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IsraCast Archive | January-February 2005

GISSIN ASSESSES IMPACT OF PALESTINIAN BOMBING AT TEL AVIV NIGHT CLUB

Sharon Spokesman Raanan Gissin: 'Tel Aviv Suicide Bombing Is A Direct Challenge By Terrorists To The Leadership Of Mahmoud Abbas'

'Peace Process Now Depends On Performance Of Palestinian Security Forces Within the Next Few Days'

'Suicide Bombing Will Not Affect Israel's Decision To Evacuate Gaza Strip Next Summer'

The Palestinian suicide bomber, who murdered and maimed scores of Israelis outside a Tel Aviv nightclub Friday night, is threatening the peace process renewed at the recent Sharm el Sheikh summit. Three Israeli men and one woman were murdered, three arrived DOA at hospital. Some fifty others were injured, some seriously. Again, the explosives were packed with steel nuts and bolts to increase the deadly effect. Dr Raanan Gissin, Prime Minister Sharon's media advisor, assesses the situation in this interview with David Essing:

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SYRIA - THE ASSAD ENIGMA

Prof. Eyal Zisser: ’Syrian Pledges To Withdraw In Lebanon Are Aimed At Buying Time And Riding Out International Storm’

‘Too Early To Say If Lebanese Protest Demonstrations Will Develop Into Lebanese Intifada Against Syria’s Domination’

‘Russia Sale Of Sophisticated SA-18 Missiles To Syria As Well As Russia Nuclear Aid To Iran, Indicates Moscow Wants To Get Back Into Middle East Game’

Just how sincere are the latest declarations by Syrian officials to withdraw their troops in Lebanon to the Be’ka Valley? Why has Syria, after collaborating with guerilla attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, now further defied America by forming an alliance with Iran and in effect joining the ‘Axis of Evil’ of President George W. Bush? After supplying nuclear aid to Iran, Russia is now selling sophisticated weapons to Syria - is this simply to make a fast ruble or does President Vladamir Putin have something else in mind?

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ARTIFICIAL FLOCK WILL HUNT TERRORISTS

A young scientist from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology has developed a system that will allow UAVs to attack terrorist targets in group formation. The new method which is based on the natural movement of flocks of animals will be able to distinguish between civilians and enemy targets even in highly populated areas and perform its mission with more accuracy and flexibility than any single UAV.

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ISRAEL AIR FORCE 'SECRET WEAPONS'

Knesset member Eliezer "Cheetah" Cohen:'Former Air Force Commander Dan Halutz Is Right Commander At Right Time For IDF'

'General Halutz Will Apply IAF Star Wars Technology to Ground Forces'

'Look For New Chief Of Staff To Build Smaller, Faster Ground Units With Greater Fire-Power'

These are some of the remarks of Knesset Member Eliezer 'Cheetah' Cohen, a retired IAF combat pilot who served with the Air Force Commander who has been named new IDF Chief Of Staff. Colonel Cohen says Halutz was not only a crack fighter pilot who flew the Phantom and F-16, he is known in the IAF as a brilliant planner.

In this revealing interview with David Essing, Cohen also talks about how the IAF has become second to none in the air.

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NEW IDF CHIEF OF STAFF

Former Israel Air Force Commander Dan Halutz Appointed IDF Chief Of Staff

First Time Air Force Commander Becomes IDF Top Soldier

Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee Blasts Defense Minister Mofaz For Ousting Current IDF Chief Of Staff

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has named former Israel Air force Commander Dan Halutz as the new Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. Halutz, who now serves as Deputy Chief of Staff, takes over from General Moshe Ya’alon, just days before the controversial evacuation of the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements. Meanwhile, in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, there was wall-to-wall criticism of the Defense Minister for not granting the customary extra year to General Ya’alon. While not explaining his decision, Mofaz said time would prove he had made the right decision.

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THE DAY AFTER

Israel Releases 500 Palestinian Prisoners In Good Will Gesture

Sharon Aide Weisglass: ‘Current Disengagement Is Only One Of The Cards At Present, No Political Negotiations On Roadmap Unless Palestinians Dismantle Terror Organizations’

Likud ‘Rebels’: ‘We Will Try And Topple Sharon Government Over State Budget, Unless Prime Minister Agrees To National Referendum On Withdrawal’

Within twenty-four hours after the historic cabinet decision on withdrawal, Israel has released 500 Palestinian prisoners. This as Dov Weisglass, Ariel Sharon’s top aide, spelled out how the Prime Minister views future developments. Meanwhile, the Likud MKs opposed to the disengagement, are threatening to bring down the government over the budget.

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CABINET SEALS DISENGAGEMENT

Cabinet Gives Green Light To Gaza Withdrawal

Settler Leaders: ‘We Are Not Giving Up; The Campaign Is Also To Forestall Future Withdrawals From Judea and Samaria’

Cabinet Approves New Route For Security Fence, Which Now Includes 7% of Palestinian Territory

The Israeli Cabinet has voted in favor of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements. The evacuation is slated to begin on July 20th. Finance Minister Bibi Netanyahu, Sharon’s chief rival in the ruling Likud Party, lead 4 other ministers in voting against the disengagement because it did not include a national referendum on the controversial issue. Previously, the cabinet voted for the withdrawal in principle; today the cabinet decided to implement. Last week, the Knesset also voted for the withdrawal plan and the 1$ billion compensation package. Reacting to the cabinet vote, settler leaders declared they would step up their campaign to block the withdrawal.

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THIS WEEK - 18.02.05

A Review Of The Main News Stories in Israel Over the Past Seven Days -

DISENGAGEMENT - After Knesset Vote, Cabinet and Budget Is Also In The Bag

Settlers: 'We May Have Lost the Battle In The Knesset And Cabinet, But We'll Win In The Streets'

CHIEF OF STAFF FUROR

Defense Minister Mofaz May Regret Decision To Oust General Yaalon

After the historic Knesset vote on disengagement, Sharon officials believe the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements is now a done deal. The 59-40 vote poured cold water on the campaign by withdrawal opponents for a national referendum, not that they won't l keep trying. Even the vote count is misleading; the number of hard core MKs against the evacuation is even less than 40 in the 120 member Knesset. The MK breakdown: Likud rebels - 17, National Union - 6, National Religious - 6 for a grand total of 29. Sharon sources say: 'Forget about the 11 Shasniks, the ultra-orthodox party will not oppose the withdrawal if it gets what it wants on child allowances.' This 30% is also said to reflect Israeli public opinion after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas started halting the terrorism.

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HISTORIC VOTE - SHARON THREATENED

The Knesset Passes Crucial Compensation Law For Gaza Withdrawal

Death Threats To Prime Minister Sharon As Withdrawal Plan Gathers Steam

The Knesset has passed the evacuation - compensation bill necessary to carry out Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements this summer. The vote was 59-40 with 5 abstentions. However, as the Prime Minister moves his evacuation plan forward, he may also be facing mounting death threats.

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IDF CHIEF OF STAFF 'FIRED'

Defense Minister Mofaz Refuses To Extend Chief Of Staff's Term

Defense Minister's Step Is Being Viewed As 'Slap In the Face' To General Yaalon

The regular term of service for the IDF Chief of Staff is three years; however, it is customary almost the rule, that this is extended by another year. In fact, it has never happened that a Chief of Staff 'was sent home' after just three years. Now, for whatever reason, Defense Minister Mofaz has informed General Yaalon that he is not getting another year and will be retired in July, just before the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in northern Samaria.

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SHARON ON RUSSIAN MISSILES TO SYRIA AND HARIRI ASSASSAINATION

As reported by IsraCast on Feb 1st, Russia is going ahead with the sale of advanced SA-18 ground to air missiles to Syria. Speaking to the Foreign Press Association in Israel, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reacted to this development and the assassination of Rafik Hariri, widely believed to have been engineered by Damascus. Israel has expressed concern that Syria will supply the missiles to Hizballah in south Lebanon, which attacks Israel from across the Lebanese border.

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THE PRIME SUSPECT - SYRIA

IDF: ‘Identity Of Hariri Assassins Still Unknown, But Syria Is Top Suspect’

Chief Of Staff Yaalon: ‘Israel Expects Palestinian President Abbas To Start Dismantling Terror Groups Within Weeks, Not Months’

‘Israel Never Agreed To Immediately Give Up Check-points Around Jericho’

IDF Chief of Staff General Moshe Yaalon has briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on a series of burning issues. One of his top intelligence officers presented an assessment of who might have assassinated former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut yesterday. With its long record of murdering its political opponents in Lebanon, Syria is at the top of the list of suspects.

Although praising the efforts of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in halting terror attacks, General Yaalon also said Israel expects the new leader to start confiscating the terrorists weapons within weeks not months. The Chief of Staff had tough words for any IDF soldier who refuses to carry out withdrawal orders.

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JEWISH TERROR?

PM Sharon: ‘I’m Not Afraid Of Jewish Terror Threats To Me - Final Cabinet Vote On Withdrawal Next Sunday!’

MK Eitam: ‘Sharon Is Manipulating Incitement By Jewish Extremists To Arouse Public Opinion Against Withdrawal’

Warnings: ‘We Got Rabin, We’ll Get Sharon!’

A major confrontation between Prime Minister Sharon and his withdrawal opponents erupted in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Sharon said it was clear who was behind the recent wave of incitement by opponents to his withdrawal plan. MK Effi Eitam of the National Religious Party retorted that Sharon was manipulating the incitement for his own political purposes.

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IDF INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

IDF Intelligence: ‘Palestinian Security Making Genuine Effort To Prevent Terror Attacks On Israel; However, Not Dismantling Terror Infrastructure’

Palestinian Street Has Influenced Hamas To Accept A Time-Out In Attacks, Hamas Has Yet To Agree To Cease-fire’

Israeli Sources: ‘Former Lebanese Leader Hariri Apparently Assassinated By Damascus For Calling On Syria To Get Out Of Lebanon’

Brigadier Yossi Kupperwasser, a senior IDF intelligence officer, says there has been a dramatic drop in Palestinian terror attacks against Israel. Briefing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the officer said the new situation reflects the changes carried out by new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. At the same time, the Palestinian Security apparatus was not dismantling the terror infrastructure and Hamas has agreed to a lull in attacks but not a cease-fire.

The Israeli view is that Syria is responsible for the huge car bomb that murdered former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and many others in Beirut. Hariri recently criticized Syria’s refusal to end its occupation of Lebanon.

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Blood test discovers post-traumatic disorders

Researchers at the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem have discovered that a simple blood test may enable psychiatrists to predict if a person will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder while still in the emergency room a few hours after the traumatic event occurs.

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ALTALENA - AND THE PALESTINIAN SHIP OF STATE

Hamas Shells Israeli Settlements In Gaza Strip... No Casualties

Israel Calls On Palestinian President Abbas To Immediately Halt The Bombardment

Foreign Israeli Officials: 'Hamas Is Challenging Abbas Cease-fire With Israel Declared At Sharm el Sheik'

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas terrorists have fired dozens of mortars, Qassam rockets and anti-tank missiles at Israeli settlements. There have been no Israeli casualties but one building was hit and the electricity grid was damaged. Hamas says it was reacting to the death of a Palestinian by IDF gunfire. The IDF says troops opened fire when they spotted a group of four Palestinians trying to infiltrate the settlement of Atzmona.

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REFERENDUM CLASH!

PM Sharon: ‘No National Referendum On Disengagement; Those Who Warn Of Civil War Are Trying to Block Gaza Evacuation’

Knesset Speaker Rivlin: ‘There Is A Real Danger of Civil War, If No Referendum’

Foreign Minister Shalom: ‘I Will Lead All-Out Campaign For Referendum’

Twenty four hours after the Sharm el-Sheikh summit, a new drive by Likud members for a national referendum on the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements. Two key officials, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin have come out loud and clear in favor of the referendum. However, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has retorted that there will be no referendum.

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Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Speech

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have announced a cessation of hostilities at their summit meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Due to the historic importance of the event, IsraCast presents the translated text of Sharon's address. Further coverage and analysis to follow shortly.

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ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN TRUCE!

At their Sharm el Sheikh summit, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have announced a cease-fire. Abbas said all attacks against Israelis everywhere would be halted. The newly elected Palestinian leader declared that the quiet starting today was a new start on the road to peace and the first step toward the Roadmap which calls for Israel and Palestine to live in peace. The cessation of hostilities would grant both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples the opportunity to move swiftly ahead in the peace negotiations.

At the same time, Abbas called for a halt to Israeli settlement activity, and the release of all Palestinian prisoners. He criticized Israel’s building of the security fence to keep out suicide bombers, saying the fence was not conducive to co-existence. As for the permanent settlement, the Palestinians seek a state on the 1967 lines with Jerusalem its capital and the Palestinian leader also said the refugee issue must be resolved in the final status negotiations.

Abbas, as did Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, also called for Syria and Lebanon to be included in the peace process. For his part, the Palestinian leader pledged to keep all his commitments adding that the Palestinian people had opted for peace by voting him into office in last month’s election. He declared that the Palestinians must have ‘one authority and one gun!’ However, Abbas added this must be achieved not by force but through dialogue.

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RICE‘S MISSION - GET SHARON AND ABBAS ON THE SAME PAGE

Condolleezza Rice has come and gone - putting the U.S. finishing touches on what will likely be a successful Sharon-Abbas summit. However the Secretary of State will not be attending the Sharm El Sheik summit with Egypt’s President Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah; there is no need at this stage. But later on, the presence and prestige of the U.S. Secretary of State will surely be required to overcome the crises which can be expected to crop up, if and when the Roadmap gets underway in earnest.

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SECRETARY RICE IN JERUSALEM

'Israel & Palestinians Must Be Ready To Make Hard Choices To Advance Peace'

'Israel Should Refrain From Unilateral Steps In East Jerusalem, Palestinians Must Halt Terrorism'

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THIS WEEK 4-2-2005

The Goal of Sharm El-Sheik Summit - Crossing The Current Crevasse To The Roadmap

Current Phase - 'Pay As You Go On Installment Plan'

Israeli Officials: 'Palestinian President Abbas Orders His Security Apparatus To Behave Like U.N. Observers Toward The Terrorists!'

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and newly-elected President Mahmoud Abbas are about to meet at the invitation of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik. Although both sides have started pulling back from the four and a half years of bloodshed and violence: they are at odds over the scope of concessions in this phase. About to make her entrance on the new Middle East stage is the new U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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GERMAN PRESIDENT KOHLER ADDRESSES KNESSET

German President Kohler: 'Israel Must Be Able To Live Within Internationally Recognized Borders Free Of Terror.My Country Has Proven This Time And Again Through Its Actions.' 'Germany Will Always Stand By Israel And Its People'

Prime Minister Sharon: 'Although Israeli-German Relations Are Under The Shadow Of The Holocaust, Germany Is A Firm Friend Of Israel'

Cabinet Minister Naveh: 'I Boycotted President Kohler's Speech Because Every Time I Hear German I Think Of My Mother In Bergen Belsen'

German President Horst Kohler has addressed the Parliament of the Jewish State in Jerusalem. Kohler is on an official visit marking forty years since the establishment of diplomatic relations. After opening his address in Hebrew, Professor Kohler then said 'I want to reaffirm here today that responsibility for the Shoah is part of Germany's identity' and he added 'I bow my head in shame and humility before the victims'. He condemned the Palestinian terrorism against Israel saying the terror must end: 'Suicide bombings are crimes for which there can be no excuse or justification'. The German President visited the town of Sderot, the Israeli town that was repeatedly shelled by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

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NEWS FLASH!

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are to Hold a Summit Meeting on February 8th

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak has invited Sharon and Abbas to meet in the Egyptian resort Sharm El Sheik on the Red Sea. Dr. Ra'anan Gissin, prime minister Sharon's media advisor, told David Essing of the development and Israel's expectations for the upcoming visit of US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.

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IDF INTELLIGENCE

General Zeevi-Farkash: 'Palestinian President Abbas Has Deployed Security Forces But Is Not Confronting Terrorists in Gaza'

'Iran, Hizballah And Syria Are Now Urging Terrorists To Step Up Attacks And Sabotage Israeli-Palestinian Peace Effort'

'Russia Has Sold Syria Advanced SA-18 Ground To Air Missiles Mounted On Vehicles'

Maj. Gen. Aharon Zeevi-Farkash, the commander of IDF military intelligence, says Palestinian President Mahmoud is depending on persuasion rather than on an active counter-terror campaign to rein in attacks on Israel from Gaza. Although Abbas has ordered his security forces to set up roadblocks and patrol the border area, he is not making arrests or confiscating illegal weapons. The IDF intelligence chief says the Palestinians are not ready to enforce a total cease-fire until the upcoming Abbas-Sharon summit meeting next week. Appearing on Israel Television's IBA news, Analyst David Essing was interviewed by Yochanan Elrom:

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RABIN DEJA VU

Cabinet Minister Sheetrit: ‘There Is A Clear And Present Danger From Jewish Fanatics; High Time To Clamp Down!’

MK Aylon: ‘Huge Knesset Demo Was Just A Warm-Up For What’s In Store; However, We Categorically Oppose Any Violence!’

MK Benizri: ‘Shas Party Rules Out National Referendum On Withdrawal’

The ultra-orthodox Shas party says although it opposes Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal plan, it will not support a national referendum on the issue. In any case, withdrawal opponents plan on stepping up their protest campaign. Meanwhile, some Likud sources say they are very worried about some of the manifestations at the Knesset demonstration; some say it recalls the time before the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and something should be done immediately.

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Strengthen immune system against HIV

An Israeli research team has developed a vaccine that significantly strengthens the bodys immune system against the autoimmune response caused by HIV infection. This breakthrough could dramatically improve the treatment of AIDS patients.

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SETTLERS PROTEST - SHARON DEFIANT

Angry Settlers: ‘We Pledge To Do All We Can, Short Of Violence, To Halt The Withdrawal!’

Sharon Cabinet Decides To Hand Back Control Of Four Palestinian Towns

Israeli Officials: ‘Iraqi and Palestinian Elections Offer Historic Opportunities For Democracy And Peace’

Tens of thousands of settlers and other opponents of Prime Minister Sharon’s withdrawal plan demonstrated outside Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem. Several MKs from Sharon’s own Likud party condemned the Gaza evacuation planned for next summer. However, at the latest cabinet session, Sharon decided to speed up plans to also hand back control of Palestinian towns on the West Bank.

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THIS WEEK 28-1-05

A Review Of Some Of the Main News Stories In Israel Over The Past Seven Days

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SHARON - ABBAS SUMMIT

Israel & Palestinians Resume Political Contacts To Prepare Sharon-Abbas Summit

Israeli Officials: ‘We Have Suspended Targeted Killings Of Terrorists Except For Cases Of Ticking Bombs’

Palestinian Security Forces Also Deploy In Southern Gaza Strip To Prevent Terror Attacks

Senior Israeli and Palestinian officials met in a Jerusalem hotel today to start planning for a summit between Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It was the first political meeting since Sharon suspended all contact with the Palestinians after the Palestinian terror attack, which murdered six Israeli civilians working at the Karni Cargo Terminal on January 15th. Israeli officials have confirmed that the IDF has suspended targeted killings of terrorists except in ticking bomb situations. In another development, Palestinian security forces are also being deployed in the Southern Gaza Strip to prevent terror attacks on Israel.

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ANTI-SEMITISM DIDN’T DIE IN AUSCHWITZ

Prime Minister Sharon: 'Allies Bombed Targets Near Death Camp But Refused To Bomb Auschwitz Gas Chambers Or Railway'

Cabinet Minister Sharansky: 'The Arab World In General And The Palestinians In Particular Have Become the Center Of Global Anti-Semitism'

The Knesset has marked the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945. One million two hundred thousand people were murdered in Auschwitz, most of them Jews. After members of the House, Holocaust survivors and foreign diplomats stood in a moment of silence, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took the rostrum. Sharon charged the Allies knew the Nazis were exterminating the Jews of Europe but did not lift a finger to stop it. He accused the Allied powers of bombing targets near Auschwitz, but refusing to bomb the gas chambers or the railway that was transporting 10,000 Jews daily to their executions. Sharon declared that Israel has learned the lesson; she must depend only upon herself and will never give up its right to self-defense. Cabinet Minister Natan Sharansky warned ‘We are now in the same stage of anti-Semitism that preceded the Holocaust.

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IRAN - ON VERGE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Mossad Director Dagan: 'Iran Is Only Months Away From Nuclear Point Of No Return'

'Unless Stopped, Iran Will Be Able To Independently Enrich Uranium By The End Of 2005'

MK Steinitz: 'A Nuclear Iran Will Pose a Devastating Existential Threat Not Only To Israel But To Entire World'

IDF Gen. (ret). Meir Dagan, the Director of the Mossad Intelligence Agency has warned that by the end of 2005 Iran will pass the point of no return in its drive to produce nuclear weapons. Dagan gave this assessment in a closed-door briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Enriched uranium is in effect Iran's missing link for producing nuclear weapons because it has already developed long-range missiles as a delivery system. Committee Chairman, MK Yuval Steinitz of the Likud, warned that a nuclear Iran would threaten not only Israel but also the rest of the world. Steinitz told IsraCast that in his view it was not up to the 'miniscule state' of Israel to find a solution to the global threat of a nuclear Iran.

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IRAN GOES NUCLEAR IN 2005

Mossad Director Dagan: 'If Not Stopped, Iran Will Go Nuclear In 2005 And Produce Nuclear Bomb Within A Couple Of Years'

'Egypt Has Peaceful Nuclear Program; Indications That Syria and Saudi Arabia Might Have Secret Nuclear Projects'

Mossad Director, Meir Dagan presented the intelligence agency's annual assessment to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. The Mossad views Iran's nuclear weapons project as the greatest threat to Israel today. The Mossad chief left no doubt that the ayatollahs in Tehran will wind up with nuclear weapons within a couple of years if they are not forced to halt.

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Revolutionary antibiotic against anthrax

A preparation developed by Israeli researchers from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology - destroys the Anthrax pathogen and the toxins it secretes into the bloodstream .This is the first step on the way to making an effective drug against this potentially hazardous bio-terrorism weapon.

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ALL QUIET IN NORTHERN GAZA

Palestinian President Deploys Hundreds Of Security Forces To Prevent Shelling Of Israeli Towns And Settlements

Israeli Cabinet Meets in Sderot To Show Solidarity With Qassam Targeted Town

Analyst David Essing: 'Sharon And Abbas Start Building Israeli-Palestinian Credibility and Momentum'

The Israeli town of Sderot and other villages and settlements finally enjoyed a quiet weekend. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas deployed hundreds of his security forces to prevent the launching of Qassam rockets and mortars at the Israeli towns and villages. The terrorist groups of Hamas and Islamic Jihad say Israel must pay a price for their halting the violence. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon held the weekly cabinet session in the town of Sderot, which has been hit by some 600 Qassam rockets launched from across the border in the Gaza Strip. Elsewhere in the Southern Gaza Strip and the West Bank, clashes continued between the terrorists and IDF troops. Interviewed on Israel Television's IBA News, David Essing assessed the latest developments with anchor Yochanan Elrom.

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THIS WEEK - January 21

Sderot Quiet - But Girl Dies Of Wounds From Recent Qassam Attack

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - Quo Vadis?

Likud Rebels Battle Sharon For Withdrawal Referendum

Cheney-Hersh-Iran: Common Denominator

David Essing reportson some of the main news developments over the past seven days

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‘GOING THE EXTRA MILE’

Israeli Security Cabinet:‘Prepare For War, But Give Palestinian President Abbas A Last Chance’

Palestinian General Musa Arafat:‘Palestinian Security Forces Will Deploy Along Gaza Border To Prevent Qassam Attacks On Israel’

Hizballah And Possibly Syria In Israeli ‘Crosshairs’ After Attacks In The North

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has entered the ‘make or break’ phase. IDF troops and tanks have been ordered ‘on standby’ to silence the mounting Palestinian attacks in and from the Gaza Strip. However, Israel’s security cabinet is taking Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his word - that he sincerely wants to stop the terrorism and get back to the conference table. Either the new Palestinian leader delivers on his pledge or Israeli officials say the IDF will do what it takes to protect the country’s citizens.

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HOLOCAUST BANK ACCOUNTS IN ISRAEL

Special Knesset Report: 'There Are 9,000 Accounts Of Holocaust Victims In Israeli Banks Worth Current Value Of $225 Million' 'Money Should Be Paid To Heirs Of Holocaust Victims'

MK Avital: 'Jews Abroad May Check The Knesset Website On the Internet For Details'

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PRESIDENT ABBAS ENTERS "LION'S DEN"

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Goes To Gaza To Make Peace Pitch To Hamas & Islamic Jihad

Touring The Gaza Troops, Prime Minister Sharon Reviews Military Contingency Plans, If Palestinian Attacks continue

Sderot Residents March Toward Palestinian Town, Which Bombards Them With Qassam Rockets

Newly elected Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, or Abu Mazen, is about to call on the fanatic Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations in the Gaza Strip to call off their attacks on Israel. On his first visit to Gaza since the January 9th election, Abbas has reportedly ordered Palestinian security forces to halt the rocketing of Israeli towns and villages. His security forces were said to be taking up position in the areas of Gaza used by the terrorists to launch Qassam rockets and mortars. However, on the ground there has been little change in the Palestinian shelling. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon traveled to the Erez Crossing to Gaza to meet top IDF commanders. He again warned of the consequences if the Palestinian attacks continue. What are the chances that Mahmoud Abbas will succeed? Israeli left and right wing Knesset members are split about the new leader’s real intentions.

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PALESTINIAN BLITZ OF SDEROT

Israeli Town Of Sderot Holds General Strike And Day Of Prayer In Protest Against Palestinian Shelling

Palestinian President Abbas Orders His Security Forces To Curb Attacks Against Israel

Israeli Officials: 'A Small Step In Right Direction But Results Are What Count'

The residents of Sderot say they've had enough and held a general strike to protest Prime Minister Sharon's failure to halt the Palestinian shelling of their town from over the border in the Gaza Strip. Wearing black ribbons they gathered in the town square for prayers. Most of the six Israelis murdered in last Thursday's suicide bombing lived in Sderot which has been continually terrorized by the Qassam rockets and mortars from Gaza.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas now says he has ordered his security forces to prevent attacks against Israel; Israeli officials say 'We'll watch for results'.

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‘DEFENSIVE SHIELD’ IN GAZA?

Palestinian Terror Continues From Gaza After Suicide Bombing Murders Six Israelis

PM Sharon: ‘Palestinian President Abbas Is Not Lifting A Finger To Halt Terrorism’

Israeli Analysts: ‘Time Is Running Out, Israel May Have No Alternative To Massive IDF Operation In Gaza’

There has been no let up in the Palestinian terror attacks from the Gaza Strip. On Thursday night, Palestinian suicide bombers blew up Israel’s Karni terminal murdering six Israeli civilians. The terminal is used to transport medicine and food to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Since then, Palestinians have launched more Qassam rockets and mortars at Israeli towns and villages. One seventeen-year-old girl was critically wounded in Sderot while shielding her ten-year-old brother who was seriously hurt. After suspending all contacts with the new Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Sharon told the Israeli cabinet: ‘The Palestinian leader is not lifting a finger to halt the terrorism’.

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'PRINCE HARRY, THE NAZI'

This is the picture in the British daily, The Sun which made news around the world. Twenty year old Prince Harry, the son of Britain's Heir apparent and the late Princess Diana, decked out in a Nazi uniform at a costume party. Reactions from Dr. Robert Rozett of the Yad Va'shem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem and Jeff Barak, the deputy-editor of the Jewish Chronicle in Britain:

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THIS WEEK 14.01.05

Palestinians Elect 'Moderate' Mahmoud Abbas As President And Then Carry Out Suicide Bombing Murdering Six Israelis

Target Is Israeli Karni Cargo Terminal For Supplying Medicine and Food To Palestinians in Gaza Strip

Prime Minister Sharon Courts Shas

Russia Plans To Sell Sophisticated Missiles To Syria

Pro & Con - Stanley Fischer Named Governor Of Bank Of Israel

THIS WEEK, a review of some of the main news stories in the week ending January 14th.

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SHARON & SHAS

Prime Minister Sharon Now Depends On Shas Party To Implement Gaza Withdrawal

Sharon’s Apparent Options: Give In To Shas Demands Or Call An Early Election!

Analyst David Essing: ‘Look For U.S. To Send High Level Envoy, Maybe Even Secretary Of State Rice, To Build Momentum Between Israel and Palestinians’

Prime Minister Sharon managed to win a narrow Knesset majority for his new disengagement cabinet, but he is now facing a new crisis. Sharon’s Likud party expresses mounting annoyance over the Prime Minister’s dependence on Arab and Left-wing Yachad Knesset members. It was only with their votes that Sharon gained Knesset approval for his new cabinet with Labor and United Torah Judaism. Sharon has now turned to Shas, another ultra-orthodox party, in order to bring them into the coalition and silence Likud criticism. However, Shas is demanding major changes in the new state budget and a free vote when it comes to the withdrawal.

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SHARON'S STABILITY

Sharon's New Coalition Cabinet Holds First Cabinet Session. Several Likud Cabinet Ministers Annoyed At Government's Survival Depending On Support Of Far Left And Arab MKs.Likud 'Rebels' Likely To Vote For State Budget, After All Withdrawal Items Are Deleted.

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SHARON & ABBAS - THE VICTORS

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Wins Knesset Approval For New Disengagement Cabinet

Palestinian President-elect Mahmoud Abbas Wins Impressive Victory Taking 62% Of Vote

Analyst David Essing: ‘Future Peace Deal - Palestinian State = No Return Of Palestinian Refugees to Israel’

Israel and the Palestinians are both on the move. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has forged a new Israeli cabinet bound on withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements. The Knesset vote was 58 in favor, 56 including 13 Likud rebels against, while 6 MKs abstained. Sharon squeaked through with the help of left wing Yachad, Arab MKs and former Shinui MK Yossi Paritsky. In another surprise vote, UTJ MK Meir Porush abstained. Meanwhile in the Palestinian Autonomy, President-elect Mahmoud Abbas took 62 % of the vote in yesterday’s historic election. Outside the Knesset, 15,000 rightwing demonstrators protested against the withdrawal.

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PALESTINIANS & HIZBALLAH

One IDF Officer Killed By Hizballah Bomb Blast On Northern Frontier; Attack Triggers Two Hour Exchange Of Fire

Violence Is Viewed In Israel As Attempt By Pro-Iranian Geurillas To Sabotage Palestinian Elections

Sharon Sources: 'The PM Realizes That President Abbas Cannot Be Expected To Come Up With A Quick Fix For Halting All Terrorism, But Sharon Expects Abbas To Show He Means Business'

While Palestinians were going quietly to the polls on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Hizballah gunmen from Lebanon set off a road side bomb which killed one IDF officer. It was the second deadly terrorist attack in fourty-eight hours. On Friday, Palestinian terrorists exploited the IDF's let-up in offensive operations during the election period and ambushed an Israeli car killing another IDF soldier. David Essing says theses attacks highlight the situation that new Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will have to confront.

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinians were going quietly to the polls to elect a new President to replace the late Yasser Arafat. In the north, Hizballah guerillas armed by Iran and Syria went on the offensive sending a signal to the Palestinians.

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Tiny DNA based transistors

A group of Israeli scientists has developed a unique approach to creating nanotransistors based on DNA. This method might eventually lead the way to the development of new ultra-small transistors as well as tiny chemical and biological sensors.

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THIS WEEK, A REVIEW OF SOME OF THE MAIN NEWS STORIES IN ISRAEL OVER THE PAST SEVEN DAYS.

The program includes interviews with MK Avraham Ravitz, Pinhas Wallerstein, Mk Yuli Tamir, MK Benny Aylon, MK Yuval Steinitz and professor Robert Lieber.

- The program was produced before the Sabbath -

On Monday, Prime Minister Sharon presents his new disengagement government for the Knesset’s approval in Jerusalem. But as Sharon’s withdrawal regains momentum, so does resistance raising the specter of civil violence and bloodshed.

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CLOSING THE DEAL

Barring Unforeseen Circumstances, Sharon To Present Disengagement Coalition On Monday

The decision by United Torah Judaism to join Prime Minister Sharon’s new coalition is a big step on the way for Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements. On January 3rd, IsraCast reported that a deal was in the making – UTJ proposed that it enter the coalition on condition it be enabled to abstain on disengagement votes in the Knesset; Sharon apparently agreed.

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NEW PALESTINIAN & JEWISH TERROR

Shabak Chief Dichter: 'Jewish Extremists Plotting To Initiate Exchanges Of Fire Between IDF Soldiers And Settlers During Withdrawal'

'Palestinian Terrorists In Gaza Now Have Five Shoulder-Fired Ground to Air Missiles And Plan To Launch Them'

'Palestinian Leader Abbas Will Seek Terrorists' Agreement For Cease Fire And Then Build Up Military Strength For Future Use'

Shabak Security Chief Avi Dichter presented a grave picture in his semi-annual report to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Dichter analyzed the current Palestinian escalation in Gaza, new Palestinian terror threats and the threat from Jewish extremists during the upcoming withdrawal from Gaza and four West Bank settlements.

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SHARON - ULTRA-ORTHODOX SHOWDOWN

UTJ MK Ravitz: ‘Council Of Torah Sages Will Soon Decide Fate of Sharon Government & Withdrawal’

Sharon Officials: ‘If UTJ Does Not Enter Coalition By End Of Week, Sharon May Call An Early Election’

Analyst David Essing: ‘Possible Deal - UTJ Enters Coalition But Abstains On Withdrawal Vote: However, Sharon Demands Ultra-Orthodox Vote For Disengagement’

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s government and his plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements now hang in the balance. In order to form a new coalition to carry out the disengagement, Sharon needs the five Knesset Members of United Torah Judaism, an ultra-orthodox religious party. The Prime Minister warns if UTJ does not agree to join a Likud-Labor by the end of the week, he might call an early election.

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ELECTION RHETORIC OR YASSER ARAFAT, REINCARNATED?

Mahmoud Abbas: ‘If Elected President, I Will Not Disarm Terrorists Of Weapons!’

Analyst David Essing: ‘Litmus Test For Abbas Will Come After Election: Armed Palestinian Terrorists May Make Or Break Roadmap’

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Presidential front-runner has added to his list of hard-line statement in the run-up to the January 9th election. Abbas says if elected, he will not disarm the terrorists as stipulated in the Roadmap peace proposal and as demanded by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Mahmoud Abbas continues to talk tough in the Palestinian election campaign. Is he paying lip-service to the terrorists in order to get elected, or is he following in the footsteps of Yasser Arafat?

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IsraCast Archive | January-February 2005

IsraCast Archive