Sonntag, 27. April 2008

Terror kills Two + IDF One

Bei einer Verhaftungsaktion im Gazastreifen in Beit Lahia wird die 14-jährige Mariam Marouf am Samstag Morgen getötet. Der Vater der getöteten, Talat Hassan Marouf, ein Hamas-Funktionär wurde verhaftet. Bei der Aktion mit mehreren Panzern und Luftunterstützung wurden weitere neun Personen verletzt, darunter drei schwer. Bei sporadischen Qassam-Raktenangriffen [Freitag vier, Samstag eine, Sonntag zwei] die allesamt dem Islamic Jihad zugeschrieben werden wird ein Friedhof im Süden Ashkelons getroffen und mehrere Gräber verwüstet. Am Sonntag Abend bricht in Sderot bei einem Treffer auf eine Gasleitung ein Feuer aus. [Verängstigender war dieser Vorfall in Ashkelon: Israeli citizens are accustomed to the sights and sounds of fighter planes soaring across the sky, but nothing could prepare Ashkelon's residents for the drama that took place against the backdrop of their city's otherwise blue skies on Sunday afternoon. Thousands of picnickers making the most of their Passover vacations at the beach and in a nearby national park were caught surprised to see an Air Force fighter jet diving to a significantly low altitude and proceed to carry out a series of flying maneuvers above their heads.] Am Samstag abend werden zwei unbewaffnete Plaästinenser am Kissufim Crossing festgenommen. Derweil gehen die internen Gespräche über den Sinn eines Waffenstillstandes mit Israel weiter: The Palestinian organizations are preparing for another round of talks in Egypt in regards to the offer for a truce with Israel. According to estimates, the parties will accept the proposal presented by Hamas leader Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar over the weekend. ... Abu Mujahed, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, told Ynet on Sunday that the different organizations tend to accept al-Zahar's offer in order to "ease the Palestinian people's lives," but stated that the blockade on Gaza must be lifted and that the truce must be mutual and apply to the West Bank as well. Israel is waiting for the results of talks between Hamas and other militant Palestinian groups in Cairo this Wednesday before it takes a position on a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Security officials have said that if Hamas cannot restrain the smaller groups, first and foremost Islamic Jihad, there will not be much point to the agreement. Without completely restraining the smaller groups, the firing of Qassam rockets from the Strip will soon resume, they say, as has happened in the past. + Exiled Hamas political leader Khalid Mash'al says that Hamas is open to a tactical truce with Israel, but is prepared to escalate violent attacks if Irael rejects an offer for a ceasefire. Mash'al made these comments during an interview with Al-Jazeera television after a day of meetings with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who has been mediating between Hamas and Israel. Mash'al said that his movement is still waiting on Egypt's official stance on the issue of a six-month ceasefire. + A delegation of leaders from the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) will travel to Cairo on Monday to meet with senior Egyptian officials to discuss efforts at mending the ongoing political split in internal Palestinian politics, a PFLP source said on Saturday. The delegation will include Abdul Rahim Mallouh, a member of the PFLP's executive committee, Deputy Secretary-General Maher At-Taher, Jamil Al-Majdalawi and Rabah Mhanna. + Another left-wing faction, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) also received an invitation from the Egyptian Government to attend talks in Cario. The DFLP will also send a delegation to Cairo on Monday. [...] In wie weit dieser Bericht der Wahrheit entspricht ist nicht feststellbar: Hamas militiamen in the Gaza Strip on Sunday attacked fuel trucks headed toward the Nahal Oz border crossing, forcing them to turn back, sources in the Palestinian Petroleum Authority said. The fuel was supposed to go to the UN Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA] and hospitals in the Gaza Strip, the sources said. "Dozens of Hamas militiamen hurled stones and opened fire at the trucks," the sources added. "The trucks were on their way to receive fuel supplied by Israel. The drivers were forced to turn back. Some of them had their windshields smashed." The Palestinian Petroleum Authority reached an agreement with Israel over the weekend to receive 250,000 liters of fuel after UNRWA complained that it did not have enough fuel to distribute food aid to more than 500,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry also accused Hamas of blocking fuel supplies to hospitals and clinics in the Gaza Strip. The ministry said Hamas gunmen opened fire at a number of trucks that were trying to transfer fuel to the hospitals and clinics. Eyewitnesses in Gaza City said that at least on four occasions over the past few weeks, Hamas militiamen confiscated trucks loaded with fuel shortly as they were on their way from Nahal Oz to the city. + Hamas' government in the Gaza Strip asked a striking Palestinian fuel association on Sunday to resume deliveries in the impoverished territory, a Hamas official said. + Médecins Sans Frontières' (MSF) medical activities in the Gaza Strip are being seriously hindered by a lack of fuel. Diesel and gasoline have been unavailable on the market for the past week. MSF teams have had to limit their visits to the most severely ill patients, who make up only one fifth of the patient population of MSF post-surgical care programs. This week, only half of the expected patients have been able to travel to MSF health facilities. There is a waiting list of 90 persons who have not yet received any health care. "The cessation of our activities may result in a severe deterioration of all of our patients' general state of health," explained Duncan McLean, MSF Head of Mission. "Currently, MSF is operating from its emergency stockpile and has no more than 10 days worth of fuel. Unless supplies resume, the situation may very quickly become tragic." + The acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Ahmad Bahar, appealed to the leaders of Arab States and the United Nations on Saturday to "to shoulder their historical and moral responsibilities [to relieve] the ongoing disaster in the life of the people due to the embargo imposed on the Gaza Strip" Palestinian lawmakers held a rally in front of the ambulance and emergency center in Gaza City in order to amplify their demand that the international community compel Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip. Most ambulances have been forced to stop running in Gaza due to a shortage of fuel resulting from the blockade. Bahar warned that a "catastrophic" humanitarian situation is looming in Gaza if thes siege continues. [...] Am Sonntag kommt es in der Zone vor Deir al-Balah zu israelischen Aktivitäten. Die Hamas zeigt sich sehr erfreut das die USA ihrer Praxis Menschenrechte auszuhebeln präsidialen Segen erteilt: The Geneva Conventions' ban on "outrages against personal dignity" does not automatically apply to terrorism suspects in the custody of U.S. intelligence agencies, the Justice Department has suggested to Congress in recent letters that lay out the Bush administration's interpretation of the international treaty. Lawyers for the department, offering insight into the legal basis for the CIA's controversial interrogation program, reasserted in the letters the Bush administration's long-held view that it has considerable leeway in deciding how the conventions' rules apply to the harsh questioning of combatants in the war on terrorism. Andere Beschlüsse erfreuen sie nicht sehr: Hamas expressed a vigorous objection on Sunday to resolutions passed in both houses of the United States Congress this week stating American support for Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. Warum das mit dem Waffenstillstand nichts wird? Pressure is picking up on Israel to reach a cease-fire deal with Hamas in the Gaza Strip ahead of US President George W. Bush's planned visit to Jerusalem in two weeks, defense officials told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. ... Hätten sich die USA rausgehalten, ... jetzt sinken die eh schon niedrigen Erwartungen auf unter 5%. Die Antowrt gibt: "Our mission in Gaza has not yet been completed and a period of difficult trials lies ahead," said Maj. Gen. Yoav Gallant on Sunday evening at a ceremony for Golani Brigade troops who took part in combat efforts against terror groups in the Gaza Strip over the past few months.

Ein mutmaßliches Mitglied des Islamic Jihad aus Tulkarm tötet vor der Nitzane Shalom Industrial Zone zwei Sicherheitsleute. Aus Tulkarem werden drei Verhaftungen gemeldet, die in Zusammenhang mit dem anschlag gebracht werden. Am Samstag schießen israelische Siedler aus Kfar Tappuah [Ultra-National] auf einen palästinensischen Piolizeischüler und verletzten ihn moderat. Am Sonntag kommt es zu mehreren IDF-Verhaftungswellen in Bethlehem, Kfar Qaddoum und in der Gegen Jenin. Fünf Verhaftungen werden notiert, viele Hausdruchsuchungen finden statt. IRIN reports: It was difficult for 87-year-old Jamil Khader to discover that nearly all of the 1,400 olive trees his extended family planted in February had suddenly gone missing, having been uprooted and stolen. ... Of the missing trees, 1,000 had been donated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which said Jeet and the neighbouring villages were especially vulnerable due to their limited land access and proximity to Israeli settlements. Am Samstag Abend wird ein palästinensischer Infiltrator am Hunnenschutzwall vor Elkana angeschossen und verhaftet. Über Bewaffnung des Mannes ist nichts bekannt. Am Sonntag beschießen al-Aqsa-Mitglieder einen Siedlerbus in der Gegen Ramallah. [...] The International Monetary Fund on Friday praised the Palestinian government for what it calls 'bold reforms' and said it was making strides toward fiscal sustainability. + Billions of aid dollars pledged to the Palestinians to bolster peace talks with Israel are having a muted economic impact because of Israeli restrictions on travel and trade, the World Bank said on Sunday. The lending agency told donor nations in a report that per capita income in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 2008 would be static, if not lower, despite the $7.7 billion in aid pledged to the Palestinians in December. The World Bank said modest gains in economic growth in the occupied West Bank, where Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas's government holds sway, were not sufficient to offset the "severe contraction" seen in Hamas-controlled Gaza. + The Palestinian economy won't grow this year, largely due to Israeli restrictions on movement and despite billions of dollars in aid meant to shore up support for peace talks, the World Bank predicted Sunday. + Tony Blair, der eigentlich Verantwortliche für das wirtschaftliche Desater bekommt einen Aufpasser aus Condis Riceauflauf mit Quarks Truppe: ternational Mideast envoy Tony Blair has tapped a senior US diplomat to run his office in Jerusalem. Blair's office says Robert Danin will serve as his new head of mission. Danin will take a leave from his current job as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs. Zur Personenbeschreibung von Danin dürfte dieses Zitat von der 2006er Herzliya-Konferenz ausreichen: "Liberal democracies are combating global terror. Terrorism in Israel is not new; however, the existence of global networks of extremists is new. After 9/11, the US and its allies entered a war on terror. It is a battle of arms and of ideas. It requires the use of military force. But to win the war, we must win the battle of ideas."

"Is it logical? A nuclear site did not have protection with surface to air defenses? A nuclear site within the footprint of satellites in the middle of Syria in an open area in the desert?" Assad told Qatar's al-Watan newspaper in an interview conducted before the U.S. accusations were made. At that stage, he was commenting on media reports that said the target was a nuclear site. "The truth is that the raid was at a military site under construction," Assad said in the interview. "We are against mass destruction weapons for Israel, Iran or others." [...] Scott Ritter: It looks as if Israel may, in fact, have had reason to believe that Syria was constructing, with the aid and assistance of North Korea, a facility capable of housing a nuclear reactor. The United States Central Intelligence Agency recently released a series of images, believed to have been made from a videotape obtained from Israeli intelligence, which provide convincing, if not incontrovertible, evidence that the "unused military building" under construction in eastern Syria was, in fact, intended to be used as a nuclear reactor. Syria continues to deny such allegations as false. [...] Israel would be open to participating in a senior-level meeting with the Syrians brokered by Turkey to test the waters for renewed peace negotiations, Israeli officials said on Sunday. Such a preliminary meeting between Israeli and Syrian representatives would be the next step in mediation efforts by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who held talks over the weekend with Syrian President Bashar al Assad, the officials said. [...] All this should have raised an alarm with the CIA that something nuclear was taking place in Syria. But according to U.S. media reports late last week, the Americans caught on only in Spring 2007, after receiving photographs of the reactor and its environs, which were taken by Israeli agents. The photographs, according to the reports, confirmed without a doubt that the site was a nuclear reactor. [...] Background Briefing with Senior U.S. Officials on Syria’s Covert Nuclear Reactor and North Korea’s Involvement We received indications in ’05 that the Syrians and North Koreans were involved in a project in the Dayr az Zawr region of eastern Syria, but again, no specific information on the nature or the exact location of the work. But you can see, as evidence mounts, more confident there is cooperation, more confident it involves nuclear-related people. [...] Größenbesprechung: Just How Big Was Al Kibar Again? [...] The United Nations nuclear monitoring agency on Friday slammed Israel for an Israel Air Forces strike last September on an alleged nuclear reactor in Syria. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said "the unilateral use of force by Israel as undermining the due process of verification that is at the heart of the nonproliferation regime," in a statement released Friday. [...] ISIS, still thinks: We measured the footprint of the Yongbyon reactor building and compared it to that of the suspected reactor building in Syria and found the two footprints were approximately the same.

News-Letter Landis.

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