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August 12, 2005

THIS WEEK 12.8.05

Just days before Israeli settlers are to be evacuated from the Gaza Strip, Israel was buffeted time and again, by one surprise after another. With tension reaching a fever pitch over the Gaza withdrawal, Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu resigned in protest over the disengagement. Subsequent public opinion polls then showed Netanyahu would topple Sharon in a Likud party election today. Enter U.S. President George W. Bush trying to bolster Sharon and praising his withdrawal plan. While the country is in the throes of the traumatic disengagement, with Sharon sleeping with a loaded pistol under his pillow, Attorney General Manny Mazuz says there is no proof that incitement was responsible for the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin nearly ten years ago.

July 29, 2005


Former U.S. peace envoy Dennis Ross says Hamas must follow the IRA in Northern Ireland and give up its weapons, if Hamas wants to participate in the political process with Israel. Ross was the Clinton Administrations special representative to the now defunct Oslo peace agreement that was signed by Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn in 1993. Appearing before the Forum on the Middle East in the Knesset, Ross gave an insiders view of Oslo and looked at future prospects for the Roadmap. David Essing has these audio and printed reports.

July 05, 2005


Prime Minister Ariel Sharon spelled out where he stands before, during and after Israel's August withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements. Sharon headed a team of Israeli officials at a hearing of the joint Defense and Constitution committees in the Knesset. Earlier in the day, the IDF chief of military intelligence rated Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas's chances of success as 'slim to very slim'. General Aharon Zeevi Farkash also warned if the terror organizations are not happy with political progress after Israel's disengagement, they will launch a new wave of terrorism, mainly from the West Bank.

June 29, 2005


Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ended days of speculation that he will bolt the government and lead the campaign to halt Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza strip and 4 West bank settlements. Netanyahu, Prime Minister Sharon's main rival in the Likud, has declared that he is sticking in the cabinet although he believes the disengagement is a big mistake which will jeopardize the country's future security. His announcement came as thousands of disengagement opponents stepped up their campaign by blocking traffic around the country. The Israel Police warn they will not tolerate such a move and ready to move in with force. David Essing reports on developments as the disengagement countdown continues.

June 22, 2005


After two Israelis were killed by Palestinian attacks, it came as no surprise that terrorism was at the top of the agenda when Israel's Prime Minister Sharon met Palestinian leader Abbas in Jerusalem. Sharon told Abbas the Palestinian attacks during the current lull were intolerable and Israel will not sit idly by while her citizens are being killed and wounded. At the same time, the Prime Minister spoke of new Israeli incentives. For his part, Chairman Abbas explained that he is still weak and needs Israel's help to strengthen his hand'. Although the two sides crossed swords over the issue of terrorism, they did agree to cooperate on several aspects of Israel's upcoming disengagement in the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements.

June 20, 2005


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has come and gone - mission accomplished. Her job was to keep the ball rolling for Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements starting in the second half of August. In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian terrorists opened fire in the Gaza Strip killing one IDF soldier and wounded two others. It was only one of the daily violations of the current 'lull' in the Palestinian attacks. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to agree on closer Israeli- Palestinian cooperation for Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements starting in mid-August.

June 12, 2005

THIS WEEK 12-6-05

Is it now official? A senior official of the Palestinian Authority declares the PA will not disarm the Palestinian terror organizations. This is the first clause in the Roadmap peace plan that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon demands must be implemented. The Palestinian shelling in the Gaza Strip again violated the cease-fire killing 3 people and wounding several others this week. The terrorists also launched more Qassam rockets across the border at the Israeli town of Sderot. Miraculously, no one was seriously hurt when one of the rockets smashed through the roof into the living room of an apartment. Israel did not retaliate except for pin point rocketing of terrorists planning more attacks. However, Israel has officially informed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that no attacks will be tolerated when Israel starts evacuating the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements starting in August. And the Shabak's super 'spook' Avi Dichter went public after retiring; he rejected the notion that the disengagement will trigger a new Palestinian war of terrorism.

June 10, 2005


Former Shabak Security Chief Avi Dichter rejects the assessment of former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon that the Palestinians are likely to launch a new war of terrorism after Israel implements a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 settlements in West Bank this fall. In interviews with Israeli newspapers, Dichter says the Palestinians realize that after murdering 1042 Israelis during the past four and a half years, they have achieved nothing and have actually been losing the confrontation. The former security chief warned that Israeli extremists now realize that the Prime Minister is bound on carrying out the disengagement and would assassinate Sharon if given the chance. Dichter also reveals how the 'targeted killing' of terrorist leaders has been so effective in combating Palestinian terrorism.

June 03, 2005

THIS WEEK: 3.06.05

Former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe 'Bogey' Yaalon retired this week warning that the Palestinians have not given up their campaign to destroy the Jewish state, one way or the other. In the ruling Likud party, Finance Minister Bibi Netanyahu quoted Yaalon in declaring that he will vote against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate the Gaza Strip and 4 settlements in the northern West Bank. In a related development, Israeli security forces foiled an Islamic Jihad plot to send two suicide bombers into Jerusalem. This as Israel released 398 Palestinian security prisoners; they were actually arrested before they could kill or wound any Israelis.

May 27, 2005


U.S. President George W. Bush lauded Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at their joint new conference at the White House. Abbas was able to fly home with strong American backing for his declared policy of rejecting terrorism and negotiating a two-state solution with Israel. But after the hoopla of his Washington visit, Abbas returns to Ramallah to face Hamas and the other terror groups that vow never to give up their weapons and to use them against Israel when they deem fit.

May 25, 2005


Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will have his job cut out for him when he meets U.S. President George Bush in the White House today. Abbas can be expected to come with a list of Israeli violations of the recent Sharm el Sheik agreement; this against the backdrop of Hamas launching more than 100 mortars and Qassam rockets last week at Israeli civilians. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is flying home from his U.S. visit after again calling on the Palestinian leader to back up his statements about halting terrorism the terror attacks.

May 19, 2005


The 'Tahdia' cease-fire is now in danger of collapsing after Hamas terrorists launched their biggest assault since February. One Israeli civilian was wounded by shrapnel and some damage was caused. Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim has declared that Israel will not carry out the upcoming Gaza withdrawal under fire; the IDF would first have to cope with the Palestinian violence.

May 16, 2005


Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon has briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for the last time as IDF Chief of Staff. Yaalon focused on the rising power of Hamas vis-vis Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and 'cracks' developing in Lebanon between Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian sponsors. The Chief of Staff was praised by both sides of the House for containing the Palestinian wave of terrorism launched by Yasser Arafat in September 2000.

May 15, 2005


Yuval Diskin has taken over from Avi Dichter as Chief of the Shabak Security Service. At a ceremony in the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Ariel Sharon formally appointed Diskin who served as a Deputy to Dichter in the Security Service.The change in command is only the first of two major changes in Israel's command structure that has succeeded in containing Palestinian suicide bombers.

May 10, 2005


The Hamas gains in Palestinian municipal elections in the Gaza Strip have touched off various responses in Israel. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom proposed that Israel reconsider the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements, if Hamas wins the July election for the Palestinian parliament. However, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has confirmed the controversial evacuation will be implemented shortly after Tisha B'Av, which marks the destruction of the First and Second Biblical Temples and falls on August 14th.

May 06, 2005


Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip have fired an anti-tank missile at a bus of Israeli school children. Israeli officials have issued a stern warning to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to act before it is too late.A public opinion poll indicates the Israeli public is less enthusiastic about Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's leadership and his plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements now planned around mid-August. On the other hand, the poll by the Israeli daily Maariv, shows that Israelis are more upbeat about their personal security. David Essing reports on these issues and what Sharon says quietly about Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the Sharansky resignation and Israel's security border with Egypt.

May 02, 2005


Within a 24-hour period, there has been a flurry of developments swirling around Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's withdrawal plan. On the West Bank, another bloody clash with Palestinian terrorists, while another cabinet resignation shakes the Sharon government. Inside the national unity cabinet, the gap between Likud and Labor remains as wide as ever over the future of the West Bank. Against his being ousted shortly before this summer's evacuation, IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon has blasted Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. And on the positive side, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wraps up a friendly visit in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

April 25, 2005

EZER WEIZMAN 1924 - 2005

Ezer Weizman, the founder of the Israel Air Force, defense minister, statesman and state President; he was all this and more for the people of Israel.

April 19, 2005


IDF Chief of Staff, General Moshe Yaalon warns of increased Palestinian terror attacks on the West Bank after Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip that is slated for sometime this summer. On April 15th, IsraCast interviewed analyst Shalom Harari who revealed that Israeli security services forecast the Palestinians may launch Intifada#3 toward the end of the year.In the southern Gaza Strip, a Palestinian shooting attack wounded an IDF soldier and an Israeli civilian in the Philadelfi Axis security zone. Meanwhile in a surprise development, the Gaza evacuation may be postponed for three weeks because of a religious holiday.

April 15, 2005


Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has returned home from the Crawford summit with the future of the Roadmap peace process still in doubt. Sharon demands that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) start dismantling the terrorist organizations, which launched over 80 Qassam rockets and mortars at Israeli settlements and IDF positions in the Gaza Strip earlier in the week. In an effort to shore up Abu Mazen, President George W. Bush is sending out two top officials to try and shore up the shaky Palestinian leader.

For an assessment of the current situation, IsraCast interviewed one of Israel's top experts on the Palestinian Authority and leadership, IDF Brig. Gen. (Reserve) Shalom Harari of the Herzliya Inter-Disciplinary Center.