Bei einem Angriff der IAF auf eine Stellung der al-Qassam-Brigaden werden drei Hamas-Mitglieder getötet und zwei weitere verletzt, einer davon schwer. Aus Medziner-Kreisen wird berichtet das bei dem Angriff "nail-filled-bombes" und "Cluster-Bomben" eingesetzt wurden. Im Westbank-Ort Al-Kadr bei Bethlehem wird bei einem drive-by-shooting marodierender IDF-Milizionäre ein Offizier der palästinensischen Sicherheitskräfte erschossen. Vom Dienstag wird von Ausschreitungen in Beit Ummar bei Hebron berichtet. Eine Menge von 500 Palästinenser bewirft IDFler mit Steinen, Flaschen und Molotow-Coctails. Ein soldat wird verletzt und ein Palästinenser erleidet Schußwunden. Über Nacht werden 18 Hamasniks durch die PA und 33 weitere Palästinenser durch die IDF in der Westbank verhaftet. Das nennt man den Annapolis-Verhaftungsstau abarbeiten. Derweil werden zu Beginn von Hanukka [ganz verpennt!] Restriktionen über die Westbank gelegt. Das angriffsniveau aus dem Gazastreifen bleibt eher mäßig. Vier Qassam-Abschüsse werden gemeldet und bislang keine Granatangriffe. Related: A high-ranking Palestinian security source claimed that thirteen armed Palestinians activists, all deemed "wanted" by Israel, have turned themselves over to Palestinian intelligence services in the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday. UPDATE: A Palestinian police officer was killed Wednesday in Bethlehem, and another officer was wounded in clashes with a special Israel Defense Forces unit in the midst of an arrest raid. During the operation, the IDF troops fired at an unidentified group of Palestinians, after being fired upon. It later emerged that the source of the fire had been a Palestinian police force on patrol. An initial investigation into the incident revealed that the Palestinian police force fired at the IDF soldiers, mistaking them for members of the militant Islamist Hamas organization. After the IDF learned that they had hit Palestinian police officers, troop commander in the West Bank Brigadier General Noam Tivon and head of the Civil Administration in the West Bank Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai offered to their Palestinian counterparts to provide medical assistance for the wounded officer.
*** Iran: The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said Wednesday that a newly released U.S intelligence report saying that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 offers Tehran a "window of opportunity" to resolve the crisis. "It opens a window of opportunity for Iran now because Iran obviously has been somewhat vindicated in saying they have not been working on a weapons program at least for the last few years," Mohammed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency told a news conference in the Brazilian capital Brasilia. ++++ Zvi Ba'rel: The American intelligence report that makes the option of a military strike against Iran - and possibly the next dose of sanctions - less likely to materialize gives us an important time-out to try a new avenue vis-a-vis the Islamic Republic. ++++ President George W. Bush, trying to keep pressure on Iran, called on Teheran Wednesday to "come clean" about the scope of its nuclear activities or else face diplomatic isolation. ++++ Russia's foreign minister said Wednesday there was no proof that Iran has ever run a nuclear weapons program, and praised Teheran for its readiness to cooperate with the United Nations nuclear watchdog.
*** Siedler: Uzi Benziman: You don't have to go all the way back to Saint Augustine, who said that to err is human but to persist in error is satanic, to understand that the leaders of the settlers in Judea and Samaria, along with MKs from the right, are about to repeat the mistake they made two years ago, when they refused to cooperate with the government after it decided to implement its disengagement plan. The right-wing camp is now preparing to head off a proposed law, sponsored by Colette Avital (Labor) and Avshalom Vilan (Meretz), to offer Jewish residents living in the West Bank compensation for being evacuated voluntarily. If the settler public does not create its own lobby from within its own ranks to fight for the bill, their fate will be the same as that of the evacuees from Gush Katif.
*** Gaza: Leftists announce mock power cuts to protest Gaza fuel slash. [Cool.] ++++ The IDF is prepared for a ground op in Gaza, but a decision on the matter depends on the political echelon, Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said in an interview with Army Radio Wednesday.
*** Suicidal Tendencies: A quarter of Israel's poor Israel who were being supported by welfare organizations have considered ending their lives over their financial situation, an alternative poverty report released by the Latet organization revealed Wednesday.
*** Libanon: French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner arrived in Lebanon late Tuesday to help seal a deal between rival political factions and pave the way for Parliament's election of the commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, General Michel Suleiman, to the presidency. ++++ Lebanon is violating international principles by indefinitely detaining Iraqi refugees until they agree to go back to Iraq, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) regional representative Stephane Jacquemet said Tuesday. ++++ Randa Takkiedine: Lebanon and the Indispensable Historic Memory