Israel Resource Review 13th July, 2006


'West Bank Rocket War'
Terror leader announces start of barrage nearing Israel's main population centers
Aaron Klein July 12, 2006

JERUSALEM -- While Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip have been contending with almost daily missile attacks, Palestinian rockets will now also be launched regularly on the other side of the country aimed at Jewish communities a few miles from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Abu Oudai, a chief rocket coordinator for the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Judea and Samaria told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview.

Abu Oudai claimed major Israeli cities and the country's international airport would eventually become Palestinian rocket targets, particularly following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's planned withdrawal from most of Judea and Samaria, which borders Israel's main population centers.

Judea and Samaria is also commonly called the West Bank.

Abu Oudai said his group has the ability to produce rockets in northern Samaria - a claim denied by the Israeli army. He hinted at possible help in developing rockets from Iran, Syria and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia.

"Our goal is to cover all Israeli regions and to bring them inside the distance of our rockets," said Abu Oudai, speaking from Nablus in northern Samaria.

"Every Israeli site or city is inside our capabilities and if some sites are not yet they will be very soon. The Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem every site and city will be targeted. We are speaking about a new era in the conflict between us and the enemy."

The rocket master's statements follow a series of claims by the Al Aqsa Brigades of firing rockets the past few days from the northern Samaria towns of Tul Karem and Jenin targeting Jewish communities nearby. Brigades leaders called WorldNetDaily to take credit for the rocket launchings, which they said fell short of their intended goals, landing instead in Palestinian areas.

They promised more missile firings.

Security officials say any Judea and Samaria missile attack would open a whole new front of rocket targets against Jewish communities in the territories and against neighboring cities, including Jerusalem.

The Israeli Defense Forces has not yet officially confirmed this week's claimed northern Samaria rocket attacks. Palestinian and Jordanian officials said the attacks indeed took place.

The Al Aqsa Brigades has the past few months previously claimed they fired rockets from northern Samaria. The IDF denied the claims only to later release select information stating some rockets had been fired from the area.

Security analysts maintain publicity about terror groups' current missile capabilities in the territories could generate criticism of Olmert's Judea and Samaria withdrawal plan.

Abu Oudai said the missile firings from Telkarem and Jenin were "only the very beginning of our blessed operation of launching rockets from the West Bank against Israeli cities. In the next days and from now on the falling of rockets in the enemy territory [in and near the West Bank] will not be strange and rare.

"In a previous interview with you we promised that the next stage of our struggle in the West Bank will be characterized by the shooting of rockets."

Israel minimizing Judea and Samaria rocket threat?

The Al Aqsa leader described his Judea and Samaria rocket infrastructure:

"With the help of Allah we succeeded to transfer rockets and technology that will bring in the very next days the number of rockets in the West Bank to hundreds. As for the kinds of rockets, they are very similar to the rockets in Gaza but here in the West Bank we are making huge efforts to improve them, especially their accuracy and distance."

He said his group has stockpiles in northern Samaria of primitive versions of the Qassam rocket.

Qassams are improvised steel rockets, about four feet in length, filled with explosives and fuel. They can travel between one and four miles depending on the sophistication of the particular rocket

The IDF says terror groups abilities to produce rockets in Judea and Samaria are minimal.

But Abu Oudai rejected the Israeli statements, claiming his group "absolutely" has the ability to manufacture Qassams and other kinds of rockets in northern Samaria.

"The Israeli army said a few years ago that Gaza rockets are nothing and that they don't present any threat to the security of Israel and its citizens," Abu Oudai said. "Now we all know what is the truth and what is the real situation. Every day our rockets in Gaza become more accurate and do more killing and this is exactly what will happen in the West Bank.

"It is their own business that they deny and minimize. But in the coming days the proofs on the ground will be very clear to the average Israeli in the street and not only to the Israeli political and military leadership."

Abu Oudai, though, admitted to problems with his group's Judea and Samaria rocket infrastructure.

"We have the capabilities of producing the rockets in the West Bank and we are also smuggling from Gaza, but I will be honest and sincere with you that our weakest point is the lack of experience in the West Bank. But we are working very hard to solve this problem.

'No fear' of Israeli retaliation

Asked if the Al Aqsa Brigades received any outside help to its missile development program, Abu Oudai explained, "It is our right to receive any help from anybody and our doors is open to every support, from Syria, Iran, Hezbollah or anyone who wants to help and to support the Palestinian people."

Prior to Israel's withdrawal from Gaza last August, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon threatened an "unprecedented response" to any rocket firing carried out by terror groups after Israel vacated the territory.

For the past ten months, until Israel sent ground troops into Gaza last month, the Israeli army mostly responded to the regular rocket attacks with aerial and artillery fire, failing to stop or even slow the rate of rocket attacks.

Abu Oudai said he does not fear Israeli retaliation for his group's planned rocket launchings from Judea and Samaria.

"I heard many time the expression of unprecedented response. The only unprecedented thing is the frequency of the Israeli 'empty threats.' We are not afraid and we have nothing to fear," said Abu Oudai.

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Syria and Hizballah Brag About Killing 7 Israelis and Kidnapping 2 Others:
Abbas Condemns Israeli 'War Crimes'
Dr. Michael Widlanski

Several Arab media outlets are reporting the killing of seven Israeli soldiers today along the Lebanese border, and Syrian television and Hizballah bragged that the "heroic operation" showed that Israel would have no choice but to release all Arab prisoners.

Arab TV stations showed crowds celebrating in Beirut, while candies were distributed to drivers and pedestrians in the streets.

Both Al-Manar television of Hizballah, which attacked Israel today, and the more independent Al-'Arabiyya say that an Israeli tank was destroyed by a road-side bomb-apparently killing the four soldiers inside. Several Israeli border settlements were also shelled by Hizballah.

"The heroic operation this morning was the result of Sheikh Nasserallah turning talk into action," declared Khaled Al-Rawas, head of the pro-Syrian Christian Democratic Party in Lebanon, during a long interview on Syrian State Television, referring to Hizballah's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasserallah.

He and several others guests on the Syrian tv program declared that both the "Lebanese resistance' and the "Palestinian resistance" were "teaching a lesson" to "the enemy Israel" and to America.

The Arab media are reporting that Israel has bombed six or seven bridges in southern Lebanon-along the Awali, Litani and Zahrani rivers-as well as two power stations.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas today condemned "Israeli war crimes" in Gaza, where an Israeli soldier was abducted-and two others killed-in a similar Palestinian attack two weeks ago on an Israeli army unit inside Israel.

Abbas, generally considered a moderate by many governments, has not condemned the kidnappings, and he has demanded that Israel cease its "barbaric" operations in Gaza, and that Israel release its Palestinian prisoners.

Meanwhile, Israel officials report that Abbas's own Fatah Party as well as Palestinian Authority (PA) policemen have been attempting their own terror operations in recent weeks, including planned abductions of Israelis and rocket attacks from the West Bank into Israel.

Abbas's PA-controlled radio and television stations have also positively reported the speech by Khaled Mish'al of Hamas, who bragged this week that his organization's soldiers were better than Israel's and that his organization would force release of Arab prisoners.

"Without the release of a large number of Palestinian prisoners, the Israeli soldier will not be released," declared Mish'al Monday in a speech in the Syrian capital of Damascus.

Both the Lebanese-based Hizballah and the Gaza-centered Hamas receive assistance from Iran and Syria. ========== Dr. Michael Widlanski is a specialist in Arab politics and communication whose doctorate dealt with the Palestinian broadcast media. He is a former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively, at The New York Times ,The Cox Newspapers-Atlanta Constitution, and The Jerusalem Post.

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Israel is at war on two fronts. This is the simple reality.
Two fronts, but one war.
Arlene Kushner

It is doubtful that many reading this are unaware of the basics of what is transpiring. The situation is in flux and will continue to change, but an overview is important.

It is doubtful that many reading this are unaware of the basics of what is transpiring. The situation is in flux and will continue to change, but an overview is important.

In Gaza, the operation has picked up steam as the IDF seeks the terrorists who launch Kassams. The Palestinians (and their supporters in the UN) continue to fight as well via PR -- representing the humanitarian situation as far worse than it is.

This morning, Hezbollah, in a well planned maneuver, entered northern Israel and attacked an IDF patrol. In the course of the battle, eight soldiers were killed and two were kidnapped and brought back into Lebanon. Israel is now in southern Lebanon and a series of air strikes has been undertaken, as well as heavy shelling by land and sea.

Decisions are still to be made regarding the precise nature of the actions that are going to follow this preliminary response, but it is certain that this time it will be severe indeed. Israel is holding Lebanon directly responsible: Hezbollah is not a renegade terrorist force but sits in the government there. There is a sovereign state that is to be accountable. The IDF has drawn up plans for taking out Lebanon's infrastructure, but perhaps more to the point is destroying Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has an arsenal of rockets in south Lebanon that make what Hamas has look like child's play. The rockets are capable of hitting Haifa and surrounding area. Israel is taking this most seriously, and it would seem that response will have to be not only severe but speedy. Residents in the north of Israel have been ordered into shelters.

Sheikh Nasrallah, the "spiritual" leader of Hezbollah, has indicated that all three soldiers (meaning also Cpl. Shalit in Gaza) would be released if Israel released thousands of prisoners from its jails. The signs are thus clear that this is one coordinated operation. Hamas is run from Damascus, by Masha'al; it should not be doubted that Syria is complicit in what went on today.

Nasrallah says they've been waiting a long time for the opportunity to grab Israeli soldiers. Now was the time because Israel was occupied in Gaza. Being pulled into battle on two fronts makes it difficult for Israel. Reserve forces are being called up.


This is what is most painful here: This could have been prevented. But in the last six years we have seen Israeli governments that, whatever rationale was presented, demonstrated weakness in a region of the world where such perceived weakness is taken advantage of fully.

The beginning was the decision of Ehud Barak, in 2000, to withdraw precipitously from southern Lebanon, where the IDF had maintained a security area to keep Hezbollah from getting close enough to Israel to do shelling. The Lebanese army was supposed to move in and control the situation -- securing the border, we were supposed to be provided with the support of the international community because we had so scrupulously withdrawn to the international border. But it didn't happen that way. Hezbollah moved in and has been biding its time.

There was gloating at the time, as Hezbollah indicated that the IDF had run from them. (Hamas was inspired by this Hezbollah claim of victory.) And today Nasrallah said, "We've been preparing for this since Israel left Lebanon,. This isn't the Lebanon [Israel] knew. Our abilities are different, our morale is different. [If] Israel chooses a fight, it should be ready for surprises."

Almost a year ago, Ariel Sharon moved to withdraw from Gaza. That was infinitely more painful as Jewish communities were uprooted from an area that is historically part of Israel. (Yup! it is.) But ultimately the message was the same -- we were perceived as having run from terrorists. This time Hamas gloated, claiming a victory, quickly moving into the places we had vacated, and working to strengthen itself.

Now it turns out that Hamas and Hezbollah are in league, with the goal of further weakening Israel. These are existential issues for us.

Let there be no more weakness. Dear G-d, let the lessons be learned at last.

Neither the UN, nor the U.S., nor the EU, has the moral authority at this juncture to interfere or to counsel "restraint" on our part. Our response must be military and it must demonstrate might. It's time for our enemies to know they can fool with us no longer.

The issue of captured soldiers is a particularly painful one for this nation. Let there be the strength as well to avoid all temptation to negotiate. Release of prisoners (or similar concessions) would bring disaster in its wake.


There is talk here of a temporary unity government. In times of war there are no critics. Everyone must pull together and show one face.


This posting can be found at:

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The Israel Left Organizes to Demand European Intervention fo Stop the Israeli Army

[At a time when war has broken out on all fronts, the Gush Shalom organization, working in conjunction with the Alternative Information Center, has issued the following call for EU intervention to stop the Israeli army. This runs as an ad in the International Herald Tribune on July 14th, 2006.

The Alternative Information Center is located at 4 Shlomtzion HaMalka Street, on the second floor. Their telephone is 02-624 1159. Their directors are: Yossi Bar Tal, tel. 052-637-5035, and Sergio Yannai, tel. 054- 207 6536. Their web site is at: Their e-mail is

Between 1989 and 1992, the Alternative Information Center was closed by Israeli security and their directors were jailed. Following the election of the new Israeli government that initiated the Oslo process in 1992-1993, AIC resumed full time activity. - db]


The internationally-lauded "disengagement" from Gaza did not end the occupation there. This continued in the form of an Israeli stranglehold over Gaza's communications with the outside world. The Gaza Strip has been turned into a huge open-air prison.

With the Israeli government refusing to talk to the elected Palestinian government, the only dialogue left now is the dialogue of the bombs, often directed at civilian targets on both sides of the border.

Without international intervention, a brutal escalation has become almost inevitable.

WE, Israeli patriots and peace activists, call upon the European Union and its member states, possibly in conjunction with other countries, to intervene immediately and effectively in the looming Israel-Palestinian crisis, and, especially to -

1. APPOINT a representative of ministerial rank to Israel/Palestine to monitor unfolding events and advise the European Union on immediate steps the situation may demand.

2. STOP the severe sanctions imposed by Europe on the Palestinian Authority as a penalty for exercising their democratic right and electing a government of their choice. This by itself is a brutal intervention on behalf of the occupation.

3. ENGAGE both the Government of Israel and the elected Palestinian president and government in a serious dialogue, with the view of putting an end to the present crisis and paving the way for meaningful peace negotiations.

4. EXTEND the European Union Border Assistance Mission, already successfully operating at the Rafah border crossing, to all border crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip, in order to ensure the regular flow of foodstuffs, medicines and other goods in both directions, irrespective of political and military developments.

5. ACT as a permanent mediator for acute crises, such as the case of the Israeli prisoner-of-war, Gilad Shalit.

6. OFFER both sides to station a permanent European peace-keeping force between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

7. CONSIDER the convening of an international conference for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


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The Expected Target: H A I F A
Middle East News Line

TEL AVIV [MENL] -- Israel has launched its first major offensive in Lebanon since 2000.

Israel Air Force F-15 and F-16 fighter-jets struck suspected Hizbullah strongholds in such cities as Beirut and Tyre as well as missile arsenals throughout southern Lebanon. The Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah has an estimated 15,000 missile and rockets and has threatened to fire long-range weapons toward Tel Aviv.

"This is a different story than in the past," a senior military source said. "We're not talking any longer of a battle of a day or two. This will take a long time."

The source said Israel's military, which withdrew in 2000, has imposed an air, sea and land blockade on Lebanon. He said this was a major element in Israel's retaliation for the Hizbullah strike on northern Israel on Wednesday, in which seven soldiers were killed and two others were captured.

Hizbullah struck from positions along the Israeli border damaged in a military strike in May At the time, the Israeli government dismissed a military recommendation to prevent Hizbullah from refurbishing the outposts.

"We don't intend to allow Hizbullah to return to our borders," Defense Minister Amir Peretz said on Thursday. "The Lebanese Army must be deployed there."

Israel, however, has not sent a major ground force in Lebanon. The source said the military has recommended that the offensive remain limited to air strikes, including the destruction of the homes of Hizbullah leaders in southern Beirut.

"To clear the area, you need infantry," former Israel Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Eitan Ben-Eliyahu said. "The area is large. The name of the game is to be in the area all the time."

Lebanese sources reported 26 people killed in Israeli air strikes overnight Thursday. They said 20 bridges in southern Lebanon were also destroyed. There were no reports of Hizbullah firing anti-aircraft missiles.

"The government was not aware of and does not take responsibility for, nor endorses what happened on the international border," Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora said after an emergency Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

In response, Hizbullah launched dozens of Soviet-origin Katyusha rockets toward northern Israel. At least one Israeli was killed and another 30 were injured in the Israeli city of Nahariya.

"There will be difficult days," Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said.

Military sources said Hizbullah fired rockets toward an air force base at Meron, which contains an air command facility. The sources said the base was damaged but nobody was injured.

The Hizbullah rocket fire has paralyzed much of northern Israel. Residents have been ordered to remain in bomb shelters and train service was suspended.

"We're going to have to absorb in the short-term so we could defend ourselves in the future," Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Gershon, head of the military's Home Front Command, said.

At this point, Hizbullah has been striking targets at a range of up to 25 kilometers, the sources said. But they said Hizbullah could escalate by firing the Iranian-origin Fajr-4 and Fajr-5 rockets, which could reach the Tel Aviv area.

The immediate threat, the sources said, was a Hizbullah strike on Haifa.

Haifa is the third largest city in the country and contains a naval port and chemical plant.

"I estimate that this is indeed a realistic scenario," Dan Scheuftan, a senior researcher of the National Security Studies Center at Haifa University, said.

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The Three Factors Responsible for Today's War in the North and South:
David Bedein

There are three factors that have caused today's war on the northern and southern front of Israel:

1. The US Government Obsession with the "1967 Lines", as dictated to Israel.

2. The May 2000 policy of Israeli PM Ehud Barak, who destroyed Israel's forward positions in Southern Lebanon, ceding Southern Lebanon to hostile powers.

3. The August 2005 policy of Israeli PM Ariel Sharon, who destroyed all of the Katif Jewish communities in Gaza and four Jewish communities in Samaria, ceding all of Gaza to hostile powers.

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