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January 16, 2006

Tzipi Livni - Facts and Bio

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January 13, 2006

LIKUD'S LACK LUSTER LIST

The Likud party convention has selected a surprising list of candidates for the March 28th election. Party leader Binyamin Netanyahu is believed to have orchestrated the vote that sees a lot of new Likud 'rebels' who opposed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's controversial withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in northern Samaria. The night before the convention, Netanyahu ordered four Likud cabinet ministers, including his party rival Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom to resign immediately from the Olmert government, At first, they balked. But then, realizing they could be penalized in the party primary, they agreed. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will now promote Justice Minister to Foreign Minister to replace Shalom. Meanwhile, after its spectacular success in the previous election, the secular Shinui party is headed to oblivion.

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January 09, 2006

EHUD OLMERT PRESENTS HIS PALESTINIAN POLICY

Who is Israel's acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and what is his approach to the Palestinian issue? With doctors working to save the life of Ariel Sharon In Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital, Olmert will likely serve as prime minister until the March 28th general election. If the Kadima party wins that election, Olmert would then form a new coalition government. In the corridors of power throughout the Middle East and around the world, questions are being asked about who may be Ariel Sharon's political successor. In an address back in February 2004, the now Acting Prime Minister of Israel spelled out how he views the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

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January 06, 2006

FAREWELL, ARIEL SHARON

As Sabbath approached in Israel, Ariel Sharon had undergone a third brain operation and remained in a critical condition at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. However, Sharon's indomitable spirit makes it difficult for many Israelis to grasp that he has departed and that they face a new reality.

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January 05, 2006

ARIEL SHARON'S LAST BATTLE?

Brain surgeons have stemmed the massive bleeding to Ariel Sharon's brain but the Israeli leader remains in critical condition. Finance Minister Ehud Olmert has been appointed Acting Prime Minister will full powers. Olmert convened an emergency session of the Israeli cabinet to discuss the situation. Neurologists say privately there is almost no chance that Sharon will be able to return to office.

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January 04, 2006

MORE SHARON SCANDAL

A Channel 10 TV report has quoted Israel Police sources, as saying there is 'circumstantial evidence' that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon received a $3 million bribe. Part of the illegal money was used to pay election debts while the rest remained in the Sharon family coffers. The kickback was said to have come from Austrian gambling tycoons. The opposition parties are demanding full disclosure from the PM and a speedy enquiry. So, what impact is the latest leak likely to have on the election campaign?

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January 02, 2006

PALESTINIAN MELTDOWN

There has been more internal violence and lawlessness in the Gaza Strip violence just over three weeks before a crucial Palestinian election on January 25th. The chaos is raising questions about whether the parliamentary ballot is possible. In his assessment, Israeli analyst Dr. Dan Schueftan recently told IsraCast that the Palestinian society is now in the process of disintegrating.

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December 30, 2005

ELECTION CATCH-UP

The news that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is about to undergo a minor heart procedure has not affected the latest campaign polls. In Labor, party leader Amir Peretz kicked off his campaign with the slogan 'Labor, the time has come!' But questions are being asked after Labor has dropped from 26 to 19 seats in the polls. In the Likud, Bibi Netanyahu charges that Sharon is not telling all about his health and challenges the PM to face him in a series of TV debates. Sharon declines and has now recruited highly rated Avi Dichter, the former Shabak security chief, to help take on Netanyahu and Peretz.

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December 23, 2005

ASHKELON & HAMAS-STAN

In reaction to the latest Qassam rocketing of the Israeli town of Ashkelon, Israel is adopting a new security zone policy along the border of the Gaza Strip. Israeli artillery, aircraft and naval vessels will be stepping up their operations. However, Israeli forces will not re-enter the Gaza Strip, which was evacuated last summer. Israel is adopting new measures after a number of IDF troops were wounded when Qassams launched from Gaza slammed into the Ashkelon area again, this time hitting an army base. Dr. Dan Schueftan, a Middle East expert at Haifa University assessed various aspects of the situation with reporter David Essing:

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December 22, 2005

PALESTINIAN ROCKETING OF ASHKELON

The Palestinian rocketing of the Israeli town of Ashkelon continues without let-up. This time, five IDF soldiers have been wounded. The Qassam rockets are being launched from the Gaza Strip that Israel voluntarily evacuated last summer and from some of the former settlements that are within eyesight of the Ashkelon power plant. Actually, the power station supplies electricity to the Palestinians in Gaza. But not only the power plant and fuel depot in Ashkelon are at risk, the rockets could also hit an Israeli school or kindergarten. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been ordered to rest after his mild stroke but he is obviously going to have to take some hard decisions

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December 19, 2005

SHARON'S MINOR STROKE

The doctors are speaking optimistically about a full recovery for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon after he was rushed to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem after apparently losing consciousness. But in the midst of a bitter election campaign, the Israeli public will now be seeking clear-cut answers on the state of Sharon's health, now more crucial than ever after he single-handedly quit the ruling Likud to form the new Kadima party. Public opinion polls have consistently shown Kadima to have all other political parties far behind. However, in light of Sharon's illness, what will the next polls indicate?

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December 16, 2005

HAMASLAND vs. PALESTINE

Is Hamas, a terror organization bound on Israel's destruction, on the way to winning the Palestinian general election in January? Yes, says Shabak Security Chief Yuval Diskin who is quoted by the Israeli daily Maariv.Until now, the Israeli assessment was that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement would come in first. In the Gaza Strip, despite Israel's evacuation last summer, terrorists there have escalated their attacks and again launched Qassam rockets at the Israeli town of Ashqelon to the north. The IDF is striking back with air raids, sonic booms and artillery.

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December 14, 2005

NEWSWEEK SHAKES UP ELECTION CAMPAIGN

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's carefully managed election campaign has left all the other parties far behind. However, a Newsweek report has upset the Sharon applecart at least temporarily. The American magazine quoted Kalman Gayer, Sharon's pollster spelled out a far ranging compromise the Prime Minister was prepared to make for peace with the Palestinians.

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December 09, 2005

SECURITY FENCE FIASCO

Five more Israelis were murdered and fifty-five others were injured when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew up at the Netanya mall this week. There have been five suicide bombings since February when Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced the 'tahadiya' cease-fire. Numerous other attempts have been foiled by Israel's counter-terror operations and the West Bank security fence. Briefing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Deputy Chief of Staff Moshe Kaplinsky said not one terrorist has penetrated the security barrier and that it has saved Israeli lives.

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December 08, 2005

MIAMI & NETANYA

Security officials around the world are now confronting the dilemma of how to deal with suspects who may be deadly suicide bombers or simply innocent people. The cases at Miami Airport and previously in the London underground highlight one aspect of the problem. At the other end, is the Palestinian suicide bomber in Netanya who murdered five Israelis and wounded fifty-five others after two Israeli policemen did not open fire for fear of hitting innocent civilians.

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December 07, 2005

DRAMA IN ISRAELI ELECTION CAMPAIGN

There has been more surprise in the Israeli election campaign. The chairman of the Likud, Zachi Hanegbi has quit and joined Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's new Kadima party. If this were not enough, yesterday a media leak disclosed that an Israel Police enquiry is to recommend that Hanegbi be indicted for political corruption while serving as Minister of Environment. In another development, the Palestinian suicide bombing that killed five Israelis and wounded scores of others in Netanya, has hurt Labor party leader in the public opinion polls.

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December 05, 2005

NETANYA SUICIDE BOMBING

A Palestinian suicide bomber has carried out another deadly attack in the Israeli seaside town of Netanya, murdering five Israelis and injuring fifty-five others. The Islamic Jihad terrorist from the West Bank was spotted before entering the crowded Sharon shopping center and apprehended by two security guards who were killed while trying to disarm the killer. Zalman Shoval, a senior advisor to Prime Minister Sharon, tells IsraCast that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) leaves Israel no choice but to step up its counter-terror operations

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November 30, 2005

MARCH DEADLINE FOR IRAN

Appearing at a closed-door session of the Kneset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Maj.Gen. Aharon Zeevi-Farkash, the chief of IDF Intelligence Branch, has presented a detailed briefing. Gen. Zeevi-Farkash updated the committee on how IDF intelligence assesses latest developments in Iran, Iraq, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and along the Lebanese border.

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November 24, 2005

LIKUD BELIEVES SHARON IS BEATABLE

The Likud election for a new party leader is off and running. The Likud central committee is expected to select December 19th for the primaries to elect the man they want to replace Ariel Sharon who now heads the new Kadima party. The internal Likud campaign will obviously dominate until the new leader emerges to face Sharon and newly elected Labor leader Amir Peretz.

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November 21, 2005

POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE ROCKS ISRAEL

Although expected, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's resignation has sent shock waves through the Jewish state. In Jerusalem, Sharon informed state President that he had lost his parliamentary majority, was quitting the ruling Likud party and forming a new centrist party to run in the early election. Election- day is expected in March. The Likud accused Sharon of violating its 'Land of Israel' ideology and eventually forced Sharon's resignation and the race is now on for his successor as party leader.

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