Am gestrigen Donnerstag wird ein unbewaffneter Zivilist in der Nähe des Grenzzauns Gaza-Israel erschossen. Nach Familienangaben wollte er, mutmaßlich auf seinem Grund und Boden, Vögel fangen. Ein weiterer Palästinenser kommt in Gaza City am mittwoch Abend bei dem Versuch einen explosive device zu platzieren ums Leben. [Derzeit häufen sich nach meinem Empfinden die Leichenfunde junger Frauen in Kern-Israel. Mal beobachten.]
*** Iran: Nach der Veröffentlichung des NIE-reports kommt es vor dem Wochenende zu weiteren intensiven Scharmützeln um den zukünftigen Kurs. Die wohl wichtigste Nachricht zuerst: Disappointed after failing to make their case on Iran and influence the outcome of the United States's National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released this week, Military Intelligence will present its hard core evidence on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program on Sunday to the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff during a rare visit he will be making to Israel. Admiral Michael Mullen will land in Israel Sunday morning for a 24-hour visit that will include a one-on-one meeting with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as with Defense Minister Ehud Barak. [Es sei erneut die Frage gestattet mit welchen Informationen die israelische Poltik in Washington latent aufgetaucht ist. "Soft Core"?] Mullen's visit to Israel will be exactly a week after the publication of the NIE report that claimed Iran had frozen its nuclear military program in 2003 and has yet to restart it. During his visit, Military Intelligence plans to present him with Israel's evidence that Iran is in fact developing nuclear weapons. Hier die Berichterstattung des TIME-Magazins: As Barak later told Israeli Army Radio, "It seems Iran in 2003 halted for a certain period of time its military nuclear program, but as far as we know it has probably since revived it." He added: "We are talking about a specific track connected with their weapons building program, to which the American [intelligence] connection, and maybe that of others, was severed." The Israeli defense minister implied that the new U.S. assessment was "made in an environment of high uncertainty." Israeli intelligence sources told Time that for the past five years, Mossad, Israel's equivalent of the CIA, had made spying on Iran its top priority, and that its assessment is that Iran would be weapons-ready by 2009. [Die weiteren "related" Artikel sind ebenso empfehlenswert.] Was Barak nun im Einzelnen meint wird abzuwarten sein. Grundsätzlich dürfte er sich an Boltens "The Flaws in the Iran report" orientieren. Nicht sehr von Bedeutung die Kerninvestigation "Details in Military Notes Led to Shift on Iran, U.S. Says", die nur darstellt was auch auf amerikanischer Seite zu beaobachten ist: Unschlüssigkeit über das weitere Vorgehen. Eine Fraktion will die Bombe. Die andere nicht. Hierbei ist kein notwendiger Schwenk die offensichtliche Uneinigkeit innerhalb der Mullahkratie auszunutzen erkennbar: U.S. President George W. Bush told China he was willing to solve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue, state media reported on Friday, an approach long promoted by Beijing. Bush also hopes the United Nations keeps taking "necessary action" to stop Iran's uranium enrichment program, the official Xinhua news agency said in a report carried on the front page of Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily. + US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice began talks with European and Russian officials on Thursday to urge greater international pressure on Iran to halt uranium enrichment and answer questions about its nuclear programs. ... Rice said she would argue during the two days of meetings for more pressure. It is her first face-to-face sessions with world powers now considering new UN sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program since the National Intelligence Estimate was released on Monday. "I don't see that the NIE changes the course that we're on," Rice told reporters aboard her plane.. + ermany Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday Iran was still a "danger," and she and French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for continued international pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program. "I think we are in a process and that Iran continues to pose a danger," Merkel said at a joint news conference with Sarkozy in Paris, in response to a new US intelligence report indicating Iran stopped nuclear weapons development in 2003. She and Sarkozy urged a two-pronged approach of pressure and negotiations with Iran. Stay the course. Gähn.
Alec Klein, "The Armys $US 200 Billion makeover": "A $200 billion plan to remake the largest war machine in history unfolds in one small way on a quiet country road in the Chihuahuan Desert. Jack Hensley, one of a legion of contractors on the project, is hunkered in a slowly moving SUV, serving as target practice for a baby-faced soldier in a Humvee aiming a laser about 700 yards away. A moment later, another soldier in the Humvee punches commands into a computer transmitting data across an expanse of sand and mesquite to a site 2 1/2 miles away. On an actual battlefield, this is when a precision attack missile would be launched, killing Hensley almost instantly. ..." PS: Der angekündigte Megadeal mit den Saudis muß noch warten: the State Department agreed to wait until January to pursue plans to sell precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia, after senior-ranking lawmakers said they wanted more time to review the deal. Hingegen darf wohl: The Defense Department has notified Congress of a proposed sale worth up to $9 billion to supply the Patriot missile system to the United Arab Emirates.
Verschiedene "diplomatische Verwerfungen" bei den achso Freidenswilligen Annapolisianern: PA vs Saudis und Ägypten: The news from the Rafah border crossing earlier this week astounded the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah. They had arranged with Israel to allow some 2,000 Palestinians from Gaza to go to Saudi Arabia via the Kerem Shalom and Allenby Bridge border crossings for the hajj celebrations. Jordanien und später vermeldet die USA gegen Israel: Die Umsetzung eines alten Plans der Israelis in Har Homa, nahe Jerusalems wohl 350 Wohneinheiten bauen zu lassen sorgt für immense Aufregung. Die PA hernach wie üblich gegen eigentlich alle: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ruled out the possibility of creating a provisional state, raised at last week's Mideast summit, because of fears that its temporary borders would become permanent. Abbas told Palestinian lawmakers on Thursday that during the summit in Annapolis, Maryland, the idea of a provisional state was brought up, but he turned it down - though it is a key part of the internationally backed "road map" formula for creating a Palestinian state.
Desweiteren sind interessante Rechtsfälle zu beobachten: Public Security Minister Avi Dichter canceled a trip to Britain over concerns he would be arrested due to his involvement in the decision to assassinate the head of Hamas' military wing in July 2002. + The Israel Police recently interrogated three Israeli journalists suspected of unauthorized travel to an enemy state, following visits to Syria and Lebanon. The journalists were named as Ron Ben-Yishai, who reported for the "Yedioth Aharonot" newspaper from Syria; Tsur Shezaf, who wrote from Lebanon for the Israeli geographical magazine "Masa Aher" (A Different Voyage) and Lisa Goldman, who traveled twice to Lebanon for Channel 10 television. All of the visits took place in the last few months. Auch grundsätzlicher Streit ist dabei: Attorney General Menachem Mazuz released a statement Thursday criticizing Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann's plan to curtail the Supreme Court's power by limiting the issues on which it can rule. Friedmann's proposed bill would bar the Supreme Court from ruling on defense and fiscal issues, or State Prosecution decisions made on criminal issues, plea bargains and the closing of cases.
Fronten: In der Westbank kommt es zu schweren Übergriffen marodierender IDF-Milizionäre im Raum Qalkillia und Tulkarem. 12 Palästinenser werden verhaftet. Die heutigen Daten wurden noch nicht veröffentlicht. Hingegen etwas überraschend: Israel's agreement to pardon dozens of Fatah gunmen will extend to five out of the 25 Palestinians who were involved in 2002's standoff with the IDF at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Die Fatah wirft der Hamas das gezielte Entwenden von Treibstoffen vor, die für Krankenhausfahrzeuge vorgesehen gewesen wären. Am donnerstag kommt es aus dem Gazastreifen zu recht intensivem Beschuß israelischer Militäreinrichtungen. 14 Einschläge werden gezählt. Eine Qassam-Raktete hingegen trifft ein Haus in Sderot.
Flüchtlinge I: The UN agency supplying basic services for Palestinian refugees is in a funding crisis, and is facing a difficult year as the political situation continues to hamper its work in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Despite initial pledges towards the 2008 budget from 22 donors at a meeting in New York on 4 December, some US$1.21 billion is still required. Filippo Grandi, the deputy commissioner general of the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) - which provides education, health, relief and social services for some 4.5 million Palestinian refugees - said the refugees must not be forgotten. Flüchtlinge II: Zur Situation der irakischen Flüchtlinge im Libanon.
Lebanon's parliamentary vote due on Friday to elect a president appears heading to another delay as rival parties accuse each other of blocking the process, politicians said Thursday. [Hauptsache sie ballern sich nicht gegenseitig ab.]
Der Oberbrüüüüüüülllller: Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is expected to discuss the idea of the deployment of a NATO force in the region in talks with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Belgium over the weekend, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The idea of a NATO or international force deployed in Gaza has been raised on a number of occasions over the past year, from such diverse sources as Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but has not yet gained much traction. [Die haben schlicht alle was an der Waffel.]
"Syria Key to Middle East Peace Process" CFR Interview of Joshua Landis with Gwertzman.
Jessica Montell, "Palestinian Civillians as political currency": A cancer diagnosis is terrifying, but it does not have to be a death sentence. Hopefully, with the proper care, you will recover and continue with your life. Unless you live in the Gaza Strip. Take Mahmoud Abu Taha. A few months ago, the 21 year-old Palestinian from the Rafah refugee camp was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. The poorly-equipped hospitals in Gaza had neither the trained professionals nor the essential supplies to treat him and his condition quickly deteriorated. With the crossing to Egypt closed, the only option left was to refer him to an Israeli hospital, with expenses covered by the Palestinian Authority. But Israel would not let him through. It took 10 days to convince officials that the emaciated, bedridden young man posed no security threat. When his ambulance was finally let through the checkpoint, it was too late. He died several hours after entering Israel. The lengthy delay raises heavy doubts as to whether security clearance was the only consideration at stake here.
Ceallum Moffat, "The legal case for Gaza": As one can see from the recent Annapolis summit, the subject of Gaza has recently become relegated to private discussion rooms. Its mildest utterance in the political sphere is often met with indifference and expressionless faces, as if acknowledging these Palestinians in the 360km2 enclosed prison is taboo. Gaza has plunged into the abyss of silence - an unspoken evil whose neglect is almost demanded and expected.