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January 14, 2009

Red Cross Disappoints On Gilad Shalit

"The International Red Cross should be more active and persuasive in getting a visit with abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit" - that's the view of Noam, the father of corporal Shalit who was captured over two years ago by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip. Since then, in total violation of international law, the Palestinians had not allowed the Red Cross to pay even one visit to Gilad to testify to his treatment and condition. Today Israeli protesters gathered outside an Israeli prison where Red Cross Representatives once again visited captured Palestinian prisoners.

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January 13, 2009

I.D.F Defanging Hamas

The IDF continues to close the ring around Hamas guerrillas on land, sea and in the air. However, Israel's political leadership is giving more time for an Egyptian initiative leading to a ceasefire that would prevent future arms smuggling to Hamas leading to another explosion after Hamas regroups. Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader in Gaza, has made a televised statement from inside his underground bunker, agreeing to cooperate with the Egyptians - but in distant Damascus, his Hamas colleague Haled Mashal is hanging tough. Israel is still on hold awaiting the outcome before deciding how to proceed in the current crisis.

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January 08, 2009

Gaza At Crossroads

Rockets are being launched at Israeli civilians not only from the Gaza Strip but also from Lebanon. However, Israeli officials view the new Lebanese rocketing as a Palestinian attempt to draw Israel into war with Lebanon. IsraCast quotes one Israel source as saying "we have no intension of retaliating or being drawn into a second front, but let's hope Lebanon does not let it become a habit". Meanwhile, Israel has agreed to more three-hour ceasefires to allow Palestinians in Gaza to stock up on food supplies via Israel, while the Israeli leadership considers whether to expand the military operation in light of the continuous Hamas rocketing or to go for a ceasefire.

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January 06, 2009

No Thanks, President Sarkozy

Israeli leaders have rejected a proposal by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his European colleagues, calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. From President Shimon Peres on down, the Israeli officials made clear that not only must there be a stop to the eight years of Hamas rocketing, but a mechanism would also have to be in place to prevent any recurrence in the future. Meanwhile, inside the Gaza Strip, four IDF soldiers have been killed by 'friendly fire' in the campaign to root out the terrorists who have taken cover behind the civilian population.

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January 05, 2009

Iran 'Calls Hamas Shots'

Iran has been 'calling the shots' for Hamas in the current war with Israel - that's the assessment of Menashe Amir, a leading Israeli expert on Iranian affairs. Iran, which supports Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza with hundreds of millions of dollars, as well as with military aid including instructors, apparently gave the order to Hamas leader Haled Mashal in Damascus who related to the Gaza Strip. In Amir's view, there is no doubt that Iran is manipulating Hamas, as it does Hezbollah in Lebanon, not only against Israel but as part of its ongoing confrontation with Sunni Arab state in the Middle East. Egypt, Saudi-Arabia, Jordan and other Arab countries are furious over Iran's interference, something which most European countries fail to understand. In this wide-ranging interview with IsraCast, Menashe Amir analyzes various aspects of the current hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

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Listen to Audio interview with Menashe Amir - Exclusive, includes transcript of the interview
January 04, 2009

Inside Gaza - I.D.F Hits Hamas

Eight days after the IDF launched major air strikes, Hamas continued its relentless rocketing of Israeli towns and villages from Gaza. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak both declared there was no alternative but to send in IDF troops and tanks to silence the shelling of Israeli civilians once and for all. Moshe Arens, a former Israeli Defense Minister and Foreign Minister and a Likud party member, assessed the evolving situation for IsraCast concluding this is a campaign that Israel can and must win.

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Listen to interview with former Defense Minister Moshe Arens - Exclusive, includes transcript of the interview
January 02, 2009

Attention French President Sarkozy!

What is the state of affairs, one week after Israel launched its aerial counter strike to suppress the Hamas rocketing of Israeli villages and towns over the border? Hamas is continuing its rocketing escalation now targeting the city of Beer Sheva, some 40 KM away. Israeli aircraft have been bombing day and night scores of Hamas targets in Gaza, focusing on the rocket teams and their arsenals. Israel has also began targeting Hamas leaders including one who called  for more suicide bombing attacks against Israel a day earlier. Dr. Dan Schueftan, director of director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa analyzed various aspects of the current campaign in an in-depth interview with IsraCast.

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Listen to interview with Dr. Dan Schueftan - Exclusive, includes transcript of the interview
December 28, 2008

Taking Off Gaza Gloves

An Israeli official says Israel will now relate with same force to attacks from Gaza as it would from any other neighboring Arab state which provoked Israel. This implies that Israel will use all military force necessary to defend its civilians, without making any distinction between political and military wings and various terror groups. The IsraCast assessment is that Israel will attempt to break the Hamas motivation to rocket Israel and the terrorists' belief that violence and not negotiation will further its goals.

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December 26, 2008

Storm Clouds Over Gaza

Appeals by Israeli leaders, from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and even Egypt have apparently gone unheeded by the Hamas leadership of the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian terrorists who govern Gaza have continued to fire scores of Qassam rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians in the towns and villages just over the border. It has been a time of terrorizing the Israeli children, women, and men who live in the area, many of whom have fled their homes. Unless there is some dramatic halt to the terrorism by Hamas it will only be a matter of time and the weather, before Israel finally launches a counter-terror operation to suppress the attacks.

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December 19, 2008

Quiet For Quiet With Gaza

Hamas has announced that its 'tahadiya' truce with Israel ended officially on Friday morning, six months after it began. A short time after the deadline, Palestinian terrorists launched fresh attacks on Israeli civilians just over the border. Israel and the Palestinians have entered a new juncture with both sides having to decide what happens now. IsraCast examines several possibilities that could lead either to an extended lull or a dangerous escalation.

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December 09, 2008

Likud Leans Farther To Right

The selection of a new Likud Knesset list has aroused speculation in Israel about its impact on the upcoming February 10th election. IsraCast assesses the current situation quoting Netanyahu sources who believe that security will drive this election campaign.

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December 07, 2008

Hebron, Gaza and Israeli Primaries

The Israeli election primaries moved into high gear amid escalating settler violence in Hebron and Palestinian rocketing from Gaza. This sudden shift, above and beyond its security implications, may provide Labor party leader Ehud Barak with a 'make or break' opportunity in his role as defense minister. IsraCast assesses the evolving situation against the backdrop of Hebron and Gaza - further reports will also analyze the Likud and Kadima strategies for the February 10th election.

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November 21, 2008

Israel, Obama, & Iranian Bomb

How will President-elect Barack Obama deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other Middle-East issues after he enters the White House on January 20th? Israeli officials and observers are considering the change of guard not only in Washington but also in Jerusalem, where latest polls indicate that the Likud's Bibi Netanyahu is gradually increasing his lead over Kadima's Tzipi Livni.

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November 14, 2008

Hamas Rocketing V.S Peres Peace Offer

At the UN, Israel's President Shimon told the King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah Al Aziz that Israel accepted his initiative for peace and security between the Arab world and Israel. Peres agreed with the Saudi leader that " there is no military solution to the Arab - Israeli conflict ". However, Palestinians in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip apparently they have their own solution - they escalated their rocketing of Israel, injuring some civilians and terrifying thousands more in the western Negev area.

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November 09, 2008

Meridor Backs Bibi

Likud leader Bibi Netanyahu, who is leading the polls for the February 10th election, has received the active support of Dan Meridor who clashed bitterly with Netanyahu in a former government. At a news conference, Meridor declared that despite their past differences Netanyahu was the best candidate to become Israel's next prime minister. In another surprise move, Yuval Rabin the son of the assassinated Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin of Labor, has said that he did not rule out voting for Netanyahu.

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November 06, 2008

Livni vs. Obama

During the American presidential campaign, Israeli political figures were careful not to make any comment that might be seen as favoring either Barack Obama or John McCain. But now, Israeli officials are again voicing their positions on Middle East issues. This trend will likely continue as Israel's own election campaign gets under way.

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October 31, 2008

Elections - U.S & Israel

This weekend, the U.S presidential election campaign draws to a close while Israel's gets on their way. In both campaigns, Israel's future will be intertwined in more ways than one. IsraCast looks at the American ballot on November 4th and Israel's poll is now set for February 10th.

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September 21, 2008

Israel's Coalition Poker

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has officially resigned and President Shimon Peres has begun consultations with political parties on appointing a candidate to try and form a new government coalition. IsraCast is on the view that potential coalition partners are now playing a game of political poker trying to maximize their roles in a new government.

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September 15, 2008

Iranian Bomb 2010

In what might be one of his last briefings to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense committee - outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert summed-up Israel's strategic situation. His briefing came against the background of his Kadima party's leadership primaries on September 17th, to select a new party leader. IsraCast reports that at  the closed door briefing, a senior IDF intelligence officer warned that if all goes well for Iran, it could acquire nuclear weapons by early 2010.

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July 29, 2008

OLMERT'S LAST STAND?

Although he is being investigated for political and financial corruption, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is not letting that interfere with his current contacts with both the Palestinians and Syrians. He has just briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee on where things stand. However, most of the MKs told IsraCast that Olmert had no business conducting negotiations under the present circumstances and making concessions on his way out of office.

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