Israel Resource Review 27th December, 2006


Commentary: Lethal Attacks Continue, as does the Policy of Restraint
Arlene Kushner

Predictable, if anything was: a Kassam rocket fired yesterday landed near a "strategic installation" in the Industrial Zone of Ashkelon. Then, last night, a rocket fired at Sderot critically wounded a 13-year old boy.

And the prime minister speaks of restraint?

"Enough!" cried our defense establishment. As one high level IDF official said: "The government is holding us back from responding and makes us look weak and vulnerable . . . " Indeed. Not to mention that besides making us look vulnerable, it truly does render us vulnerable.


The latest word I have is that the IDF is now going to be allowed to do pinpoint targeting of launching cells. Other than that, we will continue to honor the "ceasefire."

Did I warn that I was dealing with insanity? Olmert is positively paranoid about our not being the ones to "break" the "ceasefire." One unnamed gov't official has said that this policy of restraint has earned us a great deal of credit abroad, especially in Europe. I'm sure the family of the young boy who came near to dying last night is very impressed.


Add to this the report by senior defense officials that the Palestinians in Gaza have been utilizing the "ceasefire" to strengthen its forces and prepare for war with us. Hamas's army training never stops, nor does the smuggling of weaponry. How much easier we've made it for them. Are the Europeans going to come help us when we finally get hit hard? Don't think so. Don't even want them to. Just want them to keep their mouths shut when we finally hit these guys hard. But what is also predictable is that whatever our restraint now, in the end we will, once again, be charged with "using excessive force" and "violations of human rights" and all the rest.

Nothing makes sense but to go in there now, with maximum military power, and to take out the terrorists and their caches of weapons in a preemptive operation, before we get hit. Today Aaron Lerner of WorldNetDaily reports al-Aksa leader Abu Ahmed as saying that, "It's only a matter of a small period until Gaza is ready for war." Abu Ahmed says they are planning to hit Israel with many Katyushas, just as Hezbollah did, and is utilizing reinforced bunkers for storing these weapons, just as Hezbollah did. Please note, al-Aksa is a branch of Fatah, the party we're supposed to strengthen so that we can have moderation.


Meanwhile, the Palestinians are charging that if we target Kassam cells in Gaza, this will represent a violation of the "ceasefire" and bring it to a conclusion. You see, it will be our fault, as these things always are.

Abbas is also suggesting that Israel and the PA do "backdoor" negotiations, using unofficial channels, to resolve major issues such as Jerusalem and borders. I'd like to send both Abbas and Olmert out the back door.


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Syria and Iran Enhance Scientific Cooperation
[Syrian-Iranian Nuclear Connection?]
(SANA - Syrian news agency)

[With thanks to IMRA.ORG.IL for referring these important clips to our attention - db]


Higher Education Ministry and Iranian Ministry for Science, Researches and Technology on Wednesday signed an agreement on cooperation in scientific research and cultural development.

The Agreement provides for doing joint scientific researches between the two countries on issues of mutual priorities for the two sides, establishing a joint fund for supporting the scientific researches, conveying technology and exchanging expertise between them.

It also stipulates for establishing a center for joint scientific researches in addition to set up a Syrian-Iranian joint work committee for the formation and following up the executive projects.

The Ministry also signed a number of memos of understanding on higher education due to the cultural, scientific and educational executive program and on reciprocal education for the Arabic and Persian languages in the Syrian universities and institutes.

The ministry signed with Regional Shiraz Library a memo on establishing direct contact in the field of electronic libraries between the information center in the Library and the information departments in the ministry.

Singing the agreement and the memos came in the framework of the Higher Education Minister Dr. Giyath Barakat's visit to Iran.

Dr. Barakat and the accompanying delegation toured Asfahan city and got acquainted with its universities.


Iranian official describes Syrian-Iranian Ties as important

Tehran, (SANA - Syrian news agency)-Chairman of the Iranian Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Wednesday described as important the Syrian-Iranian relations, calling for enhancing them in all fields, particularly in the higher education field.

"Tehran is ready to transform its new scientific and technical expertise to the regional countries, particularly Syria," Rafsanjani said during a meeting with Syrian Minister of Higher Education Ghiath Barakat.

"Scientific and cultural ties between Syria and Iran are not on a suitable level if compared to the distinguished relations in other domains. time is ripe now to boost the level of scientific and cultural ties between Tehran and Damascus," he added.

Mr. Rafsanjani referred to the sensitive situations in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon, saying "the current situation requires more joint cooperation to face the current challenges."

For his part, Minister Barakat expressed satisfaction over the scientific development in Iran, particularly in the peaceful use of the nuclear energy, saying "we seek to promote cultural, scientific and research ties to the level of the political relations between the two countries."

============ Attempts to isolate Syria have failed, Bilal says Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 07:25 p.m.

DAMASCUS, (SANA - Syrian news agency) - Syria's Information Minister Mohsen Bilal underlined Wednesday that Syria's stances regarding the region's issues are firm and will never be changed, adding "While those who called for wars, re-mapping the region and establishing the so-called New Middle east have changed".

"All bids to isolate Syria have failed," Bilal said in an interview with al-Jazeera satellite channel, pointing out to the European and US governmental and parliamentary officials who have been visiting Syria for consultations.

"Syria has always called for dialogue and peaceful solutions," the Minister noted, adding that the problem with the USA is to find the just solutions for the region's problems.

He stressed Syria's firm stance which calls for realizing the just and comprehensive peace in the region in accordance with the international legitimacy and in a way that guarantees a full Israeli withdrawal from occupied Syrian Golan to 4th June 1967 Line and occupied Lebanese land as well as establishing a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as a capital .

The minister touched upon Baker-Hamilton report which calls the US administration to start dialogue with Syria as a key country in the region, pointing out that the report confirms Syria's right stance.

As for President Assad's latest visit to Syria the Minister described the visit as very successful, referring to the historic friendship connecting Syria and Russia.

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First Hand Account of Latest Missile Attacks on Maccabees Street in Sderot
Noam Bedein, Sderot Information Center for the Western Negev LTD,

How fast can you run in 10 seconds?:

The siren, "Tseva Adom" – COLOR RED, went off at approximately 9: 15 p.m.

I took out a video camera, donned press credentials, ran outside, and, three seconds later, and there was an enormous explosion nearby .

Running towards to sound of the explosion on a wet road, I arrived as an ambulance evacuated 2 boys, both ninth graders, 13 and 14 years old respectively, to the Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon.

There was a poodle of blood and a shoe right near the side walk, and 4 parked cars whose glasses had been completely shattered.

Another teenage boy was crying, speaking on his cell-phone, shivering as he explained to his mother what he'd just been through, and then he was evacuated with his friend standing next to him to another ambulance… They were both treated for shock. This was missile attack number 57 since some kind of 'Cease fire' had been declared by the Israeli government. On the streets of Sderot you would hear, over and over,: Oh yeah – " we cease - they fire".

This 57th missile attack landed on 'Macabees ' Street in Sderot, which landed only 10 seconds after the siren . A friend of the boys who was hit by the missile related that they were running home, but didn't make it there…

People in Sderot have to think twice before they go out somewhere, not knowing if they will be able to take cover in 15 seconds or less, some times with no siren - like the day before, when the residents of Sderot were woken up from at 6:30 a.m., by missile attack with no siren going off.

At the scene of the attack. people stood around, expressed their feelings, their thoughts…

They did not know what to do first to express their outrage. They discussed wanting to go burn tires, or block roads, not sure what to do, but to do some thing…

They kept repeating that there had been an average of two missile attacks a day during this so-called "cease fire".… with no response what so ever…

A grandfather came out of the nearby synagogue from where he had been studying, crying and upset… completely hopeless that he could not protect his grandson, who had been rushed to the hospital, where he is fighting for his life.

A man who saw the boys writhing in pain after the attach had approached the boys and called the ambulance , after seeing that the bones were sticking out one of their legs, and the other one with a completely twisted ankle…

All this occurred on 'Maccabees' Road in Sderot, … less than one week after the celebration of Hanukah, when Jews recite 'Al H'nisim', the prayer for miracles…

Unfortunately, it's not Hanukkah every day, even though there are miracles that happen here every single day. These miracles should happen only when Jews take an action - as in the case of the Maccabees. People in Sderot depend on miracles, with a feeling of hopelessness. Not able to protect their own family, they are separated from Israel and the world, where no one is taking action about the fact that Jewish blood is being spilled, and with no government seemingly ready to protect them. .

Leaving the scene of the attack, this reporter spotted a social worker going house to house, asking if every one is ok, visiting families who come out on the porch in the pouring rain to say hello. A mother, caring for her baby, holds the hands of her two young children who are crying and in a state of panic, asking for a cab to take them out of there, in the middle of the night…To where? She did not know.

How did Israel get to the situation where mothers are scared and hopeless for the protection of their own children, when people are scared to go out of there homes, out to the playground, to school?

Meanwhile, the Al Aksa Brigades of the Fateh, under the command of Machmud Abbas, took credit today for the missiles that they fire at nearby Ashkelon today.

What is on everyone's lips in Sderot, however, is that the Prime Minister of Israel kissed Abbas on both cheeks on Saturday night, and welcomed Abbas to dinner the Prime Minister's residence, where Abbas and his friends were greeted by PLO flags that decorated the PM dinner table.

Reporters' calls to the office of the Prime Minister, Defence Minister and Foreign Minister as to whether they would demand that Abbas disarm his Al Aksa Brigades have gone unanswered.

It is easier to blame "outside terrorists" who disturbed the bloody cease fire with Abbas, as if Abbas has nothing to do with the bloodshed.

The question remain: Will those who do not live and dwell in Israel's Western Negev demand that the government of Israel take action against Abbas's terrorists who rain missiles on the Western Negev? Or will other Israelis only be satisfied to know that the missiles did not hit them?

What most people in Israel do not understand is they we all live on Maccabees Street.


Matan Cohen- the 13 year old, was transferred to Shneider hospital to remove shrapnel from his chest

Adir Basad, 14, still in critical condition, is being treated at Barzelei Hospital with shrapnel wounds over his whole body, with additional damage to his kidney.

For three hours, doctors fought to save his lifeBy 7 a.m., Adir had emerged from the operating table, in stable condition. No one knows how long he will have to stay in the hospital, or how his health will be in the future.

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U.S. Blocks Arms, Technology To Israel
Middle East News Line

The Bush administration has blocked arms and technology transfers to Israel.

Israeli and U.S. sources said the State Department has blocked the transfer of weapons and technology to the Jewish state over the last three months.

The sources said the halt reflected deteriorating relations between the two countries since the end of the war in Lebanon in August 2006. "Nobody will say openly that there is a problem," a government source said. "But there is a serious problem that reflects the marginalization of Israel in U.S. strategy."

The unofficial suspension of U.S. arms deliveries began in late September, the sources said. They said the suspension halted the airlift of air-to-ground and other munitions conducted during and immediately after the Israeli war with Hezbollah.

"Several weeks after the war, the U.S. supplies stopped," the source said. "There was no real explanation."

The sources said the administration has held up a list of weapons requested by Israel in wake of the Lebanon war. They said the weapons and equipment - including the Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM - were meant to replenish munitions and other stocks in preparation for a larger war that would include Syria in mid-2007.

"The administration has not rejected any Israeli request," a U.S. official said. "Instead, the State Department and Defense Department have said that all requests must be examined."

The administration refusal to approve the Israeli requests has also hampered military cooperation between the two countries. In November, the Israel Air Force canceled plans to send delegations to the United States to examine air systems and munitions.

A U.S. official said the White House was deeply disappointed by the Israeli failure to defeat Hezbollah. The official said the war undermined U.S. confidence in Israel's military and government.

"The word in the White House was that Israel lost the war," the official said. "That alone led to a plummet in Israel's stock in the administration, particularly the Pentagon."

The U.S. refusals have also hampered Israeli defense programs. The sources said the State Department has prevented the transfer of data and technology, even from projects that included Israeli participation.

In one case, State prevented Northrop Grumman from providing details of its Skyguard laser weapon, which the company has sought to sell to Israel.

The ban led to the suspension of Israeli negotiations to procure Skyguard, designed to intercept short-range rockets and missiles.

The sources said the halt in U.S. weapons exports to Israel was designed to assuage Saudi Arabia. They said Riyadh has increasingly linked regional cooperation with Washington to pressure on Israel to halt attacks on Palestinian insurgency strongholds in the Gaza Strip.

"The White House believes that Saudi help is vital for the United States in Iraq," a diplomatic source said. "There's nothing like stopping the weapons flow to Israel to show the Saudis that the United States means business."

©The Evening Bulletin 2006

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Israeli Officials: New Hamas Army Is Forming
David Bedein

Israeli Military Intelligence Branch warns that Hamas is establishing a mini-army in the Gaza Strip and that within a year Israel will face dangers and threats which Israel has not yet known.

"Hamas is in contact with elements close to Syria and Iran and is working on operational plans," IDF Intelligence Research Department Director Brig. Gen. Yossi Baidatz. reported to the Israeli Knesset Parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He added: "If this situation continues, we will have to think about how the theater will look a year from now."

"Hamas activists are working on operational plans, digging tunnels, constructing blast-proof rooms, and are working with plans from the Hezbollah print-shop," he said. "This ground infrastructure will enable them to engage in sniping, continuous fire, planting of bombs and other activities, with greater effectiveness.

A year from now the threat will be significantly greater than today, because Hamas is using the current lull to build up its forces. Brig. Baidatz added that Hamas is interested in continued quiet: "Hamas is deriving benefit from the relaxation itself. It has gained a breathing space which it is using to strengthen itself. Hamas is interested in extension of the calm to Judea and Samaria."

Brig. Gen. Sami Turjeman, director of the Operations Department at the Israeli Army General Staff, warned: "In a few months' time we will be faced in the Gaza Strip with a military capability which we have not known up till now, especially in the area of anti-tank rockets. Hamas personnel have been training in a wide range of skills: sniping, explosives, installing blast-proof walls and roofs, and fortifications. What is being set up there is nothing less than a professional fighting force, and what is taking shape is a comprehensive concept with semi-military capabilities which we have not encountered before."

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