayyad apparently realizes that to maintain his extraordinary
cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank, he needs to
compromise on his dignity, even if at a hefty political price.

However, one emerging trend is difficult to ignore. Most of the fatal
attacks in the West Bank in recent years were carried out by members of
Palestinian security forces.

Two months ago there was the murder of Rabbi Meir Chai, near the settlement
of Shavei Shomron, by three Fatah men, one of them a member of the West Bank
counterintelligence service.

In November 2007, three Palestinian policemen murdered settler Ido Zoldan,
also from Shavei Shomron. A month later, two members of the Palestinian
general intelligence service murdered two Israeli soldiers from Kiryat Arba,
who were hiking near the village of Tarkumia.

These attacks create quite a dilemma for Israeli security organizations. On
the one hand, the Palestinian Authority is combating Hamas and Islamic
Jihad, often demonstrating a surprising ability to counter the Islamist
terrorist threats. But the same PA neglects its own men, including former
members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade and security service men.

Moreover, there is increasing anti-Israel incitement by the PA, which comes
not only from third-rate politicians, but also from very senior officials.
Only a few weeks ago, a senior PA official took part in the dedication of a
square to Dalal al-Moughrabi, who took part in the
Coastal Road Massacre in 1978 and murdered children with her own hands, and
in January a sermon calling for the murder of Jews was broadcast by
Palestinian television.

Fayyad and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, while far from encouraging
terrorism, do support the "popular resistance" of the Bi'lin and Na'ilin
model, in effect, endorsing stone-throwing. Fayyad himself "only" took part
in burning settlement produce, while he and
his government engage in setting up preposterous investigative committees to
look into allegations of organ thefts by Israeli soldiers. The message
trickles down to the lower ranks and can often be misunderstood. In view of
the stalemate in negotiations, it's not hard to guess why settlers and
soldiers are perceived as legitimate targets.

This doesn't make the dilemma any less acute for the Israelis in view of the
"miracle" performed by Abbas and Fayyad in the West Bank. Thousands of words
have been written about its Palestinian cities, the burgeoning economy and
the war on radical Islam. The Palestinian stock exchange went up by 12
percent in 2009 and an even steeper climb is expected in the coming year.
Construction of a new Palestinian city began north of Bir Zeit two years
ago, and the PA is planning another one north of Jericho, to be named Kamar,
Arabic for moon.

Fayyad, a Washington favorite, is showing results time and again of just how
much he is a man of action, unlike his other Palestinian colleagues. He
doesn't focus on personal interest, he's clean of any taint of corruption
and the rare vision of a Palestinian state he bears is
being implemented on the ground. It's precisely that one Palestinian
policeman who decides to carry out an attack that might frustrate his plans.

Fayyad's troubles were compounded last night with a Channel 10 expose
showing Abbas' chief of staff, Rafiq Al Husseini, trying to coax a woman
into sleeping with him. The incidentwas revealed by Fahmi Shabana, former
director of the general intelligence service in Hebron. Ironically, this
man, who a year ago was arrested by the Israel Police for recruiting agents,
was also the man who arrested the two terrorists from the Tarkumia attack.
Wednesday, he became Abbas and Fayyad's latest and biggest headache

Slowly day after day the lie of the Oslo process is exposed

You can't take terrorist and put them in uniform and by magic the become good people. They are still terrorist they just happen to be in uniform of a so called police officer.

The Palestinians have not nor do I think they will ever make a change from terrorist to a people that seeks peace with their former enemies.

Cartoons on PA TV educate the children to murder Jews and then the police of the PA give an example that even those in authority support and carry out acts of terrorism and murder.

February 11, 2010

Protestors hit Beirut Starbucks

Customers flee as demonstrators express displeasure with coffee chain's pro-Israel CEO
Associated Press

Protesters from a leftist group shouted anti-Israel slogans outside of a Starbucks coffee shop Wednesday during a protest in Lebanon's capital, Beirut.

Demonstrators tried to block the entrance to the shop, thereby causing customers inside to flee. The protesters said they targeted the store because they claim that Howard Schultz, the company's CEO, chairman and president, donates money to the Israeli military.

During the protest, one of the demonstrators attempted to chain himself inside the coffee shop.

No Starbucks in Israel

Starbucks has been inactive in Israel since 2003, after the branches it opened in the country did not show any profits in two years.

The company's CEO, Schultz, is known for his pro-Israel statements in recent years. At the height of the second Intifada, he delivered a speech at a Seattle Conference and condemned the Palestinians for not putting an end to terrorism.

Schultz later softened his messages in response to criticism leveled at him by various Arab and Muslim elements.

Similar protests already took place in the Lebanese capital as early as in 2002, when local students were planning to target various Western companies they accused of supporting Israel.

Ynet contributed to the report

Terror victim's friends: Druze will continue to serve Israel

Arab village of Maghar mourns death of IDF soldier Ihab Khatib, murdered in West Bank Wednesday; 'Despite discrimination, we'll continue to contribute to country whose existence we pray for,' says Druze mourner
Hagai Einav

Residents of the Arab village of Maghar are mourning the murder of local IDF soldier Ihab Khatib Wednesday, and stressing that they will continue to serve the state loyally despite discrimination against them.

Sergeant-Major Ihab Khatib, 28, from the Kfir Brigade, was knifed to death at the Tapuach junction in the West Bank earlier Wednesday.

The killer, who was nabbed at the scene, served as a senior Palestinian security officer.

Many residents arrived at the Khatib family home to comfort the parents.

"Our village has sadly 'contributed' many soldiers to the security of the State of Israel," one of the visitors said.

"Even if there are disagreements among us, and despite the instances of discrimination and oppression, we will all continue to enlist and contribute to the country in which we live, and for whose continued existence we pray."

3rd tragedy for family
The tragedy that befell the Khatib family was the third of its kind within the past few years. Ten years ago Ihab's uncle, an IDF officer, was killed during an operation in the Jordan Valley.

Four years ago, during the Second Lebanon War, his aunt died when a Katyusha rocket hit her home in Maghar, located in the eastern Galilee region.

Saliman Khatib, Ihab's uncle, told Ynet the family had learned of the attack early on, but the victim's identity was only revealed to them later on.

"Ihab was a golden boy, very modest, who knew how to contribute to the army as well as to his family," he said. "This is a huge tragedy and very difficult to digest."

The soldier is survived by his parents, two brothers, and three sisters. His funeral has not yet been scheduled, but it is expected to take place tomorrow at the military cemetery in the village.

IDF raids home of Tapuach junction terrorist

Soldiers arrest six relatives of Palestinian who stabbed Sergeant-Major Ihab Khatib to death Wednesday, notify family to evacuate home ahead of demolition
Ali Waked

Palestinian sources in the West Bank town of Jenin reported that a large IDF force raided the home of the terrorist who murdered Sergeant-Major Ihab Khatib (28) at the Tapuach junction on Wednesday. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit confirmed the report.

The soldier, who served as a non-commissioned officer in the Kfir Brigade, will be laid to rest Thursday at 4 pm at the military cemetery in his home village of Maghar.

According to the Palestinians, during the raid on Mohammad Khatib's home in the West Bank Palestinian village Yabed, which took place during the early hours of Thursday morning, six of his relatives were arrested, and computers were confiscated.

It was further reported that the IDF soldiers ordered the Khatib family to evacuate the home ahead of its demolition.

Yabed residents said Khatib was a well-respected officer who was affiliated with Fatah.

The terrorist reportedly served as a senior officer in the Palestinian security forces.

Israeli security officials estimated that he had acted alone. They attributed the recent rise in West Bank terror attacks to a host of reasons. Some terrorists act out of personal frustration, while others act on behalf of terror groups, said the officials.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned Wednesday's stabbing attack. A statement issued by Fayyad's office said, "The Palestinian Authority will continue to take any steps necessary to prevent the reoccurrence of such incident, which goes against Palestinian national interests as well as the Palestinian Authority's efforts and the obligations it has taken upon itself."

February 10, 2010

Soldier killed in West Bank knife attack

IDF soldier sitting inside jeep near Tapuach Junction stabbed twice in chest by Palestinian; Assailant apprehended after onlooker runs him over with car. Terrorist reportedly served as senior officer in Palestinian security forces

Efrat Weiss
Latest Update: 02.10.10, 17:12 / Israel News

An IDF soldier was killed Wednesday after being stabbed by a Palestinian while sitting in his jeep near the Tapuach Junction, located south of the West Bank city of Nablus.

The victim has been identified as a village of Maghar resident, Sergeant Major Ihab Khatib, a non-commissioned officer in the Kfir Brigade.

Judea and Samaria District Police officers apprehended the terrorist. The knife used in the attack was found at the scene. Israeli security officials said the terrorist acted alone.

The attacker, Mohammad Khatib from the village of Yabed, reportedly served as a senior officer in the Palestinian security forces. He was transferred to the security forces for investigation.

It seems the Israeli in the article below was a soldier.

I will try and get more information about this incident.

Israeli killed in West Bank knife attack

Man sitting inside jeep near Tapuach Junction stabbed twice in chest by Palestinian; he tries to flee, but jeep overturns in ditch. Assailant apprehended after onlooker runs him over with car
Efrat Weiss

An Israeli man was killed Wednesday after being stabbed by a Palestinian while sitting in his jeep near the Tapuach Junction, located south of the West Bank city of Nablus.

Judea and Samaria District Police officers apprehended the terrorist. The knife used in the attack was found at the scene. Israeli security officials said the terrorist acted alone.

The incident occurred at around 1:50 pm, when the Israeli vehicle was stuck in a traffic jam. The Palestinian terrorist stabbed the Israeli twice in the chest through the open car window.

The Israeli tried to flee the scene, but his jeep overturned into a ditch.

Bound terrorist at scene of attack

A security officer from the nearby Jewish settlement Rachelim, who happened to be at the scene, ran the terrorist over with his car. The Palestinian sustained very mild injuries.

"I was in my car when I saw a man approach another vehicle and stab the person inside. I realized I was witnessing a terror attack. The terrorist began running away, but I kept my cool, drove after him and managed to hit him with my car," the security officer, Yossi Margalit, told Ynet.

"I stepped out of my car, apprehended the terrorist and turned him over to the security forces," he recounted.

Knesset Member Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said in response to the stabbing, "The Netanyahu government is busy removing roadblocks and allowing Palestinians to travel freely. The army is busy clashing with settlers, and these are the results. The blood of the West Bank's residents has become cheap."

The Shomron Settlers' Committee said, "It is no surprise that when the defense minister (Ehud Barak) is enforcing the racist (settlement construction) freeze and the false arrests of settlers, the terrorists and their accomplices are having a field day."

In October 2009 an Israeli woman was seriously wounded from stones thrown at her vehicle near the Tapuach Junction. Her husband was lightly wounded.

Hanan Greenberg and Raanan Ben-Zur contributed to the report

IDF Spokesperson February 10th, 2010

The Israel Air Force successfully targeted sites in the southern Gaza Strip
tonight, in a joint IDF-ISA operation.

The attack is in response to Palestinian rocket fire against Israeli
communities in the northwestern Negev region in the last few days.

More than 20 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel since the beginning of
the year.

The IDF will continue to operate firmly against anyone who uses terror
against the State of Israel. Hamas is solely responsible for maintaining
peace and quiet in the Gaza Strip.

February 09, 2010

This Can't Be Good

Iran says starts work on making 20% atom fuel

Atomic Energy Organization spokesman in Tehran says Islamic Republic started preparatory work on producing high-grade nuclear fuel at 0600 GMT 'in presence of IAEA representatives'

Iran began work on Tuesday to produce higher-grade nuclear fuel for a Tehran research reactor, an official said, a move that may increase pressure for new UN sanctions due to Western fears it wants to develop atom bombs.

Tehran announced on Sunday it would produce uranium enriched to a level of 20% for a reactor making medical isotopes. This followed a failure to agree terms for a proposed nuclear fuel swap with major powers, under which it would send most of its low-enriched uranium abroad.

"We started preparatory work at 9:30 am (0600 GMT) in the presence of (International Atomic Energy Agency) representatives," a spokesman for Iran's nuclear energy agency, Ali Shirzadian, said on Tuesday.

"And it (production) will be formally announced at 1 pm by Dr Salehi," he told Reuters, referring to the head of the Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi.

Iran's Arabic-language state television, al Alam, said earlier that production of 20% enriched uranium had started at the Natanz plant.

Iran currently enriches uranium to a level of 3.5% while 80% or more is needed for a nuclear bomb.

"Today we started to make 20% enriched nuclear fuel ... in the presence of IAEA inspectors," an unnamed official told al Alam.

Sanctions push

The United States and France led calls for what would be a fourth, broader set of punitive sanctions on Iran, a major crude oil producer. A senior lawmaker in Russia, which in the past has urged talks rather than punishment, also said economic measures should be considered.

Among the big powers only China, which can block any UN sanctions, has remained unswervingly opposed to punishing Iran.

Possible targets for any new sanctions include Iran's central bank, the Revolutionary Guards who Western powers say are key to Iran's nuclear program, shipping firms and its energy sector, Western diplomats say.

Analysts said Iran would need a few months to reconfigure its Natanz plant to refine uranium to higher purity.

Iran may also be having more difficulty obtaining crucial components due to UN sanctions, said the analysts, who added that the latest move might be a negotiating tactic.

Iran's plan to enrich from the 3.5% level suitable for power plant fuel to 20% would advance it much of the way to having weapons-grade uranium.

Tehran says the product is destined for the research reactor, but it lacks the technology to convert the material into special fuel needed to run this plant in the capital.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tehran was still prepared to carry out the fuel swap, if its conditions were met.

On Monday, an IAEA spokeswoman confirmed Tehran had notified the UN nuclear watchdog of its plans to produce higher-grade fuel, and said it would damage chances of saving the atomic fuel supply deal between Iran and world powers.

But Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday, according to state television: "We're still prepared, if our requirements are met, to carry out this swap ... any time they are ready this can be done."

I have so little knowledge in this field that it is almost a crime for me to try and post something on this subject.

But my gut tells me this can't be good.

PMW Bulletin: Palestinian child sings to victory over Israel and the US

Feb. 8, 2010
Palestinian Media Watch

Palestinian child sings about victory
over Israel and the US:
"Daddy gave me a present, a machine gun and a rifle"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
t :+972 2 625 4140 e: pmw@palwatch.org
f: +972 2 624 2803 w: www.palwatch.org

Violence is the ideal means to solve conflict. For years this has been the
repeated message from both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas - from
glorifying violence by honoring terrorists as role models to directly
calling for the killing of Jews.

Israel, which is denied any legitimate right to any part of "Palestine," is
presented along with the US as the arch-enemy against whom this violence
should be directed.

Palestinian children have absorbed the message and know by heart how to sing
praises to violence. In the latest episode of the weekly children's program
Tomorrow's Pioneers on Hamas TV, a Palestinian boy chose to sing the
following children's song:

"Daddy gave me a present, a machine gun and a rifle.
When I am a big boy, I will join the Liberation Army.
The army of [Izz Al-Din] Al-Qassam (Hamas),
which has taught us how to defend our homeland.
Our homeland is precious, precious.
We [are] victorious, victorious over America and Israel.
[Improvises:] Son of a bitch - what brought you to this land?"

It is worth noting that the two hosts, the young girl Saraa and Nassur, an
adult in a bear costume, approved of the boy's choice of song and let him
sing it. Only when the boy cursed ("Son of a bitch") did the young girl cut
him off, pointing out that the "program is a program for children, not for
anything else." The objection was to the boy's cursing, not to the content
of the song. The adult inside the puppet ended the exchange by defending the
boy: "He didn't say anything else, Saraa. He said the truth."

A Palestinian girl singing the same song was once broadcast on PA TV. To see
the video, click here.

To view PMW's recent bulletin on the call for killing Jews on PA TV, click

To view PMW's recent bulletin on glorification of terrorists in the PA,
click here.

The following is the transcript of the Palestinian boy's song about victory
over Israel and the US on Hamas TV:

Boy named Raad calls in from Hebron to the children's program Tomorrow's
Pioneers and recites a popular song:

"Daddy gave me a present, a machine gun and a rifle.
When I am a big boy, I will join the Liberation Army.
The army of [Izz Al-Din] Al-Qassam (Hamas),
which has taught us how to defend our homeland.
Our homeland is precious, precious.
We [are] victorious, victorious over America and Israel.
[Improvises:] Son of a bitch [lit. "daughter of a dog" - apparently a
reference to Israel] - what brought you to this land?"
Child host Saraa interrupts: "Thank you very much, Raad from Hebron, for
your participation. Of course, our program is a program for children, not
for anything else."
Nassur [adult host in bear costume]: "Yes, but he didn't say anything else,
Saraa. He said the truth."

[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), Feb. 5, 2010]

Survey: Israeli Public Confident in IDF

Arnon Ben-Dror - IDF Spokesperson's Office
04 February 2010 , 20:25

Israeli citizens are more satisfied with the functioning of the defense
establishment, especially of the IDF, according to a recent study by the
Haifa and Ben Gurion Universities

According to a public survey conducted annually by joint researchers from
the Haifa and Ben Gurion Universities, there is an increase in the level of
satisfaction with the defense establishment among the citizens of Israel.
This is the most significant improvement in 2009 compared to 2008 between
the security forces, recorded in
the IDF.

The study conducted by two professors, Prof. Eran Vigoda-Gadot, head of the
School of Political Science at Haifa University, and Prof. Shlomo Mizrachi
of Bar
Ilan University's Public Policy Department, shows that the level of trust in
the IDF is 3.89 out of 5 (compared to 3.61 in 2008) and 4.01 (compared to
3.88 in
2008) in the Israel Security Forces (ISA).

In addition to that, the level of trust among public sector personnel of the
security forces increased dramatically, once again the largest increase is
recorded in the IDF: level of trust among regular IDF soldiers is 4.08 (3.89
in 2008); IDF commanders and officers - 3.94 (3.75 in 2008); ISA agents -
4.02 (3.93 in 2008); Mossad - 4.08 (3.90 in 2008).

After the Second Lebanon War, there was a decline in public confidence in
the IDF, which was reported by various studies of this type. However,
recently, especially in light of the successful operations of security
forces during Operation Cast Lead, the satisfaction with security systems
has improved. The growing confidence in the IDF has attributed mainly,
according to researchers, to the physical rehabilitation of the army, and
setting clear moral norms between the lines.

February 08, 2010

Taxpayers Money, Who Cares

MKs to fly business class

Members of 18th Knesset get new perk as director-general decides on protocol allowing all MKs to fly business class when traveling abroad on state-related affairs
Amnon Meranda

A new official protocol in Knesset states that all MKs flying abroad on state-related affairs will do so in business class. The decision was made by Knesset Director-General Dan Landau. A veteran MK opposed to the decision told Ynet, "This is an unnecessary waste of the public's money."

A Knesset statement in response to a Ynet query said: "As a rule, according to the Knesset director-general's decision and the protocol set in the 18th Knesset, MKs sent abroad by the Knesset are to fly in business class."

"In the 17th Knesset there were cases in which MKs flew in business class as well as economy class. There was no protocol, and placement was carried out in accordance with the instructions of the former Knesset director-general."

A source from the Knesset said, "It's time to sort out this breached issue with a proper protocol. The bottom line is that even in previous terms, the vast majority of MKs flew in business class to all destinations, each time due to a different 'exception' – age, status, health, etc."

On the other hand, sources that served in the Knesset's administrative body in the past say a protocol had been employed according to which MKs traveling in business class on long flights (for example to the United States), and traveled in economy class on shorter flights, save for certain exceptions.

A senior MK told Ynet, "This is a bad decision. This is a waste of the public's money. At a time when the market is in the midst of an economic crisis and workplaces are tightening their belts, the Knesset upgrades itself and its members." He said Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin should rethink the move.

Another MK defended the decision, saying, "MKs set off on missions that are usually very short, with a very busy schedule, and purchasing business class tickets is a worthy expense in my opinion. These are not pleasure trips, but business trips."

The Knesset further stated: "As a rule, the Knesset has adopted in principle the instructions of the accountant general, which state that director-generals whose flights last over six hours should be placed in business class.

"The Knesset director-general has decided that MKs will be placed in business class in advance, due to the fact that MKs start work immediately upon landing."

The Knesset added that in the matter of any flights under 45 minutes long, each case is examined individually, and that in most cases there is no business class in such flights.

I am currently sitting in Africa on business, I flew tourist class.

Why did I fly tourist class and not business class?

$1883 was the price for tourist and $7000 was the price for business class. I eat kosher as if memory serves are the Members of Knesset when they are on the business of the State. Kosher food is the same in tourist as business.

So I thought about it and the bottom is this if you fly around the world you will not enjoy yourself no matter what class you fly and saving $5000 matters more to me than it matters to membes of Knesset because it is my money I am saving. For the members of Knesset it is only taxpayers money they would be saving so who cares.


Likud minister to rightists: Give up dream of Greater Israel
By Yossi Verter

Proponents of the Greater Land of Israel - including the recently established Land of Israel caucus in the Knesset, hawkish Likud members and other MKs - are deceiving the public because their dream cannot be fulfilled, Minister Michael Eitan (Likud) said over the weekend.

"You can't deceive all the time and speak about Greater Israel," Eitan said at a Geneva Initiative conference in Dimona. "It's a dream that will not be able to be fulfilled. The vast majority is willing to make significant concessions for peace. Everyone wants an agreement."

The conference, which discussed solutions proposed by the figures behind the Geneva Initiative peace proposal, featured Yossi Beilin, one of the architects of the proposal, as well as former Palestinian minister Sufian Abu Zaida and Dimona Mayor Meir Cohen.

Eitan, the improvement of government services minister and one of the few Likud MKs who has not supported the Land of Israel caucus, said it had no place in today's politics.

"Last week the Land of Israel caucus was established in the Knesset. Neither I nor [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu can join it, even though in '92 I founded a similar caucus," he said. "To talk about Greater Israel now - that's deception."

The Land of Israel caucus was founded last week by MKs Zeev Elkin (Likud) and Aryeh Eldad (National Union). With the exception of Eitan, Netanyahu and Minister Dan Meridor, all Likud MKs and ministers expressed support for the caucus' primary objective of strengthening Israel's hold on the entire West Bank.

Eitan sent the caucus founders a letter saying their declared goals "thunderously contradict the prime minister's position."

He told the conference Israel must not stop trying to make peace with the Palestinians.

"I tried to stop smoking 100 times, and I didn't succeed," he said. "On the 101st try, I succeeded. We have to try again and again and again until we reach an agreement, but without conceding security or the crucial interests of the State of Israel."

Cohen said Israel must reach a deal within the next decade.

"We have to choose between a state with a Jewish majority and a state with an Arab majority," he said. "I doubt whether we will have a Jewish majority in the state by 2020."

This is why the Likud in my book is the greatest bunch of posers ever.

Right wing,I don't think so.

They are the just as left wing as Labor, in fact they are Labor in drag. They look to be one thing and really are something else.

February 07, 2010

Text: Hamas Military Communique 16 Jan. 2009 detailing attacks on Israel terms all Israeli cities "military base"

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:
As of 7 February 2010, the official website of Hamas continues to include
reports of the attacks Hamas carried out against civilian Israeli targets
duriong Operation Cast Lead. It terms each Israeli civilian community a
"military base".

For example, it takes credit for 23 Grads that hit the Military base "Beer
Al Saba'a" = Beersheva.]

Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades
Military Wing of Hamas Movement
Information Office

Military Communique

First Part of Al Qassam responses in twenty day in Gaza strip

Al-Qassam Brigades is declaring its responsibility for the following
operations as a response to Zionist aggression on the Palestinian civilians:


Military base "Blmakheem"

Military base "Tal Nouf"

Military base "Al Majdal"

Military base "Sdod"

Military base "Beer Al Saba'a"

Military base "Kiryat Gat"

Military base "Hitsareem"

Military base "Sderot"

Military base "Third Eye"

Military base "Miftaheem"

Military base "artillery"

Military base "Ba'eri"

Military base "Talmi Yusif"

Military base "Nir Oz"

Military base "Ami Oz"

Military base "leadership"

Military base "Mageen"

Military base "El-yahoo"

Military base "Abu Salim"

Military base "Nahil Oz"

Military base "Sufa"

Military base "Nitifut"

Military base "Tsailem"

These operations are part of the repelling operations against the
occupation assaults on Gaza Strip and West Bank, and as a response for the
ongoing aggression against Palestinian people.


Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades

Information Office


Military Communiqué

Second Part of Al Qassam responses in twenty day in Gaza strip

Al-Qassam Brigades is declaring its responsibility for the following
operations as a response to Zionist aggression on the Palestinian civilians:


Military base "Ashkol"

Military base "Malaka"

Military base "Kfar Azza"

Military base "Al-Ersal"

Military base "Hatsur"

Military base "Ofokeem"

Military base "Malakhi"

Military base Nir Eshaq"

Military base "Zikeem"

Military base "Miflasem"

These operations are part of the repelling operations against the
occupation assaults on Gaza Strip and West Bank, and as a response for the
ongoing aggression against Palestinian people.

Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades

Information Office

January 16th, 2009

February 05, 2010


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 3pm EDT, 12 noon Pacific, 10pm 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 MERF web page

Pick A Side

JERUSALEM, February 3, 2010 (WAFA -PLO news agency)- The U.S. Department of State sponsored a two-week visit to the U.S. focused on human rights and democracy for a group of 30 high school students from Gaza.

Two separate groups of 15 girls and 15 boys were selected because of their
outstanding performance in their human rights classes at UNRWA schools in

Along with their teachers, the students visited Atlanta; Washington, D.C.;
and New York City.

While in Atlanta, the students met with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter,
visited the Martin Luther King Center, and participated in discussions on
conflict resolution, human rights, and democracy. In Washington, D.C., the
students received a tour of the White House and Capitol Hill, saw a concert
at the Kennedy Center, and had dinner with American high school students and
their families. In New York City, the students met with UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and saw a Broadway musical.

U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem Daniel Rubinstein met with the group upon
their return to discuss their impressions of the United States. Consul
General Rubinstein congratulated them, saying, "I hope your experience in
the United States will help you as you become the future leaders of an
independent Palestinian state."

The United States is UNRWA's largest bilateral donor. Its total
contribution to UNRWA in 2009 was $267 million, including over $116 million
to its General Fund, $30 million to its Lebanon Emergency Appeals, and
$119.5 million to its West Bank/Gaza Emergency Programs.

High School Students from Gaza Visit USA Date : 3/2/2010 Time : 18:14

Great we have a group of kids meeting Jimmy Carter who we all know is a friend of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, yeah right.

Then we have U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem Daniel Rubinstein, no doubt a proud Jew, telling these kids "I hope your experience in the United States will help you as you become the future leaders of an independent Palestinian state." Yeah Right, like these kids now believe in Jeffersonian democracy.

Then we have the simple fact that the USA gave in 2009 $ 267 million dollars, and it was just released they are upping this amount for 2010 by an addition $40 million despite the fact that UNRWA hires primarily Hamas terrorist to run their offices in Gaza. This was enough for Canada to cut it's funding for UNRWA and America ups it's funding.

Kind of makes you wonder what side the USA is on.

Foul The Nest?

Dubai may seek Bibi's arrest over Hamas man's assassination

Dubai to issue arrest warrant for Netanyahu should it turn out that Mossad killed al-Mabhouh, senior official says
Roee Nahmias

Dubai will be issuing an arrest warrant against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should it turn out that the Mossad was behind a recent assassination of a senior Hamas man in the Emirates, a police official said Thursday.

The senior official told the al-Jazeera network that Dubai will seek to arrest PM Netanyahu "because of the fact that he was the one to approve the execution of the crime in the United Arab Emirates."

Senior Hamas member Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was murdered in a Dubai hotel on January 20th. However, Hamas only publicized the assassination nine days later.

On Monday, Hamas' Muhammad Nazal charged that al-Mabhouh was attacked by Mossad agents who ambushed him in his hotel room.

"When he arrived, they surprised him," Nazal said.

On Wednesday, Dubai Chief of Police Lieutenant Colonel Dahi Khalfan Tamim warned both Hamas and the Mossad against operating in Dubai territory behind the backs of local authorities.

"Anyone trying to operate behind our back should watch his own back," Tamim said to the London-based newspaper El-Shark El-Awsat.

"This applies to all intelligence agencies in the world," he continued, "whether Mossad, Hamas or any other intelligence organization."

I have my doubts about if Israel was responsible for eliminating this terrorist thug.

Why because too many former high ranking Israelis are doing business in Dubai. I know this first hand for a friend of mine has been to Dubai many times on business.

Isralis tend not to foul the nest when it comes to former high ranking types making money.

February 04, 2010

FM: If Syria provokes Israel, Assad will be out of power

Photo by: Yoni Hamenahem

Lieberman blasts Syrian president for claiming Israel leading Middle East towards war, says Assad made a "direct threat on Israel," calls on Damascus to give up demand for Golan Heights.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday morning blasted Syrian President Bashar Assad for saying Israel was "leading the region towards war," and warned the leadership in Damascus that in the next war, Syria would be defeated by Israel.

Speaking at an event at Bar-Ilan University, Lieberman warned Assad that in an event of war with Israel, "not only will you lose the war, you and your family will no longer be in power."

The leaders in Syria care only about their power, Lieberman claimed, and therefore it is important that Damascus understands a war with Israel will drive Bashar Assad and the Assad family out of power.

"I tell Assad and [Syrian Foreign Minister Walid] al-Moallem clearly - what was said yesterday marked a dramatic change of game, a direct threat on the State of Israel. I think that a line was crossed, and this cannot be tolerated," the foreign minister said.

"We heard Defense Minister [Ehud] Barak's sincere call for peace with Syria, and we have now received Syria's answer. Whoever thinks territorial concessions will disconnect Damascus from the Axis of Evil is wrong," Lieberman asserted.

The foreign minister went on to stress that he supports peace with Syria as long as the Golan Heights remain in Israel's hands.

"Syria must understand that it has to let go of the demand for the Golan, in the same way that it gave up on the Greater Syria dream," said Lieberman.

Lieberman also warned the Palestinian Authority, and called on the Palestinian leadership to resume peace talks with Israel.

"I want to tell [PA Prime Minister] Salam Fayyad and Abu-Mazen [PA President Mahmoud Abbas]: Without immediate, direct negotiations, not only will you not have a state in two years, you will also lose control over Judea and Samaria as you did in Gaza. Negotiations are not only an Israeli interest, nor a favor that anyone does for Israel."

Lieberman's remarks came hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed disappointment with Assad’s claim that Israel was pushing the region towards war, saying instead that the reality was quite the opposite.

"Netanyahu has said many times that he would be prepared to meet and negotiate with Syria, as long as [Damascus] does not set any preconditions. Unfortunately, Syria is the one that is setting obstacles [to peace]," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement overnight Wednesday.

Vice Premier Silvan Shalom made similar remarks to Army Radio on Thursday morning, saying that he supports and has always supported holding peace talks with Syria. "The peace process with Damascus is much more ripe than the Palestinian process," Shalom told the radio station.

On Wednesday, in a meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, Assad said that “Israel is not serious about achieving peace since all facts point out that Israel is pushing the region towards war, not peace."

-Joint Israel Defense Forces, Israel Security Agency and Israeli Police Announcement-

IDF Spokesperson February 1st, 2010

Explosive Devices Located Today on Israeli Public Beaches

Three Days Ago, Palestinian Terrorist Organizations Claim Responsibility for
Maritime Explosive Devices

On January 29th, a number of Palestinian terrorist organizations claimed
responsibility for a maritime terrorist attack following the detonation of
two sea-born explosive devices at a distance of approximately two Kilometers
off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

This morning, February 1st, 2010, Israeli civilians reported seeing a
suspicious unidentified object lying on the Barnea beach, a public beach in
the coastal city of Ashkelon. Israeli Police sappers examined the object to
be an explosive device. A similar object was later located at one of the
beaches in Ashdod, another Israeli city located farther north on the Israeli
Mediterranean coast. The device was detonated in a controlled manner by the
Israeli police.

The terrorist organizations who took responsibility for the original attack
are the Fatah military wing, known as "Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades", the
Popular Resistance Committees military wing, known as "Saladin Brigades" and
the Palestinian Islamic Jihad military wing, known as the"Al-Quds Brigades".

To be attributed to security sources
Israeli security forces, including the Israel Navy, are taking all measures
required to protect the citizens of Israel from threats of this kind.

IDF: No plans to deploy anti-missile system in Sderot

By Amos Harel Haaretz Last update - 04:03 03/02/2010

The Israel Defense Forces says it has no intention at this stage of
permanently deploying the Iron Dome system to protect Sderot against rocket
attacks. The army expects to have a battery operational by May.

According to an IDF plan, the battery will initially be deployed at air
force bases in the south and will be set up elsewhere only during
significant escalations on the Gaza border.

In the past three years, government ministers have repeatedly promised that
the batteries would be deployed in the field and would effectively defend
communities near the Gaza Strip. Sderot has been mentioned several times as
the first town to benefit from the new system because of the many rocket
attacks it has suffered over the past eight years.

Much of the testing for Iron Dome was completed over the past month. In one
especially impressive test in the Negev, the system downed several barrages
of incoming rockets. Defense officials announced that by March air defense
units would receive the first battery, which would be declared operational
by May.

However, Haaretz has learned that acquiring and deploying the system will
apparently be much slower than the development efforts by Rafael Advanced
Defense Systems; the company completed its work in record time - two and a
half years. The current plan is to acquire a relatively small number of
batteries and a limited number of missiles and avoid deploying them in the

A senior source in the General Staff explained that two tests of the system
still need to be carried out. "We are still not at the decision stage on the
way the system will be used," the source said. "We need to fully evaluate
the missile's capabilities and only then determine the extent of the

Media misunderstanding

The source said the media had failed to understand the real purpose of the
system; reporters have described Iron Dome as a routine means for
intercepting Qassam rockets and Grad-type Katyushas.

"This is a system that is expected to counter much bigger rockets that may
be in the Gaza Strip, like the Fajr-5," he said. The Iranian-made Fajr-5 is
in Hezbollah's arsenal and has a range of 75 kilometers. It carries a
warhead of between 100 and 150 kilograms.

On the other hand, the source says, bomb shelters and the "Color Red"
air-raid alarm will remain the main way to deal with Qassams and Katyushas.

"There is no point in routinely firing intercept missiles against a single
Qassam," the source said, noting that Qassam attacks have been rare since
Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip a year ago. "Iron Dome should
be used at times of escalation or against bigger rockets."

Another factor, apparently, is that since the number of operational
batteries will be small at the outset, the IDF wants to avoid a situation in
which one town receives permanent protection while its neighbor remains

"The IDF developed its operational doctrine for the Iron Dome system by
taking a comprehensive view, out of an understanding that it is necessary to
provide an effective response to a wide range of threats, and in several
theaters of operation, on short notice," the IDF Spokesman's Office said.

"The Iron Dome system is a mobile one, and the location of the batteries
will be chosen in accordance with our assessment of the security situation,
which will be examined shortly before the system is declared ready for
operational use."

It seems that two considerations lie behind the plan for using the system:
budget constraints and Iron Dome's position on the IDF's priority list. The
IDF decided that the system would be operated by air defense units, but a
decision has not yet been made on which procurement budget will supply the
funds for purchasing it.

Thus, at the current stage, the decision will apparently be to procure only
five to seven batteries and a limited number of intercept missiles. Many
more batteries would be required to protect the areas near the Gaza Strip
and along the northern border.

At the same time, the IDF recently canceled plans to purchase tens of
millions of dollars worth of one type of anti-aircraft missile and froze a
planned purchase of another type of missile.

Thus the fear is that, for all defense officials' talk about the project's
importance, Iron Dome will have trouble competing for funding against very
expensive projects that are dearer to the air force's heart. These include
the the F-35 fighter jet and more-intensive training. If so, the IDF will
apparently have to find funding for Iron Dome outside the air force's
budget, something Defense Minister Ehud Barak has recently been working on.

One possibility under consideration is selling Iron Dome to an Asian
country, which would bring down the price of each system by increasing sales
volume. Representatives of that country witnessed last month's test in the
Negev and expressed interest in buying the system.

In any case, the period is over for playing down the rocket threat; this
attitude had delayed the development of a short-range missile interception
system by seven years. But this message may not have been internalized at
every level of the defense establishment, because for all the talk about
missile defense, Israel has yet to significantly change its priorities.

Two months ago, at a meeting on the missile threat, the head of the IDF's
research and development program, Brig. Gen. Danny Gold, briefed Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the means available for defending against
missile attacks. He began with deterrent measures and ways of targeting
launchers, leaving defensive measures to the end of his presentation.

Rafael's chief executive, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yedidia Ya'ari, could not
restrain himself: He interrupted Gold to warn that "if there is no defense,
there will also be no offense."

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