Israel Resource Review 22nd April, 2007


Iran May Be Fueling New Palestinian Missile War On Israel
The Philadelphia Bulletin

The Middle East Newsline reports that Israel's military expects the next war to include intense rocket and missile attacks on the Jewish state, which will emanate from Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian Authority.

"We experienced thousands of rockets in the second Lebanon war," Brig. Gen. Daniel Milo, commander of air defense forces, said. "We will experience more in the next war. This is clear to us."

In the 34-day war that ended in August 2006, Hezbollah fired an estimated 4,500 short- and medium-range rockets into Israel.

In an address to a missile seminar at Tel Aviv University on Tuesday, Milo suggested that the military might not be more effective in a future war with Hezbollah, which is expected as early as mid-2007. He said the air force could not detect Katyusha or other short-range rockets concealed in underbrush or in bunkers.

"If the Katyusha is under the bushes or sand, no F-15 [fighter-jet] will find it," Milo said.

Dr. Michael Widlanski, a journalist who holds a Ph.D. in Arabic language media assessment, has been carefully listening to the Hezbollah broadcasts in Arabic, and reports what Sheikh Naim Qassem, the deputy leader of the Hezbollah terror organization, declared this week, "We are prepared for the possibility of another adventure or the demand of American policy that might push the IDF [the Israeli Defense Force] in that direction."

Widlanski explains that "adventure" is the term used by Hezbollah to describe an Israeli preemptive strike, and that Qassem's claims "are taken seriously by Western analysts, including the director of Israeli military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin. Iran, Hezbollah and Syria, he believes, are preparing for war this summer."

Qassem has been a deputy to Hassan Nasrallah, for more than a decade, and his remarks telegraph the policy of Hezbollah and its Iranian overlords. Widlanski reports that IDF analysts say Hezbollah has already replenished stocks of arms, explosives and rockets lost during last summer's war with Israel. During that war, Hezbollah invaded Israel, killed several IDF soldiers and abducted two others, setting off several weeks of fighting. Israeli intelligence officials say the Lebanese-based and Iranian-run terror organization has brought in thousands of Katyusha and Grad rockets, like those fired at Israeli cities last summer. In addition, Hezbollah has replenished its stocks of anti-tank munitions, apparently intended to stave off a deep-penetration Israeli assault to uproot well-entrenched Hezbollah gunners in cement-lined tunnel complexes throughout southern Lebanon.

Widlanski recently conducted his own tour of the Israeli-Lebanese border and saw what he called "worrisome signs," reporting that "although Hezbollah has not put armed men on the fence, its men and informers are deployed all along the area.

The new factor that Widlanski reports is that Fatah, led by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, has now aligned itself with Iran.

Widlanski quotes a source in Israeli intelligence, Brig. Gen. Shalom Harari, who estimates that 40 percent of the various Palestinian organizations were directly funded by Iran. "There is a growing strategic alliance between Iran and the radical Palestinian forces in the territories," noted Harari during a recent briefing. "Iran is involved in supporting both the Islamic factions and Fatah as well. Today, at least 40 percent of Fatah's different fighting groups are also paid by Hezbollah and Iran. Hamas thinks it can build a new southern Lebanon in Gaza, and this is what it is busy doing."

One theory discussed in Israeli intelligence circles is that Iran is desperately trying to create a distraction, to divert attention from its nuclear development projects.

That would mean one thing: Israel would really be at war with Iran, not only with its neighboring Arab states.

This article appeared in the Philadelphia Bulletin, April 19th, 2007

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A direct hit during the "ceasefire" - detailed report from Sderot
Noam Bedein, CEO
CEO, Sderot Information Center for the Western Negev

At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night, April 21st. 2007 , less than an hour after the Bibiyen family finished the Sabbath with the traditional blessing over the spices, wine and a candle-- all the symbols of the hope to begin a new week of living -- a missile fired from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) camp in Jabalya in the Gaza strip scored a direct hit on the Bibiyen home.

The extended Bibiyen family consisting of two grandparents, Dvora 52 , and Yigal, 64, had welcomed the families of their four sons and one daughter to spend the Sabbath with them. Everything had ended on such a pleasant note.

This reporter spoke with the Bibiyen family on Sunday morning while they were cleaning through the rubble.

All of them were stunned and still trying to comprehend the miracle that occurred the previous night.

One of the sons, Yahav 31, still a bit shaken, said that he did not realize until Sunday morning how close each family member was to being literally blown to bits.

Yahav told the story, fresh in his mind, how the "Color Red" alarm had gone off, and, only seconds later, how he heard a huge explosion upstairs on the second floor; where his mother and his wife -- in her fifth month of pregnancy-- were sitting and talking.

The missile tore through the staircase, flinging the stairs 30 meters away to the street below, smashing into the roof of a car.

Yahav added that it took almost an one hour until his wife and mother were evacuated from the second floor, from where a fire engine ladder lifted both of them into a waiting ambulance -- both of whom diagnosed by a medic to be in a an advanced state of shock and in need of immediate treatment. On the Sunday morning after, they were both resting in the hospital in Ashkelon.

With a sigh of relief, Yahav said that "I am glad that everyone is ok --physically-- , and when I think of how my brother had just left with his two children 10 minutes before after watching TV exactly where the wall had fallen down, how my other brother with his 8 months pregnant wife had left 5 minutes before, and how my sister and father had just come downstairs into the kitchen, I am overwhelmed . . . "

Yahav walked through the house, and pointed out that the pictures of the Rabbis on the walls weren't damaged, while all other pictures and fixtures were destroyed, and carefully marked the places where each and every one from the family was standing where one could see the hole that the rocket bore through the wall and the staircase was blown away.

Yahav said that he could not understand how this miracle had happened, because if anyone in the family had been standing a few steps away, from where they were standing, this would have meant certain death.

"If we had 2 more seconds to start running down the staircase -- we wouldn't be here today. If my brother would have decided to stay a bit longer with his children, who knows what could have happened" said Yahav, who also noticed that the missile had barely missed the gas balloons.

Yuval, Yahav's older brother, was asked how his two children were doing who had left the house only ten minutes before.

They heard the blast and ran back to the house and watched their grandmother and Aunt being rescued from the second floor.

Yuval said that his children are only worried about their grandmother, Devorah, and they keep asking what happened to her.

Yuval said that he would have trouble taking his children to visit their grandparents' home again. They will simply not understand why and how it was destroyed.

Yahav goes back to work on Lag B'omer, the day that wedding season resumes on the Jewish calendar. That is because Yahav is a wedding video photographer for his livelihood.

Yahav used a cover missile attacks for Israel TV and quit because he wanted to film happier events. That is, happier events than the 212th missile to hit the western Negev since Israel declared a self-imposed "cease-fire" on November 26th, 2006.

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Russian Teens of Sderot Seek Peaceful Boston Summer
Yulia Zhorov
Jewish Journal of the North Shore of Boston

Sderot in southern Israel has been hit by more than 1,300 Kassam missiles since Israel pulled its civilians and soldiers out of Gaza in 2005.

Seven People have been killed by these missiles.

There is no neighborhood, street, road, family, or child in the small, working class town in southern Israel that has not experienced a missile landing somewhere nearby.

"The greatest tragedy in this town lies with the children," said Masha Rifkin, a Massachusetts student attending Cornell University. The Russian-Jewish immigrant is spending a semester in Tel Aviv and works with Russian immigrant teenagers of Sderot twice a week. They are traumatized by the constant "tzeva adom" or "color red" alert, after which they have a scant 15 seconds to race into a bomb shelter, Rifkin said. Living like this has taken its toll on them.

"These people feel abandoned, not only by the government which has turned a very cold shoulder to them but especially the Russians here feel like the black sheep of Israel."

While working with the Russian teens to stage a play about their lives under a constant barrage of missiles (Sderot averages 3.2 hits a day), Rifkin wishes to assist them in coping with the aftereffects of shock, anxiety and stress. She is determined to fly the Russian teens to the Boston area to spend a month here in the summer performing their play before American audiences to highlight what they must live with each day. In the meantime, the teens will receive a vital respite from living under terrorism, and enjoy a summer free from the fear of being hit by a missile. The project, "Children of Sderot," was initiated by Rifkin's mother, Inna, and the effort has gathered steam. Greater Boston's Russian-Jewish community is enlisting help to raise funds to bring 20 Sderot children to summer camps in Brighton, Mass., and Lake Sunapee, N.H. The Russian School of Mathematics of Newton, headed by Inna Rifkin, and the Shaloh House of Brighton pledged to fund the cost of the overnight camps.

"When I learned about my daughter's involvement with these children, and knowing how important it is for Masha to go there twice a week, I couldn't be more proud and more scared for my daughter," said Mrs. Rifkin. "Then I realized that the Greater Boston Jewish community has to know what's going on in Sderot, that we have to bring these kids to America and show the play in Boston and possibly in other big Russian-Jewish communities in New York, Chicago and maybe Los Angeles."

Rabbi Dan Rodkin of the Shaloh House of Brighton has committed to bring 10 of the Russian-Jewish teens to the Shaloh House summer camp.

Organizers of the project estimate that they must quickly raise $36,000 to cover the traveling expenses for 20 children.

The Russian Jewish Community Foundation of Waltham has created a special fund to accept taxdeductible contributions to bring the Russian teens to the Boston area. "We want to give these children, even for just a little while, what they don't have at home: happiness, safety and care," Inna Rifkin said. Members of the Russian-speaking Jewish community north of Boston are helping to organize a fundraiser. Maria and Dmitry Gofstein of Marblehead, who recently traveled to Sderot and witnessed the devastation caused by the missiles, made a documentary about the town and its children. The film is scheduled to be shown at the JCC in Marblehead. On May 12, at 6 p.m., the Gofsteins will hold a fundraising concert and auction of fine art, ceramics, jewelry and other items donated by local artists (donations of items are still being accepted) at their home on 22 Ida Road. All proceeds will go to the fund.

"Israel needs us here, the people of Israel are looking up to America its only ally in this world. It is very important for them to know that we care, and we must help," said Maria Gofstein. "Being Jewish and leading a comfortable life here on the North Shore, I feel a personal responsibility to find a way to help our brothers and sisters in Israel." She contacted the Jewish Federation of the North Shore and the Robert I. Lappin Foundation about this project, and said her request was met positively. "I am very optimistic, in one way or another, there will be help," Gofstein said.

Those interested in helping bring 20 children from Israel to spend a safe summer in the Boston area, can make a taxdeductible contribution to: RJCF Children of Sderot Fund, and mail their check to: Russian Jewish Community Foundation, 800 South Street, Suite 600, Waltham, MA 02453. Tickets to the concert cost $100, and should be mailed to the Gofsteins' home, 22 Ida Road, Marblehead, MA 01945. To donate an auction item or for further questions, call 781-631-0331.

(Published April 6th, 2007)

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Official Palestinian Authority broadcast media have sharply increased anti-Israeli propaganda in recent days, including explicit and implicit calls for suicide attacks on Israeli civilians and kidnappings of Israeli soldiers.

"Oh, Lord, martyrdom is [being done] for you," crooned a singer, while pictures of prominent Palestinian women suicide bombers, clad in white, floated beatifically across the screen.

It was part of a music video aired today (April 22, 2006) on the PBC television network under the direct control of Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO Chairman and Palestinian Authority leader. The same video had appeared in the past, but had disappeared after protests from Israel and the United States, but it has now returned, and it is not alone.

Voice of Palestine radio, also controlled by Dr. Abbas and his Fatah movement, have resumed regular airing of the song "Felastin Arabiyyeh"-Palestine is Arab-which includes specific praise for "martyrs" acting against "the cowardly enemy."

And the broadcasts of PBC television and V.O.P. radio have for the last month left no doubt who that enemy is. It is Israel, which is increasingly called "al-'udu al-sihiyouni" (The Zionist Enemy) or "al-kayaan al-sihyouni" (The Zionist Entity) or simply "al-'udu"-The Enemy.

"The only language the enemy understands is force," declared several different members of Abbas's Palestinian Authority cabinet in broadcasts dedicated to "The Day of the Prisoner" in the last three days.

While PLO Chairman Abbas has told Israeli officials and American officials that he is working for the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Palestinian officials appearing before Palestinian audiences say that the Palestinians are entitled to use the "Zionist soldier" [Arabic-al-jundi al-sihyouni] to extricate thousands of convicted Arab terrorists from Israeli jails.

Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli towns in the Negev, such as today and yesterday, are ignored in the Palestinian media, while Israeli strikes at the rocket launchers or terrorists trying to infiltrate bombs into Israeli cities are regularly condemned as "aggression," and the terrorists are lauded as "martyrs" and noble citizens.

"Nine more martyrs reached the heavens in the last 48 hours," observed Voice of Palestinian radio, referring, in part, to a rocket crew that had attacked the Israeli town of Sderot, destroying a house.

"These are crimes against humanity," declared Dr. Mustapha Barghouthi, the PA Information Minister, in a statement to the foreign press, referring to the Israeli "assassination" of members of the rocket crew in Gaza and armed terrorists in the West Bank towns of Nablus and Jenin.

There are also indications that mosque speeches broadcast by the PA media are turning back to the anti-Semitic themes which regularly appeared during the leadership of Yasser Arafat and the early leadership of Abbas, and it seems there is scant difference between the messages of Abbas's Fatah movement and the Hamas movement.

In a mosque speech on March 30, Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan explicitly called for killing Jews, during a Friday prayer address at the Sheikh Zayad Bin-Sultan mosque in Gaza, citing a Hadith-or oral tradition-attributed to Muhammad, Islam's founder:

"The Day of Judgment will not arrive until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jew hides behind the stones and the trees; and each stone or tree will say: Oh Muslim, Oh servant of God, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him; except for the gharqad, which is the tree of the Jews.".

The upsurge in official Palestinian hate messages against Israelis dovetails with a sharp rise in rocket attacks and attempted suicide bomb attacks against Israeli targets.

Israeli Army intelligence reported that during the second half of March there was an increase in the number of rockets fired at Israeli settlements in the western Negev (22 confirmed rocket strikes), following a relative reduction in attacks of the first two weeks of March (12 confirmed rocket impact points). =============== Dr. Michael Widlanski is a specialist in Arab politics, terror and communication who has served as a special advisor to Israeli delegations to peace talks in 1991-1992 and as Strategic Affairs Advisor to the Ministry of Public Security, editing secret PLO Archives captured in Jerusalem.

Dr. Michael Widlanski 30 Midbar Sinai Street, Jerusalem 97805 Local Phone: 02-5322-868/ 5322-582 Local Fax. 02-5322-657 Mobile: 050-214-3191 International phone-011-972-2-5322-868/ 011-972-2-5322-582 International mobile 011-972-50-214-3191 NY Mobile 917-532-1218 E-mail:

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