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Shammu
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« on: September 26, 2007, 03:11:06 PM »

Israel Set For Operation In Gaza
AP and Jpost.com staff
THE JERUSALEM POST
Sep. 26, 2007

At least eight Palestinians were reported killed and barrages of Kassam rockets and mortar shells continued to rain down on the western Negev as violence in the Gaza Strip heated up Wednesday.

A group of four Hamas-affiliated terrorists were killed late Wednesday afternoon in an IAF missile strike on their jeep in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, Hamas reported.

The army confirmed the strike and said that the vehicle's occupants numbered five, not four, and had been on their way to launch Kassam rockets at Israel. According to the army, all five were killed.

Government spokesman David Baker said the air strike was part of a "continuous policy of preventing terrorist activity against our civilians, including our taking pre-emptive measures as needed to thwart these attacks."

Hamas identified them as members of the Army of Islam, a splinter group involved in the March kidnapping of BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who has since been released. The group is also believed to be among those holding kidnapped IDF Cpl. Gilad Schalit, seized in a cross-border raid in June 2006.

Palestinian sources also reported that elsewhere in Gaza, four civilians were killed after an IDF tank shell hit a residential building in Beit Hanun. Witnesses said the shell fell between two houses and that soldiers also fired from tank-mounted machine guns.

In all, four were killed and 25 wounded by army fire, including five critically, Palestinian hospital doctors said. The army said it was looking into the report.

Early Wednesday evening, a Kassam rocket fired from Gaza hit a home in one of the kibbutzim in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. No one was reported wounded, but the house was damaged. The attack brought to 10 the number of rockets fired at Israel Wednesday, most of which landed in open territory near Sderot, causing no wounded or damage.

Earlier, The IAF fired at Palestinians responsible for launching Kassam rockets into Israel ftom the Gaza Strip. The army said that no one was wounded in the strikes, but that two rocket launchers were destroyed.

The army said Palestinians also lobbed at least 20 mortar shells into Israel from the southern part of the strip, but no casualties were reported. The Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Earlier Wednesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel was moving closer to carrying out a large-scale military operation in Gaza in order to put a stop to cross-border rocket and mortar barrages into Israel.

It was his first public hint of plans to combat the fire coming from the Hamas-ruled coastal strip, which Israel last week declared "hostile territory" as a prelude to possible punitive cuts of utilities.

Barak told Army Radio that a large-scale military operation would not be a simple undertaking.

"We are moving closer to a broad and complex operation in Gaza," Barak said.

"It (such an operation) hasn't happened in recent weeks for many reasons .... We're getting closer to this and it should be realized that such an operation is not simple, not from the point of view of the forces taking part, not from the aspect of the length of time we'll have to spend there and not from the aspect of the operational challenges the forces will meet."

Meanwhile, IDF tanks and bulldozers, escorted by attack helicopters, moved into the northern Gaza Strip, staking out open ground from where Palestinians had earlier fired rockets into neighboring Israel, witnesses said. The military had no immediate comment.

Residents of the town of Beit Hanun said about 20 armored vehicles were involved in the operation. The Islamic Jihad said it fired 10 rockets at Israel Wednesday.

Earlier, the IDF announced an open-ended closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip Wednesday, ahead of the weeklong holiday of Succot, which begins at sunset.

Israel Set For Operation In Gaza
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 03:12:15 PM »

Barak Warns Israel 'Closer To Invading Gaza'

(IsraelNN.com) Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Wednesday that "we are getting closer to a large-scale counter-terrorist action" in the Gaza area in the wake of continuing Kassam rocket attacks. His comment came less than two days after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insisted that a military offensive would not bring a total halt to the attacks, which have exploded thousands of rockets on the western Negev since the Oslo War broke out seven years ago. The rockets have killed several people and caused widespread and damage.

Defense Minister Barak added that the offensive will not be simple nor will it last long.

Barak Warns Israel 'Closer To Invading Gaza'
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2007, 03:14:30 PM »

Quote
IDF tanks and bulldozers, escorted by attack helicopters, moved into the northern Gaza Strip Wednesday, staking out open ground from where Palestinians had earlier fired rockets into neighboring Israel, witnesses said. The military had no immediate comment.

The IAF fired at Palestinians responsible for launching Kassam rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning. The army said that no one was wounded in the strikes but that two rocket launchers were destroyed.


I think Israel should declare war on the Palestinian Arabs after telling them if they send one more rocket or missile into Israel they won't hold back.
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2007, 12:10:04 AM »

Hamas: 4 militants killed, blames Israel

Wed Sep 26, 11:12 AM ET

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - An explosion went off Wednesday in a jeep carrying four Gaza militants, killing all of them, Hamas said.

The identity of the victims was not immediately known. Hamas initially said the dead were members of the Islamic militant group, but later said they might belong to another armed faction.

The jeep was driving in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City at the time of the blast. The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.

Hamas said Israel had targeted the jeep in an airstrike.

Israeli army officials said they had no immediate information about Wednesday's blast. Israel has repeatedly targeted Palestinian militants in airstrikes, often in response to rocket attacks on Israel.

Hamas: 4 militants killed, blames Israel
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2007, 12:35:14 AM »

Abbas urges Security Council to 'stop Israel'

Palestinian president condemns IDF strikes in Gaza Strip which left 11 Palestinians dead, asks Security Council members in New York to intervene. Abbas expected to meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Ali Waked
09.27.07, 17:43
Israel News

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday harshly condemned Israel's operations in Gaza Strip, which left 11 Palestinians dead.

Abbas, who was in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, held a series of talks with elements in the Security Council, asking them to bring about a halt in Israel's activities in the Strip.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the PLO Executive Committee, said that Abbas would meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in order to brief him on the developments in Gaza and ask him to help halt Israel's operations there.

Abbas' condemnation came on the backdrop of harsh criticism from Hamas directed at the Palestinian government in Ramallah.

Criticizing the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah for not responding to recent incidents in the Strip, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said earlier, "It is as good as cooperating with the occupation. The PA's silence proves that it is cooperating in order to eliminate Hamas in the Strip."

The spokesman continued to urge the international community to put an end to the Israeli aggression and said Israel "does not give much importance to the November peace conference".

"Israel will pay a hefty price for its aggression in Gaza," Abu Zuhri said, adding that Palestinian organizations would do everything in their power to resist Israeli attacks in the Strip.

Series of incidents

The most recent IDF airstrike took place around 2 am Thursday, when IAF jets attacked gunmen who were spotted near Beit Hanoun at a site from which Qassam rockets have been launched into Israel.

Palestinians reported that two Hamas gunmen were killed in the attack and that five others were injured.

On Wednesday afternoon, sources reported that five members of a small terror group linked to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier last year were killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Strip.

Missiles fired by an Israeli aircraft slammed into a jeep as it traveled in the Zeitun neighborhood carrying members of the Army of Islam, the terror group implicated in the kidnapping of Corporal Gilad Shalit and BBC journalist Alan Johnston.

Palestinian sources said one of the gunmen killed in the blast was Khatab Al-Makdisi, the group's spokesperson, whom Israel accuses of links to al-Qaeda.

In a seperate incident, four Palestinians, including a child, were killed and 20 others were injured when a tank shell hit a house in the Beit Hanoun neighborhood in northern Gaza.

Eyewitnesses said 20 IDF tanks and bulldozers entered the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday afternoon. The incursion appears to be in response to rocket from the area earlier Wednesday.

Abbas urges Security Council to 'stop Israel'
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 12:38:04 AM »

Quote
Abbas urges Security Council to 'stop Israel'

Lets see if I have this right............. It's okay for the pal's to fire rockets into Israel, but not for Israel to protect herself. I don't think so, my prayers are with Israel. That she may protect herself.
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2007, 02:58:48 PM »

No peace for Israelis

By STEVEN GUTKIN, Associated Press Writer Thu Oct 11, 3:06 PM ET

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip - The militant known as Abu Hamza is constantly on the run from Israel, and his hideout today is a dank room at the back of a nondescript house filled with adults and frolicking children.

The room is barren except for a computer hooked up to the Internet, which the Islamic Jihad commander said is used to plan rocket attacks on southern Israel. He pledged to keep up the violence despite the growing likelihood of a major Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

"We must create a balance of terror with the enemy," he told The Associated Press in a rare interview.

Abu Hamza is a small, soft-spoken man with a wide smile, but the rockets that Islamic Jihad fires into Israel almost daily serve as constant reminders that renewed talk of Mideast peace remains a distant dream in the violence-torn Gaza Strip.

Israel's military says Gaza militants have fired some 980 rockets into Israel since June, when Hamas seized power in the coastal territory. That compares to 440 in the preceding four months. In all, thousands of crude rockets fired over the past seven years have killed 12 Israelis, wounded dozens and disrupted life for thousands.

Israeli troops and settlers withdrew from Gaza more than two years ago — and Israel has begun a fledgling peace process with the moderate Palestinian forces now in control of the West Bank. So why is Islamic Jihad still raining missiles on Israeli towns, provoking fierce retaliation and a new Israeli threat to cut off Gaza's electricity?

This is the Palestinians' way of offsetting Israel's sophisticated military machine, Abu Hamza said. Israel's decision to seal Gaza's borders after Hamas militants took control is another reason the rockets are justified, he said.

"Our rockets go over those borders," he said.

Islamic Jihad, a virulently anti-Israel group backed by Iran and Syria, has killed dozens of Israelis in suicide bombings and is believed to have about 2,000 militants armed with M-16 and AK-47 automatic rifles, grenades and anti-tank weapons.

It operates independently of the much larger Hamas, whose tolerance and sometimes encouragement of rocket attacks have increased Gaza's isolation. Hamas' blind eye to Islamic Jihad rockets — along with mortar fire by its own militants — has helped burnish its credentials among Gazans as a "government of resistance." But it is also endangering Hamas' rule in Gaza by contributing to the economic decline.

Contacts known by AP journalists to be Islamic Jihad members arranged the meeting with Abu Hamza, his nom de guerre that is well known in Gaza even if his face is not. He spoke to AP reporters without donning the black ski mask usually worn by senior militants in press interviews, but he refused to allow himself to be filmed, photographed or recorded.

During the session, he wore a loose-fitting shirt instead of the military fatigues associated with Islamic Jihad. Though he carried no weapon, some of the men around him did — sitting nearby on ragged floor mats in the paint-chipped room. No food or drink was served in observance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Getting to the interview required a long, labyrinthine car drive through the back alleys of the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis — stopping every few blocks to wait for phone instructions on how to proceed. At times, men popped their heads out of doorways along the street to give the all-clear signal.

Abu Hamza spoke softly and methodically, making frequent eye contact with an American reporter. But there was no mistaking the bitterness of his words.

"Resistance must continue until we uproot the occupation from all the land of Palestine ... from the sea to the river," he said, outlining Islamic Jihad's position that a future Palestinian state must replace Israel, not live alongside it.

He bragged about an Islamic Jihad rocket attack last month that injured dozens of Israeli soldiers as they slept in tents at an army base near Gaza, saying the installation was targeted through studying Israeli military Web sites. There was no way to independently confirm his claim.

He said that Palestinian rocket fire forced Israel out of Gaza in 2005 and that he expected the same result in southern Israeli towns like Sderot and Ashkelon.

At one point, Abu Hamza said his group would consider a temporary halt to rocket fire if Israel stopped pursuing militants and opened Gaza's borders. But that statement was rendered meaningless by his subsequent assertion that other forms of "resistance" — such as suicide attacks and roadside bombs — would continue during any rocket truce.

Israeli intelligence officials declined to discuss Abu Hamza, saying they prefer not to divulge information about wanted militants who are still on the run.

But a top architect of Israel's military policy in Gaza was quoted Thursday in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot as saying the rocket attacks will have to be confronted with a major display of armed force.

"A ground operation is a question of timing," said Maj. Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky, the Israeli army's recently reassigned deputy chief of staff.

Israel's frequent and lethal retaliation has prompted innovations by Gazan rocket launchers, including using trees as cover and timers to set off rockets.

To evade Israeli troops and aircraft, Abu Hamza said he and his fighters move frequently from place to place, change vehicles often and avoid using cell phones in open areas.

The interview with the AP took place in a house where toddlers laughed and played. Islamic Jihad has often been criticized for operating among civilians, exposing them to the risk of Israeli fire.

Abu Hamza denied the assertion by Israel and much of the world that Islamic Jihad gets money and other backing from Iran and Syria, calling it "completely ridiculous."

But Mkhaimar Abusada, a political scientist at Gaza's Al Azhar University, said there is no doubt Syria and Iran are involved.

"There are outsiders giving orders from outside the Gaza Strip, whether from Damascus or Tehran, for their own reasons," Abusada said. "They (Gaza militants) are doing this because they're getting paid for it."

No peace for Israelis
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2007, 08:35:26 PM »

Now is time for Palestinian state

By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer 48 minutes ago

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Saying the time is now for a Palestinian state, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday prodded Israel and the Palestinians to agree at a U.S.-sponsored conference this fall on how and when to start formal peace talks.

In one of her strongest statements yet on the issue, Rice declared that creation of a Palestinian state is a key U.S. interest and urged the two sides to drop contentious demands and reach consensus on a substantive joint statement ahead of the international conference.

"Frankly, it's time for the establishment of a Palestinian state," Rice told a news conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who she saw on the second of a four-day intense Middle East shuttle diplomacy mission.

"The United States sees the establishment of a Palestinian state and a two-state solution as absolutely essential for the future, not just of Palestinians and Israelis but also for the Middle East and indeed to American interests," she said.

"That's really a message that I think only I can deliver," Rice said, explaining her mission to prepare for the conference to be held in Annapolis, Md. as early as late November.

The secretary is facing daunting challenges in trying to bring the two sides close enough to make the conference worthwhile.

Rice, who expects to return to the region at least once before the conference takes place, played down the chances for any breakthroughs before she traveled here.

Rice met with Israeli officials on Sunday and will see both sides again on Wednesday after visiting Egypt on Tuesday and finally traveling to London to meet Jordan's King Abdullah II in a bid to build support for the meeting among skeptical Arab nations.

In her talks in Jerusalem and the West Bank, she is seeking to bridge wide gaps between Israel and the Palestinians over the declaration to be endorsed in Annapolis that President Bush hopes will lead to negotiations for a final settlement of the long-running conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said he does not see the document as a prerequisite for the conference. He wants it as vague as possible on critical so-called "final status issues" like the borders of a Palestinian state, the status of disputed Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and Palestinian refugees.

The Palestinians, meanwhile, have said they will not attend the conference without a document that contains details on these matters as well as a specific timeline for their resolution. Arab states share the Palestinian concerns.

"No doubt that before we go to (the conference), the document will be ready," said Abbas, whose authority has been limited to the West Bank since the militant Hamas movement seized control of the Gaza Strip in June.

"The negotiations should not be open-ended, but subject to a certain time period," he added.

Standing next to Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Rice insisted the conference will be "serious and substantive."

"We frankly have better things to do than invite people to Annapolis for a photo op," she said in the first public confirmation from a U.S. official that Washington has chosen the Maryland capital as the venue for the meeting.

Speaking to reporters at her Jerusalem hotel after seeing Abbas, Rice declined to reveal her private discussions with Israeli and Palestinian officials but suggested that neither side would get its way in their demands for the joint statement.

"I am not certain that a timetable that says we have to complete X by Y time is where we want to go," she said when asked about the Palestinian demand for deadlines.

"We're talking about ways to demonstrate continued momentum if and when they begin formal negotiations but we haven't come to any conclusions at this point," Rice said.

She also said the joint statement "does not have to be detailed in order to be serious (or) substantive."

At the same time, she said that despite Israeli reservations, the document would have to include references to the final status issues.

"If it's going to address the establishment of a Palestinian state, then it has to address core issues," Rice said. "You do have to have enough that is concrete so that people know that we're not just starting out with the general principle that everyone would like to have a Palestinian state."

She also defended the plan for the conference, which some critics believe Bush called prematurely when he announced in July that it would be held in the fall — a year before the next presidential elections.

"I understand as well as anybody that there are risks to announcing a meeting and then doing the hard work to get it prepared," Rice said. But the other side of that ... something had to spark their active and intensive engagement, something had to spark the region to take advantage of what was a slowly opening historic opportunity."

Palestinian officials had expressed disappointment with Rice's less-than-optimistic comments on Sunday and in her meeting with Abbas she sought to reassure the Palestinians of the U.S. commitment to peace.

"We have come a long way," she said. "We have got quite a long way to go, but we are not going to tire until I have given it my last ounce of energy and my last moment in office."

Also Monday, the Israeli and Palestinian teams charged with drafting the pre-conference document were to meet in Jerusalem, Qureia's office said. The teams had met only once before.

At the same time, Olmert hinted Monday that he is ready to share control of Jerusalem, saying for the first time that Israel could do without controlling some of the holy city's outlying Arab neighborhoods.

Now is time for Palestinian state
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2007, 02:58:13 AM »

Joint Israel-PA statement to address 'all core issues'
By Barak Ravid and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz correspondents and news agencies

Israel is prepared to make a joint declaration with the Palestinians at the international peace conference scheduled to take place next month in Annapolis that will address the core issues of Jerusalem, refugees and permanent borders, a senior government official told Haaretz Wednesday. Palestinian officials demanded Israel commit to a timetable for negotiations.

The senior source in Jerusalem said that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is currently visiting the region, had reached an agreement with the Palestinians stating that "the declaration will address all core issues and point to certain avenues to be pursued through negotiation." The official added, however, that the declaration will not offer solutions to any of the aforementioned core issues.

But Rice's dealings with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah seems to have hit a bump, after she reportedly told the Palestinians that Israel will not commit to a timetable for negotiations. Palestinians sources also said that Israel will not have the so-called Right of Return - the Palestinian demand that they be allowed to return to Israel proper - mentioned in the document.

Palestinian officials told Haaretz Wednesday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had canceled a joint press conference with Rice. The officials added that Abbas said the Palestinians "will not attend the conference at any cost." The Israeli and Palestinian negotiation team will meet again Thursday or Friday to resume talks on the joint declaration.

Rice reportedly told the Palestinians that Israel was prepared to commit to what the Palestinians called "a vague mention" of the issue of permanent borders. Israel is not prepared to commit to the 1967 borders, the Palestinian sources reported.

Wrapping up four days of shuttle diplomacy, Rice said Wednesday that while the sides are only beginning the process of negotiations, she is optimistic about success.

"We are showing the parties that there is a basis for moving forward," she said. "It is a stop in a process aimed at achieving a Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel." Rice also said that the current talks are the most serious the two sides have had about core issues in some time.

U.S. President George W. Bush said Wednesday that it was important for Rice to help Israelis and Palestinians make progress leading into the upcoming conference.

"We believe that now is the time to push ahead with a meeting at which the Israelis and Palestinians will lay out a vision of what a state could look like," Bush said t a White House news conference.

"And the reason why there needs to be a vision of what a state could look like is because the Palestinians that have been made promises all these years need to see there's a serious, focused effort to step up a state," he said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Wednesday that the goal of current talks with Palestinians is to reach as wide as possible an understanding in the time available ahead of an upcoming U.S.-sponsored Middle East peace conference set to take place before the end of the year.

Joint Israel-PA statement to address 'all core issues'
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2007, 11:17:00 PM »

On PA TV, All of Israel to be Replaced by 'Palestine'
 
by Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) Even as Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas declares his demand for "only" all 6,205 kilometers of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, his official TV station shows a PA flag covering all of Israel.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a media watchdog group that monitors the media in the Palestinian Authority, reports on a clip broadcast by Fatah-controlled Palestinian television this week.  The clip shows a map in which Israel, in its entirety, is painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag - black, white, red and green.  The message is that the PA strives to replace all of Israel, and not just Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook of PMW write that the broadcast of the map at this particular time renders the matter of even greater concern.  "As preparations for the American peace conference continue," they write, "the leaders of the Palestinian Authority have announced their demands for a future Palestinian state with an area of 6205 square kilometers. This would include the Gaza Strip, the West Bank [Judea and Samaria - ed.] and [eastern] Jerusalem. However, the message they have conveyed to their people for years, and continue to convey on the eve of the conference, is that 'Palestine' exists and it replaces all of Israel."

As documented by PMW for many years, the idea of turning Israel into an Arab-Palestinian state is part of a formal educational approach throughout the Palestinian Authority. "The picture painted for the Palestinian population, both verbally and visually, is of a world without Israel," PMW writes. "This uniform message of a world without Israel is repeated in school books, children's programs, crossword puzzles, video clips, formal symbols, school and street names, etc."

Street names in the PA have been changed to memorialize terrorists, for instance, and PA textbooks regularly include references to the "Israel is Palestine" canard.  For instance, a 12th-grade literature book states, “Palestine’s war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, their lands and their houses, and established the State of Israel.” [Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104

Crossword puzzles in the official PA newspaper, Al Hayat al Jadida, have included clues such as “A Palestinian city” - with the proper answer being, in various places, Haifa, Lod, and Ashkelon; all three, of course, are present-day Israeli cities within the pre-1967 borders.  Another clue calls Yad Vashem Holocaust Center a "Jewish Center for eternalizing the Holocaust and the lies."  Other crossword puzzle examples can be Seen here.

On PA TV, All of Israel to be Replaced by 'Palestine'
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2007, 02:13:25 AM »

UM? Mankind might be allowed to call parts or all of Israel whatever they want to for a short time, but GOD will restore Israel at HIS appointed time and JESUS CHRIST will claim HIS Throne as the Anointed KING of Israel. NO power can deny HIM! An army of 200 million will be short work for the LORD OF HOSTS - LORD OF LORDS - KING OF KINGS! It would make no difference at all for the army to be 500 million.

Mankind will be humbled and mankind needs to be humbled! Israel belongs to GOD, and the same is true of the land. GOD will do as HE has promised.


Love In Christ,
Tom

KEEP LOOKING UP!!
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2007, 07:19:43 PM »

'Hamas establishing bunker system along Gaza fence'

Yaakov Katz
THE JERUSALEM POST
Oct. 29, 2007

Hamas is trying to establish a bunker system as well as fortified rocket-launching and surveillance positions along the security fence with the Gaza Strip, Brig.-Gen. Moshe (Chico) Tamir, head of the Gaza Division, said Monday.

Tamir said that Hamas was "building an army" in the Gaza Strip and had obtained unprecedented capabilities through smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. On Monday, head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Yuval Diskin said that since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, the Palestinians have smuggled over 112 tons of explosives into the Strip.

"They are trying to dig tunnels, build surveillance positions and mortar-fire stations along the fence," Tamir told reporters during a briefing concerning the death of IDF reservist Ehud Efrati during clashes with Hamas gunmen early Monday morning. "They are trying to build this up and we are trying to stop them."

Tamir said that Hamas was studying Israeli tactics during the IDF's daily operations along the fence and was trying to use this knowledge in its fighting methods.

"This is ongoing warfare and as such there is also a simultaneous brain war taking place," he said. "We are always studying what we do and modifying our tactics. They are trying to study us and to be wise with that knowledge."

Tamir said that for the IDF's current purposes there was no point in expanding the operations deeper into Gaza. He also said that while the IDF was working to reduce the Kassam fire from Gaza there was no perfect solution.

"They can fire Kassams from one edge of Gaza all the way to the other and farther," he explained. "We are operating close to the fence since that is where they fire mortar shells, anti-tank missiles and dig tunnels."

'Hamas establishing bunker system along Gaza fence'
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2007, 01:58:26 PM »

Fatah Promises 'Hundreds of Rockets' in Further Escalation
 
by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

(IsraelNN.com) A wing of the Fatah organization, headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, stated Thursday that it has begun an escalation in attacks on Israeli towns in the Negev. The terrorist group already claimed it was behind a barrage of rockets from Gaza that struck Sderot and its environs earlier in the day.

Fatah, through its Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades arm, said that the Thursday rocket fire was part of an planned series of hundreds of rocket attacks the group has dubbed "Gaza Autumn." In their announcement of the operation, Brigades spokesmen called upon the residents of the city of Sderot to leave their homes and warned that Fatah will continue to bombard Israeli communities in the Negev.

The group said the attacks would be a response to "the evil Balfour declaration," which was issued 90 years ago this Friday. The Balfour Declaration paved the way for the creation of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. Spokesmen for Fatah in Gaza boasted that their organization has carried out dozens of attacks on nearby Jewish towns.

Meanwhile, Hamas, the Islamist terrorist organization running the PA in Gaza, called upon all the competing PA armed factions to prepare for an Israeli incursion into Gaza in the near future. Hamas spokesmen suggested that all the factions declare a state of emergency and set up a joint command center in Gaza. The organization went on to promise victory against Israel in any imminent conflict.

An apparent would-be suicide terrorist attack was thwarted on Thursday near Shechem, despite the presence of women from the left-wing MachsomWatch organizations.  MKs visiting the area were unhurt.

IDF Operations Disrupt Gaza Smuggling
Israeli soldiers and General Security Services (GSS) agents uncovered seven weapons smuggling tunnels in 36 hours, an IDF spokesperson said Thursday. The tunnels were found in the southern city of Dahania during operations to stop rocket and mortar shell attacks from the area.

The mouths of the tunnels, part of the Hamas' weapons supply mechanism, were located approximately 1.5 meters from the Egyptian border. Officials say the tunnels were used recently by Hamas operatives to smuggle terrorists to and from Egypt.

The forces also discovered three explosive devices, planted and ready for deployment against IDF soldiers. The tunnels and the explosive devices were disposed of in controlled explosions by IDF sappers.

During the operation in the southern stretch of the Gaza region, IDF forces arrested an Arab resident of the PA who is suspected of terrorist activity. He was taken for questioning by security forces.

Fatah Promises 'Hundreds of Rockets' in Further Escalation
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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2007, 03:21:23 PM »

'US okays IDF wide-scale Gaza op'

jpost staff and Yaakov Katz
THE JERUSALEM POST
Nov. 3, 2007

The United States has given a "green light" to an IDF operation in the Gaza Strip, the Lebanese newspaper, Al-Akhbar reported Saturday morning.

The report cites "credible diplomatic sources" as saying that American approval came after Israeli intelligence impressed on US officials the importance of a wide-scale operation as an answer to the unprecedented arms smuggling within Gaza.

According to the newspaper report, the intelligence was shared during Defense Minister Ehud Barak's last visit to Washington. Sources told Al-Akhbar that the intelligence depicted a worrying picture of an "arms race" between Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. In addition, Israel presented details of money transfers between the Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aksa's Martyrs Brigades.

In the past few days, Barak met a number of times with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to decide definitively on the timing of a wide-scale operation, Al-Akhbar cited the sources as saying. Further, the sources stated that despite the "green light," Israel was hesitating to launch an operation out of concerns that it would complicate preparations for the upcoming US-sponsored Mideast peace summit in Annapolis.

Until the timing of the operation is decided, IDF forces stationed on the Gaza border will continue training for a massive military operation in the Strip, the report said.

Meanwhile, IDF forces discovered seven weapons-smuggling tunnels in the southern Strip along the Egyptian border on Thursday.

The kilometer-long tunnels were discovered near Dahiniye by an elite Engineering Corps unit and troops from the Golani infantry's Battalion 51. The tunnels were found within two kilometers of the border with Israel and, according to the IDF, had been used intensively in recent months to smuggle weapons and explosives from Egypt into Gaza.

The troops destroyed the tunnels in controlled explosions. IDF sources said they had been large enough for people to pass through and were most probably used by terrorists to leave Gaza on their way to Iran or Syria for training.

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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2007, 11:55:44 PM »

PA agrees to disband terrorist groups before statehood

The headline should read......

PA agrees to put all terrorists on PA payroll before statehood?

Mark Weiss , THE JERUSALEM POST    Nov. 8, 2007

Israeli negotiators on Friday reported significant progress in talks with Palestinians Friday; a development which could pave the way to agreement on a joint statement to be issued ahead of the US-sponsored Middle East conference in Annapolis later this month.

Late Wednesday, Israeli sources said, Palestinian negotiators accepted Israeli security demands. These assert that progress following the conference will depend on the Palestinians fulfilling obligations set down in the first stage of the road map peace plan, namely the disarming and disbanding of all terror groups.

The breakthrough was reportedly achieved during a late-night meeting between chief Israeli and Palestinian negotiators Tzipi Livni and Ahmed Qurei.

In response to the reports of progress in the talks, a member of the Palestinian negotiating team who claimed he had attended the said meeting between Qurei and Livni, told Israel radio that the "breakthrough" was being trumpeted for more than it was worth.

"I did not sense that there was any progress in the talks with the Israeli side," the negotiator said. He then laughed and further retorted, "What's new about the principle stating that the implementation of commitments depends upon [the Palestinians] fighting terror? Indeed, it appears in the road map, and we of course agreed to the road map."

Israeli sources also reported progress on Thursday, with Palestinian negotiators easing their demands that the peace conference lay out a specific timetable for statehood.

Israel expected to receive a formal confirmation from the US on Friday as to the date of the Annapolis peace conference. Reports Thursday night suggested President George W. Bush would host an opening evening for the delegations on November 25, with two or three days of summit talks to follow.

Israel will be represented at Annapolis by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and a negotiating team made up of officials from the Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign and Defense ministries. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will head the Palestinian delegation, which will include former PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala).

Israeli sources confirmed Thursday night that the prime minister was considering a settlement freeze ahead of Annapolis. According to some Israeli officials, a de facto settlement freeze has already been in place for the last five years.

But in a report issued Wednesday, Peace Now said that despite the government's pledge to stop settlement expansion, dozens of new buildings had been erected inside existing settlements in the past year, and settlements were growing at a rate over three times faster than the average community growth in Israel.

Israeli and US sources said another visit to the region by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was expected before the Maryland gathering.

PA officials said Thursday they were pleased with Israeli pledges to resume peace talks after the conference and were now less concerned about the statement of principles that had bogged down earlier negotiations. Israeli, Palestinian and US officials have all indicated in recent days that sticking points are slowly being resolved.

The Palestinians had insisted the document outline the general principles of a peace agreement and provide a timeline for granting them independence. The Israelis sought a vaguer, nonbinding agreement.

With negotiators making little progress on these issues, Palestinian officials said they were turning their focus away from the document and toward post-summit talks after receiving Israeli and US assurances that peace efforts would move into high gear after the conference.

"We were hoping for a document that would include defined limits and guiding resolutions for every difficult point," said Rafiq Husseini, a top aide to Abbas. "I'm not sure we'll get it."

He said he was pleased that there is now talk of reviving the road map.

Other Palestinian officials said Abbas was especially encouraged by Olmert's speech Sunday night, in which the Israeli leader suggested that a deal could be reached by the end of Bush's term in January 2009.

Olmert described the Annapolis summit as a "starting point" for talks on Palestinian statehood, including the core issues that have scuttled past peace efforts: the final borders between Israel and a future Palestine, the status of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees.

Olmert also said he is ready to carry out Israel's initial obligations under the road map - a freeze in Jewish settlement activity in the West Bank - and said he expected the Palestinians to meet their road map commitment of thwarting terrorism.

A US diplomat said Washington was encouraged by the latest Palestinian position, which appears to be in line with Israeli and American thinking.

"We've never envisioned Annapolis as a meeting that hammers out core issues, but rather sets the stage for parties to work on the core issues in an atmosphere of confidence," the diplomat said.

PA agrees to put all terrorists on PA payroll before statehood?
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