Als Antwort auf verschiedene Angriffe seitens palästinensischer Milizen auf israelische Grenzstädte zum Gazastreifen tötet die israelische Armee im Verlauf des Dienstag fünf Personen. Am Morgen hatte eine Einheit des Islamic Jihad die Stadt Sderot mit zwei [drei] Raketen unter Beschuß genommen. Nach unterschiedlichen Angaben soll ein zügiger Luftangriff die ausführende Einheit getroffen haben [IDF], wobei allerdings ein 13-Jähriger getötet und zwei weitere Zivilpersonen verletzt werden, so das die palästinensische Seite von einer Ansammlung von Zivilisten spricht. Auf ähnluiche Art und Weise wird kurz danach ein palästinensischer Landwirt von einer Tankgranate vor Beit Lahia getroffen und getötet. Sein Sohn wird durch einen Kopfschuß schwer verletzt. [IDF: Bewaffnete wurden unter Feuer genommen, Kollateralschaden.] Bei Juhor ad-Dik wird erneut ein Zivilist durch eine spätere IAF-Rakete verletzt. Am Nachmittag wird der Vorort Zaytoun durch israelische Artillerie beschossen: Zwei Tote, darunter ein Hamasnik und weitere fünf Verletzte. Israelische Aktionen werden auch aus Maghazi gemeldet. Gegen Mittag beschießen DFLP mit zwei Raketend den Kissufim-Militärkomplex und die PRC die Stadt Sderot. Etwas später beteiligen sich auch PFLP und Fatah, drei Raketen werden auf Ashkelon und Sderot abgeschossen. Es soll am Karni-Crossing und im "nördlichen" Gazasreifen zu weiteren Luftwaffeneinsätzen gekommen sein, die keine unmittelbaren Opfer forderten. Trotz dieser Ereignisse sind die Möglichkeiten für eine grundsätzliche Einigung über eine Feuerpause eher gestiegen: The cease-fire (tahdiyeh) being negotiated between Israel and the Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip is expected to go into effect in a number of days, following developments at the end of meetings held by Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Sharm el-Sheikh on Monday with the Egyptian leadership. The Egyptian Chief of Intelligence, General Omar Suleiman, who has been mediating between the parties, is scheduled to meet Tueday with the heads of the Palestinian factions in the Strip. Israel is waiting to learn from Suleiman whether the Palestinian groups, headed by Hamas, will agree to an unofficial deal on a cessation of terrorist activities in the strip, in return for an end to IDF attacks. + A senior Egyptian official said on Tuesday night that Israel had accepted in principle a proposal for a truce in the Gaza Strip, according to the official MENA news agency. "Israeli leaders [have informed us] of their support for and understanding of the Egyptian proposals for a truce," the news agency quoted the unidentified official as saying. It added that Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman had relayed the news to a Hamas delegation from Gaza earlier in the day. [...] Seven municipal leaders from Israel's south sent a harsh letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Tuesday, urging him to act against ongoing rocket attacks sustained by southern communities. ... Mittlerweile wird auch gegen den Bürgermeister von Sderot wegen sexual harrassment ermittelt... AP-Bericht: Despite violence, Israeli officials say Gaza cease-fire is close. Und latest: Israel is preparing for the possibility that efforts to secure a lull agreement vis-à-vis Hamas will fail, prompting the IDF to embark on a wide-scale military operation against Gaza terrorists. Senior officials in Jerusalem said Tuesday night that following the planned meeting in Cairo between Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman and Hamas representatives, as well as members of other Gaza terror groups, the National Security Cabinet is expected to decide whether Israel will be heading to a ceasefire or embarking on a military operation.
Ein anderer und hoffentlich etwas realistischerer Durchbruch: Rival Lebanese leaders were close to agreeing a deal on Wednesday to end 18 months of political conflict that has pushed their country to the brink of a new civil war. A senior Lebanese opposition official at the crisis talks in Doha said a deal resolving disputes over a parliamentary election law and how to divide seats in a new cabinet would be announced imminently. "We are very close to the announcement of a deal," Ali Hassan Khalil, an MP and a senior aide to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, told Reuters on the sidelines of the Arab-mediated talks in Doha. Zuvor: Talks between rival Lebanese political leaders in Qatar made progress on the composition of a national unity government on Tuesday, but the shape of a new electoral law remained a key stumbling block. After agreeing to adopt the qada (or smaller district) as the basis for constituencies, the parties remained at odds over how to divide Beirut.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has detained dozens of people in the West Bank city of Bethlehem as a part of a security clampdown in advance of the Palestine Investment Conference, which opens on Wednesday, various Palestinian sources said. Two sources in the Palestinian security forces, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that approximately 30 people had been detained and are being held in the Muqata'a, the government headquarters in Bethlehem. [...] U.S. officials said on Tuesday they aim to address economic roadblocks in the Palestinian territories -- including actual Israeli roadblocks and security risks -- at an investment conference in Bethlehem this week. The Palestine Investment Conference will include announcements of hundreds of millions of dollars in public-private business grants, loan guarantees, venture capital funds and affordable mortgages to spur the Palestinian economy, officials from the U.S. delegation told a news briefing. "The conference is intended to spur investor interest in the Palestinaian Territorites by showcasing business opportunities and projects ready to be launched," said Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt, who is heading the U.S. delegation. [...] Mazen Sinokrot wants foreigners invited by the Palestinian government to an investor conference this week to get the right idea -- so he'll be publicly taking delivery of $12 million in business funding. When the conference starts in Bethlehem on Wednesday, his family conglomerate will sign a deal with a local investment group to fund a turkey processing unit. The deal was in the works anyway, but Sinokrot wants to drive home the message in public that there are Palestinian businesses worth investing in. "There is an opportunity now to do business in Palestine," the chairman of Sinokrot Global Group said, adding that his own new poultry venture could create 600 jobs. [Es dürfte wenig überraschen das der Mann Fatah-Minister für Wirtschaft gewesen ist. Im Übrigen verantwortlich in der disengagement-Zeit.] Investors began to trickle into the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Tuesday as organizers put the finishing touches on arrangements for the Palestine Investment Conference. [...] Israelisches Störfeuer hält sich weitgehend zurück. Nach dem die Identität des gestern am Huwwara-Checkpoint erschossenen Pipebomträgers geklärt wurde wird er den "Battalions of Struggle and Return" zugerechnet, einer Al-Aqsa-Abspaltung die verantwortlich für mehrere Messerangriffe zeichnet, darunter dem mit Todesfolge für einen israelischen Wachmann am 24.01.08 an einem Checkpoint in Shuafat/Jerusalem.
The Supreme Court Tuesday rejected Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's bid to block a key witness from giving a deposition in a corruption probe against him. [...] Assemblyman Dov Hikind said on Monday that he saw then-Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert take an envelope full of cash following a Brooklyn fundraiser for the New Jerusalem Foundation in the 1990s.
The top uniformed US military officer told Congress Tuesday that Iran is directly jeopardizing peace in Iraq, prompting fresh calls from senators that the US pursue diplomatic talks with Teheran. Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that "irresponsible actions" by Iran's Revolutionary Guard "directly jeopardize" peace in Iraq. "Restraint in our response does not signal lack of resolve or capability to defend ourselves against threats," Mullen told the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. [...] The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation on Tuesday allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for limiting oil supplies and working together to set crude prices, but the White House threatened to veto the measure. The bill would subject OPEC oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela, to the same antitrust laws that U.S. companies must follow. [...] The White House on Tuesday flatly denied an Army Radio report that claimed US President George W. Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term. It said that while the military option had not been taken off the table, the administration preferred to resolve concerns about Iran's push for a nuclear weapon "through peaceful diplomatic means."
Manche fragen sich bei solchen Ergebnissen [Iceland is the world's most peaceful nation while Israel ranked 136th out of 140 nations, according to the "Global Peace Index," compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit.] warum das so ist. Die Antowrt ist recht einfach: Orthodox Jews have burned hundreds of New Testaments in the latest act of violence against Christian missionaries in Israel. Uzi Aharon, the deputy mayor of the central Israeli town of Or Yehuda, says he got into a loudspeaker car last Thursday and urged people to turn over hundreds of New Testaments and missionary material recently distributed by missionaries. Verrückte bekommen immer Bonuspunkte.