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« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2007, 09:04:39 PM »

PA won't disband terror groups
JPost.com Staff
THE JERUSALEM POST
Nov. 10, 2007

Palestinian Authority Information Minister Riad Malki denied late Friday reports circulated by Israeli sources that Palestinian negotiators had agreed in a meeting with Israeli representatives ahead of the planned Annapolis peace parley to disarm and disband all terror groups operating in the PA.

According to Israel Radio, Malki spoke in an interview to the American Arabic-language Radio Sawa.

Israeli sources reported Thursday that 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."

PA won't disband terror groups
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2007, 08:21:37 PM »

Palestinians will not accept Israel as 'Jewish state'
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service
tags: Saeb Erekat, peace talks

Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the Palestine Liberation Organization, rejected on Monday the government's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

In an interview with Israel Radio, Erekat said that "no state in the world connects its national identity to a religious identity."

Also Monday, dozens of prominent Palestinian residents of Jerusalem published an appeal to the Abbas, asking him not to make concessions to Israel over the holy city in the upcoming talks.

The full-page newspaper ad, signed by 108 prominent Jerusalemites, including top Christian and Muslim leaders, did not make specific demands. However, the signatories asked Abbas not to negotiate a deal that would "violate our national rights."

"Israel should return all of east Jerusalem, the area it captured in the 1967 Mideast War and annexed to its capital," said signatory gotcha98 Hussein, an adviser to Abbas on Jerusalem affairs.

Earlier Monday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the starting point for all negotiations with the Palestinians will be the "recognition of Israel as a state for the Jewish people,

This recognition is meant to bolster Israel's position that rejects the return of Palestinian refugees to areas inside the Green Line - the border before the 1967 Six-Day War.

"We won't hold negotiations on our existence as a Jewish state, this is a launching point for all negotiations," Olmert said.

"We won't have an argument with anyone in the world over the fact that Israel is a state of the Jewish people. Whoever does not accept this cannot hold any negotiations with me. This has been made clear to the Palestinians and the Americans. I have no doubt that Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas] and [PA premier Salam] Fayad are committed to prior agreements and want to make peace with Israel as a Jewish state," Olmert continued.

Olmert also stated this position at a meeting on Sunday to discuss the peace summit scheduled for the end of the month in Annapolis and the negotiations toward a final-settlement agreement. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and the heads of the intelligence services attended the meeting.

Olmert told the gathering that immediately at the start of negotiations following the summit, Israel will set a precondition that the Palestinians recognize Israel as "a Jewish state."

"I do not intend to compromise in any way over the issue of the Jewish state," Olmert said, thereby accepting the position of Livni and Barak. "This will be a condition for our recognition of a Palestinian state."

Olmert said he raised the importance of this issue during his talks with European and American officials, and their response had been positive.

However, during talks in recent weeks between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams, the Palestinians refused to include the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state in the shared declaration the teams are preparing, which will be made at Annapolis. Erekat's statement to Israel Radio on Monday did not seem to imply that refusal would waver ahead of the summit.

Olmert also confirmed at Monday's meeting that talks with the Palestinians were proceeding in a new direction, toward negotiations over a final-status deal, despite the fact that the first stage of the U.S.-backed road map had not been implemented.

The first stage of the road map calls on the Palestinians to dismantle terror groups. The sides had agreed recently that talks would proceed according to the document.

In recent weeks, politicians from the right, especially MK Yisrael Katz (Likud), have taken to accusing the government of holding negotiations outside of road map dictates.

Olmert essentially confirmed those accusations. "There is a new outline," he said. "The traditional position has been that there will be no road map implementation without the first phase. I came to the conclusion that we are somewhat able to change the tradition."

Meanwhile, despite Palestinian claims that there is a crisis in the talks, Livni and Qureia exchanged drafts of the joint declaration that Israel and the Palestinians are to present at the Annapolis summit.

Government officials did not deny reports in recent days that Israel had surprisingly softened its stance on the core issues - particularly on borders and Jerusalem.

The prime minister was scheduled to appear before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday morning to present the principles that will guide Israel in the negotiations with the Palestinians.

Palestinians will not accept Israel as 'Jewish state'
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« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2007, 08:28:13 PM »

 Knesset give preliminary okay to bill requiring 80 MKs to divide J'lem
By Shahar Ilan, Haaretz Correspondent
tags: Jerusalem, Israel

The Knesset plenum passed in a preliminary vote Wednesday a bill that would make it far more difficult to divide Jerusalem in the context of a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

54 MKs voted in favor of the bill, with 24 against. The Knesset holds preliminary votes on private bills, presented by individual MKs. Before being enacted into law, however, the bill must still be approved in committee and then pass three more plenum votes.

The bill, which was authored by Likud faction whip Gideon Sa'ar and 25 other rightist and religious MKs, would require the support of 80 MKs for any changes to the Basic Law: Jerusalem.

An absolute majority of 61 MKs is currently needed to change the basic law, and raising the bar to 80 MKs would make it nearly impossible to gain Knesset approval for concessions on Jerusalem.

The timing of the bill is also significant, and is designed to warn the government that it cannot make concessions on the capital a few weeks before the U.S.-sponsored Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland.

The coalition apparently does not intend to try to scuttle the bill at this time, due to the fact that it has strong support in the right wing.

The government's liaison to the Knesset, MK Ruhama Avraham, also appears to be against trying to prevent the bill from passing, despite the fact that it was not discussed in the Ministerial Committee on Legislation. Avraham's position is a result of the fact that she opposes discussing Jerusalem at such an early stage in the negotiations.

Knesset give preliminary okay to bill requiring 80 MKs to divide J'lem
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« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2007, 08:34:00 PM »

Ezekiel 35:10 Because you [Edom] said, These two nations [Israel and Judah] and these two countries shall be mine and we will take possession of them--although the Lord was there,

Joel 3:2 I will gather all nations and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and there will I deal with and execute judgment upon them for [their treatment of] My people and of My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and [because] they have divided My land.

Joel 3:12 Let the nations bestir themselves and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about.

The writing is on the wall..................
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« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2007, 08:05:22 AM »

Quote
Dreamweaver Said:

Joel 3:2 I will gather all nations and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and there will I deal with and execute judgment upon them for [their treatment of] My people and of My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and [because] they have divided My land.

Brother Bob,

All Christians should read this verse carefully and know what it means. The land belongs to GOD and no other entity has any power or control over it. Mankind will one day learn to respect what GOD says, but most will learn it the hard way and too late. GOD will keep all of HIS Promises perfectly, and many Promises involve HIS Righteous Wrath. GOD'S Warnings were given thousands of years ago, and much of mankind has completely ignored them. They have also ignored ALMIGHTY GOD!

Love In Christ,
Tom

Ezekiel 7:14-20 NASB
'They have blown the trumpet and made everything ready, but no one is going to the battle, for My wrath is against all their multitude. 'The sword is outside and the plague and the famine are within. He who is in the field will die by the sword; famine and the plague will also consume those in the city. 'Even when their survivors escape, they will be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, each over his own iniquity. 'All hands will hang limp and all knees will become like water. 'They will gird themselves with sackcloth and shuddering will overwhelm them; and shame will be on all faces and baldness on all their heads. 'They will fling their silver into the streets and their gold will become an abhorrent thing; their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD. They cannot satisfy their appetite nor can they fill their stomachs, for their iniquity has become an occasion of stumbling. 'They transformed the beauty of His ornaments into pride, and they made the images of their abominations and their detestable things with it; therefore I will make it an abhorrent thing to them.
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« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2007, 08:11:46 AM »

Palestinian President wants Hamas ousted on road to peace with Israel

by Nasser Abu Bakr 31 minutes ago

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP) - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Thursday called for the people of Gaza to oust his Islamist rivals who seized control there five months ago as he seeks a lasting peace with Israel.

"We must get rid of this clique that took control of the Gaza Strip by force and which is exploiting the suffering and tragedies of our people," he said in a televised speech from his Ramallah office to mark the 19th anniversary of the symbolic declaration of a Palestinian state.

Hamas ousted secular Fatah security forces loyal to Abbas in mid-June after a week of deadly violence, resulting in the fall of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian government and a new government being formed in the West Bank.

The ongoing factional feuding has now split the Palestinians into two separate entities, with the Islamist Hamas ruling the roost in Gaza and Fatah administering the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Abbas denounced what he called "criminal acts by lawless gangs in Gaza where they opened fire in cold blood on crowds commemorating the third anniversary of the death of the martyr Yasser Arafat."

Eight people were killed in Gaza City on Monday when Hamas police shot at demonstrators dispersing after a mass rally to remember the late Palestinian leader who died in a Paris hospital on November 11, 2004.

The Palestinian president, Arafat's successor, denounced mass arrests by Hamas after the demonstration, saying they showed "the confusion and isolation of the Islamists in the Gaza Strip."

He also used Thursday's speech, delivered hours before he flies to Saudi Arabia for talks ahead of a peace meeting in the United States later this month, to reach out to Israel.

"I address the Israeli people and government directly and say that we are determined to agree a real peace with them in the interests of both our future generations," he said.

"The occupation brings security to nobody. Peace and good neighbourly relations based on equality and respect will bring an end to decades of war, suffering and the spilling of blood," Abbas added.

He said the planned peace meeting at Annapolis in Maryland must mark "a serious and decisive departure point to arrive at a just settlement that would guarantee the rights of our people, who aspire to liberty and independence.

"Our people are determined to create their own state which, with the grace of God, will one day see our territory with Jerusalem as its capital."

He said colonisation of the West Bank by Jewish settlers "must cease completely, the siege must be lifted, prisoners must be allowed home and the cycle of violence and assassinations must become a thing of the past.

"We are capable of building our state alongside Israel for it to become a haven of peace and stability," Abbas said.

An senior Israeli official signalled on Thursday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would announce a freeze in West Bank settlement expansion as a gesture towards the Palestinians at the US-sponsored peace meeting.

"The prime minister will declare a freeze to settlement expansion at Annapolis. In reality, we haven't touched the settlements for over 18 months," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The US talks are aimed at offering the backing of the international community -- pro-Western Arab states in particular -- to a hoped-for revival in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

In addition to freezing settlements, Olmert is also to announce the release of "hundreds" of Palestinian prisoners, but only those who have not been involved in killing Israelis, the official said.

The prime minister is also likely to authorise the transport of goods out of the impoverished Gaza Strip.

"We will try to strengthen Gaza's economy in a way that will clearly give the credit to Abbas," the official said.

Palestinian President wants Hamas ousted on road to peace with Israel
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« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2007, 11:59:39 AM »

Israel approves armored vehicles for Abbas
The Associated Press
Published: November 20, 2007

JERUSALEM: Israel has agreed to let Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' security forces receive 25 armored personnel carriers from Russia as well as 1,000 rifles to fight West Bank militants, Israeli and Palestinian officials said Wednesday, in an effort to bolster the moderate leader ahead of a Mideast conference in the United States next week.

In another gesture to the Palestinians, Israel will begin allowing strawberry and flower exports from the Gaza Strip in an effort to improve the economic situation for the 1.5 million Palestinians living there, Israeli Agriculture Minister Shalom Simchon said.

Israel and the Palestinians on Tuesday received long-awaited invitations to the U.S. conference, where they are expected to relaunch formal negotiations on a final peace agreement. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that a peace deal with the Palestinians was possible as early as next year.

Israeli security officials said Israel authorized the shipment of the Russian armored vehicles, 1,000 rifles and 2 million rounds of ammunition, and Palestinian Interior Minister Abdel Razak Yehiye confirmed that Israeli approval had been secured.

Israeli security officials said the delivery was approved over the objections of Israel's army and internal Shin Bet security service, which fears the vehicles and weapons will fall into the hands of the Hamas militant group. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.

Vastly outnumbered Hamas fighters routed Abbas security forces in Gaza fighting in June, and took control of the territory. In the course of the clashes, the Islamic group captured large quantities of weapons supplied to Fatah by the United States and others with Israeli approval.

A Hamas spokesman, Sami Au Zuhri, said the Israeli decision proved Abbas was working "hand in hand with the occupation against (Palestinian) resistance."

"Hamas will remain committed to fight against the occupation and will not give up," Abu Zuhri said.

Since losing Gaza, Abbas and Fatah have been locked in a low-level struggle with Hamas over control of the West Bank. Because Israel still has large numbers of troops in the West Bank, siding with Fatah, Abbas has the upper hand.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

Russia proposed shipping the armored vehicles to Palestinian security forces two years ago, but the deal was stalled because of Israeli opposition. No time frame was given for the vehicles' arrival.

Israel will approve the shipment of 25 more armored vehicles to Abbas' forces once they take control of other areas of the West Bank, the Israeli government officials said. Palestinian police are deployed in large numbers in the towns of Ramallah and Nablus.

The leader of the opposition Likud Party, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Abbas was not strong enough to receive weapons. "We will one day see Hamas sitting on the armored vehicles, firing at us," Netanyahu told Army Radio.

Since Hamas took control of Gaza, Israel has blocked almost all exports from the area, severely hurting the Gazan economy. All exports from Gaza must travel through Israel.

Gaza's 40,000 farmers have repeatedly pushed for the renewal of exports. Simchon's announcement that the Palestinians will be able to export all of their flower and strawberry crops will be worth at least $14 million (€9.5 million)to farmers, the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce said.

On Tuesday, farmers fed flowers to their cattle rather than let them go to waste.

Since the Hamas takeover, Israel has allowed only imports of food and humanitarian goods into Gaza, and it has reduced the amount of fuel it supplies to the territory. Israel will in the near future ease trade with Gaza further, Simchon said.

The international aid group Oxfam warned Wednesday of an increasing risk to public health in Gaza due to reduction in fuel supplies. About 225,000 people in Gaza do not receive adequate amounts of drinking water because water pumps are not operating at full capacity, Oxfam said in a release.

Abbas has asked Israel to ease its restrictions on impoverished Gaza. Abbas still claims to rule Gaza, though he has little influence there.

The Israeli decisions were meant to improve trust ahead of next week's conference, where the sides are expected to renew peace talks for the first time in seven years.

After a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday in the resort of Sharm el-Sheik, Olmert pledged to follow the peace conference in Annapolis with serious negotiations on all outstanding issues. These include final borders, sovereignty over disputed Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees.

The U.S. has been pushing the sides to endorse a joint document laying out their vision for peace ahead of the conference.

Negotiators say they have made little progress, casting a cloud over the summit. But Olmert on Tuesday offered an optimistic view of peace prospects with the Palestinians.

"I very much hope we can reach this agreement in the course of 2008," Olmert said in a press conference with Mubarak. However, Olmert also signaled that carrying out any peace deal would have to wait until Abbas regains control of the Gaza Strip from Hamas.

Olmert's one-day trip to Egypt came ahead of a meeting in Cairo Friday of the Arab League, where Arab governments will decide whether to attend the conference.

Arab participation is considered critical for the summit's success, but Arab states have been reluctant to commit for fear Israel is not serious about addressing the core issues of its conflict with the Palestinians.

Israel approves armored vehicles for Abbas
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« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2007, 11:58:50 PM »

Israel: Jews to be uprooted at Abraham's resting place
Planned evacuation part of deals for upcoming Annapolis summit

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office informed the Palestinians that Israel would uproot Jews from a building in the oldest Jewish city as part of agreements to be announced at next week's U.S.-sponsored Mideast summit in Annapolis, senior Palestinian negotiators told WND.

The building in question, purchased by Jews with the approval of the Israel Defense Forces, is situated at a strategic, elevated area that afford Jews in Hebron a lookout post to protect their vulnerable community from Palestinian attacks.

Hebron is home to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the second holiest site in Judaism. The tomb is believed to be the resting place of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah.

In March, Hebron's Jewish community purchased a 37,600-square-foot building it later titled Beit HaShalom, or House of Peace, from local Arabs for $700,000 in cash, according to documentation. Eight families moved in to the structure, which the Jews heavily renovated.

The building's purchase papers were immediately transferred to the Israeli police and IDF. The police confirmed during an initial investigation the purchase was legitimate. Israel heavily restricts the expansion of Hebron's Jewish community, located in the West Bank, for fear of upsetting the Palestinians, who control most of the biblical territory.

A few weeks after the purchase went through, the former Arab owners of the Hebron house were arrested by the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, since selling land to Jews violates Palestinian law.

Upon interrogation, the former owners claimed the sale did not take place in spite of a video recorded by Hebron Jewish leaders and provided to Israeli police showing one of the former Arab owners counting $700,000 in cash handed to him purportedly for the purchase of Beit Hashalom.

Last month, the former Arab owners, released from PA and Jordanian detention, filed a complaint with Israel's Supreme Court claiming their property was stolen. The court ordered the Israeli police to investigate, but the police have not yet released the results of any investigation.

Earlier this month, Israel's attorney general, Menachem Mazuz, ordered the police to evacuate Beit Hashalom's Jewish residents, taking advantage of a law that allows the Israeli court system to evict any occupant of a building within 30 days of a dispute in the structure's ownership. The occupants cannot return until the dispute is resolved.

David Wilder, a spokesperson for Hebron's Jewish community, told WND he was "confident" once the court reviews the case, it would determine the purchase of Beit Hashalom was "completely legitimate and legal."

"We spent a substantial amount of money to purchase and fix up the building. We only do these things carefully, with every stage scrutinized by lawyers and coordinated with the proper Israeli authorities," said Wilder.

But senior Palestinian negotiators told WND they received a list of what they termed "illegal Jewish outposts" in the West Bank that Olmert pledged to evacuate, including the Beit Hashalom building.

The Palestinian negotiators said they were told by Olmert's office that Beit Hashalom was on the top of Olmert's list of pending evacuations.

Olmert's pledges were part of negotiations leading up to next week's Annapolis summit at which the Israeli prime minister is widely expected to outline a Palestinian state in most of the West Bank, ultimately handing the strategic territory to the Palestinians.

Wilder speculated any planned evictions from Hebron would "demonstrate this area [and all of the West Bank] is on the chopping block and might be given up by Israel. This is not about the building itself."

Jews have lived in Hebron almost continuously for over 2,500 years. There are accounts of the trials of the city's Jewish community throughout the Byzantine, Arab, Mameluke and Ottoman periods.

In 1929, as a result of an Arab pogrom in which 67 Jews were murdered, the entire Jewish community fled the city, with Hebron becoming temporarily devoid of Jews. The Jewish community returned when Israel recaptured the area in 1967, after the Jewish state won a war launched by Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2007, 09:31:12 PM »

Arms encourage peace talks to bear fruit
November 22, 2007

Israel stepped up efforts to bolster Mahmoud Abbas yesterday before next week’s Annapolis peace summit, approving the transfer of 25 armoured personal carriers to Palestinian territory.

The Russian-made vehicles, 1,000 rifles and two million rounds of ammunition will be transferred to the Palestinian President’s forces in the West Bank, where his Fatah party is dominant.

In another gesture of support, Israel, which controls the Gaza Strip’s borders, announced that strawberry and flower exports from the territory could resume. The decision follows an appeal by Palestinian farmers to save the £12 million industry.

An Israeli government spokeswoman said that the moves were a show of “goodwill” before the summit in Annapolis, Maryland, on November 27. She added that Israel would deliver an additional 25 vehicles if Mr Abbas succeeded in curbing militant groups in the West Bank.

A spokesman for the Islamist Hamas party, Sami Au Zuhri, said the Israeli decision proved that Mr Abbas was working “hand in hand with the occupation against [Palestinian] resistance.” He said: “Hamas will remain committed to the fight against the occupation.”

Members of the Israeli Security Council and right-wing MPs criticised Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, for approving the weapons transfer, and expressed fear that the vehicles would, once again, fall into the hands of militants.

When Hamas overran the Gaza Strip in June, routing Fatah forces loyal to Mr Abbas, the Islamic group captured large quantities of weapons supplied to Fatah by the United States and others with Israeli approval.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the opposition leader, said: “It is inconceivable that we are considering delivering these [vehicles]. As soon as we do, we will see the terrorists of Hamas firing at our troops. The concessions being made by the Olmert Government are endangering the country.”

The peace talks are intended to mark an end to the seven-year freeze after the collapse of the Camp David talks in 2000. President Mubarak of Egypt was the first Arab leader to announce his country’s participation in the summit. He met Tony Blair, the Quartet envoy, yesterday to discuss “ways of reviving the peace process”.

The leaders agreed to meet King Abdullah of Jordan and Mr Abbas in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh before a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo. There has been suspicion about the Annapolis conference in the Arab world, with many questioning the ability of the Bush Administration to forge peace between two leaders.The two sides remain far apart on how to deal with the most intractable issues of the conflict, including borders, Jerusalem and the right of return for refugees.

Arms encourage peace talks to bear fruit

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« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2007, 10:51:01 AM »

Is this the plan that brings peace to the Mideast?


Palestinians to become citizens of Jordan?
New plan calls for dismantlement of 'refugee camps,' termination of Abbas' rule

As the international community gears up for next week's U.S.-sponsored Annapolis summit aimed at outlining a Palestinian state, a new diplomatic initiative that proposes Jordanian citizenship for the Palestinians has been gaining some support here from across the political spectrum.

Named the Israeli Initiative, the alternative plan seeks to end widespread backing for the Palestinian Authority, dismantle what are termed Palestinian refugee camps, and have Jordan grant citizenship to Arabs remaining in the West Bank while the Jews there maintain their Israeli citizenship. Israel would extend its sovereignty over the entire West Bank.

"The actions of Israeli governments to establish a Palestinian state have not brought about peace but rather a whirlpool of blood," said Knesset member Benny Elon, the Initiative's founder.

"It is time for new thinking, for learning from our mistakes, and for re-reading the regional map toward a revitalized and genuine quest to achieve peace," said Elon, who is chairman of the National Union party and is a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Elon's plan calls for millions of Palestinians living in 59 U.N.-maintained camps to be given rehabilitation packages and the option of moving to outside participating countries, where agencies would work to help with resettlement, employment and housing solutions.

The Palestinians who wish to remain in the West Bank would become Jordanian citizens who could remain in the territory - controlled by Israel - while the Jordanian Kingdom would serve as their representative body.

Jordan has yet to officially react to the plan. The country previously occupied the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem for almost twenty years until the area was recaptured by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War. The Jordanian monarchy continued to grant citizenship status to West Bank Palestinians until the late 1980's when the Palestinians launched their first intifada.

The Israeli Initiative cites multiple recent independent Israeli and Palestinian surveys showing many Palestinians living in U.N. camps would accept compensation and emigration to outside countries.

According to a 2004 poll, about fifty percent of Palestinian society would not rule out the option of permanently moving to another country if they had the ability and means to relocate. That survey was conducted by Ma'agar Mochot, a leading Israeli polling agency, in cooperation with the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion

Two other polls this year conducted by Palestinian universities also showed strong Palestinian support for rebuilding their lives in another country.

Elon said rehabilitation packages would be paid for by the international community.

States the plan: "Billions of dollars are expended every year on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This includes American dollars poured into the regional arms race and immense sums of European money transferred to the accounts of the Palestinian Authority ... The U.S., Europe, and Israel, together with the Arab oil-producing countries, can directly finance a program that would provide full and generous rehabilitation for the refugees."

The Israeli Initiative calls for the disintegration of the Palestinian Authority with weapons being collected or taken from armed militias and for U.N. refugee camps to be progressively dismantled.

The plan is in stark contrast to the initiatives slated to be announced at next week's Annapolis summit at which Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is widely expected to outline a Palestinian state in most of the West Bank, ultimately handing the strategic territory to PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization.

Earlier this week, WND quoted senior Palestinian negotiators stating Olmert agreed in principle to allow a number of Palestinian Arabs living in U.N. camps to enter Israel as part of an Israeli-Palestinian accord.

Palestinians have long demanded the "right of return" for millions of "refugees," a formula Israeli officials across the political spectrum warn is code for Israel's destruction by flooding the Jewish state with millions of Arabs, thereby changing its demographics.

Allowing any number of so-called Palestinian refugees to enter Israel would serve as an admission on Israel's part that millions of Palestinians living in U.N.-maintained camps are indeed refugees and have a legitimate right to live in Israel.

When Arab countries attacked the Jewish state after its creation in 1948, some 725,000 Arabs living within Israel's borders fled or were expelled from the area that became Israel. Also at that time, about 820,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries or fled following rampant persecution.

While most Jewish refugees were absorbed by Israel and other countries, the majority of Palestinian Arabs have been maintained in 59 U.N.-run camps that do not seek to settle those Arabs elsewhere.

There are currently about 4 million Arabs who claim Palestinian refugee status with the U.N., including children and grandchildren of the original fleeing Arabs, Arabs living full-time in Jordan, and Arabs who long ago emigrated throughout the Middle East and to the West.

Other cases of worldwide refugees aided by the U.N. are handled through the international body's High Commission for Refugees, which seeks to settle the refugees quickly, usually in countries other than those from which they fled.

The U.N. created a special agency – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency – specifically to handle registered Palestinian refugees. It's the only refugee case handled by the U.N. in which the declared refugees are housed and maintained in camps for generations instead of facilitating the refugees' resettlement elsewhere.

The U.N. officially restricts the definition of refugee status worldwide for nationalities outside the Palestinian arena to those who fled a country of nationality or habitual residence due to persecution, who are unable to return to their place of residence and who have not yet been resettled. Future generations of original refugees are not included in the U.N.'s definition of refugees.

But the U.N. uses a different set of criteria only when defining a Palestinian refugee – allowing future generations to be considered refugees; terming as refugees those Arabs who have been resettled in other countries, such as hundreds of thousands in Jordan; removing the clause requiring persecution; and removing the clause requiring a refugee to be fleeing his or her "country of nationality or habitual residence" – allowing for transient Arabs who didn't normally reside within Israel to be defined as Palestinian refugees.

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« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2007, 10:51:26 AM »

Palestinian leaders, including Abbas, routinely refer to the "right of return," claiming the declared right is mandated by the U.N. But the two U.N. resolutions dealing with the refugee issue recommend that Israel "achieve a just settlement" for the "refugee problem." The resolutions, which are not binding, do not speak of any "right of return," and leave open the possibility of monetary compensation or other kinds of settlements.

Israeli initiative gains broad backing

Unveiled only recently, Elon's Initiative has already gained broad backing, including from some leftist lawmakers and U.S. politicians.

Marina Solodkin, a member of Olmert's Kadima party, said she would endorse part of the Initiative.

"Benny was right to emphasize the refugee issue in his plan," Solodkin said.

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, chairman of the Likud party, read from the plan this week at the Knesset plenum in a show of solidarity.

Elon said he received support on Capital Hill during a visit to Washington this week, including what he called "positive meetings" with House of Representatives whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.).

'Heart of the land of Israel'

Elon explains the West Bank, also known as the biblical territories of Judea and Samaria, "represents the heart of the land of Israel."

"Here Abraham walked with his son Isaac, here Jacob pitched his tents, here our forefathers drove out the Canaanite nations under the leadership of Joshua Bin Nun. In the hills of Judea and Samaria, there are tens of sanctified sites of historical and religious significance."

About 200,000 Jews live in the West Bank, which borders Jerusalem and is within rocket range of Tel Aviv and Israel's international airport.

Many villages in the West Bank are mentioned throughout the Torah.

The Book of Genesis says Abraham entered Israel at Shechem (Nablus) and received God's promise of land for his offspring. He later was buried in Hebron at the city's Tomb of the Patriarchs, the second holiest site in Judaism. Hebron is the oldest Jewish city in the world.

The nearby town of Beit El, anciently called Bethel meaning "house of God," is where Scripture says the patriarch Jacob slept on a stone pillow and dreamed of angels ascending and descending a stairway to heaven. In that dream, God spoke directly to Jacob and reaffirmed the promise of territory.

And in Exodus, the holy tabernacle rested in Shilo, believed to be the first area the ancient Israelites settled after fleeing Egypt.

Elon said Israeli forfeiture of biblical territories would "expresses the Jewish people's rejection of its roots and lead to a loss of awareness of our rights to the country."

His plan calls PA control over the West Bank "dangerous" for Israel and for regional stability.

"This would be a strategic catastrophe of the first magnitude. After the northern region of Israel was paralyzed following the presence of Hezbollah on our border, and after the Western Negev is absorbing a rain of Qassam rockets [following Israel's withdrawal from Gaza], it is not difficult to imagine what the central region – including Jerusalem – will look like when dominated by enemy forces."

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« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2007, 07:39:42 PM »

Palestinian state
by '08, says Bush 
Tells PA president in private meeting
U.S. committed to Israeli withdrawal

President Bush told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a private meeting today the U.S. will ensure the Palestinians will have a state on the ground before Bush leaves office, a senior Palestinian negotiator told WND.

"Bush and the U.S. administration gave us a commitment there will be a Palestinian state before he leaves office, and not just an outline of a state on paper but contiguous territory on the ground," said the Palestinian negotiator, who spoke on condition his name be withheld because he was revealing the contents of a private meeting.

"Bush said he is committed to seeing an Israeli withdrawal from most of the West Bank," the negotiator said.

Bush met separately today with Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ahead of tomorrow's U.S.-sponsored Annapolis summit at which the Israeli and Palestinian teams are slated to present a joint declaration widely expected to outline a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern sections of Jerusalem.

After holding private meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Bush told reporters at a press conference he was "optimistic" tomorrow's summit would be successful.

"We want to help [Abbas]. We want there to be peace. We want the people in the Palestinian territories to have hope," said Bush after his meeting with the Palestinian leader.

Abbas later told a news conference he has "a great deal of hope that this conference will produce permanent status negotiations, expanded negotiations, over all permanent status issues that would lead to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian people."

"This is a great initiative and we need [Bush's] continuing effort to achieve this objective," said Abbas.

In what has been described by some media outlets as a diplomatic coup for Bush, the governments of Syria, Saudi Arabia and dozens of other Arab states are sending senior representatives to tomorrow's summit.

WND reported yesterday that according to top diplomatic sources in Jerusalem, in exchange for Saudi Arabia attending the Annapolis conference, the Israeli government agreed to recognize the importance of a Saudi-sponsored "peace initiative" in which the Jewish state is called upon to evacuate the strategic Golan Heights, the entire West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

While Israel doesn't commit itself to the Saudi-backed Arab Peace Initiative's requirements, a clause in the current draft of the Israeli-Palestinian declaration slated for the Annapolis conference and obtained by WND reads: "We recognize the critical supporting role of Arab and Muslim states and the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative."

As well, Syria reportedly agreed to attend Annapolis after Damascus received American and Israeli commitments the Golan Heights would be put on the table at the Israeli-Palestinian conference.

The Golan Heights is strategic mountainous territory that looks down on Israeli population centers and twice was used by Syria to launch ground invasions into the Jewish state.

While Israel is not expected to commit itself to evacuating the Golan Heights at Annapolis, the mere mentioning of the strategic territory at the international summit could serve to put the issue back on the bargaining table.

Syria is in a military alliance with Iran and is accused by the U.S. of supporting the insurgency in Iraq and generating instability in Lebanon. Israel says Syria regularly ships Iranian rockets and weaponry to the Lebanese Hezbollah militia. The chiefs of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad Palestinian terror groups are based in Damascus. Syria is also accused by Israel of holding Israeli soldiers missing in action, including Brooklyn-born Zachary Baumel, who was captured by Syrian forces 23 years ago.

Syria was invited to the summit without any preconditions or pledges to cease its purported backing of terrorism or its alleged meddling in Lebanese affairs.

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« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2007, 02:19:44 PM »

Israel marks 60 years since Palestine split
Decision to partition Holy land between Jews, Arabs still heart of conflict

Nov. 30, 2007

JERUSALEM - It was one of the most dramatic moments in the modern history of the Middle East — the world’s nations voting one by one in the U.N. General Assembly to partition the Holy Land into separate Jewish and Arab states.

Exactly 60 years later, the concept remains at the heart of renewed attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At this week’s U.S.-sponsored peace conference outside Washington, Israel and the Palestinians again pledged efforts to wrap up a peace treaty that would set up the two states envisioned in 1947.

Three full-scale wars and two bloody Palestinian uprisings have failed either to change the two-state formula or bring it much closer to reality.
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Violence has marked the process from the outset. When the General Assembly voted to partition the land on Nov. 29, 1947, it was clear it would set off a war between Jews and Arabs.

The day of the vote is legendary in Israel. Its 600,000 Jewish inhabitants huddled around their radios to listen to the live broadcast from the United Nations. Many kept score nervously in “yes” and “no” columns as the representatives called out their votes on the partition resolution.

It was no done deal, participants recalled in an Israel TV documentary that aired Wednesday. Israeli delegates scampered from room to room trying to garner enough support, while avoiding the British, who considered their very presence in the building illegal as long as they ruled Palestine under a U.N. mandate.

Suzy Eban, widow of legendary Israeli diplomat Abba Eban, Israel’s first ambassador to the U.N., described the tension. With a two-thirds vote required, the key, she said, was persuading France to back the partition — swaying the votes of its allies in Africa and elsewhere.

In the end, the partition was approved, 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions.

Celebrations ahead of war preparations
That set off wild Jewish celebrations in the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, though their leaders were preparing for the war they knew would follow. With the end of the British mandate on May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence, and Arab armies invaded from three directions.

The two-year war that followed cost Israel 10 percent of its population in war dead, but its ragtag forces beat back the invaders, expanding the territory allotted to it under the U.N. partition plan. The 1949 cease-fire lines held until the 1967 Middle East war, when Israel captured additional territory — the West Bank, Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Sinai desert, which was returned to Egypt under a 1979 peace treaty.

Local Arabs, charging that the Zionists stole their land, responded to the 1947 vote with violence, launching a series of attacks that left dozens of Jews dead. Nov. 29 is considered a day of sadness by Palestinians, and they mark May 14 as the “day of catastrophe,” because about 700,000 Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes during the war that followed.

Today, some regret the Arab rejection of the partition.

“If they had accepted the partition plan, it seems to me that long ago there would have been two states for two peoples,” an unidentified resident of the Israeli Arab town of Um el-Fahm told Israel Army Radio. “We would have been spared all the wars and the mess since then.”

Today about 1 million Arabs are Israeli citizens, another 4 million live under Israeli control in the West Bank and Gaza, and hundreds of thousands still languish in refugee camps in neighboring countries.

Painfully slow progress
Political progress over the decades has been painfully slow. Forty years passed before the main Palestinian organization, the PLO, recognized Israel and abandoned its stated goal of destroying the Jewish state. In 1993, Israel and the Palestinians signed their first interim accord, setting out a formula for peace talks to resolve the conflict.

But since then, mediation efforts by the United States, Europe, United Nations and others have failed to nudge the two sides toward a solution of their key disagreements: borders, Jerusalem and refugees.

Even so, Israeli historian Tom Segev said the process is moving glacially in the direction of a settlement.

Once Palestinians refused to talk to Israelis, Israel refused to consider a Palestinian state and Palestinians rejected Israel, Segev wrote in the Haaretz daily. “All that is behind us. Most Israelis and most Palestinians agree in principle to dividing the country between them.”

Israel marks 60 years since Palestine split
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« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2007, 03:12:06 PM »

Hamas threatens to strike inside Israel
2007-12-01 20:32:09         

    GAZA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) --The military wing of Hamas pledged on Saturday to strike in the depth of Israel in response to the killing of five of its militants in pre-dawn air strikes in southern Gaza Strip.

    "The Israeli army's happiness after killing the resistance men would not last long and the time of account is imminent," Abu Obaida, the spokesman of the Ezz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades said at the funeral of the fighters in Khan Younis city.

    "The enemy must be ready for black funerals. Al-Qassam Brigades will turn everything on the head of the Zionists, destroy all their expectations and attack them unexpectedly," warned the spokesman.

    Ezz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, have the capability to recruit 100 fighters at any time to succeed anyone killed by the Israeli troops, Abu Obaida said.

    He slammed the U.S-hosted peace conference held in Annapolis onNov. 27 as "a cover for the Israeli army's aggression" and attacked the acting Palestinian government in the West Bank for implementing the U.S.-sponsored security plans.

    Hamas movement has said the Israeli military escalation was a natural result of Annapolis conference. "Waging the war against the resistance is the only clear result of the ominous meeting."

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched at the U.S.-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland their first formal peace talks in seven years with the goal of forging a deal by the end of 2008 to create a Palestinian state.

    Hamas and other allied militant groups have strongly opposed the resumption of peace talks with Israel, saying Abbas does not have political legitimacy to speak on behalf of Palestinians.

    They also oppose the U.S.-sponsored "road map" which calls for the renouncement of force in the first place.

    The Islamic Jihad movement, meanwhile, called on Palestinian factions to unite and put their differences aside in the face of what it called a looming Israeli incursion.

    The Israeli aerial attacks in Khan Younis killed five militants from Hamas and wounded three others.

    The killed militants had been positioned not far from the border, monitoring the security fence that separates Israel and the Gaza Strip in the east of Khan Younis to encounter Israeli undercover and special forces that often infiltrate the border areas by night.

Hamas threatens to strike inside Israel
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« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2007, 04:27:37 PM »

Kabbalist Blesses Jones: Now´s the Time to Find Holy Lost Ark
December 5, '07

(IsraelNN.com) The famed archaeologist, the inspiration for the “Indiana Jones” movie series, has spent most of his life searching for the Ark of the Covenant. The ark was the resting place of the Ten Commandments, given to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, and was hidden just before the destruction of the First Temple.

The Talmud says the Ark is hidden in a secret passage under the Temple Mount. Jones says that the tunnel actually continues 18 miles southward, and that the Ark was brought through the tunnel to its current resting place in the Judean Desert.

Throughout the many years of his quest, Jones has been in close contact and under the tutelage of numerous Rabbis and Kabbalists. Extremely knowledgeable in Torah, Talmud and Kabbalah sources dealing with Holy Temple issues, Jones has now received permission from both known and secret Kabbalists to finally uncover the lost ark.

Dr. Jones, who divides his time between Texas and Israel, has been here since March 9th ready to finally reveal the Ark. However, he has been waiting for both permission from the mysterious Kabbalist and for project funding to come through.

As recently as last month, the rabbi, who only communicates via messenger, told Jones that the time was not yet right to discover the Temple vessels.

Last Thursday, however, Dr. Jones received a communication from the rabbi reading, “The time is right.”

Armed with this and other blessings, Jones is now excited to uncover his life's pursuit. He believes the ark will be discovered by Tisha B'Av (Aug. 14), a day of repeated tragedy in Jewish history. Most notably, it is the anniversary of the destruction of both the First and Second Holy Temples.

Noahide guru Jones says that the State of Israel is passing through the same biblical straights as the generation that first entered Israel after the exodus from Egypt. “If history repeats itself, the history itself is prophecy,” Jones says.

“Israel is different from all other nations in a lot of ways, but more than anything else, Israel is the only nation whose history was written before it happened.”

Once a Christian pastor, Jones left his post to become a leader of the growing Noahide movement. Noahides are G-d fearing non-Jews who observe the seven laws of Noah, which are obligatory upon all of humanity.

The explorer and teacher published a book in 1959 predicting the precise outbreak of the Six Day War, based on his analysis of the period from the Exodus from Egypt up until the First Temple Period. He says that applying biblical analysis to modern times points to major events that will “turn the world right-side-up.”

Jones calculated the war in 1967 by analyzing the sequence of events in the First Temple Period and transposing them onto the "Third Temple Period” – the period beginning with the Jews’ foundation of an independent State in the Land of Israel in 1948.

“It fits just like tongue in groove,” he says.

Jones analyzed the following passage from the book of Bamidbar (Numbers): “Every man from 20 years old and upward, all that are able to go to war...". He said it could be read this way, "So from 20 years old and upward, all that are able to go, went to war in Israel.”

“Well, ’67 was the 20th year,” said Jones, who received acclaim for fighting as a non-listed soldier in the Six Day War. He was the only non-Jewish American to take part in the combat.

“Two years at Mt. Sinai, and then the Jewish people went to Kadesh Barnea,” he says, referring to the time immediately following the Exodus. Transposing the Jewish people’s first entry into Israel via the Jericho region and the re-entry to those areas in 1967, one can find striking similarities.

“At Kadesh Barnea, [the Jewish Nation] sent in those [twelve] spies who gave the evil report, and because they believed the evil report, they were sentenced to wander for 38 years before they could come into Gilgal” – an ancient city near Jericho.

“1967 was a repetition of Kadesh Barnea,” Jones says. “If Israel had come in and taken this place, the Arabs would have fled like they did in 1948. But no, because of the evil report of Golda Meir and Motta Gur and Moshe Dayan, who said ‘We cannot do that, world opinion will be against us.’ So Israel was sentenced to 38 years more – and June the 7th [2005], Jerusalem Day, will be the 38th year.

Jones believes that the Jewish prophecies regarding the greatly anticipated redemption are occuring in front of our eyes.

Jones' escapades and explorations were the inspiration for the blockbuster movie 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' of the 'Indiana Jones' trilogy. The man who wrote the first draft of the film, Randolph Fillmore, was one of the volunteers who worked with Jones in 1977.

“I agreed to help him write the movie,” Jones said, “as long as – number one – he wouldn’t set it here (in Israel). Some people believe the ark is in Ethiopia or Egypt, some believe its in Constantinople or Rome. I just didn’t want it to be portrayed as being here. The second thing was, 'Don’t use my name.' So he didn’t. My name is Vendyl – V-E-N-D-Y-L. So he just dropped the first and last letters and it ended up Endy Jones.”

Although at the time of the film, Jones was far from pinpointing the location of the Ark, he has come a long way since then. With the help of an ancient document found in Qumran together with the Dead Sea Scrolls, known as the “Copper Scroll”, Dr. Jones is convinced he has pinpointed the location of the Ark of the Covenant.

“In the copper scroll, the first five lines say, 'In the desolations of the Valley of Achur, in the opening under the ascent, which is a mountain facing eastward, covered by forty placed boulders – here is a tabernacle and all the golden fixtures,'” Jones says.

"This is what we have been looking for all these years, and I’ve walked over those boulders thousands of times without really stepping back and looking – realizing ‘hey, those boulders have been brought in here, they’ve been placed in here, they didn’t come off a mountain. And they’re huge.’”

Jones recounts his early explorations into the tunnels which lead from the ancient Old City of Jerusalem, near Jaffa Gate, to the foot of the Dead Sea. “My son and I went an hour and 20 minutes into the tunnel. There were so many branches and we didn’t have anything to mark the route, so I said, ‘We better get out of here and come back with a roll of string.’ Then I made the mistake of asking permission to do it. That was before I learned that Israel is a lot like heaven - it is a lot easier to get forgiveness than it is permission.”

Dr. Jones, wearing an orange anti-disengagement bracelet, dismisses the current Israeli government's plan to uproot the Jews of Gaza and northern Samaria from their homes. "There will not be any disengagement, nor will there be any Palestinian State,” he says.

Jones, who has a photographic memory, quotes: “Chapter One in Isaiah: 'How has the holy city become a harlot? Righteousness filled the street, but now murderers. The ruler is a friend of thieves and the ministers desire bribes.'”

“The prophet wasn’t talking about his day – he was talking about now. ‘Therefore, says the L-rd, I will restore them to their beginnings. I will set judges up as at first, and counselors as in the beginning.’”

The Sharon government will soon be history, Jones asserts, and the Sanhedrin (the Jewish High Court of 71 judges) will take its place and lead the Jewish people. “The Sanhedrin was established October the 13th of last year. Now all we have to do is have an election to elect counselors. The Sanhedrin is like a Senate and the elected counselors are like a House of Representatives.”

Dr. Jones says the discovery of the lost ark will “flip the whole world right-side-up.”

“I just gotta drill a bore-hole into the chamber, drop a pin-camera in and there it is. And everything is gonna change, believe me. The Jewish people are gonna come back.”

Kabbalist Blesses Jones: Now´s the Time to Find Holy Lost Ark
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