Montag, 7. Januar 2008

IDF kills Three

Bei einem weiteren Vorfall bei Operationen der israelischen Verteidigungsstreitkräfte werden vier israelische Soldaten verletzt. Bei dem Beschuß eines Wohnhauses der Hamdan-Familie [wohl Hamas] wurde eine Frau und ein 14-jähriger durch eine Panzergranate getötet. Ein mutmaßlicher Al-Aqsa-Brigadier stirbt später bei einem weiteren Panzerbeschuß. Sowohl die Tötung des Jugendlichen, als auch Vorwürfe palästinensischer Seite Israelis hätten bei der Tötung des al-Aqsa-Mannes Nagelgranaten verwendet werden von der IDF nicht bestätigt. Die Operation fand am Abend ein zwischenzeitliches Ende. Zwei Kassam-Raketenabschüsse, zwei Mörsergranatenangriffe aus dem Gazastreifen; ein Molotow-Coctail-Angriff auf einen Bus bei Nablus und südlich von Bethlehem ein Handgranatenangriff werden über Sonntag gemeldet. Nach 63 Toten im Dezember sind in den ersten sechs Tagen des Jahres somit 23 Palästinenser im Gazastreifen getötet worden. Hingegen wird berichtet das vornehmlich die WHO die Erlaubnis erhielt Medikamente, Antibiotika und Anästesiemittel in den Gazastreifen zu bringen.
In der Westbank wird eine Operation aus Azzun [Schauplatz häufiger Operationen] bei Kalkilia gemeldet. Eine Verhaftung. Nebenan in Masha wird ein Palästinenser von Marodierern, die sich als IDF-Soldaten verkleideten zusammengeschlagen. In Bethlehem wo gestern das orthodoxe Weihnachten statt fand wird hingegen ein fehlgelaufener IDFler, der dort sein Auto reparieren wollte [Pffft] in Gewahsam genommen und den Israelis als Weihnachtspräsent übergeben. Das Palästinensische Gesundheitsministerium verhängt wegen der ausgebrochenen Vogelgrippe einen Einfuhrstopp für israelisches Geflügel. Bei dieser Gelegenheit bezichtigt der Gesundheitminister Fathi Abu Mughli die Hamas im Gazastreifen insgesamt 23 LKW-Ladungen an medizinischer Ausrüstung konfisziert zu haben. Auf der Sinai-Halbinsel werden durch ägyptische Polizisten fünf Schmuggel-Tunnel geschlossen. Der Shin Beth beziffert die durch ramallahnische Hühnerdiebe im Dezember festgenommenen Hamasniks mit über 250.

Die PeaceNow-Bewegung will vor dem Bush-Besuch am Mittwoch im Westbank-outpost Migron eine Großdemonstration abhalten. The government is refusing to publish a databse containing full details about the settlement enterprise in the territories, including outposts and neighborhoods built across the Green Line. In response to a High Court of Justice petition on the matter, the Defense Ministry is arguing that publication would harm state security and Israel's foreign relations.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will meet in Jerusalem on Tuesday, a day before the arrival of U.S. President George W. Bush, top Palestine Liberation Organization negotiator Saeb Erekat said Sunday. According to Erekat, Abbas intends to demand that Israel halt all military operations in the West Bank, adding that the two sides' negotiating teams would meet Monday in order to discuss the formation of working teams, which would formulate a final status agreement. ... In an interview with Channel Two television broadcast Sunday evening, Bush said that even if Israel and the Palestinian Authority fail to reach a peace deal by the end of 2008, there could be "an agreement on what a Palestinian state will look like." "I'm optimistic that we can have the outlines of a state defined," he said. "I'm optimistic because I believe Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas want to achieve this objective." [Manchmal ist der Friedensesel so bescheuert das man Mitleid bekommt. Ein Gutes hat der Bush-Besuch. Die IDF will ihre Operationen über den Besuch hinweg reduzieren.] ++++ Abramovitz & Nickmeyer: President Bush intends to use his first extended tour of the Middle East to rally support for international pressure against Iran, even as a recent U.S. intelligence report downplaying Tehran's nuclear ambitions has left Israeli and Arab leaders questioning Washington's resolve, according to senior U.S. officials, diplomats and regional experts. The president leaves Tuesday for Israel, where he hopes to jumpstart the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations he launched in Annapolis late last year. But in Jerusalem and some of the Arab countries Bush plans to visit, Iran's growing regional influence looms larger than the peace process or even the Iraq war. Mideast leaders are gauging whether the lame-duck administration has the interest and ability to cope with Iran -- or whether they should seek their own military or diplomatic solutions... ++++ Elias Harfouche, "The Shadow of Teheran and Damascus on Bushs tour": President George Bush's tour of the region this week may carry many surprises, especially with respect to the stops he intends to make, in addition to the other seven stops already announced in the presidential itinerary. But the only two stops that will surely remain out of this tour are Damascus and Tehran. Despite that, these two capitals will cast their heavy shadows over all Bush's talks during this tour. This will be the case if these talks will revolve around the Palestinian situation whereby Bush expressed his "optimism" that the conditions are ripe for the rise of the Palestinian state before the end of his mandate. It will also be the case if the talks revolve around the Lebanese presidential crisis, or when the American president ponders over the Gulf waters towards the Iranian shore. ++++ Marc A. Heller, "Is this trip necessary?": If Bush truly wants his nine-day excursion to the Middle East to make a difference, he should consider going to a place that is not on his announced itinerary - Iran. With all the hoopla surrounding primary elections, it's sometimes difficult to remember that George W. Bush is still president of the United States. One good way for him to remind people of that fact is to go on a foreign trip. After all, the president retains his authority, especially in foreign and defense affairs, until his last day in office, and high-level, high-profile meetings with other world leaders are a potent signal that incumbency still matters. So it is not surprising that Bush is following in the footsteps of others in the last lap of their presidencies - not just lame ducks like Bill Clinton but even dead ducks like Richard Nixon.

Aporpos bescheuert: ELON IS BACK! On the eve of U.S. President George W. Bush's visit to Israel, a hardline member of Israel's parliament is trying to drum up support for a new peace initiative - granting Jordanian passports to all Palestinians, dismantling the Palestinian Authority and abandoning any notions of an independent Palestinian state. The plan, drafted by lawmaker Benny Elon of the National Union Party and touted on billboards, Internet ads and YouTube, directly clashes with Bush's agenda for his coming visit - promoting a peace agreement that would see the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The Palestinians, Israel and Jordan all reject Elon's concept. "In his way, (Bush) is leading us to catastrophe," warned Elon, a resident of a West Bank settlement and a representative of Israel's religious settlers.
Here you go, Benny Elon at YouTube. Sein Parteimitglied: Israelis living in the West Bank should ignore the law and continue to build in their communities in a show of civil disobedience to the government-ordered construction freeze, MK Arye Eldad (National Union-National Religious Party) said Sunday.

Mehr von Rechts? Bitte: If negotiations with the Palestinians touch on Israel's thorny 'core issues' it would constitute sufficient grounds for Israel Beiteinu to leave the coalition, Strategic Affairs Minister and the party's chairman Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Radio Sunday.

Wieder Arbeit gespart: Die Aussenminister der Arabischen Liga haben sich für die Wahl von General Michel Suleiman zum neuen Staatspräsidenten im Libanon ausgesprochen. Und was das bedeutet findet sich hier: A Lebanon agreement seems to be emerging that would give the Maronite president more power than he has had since the Taif Agreement of 1989 empowered the Sunni Prime Minister at the expense of the Maronites. Arab ministers meeting in Cairo yesterday announced that they had arrived at an agreement, which would involve two important steps. 1. The first step is the immediate passage of a constitutional amendment to allow Michel Suleiman to become President. 2. The second stop is to be the formation of nation unity government. As we know, the nature of such a national unity government has been contested over the last year and has been the major point of contention between the opposition and parliamentary majority. Hizbullah and Aoun have demanded a blocking third of the cabinet, which has been unacceptable for the March 14 bloc. [...] Besser gehts nicht.

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