In der Westbank werden am heutigen Mittwoch 26 Verhaftungen bei mehreren Operationen gemeldet. Im Gazastreifen konzentrieren sich leichte Gefechte um den Kissufim-Crossing, der von palästinensischen Milizen beschossen wird.
Die mit großem Popanz angekündigte heutige Sitzung des Israelischen Sicherheitskabinetts sorgt für Erheiterung: The military operations will continue to target areas from which rockets are fired as well as terrorist organizations and Hamas institutions in the Strip, and specific targets will be approved by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. [...] The security cabinet decision, as conveyed by the Prime Minister's Bureau, does not mention increased military operations or a major invasion of the Gaza Strip. [Im Fachjargon "Handlungsunfähig" genannt.] Drei kleine Eklats am Rande: 1. The ministers also decided that it would coordinate with various elements, including Egypt, in order to weaken the Hamas government without creating a humanitarian crisis. [Da wird sich aber Mubarak freuen die Aufgabe eines Regimechange übertragen bekommen zu haben.] 2. Vice Premier Haim Ramon abstained, claiming that the resolution was inadequate. Israel, he said, should declare a unilateral ceasefire, and announce that in the case of a Kassam attack the IDF will open fire on the source and Gaza will be cut off from all supplies, including gas and electricity. 3. Die "Katyusha-Schmiere" wird immer alberner. Am Morgen beschießt die PFLP mit zwei Qassams den Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Die Raketen fliegen zu weit: "two hit open areas south of Ashkelon" [JPost]. Unser mittlerweile guter alter Freund Barak Ravid macht daraus ein zünftiges "Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired two Grad-type Katyusha rockets at the southern city of Ashkelon on Wednesday, as the security cabinet met in Jerusalem and voted to press onward with military operations against Hamas." [Wichtigtuerischer Lügenbeutel.]
Israel has asked U.N. aid agencies how long it would take them to set up "humanitarian corridors" from Egypt to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in the event of a broad Israeli offensive, Israeli officials said on Tuesday. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the assessments were part of Israel's stepped up "contingency planning" should such an operation be ordered to try to stop cross-border rocket fire by militants. [...] U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Israelis and Palestinians on Wednesday to get back to peace negotiations interrupted by violence in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Rice met Palestinian negotiators Ahmed Qurie and Saeb Erekat and was due to see Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on the last day of a two-day visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank. [...] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that peace talks cannot resume until Israel agrees to a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, as visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Palestinian peace negotiators in an effort to persuade them to return to the negotiating table.
Former Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan has denied a report published in Vanity Fair magazine that he co-planned a US-backed effort to overthrow the democratically elected Hamas-led government in 2007. Dahlan told Ma'an that the administration of US President George W. Bush did not offer political support to the Palestinian Authority during his tenure as Palestinian national security advisor.
Iran is arming Hezbollah with missiles sent via Turkey, according to intelligence received in Israel. Turkish authorities are unaware of the arms shipments, which are in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 that brought an end to the Second Lebanon War. A senior Israeli government source said that Brigadier General Yossi Beiditz, head of the Israel Defense Forces research department, last week told European Union ambassadors in a briefing that Iran continues to transfer arms and equipment to Hezbollah, in spite of Tehran's denials. Some of the weapons include long-range missiles that are being transfered through flights using Turkey's airspace, as well as overland though Turkey, under the guise of civilian cargo. From Turkey, the missiles are transfered to Syria and then Lebanon. Turkey has not permitted the use of its territory for such transfers.
Die Irren sterben nicht aus: Tempers flared Wednesday during Knesset plenary session when National Union MK Effie Eitam told Arab MKs that "one day we will expel you from this house, and from the national home of the Jewish people." Eitam expressed his anger at Tuesday's rally in Umm al-Fahm, where demonstrators chanted slogans calling Israel "a Zionazi state" and urging "Gaza martyrs" to carry on with their struggle.