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Showing Results 641-660 of 726 for Gaza
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 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 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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February 16, 2005

IDF CHIEF OF STAFF 'FIRED'

The regular term of service for the IDF Chief of Staff is three years; however, it is customary almost the rule, that this is extended by another year. In fact, it has never happened that a Chief of Staff 'was sent home' after just three years. Now, for whatever reason, Defense Minister Mofaz has informed General Yaalon that he is not getting another year and will be retired in July, just before the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in northern Samaria.

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February 15, 2005

THE PRIME SUSPECT - SYRIA

IDF Chief of Staff General Moshe Yaalon has briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on a series of burning issues. One of his top intelligence officers presented an assessment of who might have assassinated former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut yesterday. With its long record of murdering its political opponents in Lebanon, Syria is at the top of the list of suspects.

Although praising the efforts of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in halting terror attacks, General Yaalon also said Israel expects the new leader to start confiscating the terrorists weapons within weeks not months. The Chief of Staff had tough words for any IDF soldier who refuses to carry out withdrawal orders.

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February 14, 2005

JEWISH TERROR?

A major confrontation between Prime Minister Sharon and his withdrawal opponents erupted in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Sharon said it was clear who was behind the recent wave of incitement by opponents to his withdrawal plan. MK Effi Eitam of the National Religious Party retorted that Sharon was manipulating the incitement for his own political purposes.

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February 14, 2005

IDF INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Brigadier Yossi Kupperwasser, a senior IDF intelligence officer, says there has been a dramatic drop in Palestinian terror attacks against Israel. Briefing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the officer said the new situation reflects the changes carried out by new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. At the same time, the Palestinian Security apparatus was not dismantling the terror infrastructure and Hamas has agreed to a lull in attacks but not a cease-fire.

The Israeli view is that Syria is responsible for the huge car bomb that murdered former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and many others in Beirut. Hariri recently criticized Syria’s refusal to end its occupation of Lebanon.

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February 10, 2005

ALTALENA - AND THE PALESTINIAN SHIP OF STATE

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas terrorists have fired dozens of mortars, Qassam rockets and anti-tank missiles at Israeli settlements. There have been no Israeli casualties but one building was hit and the electricity grid was damaged. Hamas says it was reacting to the death of a Palestinian by IDF gunfire. The IDF says troops opened fire when they spotted a group of four Palestinians trying to infiltrate the settlement of Atzmona.

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February 09, 2005

REFERENDUM CLASH!

Twenty four hours after the Sharm el-Sheikh summit, a new drive by Likud members for a national referendum on the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements. Two key officials, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin have come out loud and clear in favor of the referendum. However, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has retorted that there will be no referendum.

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February 08, 2005

ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN TRUCE!

At their Sharm el Sheikh summit, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have announced a cease-fire. Abbas said all attacks against Israelis everywhere would be halted. The newly elected Palestinian leader declared that the quiet starting today was a new start on the road to peace and the first step toward the Roadmap which calls for Israel and Palestine to live in peace. The cessation of hostilities would grant both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples the opportunity to move swiftly ahead in the peace negotiations.

At the same time, Abbas called for a halt to Israeli settlement activity, and the release of all Palestinian prisoners. He criticized Israel’s building of the security fence to keep out suicide bombers, saying the fence was not conducive to co-existence. As for the permanent settlement, the Palestinians seek a state on the 1967 lines with Jerusalem its capital and the Palestinian leader also said the refugee issue must be resolved in the final status negotiations.

Abbas, as did Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, also called for Syria and Lebanon to be included in the peace process. For his part, the Palestinian leader pledged to keep all his commitments adding that the Palestinian people had opted for peace by voting him into office in last month’s election. He declared that the Palestinians must have ‘one authority and one gun!’ However, Abbas added this must be achieved not by force but through dialogue.

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February 07, 2005

RICE‘S MISSION - GET SHARON AND ABBAS ON THE SAME PAGE

Condolleezza Rice has come and gone - putting the U.S. finishing touches on what will likely be a successful Sharon-Abbas summit. However the Secretary of State will not be attending the Sharm El Sheik summit with Egypt’s President Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah; there is no need at this stage. But later on, the presence and prestige of the U.S. Secretary of State will surely be required to overcome the crises which can be expected to crop up, if and when the Roadmap gets underway in earnest.

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February 04, 2005

THIS WEEK 4-2-2005

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and newly-elected President Mahmoud Abbas are about to meet at the invitation of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik. Although both sides have started pulling back from the four and a half years of bloodshed and violence: they are at odds over the scope of concessions in this phase. About to make her entrance on the new Middle East stage is the new U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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February 02, 2005

GERMAN PRESIDENT KOHLER ADDRESSES KNESSET

German President Horst Kohler has addressed the Parliament of the Jewish State in Jerusalem. Kohler is on an official visit marking forty years since the establishment of diplomatic relations. After opening his address in Hebrew, Professor Kohler then said 'I want to reaffirm here today that responsibility for the Shoah is part of Germany's identity' and he added 'I bow my head in shame and humility before the victims'. He condemned the Palestinian terrorism against Israel saying the terror must end: 'Suicide bombings are crimes for which there can be no excuse or justification'. The German President visited the town of Sderot, the Israeli town that was repeatedly shelled by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

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