British spy chiefs have grave doubts that Iran has mothballed its nuclear weapons programme, as a US intelligence report claimed last week, and believe the CIA has been hoodwinked by Teheran. The timing of the CIA report has also provoked fury in the British Government, where officials believe it has undermined efforts to impose tough new sanctions on Iran and made an Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities more likely. The security services in London want concrete evidence to allay concerns that the Islamic state has fed disinformation to the CIA. ... A senior British official delivered a withering assessment of US intelligence-gathering abilities in the Middle East and revealed that British spies shared the concerns of Israeli defence chiefs that Iran was still pursuing nuclear weapons. ... The source said British analysts believed that Iranian nuclear staff, knowing their phones were tapped, deliberately gave misinformation. ... A US intelligence source has revealed that some American spies share the concerns of the British and the Israelis. "Many middle- ranking CIA veterans believe Iran is still committed to producing nuclear weapons and are concerned that the agency lost a number of its best sources in Iran in 2004," the official said. + "Israel will work with the International Atomic Energy Agency to expose the Iranian plan to develop nuclear weapons, despite the limitations that Iran is setting," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday. Olmert said the new US intelligence report concluding that Iran has given up its nuclear weapons program will not change Israel's view that Iran is trying to develop a nuclear bomb, his first comment on the report. "Israel has no reason to change the assessments it had all along that Iran is continuing to pursue nuclear weapons and is developing weapons and rockets and enriching uranium," Olmert told a closed meeting of his Security Cabinet, according to a participant in the session. [Dazu kurz zwei Dinge. 1. The Bush administration is losing patience with Gordon Brown over Iran, with senior American diplomats frustrated by his reluctance to declare bluntly that the Islamic state must never be allowed nuclear weapons. Interessant wie sich die spy chiefs am PM vorbei bewegen. 2. Olmerts Versuch sich sich der IAEA als Zeuge anzudienern ist ein wunderbares Unterfangen: In response to the report, Deputy Foreign Minister Majalli Whbee has called on IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei to step down. "The forgiving report presents another example of the feeble policies of the committee and its chairman against Iran. That is criminal negligence, which endangers world peace." Er will jetzt mit Kriminellen zusammen arbeiten! Was für eine Farce.]
New outposts: Around 200 right wing activists marched Sunday from the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim toward a site several kilometers away where they were planning to erect a new outpost. The activists named the new outpost, to be located between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim in area E-1, "Mevaseret Adumim." Old outposts: Vice Premier Haim Ramon responded on Sunday to U.S. criticism of plans to build additional homes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood by saying parts of the city must be given to the Palestinians to avoid losing U.S. support. Ramon said Israel would not give up the Jewish neighborhood of Har Homa, where a state plan, announced last week, to build 300 new homes sparked Palestinian anger and a warning from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who suggested the plan risked harming a peace process she helped relaunch last month at the Annapolis conference.
The High Court of Justice directed the Interior Ministry on Sunday to recognize a same-sex couple's parental status over their child. A panel of nine judges, chaired by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, chastised the state for failing to implement a 2000 court order, according to which it must recognize both women as the mothers of the child. NRP: Judaism does not recognize same-sex parents and therefore, the High Court decision to recognize their adoptions undermines the foundations of a Jewish state, National Religious Party Chairman Zevulun Orlev said on Sunday. [Stupid.] For more information zB..
Jordan's King Abdullah urged a Pan-Arab stance to end Israel's occupation of Arab lands. Abdullah held talks Sunday with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem on the latter's rare visit to Amman. The pair discussed the outcome of last month's Annapolis Middle East conference. Moallem's visit came in the wake of last month's surprise visit by King Abdullah to Damascus that seemed to have opened a new chapter in bilateral coordination on the Arab-Israeli peace process. His meeting with King Abdullah came 48 hours before the monarch was due to visit Turkey, France and Strasbourg on Tuesday and Wednesday to muster support for the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians that were launched at Annapolis on core issues: Jerusalem, settlements, frontiers and refugees. [Die diplomatische Verbesserung für Syrien ist offensichtlichst.]
Während die Hamas öffentlich konfiszierte Drogen verbrennt berichtet Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, that the use of weapons by criminals in Israel is on the rise. He also said the use of explosives and grenades stolen from IDF bases had risen drastically, and urged the army to do more to prevent such thefts. Polizeichef David Cohen kündigt heute die Bildung einer 1000-Mann starken Sondereinheit gegen das organisierte Verbrechen an. Zudem wird verlautbart das es im Jahr 2007 in Israel zu einem 24%igen Anstieg der Gewalt gegen ältere Personen gekommen ist. [Zu den konflikt bezogenen Problemzonen werden auch verstärkt zivilisatorische kommen. Wohl dem der dabei so eine unfähige Regierung hat.] Was hingegen funktioniert? Israel has passed Britain to become the world's fourth largest exporter of weapons, Defense Ministry Director-General Pinchas Bucharis said on Sunday. Israel exported a total $4 billion in defense exports in 2007, Bucharis said. The United States, Russia and France lead the world's list of exporters.
Apropos Dichter, "London's calling", Gideon Levy: Avi Dichter will not be going to London. The Israeli dream of taking in year-end sales, the new production of Othello or the sights of Oxford Street vanished before the public security minister's very eyes. The Foreign Ministry advised Dichter not to participate in a conference there, because he could be arrested for involvement in the assassination of Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh, when he was Shin Bet security service head. The one-ton bomb used to target Shehadeh in 2002 left 15 people dead.
Erstaunlich: Hamas signaled its desire to be included in Western-backed peace negotiations in an open letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday. America's efforts to isolate the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, on the other hand, will undermine any attempt at peace, wrote Ahmad Yousef, a senior aide to depose Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Aus dem Gazastreifen wird unterdessen ein Qassam-Raketenabschuß gemeldet der in einer israelischen Firma Schäden anrichtet. Weitere kleinere Granatangriffe über Sonntag. Neben der Al-Azhar-Universität, Gaza geht in einem Supermarkt eine Bombe hoch. Keine Verletzten. Die Fatah geht über Samstag verstärkt gegen Hamas-Mitglieder vor: 26 Verhaftungen. In Hebron wird das Privathaus von Gouverneur Hussein Al-A'raj beschossen. Zu [eigentlich gängigen] Spekulationen über eine Kabinettsumbildung im ramallahnsichen Kabinett: Palestinian Legislative Council PLC member, and former foreign minister, Ziad Abu Amr said on Saturday that any cabinet re-shuffle in the Palestinian government in Ramallah will not affect the status quo, neither will it have any positive impact on the current state of political stalemate between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. "There is no need for a ministerial adjustment in the Fayyad's government at this time because efforts should be dedicated to the formation of a transitional government within nationalist dialogue and reactivation of the Palestinian institutions for the best of the Palestinian national higher interests, along with the preparation for new presidential and legislative elections" he told Ma'an. Fatah sources have been talking for some weeks about the possibility of a cabinet re-shuffle in Fayyad's government.