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IsraCast Archive | May-June 2006

SAVING CORPORAL SHALIT

Israel has signaled it will spare no effort to rescue IDF corporal Gilad Shalit

Meanwhile the current crisis casts a shadow over the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation and beyond

The standoff continued between Israel and the Palestinians in the wake of the Palestinian onslaught from the Gaza Strip. After launching more than six hundred Qassam rockets after Israels total evacuation last summer, the terrorists carried out a cross border raid into Israel killing two soldiers and abducting Corporal Gilad Shalit. On the West Bank, terrorists kidnapped and murdered eighteen-year-old Eliyahu Ashri. After giving the Palestinian authorities forty-eight hours to return the soldier, Israel launched operation Summer Rain into the Gaza Strip.

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EGYPTIAN MEDIATION

Dr. Dan Scheuftan: 'Very Little Chance That President Mubarak Can Persuade Hamas Leader Mashal To Free Israeli Soldier'

'Israel Has No Choice But To Make Palestinians Pay High Price For Terrorism'

What are the prospects the Egyptians will be able to persuade Hamas leader Halad Mashal to free the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shavit?  Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has called off the next stage of the rolling IDF operation into the northern part of the Gaza Strip in order to give the Egyptian effort a chance. Olmerts decision has sparked sharp criticism from the right- wing opposition which charges that the PM is negotiating with Hamas. This is denied by Israeli officials.  Dr. Dan Scheuftan, an Arab Affairs analyst at Haifa University discusses various aspects of the current crisis in an interview with David Essing:

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'SHATTERING THE ILLUSION'

IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz: 'The Israeli soldier is alive and we hold Hamas responsible for his welfare. Hamas is involved from head to foot'

Israel has issued an ultimatum to Palestinian leadership demanding the immediate return of the IDF soldier who was abducted by Palestinian attackers from the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has held consultations with defense officials and the security cabinet to decide on the Israeli response to what is being viewed as a grave escalation. The assault came near Kibbutz Kerem Shalom.

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BALANCE OF TERROR

Senior Israeli Official: 'Israel Is Conducting A Two Track Policy - Future Negotiations With Mahmoud Abbas While Suppressing Qassam Rocketing'

The outcome of the Palestinian rocketing of the Israeli town of Sderot will have a wide-ranging impact on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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TOTAL HALT TO QASSAMS

Defense Minister Peretz: 'There Will Be Total Halt To Palestinian Rocketing From Gaza, One Way Or The Other!'

Sderot Mayor Moyal: 'Defense Minister Peretz And Whole Government Should Resign After Failing To Protect Our Town'

IDF Officer: 'Hamas Facing Dilemma Between Its Jihad Identity & Risking Its Regime'

Defense Minister Amir Peretz and several senior IDF officers have briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on the Palestinian rocketing from the Gaza Strip. Peretz made clear in no uncertain terms that there must be a total halt to the launching of Qassams or else he will order the IDF to step up its counter-terror strikes. Peretz is facing mounting pressure and Mayor Eli Moyal from his hometown of Sderot has called on him to resign.

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DOVE IN DEFENSE MINISTRY

Defense Minister Amir Peretz passed his first baptism of fire on his own

How has Israels new defense minister Amir Peretz handled the current escalation in Palestinian rocketing in the Gaza Strip? Peretz, the dovish Labor Party leader, makes his home in Sderot, that has been the main target of the Qassams launched just a few miles away. The tragic killing of seven Palestinian family members on the Gaza beach has also focused attention on how Israel should cope with indiscriminate Palestinian rocketing of Israeli civilians.

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THIS WEEK 16.6.06

PM Olmert Goes Back To Drawing Board

Gaza Strip Flare-up & West Bank Connection

Is Prime Minister Ehud Olmerts cup half-full or half-empty after his visit to London and Paris this week? While Britains Tony Blair and Frances Jacques Chirac stood firm on demands to the Palestinians for starting peace talks, they also reacted coolly to Olmerts unilateral Realignment plan for the West Bank.

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PALESTINIAN PERFIDY

Hamas Declares Ceasefire, But Other Terrorists Launch More Rockets Into Sderot

First Hamas declared it is ready for a week long ceasefire with Israel if the IDF halts its targeting of Hamas. The offer came from Hamas headquarters in Damascus. However, within several hours the Palestinians fire five more Qassam rockets into the Israeli town of Sderot. After winning the election in January, Hamas has formed the official Palestinian government. But its predecessor Fatah, which is headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, and another group the Islamic Jihad claim responsibility for the latest rocketing.

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BLAIR BACKS OLMERT

In London, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has presented his unilateral realignment plan to British leader Tony Blair. Listen to excerpts from the Blair-Olmert news conference.

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GAZA VICTIMS

IDF Probe Continues Into The Explosion That Killed Seven Palestinian Civilians On Gaza Beach

PM Olmert: 'IDF Is The Most Ethical Army In The World & Does Not Deliberately Target Civilians'

The explosion that killed seven Palestinians on the beach of Gaza has shocked Israel. Israelis were distressed by the possibility that an IDF shell had gone off target and wreaked havoc among the Ralia family that was enjoying a picnic.

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Al-Zarqawi & Samhadana

In Depth Analysis Of Targeted Killings In Iraq & Gaza Strip

Dr. Dan Schueftan, an Arab Affairs analyst at Haifa University assesses the short and long-term impact of the U.S. targeted killing of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi in Iraq. The expert also compares it with Israels killing of Palestinian warlord Jamal Abu Samhadana in the Gaza Strip.

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SHARANSKY ON CANADIAN UNION

Natan Sharansky Blasts Canadian Unions Anti-Israeli Resolution

Knesset Member Natan Sharansky charges the anti-Israeli resolution adopted by a big union of public service employees in Ontario is a call for Israels destruction. The resolution supported a boycott of Israel and demanded that Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to the Jewish state. The Canadian unions resolution follows a move of British academicians who voted to boycott their Israeli colleagues who did not condemn Israeli government actions

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SHEER ANTI-SEMITISM

MK Michael Melchior: 'Anti-Israeli Resolution Of British Academics Is Sheer Anti-Semitism'

'Why Don't They Condemn Themselves Over British Participation In Iraq'

'Their Boycott Of Israeli Academics Is In Fact A Denial Of Jewish Right To Homeland In Middle East'

What's really behind the resolution by British academics to boycott Israeli academics who do not condemn Israeli policies in the Palestinian conflict? When does legitimate criticism degenerate into an attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state? And when does academic freedom degenerate into academic tyranny? Labor Knesset member Michael Melchior discusses these issues with David Essing:

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ISOLATING HAMAS

Amos Gilad: 'Israel Agrees To The Supply Of Limited Quantities Of Light Weapons And Ammunition To Palestinian President Abbas To Help Cope With Hamas'

'Abbas Taking Courageous Step In Calling For National Referendum If Hamas Rejects Israel on 1967 border'

Moves Afloat To Isolate Hamas, After Olmert's Visit to Washington

Are Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas now engaged in trying to rebuild some mutual confidence? It looks that way after Olmert's visit to Washington and his talks with President Bush and other administration officials.

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Highlights from Joint Press Conference at the White House

Listen to excerpts from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's and U.S. President George W. Bush's joint press conference held yesterday at the White House. Both Bush and Olmert addressed the issues of negotiating with the Palestinians, and the Iranian nuclear threat.

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READING BETWEEN THE RHETORIC

Olmert Apparently Told Bush Israel Will Not Surprise U.S. By Going Solo On Iran; In Return U.S. President Declared U.S. Would Come To Israel's Aid In Case Of Iranian Nuclear Attack

Olmert Had No Choice But To Accept Bush Position On Another Roadmap Attempt Rather Than Unilateral Israeli Steps On West Bank In Foreseeable Future

After meeting in the White House, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and U.S. President George Bush later held a joint news conference. It was not their first meeting. Years ago in Jerusalem, Olmert Mayor of Jerusalem hosted Bush, who was then Governor of Texas. By the sights and sounds of their Washington news conference, the two leaders hit it off again. But what apparently went on behind the rhetoric?

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NO IDF CONQUEST OF GAZA

IDF Chief Of Staff Halutz: I Will Not Advise Government To Reoccupy Gaza Strip Despite Qassam Rockets

Hamas-Fatah Fued Will Not Escalate Into Civil War

Iran Could Acquire Nuclear Weapons Capability By 2009 Or 2010

In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz has assessed the Palestinian threat and the bloody feud between Hamas and Fatah. Gen. Halutz also disclosed that Iran could acquire a nuclear capability by the year 2009.

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EYEBALL TO EYEBALL IN GAZA

Brig. Gen. (res.) Harari: The Internal Palestinian Violence In Gaza Is One Battle In A War For Control

The Hamas-Fatah Confrontation Is Likely To Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Palestinian Pundits & Media Are Warning Of Civil War

The armed confrontation between Hamas and Fatah erupted in several bloody clashes this week. It has all the signs of an internal power-struggle with neither side apparently ready to give in after Fatah lost control to Hamas in the recent election. Shalom Harari, a leading Israeli analyst on the Palestinians discusses various aspects and the outlook in an interview with IsraCast's David Essing.

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ARAFAT ADVISOR GETS KNESSET POST

MK Ahmed Tibi: As Deputy Speaker Ill Rule On Merit

MK Avigdor Lieberman: Arab MKs Who Support Hamas Should Be Tried & Executed Like Nazi Collaborators In France

MK Tibi: Lieberman Is A Racist

Arab Knesset Member, who served as an advisor to Yasser Arafat, has long been in the limelight of Arab-Israeli relations in the Jewish state. Nonetheless, Dr. Tibi has now been elected Deputy-Speaker of Israels parliament, the Knesset. The Knesset House Committee voted in favor of Tibi.

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SUPREME COURT & PALESTINIAN SPOUSES

Gen. Giora Eiland: Israel Should Adopt Policy of Holland, Switzerland & Denmark In Barring Automatic Citizenship To Palestinian Spouses Of Israeli Arabs

Two More Fatalities From Palestinian Suicide Bombing On April 17th At Tel Aviv Bus Station

In a landmark ruling, Israels Supreme Court has turned down a petition to revoke an Israeli law that bars citizenship to the Palestinian spouses of Israeli Arabs. Six judges ruled against the petition while five were in favor. The majority ruling held: The benefit to the security of Israeli residents takes precedence over any infringement to some of its Arab citizens who marry Palestinians and wish to live with their spouses in Israel. As the public debate raged over the issue, National Security Council chief Giora Eiland drew a comparison with other democracies in an interview with Israel radio.

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Yossi Banai 1932 - 2006

Israeli singer and performer Yossi Banai died today at the age of 74. Banai, an Israel Prize laureate, was born in Jerusalem in 1932. He was a member of the famous Banai family, which includes some respected Israeli artists.

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IRANS NUCLEAR TIMETABLE

Gen. Amos Yadlin: 'Signs Of Iranian Secret Nuclear Program'

'If Unhampered, Iran Will Acquire Nuclear Weapons By 2010'

Shimon Peres: 'Iran Must Also Realize That It Could Also Be Destroyed'

Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, the chief of the IDF Intelligence Branch warns that Iran may be conducting a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Gen. Yadlin presented his assessment of Irans nuclear weapons drive in a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. In his view, U.N. sanctions could affect Tehrans plans to continue with its nuclear weapons program. Deputy Premier Shimon Peres has also been speaking about Irans threat to wipe Israel off the map by warning that Iran could also be destroyed.

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WARREN BUFFETT GOES ISRAEL

American Investor Buys Israeli Company Iscar For $4 Billion

Warren Buffett: The Israeli Management Team Was Enormously Important In My Decision'

Stef Wertheimer: Israel Is On The Right Path And Creating Jobs & Exports'

It is the biggest buy-out by a foreign investor in Israels history. None other than American tycoon Warren Buffett has paid $4 billion for an 80% share of Iscar, an Israeli company that produces blades and other equipment for industry. Buffett signed the deal in Omaha, Nebraska with Eitan Wertheimer, the son of Iscars founder Stef Wertheimer.

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LIFELINE OR HANGING ROPE?

Olmert Government Takes Office Ready For Partition & Compromise On West Bank

Right Wing Critics Charge: Olmerts Policy Is Not Lifeline For Zionism But A Hanging Rope For Israel

The Knesset has approved the new coalition government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert by a vote of 65-49 in the 120 Member parliament. In presenting his cabinet, Olmert declared that he would carry out a unilateral pullback to a new defense line on the West Bank, if there were no able Palestinian partner. The new line would include the settlements blocs and Israel would view it as a border until such time that the Palestinians were ready to halt the terrorism, recognize Israel and previous agreements with the Palestinians.

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PERES, GOLDA & STREISAND

On Israels 58th Independence Day, veteran Israeli leader Shimon Peres talked to IsraCast's David Essing about the hopes and dangers confronting the country. And we also go back to Israels 30th Independence Day and a memorable interview.

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ISRAEL REMEMBERS ITS FALLEN

Nation Comes To Halt In Tribute To 22,123 Fallen Men & Women

Tens Of Thousands Visit Military Cemeteries Across Country

Israel is remembering its fallen servicemen and women with memorial services in military cemeteries around the country. The main cemetery was held on Mount Herzel in Jerusalem. Delivering the only address, Prime Minister Designate Ehud Olmert made no direct reference to the Palestinian terrorism or the Iranian nuclear threat.

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IRANS NUCLEAR BUTTON

IDF Chief Of Staff Halutz: 'When It Comes To Iranian Nuclear Threat, Israel Is Prepared For Worst Case Scenario'

'President Ahmadinejads Threat To Wipe Israel Off The Map Must Be Taken Seriously'

'A Nuclear Armed Iran Would Pose Threat To Israel's Existence'

Might Iran press the button on Israel if it acquires nuclear weapons? This was one of the questions put to Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz the commander of the Israel Defense Forces. In an interview with the Yediot Ahronot newspaper, the Chief of Staff discussed various aspects of the Iranian nuclear threat.

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IsraCast Archive | May-June 2006

IsraCast Archive