Palestinian Presidential Spokesperon Nabil Abu Rdainah said on Tuesday that the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip was a "criminal act" indented to thwart the peace process. "The Israeli insistence to continue incursions, targeted assassinations and settlement expansion enhances the beliefs that Israel intends to thwart the final status negotiations which are to start tomorrow. It also decreases the level of trust as negotiations can not be held along with targeted assassinations and confiscation of lands among other measures which contradict with the spirit of the peace process, which was supported by the international community in Annapolis summit last November." He added, "The Israeli escalation on several fronts aims at laying obstacles before negotiations start, and so the international community must intervene, specifically the US, in order to save the peace process before it is too late." [Vollständig meine Meinung]
Hintergrund des Statements von Abu Rhdainah ist die heute Morgen begonnene Operation einer israelischen Panzereinheit aus dreißig Kampfpanzern und weiteren Begleitfahrzeugen. Ausgehend vom Sufa-crossing konzentriert sich die Einheit auf strategische Gebäude im Raum Khan Younis und Rafah, wobei die meisten Opfer auf die Luftunterstützung zurück gehen. Drei Opfer forderte dieser Angriff in Rafah durch die IAF: "Among Israel's targets was a multistory building that suffered heavy damage. Amid the rubble, at least two militants lay dead, including one man whose body was torn in half by a blast. As rescuers pulled the bodies away, two Israeli shells struck the building seconds apart, sending people scrambling for cover. The body of a third man lay motionless after the blast." Drei weitere Opfer [wohl alle Opfer sind bewaffneten Milizen zuzurechnen] forderte eine Panzergranate bei einem Gefecht vor Khan Younis. Zuvor waren vier israelische soldaten bei einem palästinensischen Treffer auf einen Panzer leicht verletzt worden. Am Morgen hatte ein Luftangriff einen weiteren Toten gefordert. Nach Angaben von Erlanger, NYT läuft die Operation in einer zwei-Meilen-Zone zur Grenze ab. Derzeit werden zwölf Verletzte gezählt, darunter drei schwer Verletzte. AP berichtet das Bericht erstattende Journalisten bei dem zweiten Angriff auf oben erwähntes "multistory building" verletzt wurden. Nach palästinenssichen angaben wurden mehr als sechzig Personen durch israelissche Soldaten verhafetet. Nach Angaben von Ehud Barak, israelischer Verteidigungsminister soll die Aktion Informationen über "manufactoring and firing" von Qassam-Raketen und Granaten erbracht haben. Neben einem Qassam-Rakten-Abschuß werden mindestens weitere vier halbwegs Ernst zu nemende militärische Konfrontationen berichtet. [Von Opfern unter den Al-Aqsa-Briganden der Fatah wird iÜ nichts berichtet. Hm.] In der Westbank wird eine Frau bei dem Versuch einen IDF-Soldaten mit einem Messer anzugreifen verhaftet. In Nablus wird ein Al-Aqsa-Brigadier durch eine Bombe unbekannter Täterschaft getötet. Zwei weitere Brigadiers werden verletzt. Verhaftungen halten sich in Grenzen. Nur zwei Fatah-Angheörige durch die IDF.
Während der jordanische König zur Abwechlung mal zu Gesprächen über die Situation in Israel und Palestine in der Türkei weilt erheben palästinensische Unterhändler vor dem Morgen angesetzten Treffen Forderungen: Palestinians will attend peace talks this week despite a plan by Israel to build new homes in East Jerusalem, but will focus on demanding a settlement freeze, senior Palestinian officials said on Tuesday. Palestinian leaders said on Tuesday they decided to attend the meeting but insist Israel freeze settlement activity. "We will go to the negotiations... but we will confine our discussions to the settlements issue and to the formation of negotiating committees that will discuss all final status issues including Jerusalem and settlements," a senior negotiator told reporters. Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on Tuesday condemned Israel's plan to build 307 homes in Har Homa, saying "the kingdom strongly condemns Israel's decision to expand settlement building in East Jerusalem, which contradicts the bases and principles of the Annapolis peace conference." + Damascus-based Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal confirmed that the Islamic group would return control of security and government institutions in Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, Asharq Alawsat reported on Tuesday. "The head of the Hamas political-bureau Khalad Mashaal agreed to transfer control of the Gaza Strip to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas," Hussein Abu-Qawik, a senior Hamas member in Gaza told the London-based newspaper. + Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Wednesday that Israel cannot discuss the issue of illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank, while ignoring illegal construction in the Negev and Galilee. The Yisrael Beiteinu minister, who made the remarks at a session of the Ministerial Committee on Unauthorized Outposts, was alluding to the large number of unrecognized Arab villages in those areas of the country. [IÜ: Wer denn nun Chefunterhändler für Morgen geworden ist wurde bsilang nicht berichtet.] + State authorities have "trampled" on the rights of settlers in the West Bank and their supporters, according to the right-wing group, Human Rights in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The organization, in a paper issued to mark International Human Rights Week, on Monday also accused The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) of failing to protect these rights.
Iran: Der Ägyptische Aussenminister: We won`t sign nuclear non-proliferation deal allowing UN inspections. [Brüll]. An exiled Iranian opposition group on Tuesday contested a U.S. intelligence report that said Tehran halted a nuclear weapons development program in 2003, insisting the bomb-making program resumed the following year. "We announce vehemently that the clerical regime is currently continuing its drive to obtain nuclear weapons," said Mohammad Mohaddessin, a spokesman for the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, or NCRI. + Iran needs to install 50,000 centrifuges within five years so it can make enough fuel for one nuclear power plant, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday. Iran's uranium enrichment plans are the part of Tehran's nuclear program that most worries the West because the process can be used to make both fuel for nuclear power plants or, if desired, material for warheads. [Falsch: "If running smoothly for long periods, 3,000 would be enough to make material for a warhead in a year, Western experts say. It would also be enough to start industrial fuel production."]
Calev Ben-David, "Attack Iran? Tell it to the marines": Last week, in a Time magazine article titled "Why the Pentagon is happy about the NIE," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was among the US military heads cited as being relieved that the release of the National Intelligence Estimate declaring that Teheran is not now developing nuclear weapons had seemingly taken the military option off the table. The reason is simple: With close to 190,000 American troops now in Iraq and Afghanistan, US military manpower is being stretched to the limit. A third front in Iran - or even a deterioration of the current situation in Iraq or Afghanistan, a mischief that Teheran is well capable of - would probably stretch those limits beyond the breaking point.
Affaire um Yaniv: Labor Chairman Ehud Barak and secretary-general of the party, MK Eitan Cabel, held a conciliatory meeting late Monday night following Barak's stormy weekend dismissal of his prominent close adviser, Eldad Yaniv. The meeting took place in Barak's Tel Aviv bureau and was mediated by Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog. Barak's associates told Haaretz that Yaniv, an attorney who had become a central figure in the party since Barak's election in May, had tried to strip Labor's secretariat - the party's operative body - of its power, contrary to Barak's position. They said Yaniv had attempted to do so by changing the party's constitution so as to concentrate power in the hands of Cabel, his close friend. Earlier on Monday, Cabel - who supported Barak in his bid for chairmanship of the party - was quoted as saying that Barak was "acting in a paranoid way." ... Meanwhile, theories regarding Yaniv's unexpected sacking proliferate. According to a latest version of events, Yaniv came to a routine work meeting with Barak last Thursday night at the defense minister's bureau. During the meeting, Barak asked him to explain a change in the party constitution regarding the role of the executive committee's secretariat. Barak, who had authorized Yaniv and Cabel to change the constitution, noticed a clause that strips the secretariat of its executive powers, contrary to the instructions he had given.
Hier nur Kurz: Sixty-seven people were killed when two car bombs exploded in upscale districts of Algiers on Tuesday, a health ministry source said, in the bloodiest attack since an undeclared civil war in the 1990s. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but commentators said it appeared the work of al Qaeda's north Africa wing, which claimed a similar bombing in downtown Algiers in April and other blasts east of the capital over the summer that have worried foreign investors in the OPEC member state.
Neues zum Dahab-Bombing hat C. Sydow. Auch interessant da behauptet wurde die al-Queda-Beteiligten wären im Gazastreifen untergekommen.
Editorial-Haaretz, "Holy stones, not stumbling blocks": The State of Israel was established without Jerusalem. The United Nations decreed, in its resolution on partition 60 years ago, that Palestine should be divided into Arab and Jewish states, and that Jerusalem would be placed under international administration. The fledgling state put up with this decree, although Jerusalem had been an object of the Jewish people's yearning during 2,000 years of exile and was a mainstay in the national anthem. Israel's military power in 1948, and its political strength in the cease-fire agreements and secret negotiations with Jordan's King Abdullah I, were insufficient to enable it to gain control of the Old City. The state concentrated its efforts on persuading the world to recognize, at least de facto if not de jure, Israel's unilateral declaration of West Jerusalem as its capital.
Moshe Arens, "The new post-Zionists": We used to think that post-Zionists were out there on the fringe of Israeli society. They were Israelis who had concluded that so many injustices had been committed in the name of Herzl's dream, that the time had come to turn their backs on the State of Israel. Or, more extreme yet, they believed that Zionism had been one big mistake that now needed to be rectified, and the Palestinian population compensated for the wrongs that had been committed in the name of Zionism - by replacing the Jewish state with a Palestinian one. They insisted that they had seized the moral high ground, but in their sensitivity to the suffering of the Palestinians, they showed zero tolerance for any measures taken in Israel's defense.