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Showing Results 621-640 of 716 for Gaza
April 15, 2005

PALESTINIAN INTIFADA #3?

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.

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April 12, 2005

CRAWFORD & THE ABSENT PARTNER

There were few surprises at the Crawford summit. Although Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and U.S. President George W. Bush agreed to disagree over settlement building, the American leader stood by his commitments of last April about no Israeli return to the armistice lines of 1949 (1967). In addition, 'changes on the ground, including existing major population centers, must be taken into account in any final status negotiations'. Moreover, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas must 'stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure'. But of no less importance, was the Israeli - U.S. discussion of Iran's nuclear weapons program.

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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 08, 2005

FUTURE BORDERS & DEMOGRAPHY

Dr. Dan Schueftan, a Middle East expert at Haifa University, contends peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians should also deal with land exchanges. In order to avert, future tension and conflict between Jews and Arabs within Israel, and between the Jewish state and 'Palestine' one solution could be the exchange of Israel's 'little triangle' which is populated by Israeli Arabs to the new Palestinian state. Dr. Schueftan, who is now completing a book on Israeli Arabs, discusses this issue that is also being considered by some left-wingers in Israel.

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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

PALESTINIAN COUNTER TERRORISM

A new dramatic development... for the first time the security forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are actively foiling terror attacks against Israel. This was disclosed by IDF Brigadier Yossi Kupperwasser in a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. However, on the other hand the Palestinian terror organizations are being left free to build up their strength leaving them a veto power on when to sabotage the peace process.

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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 18, 2005

TERROR EXPOSE!

This week, General Aharon Zeevi Farkash, the chief of IDF Intelligence, declared that Israel is paying a very heavy price in trying to advance the current peace process with the Palestinians. The Intelligence commander did not elaborate? Dr Michael Widlanski, a Middle East analyst at the Rothberg School at Hebrew University, has apparently discovered what the intelligence chief meant. Widlanski tells IsraCast that Israeli security forces were aware of the dangerous terrorist cell in Tul Kerem that carried out the night-club bombing in Tel Aviv, but decided not to smash the ring for fear of upsetting the current lull with the Palestinians.

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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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February 18, 2005

THIS WEEK - 18.02.05

After the historic Knesset vote on disengagement, Sharon officials believe the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements is now a done deal. The 59-40 vote poured cold water on the campaign by withdrawal opponents for a national referendum, not that they won't l keep trying. Even the vote count is misleading; the number of hard core MKs against the evacuation is even less than 40 in the 120 member Knesset. The MK breakdown: Likud rebels - 17, National Union - 6, National Religious - 6 for a grand total of 29. Sharon sources say: 'Forget about the 11 Shasniks, the ultra-orthodox party will not oppose the withdrawal if it gets what it wants on child allowances.' This 30% is also said to reflect Israeli public opinion after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas started halting the terrorism.

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February 16, 2005

HISTORIC VOTE - SHARON THREATENED

The Knesset has passed the evacuation - compensation bill necessary to carry out Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements this summer. The vote was 59-40 with 5 abstentions. However, as the Prime Minister moves his evacuation plan forward, he may also be facing mounting death threats.

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