|Israel Resource Review
||4th April, 2002
The Real War has Begun
Military Correspondent, Yediot Aharonot
What we saw up until now was just the preface, with a strong opening
chord in Ramallah. This war even has a new name, albeit not officially.
"This war should be called the 'war for the home," the chief of staff told
regular paratrooper soldiers before they left for the battle to conquer the
capital of Palestinian terror, the city of Nablus. And they sat facing him
in tense silence, with the knowledge that they were about to see fighting
that very few armies, including the IDF, had experienced: combat inside a
large, crowded city with tall buildings, with a casbah, with the radical
A-Najah University, which gave birth to a large number of the suicide
bombers, with the largest concentration of wanted men who know that the IDF
is on the way, and who have had enough time to prepare for it. "This is a
very crucial time," Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz told them, "and the
minister of history has summoned you to be participants in the battle for
our home. Each one of you understands the great responsibility on your
As of last night, the preliminary military operations were undertaken to
enable the reservists to get ready, put the units in order, complete the
battle orders and began the mission of completing the occupation of the
territories. Control over these areas is mainly by means of the regular
army units, who go from one sub-section to another. In the less problematic
places, the reservists are the ones who take control or help to do so. The
sub-sections in the West Bank, which until the most recent operation were
handled by brigades, are now being handled by three divisions. The West
Bank is saturated with army troops on a scale never seen before.
The IDF decided to work, in the first days of fighting, from the outside
inwards. First it entered Ramallah, Tulkarm, Kalkilya, Bethlehem. These
are cities that the IDF entered and exited recently, and they are already a
pretty squeezed lemon as far as combating terror infrastructure goes. The
addition of isolating Arafat is a political act, and the more time that
passes, its damage outweighs its benefits. The world is busy today dealing
with the question of how many pitas Arafat's besieged office ordered, and
not with the question of how many terror attacks this man is responsible for.
On Tuesday, we went up a grade. The reserve troops, meant both for
combat or as backup in case of military deterioration, became ready, and
the army began to deal thoroughly with Samaria, the heart of Palestinian
terror. On Tuesday the incursion into Jenin began. And last night was the
climax: the incursion into Nablus.
However, this climax may also signal the countdown of the diplomatic
clock. If this were just a conflict between ourselves and the
Palestinians, Israel could conquer the area and cleanse it, an act that
could last even several weeks without any real diplomatic pressure.
However, there was a change in the last 24 hours. The Egyptian
announcement of cutting diplomatic ties, which will most likely lead to a
similar Jordanian announcement, is a very worrisome signal, and it is still
unclear how it will develop. The heating up of the northern border and the
danger of this border burning within a few days may halt the military
operations in the territories.
The pressure from Europe and the UN on Israel is secondary. But with
the Americans worried about the rift with Egypt and a possible flare with
Syria, the IDF operations in the territories could be shortened to a week.
Israel needs more time to achieve its central goal of reducing the volume
So far, the operation has produced 1,000 Palestinians who were arrested.
Around 70 armed Palestinians were killed. Among those arrested are only a
few dozen major terror activists. At Jibril Rajoub's headquarters, for
example, while around 200 people did give themselves up, only 13 of them
were mid-level terror activists. The intelligence aspect and the
confiscation of weapons is important, but the thing that will put a stop to
the wave of suicide bombers and the reduction of terror is the number of
wanted men who are neutralized. We need a few dozen of such high-level
people and a few hundred mid-level ones to achieve this. And for that, the
IDF needs time.
This time can be obtained if there is no deterioration in the north, if
we don't do anything stupid in the territories, and if we are able to show
the Americans that we are getting direct results in the war on terror.
One result of the present war is already evident: The Palestinian
Authority, as we knew it, does not function and apparently no longer
exists. The big unknown is what sort of political creature Israel will
face the day after, in the hope that all the chilling predictions of a
fundamentalist mutation do not come true.
This article ran in Yediot Aharonot
on April 4th, 2002
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PA Funded Terror - Documents Seized from the Office of Yassir Arafat
Itamar Eichner and Roni Shaked
Senior Correspondents, Yediot Aharonot
This week, Israel revealed a document seized early this week
from the office of Fuad Shubaki, in charge of PA money matters,
proving that the PA funded terror attacks against Israel. A
detailed request for money appears in the document sent by the
El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the Tanzim operational arm, for
carrying out terror attacks, including suicide attacks.
"This is a shopping list for terror," said Col.
Miri Eisen, from IDF
Intelligence, who showed the document together with Dr. Dore Gold, former
Israeli ambassador to the UN. Shubaki, who was behind the Karine A weapons
ship, is now believed to be in Arafat's besieged office.
In the first four sections of the document, sent on October 16, 2001,
the El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades ask for NIS 2,000 for printing posters in
memory of shahids (martyrs), NIS 1,250 for funding mourners' tents in their
memory, NIS 1,000 for preparing wooden boards and NIS 6,000 for funding
The fifth section asks for NIS 20,000 for preparing bombs. "Various
electronic components and chemical material for making bombs and mines --
this is our biggest expense," the authors of the document write, and ask
for money to fund from five to nine bombs a week at an average of NIS 700
The last two sections deal with funding for buying ammunition for
Kalashnikovs and M-16s. The authors explain that that the price of one
Kalashnikov bullet is NIS 7-8, NIS 2-2.5 for a Kalashnikov bullet and "we
need this ammunition on a daily basis." The authors come up with a "price
proposal": 3,000 Kalashnikov bullets for NIS 22,500 and 30,000 M-16 bullets
for NIS 60,000. Military sources believe that these are "inflated" prices,
because the authors assumed that the PA would not give them as much as they
On the document, which also mentions a "debt" of NIS 38,888 for terror
attacks already committed, there are handwritten scribbles, apparently
written by Shubaki himself.
Col. Eisen said that IDF Intelligence does not know whether the money
was indeed transferred, but after the letter was sent, eight suicide
bombers from the El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades blew up in Israel. "The document
proves the direct involvement of the Palestinian Authority and of Arafat in
terror," Eisen said.
Other documents which were seized attest that Shubaki funded the
salaries of El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades operatives in Bethlehem and was
involved in funding the acquisition of weapons that were stolen from IDF
soldiers. "We managed to put our hands on a long list of documents that
the Palestinians were about to destroy, for good reason," said Eisen.
Government sources said that some of these will be revealed in he next few
days, and some of them are "hair-raising."
Many weapons, including RPGs, and counterfeit Israeli currency were also
seized in Shubaki's office and in Tawfik Tirawi's office next door.
This article ran in
Yediot Aharonot on April 2nd, 2002
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An Open Letter to The Age in Australia:
Double Standard of Reporting
Father of Malka Chana, murdered last August by PLO terrorists
I would appreciate you passing the following note along for me to the
Labor Party of Australia, as mentioned in the Age news report below.
My daughter Malka Chana was born in Melbourne in November 1985 and
murdered in Jerusalem in August 2001. To the best of my
knowledge, her violent and ugly death at the hands of Arab
"resistance forces" did not merit any protest -- or indeed any
attention -- from you.
Like Kate Edwards (or Kate Irving), she was an Australian energetically
in favour of peace. Entirely unlike Ms Edwards-Irving, Malki engaged in
meaningful actions which brought good to the world, chiefly by working
with teenagers and children suffering from profound disabilities.
Ms Irving-Edwards, in contrast to my sweet daughter, chose to make her
grand contribution in the one place which, more than any other,
outstandingly exemplifies the hypocrisy and shallowness of logic
of Israel's enemies.
Beit Jala is a hamlet on the edge of Jerusalem. It's the place from
which Arafat's forces have directed deadly fire into the suburbs of Israel's
capital on a daily and nightly basis for eighteen months. There's no
strategic point to it whatever. Their agenda is pure terrorism.
The Israeli army is well equipped and professional, but also civilized
and restrained. Had Israel chosen to do to Beit Jala what Arafat's thugs
have done to the Park Hotel in Netanya, to the Matza restaurant in Haifa or
to the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem -- the place where Malki and fifteen
other innocents were viciously robbed of the remainder of their lives
-- it could have solved the problem by making it completely and permanently
But there is no moral equivalence between our side and their side. I
don't know of any actions taken by other governments which compare with
Israel's restraint in the face of the evil emanating from Beit
Jala and places like it.
The dangers we face here are real, as my wife and children and I can
explain in detail to you, if you're in any doubt about the issue. Thanks to
Arafat, we find ourselves on the battlefront when we're sitting in our living room, traveling to work, or going out for a coffee. Israelis are entitled to the fullest protection that the government can provide. No "peace" protestor like Kate should ever be allowed to compromise that protection in any way.
I realize the Middle East seems far away to you. But the terrorist evil
against which Israel's citizen army is engaged in these difficult days
deserves a healthy degree of respect. The dangers of that evil are
real, concrete and international. You may even see them in Australia. If not
now, then perhaps in the future.
The foolishness and woolly thinking typified by Ms Edwards-Irving's
presence in suburban Jerusalem, and its political echoes in Australia, bring no credit to her, to her colleagues or to those who confuse right from wrong in the name of partisan politics. With terror on the agenda, you have to pick your side, which is what Kate did.
Labor urges protest over shooting
April 2 2002
The Labor Party is urging the federal government to complain to Israel
following the shooting of an Australian peace protester in the West
The woman, identified by news outlets today as Kate Edwards or Kate
Irving, 26, was hit by shrapnel when Israeli troops fired on a West Bank
protest in the township of Beit Jala.
The woman said she was one of six foreigners from the peace group
Solidarity International hit when they approached an Israeli
armoured personnel carrier while taking part in the
Mr Downer today refused to say if he would lodge an official complaint
with Israel over the use of live ammunition on peaceful demonstrators.
But Mr Rudd said the issue should be raised with Israeli diplomats.
"This is an extremely dangerous war zone where Australians and other
internationals are ill-advised to travel," he said.
"However given this incident has occurred and it has involved an
Australia citizen for whom we have consular responsibility, it would be
appropriate for Mr Downer to raise this matter with the Israeli Embassy in
Mr Rudd said the use of live ammunition against an international peace
group was unacceptable, regardless of who they supported.
He also expressed concern at the spiralling violence in the region,
warning it had broader implications for international security.
"For this reason, concerted international action is needed now before
the current situation spirals completely out of control," he said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has stepped up
its travel warning for Australians planning to visit Israel and the
As the Middle East conflict intensified, the department said
Australians should defer all travel to Israel until further notice.
It also called for all Australian travellers to stay out of the
The department also said checkpoint closures were preventing many
Australian-Palestinian dual citizens from obtaining travel permits
through Israeli territory to the international airport outside Tel Aviv.
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