Defense Minister Ehud Barak has warned Syria through Turkish mediation that the Israel Defense Forces is planning to escalate its military operations against Hezbollah and Hamas, the London-based daily Al-Hayyat reported on Thursday. On his visit to Turkey last week, Barak asked Turkish President Abdullah Ghoul to urge Syrian President Bashar Assad to adopt a different stance toward Hezbollah, according to Al-Hayyat. The defense minister reportedly informed Turkey of Israel's intentions to widen its operation in Gaza and asked the Turkish leader to consider sending troops on an international mission to Gaza geared toward ending Qassam rocket fire and protecting the border. This multi-national force will comprise representatives from Qatar, Malaysia and Jordan, according to the report. [...] During the visit, Barak's hosts asked him toe extend by three years the work permits of 800 Turkish construction workers in Israel as part of the security deals between the two countries. The government will be asked to approve the request on Sunday. Barak is expected to make it clear that Israel has no choice but to implement its commitment to the Turks, and officials at his office expected the proposal to be approved without objections. The agreement is a continuation of the "Turkish Tank" deal, which includes an upgrade of Turkish tanks by the Israeli Military Industry in exchange for $700 million. [...] Die Kriegserklärung an die Hezbollah über Assad zu schicken und die Türken als Dienstboten zu verwenden darf als Märchen angesehen werden. Das man über die Fragen de Libanon Gespräche geführt hat ist sicher. Die türkische Meditation verläuft über US-Amerikanische Kanäle ab, die zwar von Israel mitgetragene Konstanten wie die Einstellung der Unterstützung der Hezbollah beinhalten aber derzeit nicht von Israel mitgeprägt werden. Die Kleinkrämerei mit einem türkischen Bauarbeiterkontingent und Waffendeals zeige ich damit man sieht wie tief angesetzt die eigentlichen diplomatischen Beziehungen sind. Al-Hayat bedient sich hier der historischen Fundgrube der End-Neunziger als Ehud Barak als Ministerpräsident sehr wohl die türkische Vermittlung nutzte und man doch sehr nahe an Friedensverhandlungen stand. Damals, zum "einsamsten aller israelischen Ministerpräsidenten" gekürt weil er alles alleine regeln wollte mögen solche Aktionen noch möglich gewesen sein. Der Lernprozeß, ersichtlich in vielen Bereichen vor allem im innenpolitischen einschätzen der Wingrad-Situation wird durch den al-Hayat-Bericht negiert. Es darf vermutet werden das es momentan eher im syrischen Interesse liegt sich über solche kleinen Propaganda-Stückchen [die niemandem weh tun] sich nach dem Desaster um Mughinyehs Tötung auf offener Damaskus-Straße wichtig zu machen. Ob Assad wirklich den Israelis derzeit so wichtig ist das man ihm Depechen schickt darf hier ernsthaft angezweifelt werden.
Tzipi Livnis Ausfälle in der Öffentlichkeit nehmen langsam ein Besorgnis erregendes Ausmaß an: Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said on Thursday that the Palestinian people had no future under Hamas, adding that Israel would continue its campaign against the terror created by the Islamist group. Livni met Thursday with her Romanian counterpart, amid mounting international pressure on Israel over its handling of the situation in the Gaza Strip. "Europe must realize that Hamas is not an organization interested in the establishment of a Palestinian state," Livni said, following the talks with Romanian Foreign Minister Adrian Cioroianu. "It is not asking for Palestinian rights, but rather wants to take rights away from others." She added: "All the indirect support for Hamas - even if made through discussions on opening border crossings or on the humanitarian situation - only weakens those interested in reaching an agreement. Es dürfte außer Zweifel sein das sie sich mit "those intrested in reaching an agreement" nicht gemeint haben kann: Israeli forces on Thursday morning apprehended 23 Palestinians from different West Bank districts, claiming they were 'wanted activists.' Ma'an's correspondent in Nablus said that Israeli forces raided the northern West bank town of Beita south of Nablus, imposing a curfew and ransacking several homes before arresting 18 Palestinians. Fierce clashes erupted between Palestinian citizens and the invading Israeli forces who fired gunshots, sonic bombs and tear gas canisters injuring 17-year-old Hussain Sabri. He was shot in the shoulder and was taken to hospital. Israeli media sources said the army arrested 23 Palestinians in the West Bank overnight.
Israel denied 94 percent of the building permit requests West Bank Palestinians submitted over the past seven years, the anti-settlement Peace Now group reported Thursday. In all, 91 of 1,624 requested permits were approved, Peace Now said. By contrast, 18,472 apartments and homes were built between 2000 and September 2007 in Jewish West Bank settlements, the group said, citing Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics. Peace Now also said the army demolished 33 percent of the 4,993 cases of illegal Palestinian construction against which it issued demolition orders. By contrast, 7 percent of the 2,900 cases of illegal settler construction that drew demolition orders were torn down, the group said. The data demonstrate "clear and conspicuous discrimination against the Palestinian population," Peace Now said.
If we don’t want to destroy Sderot we must destroy the Palestinian town of Beit Hanoun, Safed's Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu ruled Wednesday following the ongoing Qassam rocket fire targeting the southern Israeli town. "We don’t have to kill the people living there, but we must definitely destroy Beit Hanoun," he added.
MK Michael Melchior (Labor-Meimad) knew of Hamas' plans to breach the Gaza-Egypt border some 48 hours before it occurred, yet did not notify Israel Defense Forces officials, according to an Army Radio report released on Thursday.
Israel Harel, "Kosovo's declaration of independence has sparked concern in certain circles in Israel. The day may not be far off when the Arabs of Galilee start clamoring for political independence, too. In recent years, many of them have been cutting themselves off, psychologically and physically, from the Jewish-democratic State of Israel. The Muslims of Kosovo constitute an absolute majority of the population, and the same is true for the Galilee Arabs. Quite a few Jews have been leaving the Galilee, especially since October 2000, and not many are joining the sparse Jewish population there, despite an array of financial incentives. The events in Kosovo have triggered memories of the thousands who took part in the violence in Wadi Ara in 2000, blocking major traffic arteries and cutting off access to Jewish communal settlements in an outbreak of rioting that coincided with Yasser Arafat's war of terror. ..." +++ Internet use is growing in the Arab sector, but so is the digital gap in comparison with Israeli Jews according to two new studies that are to be presented at the yearly convention of the Israel Internet Association to be held at the Kfar Maccabiah Hotel in Ramat Gan at the end of the month.
Nadav Shragai, "The Lies of Jerusalem": Ehud Olmert doesn't need a secret channel in order to conduct negotiations on Jerusalem. Whether or not Vice Premier Haim Ramon is talking to Palestinian adviser Mohammed Rashid about the future of the city, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is speaking about it to Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia, with Olmert's authority and permission, openly rather than under the table. Livni herself said as much in a meeting with foreign diplomats over a week ago. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reported this to European lawmakers who visited him in Ramallah two weeks ago. Even in the apparent letter of denial sent to Jerusalem municipal opposition leader Nir Barkat by Livni, a member of his own party, the foreign minister confirmed that all the core issues, as agreed upon in Annapolis, were already being discussed - adding the excuse that "until everything has been decided, nothing has been decided."