Ein weiterer Hamas-Polizist verstirbt in einem Krankenhaus an den am Vortag erlittenen Verletzungen. Während des Freitags beteiligen sich sämtliche palästinensischen Milizen mit Ausnahme der al-Aqsa am Beschuß mehrheitlich ziviler Ziele auf israelischem Boden. Während wohl fünf Qassam-Raketen in Richtung Ashkelon abgefeuert werden sind 17 entlang des Grenzstreifens zu verzeichnen. Seit dem Angriff auf die Polizeistation von Khan Younis sind etwa 70 Qassam-Raketen und weitere 70 Mörsergranatenangriffe von palästinensischen milizen verübt worden. Eine organisierte Gegenoffensive zeichnet sich trotz israelischen Truppeneinsätzen in allen neuralgischen Punkten des Gazastreifens nicht ab. [During a small-scale ground operation in Gaza on Thursday, the IDF uncovered underground tunnels used by militants to conceal rocket launchers used to attack southern Israel. The makeshift, primitive silos are meant to hide the Qassams from the surveillance drones of the IDF flying overhead. Israeli security sources said that this kind of operational know-how was taught to Palestinians from Hezbollah.] Als momentan einzige Maßnahme wird eine Kürzung der Elektrizitätslieferungen um ein MW von 124 veröffentlicht. [Vermutlich werden Lagebreichte gerade zensiert. Das läßt für das Wochenende noch Schlimmes vermuten. Amos Harel, "The rocket barrages against communities inside Israel and the Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip that have left at least 16 Palestinians dead over the past three days all point in one direction: Following many weeks of being kept on ice, the likelihood of a major military operation in the Gaza Strip is once more at the forefront. In recent months it seemed that the major IDF operation (which had been discussed sporadically for about a year and a half) had been dropped from the agenda. There were a number of reasons for this.]
Egypt boosted troop security along the volatile border with Gaza on Friday, a security official said, following an alleged threat by Hamas that the group would stage kidnappings of Egyptian troops if its militants arrested in the Sinai were not released. The remarks came amid stepped-up rhetoric by Egypt against Gaza's Hamas rulers, reflecting Cairo's growing frustration in the wake of the 12-day breach of its frontier with Gaza and the ensuing border chaos. [...] At least 10 trucks with humanitarian aid sent to the Gaza Strip by the Jordanian Red Crescent Society were confiscated by Hamas police shortly after the trucks entered the territory on Thursday evening, according to aid officials in Jerusalem. Eight trucks had food products and another two had medicines. They were reportedly taken to Hamas-run ministries.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad predicts that a final peace agreement will not be signed by the end of 2008, Israel Radio reported on Friday. Speaking during a visit in Texas, Fayad said that the peace talks were not advancing at the necessary pace, and this was mainly due to Israel's negligence in dismantling illegal settlements and outposts in the West Bank. [...] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said negotiations are continuing on all permanent status issues between Ahmed Qure'i, the head of the Palestinian negotiating team and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. The Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Hayah Al-Jadidah reported on Friday said that Abbas is ready to work on a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza. [...] International Middle East envoy Tony Blair said Thursday that Palestinian security forces had significantly improved and were starting to carry out their part in a long-stalled road map peace plan.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will arrive here [in Berlin] on Sunday for a two-day visit that will serve as either a defining moment in Israeli-German relations or as an empty round of diplomatic gestures. As the first meeting between Olmert and Chancellor Angela Merkel since the release of the American National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran's nuclear program two months ago, the visit is likely to be overshadowed by that subject. The NIE asserts that Iran discontinued its nuclear weapons program in 2003, whereas Israeli intelligence suggests that Iran persists in its drive to develop a nuclear bomb. [...] Syria has successfully developed a new surface-to-surface missile that would enable it to target Israeli installations such as airports, ports and factories with greater accuracy, according to briefings recently presented to senior ministers. According to the information, Syria developed the new missile with Iranian support, which is a further indication of the tight strategic bonds between the two countries. Much of these strategic ties revolve around military and intelligence cooperation. [...] Iran has started building a second atomic power plant, Tehran's ambassador to Russia, Gholamreza Ansari, was quoted as saying on Friday by Itar-Tass news agency. [...] Iran has begun to deploy a new generation of machinery to produce nuclear fuel, a development bound to intensify a roiling debate in Washington about whether a recent National Intelligence Estimate accurately portrayed Tehran's progress toward the ability to build a nuclear weapon.
SZ: Reise nach Jerusalem - Im März wird Kanzlerin Merkel eine Ehre zuteil, die sonst Staatsoberhäuptern vorbehalten ist: Sie darf vor der Knesset sprechen. Doch die Koalition ist uneins, wer mit Merkel nach Israel fliegen soll.
The leader of Lebanon's pro-Western majority in parliament said on Thursday the country was in direct confrontation with Syria and Iran, which back the Hezbollah opposition group in its conflict with the Beirut government. Saad al-Hariri, whose coalition is supported by the United States, said Syria and Iran and "their local tools" were seeking to "impose a terror, security and political siege" on Lebanon. "If our fate is confrontation, then we are for it," he said. [...] Syria is not allowing arms to be smuggled through its territory into Lebanon, the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat quoted on Friday a senior official as saying. "Syria controls the border," the official was reported to have told Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik during her visit to Damascus in recent days. "All weapons smuggling to Lebanon is not conducted through the Syria-Lebanon border, but rather through the sea."
Veranstaltungshinweis für Washinton.
Leon Wieseltier special in der Washington Post.
New Revelations on the Opinions of Youth, Women and Educated Palestinians
Date posted: February 06, 2008 - By Arab World for Research and Development
# Youth and the Educated Palestinians are Becoming Less Supportive of Hamas and More Supportive of Fateh
# Women are still more Supportive of Hamas
Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) had conducted an opinion poll dated 16-18 January 2008 after and during the latest Gaza attacks. A representative sample, of 3200 Palestinians, was interviewed in all West Bank and Gaza districts. The main results were published on January the 23rd showing a decline in the support for Fateh and a slight increase in the support for Hamas. One must note that the latest attacks on Gaza influenced Palestinian views on most issues. Other important factors in this poll were gender, age and education that are clearly correlated with political attitudes. During the last decade, various polls had shown that women, youth and educated Palestinians comprised the main bulk of support for Hamas. This poll shows major shifts, where these groups do not seem to be as supportive of the movement as traditionally believed. The opposite is true for Fateh that seems to have made gains among young and educated respondents, but still lagging behind among women.