Why No American President Will Stand Up to Israel

The Lobby

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Experts in the West and ordinary people in Arab lands have understood for many years that the United States does not have an independent policy toward the Middle East. President Jimmy Carter, a man of good will, tried to use American influence to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the source of dangerous instability in the Middle East. However, Israel was able to block Carter’s attempt, while blaming Yasser Arafat. Carter’s plan would have given rise to a Palestinian state. Israel did not want any such state, because obvious military aggression is necessary in order to steal the territory of an official state with defined borders. It is much easier to steal land from a non-state.

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Israeli jets violate Syrian airspace and drop bombs, but news headlines everywhere proclaim "Syria fires on Israeli war planes"! Updated

Update 9/16/07

IT was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way.

At a rendezvous point on the ground, a Shaldag air force commando team was waiting to direct their laser beams at the target for the approaching jets. The team had arrived a day earlier, taking up position near a large underground depot. Soon the bunkers were in flames.

Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.

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Related:

The Axis Threw A Spoke

The Times of London believes that the Axis of Evil just “threw a spoke” after an Israeli attack demolished a joint Syrian-North Korean nuclear weapons project. Sources tell the Times that the attack successfully destroyed the facility and anything inside, as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent his nephew to check on the damage:

IT was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way.

At a rendezvous point on the ground, a Shaldag air force commando team was waiting to direct their laser beams at the target for the approaching jets. The team had arrived a day earlier, taking up position near a large underground depot. Soon the bunkers were in flames.

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Update 9/10/07

clipped from www.military.com

JERUSALEM – Israeli warplanes may have been testing air routes for a possible attack against Iran when they were fired on by Syrian forces, experts said yesterday.

The official Syrian Arab News Agency Thursday quoted a military official as saying that Israeli jets broke the sound barrier flying over northern Syria earlier in the day, then “dropped munitions” onto deserted areas after being shot at by Syria’s air defenses.

Israel’s air force may have been testing an air path to Iran, in case it decides to carry out an attack against that country’s nuclear facilities, analysts said.

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9/6/07
Syria fires on Israeli war planes – Yahoo! News

No Bias Here.

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Israeli jets violate Syrian airspace and drop bombs, but news headlines everywhere proclaim "Syria fires on Israeli war planes"! Updated

Update 9/16/07

IT was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way.

At a rendezvous point on the ground, a Shaldag air force commando team was waiting to direct their laser beams at the target for the approaching jets. The team had arrived a day earlier, taking up position near a large underground depot. Soon the bunkers were in flames.

Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.

blog it

Related:

The Axis Threw A Spoke

The Times of London believes that the Axis of Evil just “threw a spoke” after an Israeli attack demolished a joint Syrian-North Korean nuclear weapons project. Sources tell the Times that the attack successfully destroyed the facility and anything inside, as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent his nephew to check on the damage:

IT was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way.

At a rendezvous point on the ground, a Shaldag air force commando team was waiting to direct their laser beams at the target for the approaching jets. The team had arrived a day earlier, taking up position near a large underground depot. Soon the bunkers were in flames.

blog it

Update 9/10/07

clipped from www.military.com

JERUSALEM – Israeli warplanes may have been testing air routes for a possible attack against Iran when they were fired on by Syrian forces, experts said yesterday.

The official Syrian Arab News Agency Thursday quoted a military official as saying that Israeli jets broke the sound barrier flying over northern Syria earlier in the day, then “dropped munitions” onto deserted areas after being shot at by Syria’s air defenses.

Israel’s air force may have been testing an air path to Iran, in case it decides to carry out an attack against that country’s nuclear facilities, analysts said.

blog it

9/6/07
Syria fires on Israeli war planes – Yahoo! News

No Bias Here.

Tags: , , ,

A7News: Attempted Return to Nisanit in Northern Gaza

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Attempted Return to Nisanit in Northern Gaza

The day before the 2nd anniversary of the forced expulsion from Gush Katif, a bid to rebuild Nisanit is attempted. 70 families find a solution.

  1. Attempted Return to Nisanit in Northern Gaza
  2. ‘Guns for Force 17 Will Be Used Against Israeli Citizens’
  3. IDF Strikes Down Senior Islamic Jihad Terrorists in the PA
  4. IDF Arrests Driver of the Netanya Mall Bomber
  5. Safety First: Helmets for Bicycles, Seat Belts on Shoulders
  6. Naval Commander of Second Lebanon War Resigns
  7. Abbas to Change PA Law in Bid to Give Edge to Fatah
  8. Ramon Pushes Final Status Talks with PA
  9. Israel National TV: The Struggle For Givat HaEitam

TV Programs
July 26: Hundreds ascend to Givat HaEitam

Interview – Gush Katif Evacuee Debby Rosen


Radio Programs
Audio: Parshat Va’etchanan Click to Listen
Audio: A Second Western Wall? In Berlin? Click to Listen

1. Attempted Return to Nisanit in Northern Gaza

by Hillel Fendel and Ezra HaLevi

The day before the 2nd anniversary of the beginning of the forced expulsion from Gush Katif, which falls on Friday, a bid to rebuild Nisanit, in northern Gaza, is attempted.

In 96-degree (Farhrenheit; 36 degrees Centigrade) heat on Thursday afternoon, hundreds of former Gush Katif residents and current-day sympathizers attempted to march towards northern Gaza. They wished to revisit – and ultimately, to rebuild – the site of the northernmost destroyed community, Nisanit.

Dugit and Elei Sinai were the two other now-destroyed Jewish towns in northern Gaza.

Led by Rabbis Shmuel Eliyahu of Tzfat and Yishai Bar-Hen of the Jewish towns in northern Gaza, as well as MKs Uri Ariel and Aryeh Eldad, the group convened at the Yad Mordechai junction. They started their march outside the kibbutz, one that staved off the Egyptian army for six days in 1948, preventing Egypt from conquering Israel’s Mediterranean coastline and coastal plain.

The marchers made their way about three kilometers south to Netiv HaAsarah, but were then stopped by burly Border Guard policemen. The latter stood with their arms intertwined, forming a human wall against the group longing to see Nisanit become Jewish once more. Checkpoints were deployed all along the way, stopping many who wished to join the group.

A 14-year-old girl drew attention when she pleaded with a stoic policeman to “at least hold an Israeli flag! Are you brave enough to do that?” Nearly in tears, she said, “I just want to be able to mourn my old home at the fence of northern Gaza!”

Famous evacuee Avi Farhan, who lived in Elei Sinai and who was also forcibly removed from his Sinai home in Yamit in 1982, is among the organizers of the event. Speaking with Arutz-7 from the site, he wished to convey this message: “We want to go home. The government has not rehabilitated us. We are rolling around in rented apartments and temporary sites. The government should just correct the mistake and let us go home! Northern Gaza was never populated by Arabs, and even now, the army is deployed there – because it is from there that the terrorists fire Kassams at the Negev and Ashkelon. Keeping this area Jewish is the charge of the hour. The infrastructures are there, and we want to rebuild our homes!”

Farhan was evicted from the town of Yamit following the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979. He moved from Yamit to Elei Sinai at the behest of none other than Ariel Sharon. Farhan related that on his way to setting up a protest refugee camp in 1982, “Uri Bar-On, an aide of [then-Defense Minister] Arik Sharon, came to see me and said, ‘Arik says that instead of protesting and starting a refugee camp, why don’t you start a new community in the Erez area, in northern Gaza?’ And so we did! We started the town of Elei Sinai [followed later by Dugit and Nisanit], at the behest of [Arik] Sharon!”

Other Gush Katif News
Seventy families currently living in Yad Binyamin have signed an agreement with the government for the construction of permanent homes there. This is only the third Gush Katif group that has done so. Comprising families from several different communities, such as Gadid, Gan-Or, Netzer Hazani and others, they will build a new neighborhood called Shvut Katif – the Return to Katif.

The families of now-destroyed Ganei Tal have created an exhibit in their temporary home town of Yad Binyamin depicting various aspects of life in Gush Katif. The exhibit will be on display in the “Shavei Katif” (Katif Returnees) Hall in Yad Binyamin, along the Nachshon-Bnei Re’em highway, for the next week. Admission is free.

American Jewish Youth Donate to Gush Katif Family

American Jewish youth visiting Israel as part of a pluralist camp program decided to donate all their charity money to a family expelled from Gush Katif after a chance encounter near the Knesset.

Last Sunday, the group of high school seniors visited Israel’s Supreme Court. Following the tour of the building where the fate of Gaza’s Jewish towns was sealed following last-ditch petitions against the expulsion, the young people walked through the nearby Rose Garden – located between the court and the Knesset. Gush Katif refugees had camped out in the park to protest that fact that two years have passed since their displacement and they still have not been rehabilitated.

There they met a woman who had lost both her son and brother while living in Gush Katif. She had cooperated with the government following the decision to relinquish Gaza, but said she had been mistreated and neglected ever since.

“It has been two years and we still live in a double-wide caravan,” she told the visiting American Jews. “We have to dip into the compensation our children received just to put food on the table.”

The campers, who had been putting money aside each week before the Sabbath, decided then and there that they wanted their money to help the woman and her family.

The Na’aleh Program, run by Camp Yavneh, consists of 36 young Jews from Boston, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida.

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2. ‘Guns for Force 17 Will Be Used Against Israeli Citizens’

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

Shortly after it was made public on Thursday that Israel approved the transfer of thousands of assault weapons from Jordan to the Palestinian Authority, Likud Knesset Member and faction chief Gideon Saar warned that the guns will be used against Israelis. A Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terrorist said that, in any case, the guns will end up in different hands than those for which they are intended.

The transfer of 3,000 guns – some reports said 1,000 – from Jordan to PA forces in Jericho was apparently approved by the Israeli government this week. The guns are earmarked for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s elite Force 17 militia. It will be the largest such weapons transfer in several years.

In reaction to the news of the intent to further equip PA forces, MK Saar said, “This is an irresponsible move by [Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert and [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak. It is based on totally ignoring our past experience and lessons, which show that the guns will be used against Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers. Fatah has no lack of weapons.”
The guns will end up in different hands than those for which they are intended.

PRC spokesman Muhammad Abdul El (“Abu Abir”) seemed to confirm MK Saar’s warnings: “The PA hasn’t learned from Gaza, as we warned in the past, that the weapons transferred to Gaza would eventually end up in the hands of the Palestinian resistance. So we promise that these weapons will end up in the hands of the Palestinian resistance.”

Thousands of weapons given to Abbas’s Fatah militias ended up in Hamas hands during the Hamas takeover of Gaza.

The PRC is a local Gaza confederation of armed factions from several PA terrorist groups, operating in unison under a Hamas umbrella. The PRC was one of three terrorist groups that kidnapped IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit in June 2006. Shalit’s exact whereabouts and condition are currently unknown.

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3. IDF Strikes Down Senior Islamic Jihad Terrorists in the PA

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

In counter-terrorism operations on Thursday, IDF forces successfully killed or arrested several wanted Islamic Jihad terrorists. Meanwhile, enemy attacks continue, including attempts to tear down the security barrier under construction in Judea and Samaria.
An IDF airstrike near Gaza City killed three senior Islamic Jihad terrorists.

An IDF airstrike near Gaza City killed three senior Islamic Jihad terrorists on Thursday afternoon. Local Arabs said the men were driving south of the city when the missile hit. Islamic Jihad spokesmen confirmed that Omer Al-Khatib, the group’s Gaza City military commander, was killed in the strike. The other two dead terrorists were identified as Khalil Al-Daife and Ahmed El-Halawi.

IDF sources said that Al-Khatib was responsible for an attempted attack on Kissufim crossing in June. Al-Khatib was also behind the arrest and torture of an Arab man suspected of assisting Israel; the man died in prison of torture wounds. IDF officials also denied Arab claims that Israel had attempted to assassinate Al-Khatib earlier in the week. Local Arabs, however, claimed that a missile was fired at Khatib’s house shortly after he received a phone call from an Israeli number.

A second Islamic Jihad commander was taken out of circulation by IDF forces operating in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Tulkarem on Thursday. A Border Guard unit arrested Adham Younis, a leader of Islamic Jihad operatives in Tulkarem. Younis was responsible for transporting a suicide bomber to nearby Netanya in 2005, police said. The bomber detonated in the Sharon Mall, killing six Israelis and wounding dozens. Younis was also responsible for coordinating an attempted suicide bombing in February 2007, and he was involved in dozens of attempted bombings and shooting attacks in Judea and Samaria.

Other IDF airstrikes throughout the day on Thursday killed or wounded at least seven Palestinian Authority terrorists in Gaza.

A PA gunman was killed by an IAF missile in south-central Gaza, near the town of Khan
IDF airstrikes throughout the day.
Younis, on Thursday morning. Later, three Islamic Jihad terrorists were wounded when an Israeli missile struck their vehicle as it traveled in northern Gaza. The terrorists were on their way to launch a rocket attack when they were hit, according to the IDF spokesman. Two other PA terrorists preparing to launch Kassam rockets from northern Gaza were hit by IAF missiles on Thursday afternoon. Their launching equipment was destroyed in the airstrike, and both terrorists were wounded. On Thursday evening, a Hamas terrorist was killed in another airstrike in Gaza. Three other terrorists were wounded in that attack.

Meanwhile, IDF soldiers on the ground in southern Gaza fired at two enemy gunmen carrying an anti-tank missile. The two potential attackers were spotted making their way towards the soldiers. No information was available on the condition of the PA gunmen.

In a security incident in eastern Gush Etzion on Thursday morning, a 21-year-old PA resident armed with a knife approached several IDF soldiers near Tekoa and tried to stab them. A soldier who was about to shoot the attacker feared that he might hit a fellow soldier at such close proximity, so the rescuing soldier beat the perpetrator with his club instead. An IDF paramedic force arrived to give the knife-wielding assailant medical treatment, but he died of his wounds. No IDF injuries were reported.

In related PA attacks, enemy forces in northern Gaza fired two mortar shells towards the western Negev on Thursday night. The shells landed near Kissufim crossing. No injuries were reported in the attack. According to IDF officials, mortar attacks have increased in frequency since last year. Terrorists fired at least 12 mortars earlier in the week, 11 of which landed near Kissufim.

Near the Arab village of Burka, northwest of Shechem, Arab attackers threw several firebombs at IDF soldiers on Thursday night. IDF forces searched the area and found two additional Molotov cocktails.
20 extreme-left Israeli activists attacked a security fence.

PA Attacks on Civilian Targets
In PA attacks on civilian targets on Thursday, Gaza terrorists fired two Kassam rockets at the western Negev in the afternoon. The rockets hit greenhouses in Netiv HaAsarah.

Thursday night, Arab terrorists fired at least four rockets at Sderot. One of them scored a direct hit on a home in the center of the Negev city. The building was vacated recently, after its owner died. Several people nearby were treated for shock. A rocket landed north of Sderot, as well, and others struck near Negev agricultural communities adjacent to the city.

Near Hevron, a group of roughly 20 extreme-left Israeli activists attacked a security fence on Thursday, tearing down 20 meters of it. The destroyed section was located near the Arab village of Tzurif. The Hevron-area fence is part of the larger security barrier under construction in Judea and Samaria. The leftist vandals claimed that the fence has a negative impact on local Arabs’ quality of life and that it was built on Arab-owned land.

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4. IDF Arrests Driver of the Netanya Mall Bomber

by Hana Levi Julian

Security forces operating in Jenin have captured one of the terrorists responsible for the December, 2005 bombing of a mall in Netanya.

The driver, 22-year-old Adham Mahmad Yunis, drove the suicide bombers to the Sharon shopping mall, located on one of the coastal city’s main streets, where they blew themselves up at the entrance to the building.

Six people were murdered in the attack, including the security guard, who stopped the bomber from entering the mall. Scores of others were wounded in the attack, several critically.

Yunis was a resident of the Samaria city of Tulkarem, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority and located a few kilometers east of Netanya.

The area, which is technically under Israeli control,had been handed over to the PA several months earlier, on the condition its armed forces would fight terrorism and disarm terror groups operating from the area.

The bombers and their driver were members of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, whose leaders had met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Syria just a few days prior to the attack.

Yunis was also involved in sending a terrorist to carry out an attack in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam in February 2005. That attack failed.

The December 2005 was the second such attack on the Sharon mall. In the previous attack, the bomber was also stopped by security guards before entering the building. Five people were murdered and dozens of others wounded in that attack as well.

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5. Safety First: Helmets for Bicycles, Seat Belts on Shoulders

by Hillel Fendel

The Knesset has passed a law requiring helmets for bicycle riders and skateboarders, and a Haifa court rules that car seat belts must be worn over the shoulder.

The Knesset passed the final readings of a law Wednesday evening designed to enhance road safety for bicyclists. The new law, which will take effect two months from now, stipulates that all riders of bicycles, skateboards, scooters and the like must wear government-approved helmets. Helmet-wearing has been shown to prevent more than 80% of all serious bicycle injuries.

The law was sponsored by MK Gilad Erdan of the Likud.

Bicycling organizations opposed the law, saying it would reduce the number of people who chose to ride bicycles. MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) said the law should apply only to children, but not to adults who use bicycles as a means of transportation.
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Seatbelts Over Shoulders
In another safety issue, the Haifa District Court overturned an earlier ruling, and determined that car drivers and passengers are required to wear shoulder seatbelts over the shoulder, and may not fasten them under the armpit.

Judge Menachem Finkelstein, accepting the State’s appeal of a lower court ruling, convicted the driver in question, A.S., of driving without a seatbelt because it was fastened under his arm. The driver was required to pay a fine of 500 shekels.

Judge Finkelstein explained that the seatbelt requirement stipulates that the belt be worn in a safe manner, i.e., that it embrace his chest up to the shoulder in order that the wearer not be thrown forward in the event of an accident. Use of a seatbelt not in accordance with the way it was meant to be worn, the judge ruled, does not lead to the desired goal of increasing safety, and is merely an attempt to evade the law.

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6. Naval Commander of Second Lebanon War Resigns

by Ezra HaLevi

The head of Israel’s Navy is the latest top official involved in the Second Lebanon War to tender his resignation.

Maj.-Gen. David Ben Bashat handed in his letter of resignation Thursday to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

Ben Bashat served as head of the Navy for the past three years and in various other capacities in the IDF for the past 37.

Ben Bashat joins former Defense Minister Amir Peretz, former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, IDF Galilee Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Gal Hirsch and Brig.-Gen. Erez Zuckerman, all of whom resigned in disgrace after being censured in probes of the management of the war.

The Navy chief had been called upon to resign since the end of the war, following several blunders, including the strike on the SS Hanit by an Iranian missile fired by Hizbullah. That attack killed four soldiers – St.-Sgt. Dov Shternshuss, Sgt. Shai Attias, Sgt. Yaniv Herskovitz and St.-Sgt. Tal Amgar – and wounded dozens. It was later reported that a missile shield that would have protected the ship was simply not turned on, since Naval Intelligence did not believe Hizbullah possessed such weaponry.

The commander of the IDF elite Naval Commando unit issued a harsh letter to Ben Bashat when he himself stepped down following the war. He accused Ben Bashat of failing to properly investigate the Hanit attack.

If not for his resignation, Maj.-Gen. Ben Bashat would serve as Navy commander until April, 2008. Candidates to replace Ben Bashat are Brig.-Gen. Yuval Zur and Brig.-Gen. Eli Marom – both former heads of Naval Central Command. According to the IDF, no date has been set for appointing a new commander, but it expected to be decided upon in the near future.

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7. Abbas to Change PA Law in Bid to Give Edge to Fatah

by Ezra HaLevi

Fatah Chief and PA President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that he would adjust PA electoral law in order to try to prevent Hamas from winning the next election.

Hamas trounced Abbas’s Fatah group in the most recent elections, despite pollster’s predictions of a Fatah victory and assistance offered Fatah by Israel and the US.

Abbas refused to say whether elections would take place this year – a promise he made in the past. The Fatah chief said elections would be held in both Judea and Samaria as well as Gaza – something that will prove difficult as Hamas, which controls Gaza, objects to early elections.

Abbas said that the changes to the elections law would outlaw constituency seats in parliament. Half of the seats were allocated based on local constituencies and Hamas doubled Fatah’s numbers in that regard.

“I will use Article 43 of the Basic Law, which gives me the power to make those changes, to change the electoral law to a single national list instead of having two lists, one national and one by constituencies,” Abbas said ahead of a meeting with the PA Elections Commission Friday.

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8. Ramon Pushes Final Status Talks with PA

by Hana Levi Julian

Deputy Prime Minister Chaim Ramon urged the government Friday to join Fatah PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in his drive to move immediately to final status talks.

“I believe right now we have a partner. I don’t know for how long, so we must move quickly,” said Ramon in an interview on Voice of Israel government radio. The former Justice Minister is one of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s closest allies in the cabinet.

Abbas has raised the issue of final status talks in every one of his meetings with Olmert over the past year, but the Prime Minister has side-stepped the issue.

“We have been very clear that we are not willing to discuss at this stage the three core issues of borders, refugees and Jerusalem,” said Miri Eisen, spokesperson for the Prime Minister last week.

Now his Number Two is bluntly saying there is no choice but to do precisely that – and fast. He also recommended the deployment of NATO forces as IDF troops are withdrawn from each area.

Ramon’s vision of the final agreement, he said, includes withdrawal from most of Judea and Samaria. “In my eyes, the occupation of the territories threatens our very existence, our legitimacy and our international standing,” he said.

The deputy prime minister maintained that Abbas and his Prime Minister/Finance Minister Salam Fayyad, are the first PA leaders with whom Israel can talk and come to a bilateral agreement.

He stopped short of giving specific details of how much land he would hand over to the PA, however.

Abbas reiterated this week that he is ready and willing to finalize a final status agreement by next fall.

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9. Israel National TV: The Struggle For Givat HaEitam

The struggle for Givat HaEitam was launched Wednesday. Israel National TV brings you there.

Click here if video does not appear

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Friday, Jul. 27 ’07
12 Av 5767

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A7News: Attempted Return to Nisanit in Northern Gaza

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Attempted Return to Nisanit in Northern Gaza

The day before the 2nd anniversary of the forced expulsion from Gush Katif, a bid to rebuild Nisanit is attempted. 70 families find a solution.

  1. Attempted Return to Nisanit in Northern Gaza
  2. ‘Guns for Force 17 Will Be Used Against Israeli Citizens’
  3. IDF Strikes Down Senior Islamic Jihad Terrorists in the PA
  4. IDF Arrests Driver of the Netanya Mall Bomber
  5. Safety First: Helmets for Bicycles, Seat Belts on Shoulders
  6. Naval Commander of Second Lebanon War Resigns
  7. Abbas to Change PA Law in Bid to Give Edge to Fatah
  8. Ramon Pushes Final Status Talks with PA
  9. Israel National TV: The Struggle For Givat HaEitam

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1. Attempted Return to Nisanit in Northern Gaza

by Hillel Fendel and Ezra HaLevi

The day before the 2nd anniversary of the beginning of the forced expulsion from Gush Katif, which falls on Friday, a bid to rebuild Nisanit, in northern Gaza, is attempted.

In 96-degree (Farhrenheit; 36 degrees Centigrade) heat on Thursday afternoon, hundreds of former Gush Katif residents and current-day sympathizers attempted to march towards northern Gaza. They wished to revisit – and ultimately, to rebuild – the site of the northernmost destroyed community, Nisanit.

Dugit and Elei Sinai were the two other now-destroyed Jewish towns in northern Gaza.

Led by Rabbis Shmuel Eliyahu of Tzfat and Yishai Bar-Hen of the Jewish towns in northern Gaza, as well as MKs Uri Ariel and Aryeh Eldad, the group convened at the Yad Mordechai junction. They started their march outside the kibbutz, one that staved off the Egyptian army for six days in 1948, preventing Egypt from conquering Israel’s Mediterranean coastline and coastal plain.

The marchers made their way about three kilometers south to Netiv HaAsarah, but were then stopped by burly Border Guard policemen. The latter stood with their arms intertwined, forming a human wall against the group longing to see Nisanit become Jewish once more. Checkpoints were deployed all along the way, stopping many who wished to join the group.

A 14-year-old girl drew attention when she pleaded with a stoic policeman to “at least hold an Israeli flag! Are you brave enough to do that?” Nearly in tears, she said, “I just want to be able to mourn my old home at the fence of northern Gaza!”

Famous evacuee Avi Farhan, who lived in Elei Sinai and who was also forcibly removed from his Sinai home in Yamit in 1982, is among the organizers of the event. Speaking with Arutz-7 from the site, he wished to convey this message: “We want to go home. The government has not rehabilitated us. We are rolling around in rented apartments and temporary sites. The government should just correct the mistake and let us go home! Northern Gaza was never populated by Arabs, and even now, the army is deployed there – because it is from there that the terrorists fire Kassams at the Negev and Ashkelon. Keeping this area Jewish is the charge of the hour. The infrastructures are there, and we want to rebuild our homes!”

Farhan was evicted from the town of Yamit following the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979. He moved from Yamit to Elei Sinai at the behest of none other than Ariel Sharon. Farhan related that on his way to setting up a protest refugee camp in 1982, “Uri Bar-On, an aide of [then-Defense Minister] Arik Sharon, came to see me and said, ‘Arik says that instead of protesting and starting a refugee camp, why don’t you start a new community in the Erez area, in northern Gaza?’ And so we did! We started the town of Elei Sinai [followed later by Dugit and Nisanit], at the behest of [Arik] Sharon!”

Other Gush Katif News
Seventy families currently living in Yad Binyamin have signed an agreement with the government for the construction of permanent homes there. This is only the third Gush Katif group that has done so. Comprising families from several different communities, such as Gadid, Gan-Or, Netzer Hazani and others, they will build a new neighborhood called Shvut Katif – the Return to Katif.

The families of now-destroyed Ganei Tal have created an exhibit in their temporary home town of Yad Binyamin depicting various aspects of life in Gush Katif. The exhibit will be on display in the “Shavei Katif” (Katif Returnees) Hall in Yad Binyamin, along the Nachshon-Bnei Re’em highway, for the next week. Admission is free.

American Jewish Youth Donate to Gush Katif Family

American Jewish youth visiting Israel as part of a pluralist camp program decided to donate all their charity money to a family expelled from Gush Katif after a chance encounter near the Knesset.

Last Sunday, the group of high school seniors visited Israel’s Supreme Court. Following the tour of the building where the fate of Gaza’s Jewish towns was sealed following last-ditch petitions against the expulsion, the young people walked through the nearby Rose Garden – located between the court and the Knesset. Gush Katif refugees had camped out in the park to protest that fact that two years have passed since their displacement and they still have not been rehabilitated.

There they met a woman who had lost both her son and brother while living in Gush Katif. She had cooperated with the government following the decision to relinquish Gaza, but said she had been mistreated and neglected ever since.

“It has been two years and we still live in a double-wide caravan,” she told the visiting American Jews. “We have to dip into the compensation our children received just to put food on the table.”

The campers, who had been putting money aside each week before the Sabbath, decided then and there that they wanted their money to help the woman and her family.

The Na’aleh Program, run by Camp Yavneh, consists of 36 young Jews from Boston, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida.

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2. ‘Guns for Force 17 Will Be Used Against Israeli Citizens’

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

Shortly after it was made public on Thursday that Israel approved the transfer of thousands of assault weapons from Jordan to the Palestinian Authority, Likud Knesset Member and faction chief Gideon Saar warned that the guns will be used against Israelis. A Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terrorist said that, in any case, the guns will end up in different hands than those for which they are intended.

The transfer of 3,000 guns – some reports said 1,000 – from Jordan to PA forces in Jericho was apparently approved by the Israeli government this week. The guns are earmarked for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s elite Force 17 militia. It will be the largest such weapons transfer in several years.

In reaction to the news of the intent to further equip PA forces, MK Saar said, “This is an irresponsible move by [Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert and [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak. It is based on totally ignoring our past experience and lessons, which show that the guns will be used against Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers. Fatah has no lack of weapons.”
The guns will end up in different hands than those for which they are intended.

PRC spokesman Muhammad Abdul El (“Abu Abir”) seemed to confirm MK Saar’s warnings: “The PA hasn’t learned from Gaza, as we warned in the past, that the weapons transferred to Gaza would eventually end up in the hands of the Palestinian resistance. So we promise that these weapons will end up in the hands of the Palestinian resistance.”

Thousands of weapons given to Abbas’s Fatah militias ended up in Hamas hands during the Hamas takeover of Gaza.

The PRC is a local Gaza confederation of armed factions from several PA terrorist groups, operating in unison under a Hamas umbrella. The PRC was one of three terrorist groups that kidnapped IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit in June 2006. Shalit’s exact whereabouts and condition are currently unknown.

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3. IDF Strikes Down Senior Islamic Jihad Terrorists in the PA

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

In counter-terrorism operations on Thursday, IDF forces successfully killed or arrested several wanted Islamic Jihad terrorists. Meanwhile, enemy attacks continue, including attempts to tear down the security barrier under construction in Judea and Samaria.
An IDF airstrike near Gaza City killed three senior Islamic Jihad terrorists.

An IDF airstrike near Gaza City killed three senior Islamic Jihad terrorists on Thursday afternoon. Local Arabs said the men were driving south of the city when the missile hit. Islamic Jihad spokesmen confirmed that Omer Al-Khatib, the group’s Gaza City military commander, was killed in the strike. The other two dead terrorists were identified as Khalil Al-Daife and Ahmed El-Halawi.

IDF sources said that Al-Khatib was responsible for an attempted attack on Kissufim crossing in June. Al-Khatib was also behind the arrest and torture of an Arab man suspected of assisting Israel; the man died in prison of torture wounds. IDF officials also denied Arab claims that Israel had attempted to assassinate Al-Khatib earlier in the week. Local Arabs, however, claimed that a missile was fired at Khatib’s house shortly after he received a phone call from an Israeli number.

A second Islamic Jihad commander was taken out of circulation by IDF forces operating in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Tulkarem on Thursday. A Border Guard unit arrested Adham Younis, a leader of Islamic Jihad operatives in Tulkarem. Younis was responsible for transporting a suicide bomber to nearby Netanya in 2005, police said. The bomber detonated in the Sharon Mall, killing six Israelis and wounding dozens. Younis was also responsible for coordinating an attempted suicide bombing in February 2007, and he was involved in dozens of attempted bombings and shooting attacks in Judea and Samaria.

Other IDF airstrikes throughout the day on Thursday killed or wounded at least seven Palestinian Authority terrorists in Gaza.

A PA gunman was killed by an IAF missile in south-central Gaza, near the town of Khan
IDF airstrikes throughout the day.
Younis, on Thursday morning. Later, three Islamic Jihad terrorists were wounded when an Israeli missile struck their vehicle as it traveled in northern Gaza. The terrorists were on their way to launch a rocket attack when they were hit, according to the IDF spokesman. Two other PA terrorists preparing to launch Kassam rockets from northern Gaza were hit by IAF missiles on Thursday afternoon. Their launching equipment was destroyed in the airstrike, and both terrorists were wounded. On Thursday evening, a Hamas terrorist was killed in another airstrike in Gaza. Three other terrorists were wounded in that attack.

Meanwhile, IDF soldiers on the ground in southern Gaza fired at two enemy gunmen carrying an anti-tank missile. The two potential attackers were spotted making their way towards the soldiers. No information was available on the condition of the PA gunmen.

In a security incident in eastern Gush Etzion on Thursday morning, a 21-year-old PA resident armed with a knife approached several IDF soldiers near Tekoa and tried to stab them. A soldier who was about to shoot the attacker feared that he might hit a fellow soldier at such close proximity, so the rescuing soldier beat the perpetrator with his club instead. An IDF paramedic force arrived to give the knife-wielding assailant medical treatment, but he died of his wounds. No IDF injuries were reported.

In related PA attacks, enemy forces in northern Gaza fired two mortar shells towards the western Negev on Thursday night. The shells landed near Kissufim crossing. No injuries were reported in the attack. According to IDF officials, mortar attacks have increased in frequency since last year. Terrorists fired at least 12 mortars earlier in the week, 11 of which landed near Kissufim.

Near the Arab village of Burka, northwest of Shechem, Arab attackers threw several firebombs at IDF soldiers on Thursday night. IDF forces searched the area and found two additional Molotov cocktails.
20 extreme-left Israeli activists attacked a security fence.

PA Attacks on Civilian Targets
In PA attacks on civilian targets on Thursday, Gaza terrorists fired two Kassam rockets at the western Negev in the afternoon. The rockets hit greenhouses in Netiv HaAsarah.

Thursday night, Arab terrorists fired at least four rockets at Sderot. One of them scored a direct hit on a home in the center of the Negev city. The building was vacated recently, after its owner died. Several people nearby were treated for shock. A rocket landed north of Sderot, as well, and others struck near Negev agricultural communities adjacent to the city.

Near Hevron, a group of roughly 20 extreme-left Israeli activists attacked a security fence on Thursday, tearing down 20 meters of it. The destroyed section was located near the Arab village of Tzurif. The Hevron-area fence is part of the larger security barrier under construction in Judea and Samaria. The leftist vandals claimed that the fence has a negative impact on local Arabs’ quality of life and that it was built on Arab-owned land.

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4. IDF Arrests Driver of the Netanya Mall Bomber

by Hana Levi Julian

Security forces operating in Jenin have captured one of the terrorists responsible for the December, 2005 bombing of a mall in Netanya.

The driver, 22-year-old Adham Mahmad Yunis, drove the suicide bombers to the Sharon shopping mall, located on one of the coastal city’s main streets, where they blew themselves up at the entrance to the building.

Six people were murdered in the attack, including the security guard, who stopped the bomber from entering the mall. Scores of others were wounded in the attack, several critically.

Yunis was a resident of the Samaria city of Tulkarem, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority and located a few kilometers east of Netanya.

The area, which is technically under Israeli control,had been handed over to the PA several months earlier, on the condition its armed forces would fight terrorism and disarm terror groups operating from the area.

The bombers and their driver were members of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, whose leaders had met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Syria just a few days prior to the attack.

Yunis was also involved in sending a terrorist to carry out an attack in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam in February 2005. That attack failed.

The December 2005 was the second such attack on the Sharon mall. In the previous attack, the bomber was also stopped by security guards before entering the building. Five people were murdered and dozens of others wounded in that attack as well.

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5. Safety First: Helmets for Bicycles, Seat Belts on Shoulders

by Hillel Fendel

The Knesset has passed a law requiring helmets for bicycle riders and skateboarders, and a Haifa court rules that car seat belts must be worn over the shoulder.

The Knesset passed the final readings of a law Wednesday evening designed to enhance road safety for bicyclists. The new law, which will take effect two months from now, stipulates that all riders of bicycles, skateboards, scooters and the like must wear government-approved helmets. Helmet-wearing has been shown to prevent more than 80% of all serious bicycle injuries.

The law was sponsored by MK Gilad Erdan of the Likud.

Bicycling organizations opposed the law, saying it would reduce the number of people who chose to ride bicycles. MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) said the law should apply only to children, but not to adults who use bicycles as a means of transportation.
?
Seatbelts Over Shoulders
In another safety issue, the Haifa District Court overturned an earlier ruling, and determined that car drivers and passengers are required to wear shoulder seatbelts over the shoulder, and may not fasten them under the armpit.

Judge Menachem Finkelstein, accepting the State’s appeal of a lower court ruling, convicted the driver in question, A.S., of driving without a seatbelt because it was fastened under his arm. The driver was required to pay a fine of 500 shekels.

Judge Finkelstein explained that the seatbelt requirement stipulates that the belt be worn in a safe manner, i.e., that it embrace his chest up to the shoulder in order that the wearer not be thrown forward in the event of an accident. Use of a seatbelt not in accordance with the way it was meant to be worn, the judge ruled, does not lead to the desired goal of increasing safety, and is merely an attempt to evade the law.

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6. Naval Commander of Second Lebanon War Resigns

by Ezra HaLevi

The head of Israel’s Navy is the latest top official involved in the Second Lebanon War to tender his resignation.

Maj.-Gen. David Ben Bashat handed in his letter of resignation Thursday to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

Ben Bashat served as head of the Navy for the past three years and in various other capacities in the IDF for the past 37.

Ben Bashat joins former Defense Minister Amir Peretz, former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, IDF Galilee Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Gal Hirsch and Brig.-Gen. Erez Zuckerman, all of whom resigned in disgrace after being censured in probes of the management of the war.

The Navy chief had been called upon to resign since the end of the war, following several blunders, including the strike on the SS Hanit by an Iranian missile fired by Hizbullah. That attack killed four soldiers – St.-Sgt. Dov Shternshuss, Sgt. Shai Attias, Sgt. Yaniv Herskovitz and St.-Sgt. Tal Amgar – and wounded dozens. It was later reported that a missile shield that would have protected the ship was simply not turned on, since Naval Intelligence did not believe Hizbullah possessed such weaponry.

The commander of the IDF elite Naval Commando unit issued a harsh letter to Ben Bashat when he himself stepped down following the war. He accused Ben Bashat of failing to properly investigate the Hanit attack.

If not for his resignation, Maj.-Gen. Ben Bashat would serve as Navy commander until April, 2008. Candidates to replace Ben Bashat are Brig.-Gen. Yuval Zur and Brig.-Gen. Eli Marom – both former heads of Naval Central Command. According to the IDF, no date has been set for appointing a new commander, but it expected to be decided upon in the near future.

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7. Abbas to Change PA Law in Bid to Give Edge to Fatah

by Ezra HaLevi

Fatah Chief and PA President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that he would adjust PA electoral law in order to try to prevent Hamas from winning the next election.

Hamas trounced Abbas’s Fatah group in the most recent elections, despite pollster’s predictions of a Fatah victory and assistance offered Fatah by Israel and the US.

Abbas refused to say whether elections would take place this year – a promise he made in the past. The Fatah chief said elections would be held in both Judea and Samaria as well as Gaza – something that will prove difficult as Hamas, which controls Gaza, objects to early elections.

Abbas said that the changes to the elections law would outlaw constituency seats in parliament. Half of the seats were allocated based on local constituencies and Hamas doubled Fatah’s numbers in that regard.

“I will use Article 43 of the Basic Law, which gives me the power to make those changes, to change the electoral law to a single national list instead of having two lists, one national and one by constituencies,” Abbas said ahead of a meeting with the PA Elections Commission Friday.

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8. Ramon Pushes Final Status Talks with PA

by Hana Levi Julian

Deputy Prime Minister Chaim Ramon urged the government Friday to join Fatah PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in his drive to move immediately to final status talks.

“I believe right now we have a partner. I don’t know for how long, so we must move quickly,” said Ramon in an interview on Voice of Israel government radio. The former Justice Minister is one of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s closest allies in the cabinet.

Abbas has raised the issue of final status talks in every one of his meetings with Olmert over the past year, but the Prime Minister has side-stepped the issue.

“We have been very clear that we are not willing to discuss at this stage the three core issues of borders, refugees and Jerusalem,” said Miri Eisen, spokesperson for the Prime Minister last week.

Now his Number Two is bluntly saying there is no choice but to do precisely that – and fast. He also recommended the deployment of NATO forces as IDF troops are withdrawn from each area.

Ramon’s vision of the final agreement, he said, includes withdrawal from most of Judea and Samaria. “In my eyes, the occupation of the territories threatens our very existence, our legitimacy and our international standing,” he said.

The deputy prime minister maintained that Abbas and his Prime Minister/Finance Minister Salam Fayyad, are the first PA leaders with whom Israel can talk and come to a bilateral agreement.

He stopped short of giving specific details of how much land he would hand over to the PA, however.

Abbas reiterated this week that he is ready and willing to finalize a final status agreement by next fall.

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9. Israel National TV: The Struggle For Givat HaEitam

The struggle for Givat HaEitam was launched Wednesday. Israel National TV brings you there.

Click here if video does not appear

[video:]

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Friday, Jul. 27 ’07
12 Av 5767

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Weather Forecast
Sunny.
Tomorrow: Sunny
Today Jul 28
T.A 33-25C 33-25C
Haifa 35-25C 35-25C
Jlm 37-27C 37-24C
HaGolan 38-26C 38-25C
B.Sheba 40-23C 39-23C
Hebron 37-27C 37-24C
Ariel 37-27C 37-25C
J.Valley 45-33C 45-32C
Galilee 37-26C 37-24C
Eilat 43-31C 43-30C
Weather Forecast

Halachic Times
Jlm. T.A.
A. shachar 04:39 04:40
Talit 05:06 05:07
Sunrise 05:51 05:52
Sof Shema 09:18 09:20
Sof Tfila 10:27 10:29
Chatzot 12:45 12:47
Mincha G. 13:20 13:21
Mincha K. 16:46 16:49
Sunset 19:44 19:41
Nightfall 19:57 19:59

Currencies
Update: 26/07/2007
US Dollar 4.275 Ù
GB Sterling 8.7588 Ù
Yen (100) 3.5526 Ù
Euro 5.8677 Ù
Can $ 4.1035 Ù
Swiss Franc 3.5256 Ù


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