Nach einerem report der Maan-Agentur haben israelische Grenztruppen zwei Palästinenser an der Sinai-Grenze zu Ägypten getötet. Es soll sich um mutmaßliche Terroristen handeln.
Residents of the northern border communities near Lebanon rallied Wednesday in protest of the treasury's decision to cut their tax benefits, carrying signs reading "Israel has declared Jihad on the North." Dozens of residents from Kiryat Shmona and Metula gathered at 'the Good Fence' on the Lebanese border and began marching towards Kiryat Shmona. They briefly blocked the entrance to the city as well.
Thema des Tages war die Ermordung von Imad Mughniyeh, doch gibt es wie zu erwarten viele Theorien und wenig Neues: Syria's Interior Minister Brig. Gen. Bassam Abdul-Majid confirmed Wednesday that a Damascus explosion killed senior Hizbullah member Imad Mughniyeh, the state-run news agency SANA reported. It was the first official comment from Syria since Tuesday night's explosion in the Damascus neighborhood of Kfar Sousse. The agency quoted Abdul-Majid as saying an investigation into the blast was under way. "The ongoing investigation over the car bomb in the residential Kfar Sousse neighborhood last night has proven that it targeted Lebanese combatant Imad Mughniyeh," SANA said, quoting Abdul-Majid. "Syria condemns this cowardly terrorist act," SANA quoted Abdul-Majid as saying. [...] The fact that Mughniyeh was killed just before Hariri's anniversary “means that there could be demonstrations by Hezbollah supporters today and tomorrow,'' Ted Karasik, senior political scientist at the Rand Corp. consulting company, said in an interview today. “He was killed in order to ignite confrontation on streets.'' Allerdings hat der March14-Führer Siniora neben anderen demonstrativ kondoliert. Trotzdem könnte es hoch hergehen: After announcing the assassination, Hizbullah urged its supporters and those of other parties in the opposition March 8 Forces coalition to attend a funeral for Mughniyeh in the southern Beirut suburb of on Thursday afternoon. The funeral comes on the same day as a mass rally called by the ruling March 14 camp in Downtown Beirut to mark the third anniversary of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's assassination. The timing prompted concerns that conflict could break out between large numbers of opposition and government supporters using the same road to travel to the capital from the Bekaa Valley, as well as from the Chouf.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday she planned to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority early next month to help both sides narrow their differences in Palestinian statehood talks. The administration headed by U.S. President George W. Bush is trying to get both Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a peace deal before Bush leaves office in January 2009, but talks that were launched in Annapolis last November have so far gotten off to a slow start. Rice told U.S. lawmakers that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were trying to continue their discussions "without much public glare" and the United States was doing everything it could to help. "I will probably return to the region at the beginning of March, senator, to see if we can help them," Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday evening assured Shas Chairman Eli Yishai that no secret talks on the division of Jerusalem were being held by anyone, referring to reports earlier Wednesday that secret talks were underway on core issues, including a plan to divide the capital. "Foreign Minister [Tzipi] Livni and I are supervising the negotiations together. There have so far been no agreements on the fate of Jerusalem," Army Radio quoted the prime minister as saying. Yishai also met with Cabinet secretary Oved Yehezkel Wednesday in regard to the escalation in the party's threats to quit the coalition. Shas has declared repeatedly that the division of Jerusalem signifies a 'red line' for the party and that they would leave the government should the issue be raised. Olmert's associates later reported that they believed that Shas had been appeased, and that following his meeting with the prime minister, Yishai was convinced that the division of Jerusalem was in fact not on the agenda for negotiations. Earlier Wednesday, Jerusalem's Municipal Board opposition leader Nir Bareket said that Vice Premier Haim Ramon and Fatah-linked Palestinian businessman Mohammed Rashid had agreed amongst themselves how Jerusalem should be divided, as part of secret talks the two have been conducting. Bareket maintained that he had been informed of these secret talks by senior political and security officials. Bareket added that Livni was well informed regarding the secret talks, and claimed that her refusal to expose these negotiations makes her an accomplice to the state's act of fraud, Army Radio reported.
Iran's new generation of advanced centrifuges have begun processing small quantities of the gas that can be used to make the fissile core of nuclear warheads, diplomats told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The diplomats emphasized that the centrifuges were working with only minute amounts of the uranium gas used as the feed stock for Iran's uranium enrichment program. And one of them said Teheran had set up only 10 of the machines - far too few to produce enriched uranium in the quantities needed for an industrial scale energy or a weapons program.
Isabel, Kershner: Two small boys lay sedated in a hospital ward in this Tel Aviv suburb, unaware of each other or of the growing commotion around them. One was Osher Twito, 8, an Israeli boy from the town of Sderot, who was seriously wounded Saturday by shrapnel from a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza. The other was Yakoub Natil, almost 7, a Palestinian who was brought here three weeks ago from Gaza City after he was badly hurt by shrapnel from an Israeli airstrike on Jan. 18.