Montag, 8. Oktober 2007

Katyusha Fallout

Das israelische Defense Establishment bringt sich wie nach der gestrigen Raketen-Attacke auf Netivot zu erwarten in die Schlagzeilen. Nachdem über Nacht erneut Granaten auf israelisches Territorium abgefeuert wurden "operieren" Truppen und ein Luftangriff auf einen Polizeiposten [dpa???] hat nach Hamas-Angaben 7 Verletzte gefordert. Zuvor hatten "senior officers" berichtet: There has been a sharp increase in the quantity of explosives, including various types of rockets, smuggled into the Gaza Strip from Egypt over the last few weeks. Hamas now has complete control over the smuggling routes from Egypt, having forced the clans that previously controlled these routes to take orders from it. Zudem wird meine Spekulation über die Bauart dankenswerter Weise dieses Mal ernster genommen: An analysis of the rocket that landed near Netivot indicates that it was smuggled into Gaza rather than being manufactured locally. At least one shipment of Grad Katyushas is known to have been smuggled into Gaza last year, but the IDF says there could have been additional deliveries of which Israel was unaware. Fatah sources told Haaretz on Sunday that terrorist organizations in Gaza recently received another shipment of about 70 Grad Katyushas. The IDF said it could not confirm this report. Desweiteren verbreitet die IDF über die Amerikaner folgende Theorie zum Luftangriff auf Syrien: But highly classified U.S. intelligence reports say that the Israelis destroyed a nuclear-related facility and caused North Korean casualties at the site, which may have been intended to produce plutonium, according to a senior official with access to those reports. The Israelis have provided the United States with photographs, physical material and soil samples from the site -- taken both before and after the raid -- according to two independent sources. [Wapo- Na hoffentlich erklärt jetzt NordKorea nicht den Israelis den Krieg.] Am Kabinettssonntag spricht Amos Yadlin: Damascus is liable to respond to Israel's September 6 air strike on an alleged Syrian nuclear facility, but probably not via direct military action. An operation by an ally such as Hezbollah in Lebanon was more likely. "In our view, Syria does not want to escalate the situation and embark on a conflict with Israel right now," he said. "However, we believe that it could work against Israel indirectly." Das Thema treibt auch andere um: "During my visit to Israel, I'm expecting an explanation of what happened and why it happened," Turkish FM Ali Babacan said at a joint press conference in Jerusalem after meeting Peres. "We have not yet got an answer," Babacan said, before Peres intervened to halt further questioning by reporters.

Environmental pollution causes death by cancer of 1,250 Israelis every year, according to the draft of a Health Ministry Report released Sunday. According to Health Ministry statistics, every year about 25,000 new cases of cancer are discovered, including 450 cases affecting children. The latest report includes an ecological survey that maps the incidence of cancer in the 2001-2005 by region. It revealed particularly high rates of cancer in three "morbidity clusters" that correspond with three major urban areas: Haifa and its bayside suburbs, Greater Tel Aviv and Be'er Sheva and environs. ... The report points to a clear connection in Israel between high rates of urbanization and high incidence of cancer, in keeping with figures from the West. However, a senior Health Ministry official pointed out on Sunday that since the Be'er Sheva region is not highly urbanized and has far less vehicles than the Tel Aviv region, it is likely that the reason for its high cancer rates is at least partly due to the proximity of residential areas to industrial areas using large numbers of hazardous and carcinogenic materials, such as the factories in the Ramat Hovav industrial area.

Update Schulstreik [ab Mittwoch]

Khaled Amayreh: "A putative Peace" - Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has privately threatened to resign if the upcoming American- sponsored international peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, ends in failure. According to sources within Abbas's immediate circle, the Palestinian leader is increasingly worried that a fiasco at the much-heralded conference would undermine his credibility among Palestinians, including members of his own Fatah Party. Abass's threat to resign has been widely reported, though it is unclear whether it is genuine or a bluff intended to signal to Washington and Tel Aviv that the PA is already fed up with Israel's stalling tactics as well as with America's refusal to exert meaningful pressure on Israel to end its 40-year-old occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Saleh al-Naami: "Mirror, mirror on the wall" - Only 10 days separated the two demonstrations that Hassan Zarqi, a 29-year-old officer in the Gaza security forces and supporter of Fatah, participated in. The first was in support of the Fayad government and criticism of the Hamas movement and its "putsch" in Gaza. The second was in criticism of the Fayad government and its policy based on "discrimination". Zarqi had previously participated in all protest actions against Hamas, but last Wednesday could not avoid participating in a demonstration against the Fayad government itself after the government stopped paying his salary and that of 10,000 other members of the security forces, most of whom belong to Fatah. "In my worst nightmares, I never imagined that this would happen to me," he told Al-Ahram Weekly. "I never expected to be punished by the government I have risked my life to defend," he said.

Barry Schweid: Five former State Department and Pentagon officials are proposing Israeli and Palestinian capitals in Jerusalem and excluding Arab refugees from returning to Israel as part of an Middle East accord.

Daily Star Editorial: The US government announced a few days ago that anyone invited to a planned Middle East peace conference next month will have to abide by a set of conditions (without stating that those rules are largely written by the United States and Israel). A few days later, a Syrian government daily, Tishrin, charged that Washington seeks to destabilize the Middle East and said a US-sponsored conference was unlikely to make any progress toward peace. Israel, for its part, talked only vaguely about building confidence, developing a dialogue with the Palestinians, and paving the way for substantive peace talks in the near future, while continuing to kill, jail and colonize Palestinians. This looks like a case of "here we go again," with the same players taking the same failed positions in a rather grotesque replay of cumulative past peace-making failures.

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