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Showing Results 261-280 of 716 for Gaza
July 18, 2010

Lieberman's Gaza Proposal A Non-Starter

 The week in Israel ended with some surprising developments. According to the Yediot Ahronot daily, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is about to propose a dramatic plan to lift Israel's naval blockade of Gaza and hand over control to countries from the European Union. The latest aid ship bound for Gaza complied with Israel's naval blockade and agreed to change course for Al Arish, Egypt without provoking violence. Meanwhile, U.S. envoy George Mitchell has met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on the West Bank. However Abbas, who fears condemnation from Hamas, may not agree to return to direct talks with Israel, unless he gets the green light from the Arab League.

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July 13, 2010

Friedman, 'Al-Hama Rules' & Israel

 To say that most Israelis were shocked by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman is putting it mildly. Did Friedman really compare the IDF's Cast Lead operation last year with Syrian President Hafez Assad's massacre of twenty thousand or more of his own people in the town of Hama in 1982? In the view of IsraCast analyst David Essing, Friedman has made the appalling comparison in order to attack Israeli settlement policy. However, Friedman appears to have forgotten that it was former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who launched Operation Cast Lead and who also offered unprecedented concessions to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Abbas refused to accept.

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July 04, 2010

Netanyahu & Abbas Vying For Obama's Support

 Recently Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met President Barack Obama in the White House, on July 6th it will be the turn of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. According to the London based Al- Hayat newspaper, Abbas has now presented the U.S. with a series of proposals starting with Israeli acceptance of the future borders for a Palestinian state. However, Netanyahu has declared he would discuss Palestinian proposals only within the framework of direct negotiations not in the current 'proximity talks' being brokered by special U.S. envoy George Mitchell. IsraCast analyst David Essing says Abbas is seeking U.S. agreement on the final borders for a Palestinian state as a pre-condition for direct negotiations with Israel.

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June 26, 2010

Israeli Satellites Keeping Eye On Iran

In defiance of the latest UN Security Council sanctions, President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad has made clear that Tehran has no intention of halting her nuclear weapons program. Within days Israel launched 'OFEK 9', a space satellite that will provide up to the minute photos from inside Iran. At a closed door briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, a senior IDF intelligence officer presented the latest intelligence estimate on Iran's nuclear program. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu also spoke of some of the challenges he was facing in the 'uneasy days' before his next meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House on July 6th.

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June 21, 2010

It Is My Boy!

 Aviva Shalit wrote an open letter to her son Gilad Shalit, an Israel Defense Forces soldier who was captured on June 25, 2006 by Palestinian militants in a cross-border raid. He has been held as a prisoner in the Gaza Strip by Hamas since then. Hamas has refused requests from the International Committee of the Red Cross to allow the ICRC to visit Shalit.

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June 20, 2010

Israel Ready To Consider Extension Of Settlement Freeze

In an interview with Israel Radio's English News, Ambassador Michael Oren has indicated the Netanyahu government will be ready to consider an extension of the ten month settlement freeze in Judea & Samaria. However, such a possibility had to be dealt with in direct negotiations with the Palestinians. Until now, Prime Minister Netanyahu has declared the building freeze will expire after its ten month time-frame runs out on September 26th. Until now, government leaders have indicated that building in the settlements woll then be resumed. In another development, Israel has made clear that she will not permit any vessels sailing to Gaza to violate her maritime blockade. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses the implications.

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June 12, 2010

Israel's 'Final Countdown' For Iran?

 The London Times has reported a dramatic new development after Iran rejected the latest UN Security Council sanctions and indicated she has no intention of halting her nuclear weapons program. According to the report, Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of her airspace in the north to shorten the distance for a bombing raid on Iran's nuclear facilities. The Saudis had even tested a 'stand-down' of their air defenses that would allow Israeli aircraft to fly through unscathed. The U.S. was said to have approved the arrangement. Analyst David Essing cautions that the U.S. involvement has yet to be confirmed - this is his assessment on the basis of available information.

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June 06, 2010

'Rachel Corrie' Sailed For Ashdod

 Israeli naval commandos have boarded the Irish ship Rachel Corrie and forced the vessel to change course from Gaza to the nearby Israeli port of Ashdod. This time there was no resistance by any of the fifteen passengers and the Israeli military spokesman said there were no casualties. The ship did not carry any weapons or explosives but tons of cement may not be allowed to be sent on to Gaza. IsraCast Assessment: The Rachel Corrie incident indicates that violence on the Turkish ship Marmara was triggered by passengers and not Israeli commandos. Israel will not lift the sea blockade that prevents more rockets from reaching Gaza where they will be launched into Israel at Israeli civilians.

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May 31, 2010

Israeli Counter-Terror Operation At Sea

 In the early hours of the day, Israeli naval commandos slid down ropes from hovering helicopters onto the six ships that were trying to break Israel's blockade of the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. The flotilla's organizers had repeatedly ordered the flotilla to steer a course for the Israeli port of Ashdod and unload their humanitarian aid there to be checked for explosives and weapons before they were sent on to Gaza. On at least one of the ships, the soldiers were met with fierce resistance causing casualties. IsraCast analyst David Essing is of the view that while rockets continue to be launched from Gaza into Israel, Israel's message is that such ships will not pass.

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May 27, 2010

North Korea & Iran - Connect The Dots

North Korea's nuclear weapons capability enables that rogue state to literally 'get away with murder' - that is one lesson to be drawn from the current crisis. There are others that also reflect on Iran's current drive to get the bomb. Proof of North Korean startling aggression against South Korea coincides with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's upcoming visit to France, Canada and the U.S. IsraCast is of the view that the case of nuclear North Korea 'unacceptable' killing of forty-six South Korean sailors serves as a preview of what to expect from Iran, if she also acquires nuclear weapons. Netanyahu will likely call on his hosts to take more effective action against Iran before time runs out and to connect the dots between the latest North Korean atrocity and the looming Iranian threat.

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May 07, 2010

Richard Goldstone - Apartheid's 'Hanging Judge'

 In an exclusive report, the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot has exposed the sordid past of Judge Richard Goldstone, who has accused the Israel Defense Forces of possible crimes during the Cast Lead Operation into Gaza to halt eight years of Palestinian rocketing on Israeli civilians. The Goldstone report has been widely condemned as totally biased against Israel. The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot has now published an investigative report into the background of Goldstone, who served the former apartheid regime in South Africa, during which he approved the death penalty and lashing for dozens of Black South Africans.

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May 05, 2010

Times Square & Israeli Security

 Barring unforeseen circumstances, the long awaited proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians will get underway on May 5th, when U.S. envoy George Mitchell meets with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu in Jerusalem. At week's end, middleman Mitchell will then drive for less than half an hour to Ramallah on the West Bank to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. IsraCast analyst David Essing says the recent Times Square car bomb will strengthen Israel's resolve to stand firm on security in face of Islamist terrorism. On the eve of the proximity talks, IDF intelligence has revealed a new dimension of Hezbollah's missile buildup in Lebanon that appears to be a clear and present danger to the Jewish state.

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April 19, 2010

Remembrance & Israel's Independence

 Israel has paid tribute to the 22,864 of Israelis who have fallen in defense of the state. The sirens wailed for two minutes - and the people paused throughout the land, to stand with heads bowed to remember those who had given their all in protecting the Jewish homeland. Since last Memorial Day, the Iranian nuclear threat has loomed larger - by next Remembrance Day, an Iranian nuclear capability could be a fact of life or, whatever. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses the major issues on Israel's national agenda as the Jewish state enters its sixty-second year of independence.

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April 02, 2010

Chechnya & Gaza, Iran & Sanctions

 Radical Islamic terrorists are again on the rampage. In Russia, Chechnyan terrorists murdered over fifty people, while Palestinian terrorists from Gaza killed two IDF soldiers and launched over thirty rockets at Israeli civilians in March. Although, U.S. President Barack Obama has been talking confidently about the international community imposing a new round of sanctions against Iran within 'weeks', China is still balking. Analyst David Essing says it may be still too early to pop upon the champagne over a sanctions solution to the Iranian nuclear threat.

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March 26, 2010

Obama Imposing Israeli-Palestinian Agreement?

 Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has started consultations with six other members of his top level security cabinet on a reply to U.S. President Barack Obama's demands. At their White House meetings, Obama called on Israel to halt all building in east Jerusalem as well as making other reported concession in order to start proximity talks with the Palestinians under American aegis. Defense Minister Ehud Barak Reportedly Called For Accepting Most Obama Demands Except On Jerusalem. IsraCast: Netanyahu Will Require Obama Commitment On Palestinian Concessions In Order To Sell His Compromises To Israeli Public

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March 13, 2010

Netanyahu Goverment's Fiasco

 U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has come and gone but the dust is still swirling around Middle East sand storm in his wake. Biden, a close personal friend of Netanyahu, was sent by President Barack Obama, on a good will mission to clear the air with Netanyahu, kick off the long awaited proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians and to make sure that Washington and Jerusalem are on the same page in the confrontation with Iran. And smack in the middle, the startling announcement by Israel's Interior Ministry that a planning committee had approved 1600 new housing in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo. Analyst David Essing is of the view that the insult to Biden, unintentional as it was, will paradoxically enable the Obama administration to exercise more leverage over the Israeli Prime Minister.

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March 02, 2010

Iran's Nuclear Weapons Express

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has expressed concern over the failure of the international community to impose new sanctions while Iran is racing toward nuclear weapons. However, China declares she is still opposed, Russia may reconsider and the U.S. says it may take months before the UN Security Council takes action. Barring unforeseen circumstances in Iran, David Essing sees Israel waiting for the diplomatic effort to run its course before deciding what if anything she should do. Against this background, Israeli civilians are being reissued with gas masks.

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February 23, 2010

Marjah, Gaza & Judge Goldstone

 NATO forces waging the current campaign are discovering that Taliban forces in the Marjah region of Afghanistan are copying the Hamas tactics against the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza. The Islamist guerillas in Marjah are also exploiting innocent civilians as ' human shields' with some of them being killed and wounded in the cross-fire. U.S. Brig. Gen. Nicholson has been quoted as saying that despite precautions such casualties are inevitable. Ironically, Judge Richard Goldstone who accused the Israel Defense Forces of being guilty of war crimes and possibly 'crimes against humanity' in Gaza has said that the IDF should 'follow the example of the U.S. Forces fighting in Iraq and elsewhere. David Essing urges Judge Goldstone to 'join the dots' between the NATO warfare in Afghanistan and the IDF's 'Cast Lead' operation into Gaza to suppress the the rocketing of Israeli civilians.

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February 20, 2010

Quiet Diplomacy & Counter Terror

Who were the ten men and one woman who arrived discreetly at Dubai airport, tracked down Hamas kingpin Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, assassinated him in his hotel room and then departed all within nineteen hours. The fact that six of them traveled on fraudulent passports in the names of six British citizens now living in Israel pointed to the Mossad Secret Service known for its daring operations in the past. At Dubai's request, Interpol has issued warrants for the eleven suspects while British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has ordered a 'full investigation' after the summoning of the Israeli ambassador for an explanation at the Foreign Office. Israel is staying mum although quiet contacts will likely calm the diplomatic storm.

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February 07, 2010

Nuclear Iran And Israeli Palestinian Talks

 The U.S. announcement of a $6 billion arms sale to Taiwan could not have come at a worse time for President Barack Obama's attempt to rally UN Security Council backing for new sanctions against Iran. A former senior Israeli official in Washington says chances are now slimmer than ever of getting China's crucial support. Meanwhile, the U.S. is beefing up the missile defenses of four Gulf states as Iran launches a missile which could potentially reach America's eastern seaboard. Analyst David Essing assesses this and other developments over the past seven days.

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