Israel and the United States are coordinating the release of details on the air force strike in Syria last September, which foreign reports claim targeted a nuclear installation Syria was constructing withe North Korean assistance. American officials may reveal details of the strike later this month during congressional hearings. [...] The possibility of details being made public has also contributed to the mutual suspicions between the PMO and the Defense Minister's Bureau. In political circles it is now commonly accepted that the release of details of the attack may help bolster the public image of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Some politicians have offered assessments that Olmert may decide to lift the curtain on details of the attack close to the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence, in early May. Other political sources say that the American revelations on this matter will not result in a change in Israel's censorship policy, and insist that Olmert will not discuss the subject of the attack during holiday interviews. The hearings at the House Intelligence Committee may be held in the coming weeks. Congressmen have included in the bill on the intelligence budget that American intelligence agencies will not be given large portions of their budget unless they reveal in full the details of the strike in Syria and the nuclear cooperation between Pyongyang and Damascus. [Ein Punkt fehlt: Verschiedene Kongreßkreise streuen derzeit das Gerücht das die Saudis von einer rein friedlichen Nutzung der Kernenergie in der Zukunft abrücken wollen. Die Zielrichtung dieser Spekulation läuft eben in die syrische Richtung, wobei davon ausgegangen werden muß daß keine atomare Anlage zerstört wurde. Naturalisierung möglicher syrischer Atomarbestrebungen durch die Beschwörung eines für Israel aufgrund der Kampfausrüstung der Saudis weitaus gefährlicheren Potentials. Ein demokratisches Schachspiel, da die Budgets durch die kommende Regierung übernommen werden müssen und nicht absehbar ist ob eine republikanische Sub-Regierung über die Budgets die Handlungsfreiheit der Demokraten maßgeblich beeinflußt.]
[Während die Ergebnisse der Wahlen zu einem neuen Fatah-Vorsitzenden in Bethlehem noch auf sich warten lassen...] About three weeks ago, the Palestinian interior minister, General Abdel Razak al-Yahya, arrived in the Jordanian village of Giftlik to visit the training camp of the "special second battalion" of the Palestinian National Security force. Yahya gathered all 620 soldiers and officers belonging to the first PNS battalion to undergo training under an American program and Jordanian guidance - the first supposedly elite unit of what used to be viewed as the Palestinian Authority's army. "Your duty is not to any organization or party, but only to the Palestinian Authority," Yahya told them, wird schon mal anderswo die israelische Beersion der Gewaltenteilung als nützlich erachtet. [Erstaunlich.]
Avi Issacharof trifft ... "When you see Zakariya, maybe you'll be surprised, but he looks like just any other Palestinian man now. Without armed men, without a weapon, just an ordinary guy," related an acquaintance of Zakariya Zubeidi, until not long ago the commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Jenin. Though Zubeidi is no longer hiding from the Israel Defense Forces, for a number of hours the people at the theater where he works tried to find him. Zubeidi didn't answer his mobile phone even when the commander of the Palestinian security forces in Jenin, Suleiman Umran, called him. In the end, a woman who works at the theater explained that he usually sleeps late and maybe that's what he was doing. [...] Veteran Fatah officials in Ramallah warned over the weekend that some of their "young guard" colleagues were planning to stage a "coup" against the faction's leadership. [Dieses Mal ein guter Artikel von Toameh]
In the face of Iran's continued race towards nuclear power, as well as growing tensions with Syria, the Israel Air Force will hold an exercise in the coming weeks to test the Arrow missile defense system's capability in tracking an advanced Iranian Shihab 3, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The test will be held over the next few weeks and will test the capabilities of the Green Pine Radar - an integral part of the Arrow missile defense system - as it tracks a missile made by Rafael - called Black Sparrow - that mimics an upgraded version of Iran's Shihab 3 ballistic missile. [...] Labor Party Minister and former Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon on Saturday said Israel had no intention of attacking Syria, but said that "tensions on the northern border could lead to mistakes on both sides." [Could lead?] In face of increased tensions with Syria and Iran's efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon, parts of the country will shut down later this week for what security officials say is the largest emergency exercise in Israel's history. ... Ich sage ja: Die PR in dieser Geschichte ist äußerst schwach. Barak hat mittlerweile sogar "Angst" vor UAVs. vor Yoel Marcus, "A state or a circus?"
Raghida Dergham, "Will Media Escalation Lead to an Unexpected War in the Region?": Frightening are recent reports of militias in Iraq and Lebanon being equipped and reinforced, of military preparations and maneuvers taking place, as well as of advanced surveillance installations being set up in a number of countries in the region, primarily Israel, Syria and Iran. There are spider-web threads between the various players and events that may help prevent direct wars. However, there are also high odds that the spark of a battle could lead to unexpected wars. For instance, it may not be at the core of Iran's strategy to encourage Hezbollah in Lebanon to avenge the death of its military commander Imad Mughniyeh, assassinated in the heart of Damascus. Nevertheless, by the end of this week, Syrian authorities will announce who they believe is behind the assassination, and it is expected that they will accuse Israeli Intelligence, the Mossad. Syrian military preparations, including the mobilization of security forces and an increase in the number of troops near the border with Lebanon's Western Beqaa Valley, coincide with announcing the results of the investigation of Mughniyeh's assassination. Such developments entail the risk of matters getting out of control, either for Iran or others, especially as reports indicate that Palestinian factions similar to Fath al-Islam, as well as other cells and networks comparable to and allied with al-Qaeda, operating in Lebanon have increased their capabilities. It seems that Iran's strategy in Iraq is based on taking the necessary steps to transform southern Iraq into an arena for pro-Iranian militias or into a federal state with an organic relationship with Iran. This is why Iran has been stimulating Shiite Iraqi militias, either to bring these militias to power through the upcoming provincial elections in October, or in anticipation of US military operations that President Bush is expected to conduct. It requires that Iran focus its efforts on southern Iraq to prevent supplies from reaching American troops. ....
Patriotism may be the latest weapon in Israel's war on drugs. A new media campaign conceived by Anti-Drug Authority head Col. (res.) Eliezer "Cheetah" Cohen is trying to explain to Israelis that drug use, whether "recreational" or a full-blown addiction, provides a substantial source of funds for anti-Israel terror networks. "When you buy drugs, you're part of the chain," explained a spokesman for the authority, which has operated since 1988 under the Prime Minister's Office. Israel's heroin, he noted, "comes from Lebanon, and you can't smuggle drugs in the North without being involved with Hizbullah. This [trade] funds terror cells within Israel and espionage against Israel. This is funding Hizbullah's activities." Israel's drug trade is estimated at some NIS 7 billion annually, including some three tons of cocaine, four tons of heroin and 20 million Ecstasy and LSD tablets. Only a tiny fraction - single-digit percentages - are intercepted by law enforcement forces. [Das fällt denen aber früh auf.]
Das neue Buch von David Grossmann. Akiva Eldar special über Yuli Tamir.