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Showing Results 101-120 of 168 for Disengagement
May 16, 2005

HAMAS BUILDING POPULAR ARMY

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.

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May 16, 2005

MADONNA CASHIERS AMBASSADOR?

Even in the hurly-burly of Israel's tempestuous politics, the latest scandal is something else. This is the cast: Madonna, the American super star, Judy the wife of Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Israel's Ambassador to Washington Danny Ayalon and his wife Anne. Only the zaniest Hollywood producer could dream up this 'Only in Israel' caper. But it's true; this is the story that has dominated Israel's headlines over the past two days.

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May 15, 2005

CHANGE IN COMMAND

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.

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May 11, 2005

MEMORIAL DAY - 2005

During Memorial Day, tens of thousands of Israelis have attended services in military cemeteries throughout the country. At eleven o'clock in the morning, sirens wailed and the nation paused for a two minute silence in tribute to the service-men and women who have died in defense of Israel. At the main ceremony on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon spoke of Israel's readiness to make peace with her neighbors while being prepared to face any challenge. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who opposes the upcoming Gaza withdrawal, warned of Israeli leaders who would try and partition Jerusalem but would be opposed by common Israelis. IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon, who retires next month, also spoke about future developments.

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May 10, 2005

HAMAS - REALITY & ILLUSION

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.

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May 02, 2005

DISENGAGEMENT CONNEXIONS

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.

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April 19, 2005

QUO VADIS ARIEL SHARON?

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.

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April 11, 2005

BACKDROP TO SHARON - BUSH SUMMIT

After launching some 80 Qassam rockets and mortars in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian shelling has died down. The Palestinian terrorists targeted Israeli settlements and IDF positions. There was some damage but no Israeli casualties; one Israeli family was saved by the reinforced roof of their home, when it took a direct hit. After Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz telephoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a sharp warning, the shelling petered out. Briefing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Mofaz said Israel has still not given up on the new Palestinian leader. A somber warning came from a senior IDF officer who warned that Hezbollah is planning to heat up Lebanon's border with Israel.

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April 10, 2005

BALANCE SHEET FOR CRAWFORD

The current 'cease-fire' is now facing its gravest crisis. The current flare-up follows several Palestinian violations this past week that culminated in 3 Palestinian youths being shot dead while trying to infiltrate. In Jerusalem, Israeli police have arrested 16 far right Jewish worshipers who tried to ascend the Temple Mount to pray at the site of the First and Second Biblical Temples. Hundreds of years after the destruction of the Second Temple, Muslims built the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock on the site and refuse to allow Jews to worship on the Temple Mount.

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April 01, 2005

THIS WEEK - ANATOMY OF DISENGAGEMENT

It’s been a dramatic week in Prime Minister Sharon’s drive to carry out his plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements this summer. Sharon fought off fierce opposition to the historic move not only from the far right opposition but also from within his ruling Likud party. In the Palestinian Authority, terrorists have shot up the Ramallah headquarters of President Mahmoud Abbas; in reaction a senior Palestinian security of official has resigned. In the first of two installments, David Essing assesses the outcome on the ground and possible future developments in light of a looming split within the Likud:

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April 01, 2005

DISENGAGEMENT - POLITICAL FALLOUT & LIKUD MELTDOWN

Prime Minister Sharon's ruling Likud party was battered from within this week; 27 of Likud's 40 MKs in the 120 member House voted for the national referendum against the position of their own leader, Ariel Sharon. The Likud's big guns lined up against Sharon: Finance Minister Bibi Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Education Minister Limor Livnat.The referendum gambit was widely viewed as a device for delaying and perhaps totally tordepoeing the evacuation, which is officially rejected the Likud although it's their leader's idea. So how long can this abnormal, perhaps absurd situation go in inside the country's ruling party?

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March 30, 2005

SHARON'S COALITION - A BROTHEL!

There has been strong condemnation of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's decision to appoint 3 more cabinet ministers and 7 deputy ministers, all of whom support his Gaza withdrawal plan.

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March 28, 2005

KNESSET KILLS GAZA REFERENDUM

Israel’s Parliament the Knesset has voted down a bill to hold a national referendum on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements. The vote was 72-39 against the referendum in the 120 members Knesset. The referendum is widely viewed as a ruse to block the withdrawal. Prime Minister Sharon’s ruling Likud party split over the referendum with more voting for it than against. In any case, opponents to the withdrawal are not giving up.

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March 27, 2005

GAZA WITHDRAWAL NOW A DONE DEAL

It has been an amazing political weekend, even by Israeli standards. First the reported comments of U.S. Ambassador Dan Kurtzer appeared to sabotage Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s drive to implement the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements this summer. But just over 24 hours later, Shinui leader climbed down from a high tree to accept some $160 for Shinui’s political interests; this has saved the new budget, prevented the fall of the government and the end to Sharon’s withdrawal plans, for the time being anyway. U.S. Ambassador Dan Kurtzer also got into the act by reportedly denying Sharon’s claim of a deal with President Bush on Israeli settlements blocs on the West Bank.

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March 25, 2005

AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TORPEDOES SHARON?

U.S. Ambassador has startled political circles in Israel and obviously elsewhere by his reported comments. At a closed lecture to Foreign Ministry trainees in Jerusalem, the Ambassador reportedly made some undiplomatic and candid remarks about a number of burning issues. The Yediot Ahronot newspaper today carries banner headlines with a detailed account with quotes from the Kurtzer lecture. The ambassador has issued a statement categorically denying the report which he says is full of many ‘inaccuracies’.

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March 22, 2005

CHIEF OF STAFF FUROR

The furor swirling around what is viewed as the firing of the IDF Chief of Staff reached a new pitch today when General Yaalon briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense committee. General Yaalon presented what he called the 'facts' of the affair and wound up with wall-to-wall support from committee members.

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March 15, 2005

MIDDLE EAST TSUNAMI

Palestinian terror attacks have dropped, but the Jewish terror threats have soared over the controversial disengagement issue. That was the message from the country's top security officials Shabak security chief Avi Dichter, IDF Chief of Staff designate Dan Halutz, and police commissioner Moshe Karadie in a briefing to cabinet ministers. In the bigger picture, analyst David Essing is of the view that the disengagement question may now have been internationalized as part of US president George W. Bush's new multilateral approach to coping with Middle East flashpoints.

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February 22, 2005

NEW 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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February 21, 2005

THE DAY AFTER

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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February 20, 2005

CABINET SEALS DISENGAGEMENT

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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