Gleanings on Global News at the Time of the End
The Days Preceding the Expulsion from Gaza
The Festivals of the Lord Observed by the “Saints” of the Chosen Ones of Israel
The National Effects of the Expulsion upon Israel
The Global Effects of the Expulsion
The Gaza Residents Three Months Later
Terror and the Palestinians after the Gaza Disengagement
The Days of the Beginning of Geula (Redemption)
Before the coming of the Maschiach of Yisra’el (Messiah of Israel)
August 15 to December 15, 2005
Rosh Hashannah – October 4, 2004
The fall of 2005 will be a year that will go down in Jewish prophetic history. According to the Chassidic rabbinic sages, the “Geula” or the days of redemption started on the day that the Jewish people were forcibly expulsed from Gush Katif in Gaza. As Rabbi Arie Shechter, a specialist in the computer analysis of the Torah hidden codes recently stated, the signs of Geula b’ito, the coming of the redemption by God in their own time during days of disasters and catastrophes, began on Rosh Hashannah 5766. The Gaza Disengagement according to the rabbis triggered the opening days of coming redemption, called Geula, of the Maschiach of Yisra’el. Israel has now entered into a new era of redemption. Once the beginning of Geula has been set in motion, the Day of the Lord and the coming of the Messiah will come between one and seven years, maximum.
According to the students of the Jewish prophet Achiya HaShiloni and his most famous disciple, Baal Shem Tov, the expulsion from the “outer villages of Israel” was predicted for over a century ago. Set this in motion with the recent public announcement in September, 2005 by the esteemed centurion Sephardi Elder Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri, a warning was given to the Jews “to return to the Land of Israel due to terrible natural disasters which threaten the world.”
Lest our memories fade on that day, let us remember when the mothers and fathers, children, students in the yeshivas and synagogues were forcibly evicted from their homes and four months later 80% of them were living like refugees in Israel. These four global news series are dedicated to preserve an archive of that moment in time when the first Jewish government drove their people off the land in which the God of Israel gave to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. May Hashem, the God of Israel remember!
2 Chronicles 20:7 - Did You not, O Hashem,
Drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel,
And gave it to the seed of Abraham Your friend for ever?
The Days Preceding the Expulsion from Gaza
Gaza was one of the vegetable produce and flower centers of Israel and a “bread basket” for Europe
Gaza was also one of the most Potent Torah Observing Cultural Centers in the Land of Israel
Magnificent Children - A MUST READ! – August 7, 2005
Lekarev - This article was posted on www.israelinsider.com and was written by Rachel Saperstein. It clearly communicates what I and many others have observed and experienced in the young people of Gush Katif and of greater Israel in recent weeks. The children of Nevei Dekalim brought each family a long-stemmed sunflower with a wish for a happy and peaceful Sabbath. A note was attached. The note, written by the children, reminded us, the grown-ups, to keep up our courage and faith.
The previous day, a bite-sized chocolate bar, pinned to an invitation, was hung on our front doorknob. We were invited to a mass seudah shlishit, the third Sabbath meal, being hosted by the teenagers for the entire town of N'vei Dekalim. It was the children's way of saying thank you to their parents and neighbors for their brave struggle for Gush Katif, and for the privilege of having grown up in this beautiful bit of paradise.
The young people of Gush Katif have been in the forefront of the battle to save their homes. They packed Purim baskets, stood on street corners giving out orange ribbons, went from house to house meetings with the people of Israel during the Face- to-Face campaign. They sold orange hats, t-shirts, bags, pens, bracelets and pins across the land. They hung posters and banners across the highways of Israel. And the youth of the rest of Israel joined their battle. Our kids met with secular teenagers and restored the word "Zionism" to their vocabulary. They taught "post-Zionist" youth to love Israel with their heart and soul.
An independent poll taken among various age groups to determine who supports us (orange) and who supports our expulsion (blue), showed that in all age groups, orange supporters were never less than 65%. In the 15-25 age group, orange supporters were 80%. In the up-to-14 age group, orange supporters were 93%. Our youngsters blocked traffic, were beaten by the police, arrested and jailed. While convicted murderers and thieves spent the daylight hours wandering freely in prison courtyards, our fourteen- year-olds were put into solitary confinement. Threats were made to send them to secular kibbutzim for 'reeducation'.
Our youngsters did not falter. They spoke to soldiers and begged them to refuse orders to evict fellow Jews. They tied orange ribbons on half-tracks and jeeps. They watched soldiers break into tears despite desensitivity training. The soldiers did not remove the orange ribbons from their vehicles. Young women of the Communications Department of the Ulpana N'vei Dekalim High School produced a three-minute film ? a powerful film of their friends asking, begging, the Knesset members to reconsider their votes to expel their fellow Jews from their homes. One student, Anat Yefet, was asked by Knesset speaker Ruby Rivlin to address a Knesset committee. The daughter of one of our esteemed rabbis spoke passionately to soldiers reminding them that when they stand before their Maker, there will be no politicians or judges or army officers to defend their actions.
What can we as parents and teachers tell our own children? What can we tell the Jewish children of the world? Do we say, "Never trust your government, they lie to you"? Do we say, "Never trust your policemen, they may beat you with the full support of their superiors"? Do we say, "Never trust the army even though at your swearing-in ceremony, you will hold a Bible and swear to defend your fellow Jews, and you know it's a lie"? What do you tell a Jewish child in Israel? Do we say, "The nations of the world are applauding our own government's plans to destroy Jewish lives, and call our leaders 'bold and courageous' while they laugh at us"?
Children, you have been magnificent in your struggle to save the Land of Israel. You gave us pride, strength and courage. More than ever, we thank the Almighty for giving us the privilege to have produced children such as you.
Massive Rally in Ashkelon Tomorrow – August 7, 2005
Lekarev - Supporters of Jewish life in Gaza and northern Samaria plan to stage huge rallies in Ashkelon and Jerusalem this week, according to nationalist leader and former MK Rabbi Chanan Porat. The only way the Knesset can overturn the expulsion law is by a dramatic move, such as Ministers Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu and Limor Livnat quitting their posts in protest, Porat explained. The rallies represent an effort to encourage people to voice enough opposition to convince the government to cancel the plan.
Porat pointed out that support for the expulsion policy has decreased consistently to 50 percent or less and that opposition has mounted to 40 percent. Polls also have shown that an absolute majority is opposed to executing the plan under the present circumstances of continuing terror and mounting complications on where to transfer expulsion victims. The demonstration rally Monday will be in Ashkelon and on Wednesday, there will be a Prayer Rally in Jerusalem.
Cabinet Votes to Today on Beginning Disengagement – August 7, 2005
Lekarev - Eight days before the official start of the disengagement, the Israeli Cabinet will today be asked to approve the evacuation of the first group of Gaza settlements, Netzarim, Morag, and Kfar Darom. The evacuation of the other Gush Katif communities would be submitted for a government vote in the next vote, to take place before August 15.
Meanwhile, the two other groups of communities slated for evacuation, namely the three northern Gaza communities (Nisanit, Dugit, and Elei Sinai) and the four northern West Bank settlements (Ganim, Kadim, Homesh, and Sa-Nur) would be brought before the cabinet only after the withdrawal gets under way, and would therefore not be the first to be evacuated.
The phased voting procedure comes in the framework of a compromise reached earlier, with ministers agreeing on a “gradual withdrawal” and four separate votes. Security officials, however, stress that the votes do not necessarily indicate the sequence of evacuation, which has been kept secret until now.
Four Likud ministers, Benjamin Netanyahu, Danny Naveh, Yisrael Katz, and Tsachi Hanegbi, are expected to vote against settlement evacuation, while Education Minister Limor Livnat is still undecided. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sharon and six other Likud ministers are expected to back the proposal, as would the eight Labor party ministers.
Photo Essay: Civil Disobedience in Kfar Darom – August 8, 2005
Israel National News - Sunday, the first
civil disobedience battle in Gush Katif took place between security forces and
Gush Katif supporters in Kfar Darom. By Gush Katif
Correspondent Yishai Fleisher
(Email subscribers, click here to view the complete photo essay)
President Asks Forgiveness from Gaza, No. Samaria Jews – August 11, 2005
Lekarev - In a special address to the nation, President Moshe Katsav turned to Gaza and northern West Bank would-be evacuees and apologized for removing them from their homes. "On behalf of the State of Israel, I ask you, the settlers, for forgiveness, over the demand that you leave after dozens of years of construction and victims," he said.
"My brothers, the residents of Gaza and northern Samaria, we are facing one of the most fateful decisions since the Declaration of Independence," he said. "In several days you will be asked, in accordance with government and Knesset decisions, to evacuate the Gaza and northern Samaria region. "I sympathize with your pain," Katsav said. "Many within the nation, regardless of political affiliation, certainly sympathize with your pain."
He said, “We know your settling in the territories was an act of conscience that was also carried out in accordance with Israeli governments’ decisions. You have established thriving settlements and raised generations of children and youths who glorify Israel. We are in awe of how you have heroically faced the dangers – the thousands of bombs, Qassam rockets and terror attacks. You have risked your families’ and your own lives for the ideal and faith, and you have known pain and bereavement." After asking the residents to respect the authorities decision and leave with violence, he added, “You (settlers) must save your strength for the battles that are awaiting us. Even those who support the pullout realize the real fight is over the eastern border.”
Quarter Million Attend Prayer Rally Yesterday – August 11, 2005
Lekarev - In the largest turnout in years, more than a quarter million people attended a massive prayer rally at the Western Wall Wednesday to beg their Heavenly Father to have mercy and annul the expulsion decree. Although some Israelis believe the expulsions a "done deal," those at Wednesday's rally proclaimed their belief that G-d could still intervene. Three thousand years ago, Israel's King Solomon stood on the Temple Mount and petitioned the L-rd to hear the prayers of all who would pray facing in that direction. Down the millennia since then, millions of Jews have made their way to G-d's Holy Hill to make their petitions known to the Almighty.
While supporters of the disengagement reported only some 50,000 in attendance, anyone who was there knows that is a mockery of the truth. As the early evening light painted the ancient walls gold, winding streams of people made their way up the slopes of Mount Zion, flowing in through the Zion and Dung gates and filling all access routes to the Temple Mount in a moving sea of humanity. Here and there, groups burst out in spontaneous songs of support for the threatened Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria. Unable to get anywhere near the Wall, many lined parts of the city's southern battlements, while others massed on rooftops overlooking the plaza at the Western Wall.
They came, men and women, children and babies, on foot, on crutches, in wheelchairs, in pushchairs, many sporting the trademark bright orange anti- disengagement shirts and ribbons; all gathering, in their words, "to cry out to their Father in heaven" to step in and prevent next week's expulsion of thousands of Jews from their homes. Cry out they did, their voices rising to the skies over the Mount of Olives as they sang and recited, fervent in prayer and filled with emotion.
To all of you who joined around the world via computer, thank you for your prayers and your support. May you be blessed from Zion by the G-d of Israel!
Photo Essay of Jerusalem Prayer Rally – August 12, 2005
Lekarev - Arutz Sheva has made available a photo essay of Wednesday evening's massive prayer rally at the Western Wall. During the day yesterday, more and more information became available about the previous evening's event. For those of you familiar with the Western Wall plaza and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, the plaza was completely packed with people right up to the back wall. Praying Jews filled the entire stairway up to the Jewish Quarter. The streets of the Quarter were packed with people praying and one attendee who never got to even see the Wall said it was standing room only as far as the Jaffa Gate! The turnout was easily the quarter million reported yesterday.
The last two days I have been inundated with literally hundreds of emails from you, telling me how you prayed and watched the rally on your computer and professing your undying love for Israel. There is no way I will be able to answer each one of you personally but PLEASE know that I am reading EVERY email myself and with each one, praying that Hashem will bless you in a very special way. Thank you, thank you - on behalf of all Israel, thank you!
To view Arutz Sheva's photo essay, please click Prayer Rally Photos
Quarter Million Rally Shakes Tel Aviv – August 12, 2005
Lekarev - Hundreds of thousands of opponents of Israel's pullout from Gaza and part of the West Bank gathered in downtown Tel Aviv Thursday evening for their last large-scale demonstration before the withdrawal is to begin. Police estimated at least 200,000 attended, according to state-run Channel One television, though the number may actually have been closer to 300,000 as you can see from the photo.
The demonstrators filled Rabin square in front of Tel Aviv city hall, carrying signs criticizing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, architect of the pullout, which is planned to begin next week. The theme of the demonstration was "Gush Katif and Samaria, I swear (allegiance)," a slogan painted in black on an orange background of many of the signs in the crowd.
Hamas Vows to Continue Campaign to Destroy Israel – August 12, 2005
Lekarev - Hamas terrorists said today they would not disarm, despite the Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, so they could carry on pressuring Israel to withdraw from more land. The comments by two leaders of Hamas' armed wing posed a new challenge to attempts by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to rein in terrorists. "Arms is a holy issue. It is impossible for us to abandon our arms even if we all get killed. The issue of arms is not one for discussion," the head of Hamas' Qassam Brigades, Ahmed Al-Ghandour, told reporters in northern Gaza. He said Hamas would respond to any Israeli attacks but would not initiate any violence during the pullout. "Every action will be met with a reaction," said Al-Ghandour. "We will not keep silent against any action by the Zionist enemy."
Meanwhile, senior PA and Fatah leaders are very concerned that Hamas will attempt to overrun the evacuated Israeli settlements, despite an agreement to close off those areas after the pullout.
Hamas, which has sworn to destroy the Jewish state, is responsible for dozens of suicide bomb attacks that killed hundreds of Israelis. Al-Ghandour, who tops Israel's list of wanted militant suspects, said Hamas would not join any Palestinian security agencies, despite Abbas's efforts to coax the group to do so to help maintain calm. Another leader, Abu Ubaida, holding an M-16 assault rifle, said: "This is a message to the Israeli enemy that resistance will continue and that the removal of the occupation was a result of this resistance that will continue. "We will maintain and preserve the arms of resistance and we will increase our force and arms to liberate all of the Palestinian land. Palestine is not only Gaza." About 1,000 Hamas members staged an exercise Friday, simulating the storming of settlements and attacks on Israel Defense Forces troops. Israel has vowed a tough response to any Palestinian violence against troops or settlers during its pullout.
The glory of this latter House shall be greater than that of the former, says Hashem, Adonai Tzvaot;
and in this place will I give peace, says Adonai Tzvaot.
Photo Essay - A March to Commemorate the Temple´s Destruction (August 14, 2005, 9 AV 5765) – August 12, 2005
National News - Approximately 10,000 Israelis participated in the yearly march
around Jerusalem's Old City to commemorate the destruction of the Holy Temple and to pray for its rebuilding. (Photos: Tzvi Barish) The
march was organized by the Women in Green organization, headed by Nadia and
Ruth Matar. Nadia addressed the crowd using a recorded speech since she and her
family have relocated to the community of Kfar Yam in Gush Katif. Ruth Matar, a
Holocaust survivor, told the crowd that she sees a lot of similarity between
the Jews being dragged out of their homes by the Nazis and Sharon's order to do
the same to the residents of Gush Katif and Samaria.
(Email subscribers, click here to view the complete photo essay)
Tisha B'Av Observance Sunday – August 12, 2005
Lekarev - Beginning at sundown Saturday night, Jews around the world will observe Tisha B'Av, the 9th of Av, which is the anniversary of the destruction of both the First Temple and the Second Temple. It is a day of fasting and prayer for Jews. How do I tell you what Tisha B'Av is like to a Jew?
It so happens this year that Tisha B'Av falls on the 6th anniversary of the death of my late beloved husband, Mike, of blessed memory. I will never forget waking up the morning after he died. My world would never be the same. My grief was overwhelming.
We miss the point completely if we only describe Tisha B'Av as the day of the destruction of the two Holy Temples, as if the tragedy is the loss of a building. The American people do not mourn on 9/11 because of the destruction of the Twin Towers; they mourn the thousands of lives lost in the horrific attack. Countless widowers, widows and orphans do not mourn two gleaming buildings; they mourn their loved ones.
Tisha B'Av is more like a death than a destruction, because on that day the world changed irrevocably. The world without the Holy Temple is not the same world minus, just one magnificent structure,noted Sara Rigler in an essay about Tisha B'Av. The world without the Holy Temple is a totally different world.
The Divine Presence was manifest in the Temple and through the Temple. When the Temple was destroyed, that palpable Divine Presence removed itself from our world. It was a loss as real and as searing as death. My two year old grandson will never know what it was like to see his grandfather's dancing green eyes, to hear his grandfather's delightful laugh. He will never know what he's missing because he never experienced him.
In the same way, we Jews understand all too well that we all who were born after 70 BCE have lived in a world without the manifest Divine Presence. We have never experienced the spiritual light and intensity that radiated from that Holy Temple. We live in a dimmer, coarser world, where physical reality seems like ultimate truth while spiritual reality seems more like abstract fantasy. We travel through a darkened world without even realizing it. We have become accustomed to the Divine Absence and therefore do not long as we should for the Divine Presence. This Tisha B'Av, as we fast and pray, may Hashem grant to all of us a fresh and heartfelt longing for the manifest Presence of His Shechina (glory) and may that longing only increase until we behold the prophesied Third Temple, pulsating and gleaming with the very presence of Hashem in Jerusalem.
Gush Katif Town: After Uplifting Sabbath, Preparing for Siege – August 14, 2005
National News - "The Divine
photographer was taking pictures, and the angels read about it in the papers -
that's how sublime and inspiring was this Sabbath in Netzer Hazani." -
the words of a long-time resident. "There was supposed to be a
brit milah (ritual circumcision) of the first-born son of Ovadiah
Ben-Natan," founding Netzer Hazani member Anita Tucker said today,
"but it had to be pushed off because the baby was a bit jaundiced."
Ovadiah spent over a week in prison and is still under house-and-yeshiva arrest
for his part in protesting the evacuation of the Gush Katif hotel seven weeks
"But it was still an utterly amazing Sabbath," she
said. "There were so many people here, both long-time residents and our
'guests' who have arrived in the past weeks. You felt that the prayers, and
the large kiddush afterwards, simply broke through they heavens. There was a
feeling that the People of Israel are simply an amazing people, with their good
side breaking out all at once and making an indelible impression up
In attendance were Rabbis Moti Elon, Yehoshua Tzuckerman and Kabbalist Yeshua Ben-Shushan, as well as hundreds of guests. Relations between newcomers and old-timers in the town are at an inspiringly high level. Mrs. Tucker - a grandmother several times over, a celery farmer, and a spokesperson for Gush Katif and Netzer Hazani - said that the town's veteran residents had met with the newcomers on Thursday night. "We told them of the various committees that will be in charge for the coming days," she said, "as well as the scenarios we foresee for the coming days. The main thing we told them is that we're all in this together, and that we do not plan to abandon them. We have been told that special Yassam police units will be called in to deal with them, and we have some plans to try to stop this..."
Of the town's 80 families, none are planning to leave before receiving the army expulsion orders, and only 20 or fewer are planning to leave upon receiving them. "In short, the vast majority are staying put," Anita said. "The fact is that we have no place to go. If the worst happens, and they forcibly take us out of our homes sometime this week or next and drag us to Kisufim - none of us know where we'll be taken from there, and neither does the army. We demand to stay together, no matter what, and this has not been promised us." Mrs. Tucker said that army officials have promised that water, electricity and the like will not be turned off until the last Jew has left. "But even though we remind them every day, they have still not given us this commitment in writing," she said, "and therefore I'm skeptical. We have seen what has happened to some of their promises." "The army must understand that we have a need to protest," Anita said, "and that allowing us to do so will make it much easier. If those running this were a bit normal, they would say, 'These guys are nice people, they didn't do anyone any harm, they're being thrown out - let's let them protest, and let's find them normal housing.' But they're not taking this approach..."
Though the residents are preparing for a week-long siege or longer, Anita said that there have been many indications that Netzer Hazani is to be first on the list of communities to be destoyed. "We're on the main road, the closest to Kisufim, and they don't want us to try to disrupt the other evacuations," she said. Asked about Kfar Darom, which is located off the main road and is even closer to Kisufim, she said, "The people of Kfar Darom are expected to give the forces a pretty hard time, and Ariel Sharon doesn't want these pictures on television right at the beginning of the process."
Correspondent Haggai Huberman reports from an army briefing that the expulsion will begin with the following northern Gush Katif communities: Kfar Darom, Tel Katifa, Netzer Hazani, Katif, and Ganei Tal, as well as Netzarim in central Gaza. The residents of Netzarim, who have not cooperated at all with the Disengagement Authority in planning their expulsion, do not plan to clash with soldiers. They say they will board the buses the minute the soldiers knock on their doors. By Hillel Fendel
Mournful Tisha B'Av in Gush Katif – August 15, 2005
Lekarev - The rabbi's voice rose and fell in a haunting trill over the hundreds gathered around him. Mothers cradled babies as young men with guns by their sides swayed in prayer and recitation. Above them a half moon glowed an eerie orange. "We see this not just as the sacrifice of the Temple but the sacrifice of our land," says Shlomit Landau, 20, who had come to Neveh Dekalim from Jerusalem. "It feels much more meaningful."
Tisha B'Av in Neveh Dekalim, the largest of the Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip, took on an especially mournful tone as it was observed from sundown Saturday to sundown Sunday. Both residents and the hundreds of outsiders who came from across Israel and the West Bank to reinforce the settlement ahead of the government- ordered evacuation of Gaza, which is scheduled to begin this week, saw special significance in this Tisha B'Av. Jews around the world mourn not only the loss of the Temples but other tragedies throughout Jewish history. The Jews gathered here see the evacuation of 21 Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and four more in the northern West Bank as a monumental tragedy on a day of tragedies. One young worshipper gave hope to all around her when she said, "We must look to Hashem and yearn even more for Moshiach and for Full Redemption." Amen and Amen.
Photo Essay: Tears and Wailing in Gush Katif´s Cemetery – August 15, 2005
Israel National News - The residents of Gush Katif gathered together in the region's cemetery on the fast of Tisha B'Av to request that their beloved relatives buried there cry out to G-d on their behalf. By Ezra HaLevi, Gush Katif
(Email subscribers, click here to view photo essay.)
PA Farmers in Gaza: How Do Those Israelis Do It? – December 13, 2005
Arutz Israel (Israel National News) - After years of
producing bug-free lettuce and other vegetables for Jewish farmers, the sands
of Gaza have reverted to their old ways. PA farmers report failure in keeping
the bugs away. The
Gaza Arabs who have taken over the hothouses of what used to be Gush Katif
reported to the Israel-PA Coordination Office that they have failed in raising
bug-free vegetables. In addition, the PA workers complain that their wages from
their compatriots and brethren are significantly lower now than what they
received from he
Israelis. Arutz-7's Haggai Huberman reports that the Jews of Gush
Katif operated 3,600 dunams (890 acres) of hothouses as of last year, of which
the PA - with international help - has managed to activate three-fourths. The
Arabs had hoped to build on the Jews' success, selling to the market the
Israelis had built up over the years. The bug-free vegetables were particularly
attractive to the religious and hareidi-religious publics, for reasons of
The Jews who first arrived in Gaza some 30 years ago were repeatedly told by the Arabs who welcomed them that the land was "cursed" and that they would never succeed agriculturally. Benny Ginzberg, standing last May in the large Katif-Atzmona dairy he managed, pointed at the houses of the Arab city of Khan Yunis, several hundred meters away, and said, "Those houses have been here since before the Six Day War. If they wanted this land, what stopped them from spreading out to here before? ... When we first came, they told us that we were crazy for even trying to build something here. 'The land is cursed,' they told us. Well, we built something, something very great..." Ma'yan Yadai, a 27-year-old mother of two who was thrown out of Gush Katif - she was originally a Croatian Catholic who converted to Judaism, fled Yugoslavia, and moved to Netzer Hazani - spoke about Gush Katif before a gathering of the National Council of Young Israel in New York recently. She said, "It is difficult for me to believe that this obviously blessed area is the very same area that our Moslem neighbors called the ‘cursed land’ of El G’erara. They have told me that nobody lived in this area from the time that the last Jews left because there was not enough rain, and nothing could grow properly. They were happy when the Jews returned because the rain started again, and the land began to produce."
Farmers in Gush Katif were considered among Israel's most successful; their total annual exports totaled $100 million, or 15% of Israel's agricultural exports. Of Israel's exports abroad, Gush Katif exported to Europe 95% of the bug-free lettuce and greens, 70% of the organic vegetables, 60% of the cherry tomatoes, and 60% of the geraniums. Israel's largest plant nursery was in the Gush Katif community of Atzmonah. Other Katif produce included spices, green, red and yellow peppers, celery and more. Israel's Defense Ministry sources told Huberman that the Palestinian Authority farmers were unable to develop the techniques necessary for bug-free produce. Some of the original Israeli greenhouses were damaged or destroyed by Arabs immediately after Israel withdrew, but the PA was able to rebuild them. As of now, the only crop the Arabs are raising successfully is strawberry. By Hillel Fendel
Education Minister Limor Livnat: Defy the United States and Build Now in Yesha – September 6, 2005
National News - Education Minister Limor Livnat signaled a further swing to the
right on Tuesday, challenging the Sharon government to defy the U.S. and start
building more housing units in Ma'aleh Adumim. "The great United States is our friend, but there are times
when we have to say, even to the United States, that we will act in accordance
with our interests," Livnat told Israel Government Radio.
She noted that implicit in declarations by American President George W. Bush
that Israel can expect to retain the city "is the necessity and
acceptability of building up the settlement blocs." Livnat
said the expulsion of Jewish residents from Gaza and northern Samaria presents Israel
with "a window of opportunity" to strengthen larger population
centers in Judea and Samaria.
Ma'aleh Adumim has become politically significant as a fundamental test of different policies of Israel, the United States and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Israel intends to include the city inside the security fence and provide contiguous Jewish presence from the Ma'aleh Adumim to Jerusalem. Expansion of the city also would prevent the Palestinian Authority (PA) from establishing a contiguous north-south link between Ramallah and Jerusalem, which the PA wants to declare as capital of a new Arab state. The Bush administration has stated that Israel should retain major population centers in Judea and Samaria but also has maintained that their fate will be determined by negotiations.
Livnat, like former Finance Minister Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, opposed the expulsion plan during Knesset debates but backed it in several Knesset and Cabinet votes, except for the final vote last month at which there was no chance of defeating it. She has stated in the past she would like to become Likud party leader in the future, but for the time being is playing the role of mediator between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his challengers Netanyahu and anti-expulsion leader MK Uzi Landau who are trying to unseat Sharon as party leader. Landau campaigned in Jerusalem's popular Mahaneh Yehudah market on Tuesday.
Sharon, who is trying to fend off the contenders, also is promoting building large population centers in Judea and Samaria while refraining from offending the American government. The office of Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who has worked in tandem with Sharon's policies, announced Monday the approval for 117 more homes in the Samaria city of Ariel, about 15 miles east of Tel Aviv.
But the Defense Ministry tried to play down an announcement by Mofaz' Deputy Minister Zev Boim that the government has approved building 3,000 new housing units in Ariel. Ministry aides insisted that there are no permits for a large expansion. Boim made the statement while touring Ariel with the city's mayor Ron Nachman, who announced he plans to expand the city's population from 18,000 to 30,000. Housing Minister Yitzchak Herzog (Labor) insisted there are no plans for immediate construction anywhere in Judea and Samaria, and he accused Likud politicians of causing Israel political damage. "All of us suffer…from panic in the Likud where everyone wants to show who is more right [wing] than the other," he said Tuesday. "There is a possibility of future construction but there is no intention to build now." Palestinian Authority (PA) chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said that building 3,000 new units "would put 3,000 new obstacles before the peace process," according to the PA official web site. By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
A Clearer Picture – August 21, 2005
Lekarev - This map will hopefully give you a clearer picture of what is at stake. Gaza (lower left) is - for all intents and purposes - gone. The region commonly called the "West Bank" is the large area in yellow. You immediately notice that its western edge at one point leaves a very narrow strip of land between it and the Mediterranean Sea - something like 9-10 miles! That's all!
The dark brown areas are already Palestinian Authority regions. The darker yellow contains Palestinian villages but is under Israeli control. In between - in lighter yellow - are dozens of Jewish communities growing and building in keeping with the scripture from Jeremiah quoted in the previous article.
Please notice also that east Jerusalem is considered by the Palestinians as part of the "West Bank". The very term "West Bank" is such a misnomer and gives a very distorted impression. It is supposed to designate the 'west bank' of the Jordan River. Even a casual glance at this map makes that appellation ridiculous. The Jordan River runs along the eastern border of the 'West Bank' but to consider that the bank of the river extends several miles west is a bit much, don't you think? The true name of the area in yellow is Judea and Samaria or in Hebrew, Yehuda and Shomron.
Given that all of Israel is about the size of the state of New Jersey in the US, can you grasp what it means that Abbas is demanding ALL of the "West Bank"? It's a huge chunk of land in relation to the total territory! Not to mention the biblical covenant!
Another Quiet Battle Between Army and Religious-Zionist Public – October 14, 2005
Israel National News - The Chief
of Staff says the Nahal Hareidi army battalion is under reconsideration,
because too many non-Hareidim - i.e., religious-Zionists - are enlisting in it. Speaking
this week with the hareidi-religious weekly magazine Mishpaha
("Family"), IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said, "The
Nahal Hareidi, known as the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, was established for a
particular purpose, and we are working to make sure it continues to serve that
purpose. From an operational standpoint, they are doing excellent work, just
like all the other IDF units. It's true that of late, because of a sharp drop
in those enlisting from among the target public, soldiers were enlisted who
originally were not designated for it. We are currently looking into the
matter, and then we will decide how to proceed."
The Nahal Hareidi was established in 1999 as a solution for hareidi-religious youth who, for various reasons, were no longer studying in yeshivot - yet did not want to enlist in regular army units for religious reasons. The venture was widely termed a success, from both the hareidi public's standpoint and militarily. Stationed in the Jordan Valley, the unit has captured and killed terrorists on several occasions. Over the past 2-3 years, with the increasing presence of female soldiers in combat units, the Nahal Hareidi became attractive to the religious-Zionist public and the Hilltop Youth, popularly known as the Givonim. An increasing number of students, particularly in certain yeshivot, who might otherwise have served in the hesder arrangement [combining five years of Torah study and regular army service], began turning to the Nahal Hareidi as their preferred solution.
Gen. Halutz did not explain why this was unacceptable to the army, but said that the situation will have to be "reviewed." He also continued the army's recent threatening tone against the hesder arrangement for yeshiva students: "My personal opinion is that yeshiva study is of paramount importance... But at the same time I feel that there is room for a review of whether everyone who is currently in this framework should really be there." Halutz, who assumed his position less than five months ago, revealed that 10% of all those who enlist are hesder students. Halutz confirmed that the entire issue of homogeneous hesder units is also under consideration - together with that of other homogeneous groups in the army. Earlier this year, IDF Personnel Corp Commander Maj.-Gen. Elazar Stern, a yeshiva high school graduate, caused a storm when he announced his intention to dismantle the hesder units and spread their soldiers out in larger battalions.
During the weeks preceding the disengagement/expulsion, Halutz threatened to close the hesder yeshivot on the backdrop of refusals to carry out disengagement-related orders. "We will not tolerate refusers," Halutz said three months ago. "I am targeting my statement mainly at the leaders of the hesder yeshivas and pre-army colleges. You cannot have a dual system and call on people to refuse orders and at the same time enjoy the conditions the IDF offers the hesder yeshivas. This will not go on if this phenomenon becomes common." In his latest interview, however, Halutz backtracked, but just a smidgeon. "Let's recall that, to the great joy of the Nation of Israel, disengagement refusal was not great. It's true that at first, this subject was of great concern to me. I was sadly surprised by the calls of various people for refusal. However, the young soldiers and officers dealt with the issue in the proper manner. At the same time, though, the yeshiva hesder deans who openly encouraged refusal are being dealt with at present. This is a complex process, and I won't elaborate."
Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of Elon Moreh is one of the two yeshiva heads in question. Asked if he's being "taken care of," he told Arutz-7, "I can tell you that, with G-d's help, everything will be fine. We are always being taken care of, and we are also taking care of things ourselves, and we hope the army will see the results within a couple of years." Asked to elaborate, Rabbi Levanon said, "We have begun an initiative involving turning to religious sectors and coordinating their enlistment in the army not as a single bloc, but as a unified group, with similar goals and thinking. The army will not notice this development until it begins bringing forth fruit." Asked about Halutz's intention to reconsider the Nahal Hareidi framework, Rabbi Levanon said that his yeshiva only has a few students who choose that option, but "in any event, it sounds foolish to review the Nahal Hareidi merely because fewer hareidim are serving. It was designed to provide a solution, so what difference does it make whether it's hareidim or other religious people who avail themselves of the solution?" By Hillel Fendel
IDF Officers Making Contact With the Residents They Expelled – September 15, 2005
Israel National News - Several incidents have been recorded in which IDF soldiers who took part in the Gush Katif/Shomron expulsion have called their "victims" to express sadness, regret, or just a desire to talk.
Yochai Greenglick of Shilo relates
the following story:
"On the day of the expulsion from N'vei Dekalim, I was in the home of Dr. Sodi Namir, where I had spent the previous ten days. During the actual expulsion, I was injured when the soldiers burst open a glass door onto me. After we were evicted from the house, Dr. Namir stitched me up in the clinic. "Before the stitching, however, I was the last one to remain in the house, with about 40 army officers there, and I began to speak with them. I told them about the face-to-face campaign that had begun the year before, in which we [religious, anti-disengagement people] went from house to house to talk with Israelis with whom we generally have little contact. I told them that after this expulsion is over, I know that we will continue to try to do this work, and that I hoped that they too would be willing to do their part and open their doors. I gave them my phone number, and invited them to call me.
"They wrote down my number - and this Monday [the day of the official end of Israel's presence in Gaza, and nearly four weeks after the expulsion - ed.], one of them in fact called and said he would like to meet with me. He emphasized that he was not speaking only for himself, but in the name of many other army officers as well. 'Maybe it's too early for you,' the officer told me, 'but when you're ready to talk, then we would like to as well.' We will probably meet within a few days...
"It's not that I am forgiving, or even giving legitimacy to what he did, but it's rather an understanding that our nation will continue to live together and we are likely to face further such problems." "What do you think they want? Why do you feel they called you?" this reporter asked Yochai. He responded, "I think it's very hard for them; it sort of just ended very abruptly, with no closure. I think they feel obligated to fix something..."
For others, the wounds are still too raw for them to speak to the soldiers who performed the actual throwing them out of their homes. Tzion Ohayon, banished from his family home in N'vei Dekalim, received a phone call this week from two soldiers who took part in his expulsion. One of them said he is sorry for what happened, and asked how he could help. Ohayon, still homeless in Jerusalem, said he is not willing to forgive. To the second one who called, he said, "I am not willing to talk with someone wearing an army uniform."
Ohayon's father-in-law Eliyahu El-Natan, from the now-non-existent Moshav Gadid, received a call from the commander who threw him out of his house, wishing to express regret for his actions. "The army is broken from what happened," Ohayon said. "I think they're trying to help themselves more than they're trying to help us."
Yoni and Noa Katzover received a phone call from a Border Guard officer who evicted them from their house in Chomesh. "He asked how we are doing," Yoni said, "and told us of the hardships he's undergoing. He told us of his 10-year-old nephew who refuses to talk with him, and how he broke down crying in the middle of the Kiddush [pre-Sabbath-meal blessing]. He also told us about some of his soldiers who have requested emotional counseling."
A female officer wrote a letter of apology to the Goldshmidt family, which she helped throw out of its home in Ganei Tal. In a subsequent phone call, she said that if not for the threats and heavy pressures that the IDF exerted upon the soldiers, she would not have agreed to take part in the disengagement. Her letter states, "...For a long time now, ever since that Tuesday in Ganei Tal, I have been walking around with a heavy burden of depression. Something like all the soldiers who took part in the evacuation of Gush Katif and northern Shomron. I suffered a deep emotional wound, and I regret every moment... I am sorry about the whole evacuation process, and I am sorry that I had to stand there opposite you and hold back my tears, even though I felt totally that I am one of you. I am sorry for the misery that was caused to you and to all the other families in your wonderful community..."I felt at that moment [in your house] hatred and anger to the governmental elements that sent us on this difficult mission, that made us look like robots towards you, towards great people like you..." By Hillel Fendel
Netzarim: We Are Ready For Our Next Mission – September 1, 2005
National News - Netzarim refugee Udi Zinar says he and his former neighbors
shed tears for their destroyed community, but spend most of their time looking
for the next national project they can be a part of. Zinar spoke with Israel National
Radio’s Eli Stutz and Yishai Fleisher Tuesday. The
former assistant to Netzarim’s mayor said he recently went back to his beloved
town, located in central Gaza, to see everything had been turned to rubble.
“All the houses have been destroyed, except for the synagogue,” Zinar said. Asked by Stutz and Fleisher how he
was handing the expulsion emotionally, Zinar said, without a hint of sarcasm:
“Aside from seeing our entire lives destroyed and our homes and jobs taken
away, we are doing alright.” “The Jewish people cannot afford to sink into
despair and we will therefore move forward,” Zinar added. “People get sad
and upset, but the spirit is high and we remain one community and are ready for
our next mission.”
Less than a month after being thrown out of their homes by the very State of Israel that sent them to live in the much-attacked central Gaza region, the residents of Netzarim are serious about continuing their community’s legacy on the front line elsewhere. “Netzarim is not the houses, not the soil, not the farming – even though those were holy things – each and every brick in our town was about sanctifying G-d’s name,” Zinar said. “Netzarim is about the spirit. Netzarim is beyond any boundaries. It is about the devotion Jews have had throughout history to their tradition, to their homeland and to their nation.”
The residents are currently living in trailer homes on the campus of the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel, where they will remain until after the Sukkot festival. “Right now our community is working very hard looking for our next mission,” Zinar said. “It may focus on education and ‘face-to-face’ work, or it could be developing parts of the country. We will certainly be ready to face another challenge and we will take it upon ourselves – we will not simply melt into Israel.” Zinar says he has received many requests from towns across Israel to come and build a neighborhood there to positively influence the rest of the town. “People come here to Ariel to provide us with emotional support, and find that they gain support from us,” zinar said. “We tell them that we must move forward. Maybe we needed the Disengagement Plan to wake us up and let us know there has been a major deterioration in education in our country.” By Ezra HaLevi
IRANIAN PRESIDENT: "WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP – October 27, 2005
Lekarev - Iran's president told attendees of a conference in Teheran yesterday that "Israel must be wiped off the map." "The creation of the occupying regime in Jerusalem is a strong action by the ruling arrogant world order against the world of Islam. There continues a historic war between the [powers of] World Arrogance and the Islamic world, the roots of which go back hundreds of years," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared. "The Islamic nation will not allow its historic enemy to exist in its heartland." Ahmadinejad was addressing a Teheran conference entitled "A World Without Zionism". "I have no doubt that the new wave [of attacks] which has started in dear Palestine and which we witness today all over the Islamic world will soon wipe this scourge of shame from the Islamic world. This is doable," Ahmadinejad encouraged the audience, which included thousands of Islamic students, as well as representatives of Arab terrorist organizations and their supporters. He noted his belief that the turn towards Islamism in the Palestinian Authority has brought the Arabs success against Israel.
Western Civilization, the Iranian leader said, "turned the Zionist regime occupying Jerusalem into a staging-ground to dominate the Islamic world. They have created a base, from where they can expand their rule over the entire Islamic world; it has no other purpose other than this."
The goal of a world without the United States or Zionism, Ahmadinejad said, is "attainable and could definitely be realized. Our dear Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini] ordered that the occupying regime in Jerusalem be wiped off the face of the earth. This was a very wise statement." Compromise over the elimination of Israel, the Iranian president said, is tantamount to the defeat of the Islamic world, as "the central and command base of the enemy is the occupying regime in Jerusalem." Ahmadinejad characterized the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria as a "trick" intended to seduce Islamic leaders to recognize Israel. “Anyone who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury. Any Islamic leader who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world,” the president shouted.
France is reported considering recalling its ambassador from Tehran in protest against this unacceptably savage attack on Israel. Britian's government has called the Iranian Ambassador to an emergency meeting with British officials to protest the declaration of the Iranian president against Israel.
Netanyahu: Pullout Will Endanger the West – August 5, 2005
Lekarev - Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu believes that in the aftermath of Israel's upcoming departure, "Gaza will be transformed into a base for Islamic terrorism adjacent to the coast of the State of Israel."
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, Netanyahu said the terror threat that would develop in a post-withdrawal Gaza would be a danger not only for Israel but for the Western world in general. "This it isn't just our problem," he claimed. "It's the West's problem as well because forces that are controlled, deployed and cooperate with Iran - and today Hizbullah and Hamas are controlled in a significant way by Iran - will receive an additional base of operations not only in close proximity to Israel's cities but also on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea not far from Europe."
Netanyahu defended his decision to remain in the government in spite of his strenuous opposition to the withdrawal of IDF units and the expulsion of the 10,000 Israelis who live in the areas. He argued that the plan enjoyed an automatic majority in the Knesset and the government that would not be affected by his resignation. The implementation of the plan would cause a deterioration in the security of the communities in the western Negev, Netanyahu warned. He said the relinquishment of Israeli security control over the international passages to Gaza will "create a highway for the transfer of terrorists and terror materiel" to the area. The finance minister expressed his dismay at the decision taken by the police toblock protesters en route to demonstrations against the withdrawalin Netivot and Kfar Maimon two weeks ago and to the police intention to repeat the process in the days which preceded this week's demonstration in Sderot and Ofakim. "I thought that the decision to stop vehicles in distant cities [ahead of the protest in Netivot and Kfar Maimon] was strange, even bizarre. I am not aware of even one instance where in any democracy forces were used to prevent people from gathering for a protest located far away from where they were blocked," he said.
In light of his opposition to the plan, which in his view the Palestinians interpret as a clear victory of their terror war against Israel, Netanyahu plans to vote against the implementation of the withdrawal in the government on Sunday. Netanyahu stated that in his opinion, Israel must build in the settlements in Judea and Samaria to enable natural growth, must complete the securityfence in accordance with the government's decision that places the major settlement blocs inside the perimeter of the fence and must build up the area referred to as E-1 which connects Ma'aleh Adumim to Jerusalem. Looking ahead to the post-withdrawal period, he added: "Our security problems are not about to go away with the withdrawal, they will only begin. As long as I can influence Israel's security, and of course our economy, I will remain in my position."
Lebanese Woman Grigitte Gabriel Speaks out FOR Israel – August 16, 2005
Lekarev - Following are the remarks of a Lebanese woman, Brigitte Gabriel, delivered at the Duke University's Counter Terrorism Speak-Out held in October, 2004. Now is a great time to re-publish her speech:
I'm proud and honored to stand here today, as a Lebanese speaking for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. As someone who was raised in an Arabic country, I want to give you a glimpse into the heart of the Arabic world. I was raised in Lebanon, where I was taught that the Jews were evil, Israel was the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea. When the Moslems and Palestinians declared Jihad on the Christians in 1975, they started massacring the Christians, city after city. I ended up living in a bomb shelter underground from age 10 to 17, without electricity, eating grass to live, and crawling under sniper bullets to a spring to get water.
It was Israel who came to help the Christians in Lebanon. My mother was wounded by a Moslem's shell, and was taken into an Israeli hospital for treatment. When we entered the emergency room, I was shocked at what I saw. There were hundreds of people wounded, Moslems, Palestinians, Christians, Lebanese, and Israeli soldiers lying on the floor. The doctors treated everyone according to their injury. They treated my mother before they treated the Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn't see religion, they didn't see political affiliation, they saw people in need and they helped.
For the first time in my life I experienced a human quality that I know my culture would not have shown to their enemy. I experienced the values of the Israelis, who were able to love their enemy in their most trying moments. I spent 22 days at that hospital. Those days changed my life and the way I believe information, the way I listen to the radio or to television. I realized I was sold a fabricated lie by my government, about the Jews and Israel, that was so far from reality. I knew for fact that, if I was a Jew standing in an Arab hospital, I would be lynched and thrown over to the grounds, as shouts of joy of Allahu Akbar, God is great, would echo through the hospital and the surrounding streets.
I became friends with the families of the Israeli wounded soldiers: one in particular Rina, her only child was wounded in his eyes. One day I was visiting with her, and the Israeli army band came to play national songs to lift the spirits of the wounded soldiers. As they surrounded his bed playing a song about Jerusalem, Rina and I started crying. I felt out of place and started waking out of the room, and this mother holds my hand and pulls me back in without even looking at me.She holds me crying and says: "it is not your fault". We just stood there crying, holding each other's hands. What a contrast between her, a mother looking at her deformed 19 year old only child, and still able to love me the enemy, and between a Moslem mother who sends her son to blow himself up to smithereens just to kill a few Jews or Christians.
The difference between the Arabic world and Israel is a difference in values and character. It's barbarism verses civilization. It's democracy verses dictatorship. It's goodness verses evil. (NOTE: Remember this is being said by an Arab!) Once upon a time, there was a special place in the lowest depths of hell for anyone who would intentionally murder a child. Now, the intentional murder of Israeli children is legitimized as Palestinian "armed struggle".
However, once such behavior is legitimized against Israel, it is legitimized every where in the world, constrained by nothing more than the subjective belief of people who would wrap themselves in dynamite and nails for the purpose of killing children in the name of god. Because the Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that murdering innocent Israeli civilians is a legitimate tactic for advancing their cause, the whole world now suffers from a plague of terrorism, from Nairobi to New York, from Moscow to Madrid, from Bali to Beslan.
They blame suicide bombing on "desperation of occupation". Let me tell you the truth. The first major terror bombing committed by Arabs against the Jewish state occurred ten weeks before Israel even became independent. On Sunday morning, February 22, 1948, in anticipation of Israel's independence, a triple truck bomb was detonated by Arab terrorists on Ben Yehuda Street, in what was then the Jewish section of Jerusalem. Fifty-four people were killed, and hundreds were wounded. Thus, it is obvious that Arab terrorism is caused not by the "desperation" of "occupation", but by the VERY THOUGHT of a Jewish state.
So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing, allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and defeated communism, now it is time to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and intolerance. It's time to all stand up, and support and defend the state of Israel, which is the front line of the war against terrorism.
Palestinians Burn Synagogues to the Ground – September 13, 2005
Lekarev - Listening to the morning news yesterday was heart- breaking, to say the least. As the news broadcaster informed us that the last IDF soldiers were leaving Gaza for good, at the same moment, crowds of Palestinians stormed into every vacated community and set fire to the synagogues, burning them to the ground.
Across the nation, Israeli Jews wept together - religious and secular alike. Let it be noted that there are numerous inoperative mosques within Israel yet we have never destroyed one; in fact, we have looked after them.
Shas Party Chairman Eli Yishai said today during a special Knesset session he initiated on the subject that he expected the Arab Knesset members to condemn the barbaric acts taking place in the Gush Katif synagogues. Yishai called on Jews to cry out against the destruction of the synagogues “in such a way that the whole world will hear our cry.” However, a leading Arab member of the Knesset said, “The Palestinian Authority must destroy all symbols of the occupation.”
Court Orders Demolition of Gaza Synagogues – September 9, 2005
Lekarev - The High Court of Justice yesterday paved the way for the State of Israel to defile Jewish history by blowing up 38 synagogues in Gaza, including this beautiful one in Neve Dekalim. The destruction was scheduled to be accomplished today - Friday - on the eve of Shabbat. In a 4-3 decision,judges rejected a request to hold another hearing. The Chief Rabbis of Israel both decreed that the destruction of synagogues is a descecration of Jewish law.
Naomi Ragen writes, Never in the history of the Jewish people -- or any people--have holy places and houses of worship been deliberately destroyed by their own people. Even when Jews left or fled countries during their long diaspora, they left their synagogues behind, the way the Moslems have left hundreds of mosques behind that are cared for and protected by the Jewish state.
Following outrage throughout the country, the destruction has been postponed and will NOT take place today, but will be further discussed at a government Cabinet meeting on Sunday. Hundreds of us are ashamed and heart-sick that such a decision could come out of the Supreme Court of Israel. Of all times, during this month of Elul - the month of repentance - how could such a decision be handed down? Is there no spark of Jewishness in our Court any longer? It is particularly noteworthy that this week's Torah portion is entitled "Shoftim" which means 'Judges' and begins with the commandment to appoint righteous judges! Coincidence? Not a chance! It's not the cement and plaster - it's everything that a synagogue represents for the Jewish people - the place of worship, of the study of Torah and the Prophets, of community life. May Hashem forgive us and send a wave of true teshuva/repentance across this nation.
IDF Buries Synagogue in Sa-Nur – September 20, 2005
Israel National News - Abiding by a cabinet decision, the IDF left the synagogue standing in Sa-Nur. In Gaza, the synagogues were destroyed by Arab mobs. In Sa-Nur, the army faced a quandry. The solution? Bury it in sand.
Sa-Nur, one of the Jewish villages
in northern Samaria destroyed by the IDF under the Disengagement Plan, still
had a synagogue standing, as of Monday. Unlike the Jewish communities in Gaza,
the former Jewish communities in northern Samaria, Homesh, Ganim, Kadim, and
Sa-Nur remain under Israeli control. Like the Jewish communities in Gaza, after
demolishing all of the homes, the IDF left the synagogues standing, because of
a cabinet decision that forbade the army from destroying them.
In Gaza, the synagogues were ransacked, plundered, and burned by rampaging Arabs. But in the case of Sa-Nur, no Arab mobs dared to enter the village to destroy the building, with IDF forces remaining in the town. The army was faced with a quandary. Until Monday. Army experts decided that the only way to get rid of the synagogue, and stay within the spirit of the cabinet’s decision, was to bury it. Monday, the IDF began burying Sa-Nur’s synagogue in sand. To make the job easier, army engineers decided to break down the synagogue’s interior walls. Tons of sand are being trucked in to fill up the prayer sanctuary and entomb it. The burial of the Sa-Nur synagogue brings the operation to implement the Disengagement Plan to a close. A former resident of Sa-Nur, Yossi Dagan, spokesman for the town’s refugees said, “Filling up the synagogue with sand is destruction by the hands of Ariel Sharon, an act of desecration that permanently divorces him from the Jewish people.” By Scott Shiloh
Escalation in Gaza – September 6, 2005
Lekarev - Tuesday evening IDF soldiers killed one Palestinian and injured three others when more than 100 locals ignored warning shots in the air and tried to overrun a demolished Jewish community, defying even their own Palestinian leaders who have forbidden it. The mob cut through the fence around the former town of N'vei Dekalim and threw stones at soldiers who are scheduled to leave the area completely in days.
Soldiers fired in the air, but the mob, mostly younger people, continued to forge into the area and one Palestinian actually began climbing an IDF tank while others planted flags of the Hamas terrorist group in the ground. Army sources said they asked the Palestinian Authority (PA) police for help with the mob for three hours. The IDF is furious that the PA police did nothing to stop the crowd from crossing into the N'vei Dekalim area during a march toward the city of Khan Yunis. “Incidents of this type are unacceptable. The Palestinians have prevented them in the past, but this time failed to do so,” and IDF source told Ynet. “We can’t let Palestinians hold a march that was organized by a terror organization, and which could contain gunmen. We can’t let a march like that get to Israel. We can’t let an incident in which a fence was destroyed, a tank mounted go unanswered,” said the source.
Thousands of Iranians Rally Against Israel – October 30, 2005
Lekarev - Tens of thousands of Iranians staged anti-Israel protests across their country today and repeated calls by their ultraconservative president demanding the utter destruction of the Jewish state. World leaders have condemned remarks made Wednesday by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who repeated the words of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of Iran’s Islamic revolution, by saying: “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
Iranians staged multiple protests in the capital, Tehran, and other cities such as Mashad in Iran’s east, holding banners carrying anti-Israeli and pro- Palestinian slogans. “Death to Israel, death to America,” Read many placards. The demonstrations are being held as part of annual al-Quds - Jerusalem - Day protests, which were first held in 1979 after Shiite Muslim clerics took power in Iran. The state- organized rallies are expected to grow throughout the day ahead of midday prayer mosque sermons across Iran. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have attended previous protests. Similar anti-Israel events were to be held in Bahrain, Lebanon, and in many other Arab countries.
Late Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the massive demonstrations would illustrate the anger of the Islamic world over the Jewish state’s existence.
Egyptian Border Wide Open - Contrary to Egyptian Promises – September 14, 2005
Lekarev - Contrary to Egyptian commitments, the border between Gaza and Egypt has been wide open for two days, with unmonitored movement of personnel and weapons between the two areas. Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz said Tuesday that Egypt's failure to close the border "could have serious repercussions," but stopped short of threatening an IDF re-entry to the Philadelphi corridor, instead opting to file a complaint with US Ambassador Dan Kurtzer.
As of Wednesday at noon, PA Arabs and Egyptians were still crossing the border freely, carrying large packages, goods and unknown quantities of weapons and ammunition that until Monday had been smuggled through underground tunnels. The main IDF activity along the route up until withdrawal was uncovering the elaborate tunnel system through which weapons and drugs were transported. Many parts of the wall between Egyptian and Gazan Rafiach were torn down by armed PA residents, some reportedly members of the PA police, using explosives as seen in the photo above.
Security forces are worried about the possibility that in the days the border has been left open Al-Qaeda terrorists and upgraded Katyusha missiles and explosives have already been brought into Gaza.
The Gaza Residents Four Months Later
THE CRISIS OF THE PEOPLE IN THE LAND OF PROMISE – December 8, 2005
Shorashim of the Old City (Jerusalem Insights)- The government prior to and after the disengagement has repeated the claim that " there is a solution for every evacuee" More than three months have passed and that claim has proven to be almost maliciously untrue. Over 9000 Israeli citizens uprooted from their homes in a military maneuver that was perfectly planned and, excluding some glaring exceptions passed with no violence. Yet little if no action was taken to prepare for them. The sorry and pitiful results seem to affect those who signed up with the government prior to the disengagement as well as those who did not agree to participate in their own expulsion.
SOME OF THE FACTS
· 50% of the caravans that were promised are still not ready.
· 65% of the evacuees are still living under conditions that were supposed to be only for one week.
· 75% of those expelled from Gush Katif and the Shomron are still unemployed.
· The "rental fee" for each caravan is $500 per month (remembering that most of these people are unemployed and they were forced into this situation by an unprepared government)
· In many cases families of 12 need to find space in a caravan whose size runs between 60 to 120 square meters.
· 300 farms were destroyed and only 20 have been re-established.
· No families have yet received their compensation funds that were promised as of the end of November.
· Only 13% of the families have received any form of down payment on their compensation in order to help them continue their lives.
· Families who were renting in Gush Katif are not eligible for compensation.
· 600 families are still living in cramped quarters in hotels or school dormitories.
· 45% of the children have begun to exhibit posttraumatic symptoms like bedwetting.
· There have been many examples of heart attacks and other posttraumatic syndrome illnesses.
· 4 girls between the ages of 16-19 are still in closed psychiatric wards.
· 10 adolescent boys are living with their parents in deep depression and will not leave their rooms. Thousands of young people have exhibited dramatic drops in their marks and in their motivation to learn.
· Many families are still being coerced to pay mortgages for the homes destroyed by the government.
· No effort has been initiated by the Government to deal with the psychological trauma and stress of the expulsion.
These are but just some of the facts of the difficult situation facing the ex residents of Gush Katif and the northern Shomron . Jewish communities across Israel and throughout the World have begun to organize to fill in the gaps and come to the aid of their brothers and sisters. Regardless of people's views regarding the Disengagement/expulsion the call for compassion and achdut resonates in the heart of every single Jew and every caring human being.
Plight of Gaza Refugees Continues; Protests at Sharon's Office – December 1, 2005
Lekarev - Some 1,000 people gathered in front of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s official Jerusalem residence Wednesday to mark 100 days since Israel’s disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. “100 days have past since thousands of Jews were placed in hotels, yeshivas and ulpanim (Hebrew language school),” former Gaza Coast Regional Council Head Avner Shimoni said during the rally, which was held in the framework of Yesha Council’s attempt to raise awareness of the issue and to better the evacuees’ situation which in most cases can only be described as deplorable. Meanwhile, over three tons of clothing and goods for Jews expelled from their homes in Gaza and northern Samaria last summer arrived Tuesday on an airlift sent by Americans Jews and gentiles. ”For 100 days the refugees have been living in hotels and tent cities,” a spokesman said. “They are still there and many have not even arrived at interim solutions, so their possessions are still all locked up in warehouses. All electronic devices have been ruined by the heat and rats have eaten much of their clothing. Aside from that, the government rules that if someone opens their shipping container they must empty it completely and give it back - even though they have no place to put anything.”
The air lift was the brainchild of Dr. Daryl Temkin, a 52-year-old psychologist and Israel education activist from Los Angeles. Temkin contacted the Israel Homeless Association, who was willing to take care of the logistical aspects of the airlift on the Israeli side and decided that he would push forward with the massive effort. "The excitement over this has been mainly because this is a unique opportunity for Jews to be helpful for their fellow Israeli Jews," Temkin said. "I received 400 e-mails within a few days. One manufacturer is donating 200 pairs of jeans and others contributed supplies of children's clothing and hundreds of shoes and still another manufacturer is sending an extraordinary number of winter coats.” Many, many thanks to all of you subscribers who have responded so generously to this need. Your gifts are making such a difference. What so many people overseas don't understand is that these families have not only lost their homes and jobs, they've lost nearly all their possessions as well. I just heard this morning about one family with 6 children -the husband/father died less than two months ago of a sudden unpredicted heart attack. Two children are elementary school age, one is a soldier in the IDF, two others recently began work very part time. This family faces many difficulties and now the breadwinner is gone. Hundreds of others are still unemployed and the families are suffering.
Thank You Brothers and Sisters from Gush Katif by Yisroel Solomon
It was around midnight this past Wednesday night, the night of Yom Kippur. Most of the people had left the synagogue. Only a few were left reciting Tehilim (Psalms). I put my head down to rest and I fell into a deep sleep. I had an awesome dream which I would like to share with you.
In my dream I was ascending rapidly in some sort of transparent tunnel, I was passing all sorts of strange places, each more intensely illuminated than the “place” below it. Finally I found myself exiting the vertical “tunnel” and entering a vast courtyard where throngs of people were walking swiftly to a massive structure. The light was almost blinding but I managed somehow to see. Most of them were elderly men with beards but there were younger ones too, and even some children. At a distance I saw many women going in the same direction but apparently through another door in that structure.
I asked one of the people, “Where is everyone going?”
“Don’t you know? Where are you from anyway?”
“Well, I am sort of visiting. Where are we going?”
“We are going to the ‘Courthouse’, where G-d Almighty and the Beit Din Shel Maalah (the Supernal Heavenly Court) will decide on the fate of the Jews this coming year. I heard that this year the trial is of enormous import as it will relate to the schedule of the Final Redemption as well.”
“Why are we going? Curiosity?”
“No. We are going to see if we can assist our brethren down on Earth. The dark forces of Satan will be bringing their best lawyers to prove that the Jews don’t deserve the Redemption. We are going to see if we can help the angel Michael and his team of lawyers defend the Jews.”
I found myself inside this enormous structure. There were many doors and many staircases and I wasn’t sure where to go. The person beside me who had answered my earlier questions grabbed me by my hand and said, “Come with me”.
We ascended a few staircases and then went into a door.
Inside there was a massive hall with many levels of balconies, reaching great heights, all packed with seats and people. Below on the ground level I could see a large semi-circle table with seventy sages seating around it. The seat in the center was vacant. Each one’s face shone with such brightness that I had to look away. There were many other circular tables surrounding the one in the centre, all full of sages.
“Sit down. They will begin shortly,” my ‘friend’ said.
Suddenly a hush fell over the entire hall as everyone rose to their feet. The room filled with a blinding light. I felt like I was going to pass out.
“Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses our teacher) and the Shechina (the Divine Presence of G-d) have entered.”
Everyone then sat down. I still could not lift my head or open my eyes but I heard a voice.
“This new year, 5766 from Creation, has been designated from the beginning of time as an auspicious time for the Redemption*. We are here to deliberate if the Jews are deserving of experiencing the Redemption at this time. It should be noted that this court has already established in previous years that after almost 2000 years of Exile the Jews have accumulated more than enough Torah and Mitzvoth to merit the Redemption. The enormous amount of suffering and persecution, death and torture suffered by Jews throughout these centuries clearly overrides all their misdeeds.
However in order to merit the Redemption we are looking for something special and out-of-the-ordinary. We have asked Michael and his team to prepare a list of deeds that may qualify. As usual, Satan will be given a fair chance to question the authenticity and validity of these deeds. Michael, please begin.”
“Ribono Shel Olam (Master of the Universe), Moshe Rabbeinu and distinguished sages.
I have with me a long list of Yeshivot and Kollelim, Cheders, and Torah Schools for boys and girls from all over the world. They are all under the leadership of very dedicated Jews who have devoted their lives so that the holy Torah can be studied by hundreds of thousands of Jewish youngsters and adults. Surely the self sacrifice of all these Roshei Yeshivot and other leaders should be sufficient to bring the Redemption.”
“Who’s that?” I whispered to my ‘friend.’
“That is Satan.”
“While I must agree that it is commendable to devote one’s life to a Yeshiva or other Torah educational institute, ultimately these Roshei Yeshivot care about their own institutions but not about G-d.”
“On what do you base this?” thundered Moshe Rabbeinu.
“Over a dozen Torah institutions were destroyed this year in Gush Katif. I challenge Michael to produce evidence that his long list of Roshei Yeshivot and Roshei Kollelim etc. tried to prevent this. If they really cared about the Torah or G-d, why were they silent?”
Michael was silent.
“Do you have anything else to present to the court, Michael?”
After a few moments which seemed like an eternity, Michael spoke up.
“I have with me a long list of Rabbis who have devoted themselves with wholehearted devotion to their congregations and communities. Surely their self sacrifice should be sufficient to bring the Redemption.”
“While I must agree that it is commendable to devote one’s life to a congregation or community, ultimately these Rabbis care about their own sphere of influence but not about G-d.”
“On what do you base this?” thundered Moshe Rabbeinu.
“Dozens of beautiful synagogues were forcibly deserted this year in Gush Katif. I challenge Michael to produce evidence that his long list of Rabbis tried to prevent this. If they really cared about G-d, why were they silent when G-d’s Name was being desecrated in such an ugly fashion by fellow Jews?”
Again Michael was silent.
“Do you have anything else to present to the court, Michael?”
“Yes, my master. I have with me a long list of Chesed (kindness) organizations, Gemachs (free loan societies), Bikur Cholims (groups who visit the sick), Chevra Kaddishas (burial societies) and a whole slew of others devoted to all forms of kindness and charity. The people who run these organizations and support them do so with selfless devotion. Surely their self sacrifice should be sufficient to bring the Redemption.”
“While I must agree that it is commendable to devote one’s life to kindness and charity, ultimately these people care about their own charities but not about G-d.
Close to ten thousand Jews were forcibly evicted from their homes. Their lives crushed. Their dreams shattered. The decades of hard work they invested building up beautiful communities in the Holy Land were reduced to naught. The pain and trauma suffered by these Jews was enormous. I challenge my colleague Michael to produce evidence that his long list of Chesed (kindness) doers tried to prevent this. If they really cared about G-d, why were they silent when so many of His children were suffering?”
Michael was silent.
First a scary silence pervaded the entire hall. Then I could hear a lot of sobbing, especially from the women’s section. It seemed like all was lost. Satan had again succeeded in delaying the Final Redemption.
Then suddenly I heard a shout from the women’s gallery.
“Wait, wait, we are coming down.”
From the main entrance on the ground level there emerged a woman and four girls. The oldest must have been about 12 and the youngest about 3. The woman was holding a baby boy in her arms. In her other hand she was holding what looked like a pail. The girls too where holding pails of various sizes.
They walked swiftly toward the head of the large semi-circle table.
“My name is Tali. My daughters and myself were murdered by ....”
Moses lifted his right hand as if to say “enough.”
“I know who you are, and I am very much aware of the circumstances of your and your daughters’ death**. The names of each and every Jew and Jewess who were killed sanctifying the Name of G-d are forever etched in my heart and in the heart of the Shechina. Please proceed Tali.”
“Forgive me my Master Moshe for speaking up in your presence, and in the presence of the Shchina and all the distinguished sages.”
“It is your right to speak”, said Moses, “Go on.”
“I remember being taught that the Final Redemption will come in the merit of Emunah, faith***. It was the rock-solid faith of the righteous women in Egypt which provided the merit for the Exodus from Egypt. Even during those horrible and dark years of persecution and suffering the women refused to give up their faith and trust in G-d.”
“That is correct, Tali. I myself was inspired by their pure faith. Go on please.”
“My daughters and I went down to Gush Katif during the dark days of the expulsion. We went from house to house and from synagogue to synagogue. We wanted to be there with them. We took these pails to collect their tears. Tears of pure faith. Tears of courageous trust in G-d. Logically they should have realized there is no way to stop a powerful and determined bulldozer from crushing their communities. But they refused to let logic cloud their pure unadulterated faith in G-d. It would have been much easier to leave voluntarily, but they refused to give up. They prayed and prayed till the very last moment. They cried and they pleaded with G-d until they were physically expelled. There were so many tears, and we couldn’t collect them all, but we have brought whatever we could carry with us here today.”
As she continued to speak I could see Satan’s face turn colors. He signaled to his assistants to make a quick exit and they all left with their faces lowered in shame.
“Holy Shechina, our master Moshe and great rabbis, on behalf of all those who have been murdered by our enemies throughout the ages, I ask the court to allow the tears of faith shed by our brethren from Gush Katif to wash away all iniquities, and to usher in the long-overdue Redemption.”
“All who agree with Tali please rise,” said Moshe Rabbeinu.
The thunderous sound of the multitudes present in that enormous hall all standing in unison was deafening. At once the 71 sages unanimously handed their verdict to G-d. I caught a glimpse of the writing.
“This year is to be the year of the final Geulah (Redemption) for all of Klal Yisroel”.
With this I awoke.
Thank you my dear brothers and sisters from Gush Katif.
With love and admiration,
*See Zohar book 1 page 138 “Moshiach will appear in the year 66”.
**On May 2, 2004 - Tali Hatuel, 34, and her daughters, Hila, 11, Hadar, 9, Roni, 7, and Merav, 2 - were killed by two ‘Palestinian’ terrorists at the entrance of Gush Katif. Tali was eight months pregnant. They were on their way to campaign against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's ‘disengagement’ plan. Their white station-wagon spun off the road after the initial shooting, then the attackers approached the vehicle and shot the occupants dead at close range. The Hatuels' car was riddled with bullets, and the carpet inside was stained with blood. The girls were killed hugging one another. On the car was a bumper sticker saying, "Uprooting the settlements, victory for terror." Tali’s husband, David, father of Hila, Hadar, Roni, Merav, and an unborn son, continued to live in Gush Katif until forcibly expelled by Sharon and his government.
***See Midrash Shemot Rabbah 22. Maharal, Gevurat Hashem Chapter 9. Likutei Maharan 1:7
Credits to the website of Gugumogog
The Gaza Refugees are still Homeless – November 9, 2005
Lekarev - Some 1,200 people rallied on behalf of thousands of expelled residents from Gush Katif and Shomron in Jerusalem Tuesday night. 600 families are still living in tents, hotels, or dormitories. For those in tents it is becoming especially difficult as winter is setting in here and the nights are cold. The protest was organized by grassroots activists living in Talmon, between Ramallah and Modiin. Expelled residents still living in temporary quarters addressed the crowd and explained the difficulties of spending nearly 12 weeks living in hotels and the like. The call echoing from all the speakers was addressed to the Prime Minister and the government, asking them to turn a listening ear to the pleas of the people they made homeless and to begin relating to them as normal people.
Yesterday I was speaking with Anna Oliker in Jerusalem who is heading up the project of providing coats to the Gush Katif families. She told me that 80% of the people are still unemployed. She and her volunteers are working tirelessly to do what they can to alleviate what seems to be endless needs. when I told Anna about all of you who wrote wanting to help, she was nearly in tears. She asked me to convey her deepest thanks for your support and concern.
Expelled Residents are Dispersed Throughout the Country – December 5, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - A list has been compiled depicting the dispersion of the Katif/Shomron residents. One former resident responded: "Scary and shocking how they separated us. This is exactly what they tried to do!" The list was compiled by Orit Yogev of the Orange Cell organization and appears on Katif.net - former Ganei Tal resident Moti Sender's website that has unified all of Gush Katif with up-to-date news, announcements and articles. In chart form, the list shows that the expelled families are spread out in over 35 locations throughout the country. The dispersion list shows the following distribution of the 1,796 expelled families:
A visitor to the Katif.net site offered the
"We must not forget this 'Diaspora.' As people who were uprooted, their emotional state is very difficult, and is made harder because they are not in their originall communities, but are rather alone, among people who, with all their sympathy, cannot really understand. In addition, I imagine that they are also experiencing the nice bureaucracy of the Disengagement Authority..." By Hillel Fendel
MK Ariel to Ministers: Why Have You Not Visited the Homeless? – November 2, 2005
Israel National News - MK Uri
Ariel continues his efforts on behalf of the homeless refugees of Gush
Katif/Shomron. He heads a Knesset forum on this issue, and initiated a
Knesset debate to be held in the coming days. Knesset
Member Ariel, of the National Union party, met yesterday with Acting Finance
Minister Ehud Olmert, and today with Agriculture Minister Yisrael Katz, on the
topic of the plight of the expelled citizens.
With Olmert, Ariel raised the issue of the special benefits that were granted the uprooted residents in their former homes, asking that these benefits be extended for another two years. Ariel said that an absurd situation has arisen in that people who now have no job and no home have also lost their benefits. Olmert said that he does not rule out this proposal and will make a decision in the coming days.
Speaking with Minister Katz, Ariel raised the problems particular to those who engaged in agriculture in Gush Katif. He noted issues such as the government's foot-dragging in assigning them lands, problematic quotas for foreign workers, monetary damages due to loss of agricultural seasons, how to help older farmers who cannot simply begin anew, and the like. It was decided that the Agriculture Minister will work to advance legislation to bypass the bureaucracy on these issues.
Speaking in the Knesset today, MK Ariel said, "As far as the government and the Prime Minister are concerned, the uprooted residents simply do not exist; they are invisible. Not a word has been said about the attempts to solve their problems... "The Prime Minister, in his announcement on Monday that was approved by the Knesset - contrary to my opinion - said something about strengthening the settlement blocs - but in fact, he has done nothing to promote this. Some 25 families from Netzarim wish to live in a new neighborhood in Ariel, but he does not allow it. He has said in the past that he would fortify the Jordan Valley, but he personally stops a group of families from the former Shirat HaYam from settling in a community there. For him, they are invisible; he's busy with other things."
MK Ariel mentioned that he and other MKs have formed a Knesset forum to ensure swift solutions for the homeless expellees. Other members of the forum include the MKs of the National Union Party, MKs Orlev and Slomiansky of the National Religious Party, Landau and Kara of the Likud, Porush (United Torah Judaism), Peretz (Shas), and more. Subcommittees on education, agriculture, and employment have been formed, with MK Ariel coordinating the efforts from above. Two Shinui Party MKs - Golan and Doron - are helping "from the side," according to MK Ariel's parliamentary aide. MK Golan proposed legislation today that would cause the government to pay for psychological aid to those expellees and their children who require it.
In his Knesset speech today, MK Ariel had harsh criticism of the Cabinet ministers: "Not one of you has visited the uprooted citizens even one time. They live in hotels not far from here, but not one of you has visited. Nor have you invited them to see you. [Ed. note: Minister Meir Sheetrit responded afterwards that he had met with some of them in his office.] Only Deputy Welfare Minister Avraham Ravitz [of the United Torah Judaism party] visited them in their hotels, on three occasions, and this should be recognized with gratefulness."
Ariel said that some of those who were uprooted don't have "shoes or coats, even though it's almost winter. Their stuff is in a container, and they can't get to it. The promised compensation has not reached many of them, because the Disengagement Authority refuses to give to those who don't sign that they left before August 17 [the date after which the army said they were forbidden to remain] - even though the government has said that this is no longer a necessary condition. This means that the Disengagement Authority has made conditions that the government itself does not insist on - and the residents are left without receiving money.""Unfortunately," MK Ariel said, "most of the complaints against the Disengagement Authority and its head are justified. The old rule that states that you either succeed or give excuses applies to them, and that's why they spend so much time on television screens..."
"There are many large families among the expelled residents, but for some reason the Disengagement Authority has decided that a family of ten can live in a caravila of 90 square meters [100 square yards] - for three years! Their decisions are arbitrary and reminiscent of the clerks of the Baron 100 years ago... It was only the public at large that prevented much greater suffering; people have helped out in doing laundry, teaching, making contributions, driving, and much more. Thank G-d that all those who have given so much help don't view the homeless people as transparent." MK Ariel has also mapped out a plan for over 1,200 housing units for the former Gush Katif residents for a long-term solution. He has taken the first step by pricing the plan according to location. Priced at half-a-billion shekels [over $100 million] his plan envisions the following:
* 50 units for former Atzmonah residents in Yated
* 90 units for former Atzmonah residents in Lachish, between Negev and southern Judea
* 300 units for former N'vei Dekalim residents in Nitzan
* 150 units for former N'vei Dekalim residents in Lachish
* 60 units for former Moshav Katif residents somewhere in the Negev
* 70 units for former Kfar Darom residents in Yated
* 60 units for former Netzer Hazani residents in Ein Tzurim
* 40 units for former Gadid residents in the Negev
* 30 units for former Shirat HaYam residents in Maskiyot in the Jordan Valley
* 25 units for former Tel Katifa residents in the Negev
* 70 units for former Elei Sinai residents in the Ashkelon area
* 70 units for former Netzarim residents in Yevul
* 70 units for former Ganeti Tal residents in Chafetz Chaim
* 150 others By Hillel Fendel
Sharon Held Personally Responsible
for Expellees' Plight – November 1, 2005
Israel National News - Over 10 weeks after the expulsion, and 2/3 of the families evicted from their Gush Katif/Shomron homes have not yet been provided with a temporary solution. Their lawyer holds PM Sharon responsible. Attorney Yitzchak Meron, the head of the Land of Israel Legal Forum that has been representing the Gush Katif expellees on a pro-bono basis, has written a letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Excerpts:
"Over 70 days have passed since, at your initiative, some 9,000 people were thrown out of their homes. Almost none of them have attained their permanent [housing] solution… At the earliest, they will reach it two years from now, and others will apparently have a final housing solution in only 3-4 years. No less severe is the fact that 2/3 of the people still do not even have a temporary solution. As it appears now, a large portion of them will reach this only 3-6 months from now.
"The temporary solutions themselves involve great suffering for the residents. They will have to live in very crowded conditions of 10-12 square meters [12-14 square yards] per person. Much of their furniture and belongings do not even fit into the small houses; their belongings will have to remain in containers or warehouses. The people have to buy furniture and equipment that fits their new houses - and it goes without saying that the law provides for no compensation for this."
"In short, the State has taken away from thousands of expelled residents their houses that they built with great toil, and these people are now without a home. They live in crowded hotel conditions. Some of them will have to remain this way for months to come. Physical and psychological ramifications of this situation are already noticeable, and experts say they will only get worse."We warned in advance that the state did not concern itself with providing appropriate housing solutions in advance. We warned of a double uprooting, and now it appears that some people will have to be uprooted three and even four times."
Meron contests the claim that the residents themselves did not cooperate sufficiently with the Disengagement Authority, but adds, "In any event, ever since the expulsion, certainly there is no such claim! Yet despite this, everything that has been done has been too late, too little and too slow... "Among the issues that have not been solved and that could be solved by your personal intervention are the families that lived in the area for many years - including young couples who were born there and families who rented privately - but because of various technical definitions, [are not yet receiving compensation]. The uprooted people themselves are not even involved in various negotiations between the government and the locations where caravila communities are planned - and they stand helpless on the sidelines." By Hillel Fendel
Landau: Likud to Debate Plight of Gush Katif Evictees – October 21, 2005
National News - “No democratic country should ever abandon its citizens like
this,” stated MK Dr. Uzi Landau on Wednesday after viewing the conditions of
Jews expelled from Gush Katif and northern Samaria. Landau,
who is running for the leadership of the Likud party, has called for the Likud
Party to debate the issue in two weeks’ time at the opening of the Knesset’s
Click here to listen to an interview with Landau on IsraelNationalRadio's Eli Stutz and Yishai Fleisher Show, Thursday.
Two months after the expulsion, the former residents of Elei Sinai still have not found a communal housing solution for their community. At the moment, they are living in a tent camp at the Yad Mordechai junction, and Wednesday’s heavy rain caught them totally unprepared. Sarita Maoz, spokesperson for the homeless evictees, told Israeli government radio that the community wrote Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to request an urgent meeting eight days before the rain began. Currently, the housing situation is being handled by “clerks,” according to Maoz. Since no forward progress is being made on a more permanent housing solution, Maoz believes Sharon must become personally involved. “Until now, we have not received any reply,” stated Maoz.
Meanwhile, expellees from the communities of Bedollach, Morag and Kfar Yam, who had been living at the Shirat Hayam Hotel in Ashkelon, were evicted from the hotel the day before the festival of Sukkot. Since then, they have been living in makeshift accommodations and are receiving meals from the soup kitchens in Sderot.
The Disengagement Authority asserts that the evictees have refused all suggested solutions, making negotiations impossible.
Landau stated that it is important to note that the evictees who were thrown out of the hotel in Ashkelon are from Morag and Bedollach. Residents from those communities had signed agreements with the authority to move to caravillas and had even been prepared to leave their homes before the disengagement. Rather than preparing caravillas for community members in advance of the August 19th expulsion, the Disengagement Authority “sent them to a hotel in the Dead Sea area and the Shirat Hayam Hotel in Ashkelon, which didn’t solve any of their problems,” said Landau. “They even threw some of them into a hotel in Tiberias for a few days.”
Landau added that he personally visited the Shirat Hayam Hotel two weeks ago. “There was a social welfare officer there, working for the Disengagement Authority, who couldn’t supply any answers. You could see that if she had wanted to reply, she would have given a searing condemnation of the authority. But she obviously couldn’t do that, being a member of the authority herself.”
Apart from the camp at Yad Mordechai, Landau toured the evictee community of Nitzan and the “city of faith” adjacent to Netivot. During the tour Landau, called for an appropriate solution for the housing plight of the evictees from Gush Katif and northern Samaria, as well as an urgent party debate on the issue in time for the opening of the Knesset winter session. Landau believes this is not a political problem but rather a social one. “There was a disengagement, and there are now ten thousand people here who need to be taken care of.” He added that it was time to demand a more humane response from the Prime Minister’s Office, and that he hoped the issue would also stir the members of the Knesset and the general public. “Let’s put the politics to one side and just help the evictees,” Landau stated.
Thursday, Landau spoke at the dedication ceremony of a new computer science center at the Jean Gluck Girls High School in Beit El. The computer center was dedicated in the memory of the late Rabbi Morris Friedman. In his speech Landau stated, "Since the twelve years of Oslo, we have been on a slippery slope. Israel has made concessions in the Oslo, Hebron, and Wye Plantation agreements, and now the Road Map. Concessions have been the main answer to the pressures against us. It is a sign of fatigued weakness in our leadership, as well as among the citizens of the State of Israel."But there are others. There is a tremendous revival of Judaism. Just go to Judea and Samaria and see the people with their refined character traits and the way they honor their parents. They come from Israel, the former Soviet Union, America and Ethiopia. They are a different type of breed. Despite the disengagement, the people here continue to build. The population of Judea and Samaria is higher now than last year." By Naomi Grossman
Katif Families Continue to Live in Uncertainty – October 11, 2005
Israel National News - Many groups
of expelled Gush Katif families, almost two months after being thrown out of
their homes, still do not know where the government will agree to house them. * A
large group of expelled Gush Katif residents - mostly from N'vei Dekalim and
Netzer Hazani - were informed yesterday (Monday) that all agreement and plans
regarding plans for their temporary homes in Kibbutz Ein Tzurim were canceled.
However, intensive hours of talks during the course of the day between the
Israel Lands Authority and Ein Tzurim yielded fruit, and it was announced late
last night that work on the site will begin immediately after the Sukkot
holiday. The work is expected to take at least four months.
Aviel Tucker of Netzer Hazani said that, unlike other expelled residents, they have not been told that they must leave their temporary lodgings by the end of October: "Here, where we are staying - in Hispin in the Golan - the conditions are relatively very good. Our hosts are just amazing, and the guest house even allowed our wives to take over the kitchen before Rosh HaShanah and cook their own food... I have to note especially Gabi Hemu, the manager of the guest house and the deputy mayor of the Golan Regional Council; he has just been amazing...""I also want people to know," Tucker added, "that we have opened a Torah-study Kollel for the men here; many of us don't have work, so instead of wasting our time, we study Torah for several hours each day. The rabbis of the yeshiva here, headed by Rabbi Avraham Shiller, give of their time to teach us."
* On Sunday night, the 35 expellee families of N'vei Dekalim who are in the Hyatt Hotel in Jerusalem received word that they must vacate the hotel by Oct. 26, the day after the Sukkot holiday. One of the residents, Naamah Gross, said that this threat has been made before, "and we told them that we refuse to be pawns in the fights between the hotel and the Disengagement Authority. If they want to throw us out, let them bring the Yassam police again." Gross and her family are among those awaiting the completion of caravillas in Nitzan. Other expelled residents in similar predicaments are those of Gadid in the N'vei Ilan Hotel, and 50 families from various communities in the Shirat HaYam Hotel in Ashkelon. The latter hotel abruptly turned off the electricity and water on its guests just hours before the Sabbath, turning it on again only when an agreement had been reached to delay their re-expulsion by another week.
* The former residents of Moshav Katif, who have been living in the Kfar Pines Ulpanah Girls' High School near Hadera in the nearly two months since their expulsion, say the situation cannot continue this way. The high school senior girls have generously agreed to live in classrooms and specially-made tents, in order to allow the families to live in their dorm rooms. The families say they greatly appreciate the girls' hospitality, but that a more permanent solution must be found. At present, two options are under consideration: Relocation to the Chafetz Chaim guest house when the current guests, the ex-residents of Ganei Tal, move to their caravillas in nearby Yad Binyamin, or the renting of three apartment buildings in Kiryat Malachi. By Hillel Fendel
Government Tries to Break Apart Gush Katif Community – October 11, 2005
Israel National News - Thirty families
from the former Gush Katif community of Gadid who have long demanded to remain
together have now been told that they are to
be scattered in different directions. Waiting nearly two months for their
new temporary community to be ready, the families were informed last night that
they are to move at the end of the month to apartments in various cities.
[photo: The now-destroyed synagogue in Gadid]
Almost two months ago, at the height
of the Katif-Shomron expulsion when 9,000 residents were thrown out of their
homes, the families of Gadid were taken directly to the N'vei Ilan Hotel
outside Jerusalem. The intention was to house them there for the immediate
short-range, just until the longer-range temporary solution could be found.
Negotiations between the residents and the Disengagement Authority began
immediately to house them in a caravilla community in Masuot Yitzchak. Masuot,
north of Ashkelon, was chosen partly because of its proximity to two other
neighborhoods of Gush Katif expellees, in Shafir and Ein Tzurim.
The negotiations dragged on, but the residents understood that the final agreement was merely a matter of ironing out details and receiving the proper approvals - when suddenly last night, they received a shock: A Disengagement Authority representative named Moti Elimelech arrived and informed them that at the end of this month, they would be moved to private apartments in Sderot, Ashkelon and elsewhere. "People cried, and many couldn't get to sleep last night," said long-time Gadid resident Orli Mazuz this morning. "It's just an impossible situation. We didn't ask to be thrown out of our homes, but now the government can't get its act together and has barely started work on our site. Why are we to blame?"
Some 30 families from Gadid, including spiritual leader Rabbi Yigal Hadaye, are currently living in N'vei Ilan; another 30 are at the Nitzan caravilla site. Mazuz said that she and the others refuse to leave N'vei Ilan without a communal solution: "Should our children have to switch kindergartens and nurseries three times in a few months? This is an impossible situation, and I'm telling you, if they want us out of here, they'll have to force us out with Yassam police again like they did the first time." Work on the Masuot Yitzchak site has barely begun; surveyors were first seen there just a number of days ago. Government officials claim that it will cost too much to continue to house the residents in the hotel for the four months that will likely be required to complete it. The residents are not impressed: "We were perfectly willing to remain in our homes in Gadid for another few months while the government completed the temporary homes," Mazuz said, "and it wouldn't have cost the government anything. So the money issue is truly not our concern."
Mazuz said that though the hotel management is going out of its way to make their stay pleasant, "and the Disengagement Authority has tried as well, but the fact is that this is not a way for families to live. But relative to others, the conditions here are pretty good - we have nurseries and kindergartens here, and the people of Dolev [in southern Shomron] have adopted us very warmly, and our neighbors in Telz Stone are helping too. How can the government scatter us now to different places? And if we are scattered all around, who says that Masuot will ever be finished? There's no guarantee."
Chaim Altman, spokesman for the Disengagement Authority, was not willing to accept blame: "A recent government decision stipulated that no expellees will remain in hotels beyong the end of this month. They will therefore be relocated to private apartments, paid for as stipulated in the Evacuation-Compensation Law." He further said that as long as the contract for Masuot Yitzchak had not been signed, there was no government obligation to house them there, implying that the residents should also not have anticipated such a solution.
Another resident, Ariel Porat, who was involved in the negotiations with the Authority, said today,"The delay in the negotiations was certainly not due to us, except for maybe the last two days. Throughout the entire period, they kept giving us conflicting messages, saying we would not be able to get a particular approval, then saying we would, or telling us that we wouldn't last and would start splitting up... In general, they wanted to break us up as a group, hoping all along that they wouldn't have to grant us a communal solution. They keep dropping us little threats, such as that we will have to pay for our stay in the hotels, and then raising the amounts that we'll have to pay, and the like..."I can't say for sure that they never planned to build Masuot for us," Porat said, "but I also can't say the opposite. It could be that the contract will be signed in a few days, and I hope that work on the site will begin right away - but on the other hand, it's now the holiday season, and then the winter begins, etc. ... We have been strong until now, and I hope and am confident that we will remain that way in the future."
Many of those who remain in N'vei Ilan have no work, while others travel fairly long distances to their previous jobs in the south. Porat himself owns a flower nursery, which he rebuilt at the entrance to Masuot immediately after the expulsion. "I had no idea at the time that we might actually live here," he said, "but merely because I had no place to go and the people of Masuot were so very generous and helpful." Other Gadid farmers were not as fortunate, because they need to test the land to see what they can grow, and thus remain idle, in limbo and income-less. Asked to characterize those who remained in N'vei Ilan, as opposed to those who have left the group and are on their own, one resident said, "We are basically those who believed up until the last minute that we could and should fight this thing, and refused to accept the decree." By Hillel Fendel
Gush Katif Rabbi: Forbidden to Destroy Cemetary and Synagogues – August 26, 2005
National News - N’vei Dekalim Chief Rabbi Yosef Elnekaveh explains that even
following the transfer of those buried in Gush Katif's graveyard, the
gravestones and the cemetery should not be destroyed. Rabbi
Elnekaveh explained that Jewish Law prohibits the destruction of synagogues and
cemeteries, adding that in concert with bereaved families, considering the
unique situation at hand, permission was granted to exhume the bodies and
rebury them elsewhere.
The rabbi is calling upon the government to leave the tombstones behind and demand that the United States and the international community give assurances that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will respect the sanctity of the location and permit the cemetery to remain undefiled – to include it along with guidelines and responsibilities surrounding the disengagement.
Rabbi Elnekavee added that following the destruction of the cemetery, Israel would lose the right to demand European and North African countries preserve ancient Jewish cemeteries and called upon the government to respect the dead as well as the living and not to destroy the cemetery located in N’vei Dekalim. By Yechiel Spira
Re-Burial of Jewish Remains from Gaza Cemeteries – August 29, 2005
Lekarev - In May 1992, Rabbi Biran of Kfar Darom, aged 32, was stabbed to death by an Arab terrorist just outside his community, leaving behind a young wife and small children. He had immigrated to Israel from England with his parents 22 years before, studied at the Bnei Akiva yeshiva high school in Netanya and was a youth group leader. He later studied at the hesder yeshiva in Shaalvim, where he combined army service and Torah study.
Ordained as a rabbi by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, he studied in Shaalvim for ten years, after which he and his wife Michal became founding members of the Gaza community of Kfar Darom. Today he was re-buried on the Mount of Olives as part of the moving of graves from cemeteries in Gush Katif.
A total of 48 bodies from the Gush Katif cemetery, located between Ganei Tal and N'vei Dekalim, will have been dug up and reburied in cemeteries across Israel by the end of the week.
May They Rest in Peace - a Second Time – September 2, 2005
Lekarev - Thousands of people gathered in Jerusalem to accompany the coffins of 14 Gush Katif dead who were re-buried in the capital's Mount of Olives cemetery on yesterday. One after another, the coffins were lowered out of ambulances, first those of the children, then the women, and finally the men, and taken to the cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, former chief rabbi of Israel, and current rabbi of Tel Aviv, addressed the mourners. “We brought 14 of the Gush Katif evacuees to their final resting place on the Mount of Olives. This is really a farewell from all of Israel to Gush Katif, which has been left even without its dead, those that are laid out in front us here,” he said.
"We must unite and build bridges, and not follow those who wish to divide us. The empty synagogues in gush Katif will be the (Holocaust museum) Yad Vashem of Gush Katif. They will be quiet monuments to the life that was there, a pillar of fire that guided the camp," said Lau.
Sharon and Globalist America’s Bid to Control Israel
The Prize Sharon is Looking For – August 9, 2005
Lekarev - Sunday, August 7, the Israeli cabinet approved by a large majority the evacuation of the first three Israel locations in the Gaza Strip, Morag, Netzarim and Kfar Darom. Similar approvals will follow for the remaining eighteen. But that did not make Sunday Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s big day, according to an indepth analysis by Debka.
The important date for him is tomorrow, Wednesday, August 10. He will then find out if his huge gamble in pushing ahead, through thick and thin, with Israel’s pull-out from the Gaza Strip and part of the northern West Bank, comes up trumps. He has staked painful concessions, national unity and personal credibility on winning a big prize, but clearly believes it is worth the candle. That prize is a US- British-French initiative for a UN Security Council resolution declaring the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip at an end. He is counting on this reward’s delivery as soon as he hands the territory to Palestinian sovereignty free of an Israeli presence.
For the prime minister, this prize would make all the setbacks and humiliations he has suffered in the last year or two since launching his unilateral disengagement plan worthwhile. His advisers tell him that he would emerge from the battle powerful enough to pick and choose the party he leads in the next general election and be assured of a third term as prime minister.
But WHY is a UN Security Council Resolution so important to Sharon? Why is the approval of the world such a big issue? Does not the Torah say clearly that Israel is called and destined to be 'a nation apart', different from the rest of the nations of the world? That Israel is to be 'a light to the nations', not a nation seeking the approval of the other nations? Call me simplistic if you will, but I believe with all my heart that the Torah, the Bible is true and if Hashem called Israel to be unique, different and 'apart' from the rest of the nations, then seeking the world's approval is a futile and even foolish aspiration.
I've heard all the arguments and rationales as to why Israel 'needs' it. Argue if you will - everyone is free to have their own opinion. As for me, my 'opinion' is what is written in the Torah. Here are but two of several verses that convey the same message:
Leviticus 20:26 - “For you are a holy people to Hashem your G- d; Hashem your G-d has chosen you to be His own treasure, out of all peoples that are upon the face of the earth. Hashem did not set His love on you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people - for you were the fewest of all peoples - but because Hashem loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, has He brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deut. 6:6- 8) and You shall be holy unto Me; for I Hashem am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations, that you should be Mine.”
You need to understand what's going on behind the scenes and I strongly urge you to click here to read the full story.
EU Envoy Otte: Withdrawal is the Model for Jerusalem – August 28, 2005
Israel National News - The EU envoy to the Middle East, Mark Otte, said in an interview appearing this weekend that Israel's recent uprooting of Jewish communities is a model for the rest of Samaria, Judea and Jerusalem. "Our position regarding the West Bank and east Jerusalem is identical - they are occupied territories, and the future of Jerusalem will also be discussed in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians," Mr. Otte told Al-Quds, a Jerusalem-based Arabic-language newspaper. Otte dismissed statements by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that Israel will retain large blocs of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in any permanent arrangement with the Palestinian Authority. Such commitments, the European Union envoy asserted, are nothing more than "spin" intended for internal Israeli consumption. The EU also does not take seriously Israel's demand that the PA fulfill its commitments to disarm Arab terrorist groups. According to the Al-Quds interview, Mr. Otte said the EU does not demand that the PA confront terrorist groups militarily, or that the PA initiate a civil war in order to carry out its obligations.In June, Mr. Otte defended European Union contacts with Hamas representatives, despite the organization being listed as a terrorist organization in EU countries, by saying that "if they are duly elected in free and fair elections under international supervision, you have to know what to do with elected representatives." By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
The Next Expulsion: 11 Families From Hevron – August 29,2 005
National News - Following the deportation of 8,500 Jews from Gush Katif and
northern Shomron, next to be targeted are 11 families living in the marketplace
of Hevron, adjacent to the Avraham Avinu neighborhood. The
area in question is Jewish-owned, but was emptied of its Jews during the Hevron
massacre of 1929 when 67 Jews were slaughtered in their homes and synagogues. Hevron
is considered Judaism's second-holiest city because of the presence of the Machpelah
Cave in which are buried Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah. It is
located near Kiryat Arba, south of Jerusalem. From the year 1540 until 1929,
Jews lived on a large plot of land in Hevron, commonly known as "The
Jewish Quarter." It was purchased by Rabbi Malchiel Ashkenazai, a refugee
from the Spanish expulsion in 1492. Following the 1929 massacre and the exile
of the community's Jewish population, this property, including houses and
synagogues, was abandoned and left uninhabited.
In 1953, Jordanian troops assisted Hevron's Arab population in devastating the remains of the Jewish Quarter. The beautiful Avraham Avinu Synagogue was razed and turned into a goat sty, and apartment buildings were destroyed. Virtually nothing remained of the Quarter's earlier splendor. On part of the land, the Jordanians built an outdoor food market, which continued to operate even after Israeli liberated the city during the Six Day War in 1967. Some ten years ago, when Arab-initiated violence in Hevron was at one of its highs, the army decided to clear out the Arab store-owners in the marketplace. "The sole purpose for the closing," wrote Hevron Jewish Community David Wilder at the time, "was to provide security for the Jews in Hevron, [which had been] jeopardized by the hundreds of Arabs who frequented the market every day. Interestingly enough, the Commander-in-Chief of the IDF at the time was none other than Maj-Gen. Ehud Barak, who supported the action..."
Several years later, after 10-month-old Shalhevet Pass was shot to death by terrorists with a bullet to her head, Jews decided to renew their title to the land, and began renovating the stores, turning them into inhabitable apartments, and moving families in. Eleven families currently live there. Hevron spokesman Noam Arnon said today, "The Supreme Court recently decided that the land should be returned to the Arabs, even though it is clearly Jewish land that was robbed from us. In truth, it's a decision that has to be made by Prime Minister Sharon, not the Court. He has always said how much he loves Hevron, but in the meanwhile, it looks like we can't trust him in this area either; the response given by the State in this issue is not that which we would have expected. The fact is that the Court has simply ignored the fact that this is Jewish land."
At present, Arnon said, the only indication of an impending expulsion is a report in the Maariv newspaper of today. The IDF spokesman's office released this statement: "In the framework of a court suit brought to the Supreme Court against the infiltration [sic] of the Jews to the stores in the Hevron market, the State committed itself, back in the year 2003, to evacuate the Jews who illegally infiltrated [sic]. The date of the evacuation will be set by the government." Another leading Hevron resident, Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, said in response that he and his neighbors are working together with various elements to perpetuate the settlement in the city, and to thwart the State's commitment to evacuate them. By Hillel Fendel
Israel weighs unilateral pullout from 90 percent of West Bank - October 17, 2005
JERUSALEM (World Tribune) - The government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is examining plans for a multi-stage unilateral withdrawal from as much as 90 percent of the West Bank. Officials said the Israeli withdrawal plans have been discussed with the United States. On Oct. 20, President George Bush was scheduled to meet Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and last week Bush assured a Palestinian delegation that Israel would withdraw from additional areas of the West Bank. Officials said the Defense Ministry and military have been reviewing a range of options for unilateral withdrawal in the West Bank by 2007, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the National Security Council has drafted options for the removal of between 10,000 and 100,000 Jews from the area. "Only unilateral [withdrawal] can work in this era," [Res.] Brig. Gen. Eyval Giladi, a senior adviser to Sharon, said. "Israel determines where, when and how it withdraws."
Officials said any unilateral withdrawal plan would be facilitated by the construction of the security wall and fence in the West Bank. "Within months or even weeks, the communities not included in the wall will be isolated and life will become increasingly harder for them," an official said. "In some ways, it will be similar to what took place in [the Jewish settlement bloc of] Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip." Another option drafted by the council was for an Israeli pullout from 90 percent of the West Bank and the removal of more than 100 Jewish communities. Officials said this option has been discussed by Sharon and supported by several senior ministers, including Vice Premier Ehud Olmert.
Officials said that by 2007 many of the Jewish communities in the West Bank located outside the wall would either disintegrate or be dismantled by the military. They said the military would also remove Jewish communities in the northern and central West Bank as part of a plan to provide the Palestinians with territorial contiguity from Jenin to Ramallah. By November, officials said, the Defense Ministry plans to begin construction of the wall at 15 points along the Etzion Bloc, which Sharon has vowed to maintain in any peace settlement with the Palestinians. The Defense Ministry has drafted maps for a wall that would encompass a narrow Jewish enclave and exclude Israeli communities in the eastern and southern portion of the region. National Security Council chief Giora Eiland has presented a plan for the removal of 17 Jewish communities in the northern and central West Bank as part of the first stage of the unilateral withdrawal, officials said.
They said the communities consisted of 8,000 people. In a speech prepared for delivery at the Likud Party Central Committee in late September, Sharon proposed the evacuation of Jewish communities outside three settlement areas: the Etzion Bloc, the Ariel Bloc and the Jordan Valley. These blocs would be ringed by security zones patrolled by the Israeli military.
Sharon Addresses United Nations – September 16, 2005
Lekarev - PM Ariel Sharon opened his speech at the United Nations last night with a declaration on the eternity of a united Jerusalem and then expressed sorrow for the victims of the Katrina disaster. Sharon added that Israel is offering whatever aid that is needed. "I stand before you as a Jew and a citizen of the democratic State of Israel." Sharon continued by speaking about the Patriarch Abraham, Mt. Sinai and Moses, in a brief review of the Jewish people's relationship with the Land of Israel. Invoking the verse that Jews recite beneath every wedding canopy, Sharon stated, "If I forget thee Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its cunning." The Prime Minister then declared, "We have no desire to rule over the Palestinians, who also desire freedom and who deserve their own state." He added, "I see it as my mission in the coming years to bring the struggle between us and the Palestinians to an end."
Sharon asserted that Israel would continue to defend itself against terror, explaining in that regard that the separation fence would continue to be built. "The fence is a lifesaver," he said. He also expressed hope that the United Nations would in the future be more fair in its treatment of Israel. "The Jewish people has a long memory - we remember both positive decisions and negative ones made in this building," Sharon said.
Sharon: No More Disengagements; Only Roadmap – September 29, 2005
Lekarev - The Road Map for Peace is the only viable diplomatic plan, and we will not advance any others, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said today. Sharon, speaking at the Israeli Center for Administration conference in Tel Aviv, addressed the statements made by his advisor Eyal Arad, who said that another disengagement should be considered in the future.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) a baseless rumor spread as though Israel will examine other diplomatic plans,” the prime minister said.
“There is only the Road Map; it is the only plan that exists, and there is no better plan for Israel’s future.”
Bush Tells PA: 'Don't Worry, I'll Sway Israel' – October 16, 2005
Israel National News - U.S.
President George W. Bush summoned PA officials to his office this past week and
reassured them he will "sway" Israel to open up the Gaza area and
not expand Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria. The New
York-based Bloomberg News reported that President Bush summoned Palestinian
Authority (PA) officials to a 30-minute unscheduled meeting following complaints
conveyed by Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes. She told the president that Egypt,
Saudi Arabia and Turkey regard his support for a new Arab state in Israel as an
When the PA delegation complained to President Bush that expanding Jewish communities, such as the city of Ma'aleh Adumim, might make a new Arab state unacceptable, he eased their fears and said, "Don't worry. I have some political sway with Israel and will use it if need be."
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is in Jordan and on a tour to Egypt, Vatican, France and Spain before flying to Washington to meet President Bush on Thursday, and the White House meeting was aimed to ease PA worries. Israel has maintained that no further concessions can be granted to the PA until it takes measures to stop incitement and disarm terrorists. One example of the PA's "revolving door" policy of arresting and releasing terrorists was described in the New York Times on Friday. It reported that Prime Minister Sharon asked Abbas at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit in February to inform Israeli authorities of the address of Arab terrorist Hasan al-Madhoun, a former member of the PA security forces who helped organize the suicide bombing at Ashdod in March 2004.
Abbas promised he would arrest the terrorist within 48 hours. After the time expired, the Prime Minister raised the issue with the American government, and the PA arrested al-Madhoun and then released him the following day. Later, the same terrorist was behind the attempted suicide bombing of a Be'er Sheva hospital by a woman. Prime Minister Sharon and Abbas canceled a planned meeting this past week after aides told Abbas that Israel would refuse to commit itself to PA demands for the release of jailed Arab terrorists and IDF withdrawals from more cities. "It was only Washington that wanted the meeting," the Timesreported.
At the impromptu White House meeting with PA officials, President Bush assured them that he would pressure Israel to open up the Gaza region, according to the Post. Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres met with PA negotiator Saeb Erakat on Friday on re-opening the Rafiah border between Gaza and Egypt. "I believe that in a short time we can come to an agreement," Peres said. He added Israel might remove its opposition to third party supervision of the crossing, leaving Israel without direct surveillance. However, Erakat rejected Israeli demands that cameras be mounted at the terminal. The crossing was closed several days before Israel pulled out its troops from the area early last month, but Arab terrorists quickly re-opened it. Egypt officially has been manning the crossing, but Foreign Ministry officials said arms smuggling continues daily. By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Abbas Visits Washington – October 19, 2005
Lekarev - Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas arrives in Washington today, where top American officials are expected to pressure him to curb terror attacks and disarm Palestinian terror groups. He will meet with President George W. Bush in the White House tomorrow.
On the eve of that meeting, Palestinian representatives are attempting to appease the Americans in a bid to modify the session’s agenda and focus the talks on Palestinian demands, namely an end to Israeli settlement expansion, the removal of army roadblocks in the West Bank, and an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian towns - a familiar tactic long used by Arafat to deflect attention from the Palestinians' inaction on Roadmap demands.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Nasser al-Kidwa charged Wednesday that Israel was attempting to undermine Abbas’ visit by attempting to force its own agenda on the meeting. “The Israeli side is attempting to undermine Palestinian-American relations,” he said. “The Israelis are trying to influence the meeting’s schedule and demand it be based on what Israel defines as the war on terrorism and dismantlement of Palestinian organizations, without Israel having to adopt measures that would assist in boosting the Palestinian Authority.”
NOTE: Aware that Abbas will meet with President Bush tomorrow (Thursday) at the White House, I am urging all of you to email the White House with your demand that President Bush exert pressure on Abbas to stop terrorism. Your emails DO count! Write to email@example.com
A Palestinian Perception of Abbas: “He Dances with Wolves” – October 20, 2005
DEBKAfile Special Analysis - The Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen keeps himself afloat by braggadocio. He slaps down demands and stipulations as though he has a handful of aces. In actual fact, he arrived in Washington Thursday, Oct. 20 for talks with President George W. Bush and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, with the barest hold on Palestinian government. If the Bush administration’s new pro-US leaders were to be graded by their control of government, Abu Mazen would go to the bottom of the class, far below Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim Jaafari, Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora or Afghan president Hamid Karzai. Yet, after a year of administrating artificial respiration to a non-starter, Washington, Cairo, London, Brussels and Jerusalem are still not ready to give up. They continue to ply him with political favors as well as financial, military and intelligence assistance. None of this avails him at home where he is incapable of arresting his people’s hopeless descent into a failed society. Armed gangs roam the streets without concealment and even al Qaeda operatives do not bother to disguise their presence.
This week, a distinguished Palestinian researcher Khaled Duzdar voiced the gloom engulfing his people in a letter to his friends published on October 14. Under the heading “He Dances with Wolves,” Duzdar asserts that Abu Mazen’s appeasement of armed groups who maraud Palestinian streets night after night and prey on the innocent and each other will plunge the people in yet another calamity. Palestinian towns and villages have been reduced by the anarchy and lawlessness to a simulacrum of Somalia, he says.
DEBKAfile’s Palestinian experts are quite sure after watching Abbas perform that he is not genuinely feeble; he plays the weakling man to advantage. He works on the principle that the greater the chaos in the areas he rules, the more he can squeeze out of America, Europe and Israel and the less they will demand of him.
In Washington, therefore, Abu Mazen continues to plug the message which has brought the Palestinians to their sorry state: Hamas and terrorist groups must be absorbed into government rather than dismantled, and international aid and Israeli concessions are the precondition for his survival - regardless of continuing terrorist attacks. His favorite tactic is to put Israel in the wrong – especially after murderous Palestinian on Israelis. On the day of his White House talks, Abbas used an interview with the Wall Street Journal to accuse Israel of aiding his opponents. (Might they be the “wolves” he is accused of dancing with?) The mayhem engulfing Palestinian society today was first generated deliberately by Yasser Arafat in 2000 as part of his war strategy against Israel. Under the noses of the CIA agents who helped set up the Palestinian preventive security machinery, he broke its regional components down and reassigned them to duties with the radical organizations dedicated to his suicide terror campaign. Five years later, Abu Mazen’s policies have degraded Palestinian forces of law and order still further. Even the terrorist organizations are losing their grip and becoming swallowed up by an ungovernable assortment of warlords and criminal gangs. One of Abbas’s closest associates, the civil affairs minister Mohammed Dahlan, who until recently met almost daily with Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz for a semblance of security coordination, has given up on the mess contrived and put plenty of distance between himself and his boss.
DEBKAfile’s Palestinian sources located him in Montenegro where he has settled with his family and gone back to his business activities. He tells visitors he has washed his hands of Abu Mazen for good. The US president and secretary of state may be expected to play out the ritual of praising Abu Mazen for his (non-existent) efforts to rein in the terrorists, pouring out reconstruction financing for the Gaza Strip and reprimanding Israel. They will all keep up the pretence that Abbas and his Palestinian Authority are in charge, rather than the Hamas, the Jihad Islami, Hizballah, Al Qaeda and lawless armed groups. Israel’s leaders, Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres, Shaul Mofaz and Silvan Shalom, will also do their bit by trotting out the standard demand that Abbas crack down on the terrorists. The Palestinian leader is perfectly willing to make all the constructive promises the Bush administration, the Sharon government and the international community are so willing to believe, while at the same time continuing his dance with the wolves.
Company Profiting from Expulsion Pays Bassi Big Bonus – August 22, 2005
National News - While Disengagement Authority head Yonatan Bassi expels Jews,
his company, Mehadrin, is profiting by selling land to the state in order to
resettle them. Mehadrin has now paid Bassi a cash bonus. Yonatan
Bassi was appointed head of the Disengagement Authority (Minhelet Sela) by
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on condition that he avoids conflicts of interests
between his job, expelling and resettling Jews, and the corporation he manages,
Gaza Profiteer, Disengagement Authority head Yonatan Bassi
Mehadrin owns the land near Nitzanim, however, the location where many Jewish refugees from Gaza are to be resettled. The Israeli government has paid Mehadrin $20 million in order to acquire its rights in the property. Mehadrin’s recent payment of a 150,000 shekel cash bonus to Bassi has raised questions of unethical conduct on the part of Bassi, who appears to be profiting unethically from his position as head of the Expulsion Administration. The money was transferred to Bassi’s personal account five months ago, according to Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aharonot. When Bassi took the post as head of the Expulsion Administration he was required to sign a document stating that he would not be involved in activities connected to the Mehadrin firm that would pose a conflict of interest with his position. That document was approved by the attorney general and the state comptroller. Mehadrin’s profits from the disengagement plan, however, have not been limited to its sale of land to the state for the resettlement of Jews. The government has promised to compensate Mehadrin for debts owed to it by communities located in the Bessor district which borders on Gaza.
Many Gaza refugees are being resettled in Bessor communities, and the government has extended special financial assistance to the towns in order to encourage them to take in the refugees. Mehadrin is expected to receive 15 million shekels from the government in exchange for canceling the communities’ debts. There are also unconfirmed reports that Mehadrin is planning on filling the vacuum in the bug-free vegetables market left by the destruction of Gush Katif's vast agricultural industries. Grassroots groups are calling for a boycott of such vegetables should they hit the shelves. Gush Katif residents plan to continue to produce bug-free produce once they rebuild their hothouses and infrastructure elsewhere. By Scott Shiloh and Israel National News Staff
'Sharon Defiled the IDF' – September 4, 2005
Lekarev -On Sunday Ynet reported that organizers of an internet petition calling on right-wing youths to refuse induction into the army revealed that hundreds of youths have already signed the declaration against being drafted, and said they expected as many as 5,000 kids to sign in coming weeks. Right-wing Knesset Member Effie Eitam said in response to the initiative, “Their (teens) pain is authentic, but their conclusion is wrong. We have no other country and no other army.”
Beit El Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, one of the most prominent leaders of the Religious Zionist Movement , told Ynet that he was flooded by requests from teens who are seeking his advice regarding their upcoming recruitment to the army. Rabbi Aviner expressed his objection to insubordination. In his response to the youngster, the rabbi said, “You are not serving in the army for the benefit of those you refer to as ‘they,’ but for the people of Israel. The people of Israel have done nothing wrong, why should they lose a good soldier and officer? “Serving in the IDF is a big and pure mitzvah. Even if our prime minister has defiled it, it remains pure in its essence,” Aviner said. Aviner explained in his answer to the youngster that, “It must be remembered that 300 million enemies surround us, and another 3 million are inside (Israel). We need a strong and devoted army against them – or else, God forbid, they will murder us and steal our land in one day.”
Debkafiles - US secretary Rice forced the accord through in a diplomatic blitz Tuesday Nov. 15. The protests came from the top levels of Israel’s armed forces, the Shin Beit and all other intelligence services and the police. Rarely before have so many expressions of alarm been rushed to the head of government by all of top security agencies.
By this extreme step -
1. Each of the branches submitted separate warnings to prime minister Ariel Sharon and defense minister Shaul Mofaz. They were alerted to the grave hazards in store when the crossings are reopened later this month and the rest of the accord goes into effect, shorn as they have been of appropriate security controls.
2. Each branch placed its reservations in writing to clearly record where responsibility lies for the worst possible contingencies.
DEBKAfile’s security sources report gloomy forecasts from all the leading officials responsible for Israeli national security and the war on terror. The accord signed Tuesday caught them in the middle of constructing a new security system designed to safeguard the country after Israeli troops were pulled out of the Gaza Strip. The new accord threatens to push this system aside. Israel is divested of the means of keeping terrorists from making free use of the crossings which reopen Nov. 25 and the Palestinian convoys driving from Gaza to the West Bank and back from Dec. 15. There is no longer any barrier to Palestinian terrorists bringing shoulder-launched anti-air missiles any time to the point from which they can turn Israel’s international airport into a disaster zone and paralyze international air traffic to and from the country.
Our sources reveal that the prime minister’s office made sure the six-page accord left by Rice was not translated into Hebrew. Israeli television and radio audiences were therefore not exposed to its contents. Israel is denied any veto power over the arrival of terrorists from Sinai to Gaza or from Gaza to the West Bank in both directions. A wanted terrorist can simply board a bus in Gaza and commute to Hebron or Ramallah without restraint. Israel officials may not stop and search it the vehicle, albeit on Israeli soil, let alone make an arrest. They can only gnash their teeth in frustration. Equally freedom of control is promised the merchandise and container trucks. The American and European inspectors at the Gaza-Israeli crossings will not allow the Israeli officers free rein to effectively search them for hazardous freights lest the 150-per-day quota be slowed. The Palestinians will thus be quite free to move as many terrorists and as much water material and explosives as they like between the Gaza and the West Bank.
Therefore, when Israeli security leaders saw with dread the collapse of their painfully wrought war on terror – a NATO military mission arrived in Israel as Rice left to study Israel’s tactics and techniques – circles close to Palestinian minister Mohammed Dahlan in Ramallah were crowing with delight. They praised Condoleezza Rice for helping them break down Israel’s regime of crossings and barriers. At last, they said, we can enjoy full freedom of movement.
Rice Secures Rafah Package Stripped of Adequate Counter-Terror Safeguards – November 15, 2005
The White House ordered Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to stay over in Jerusalem until the deal for the Gaza Strip’s international crossings was in the bag. She was almost there – “an accord is within sight” – Monday, Nov. 14. But she delayed her departure to join President Bush in South Korea until it was settled down to the last detail at issue between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The breakthrough was announced after she met defense minister Shaul Mofaz Tuesday morning. It was achieved after Israel backed down from virtually all its demands for security safeguards against terrorist incursions.
DEBKAfile’s political sources analyze some of the agreement’s salient features.
The Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt will reopen on November 25 as a Palestinian-Egyptian facility with a European presence. Video images will be transferred to a control center at the Kerem Shalom crossing which is on Israeli soil. It will be manned by Israelis and Palestinians with a European presence. Israel will not be entitled to demand that suspected terrorists be kept out or detained. The Palestinians will only be required to report on the arrivals of VIPs, diplomats and humanitarian cases – no one else. Mofaz lauded this as “another stage in Egypt’s involvement.” He made no reference to the failure of Egyptian border police’s failure to secure the Philadelphi border enclave against the massive smuggling of arms and terrorists since the withdrawal of Israeli troops. As for the crossings from Gaza into Israel, Israel surrendered the prerogative to shut down them down to secure personnel against terror alerts, although these facilities are notoriously prime terrorist targets. Jerusalem has undertaken to first notify the US embassy in Tel Aviv and back up its “request” with specific information, thus parting with its intelligence secrets. It must then wait for permission from Washington – or its refusal - to the closure.
Effective preventive action may well be held up by this delay. By surrendering this point, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon relinquished a key element of Israel’s sovereign right to self-defense and agreed to hamstring its own army’s freedom to combat terror. The presence of Palestinian customs inspectors at Kerem Shalom makes an additional inroad on Israeli sovereignty.
From Dec. 15 to January 15, “secured Palestinian convoys” will start rolling across southern Israel from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank – trucks for goods and buses for people – unrestricted by Israel. The Palestinians want their own forces to secure the trucks. All that has been settled is that the Americans and Europeans will determine the procedures for their passage through Israeli territory. There is no sign of the Sharon government standing up to Washington’s demands on that point either, so it is more than likely that Palestinian “forces” will be let loose on a wide swathe of southern Israel to escort 150 trucks a day bound for Hebron, Ramallah, Jenin and Nablus. The provisions for the Rafah crossing will also be applied to Gaza’s deep sea port construction of which begins without delay. Israel has therefore forfeited control and oversight over incoming goods and people to Gaza by sea as well as overland.
On Italy visit, President Katsav says al-Qaida penetrated Gaza Strip - November 15, 2005
ROME - President Moshe Katsav said Tuesday that al-Qaida
penetrated the Gaza Strip after Israel's pullout, the latest senior Israeli
official to issue the warning."The world praises Israel for evacuating the
Gaza Strip, but because of that, more sophisticated weapons and terror groups,
including some al-Qaida cells, have penetrated," Katsav said in Rome after
talks with his Italian counterpart Azeglio Ciampi.Last month, Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon's counterterrorism adviser, Danny Arditi, said al-Qaida operatives
apparently infiltrated into Gaza during several days of chaos following
Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in August.
Katsav was on a three-day trip to Italy that was to include talks with the country's senior officials and a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, the first official visit to the Vatican by an Israeli head of state. Katsav met with Ciampi shortly after his arrival in Rome. On Wednesday the Israeli president was set to hold talks with Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a strong supporter of Israel in Europe, and a day later he was scheduled to meet the pope. Since becoming pope in April, Benedict has visited a synagogue in Germany, met Israeli chief rabbis and warned of a rise in anti-Semitism around the world. The synagogue visit was the second time a pope had entered a Jewish house of worship
A First: Int'l Monitors at Rafah Border Crossing – November 1, 2005
Lekarev - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon convened the security cabinet today and approved an agreement on the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Israel proper that will include the stationing of third party monitors from the European Union. Sharon is the first Israeli Prime Minister to agree to international border supervision.
The move has with wide-ranging ramifications for future border arrangements. For instance, agreement to outside monitors at Rafah is likely to pave the way for agreement to the stationing of outside monitors at other sensitive crossing points, such as at a future Gaza seaport or airport. Many Israelis shudder at the possibilities.
A follow-up meeting between Israel and the Palestinians was scheduled for later Tuesday, while Vice Premier Shimon Peres was to head the task force responsible for the Israeli side of the agreement.
Rice Sending Envoy to Monitor Rafah Crossing – December 2, 2005
Lekarev -U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is sending a senior envoy here to monitor the implementation of the Rafah border crossing agreement she brokered last month. The envoy, State Department counselor Philip D. Zelikow, is also expected to expedite parts of the agreement that have not been executed yet. Rafah reopened last week, as part of a U.S.-brokered deal on new border arrangements.
Israel complained this week of difficulties in obtaining information from the Palestinians about the people crossing through the Rafah terminal. Israeli officials said they were not seeing what was going on at the terminal in real time, Israel Radio reported. Security officials said that 10-15 wanted Hamas men have recently entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing, the radio said Friday.
Debkafiles - International coordinator James Wolfensohn and Israeli vice premier Shimon Peres are pushing hard for a Palestinian link between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. They argue that without this link, Gaza will be a Palestinian prison. Wolfensohn prefers an overland road link – and has recruited US president George W. Bush and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice to his plan, while Peres likes the idea of a railway.
Both look away from three facts:
1. Either one would cut Israel in two.
2. The Gaza Strip is no prison without this link: wide open to the neighboring Sinai region and Egypt to the south. But the Palestinians, including the Palestinian Authority, have made no productive use of their unrestricted access. Aside from a few family visits, this opening is used for nothing but the accumulation of a mountain of war materiel and the passage of terrorists.
3. According to DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources, while Israel defense minister Shaul Mofaz was discussing arrangements for the border terminals with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak last week, Palestinian arms smugglers began digging dozens of fresh tunnels under the Philadelphi border which Egyptian troops were supposed to police. The Palestinians were simply overwhelmed by the quantities of weapons waiting to be moved in from Sinai and dug alternative routes to speed up the process. The Egyptian special police did not interfere.
An Israeli officer told DEBKAfile that the Palestinian stockpile of weapons and explosives is far bigger than Palestinian security forces’ entire arsenal and in excess of their own terrorist requirements in the Gaza Strip. It has been piled up therefore for three purposes:
1. As a reserve in case the IDF should invade the Gaza Strip;
2. To arm the Palestinian militias due to arrive from Lebanon via Sinai. They are getting organized to exit the refugee camps of S. Lebanon, and will be joined by Palestinian fighting units Syria is pushing out across the Lebanese border.
3. The stocks will be held ready for transportation to the West Bank as soon as the Palestinian overland link by road or train is finally approved. It is obvious to everyone except the international coordinator and Israel vice premier that this link will go the way of the Philadelphi border route. It is destined to be a logistical facility for the free, unfettered transport of terrorists, war materiel, weapons and explosives from Sinai to the West Bank which will be deployed opposite Israel’s coastal cities.
Israel's Newest Weapon – October 31, 2005
Lekarev - In the age of technology and computers, a simple local reality may help Israel negotiate a diplomatic and political minefield. Settler leaders from Gush Etzion and Kiryat Arba have proposed to replace sections of the West Bank security fence with prickly pear cactuses. Security officials apparently loved the idea. “It’s just one of many proposals aimed at transforming the political fence into a security fence. Never in the past has a border been established in accordance with prickly pear trees,” said Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shaul Goldstein. Goldstein’s statement is but an abstract of a detailed plan that will be presented by the settlers’ leaders to Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and professional committees involved in building the security fence.
It all started during a meeting two weeks ago between Mofaz and representatives from the Gush Etzion and Kiriyat Arba regional councils following the drive-by terrorist attack near Gush Etzion in which two young women and a teenager were killed. After all the diplomatic and political arguing over the fence, residents decided it was time to "think outside the box." Enter the lowly catcus!
Terror and the Palestinians after the Gaza Disengagement
Chaos in Palestinian Elections – December 15, 2005
Lekarev - Minutes before the Wednesday Dec. 14 midnight deadline for registering candidacy in the Palestinian parliamentary election to be held in January, jailed terrorist Marwan Barghouti submitted a separate list of candidates. His slate included a member of president Mahmoud Abbas’ own cabinet Mohammed Dahlan and the PA national security adviser Jibril Rajoub.
Barghouti, serving life for five Israeli deaths in terrorist operations, represented the Fatah radical wing including Tanzim and the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists in rejecting the list of candidates drawn up by Abbas. The PA chairman dropped elected candidates in favor of non-elected veteran cronies, many of whom are accused of corruption. They included the unpopular prime minister Ahmed Qureia and Nabil Shaath.
Fatah's revolt against its own leader has thrown the Palestinian election process into chaos. The results of municipal elections due out are expected to place Hamas well ahead of Fatah in most of the West Bank’s main towns.
One cannot but recall Netanyahu's prediction that the West Bank was turning into "Hamastan". Certainly looks like it.
Palestinian Arabs Vote Overwhelmingly For Hamas Terror Group – December 16, 2005
National News - With the general PA elections a month away, Hamas victories in
major PA-controlled cities foreshadow the election of the terrorist group as
the representatives of the Arabs of the PA. Hamas
is responsible for many of the world's most gruesome attacks on civilians.Hamas
has won an estimated 75% of the votes in the municipal elections in Shechem
(Nablus), 72% of the votes in El-Bireh (Ramallah's twin city) and took the
leadership of the terror-capital of Jenin as well. In Ramallah, long the seat
of power of Yassir Arafat and the ruling Fatah group, the PFLP terror group
took the elections.
In a previous round of voting, Hamas and the PFLP won elections in Bethlehem and Beit Jala, both just south of Jerusalem. Fatah only chalked up a victory in the Bethlehem suburb of Beit Sahur.Local elections in Gaza and Hevron were delayed by the PA election committee. PA sources say the delay was due to concern of a wider-scale victory for Hamas, which appreciates massive support in both locales. Crowds of Hamas supporters in Shechem celebrated in the streets Thursday night. The Hamas leadership, meanwhile, is promising future victories. "The big party will be when we win the parliamentary elections" Hamas spokesman Yasser Mansour said.
Hamas is listed as a terror organization in the United States and Europe. Fundraising for and affiliation with the group is a crime. It is unclear whether the world's nations, including Israel, will continue to assist the Palestinian Authority if a party advocating the destruction of Israel sits at its helm. In a recent election video, Hamas declared that it will not give up its armed struggle until Israel is destroyed. In the aftermath of previous gains by Hamas and other terror groups, some commentators have suggested that support for Hamas indicates a rejection of Fatah corruption and not support for the group's terror attacks and public adulation of suicide-bombers. In the recent local elections, however ten other parties, many of them unaffiliated with terror groups, submitted candidates, yet Hamas won popular support. By Ezra HaLevi
Hamas Election Video: Armed Resistance Til Israel Destroyed – December 13, 2005
Lekarev - Thanks to the continuing good work of Palestine Media Watch, we learn that in a new Hamas pre- election video, the terror organization again declares that it will not give up its armed struggle until Israel is destroyed. The Hamas message likewise celebrates its love of death as superior to the Israeli love of life. It also expresses support for those Israeli Arabs that wish to destroy Israel "from the interior." Hamas looks forward to a day when its flag will fly over not only Jerusalem, but over all Israeli cities, including Acre and Haifa.
The release of the new video on the Hamas website, reiterating its goal of destroying Israel, coincides with two polls this week showing Hamas turning into a major political force, with between 32% and 45% of Palestinians saying they will vote for Hamas in January's parliamentary elections. What are the implications for peace, should nearly 50% of the Palestinian Authority parliament be open supporters of Israel's destruction?
It will be interesting to see if the continuing Hamas election campaign calling for Israel's destruction will prompt a change in United States or European Union policy. The US State Department has made clear that while it continues to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars of support to the PA, it will make no demands on it to prevent the Hamas from participating in the upcoming elections. The EU and United Nations have also agreed that Hamas can participate in the elections.
DEBKAfile: This fiasco jeopardizes the Palestinian general election scheduled for mid-January 2006. It also renders unrealistic a key plank of the platform Ariel Sharon’s new party Kadima unveiled the same day, Nov. 28 - the goal of co-existence with a democratic Palestinian state cleansed of terrorists. Three hours after polling began for the 48 Fatah parliamentary candidates in the Gaza Strip, the deal crafted by Mahmoud Abbas’ ally Mohammed Dahlan with the local Fatah secretary Abd Hiles blew up. The Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades revolt against the parent party and its leaders on the West Bank spread to the Gaza Strip with a vengeance, closing voting down abruptly before noon.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas looks on during a meeting with Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi at the Quirinale Palace in Rome December 2, 2005. Candidates began signing up on Saturday for a Palestinian legislative election next month at which President Abbas' restive, ruling Fatah will face an unprecedented challenge from powerful Islamist faction Hamas. (Tony Gentile/Reuters)
In Khan Younes, armed men drove the voters out of booths alleging slips of some of the candidates had been removed. In other places, voters were alleged to have been directed outside their districts to manipulate the results. Al Aqsa gunmen set fire to several ballot boxes and cars, turned their guns on election workers and starting melees across the territory - from Rafah in the south to Beit Hanoun in the north. The failure belongs Dahlan, the smooth, Armani-suited purported Gaza strongman and his hangers-on who set up a situation room, deployed thousands of security guards and drew up detailed operations plans for the ruling Fatah’s first primary election. He and Abu Mazen convinced US secretary of state Condoleezze Rice and national security adviser Steve Hadley, as well as Sharon and Shaul Mofaz, that the Fatah was capable of holding an orderly primary vote as the prologue to a successful general election in two months’ time.
The winner of this failed experiment is the jailed Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouthi, who proved himself a prime vote-getter on the West Bank amid the general disorder. He is now seriously wooed by all of Abu Mazen’s men and will have much to say when they put together a Fatah slate without the benefit of an election. But above all, the Fatah’s armed faction, al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, created by Yasser Arafat as a pool for suicide bombers, has show the Abbas administration and its foreign backers who is the real boss of the ruling Fatah.
Barghouti´s Popularity Spurs Campaign to Free Him – November 27, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Meretz/Yahad, a potential
coalition partner for PM Sharon, has called for the release of jailed terrorist
Marwan Barghouti. Foreign Minister Shalom vowed Barghouti would stay in jail. Barghouti won a landslide victory Friday in Ramallah in
the Palestinian Authority's Fatah Party primaries, taking 96% of the votes. Fatah
voters in five major Arab towns - Shechem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jenin and Tubas
- chose candidates to head the party's list in the Palestinian Legislative
Council elections scheduled for January 25, 2006.
Barghouti is likely to lead the list of
candidates for the ruling Fatah party, despite the fact that he is serving
multiple life terms in an Israeli jail for murder and attempted murder. "I
think today there is no doubt that he is one of the top leaders in the Palestinian
street," said Yossi Beilin, leader of the Meretz/Yahad party. Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon has stated that if his new Kadima party forms the next
government, Meretez/Yahad is a likely coalition partner.
Beilin backed up his calls for releasing Barghouti by claiming it would help promote democracy in the PA. "Barghouti heads one of the Palestinian camps that do want peace," he said, "and so this is the moment to end his sentence... in preparation for an historical peace agreement with Israel." Beilin further said, "Barghouti will be released anyway in some future deal, so why not do it now?" Foreign Minister Shalom replied, "We must not forget that he is a cold-blooded murderer who was sentenced by the court to five life sentences." National Religious Party (NRP) Knesset Member Sha'ul Yahalom declared that freeing Barghouti would encourage terror.
The media frequently have reported there are secret plans to release Barghouti from prison. The Israeli Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot reported this past summer that a secret document has been prepared recommending Barghouti’s release. Similar rumors often have been linked to the possibility of the United States' releasing Jonathan Pollard. Pollard has insisted he will not agree to leave jail as part of a deal to release Arab terrorists. Media reports on Saturday quoted an unnamed senior government official as saying, "It is common that peace agreements are accompanied by the release of prisoners, but even then it is not certain that he would be released." Other jailed convicted terrorists also won positions as candidates in the PA elections Friday. Running third behind Barghouti is a jailed Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist, and the Hamas terrorist organization stated that three of its members serving time in Israeli prisons also will run in the elections. In Jenin, terrorist Jamal Abu Rob, who nicknamed himself "Hitler," won a high position on the slate of candidates, as did the head of Shechem's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Hamas: Free Prisoners or Face Kidnappings of Israelis – October 26, 2005
Lekarev - According to Hamas leader, Dr. Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas will increase the number of kidnappings of Israelis if Israel does not release Palestinian prisoners. He added that the group will not extend its participation in a cease-fire among Palestinian organizations beyond the end of 2005 if the Palestinian Authority reneges on its promise to hold elections in January.
Speaking at his home in Gaza, rebuilt after an Israeli Air Force targeted assassination attempt in October 2003 - in which his son and bodyguard were killed - Zahar granted his first comprehensive interview with Israeli media since last year's targeted killing of Hamas leaders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi.
Zahar said that although Hamas participated in municipal elections and while it may agree to temporary political arrangements, it has not changed its basic position that Palestine between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River is sacred Muslim land. He conceded that the Hamas charter calling for the destruction of Israel could possibly change, but "the subject is not under discussion right now." Any suggestion that it could "possibly change" in the future is nothing more than interview rhetoric. Hamas is inexorably committed to the total destruction of Israel - always has been.
PA Will Not Disarm Terrorists - December 9, 2005
National News - Palestinian Authority official Nasser Al-Kidwa told an
Arabic-language London newspaper, "There is no such thing as 'disarming',
nor will there be." Repeating the position expressed in many
variations by PA officials in recent months, Al-Kidwa, responsible for the
foreign relations of the PA, told Al-Hayat this week that the only step
that would be taken is an "organization of arms" by agreement among
all PA terrorist groups. The PA position on the matter would not change,
Al-Kidwa declared, until "the Palestinian situation changes entirely."
In that regard, Al-Kidwa blamed Israel for the security situation in the PA, saying, "The Palestinians are still under Israeli occupation." The PA militias and police, he claimed, are in disarray and short of basic military supplies and training facilities due to Israeli policies. In June of this year, Al-Kidwa told Reuters News Agency that the PA would not disarm "militants" until Israel totally withdraws to the pre-1967 borders. At the time, Al-Kidwa said his position "is based on international law and on a deep understanding of our responsibilities according to the Road Map, and I will not retract my words." PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, has never distanced himself from Al-Kidwa's remarks. While the PA officially declares its desire to return to negotiations with Israel, the repeated statements by PA officials that they will not confront terrorists in their jurisdiction indicate a more pressing desire to collaborate with the Islamist groups. To that end, the PA has arranged for the Hamas terrorist organization to take part in upcoming parliamentary elections, has refrained from laying hands on Islamist terrorists (despite declarations to do so) and is granting monthly stipends to families of dead terrorists. In addition, public memorials and honors for terrorist leaders continue in the PA school system and in cultural venues.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has declared that the next step towards Road Map negotiations with the PA is the disarming of terrorist groups and the dismantling of the terror infrastructure. On Monday, White House spokesman Fredrick Jones similarly released a statement calling upon the PA to disarm terrorists and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure operating in the PA. Jones stated that the suicide bombing in Netanya was yet more proof of the need to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure to prevent future attacks.
In the Al-Hayat interview, Al-Kidwa also expressed support for permitting the PA candidacy of terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti, imprisoned for life in Israel on murder charges and for masterminding Fatah terrorist attacks. Barghouti received more than 90 percent support in recent Fatah primaries, held with an eye towards the planned January elections for the PA parliament. Al-Kidwa called upon the PA to exert more pressure on Israel to release Barghouti and all other imprisoned Arab terrorists. More generally, Al-Kidwa, who is a nephew of the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat, supports the political participation of the younger generation of Fatah, many of whom are leaders in the terrorist Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades. The rise of a younger leadership, Al-Kidwa said, "is a natural thing, and the door must open before it, for there is plenty of room for the new generation to take up positions like any other political force."
- December 9, 2005
National News - Islamic fundamentalists are gaining power and support in Egypt
and in the Palestinian Authority, as evidenced by local voter opinion. In a
new poll conducted among Arabs of voting age in Palestinian Authority
(PA)-controlled Gaza, the Islamist movement Hamas was shown to have 45.8
percent support, as opposed to just 36.1 percent for the ruling Fatah organization.
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) heads Fatah. The poll was conducted
between November 29 and December 4 by Al-Mustaqbal Surveys and Studies Center.
PA legislative elections are slated for January 25, with Hamas taking part in
the process - to the consternation of Israel. When asked if his organization
would join a new government after the elections, Hamas spokesman Hassan Yussuf
said this week, "If it serves the Palestinian interest, we will. All roads
are open to us." A second Islamic
fundamentalist group, Islamic Jihad, has refused to take part in elections.
Unlike Hamas, Islamic Jihad has no non-terrorist-oriented institutions.
As part of the Hamas campaign, the terrorist organization has chosen the "Mother of Martyrs" as a leading candidate for the January elections. The woman, Mariam Farhat, is considered a leader in the terrorist war launched by the PA five years ago. The gun-toting, 56-year-old woman earned her nickname as a result of the deaths of three of her six sons during terrorist attacks or in Israeli counter-terrorist strikes. Her reputation as a leader was sealed when she reportedly advised her son Mohammed how to attack a Jewish community in 2002. Mohammed murdered five Israelis before being killed himself. Farhat's eldest son, Nidal, was killed in 2003 while preparing to attack Israelis, and a third son, Rawat, died earlier this year in an IDF air strike on his car, which was carrying rockets to be used in attacks on Jewish targets. "The Jihadist project completes the political one and the political project cannot be completed without Jihad," Farhat told Reuters News Agency.
Meanwhile, in Egypt, independent candidates affiliated with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, officially banned in Egypt, have made impressive gains in parliamentary elections, which ended this week. The month-long, violent election process led to Muslim fundamentalists increasing their representation in the 454-member Egyptian National Assembly from 15 to 88 seats. At least ten people died in the violence surrounding the polls, as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at crowds protesting alleged voter fraud in districts heavily favoring Islamist candidates. Egypt surrendered to American pressure in opening up the election process to true opposition parties, but State Department officials said that violence used by the country's security forces aroused concern about Cairo's "commitment to democracy and freedom." The Muslim Brotherhood and its graduates have inspired Islamic terrorist groups the world over, including in Al-Qaeda. Brotherhood members have been involved in attacks on tourists in Egypt, as well as in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat for his 1979 peace treaty with Israel. By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
PA Officers: We´ll Only Target Israel – November 11, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - In a letter sent this week to PA Chairman
Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), official PA militia officers declare that, even as
internal security collapses, they will only point their guns at Israel. In the letter, revealed by UPI, the officers warn that
the Palestinian Authority (PA) security apparatus is on the verge of collapse
due to widespread corruption and the ongoing state of anarchy that exists in
autonomous areas. The authors of the
letter to Abu Mazen state that they reject ongoing US and Israeli pressure
demanding the disarming of PA terrorist organizations. Instead, the militia
officers declared, their weapons will only be pointed at Israel and at Israel's
Arab agents fighting terrorism in the PA.
Under the shadow of this warning, the PA is preparing for local elections, which will include the Islamist Hamas terrorist group. The Hamas is widely seen among the PA Arabs as representing a turn away from official corruption and neglect. Growing unrest among PA Arabs was reflected in the results of a new poll by the Palestinian Center of Public Opinion, which showed a 20 percent drop in the number supporting a halt to violence against Israel. While the PA officers' letter confirms situation analysis reports from Israeli army intelligence, Chief of Army Intelligence Major-General Aaron Ze'evi-Farkash told cabinet ministers last month that Abu Mazen can take control of the situation if he so chooses. However, former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon contended in a lecture to the Washington Institute for Near East Peace this week that Abbas has decided to exhibit a weak profile, seeking to use this to his advantage in negotiations with Israel.
Meanwhile, sniper fire, Molotov cocktail attacks and stone throwings, reminiscent of the breakout of the Intifada in the late 1980s, have become more widespread in the past several weeks. IDF soldiers found two weapons and bullet shells Thursday night on the road to Ma'aleh Michmash after terrorists shot at an Israeli vehicle. No one was injured in that attack. In Bethlehem, the PA claimed it had arrested five Al-Aqsa Marytrs Brigades terrorists, affiliated with the ruling Fatah movement, involved in the murder of three young Israelis hitchhiking on the Jerusalem-Gush Etzion road last month. There was no confirmation of the arrests from Israeli sources. By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz & Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Al Aksa Brigades Far From Disarming – October 28, 2005
Lekarev - In a Jerusalem Post exclusive report, Al Aksa Brigades terrorists declare that there is no way they intend to disarm. The world may want to think otherwise, but in Gaza's neighborhoods, the war against Israel is very much still on. The Palestinian Authority announced on Sunday that it planned to disarm the Brigades and absorb its members into the PA security forces, but these gunmen are anything but ready to disarm.
The IDF and Gaza-based terrorist groups had exchanged frequent fire since Israel quit the Gaza Strip six weeks ago. But over the past week, the groups amplified their rallying cries against Israel and even the Palestinian Authority. Hamas publicly reiterated its dreams of creating an Islamic state between the Jordan and the sea, and Islamic Jihad pressed forward with terrorist attacks and vowed more. The Aksa Martyrs Brigades would not be outdone. In an interview in an orchard, Hassan Abu Ali, the group's commander here, claimed that the brigades have developed a new rocket, the Aksa-3. These rockets have a maximum range of 17 km.
The IDF would not comment directly, but outgoing OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel was quoted on Thursday saying that "Ashkelon [nine km. from the northernmost edge of Gaza] is already within range. It is now not a question of range, but of deterrence." What had started with stones, then moved on to guns and suicide bombers, has graduated to rockets, the wave of the future, claimed Abu Ali. So whatever rhetoric Abbas uses to delay pressure on himself, it is quite clear that none of the terrorist groups have any intention at all to give up - not their weapons and not the war against Israel.
Palestinians: 'THE BATTLE FOR JERUSALEM HAS BEGUN' – August 30, 2005
Lekarev - Ahmed Qurei, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister and senior PLO figure HAS announced that the fight for Jerusalem has now begun, following Israel's departure from Gaza. Qurei, at a meeting held in Al-Quds University in the Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Abu Dis Sunday, said that the PA would now focus its attention on Jerusalem. "The fight has begun for Jerusalem," Qurei said, "and it is a dangerous war. No Arab, Palestinian - Christian or Muslim - will accept Israel's racist plans." Abu Dis is under PA administrative control, but the IDF controls security around the neighborhood.
Qurei demanded that US President George W. Bush pressure Israel to live up to the Bush demand to establish a "viable" Palestinian state. "The only viable country would be with the 1967 borders," he said, "the Palestinians will not accept less than a state on the lands occupied in 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital." THIS is the "peace" we're supposed to receive for evacuating Gaza?????????
Every voice that told us over and over again BEFORE the evacuation that all we would get was more terror is already being vindicated!
Al-Qaeda Bases in Sinai - October 11, 2005
National News - Al-Qaeda has built at least one base in Sinai, from where
terrorists are sent to Gaza and from there to Israel. Egypt has done
nothing to stop it, says IDF Intelligence Chief Gen. Ze'evi-Farkash. Gen.
Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash told the Cabinet ministers at their weekly meeting on
Sunday that a gang of the international terrorist organization Al-Qaeda
recently took over a large area in the Sinai Peninsula. After banishing
the residents, they placed mines around their new base - signaling Egyptian
police and army forces not to come near. Activities
at the base include the training of terrorists and preparations for sending
them to Gaza, from where they can more easily enter Israel to perpetrate
Almost a month ago, Mahmoud A-Zahar, regional head of Hamas, told the Italian newspaper "Corriere de La Sierra" that several Al-Qaeda terrorists had already crossed into Gaza. Ze'evi-Farkash said that in the days and weeks following Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, Al-Qaeda sent large amounts of weapons and many terrorists into Gaza, with the purpose of strengthening the terrorist infrastructure there. Among the weapons smuggled in are shoulder-launched missiles, long-range Katyusha rockets, and tremendous amounts of automatic rifles and bullets. It is even reported that a new Kassam rocket has been introduced into the Gaza arsenal, one that explodes in mid-air, releasing lethal falling shrapnel even if it misses its essential target.
The Intelligence Chief said that Egypt
is refraining from taking action against the new terrorists. He said Egypt
fears that a direct clash with Al-Qaeda will lead to terror attacks against Egypt
itself. Other reports are that Egypt cannot take massive military action in the
demilitarized desert without Israeli permission - something it does not wish to
Farkash's report jibes with other accounts. A recent article in The Jordan Times cites reports to the effect that Al-Qaeda has set up makeshift camps in Sinai's rough terrain and inaccessible peaks just as it did in Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountains. Debkafile, which reported on Al-Qaeda's presence in Sinai a week ago, said that Egyptian forces basically control only the perimeter of Sinai, while up to half of the interior is exclusively Al-Qaeda-land. The Anti-Terrorism Task Force, under the auspices of the Prime Minister's Office, has not withdrawn its warning against travel to Sinai, issued in light of "specific and well-based intelligence" indicating plans to kidnap vacationing Israelis there. Gen. Ze'evi-Farkash told the Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies last week that Al-Qaeda terrorists had entered Gaza from Egypt following Israel's withdrawal, though he did not emphasize their presence in the Sinai. The general also said that during the ten days after the withdrawal, Palestinian terrorist groups brought in 3,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 300 rocket-propelled grenades, 1.5 million rounds of ammunition and an undetermined number of anti-tank rockets and surface-to-air missiles from Sinai. By Hillel Fendel
Palestinian terrorists join al-Qaida - Israeli official: They didn't think
Hamas was radical enough – November 2, 2005
JERUSALEM (WorldNetDaily) – Jailed Hamas members disillusioned with the Palestinian terror group because it's not radical enough for them renounced their Hamas membership and attempted to set up an al-Qaida cell to direct attacks against the Jewish state, Israeli prison officials said yesterday. The revelation is the latest evidence the global terror network has established itself in the Palestinian territories, with Israeli security officials telling WND al-Qaida agents infiltrated the Gaza Strip after Israel's military withdrawal from the area in September. "The terrorists in jail were defying Hamas, which they said wasn't radical enough. ... They wanted to create their own cell of al-Qaida that would be the network's arm in Israeli prison to direct attacks," said a prison official.
Israel began a clampdown in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday in the early stages of what it vowed would be a harsh military response to a Palestinian suicide bombing that killed five Israelis. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Israeli security officials said nine jailed Hamas terrorists "with blood on their hands," including two militants trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan, tried to set up the al-Qaida cell last month. Officials said the cell planned to direct attacks on behalf of al-Qaida by sending messages to terrorists outside the Israeli prison. There have been many cases the past few years of Palestinian terrorists planning or directing attacks from within Israeli jails. Prison officials said they began investigating after they intercepted communications between some of the nine prisoners, messages that contained al-Qaida ideology and operational instructions specific to the global jihad group. Said a prison official, "The jailed terrorists renounced their membership in Hamas. They didn't think Hamas was carrying out enough attacks. ... They thought Hamas was too focused on trying to join upcoming Palestinian legislative elections. So they joined with al-Qaida."
A source close to Hamas told WND the reports of the group's jailed members joining al-Qaida "are all lies. Israel is trying to discredit the Palestinians."
Israeli security officials have been insisting the past few weeks al-Qaida members have set up shop in Gaza. "Al-Qaida operatives took advantage of the opened Rafah border [with Egypt] and entered Gaza," said Maj. Gen. Aharon Zeevi Farkash, chief of intelligence for the Israeli Defense Forces. Farkash added al-Qaida's interest in attacking Israel recently has increased. "Militants linked to Hezbollah, al-Qaida and other international terror groups are now very likely in Gaza," a senior security official told WND. "The groups had set up bases in the Sinai that are still functioning, and we have information indicating members managed to get inside Gaza. These are people with advanced knowledge in specific kinds of deadly attacks and explosions."
Following Israel's troop withdrawal Sept. 12, Gaza's border with Egypt was wide open, with thousands of Palestinians – including known terrorists – passing freely from one side to the other for a period of at least six days. Egyptian officials attempted to close the border several times, but Hamas and other terror groups managed to reopen the crossing, once using a controlled explosion along the border fence and another time ramming a dump truck through the border wall.
Palestinian officials admitted to reporters terror groups were able to smuggle tons of weapons into Gaza, including explosives, ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades that had long been stockpiled in Sinai, but denied al-Qaida was present. "These reports are baseless," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told WND. "Egypt did a good job in cracking down on cells in their country, and they wouldn't have allowed any al-Qaida people to get into Gaza." An aide to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei told WND on condition of anonymity, "It would certainly be against our interests to say al-Qaida was in our territory."
Hamas chief Mahmoud al-Zohar went so far as to accuse Israel of sending fake al-Qaida agents into Gaza so it can claim the global jihad group was liaising with Palestinian organizations. "All these talks about the presence of al-Qaida is Israeli talks and propaganda," said al-Zahar in an exclusive WND interview. "We know that Israel tried through its agents to have contacts with marginal activists in the Palestinian resistance. The agents represented themselves as al-Qaida members and tried to tempt these people with money and weapons. This is part of the Israeli effort to represent things even though they are not that way in order to say that al-Qaida exists in the Gaza Strip," al-Zahar said.
But the worry al-Qaida agents made it to Gaza is especially poignant, Israeli security officials told WND, because Egypt has had difficulty eliminating al-Qaida cells in the Sinai desert suspected of involvement in recent attacks, including the bombings in Sharm el Sheikh in July and Taba last year, which together killed more than 100 people. Yaacov Amidror, former chief of research for Israeli military intelligence, told WND, "We don't know the exact status of al-Qaida in the Sinai. They have surprised Egypt with attacks, and cells there are very likely still in tact."
PFLP Leadership Moving From Syria to Gaza – October 2, 2005
National News - Syrian terrorist leader Ahmed Jibril is likely to enter Gaza
via Rafiah, granting what at least one member says will be "renewed
momentum" to the PFLP terror organization. Jibril,
77, is the founder and leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine/General Command (PFLP-GC), which has staged numerous attacks against
Israeli and other targets, both military and civilian.
A Palestinian gunman from the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine attends news conference in Gaza December 5, 2005. A Palestinian suicide bomber killed five people and wounded more than 40 outside a shopping mall in an Israeli coastal town on Monday in a further blow to peace hopes stirred by Israel's Gaza pullout. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack in Netanya, saying it was avenging Israel's recent killing of senior members of the militant group. A police officer said the bomber smiled at him before blowing himself up near shoppers. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
The London-based Al-Hayat newspaper
quotes Dr. Adal Al-Hakim, a member of the PFLP's diplomatic office, as saying
that Jibril is expected to arrive in Gaza - though he did not specify a time
frame. Al-Hakim says that leading PFLP figures will arrive first in Gaza to
investigate and shore up the organization's infrastructure and prepare for the
leader's entry. Jibril's move will alleviate world pressure on Syria to get rid
of Palestinian terror bases.
Al-Hakim's evaluation, Jibril's arrival in Gaza will grant "renewed momentum" to the organization's activity in the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas. Jibril, like PLO Oslo-opponent Farouk Kaddoumi, has refused to enter the PA-controlled areas until now, so as not to have to receive Israeli permission. With the opening of the Rafiah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, Jibril will not have to face this issue. Among the PFLP's attacks are the Nahariya/Avivim school bus attack (May 1970) along Israel's northern border in which nine children and three adults were murdered; the massacre of 18 people in a Kiryat Shmonah apartment building (April 1974), half of them children; the bombing of a Swiss Air plane (Feb. 1970), killing 47 people; and the hang glider attack from Lebanon (Nov. 1987) in which six Israeli soldiers were killed.
The most destructive attack attributed to the PFLP was apparently the infamous Pan Am Flight 103 bombing. The plane was downed over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, killing 270 people. Much cumulative evidence linked the PFLP to the attack, including the finding of explosive devices similar to the one presumably used against the Pan Am plane in the possession of a PFLP cell captured in West Germany. In fact, only seven weeks before the Pan Am explosion, a terrorist cell of 16 members and supporters of Jibril’s gang was arrested in Germany, amidst evidence that they were planning a series of mid-air attacks on five international aircraft. The Germans, however, released most of the arrestees after a short period.
In May 2001, Jibril claimed responsibility for sending a boat filled with weapons to Gaza; the Israeli Navy found and seized the ship in the Haifa port. Jibril said at the time that it wasn't the first of its kind, nor would it be the last. A year later, Jibril's son, the head of the PFLP-GC's military wing, was killed in a car bombing in Beirut. The Arabs blamed Israel, but it was known that the Jibrils had many enemies in Lebanon. Although the PFLP-GC has lost importance over the years in proportion to the rise of Hamas, Jibril's gang has long been on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. By Hillel Fendel
Hamas & PA Reduce Infighting and Target Judea & Samaria – October 9, 2005
National News - Arab terror gangs and the PA announced a truce as the PA
tries to show it is in control, but Hamas still patrols in several Gaza towns.
Firebomb and shooting attacks against Jews on the rise. "Any
action aimed at spreading chaos or internal strife ... will be considered
treason," according to a statement at a Gaza news conference of eight
terrorist groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
Several of the leaders were masked.
The statement came after the tables were turned on Hamas, and several of its members were kidnapped and later released, a tactic Hamas has used frequently against the Palestinian Authority (PA) and foreigners. The latest kidnapping occurred Friday morning, and the Associated Press reported that the PA was behind the incident. The PA Interior Ministry denied that the security forces were involved. "This is an absolutely false allegation," said spokesman Tawfiq Abu Khoussa.
The truce gives the PA a better image for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), who is to meet with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon this week and with U.S. President George W. Bush next week. Abbas wants to show that the PA is overcoming anarchy. Beneath the surface, Hamas still competes with the PA and controls several Gaza towns, including parts of the strategic border city of Rafiah, a smuggling point for weapons and terrorists from Egypt. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom revealed on Saturday that weapons and ammunition still are being smuggled from Egypt through Rafiah and added that he "hopes that the Egyptians will act against it."
Hamas also is trying to take over in Judea and Samaria, where attacks against Israel have been on the rise the past few days. The IDF arrested several teenagers on Saturday for hurling firebombs and rocks at Israeli vehicles on the main highway from Jerusalem southbound to Gush Etzion. No injuries were reported. The IDF reported several shooting attacks and at least three stabbing attacks against soldiers last week. "Hamas no longer listens to the Palestinian Authority," Israel Security Agency director Yuval Diskin recently said. "It is impossible to disconnect the string of terrorism between the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria," Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said last week in an interview. "Today in Judea and Samaria, both Hamas and the (Islamic) Jihad are reorganizing to carry out terrorist attacks."
Hamas announced last month it has imported rocket technology into Judea and Samaria and will shoot at nearby major population centers, such as Netanya, Kfar Saba, Afula and Jerusalem. Arabs fired over 5,900 rockets and mortar shells on the western Negev before and after the August withdrawal from Gaza. Arab terrorists have not attacked from Gaza for several days, but the recent intra-Arab battles and Saturday's truce are seen more as a lull in anti-Israel activity rather than a change in strategy.
Sayed Seyam, a senior leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas, talks to the media after he signed up for next month's Palestinian legislative election in Gaza December 4, 2005. Candidates began signing up on Saturday for a Palestinian legislative election next month at which President Mahmoud Abbas's ruling Fatah faction will face its first major challenge from powerful Islamist rival Hamas. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Hamas is trying to manipulate a way
to run in the PA legislative elections, which already have been postponed from
this past summer to January. The PA is threatening another delay. PA chairman
Abbas wants to co-opt Hamas rather than fight its terrorists. Israel has warned
it will interfere, passively, with PA elections if Hamas participates and
remains armed. Dov Weisglass, a close aide to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,
is to meet with PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat again on Sunday following
Friday's discussions toward this week's Sharon-Abbas summit. The summit is not
expected to produce any dramatic changes, according to Reuters News Agency.
The PA is expected to demand that Israel release more Arab terrorists, and Sharon may agree to freeing those "without blood on their hands," according to Foreign Minister Shalom. "The real problem is that the PA is not really willing to fight Hamas," he added. By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Terrorists Threaten to Assassinate Sharon – October 23, 2005
Lekarev - In an unprecedented threat made yesterday , Popular Resistance Committee spokesman, Mahmoud Abed Al-Al, said that they group intends "to rip [Sharon’s] heart out and erase the smile off his face and his people's face just as he is erasing the smiles of our people." (NOTE: So this is the 'thanks' Sharon gets from the Palestinians for carrying out the disengagement???) "The Palestinians will do everything in their power to hurt Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon," Al-Al warned. "I want to turn Sharon's life into hell on earth since he has turned the lives of the Palestinians into hell." The declaration confirmed Israeli intelligence reports that Arab terrorists have transferred knowledge and technology on making Kassam rockets from Gaza to Judea and Samaria.
Terrorists, meanwhile, continue civil war throughout Gaza, Judea and Samaria amid calls by Gaza strongman Mohamed Dahlan that armed gangs associated with the ruling Fatah party lay down their weapons. He said they should concentrate on the upcoming Palestinian Authority (PA) legislative elections scheduled for January. One PA policeman died and another was wounded in a shootout when PA police tried to break up an argument in a Tulkarm coffee shop Friday night. No group has claimed responsibility for the killing, but the Al Aqsa Martyrs Bridge terrorist organization announced it was not involved.
Terrorists Running in Palestinian Authority Elections – October 11, 2005
National News - The PA demands the release from Israeli prison of Marwan
Barghouti, accused of murdering 35 Israelis. So says PA official Saeb Erekat.
Barghouti wants to run in the upcoming PA parliament elections. Erekat
told Army Radio today that the PA also demands the release of Hizbullah
murderer Samir Kuntar. Kuntar and three other terrorists infiltrated into
northern Israel by sea in 1979, abducted and murdered Danny Haran and his young
daughter Einat, and killed policeman Eliyahu Shachar. Danny's 2-year-old
daughter Yael was also killed in the attack. Erekat's demand is not likely to
be fulfilled - at least not in the coming weeks. A meeting scheduled for today
between PA leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was
canceled precisely because Abbas knew that Sharon would not respond positively
to demands of this nature.
On the other hand, it is not unlikely that Barghouti will be released in the future. In June of this year, Israel daily Yediot Acharonot reported that top Israeli officials have recommended that the government consider releasing Barghouti. The recommendation reportedly appeared in a secret document given to senior security cabinet ministers. Last November, then-interior Minister Avraham Poraz of the Shinui Party said it would be possible, "under certain circumstances," to consider releasing Barghouti from prison. The ultra-left Gush Shalom organization has also called for Barghouti's release. The Justice for Jonathan Pollard organization has also reported in the name of Acting Finance Minister Ehud Olmert that Israel is grooming Barghouti and preparing him to be the next Palestinian Authority leader.
Barghouti and other Al-Aksa Brigades terrorists are pressuring the PLO's Fatah, its mother organization, to be included on its list of candidates for the upcoming PA parliamentary election. The election is scheduled for late January 2006. Fatah has not yet agreed to incorporate Al-Aksa on its list, however, and the disagreement has already led to violence. Al-Aksa terrorists fired at a car of a senior PA parliament leader last week - in protest of Fatah's refusal to include them in a Bethlehem gathering convened to formulate an election list.
Topping the list of aspiring Al-Aksa
candidates is Barghouti, who has been in Israeli prison for three and a half
years and is serving several life terms. The
arch-terrorist is considered the founder of the Al-Aksa Brigades. Others
on the list of potential PA lawmakers are Nasser Awis, a subordinate of
Barghouti who dispatched suicide terrorists; Yasser Abu Baher, currently
serving three life terms plus 40 years for various murders; and Jamal Hawil,
responsible for many attacks against Israelis in the Jenin area. An Al-Aksa leader known as Abu Udai
demands that the Fatah leadership include what he calls Fatah's "military
arm" in the list of candidates. He says that the Al-Aksa Brigades are a
"fundamental part of Fatah." This
attempt by Al-Aksa, writes analyst and former IDF Intelligence officer Yonatan
D. HaLevy, is an expression of its desire to effect a "white
revolution" within Fatah against the old leadership. Al-Aksa's influence
within the organization has grown over the past five years of
warfare, and it is now ready to translate this to political power.
Weeks ago, terrorists fired at the home of Hani Al-Hasan, a veteran Fatah leader who has fallen out of favor with the more militant and younger Fatah members. The calls against Hamas' participation in the elections, because of its declared intentions to destroy Israel, apply just as well to Fatah. The latter's official website presents its charter just as it was written in 1989, in which it declares its ambition to bring about the "total liberation of Palestine and the liquidation of the Zionist entity economically, politically, militarily and culturally." This will be done, the charter states, via armed popular revolution - and Al-Aksa and other groups have taken it upon themselves to carry this out. By Hillel Fendel
Al Qaeda in Gaza – October 9, 2005
Lekarev - A leaflet distributed in Khan Yunis over the weekend by al-Qaida's "Palestine branch" announced that the terrorist group has begun working towards uniting the Muslims under one Islamic state. "The Muslim nation has been subjected, through various periods, to conspiracies by the infidels," the leaflet said. "[The infidels] have brought down the Islamic Caliphate, dividing the nation into small and weak states. They also managed to dilute the Islamic character of the nation."
The leaflet said unity was the only way for Muslims to achieve victory over their enemies, adding that the terrorist group's chief goal was to enforce Islamic law in the entire world. "Our efforts are now focused on establishing a strong and unified Muslim nation where love prevails among all its members," it added.
The leaflet, signed by al-Qaida of Jihad in Palestine, is the latest indication of al-Qaida's effort to establish itself in the Gaza Strip after the Israeli withdrawal from the area.
Terror, Anti-Semitism Alerts Here and Abroad – October 7, 2005
News - As the Muslim month of Ramadan gets underway, alerts of potential
terrorist attacks increase in Israel, the US and elsewhere. And the UK's Chief
Rabbi released an alert about British anti-SemitismToday is the first Friday of the lunar month known in the
Muslim calendar as Ramadan. Large crowds of Muslims are taking part in prayer
services in Jerusalem, at the mosques located on the Temple Mount. As a result,
police in the capital are on heightened alert status, as Friday prayers during Ramadan are
frequently followed by rock and other attacks. 2,500 policemen are involved in
the preventative operation in and around Jerusalem's Old City. By the early
afternoon Friday, 60,000 Muslim worshippers had already made their way to the Temple
A member of the of Al-Quds Brigades affiliated to the Islamic Jihad attends a press conference in Gaza City 05 December 2005, following a suicide bomb attack claimed by the Islamic Jihad. Israel vowed to target the leadership of Islamic Jihad, as victims of a suicide bombing by one of the radical Palestinian group's members were laid to rest.(AFP/File/Mohammed Abed)
A member of the of Al-Quds Brigades affiliated to the Islamic Jihad attends a press conference in Gaza City 05 December 2005, following a suicide bomb attack claimed by the Islamic Jihad. Israel vowed to target the leadership of Islamic Jihad, as victims of a suicide bombing by one of the radical Palestinian group's members were laid to rest.(AFP/File/Mohammed Abed)
Police have set restrictions on
those allowed to attend prayers on the Mount, limiting male worshippers to
those over age 45, while no restrictions are in place for women. Statistically,
violence erupting following Islamic prayer services is usually spearheaded by
males under 45, police explain. The targets of these attacks have been security
forces, as well as Jews praying at the Western Wall, which abuts the Temple Mount.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast during daylight hours and increase activities related to religious devotion. Friday is the Sabbath of the Muslim faith and, as such, the first Friday of the month of Ramadan attracts large crowds at Muslim worship services. In addition to the heightened alert in the capital, warnings of terrorist kidnappings of Jews in Israel and at the vacation spots of the Sinai Peninsula have not abated. The IDF continues its effort to increase awareness among soldiers and officers to prevent the kidnapping of military personnel. Following the recent Hamas abduction and murder of a Jerusalem resident, Sasson Nuriel, whose tortured body was found in the Ramallah area, the military is issuing warnings to soldiers to increase vigilance when traveling or patrolling in proximity to the Palestinian Authority and in other sensitive areas.
In the United States, as well, the month of Ramadan has brought with it increased threats of Islamist terrorist attacks. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has ordered increased police presence in the city's subway system. This, City Hall explained, follows a credible terror alert that the city's underground mass transit system may be targeted in an attack in the coming days. The Federal Homeland Security Agency, on the other hand, played down the intelligence report, stating it was of "doubtful credibility." One of the intelligence reports cited in US media details an attack using a baby stroller laden with explosives, placed in a subway station.
Both Israel and the Jews are being blamed for the continuing, rapid global changes, placing the Jews in the role of scapegoat for Islamic terrorism, said Britain's chief rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, in an interview this week with the Jewish Chronicle newspaper. In particular, Rabbi Sacks warned of increasing anti-Semitism in his country, stating that, for the first time he remembers, it is "uncomfortable to be a Jew in Britain." As worrying signs of the hostile climate, the rabbi cited recent calls to abolish Holocaust Memorial Day, a call for divestment from Israel and the academic boycott against Israel. John Mann, a UK member of parliament from the Labour party, last week convened a committee of his fellow legislators to investigate the recent increase in British anti-Semitism. The committee includes senior parliamentarians from all parties and all regions of the UK. The group will present a report of its findings and recommendations for action to combat anti-Semitism to government ministers. 2004 saw the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK, 532, since 1984, including the desecration of 17 synagogues. Among other aspects of the increase in anti-Semitic attacks to be investigated by the MPs will be the identity of most perpetrators of the attacks - extremist Muslims or right-wing fascists. By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
Hamas: Sharon Will Make Us Stronger – September 18, 2005
Lekarev - Hamas spokesman Moshir al-Masri told Ynet that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's warning to the Palestinian Authority not to include Hamas in the upcoming Palestinian elections would "only strengthen us." Masri was responding to comments made by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who said that Israel would "make every effort" not to help the Palestinian Authority hold elections if Hamas took part in them. Masri also said that Hamas's participation in the elections would not spell the end for its war on Israelis. "Sharon's words only make us stronger," he said. "We reject this despicable interference by Sharon, and no one will tell us what to do. These things only strengthen our determination and our devotion to our rights," said Masri.
Meanwhile, Vice Premier Shimon Peres warned today that placing Hamas candidates on the ballot could cost the Palestinians the financial aid packages they have been offered by countries around the world. "The major threat is that the Palestinians will lose or endanger the massive financial aid they have been offered," Peres told Israel Radio. "I don't think the world will support any Palestinian institution that supports terror." The comments of Peres, the chairman of the Labor Party and a longtime dove with many contacts in the international community, put him in company with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and at odds with officials from the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Bush administration - all of whom would prefer Israel stay out of the PLC elections.
Black Market Weapons in Gaza – September 15, 2005
Lekarev - Since Monday, black market prices for weapons in Gaza have dropped sharply, dealers are telling reporters. The price of an AK-47 assault rifle fell from 1,400 Jordanian dinars (US$ 2,000) to about 900 dinars (US$1,300), while the bullets for the weapon are now being sold for as little as three shekels (less than US$1) when previously they cost up to 18 shekels (US$4). nnEgyptian-made pistols that were recently sold in Gaza for US$1,400 can now be bought for as little as US$180, said an arms dealer who identified himself only as Khader, for fear of arrest.
Another dealer, who was interviewed in a car just outside the Rafah cemetery, said hundreds of AK-47s had been smuggled from Egypt since Monday. He said he has already sold his loot to terrorist groups, but declined to say how many pieces his runners brought back. A balding man with a two-day stubble, this dealer said he went to Egypt to meet his business partners, with whom he had dealt on the phone during the past five years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting. "They cooked us a nice meal in the hills, and took us on a tour of the beach," he said. Khader, interviewed by phone, said his runners came back mainly with pistols and bullets, rather than the heavier assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. "My people brought me lots of things, including pistols and gold," he said.
A third dealer, who gave his name as Hafez, said competitors reported having US$1 million worth of loot confiscated, including grenade launchers. "That's why everyone was focusing on small pieces," he said. While assault rifles and pistols could certainly intensify violence among rival Palestinian groups - and probably will - they do not pose a direct threat to Israel, which has sealed Gaza with a complex of border barriers.
Mob Murders Arafat's Cousin – September 6, 2005
Lekarev - Dozens of gunmen stormed the home of deposed Gaza security chief Moussa Arafat before dawn this morning and shot him dead, witnesses said. Arafat, 65, a cousin of the late Yasser Arafat, was fired earlier this year by Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas. It was not immediately clear who the gunmen were. Moussa Arafat was linked to corruption charges and had many powerful enemies, and it was thought that his killing was related to internal conflicts.
The gunmen fired rocket propelled grenades at his house in Gaza City , then stormed the house, killing Arafat. His oldest son, Nimhel, who is a senior security official, was either kidnapped or escaped. An Associated Press Television News cameraman saw Moussa Arafat's body being taken from the house to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, but bodyguards prevented him from taking pictures.
There was no immediate comment from the Palestinian Authority, but at dawn Wednesday, Abbas called an emergency meeting of his security commanders and Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia.
PA Has Double Amount of Allowed Weapons – September 4, 2005
National News - The PA has about 40,000 weapons, double the number permitted
by the 1995 Oslo accords, a senior IDF officer said. The number does not
include a huge arsenal of Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorists. "If
the Oslo accords allow 20,000 weapons for the PA [Palestinian Authority] force,
we reckon that there are close to 40,000 in the field. I'm not talking about
militant groups and terrorist groups," according to Lt. Col. Daniel
Beaudoin, a senior officer at Coordinator of Government Activities in Gaza.
He added that the PA does not have the ability to change the terrorist mentality. "They've been so busy trying to blow us up for last 30 years, and they haven't been putting enough effort into trying to find some way of building up a viable system. And this is our expectation for the future….How are we going to bring about change in the Palestinian police force? How are you going to deal with kidnappings of internationals in order to release some guy who was apprehended because he ripped off his car?"
Beaudoin said the only hope is for the Arabs to link their economic future with dismantling the terrorist infrastructure. He admitted that the international community is "more adamant about it than we are almost." The IDF officer warned that Gaza could "burst at the seams with RPGs within six months." Hamas terrorists Saturday continued to flex their muscles and challenge PA control of Gaza. It revealed for the first time the names of seven chief terrorists and published their photographs on a web site. Hamas terrorist chief Mohamed Deif threatened on Saturday that his terrorists will respond to attacks, "whether from the Authority or from the Israelis." Israel authorities have been hunting for Deif for 20 years.
Israel also faces increased terrorism in the north where Hezbollah terrorist leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has claimed his organization has 12,000 rockets capable of striking northern Israel. By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Go to: Fall 2005 – “The Land and the Nation of Israel”, Part One
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