Israel Resource Review 4th March, 2005


Contents:

Will the Real mahmoud Abbas/Abu Mazen Please Stand Up??
Dr. Michael Widlanski


JERUSALEM, Israel

For at least 12 hours after the murderous terror attack on the nightclub in Tel Aviv last weekend, Sawt Felasteen, Voice of Palestine radio, the official voice of Mahmoud Abbas, told its listeners a rather interesting tale fit for the 1001 Arabian Nights.

Beginning at least at 8 p.m. in the evening Saturday night February 26 (I say at least, because I couldn't check earlier that same day) and through the Sunday morning major news round-up, Voice of Palestine spun a tale turning the nightclub into a mysterious cave where evil-doers gathered to plot.

That may have looked like a nightclub, said V.O.P., but it was anything but innocent. Rather it was a high-level Israeli military target.

"An elite unit of the occupation army" was meeting in the nightclub, said Voice of Palestine, adding that "a very senior Israeli officer" was "the target of the operation. To give added power to the fantastic assertion, V.O.P. attributed its scoop to unnamed Israeli sources.

As for the name of the man or organization who carried out the attack, Voice of Palestine was not saying anything.

All the Palestinian newspapers and the members of the Palestinian regime referred to the attack as amaliyya tafjeeriyya-an "explosive operation"-or as amaliyya istish-hadiyya-an "operation of heroic martyrdom."

Two days later, Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, the newspaper directed by Abbas's own Fatah members, ran a front-page picture of the terrorist with a caption calling him a "martyr."

Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera Arabic satellite television service showed a pre-filmed video where the terrorist, a member of Islamic Jihad, bragged about his upcoming attack on Tel Aviv.

At the same time that Arabs around the world watched Al-Jazeera, Dr. Mahmoud Abbas, successor to Yasser Arafat, told reporters that some sinister "third party" was trying to "sabotage Palestinian interests." He never called the nightclub attack "Irhaab"-terror in Arabic, even though the attack on the nightclub murdered five people (two of them women) died and wounded more than 70.

More would have died, if not for the nightclub guards who prevented the bomber from getting inside the club where the explosion would have been far more deadly.

What about the members of the Islamic Jihad organization, reporters asked PLO Chairman Abbas. Could they have done it?

No, impossible, said Dr. Abbas. Islamic Jihad, like HAMAS, like my own Fatah "Martyrs Brigade" have all agreed to a "hudna." [This is a term in Arabic that can be translated as ceasefire, but it actually means more than that, and we'll explain later.-MW]

Abbas did not go out on a limb like Farouk Al-Shara, the foreign minister of Syria [which hosts and encourages Islamic Jihad leaders], who said the whole attack was likely carried out by "an Israeli hand"-perhaps even the Mossad itself.

Suggestions of sinister "third parties" or "Israeli conspiracies" to attack its own nightclubs and buses-as suggested by the Syrian foreign minister and by Abbas himself-are nothing new. We used to hear this kind of thing regularly from Yasser Arafat, who, along with his sainted wife, Suha, would accuse the Israelis of using poison gas, radiation weapons and even AIDS, against peace-loving Palestinians.

Abbas does not do this. Instead he sends messengers-spokesmen, his radio, his tv and his three newspapers-to suggest regularly that Israeli officials and Israeli soldiers enjoy killing Palestinian children in cold blood.

When a young Palestinian school girl, Nuran Deeb, was shot in her school yard on Jnuary 31, the Palestinian press and regime blamed Israel for three days, turning the affair into a classic atrocity story/blood libel. This happened even though the Palestinian authorities knew the girl had been accidentally killed by a Palestinian man firing celebratory shots in the air after his return from the pilgrimage to Mecca.

One can easily see why we, who built such hopes around Abbas, are disappointed.

After all, Dr. Abbas, despite his claims to be just like Arafat, looks and acts so differently. He does not holster a gun at the UN, nor wear a military uniform at all times, nor even the kaffiyeh head cloth of the Fedayeen fighters. He wears a Western-style suit. Abbas does not yell "Jihad" at us with drool coming from his mouth. He is soft-spoken and even somewhat-wimpy-looking, covering his face and mouth with a scarf even when the temperature dips below 50 Fahrenheit. He is so unlike Arafat. And as John Kerry once said of himself: he even has good hair-especially for a 70-year-old.

Could we, perhaps, have been fooling ourselves with the cosmetics?

After the latest wave of Palestinian terror attacks [a huge car bomb was intercepted the next day] , it is fair to ask some tough questions of Mahmoud Abbas, the reputedly "moderate" successor to Yasser Arafat.

Are you really trying to stop terror or only to get Israeli concessions? Are you really interested in a lasting peace that will require compromises on both sides or do you want a deal that leaves you on the job? [After all, Abbas, we now know, rigged the recent Palestinian elections of January 2005 much like Arafat did with the "elections" of January 1996. Even Jimmy Carter says so.!!!]

But getting a straight and reliable answer from Abbas may be even tougher than it was from Arafat.

Like a veteran baseball pitcher who keeps opponents and fans guessing by mixing fastballs, curves and sliders, Mahmoud Abbas continues to perplex observers who try to read his intentions.

On the night of his election a few two weeks ago, Abbas spoke of peace while urging the Palestinians forward towards their "biggest Jihad"-a term that commonly means "holy war" in Arabic.

As Abbas completes his second month in both shoes of Yasser Arafat- both as President of the Palestinian Authority and chairman of the PLO-he has already amassed a formidable repertoire of mixed messages, among them:

  • Calling for peace, while calling Israel "the Zionist Enemy";
  • Declaring a need to end "weapons anarchy," while he and his top aides openly advocate attacking Israeli civilians and soldiers in "occupied territory" as acts of legitimate "resistance";
  • And urging an end to the "militarization of the Intifada" while offering jobs to the most militant "militarists" within the Palestinian community-the Islamic terrorists of HAMAS and the "Martyrs Brigade" of his own Fatah organization.

    "Our stance is very clear," asserted Ahmad Abdul-Rahman, the Palestinian Cabinet secretary appearing on Palestinian state television last month.

    "Any resistance has to be in Israeli-occupied lands," said the dark-haired Abdul-Rahman who has been one of the two or three closest advisors both to Abbas and Arafat.

    When the Palestinian state television anchorman seemed confused by the words of Abdul-Rahman, who regularly sits at the elbow of Abbas at public meetings, the cabinet secretary explained: "Within the occupied territory, we can use any means necessary to get Israel out."

    Mr. Abbas did not make any public comment scolding Mr. Abdul-Rahman for his remarks, and both Palestinian television and several Palestinian newspapers showed Mr. Abdul-Rahman sitting alongside President Abbas the following day at a public meeting in Ramallah.

    So, when we try to figure out why Voice of Palestine would suggest that the Tel Aviv night club was a military target, all we have to do is remember that attacking Israelis with a military connection is actually "a resistance operation" which Abbas and his Fatah comrades specifically supported in their February 6meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council. This was only two days before the fabled Sharm al-Sheikh summit that was supposed to end all the Palestinian-Israeli violence.

    Abbas called this both "hudna" [ceasefire] and tahdiyya-a cooling-off period. But Hudna actually means more than that.

    "Hudna" [pronounced Hood-nah, first syllable accented] means a temporary truce by a Muslim with a non-Muslim. In practice, it means a time for Muslim extremists to heal their wounds and re-arm.

    Since the "hudna" went into effect, the Islamic terrorists have enjoyed the release of some of their convicted colleagues from jails as well as easier access to Israeli targets.

    For some Israelis, the hudna has brought a more permanent peace-especially those in the Tel Aviv nightclub.

    Dr. Michael Widlanski teaches political communication at the Rothberg School of Hebrew University. His doctorate, "Palestinian Broadcast Media In the Palestinian State-Building Process: Patterns of Influence and Control," was based on eight years of research involving more than 7,000 hours of monitoring Palestinian radio in Arabic as well as television and newspaper surveys. Widlanski was The New York Times campus correspondent at Columbia University, 1974-1976, a reporter-researcher in the NYTimes Jerusalem bureau, 1980-82, Middle East Correspondent for The Cox Newspapers/Atlanta Constitution/Boston Globe, 1982-89. He subsequently served as Middle East editor of the Jerusalem Post and as an advisor to Israeli negotiating teams at the Madrid Peace Conference and talks in Washington.

    30 Midbar Sinai Street,
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    Comprehensive Picture:
    Policy Statements and Actions of PA Chair Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)
    Israel Resource News Agency Staff


    GAZA, February 20, 2005(IPC+ Al-Ayam)-[Official PA website]

    The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, renowned as "Abu Mazen" stated on Saturday that he is seeking to clinch a deal for cease fire with the armed resistance factions not to use force against them. Interviewed by the German Der Spiegel magazine, Abu Mazen said that the Palestinian National Authority is not intended to battle with Palestinian factions but to strike an a agreement. Mr. Abass pointed out that the military wings of Hams and Fateh movements should be integrated in the Palestinian security forces.


    Hisham Abu Taha, Arab News, RAMALLAH, February 20, 2005
    www.arabnews.com/?page=4§ion=0&article=59263&d=20&m=2&y=2005

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he opposes any use of force to disarm Palestinian groups. "We don't want conflict with the armed organizations, but agreement," he said.


    Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST, February 16, 2005

    About 350 Palestinian gunmen will be incorporated into the Palestinian Authority security forces soon as part of a deal reached between PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and leaders of all the Palestinian factions…

    The militiamen, who are on Israel's list of wanted terrorists, belong to various factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad. This is the first time that members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad would serve in the PA security forces…

    …"The fugitives who will join the security forces belong to all the Palestinian groups and factions," [PA Minister of Agriculture Ibrahim Abu al-]Naja said. "The move is designed to protect them against Israeli assassination attempts."


    LARA SUKHTIAN The Associated Press
    Monday, February 14, 2005

    KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip - Palestinian policemen, who have been given the task of restraining militants, say they can't or won't do the job.

    Interviewed at their front-line positions, some say they feel sympathy for the gunmen, while others fear getting shot at by Israeli troops…. "It's terrifying," said one officer, who like his colleagues spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with police regulations. "We're stuck between the settlers and soldiers on one side, and the fighters on the other."

    …a policeman said he was not willing to risk his life when Abbas gives no clear instructions on how to deal with militants. While the Palestinian leader has said he wants police to restore calm, he also stresses the need to avoid confrontations. In addition, many policemen have relatives who are militants. "I will never raise my weapons against the fighters," one officer said. "I can only ask them not to fire."

    …Many officers are more loyal to their clans or to militant groups than to the Palestinian leadership. One top security official estimated 80 percent of all killings in Gaza in recent years were committed by members of the security forces, but said they are rarely brought to justice.


    Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST, February 14, 2005

    Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has agreed to unfreeze Hamas funds held in a number of Palestinian banks, Palestinian sources in Gaza City said Monday.

    The sources said Hamas leaders who met with Abbas last Saturday raised the subject, urging him to rescind an earlier decision to freeze the funds. They said Abbas accepted the Hamas request and decided to release the funds, including a private bank account belonging to slain Hamas leader and founder Ahmed Yassin.


    Palestine Media Center - January 28, 2005
    PMC [Official PA website] www.palestine-pmc.com/details.asp?cat=1&id=810

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that inter-Palestinian dialogue is the only way to reach a national consensus on how to protect national interests and repeatedly rejected Israeli dictates to crack down on Palestinian factions as a recipe for infighting and civil war.


    January 16, 2005
    Israel Television Channel 2

    Arab Affairs Correspondent Ehud Yaari reported on the evening news…that while the PLO Executive Committee issued a call today for "halting all military acts that harm our national interests," that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) has yet to follow up this call with orders to PA security to take action in the field.

    Abbas met with PA security officials…but did not issue instructions to the PA security heads in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip to take action to stop the Palestinian attacks.


    (Scotsman-UK) January 11, ţ2005

    Nabil Amr, a Palestinian legislator and close ally of Mahmoud Abbas, outlined Abbas's coming steps. "He will start immediately to open the political track with the Israelis and he must reach immediate agreement with Hamas and the other factions to calm the situation, to convince Sharon to open a new page for the new Palestinian leadership." "If Abu Mazen succeeds in getting a real easing of conditions, I'm sure he will create a new atmosphere and people will support his strategy."

    Abbas, said Amr, will ask Sharon to drop the demand specified in the road map that the PA dismantle "terrorist capabilities and infrastructure" and instead accept a ceasefire by the armed groups. "If Abu Mazen succeeds in reaching a ceasefire and containing all these groups, the Israelis must be satisfied. We will not punish any group, we will contain them by our own way, not Sharon's way."


    CBS/AP, Ramallah, January 10, 2005

    In his acceptance speech, Abbas said he faces a difficult mission, but he reiterated that he would not go after militants. Instead, he said, he wants to "give our fugitives a life of dignity," referring to those wanted by Israel.

    "I present this victory to the soul of Yasser Arafat and present it to our people and to our martyrs."


    HAARETZ January 5, 2005

    Leading Palestinian chairmanship candidate Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) yesterday called Israel the "Zionist enemy," a marked escalation in his campaign rhetoric.

    Abbas spoke to thousands of supporters after seven Palestinians were killed by an Israeli tank shell in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahia. "We came to you today, while we are praying for the souls of the martyrs who were killed by the shells of the Zionist enemy in Beit Lahia," Abbas said during a campaign stop in Khan Yunis.


    ALBEIRA, Palestine, December 27, 2004 (IPC+ Agencies)
    [Official PA website] www.ipc.gov.ps/ipc_new/english/details.asp?name=1707

    Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the January 9 presidential candidate, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), stressed on Monday on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, mainly the rights of refugees to return back to Palestine and to establish an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Mr. Abu Mazen's remarks came in a meeting he held with various businessmen from the various West Bank areas in the Albeira City.


    Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST, December 25, 2004
    www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1103963958205&p=1101615860782

    In his first official campaign speech, PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) said on Saturday that he would not employ force against any Palestinian group and called for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders as a prerequisite for achieving peace.

    "I will not use weapons against any Palestinian," he stressed. "Israel calls them [the armed groups] murderers, but we call them strugglers. The Palestinians have political pluralism just like Israel."


    Kuwait, December 12, 2004 (SANA-Official Syrian News Agency)
    www.sana.org/english/headlines/12-12/abbass.htm

    Abbass stressed in an interview published by the Kuwaiti daily al-Ray al-Aam today that the Palestinian problem needs the combination of efforts to achieve the Palestinian national project represented by the establishment of the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as it capital , and the return of the refugees.


    [Beirut] Daily Star staff Thursday, December 09, 2004

    Referring to the two-year-long intifada in the Occupied Territories, Abbas said "Ninety-nine percent of Palestinian people are in favor of calming the situation down. What we have now is not an intifada or armed struggle; we merely have the use of weapons."


    From a Newsweek interview, November 28, 2004

    "We fought Hamas in 1996. Now things have changed. We have to deal with them delicately. We have to ask them to stop everything - to have law and order."


    Haaretz, November 23, 2004
    www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/505214.html

    "We promise you [Arafat] that our heart will not rest until we achieve the right of return for our people and end the tragic refugee issue," PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas(aka Abu Mazen) to the Palestinian parliament .

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    Max Fisher:
    Pres. Eisenhower regretted he pushed Israel to pull from Sinai
    Dr. Joseph Lerner
    Co-Director, IMRA


    [My colleague, friend and mentor Dr. Joseph Lerner showed me the following passage in the biography about Max Fisher that is excerpted below. As Dr. Lerner correctly notes, however,that "Unfortunately, for some reason, the message Eisenhower shared with Fisher - though revealed in Golden's book never made it beyond that page". Indeed, the fact that the US guarantees were never really made to Israel in 1957 as a prerequisite for Israel withdrawing from the Sinai speaks for itself. - DB]

    Eisenhower was hotheaded in the situation. His telephone call to Prime Minister Anthony Eden was delivered in a crude barracks-style tongue lashing. Two days into the war he admonished Prime Minister Ben Gurion " . . . you ought not forget that the strength of Israel and her future are bound up with the United States." This was followed by specific threats: If Israel did not leave Sinai and Gaza there would be U.N. condemnation, U.S. aid would be terminated, the tax-status of charitable contributions would be challenged and Soviet "volunteers" might invade Israel. Critics of Israel point to Eisenhower's treatment of Israel in this episode as exemplary. Later, he changed his mind regarding Israel.

    In October, 1965 Max M. Fisher visited Eisenhower at his Gettysburg farm. Eisenhower told him " . . . looking back at Suez, I regret what I did. I never should have pressed Israel to evacuate the Sinai. He continued: " . . . If I'd had a Jewish advisor working for me, I doubt I would have handled the situation the same way. I would not have forced the Israelis back" (Peter Golden, "Quiet Diplomat, Max M. Fisher" pp.xviii - xix ,Herzl Press 1992).

    Eisenhower was hotheaded in the situation. His telephone call to Prime Minister Anthony Eden was delivered in a crude barracks-style tongue lashing.

    Two days into the war he admonished Prime Minister Ben Gurion " . . . you ought not forget that the strength of Israel and her future are bound up with the United States." This was followed by specific threats: If Israel did not leave Sinai and Gaza there would be U.N. condemnation, U.S. aid would be terminated, the tax-status of charitable contributions would be challenged and Soviet "volunteers" might invade Israel. Critics of Israel point to Eisenhower's treatment of Israel in this episode as exemplary. Later, he changed his mind regarding Israel.

    In October, 1965 Max M. Fisher visited Eisenhower at his Gettysburg farm. Eisenhower told him " . . . looking back at Suez, I regret what I did. I never should have pressed Israel to evacuate the Sinai. He continued: " . . . If I'd had a Jewish advisor working for me, I doubt I would have handled the situation the same way. I would not have forced the Israelis back" (Peter Golden, "Quiet Diplomat, Max M. Fisher" pp.xviii - xix ,Herzl Press 1992)

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    Blair, the Palestinians' Friend
    Hatzofe editorial - March 3rd, 2005


    British Prime Minister Tony Blair is an enthusiastic supporter of the Palestinians. Moreover, in order to repel the criticism aired against him from within his own party ranks about his too cozy relationship with US President George Bush, he wants to pay a heavy price, at Israel's expense.

    Not only that, Blair is the person who is urging the American president to be forthcoming with the Palestinians and to act assiduously for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

    Abu Mazen emerged from the London conference with many assets in hand. He was "painted" a rosy hue for the consumption of British and European public opinion, and he also received far-reaching promises to rehabilitate the Palestinian Authority.

    Abu Mazen, in practice, has not been obliged to do anything tangible and thorough against the terror organization. For Tony Blair and his comrades, it is enough that Abu Mazen air statements in condemnation of terrorism and make promises that he will do everything in his power to combat terrorism.

    Meanwhile, thousands of armed men roam the streets of Gaza and Judea and Samaria, without anyone from the Palestinian Authority bothering to take their illegal weapons away from them; meanwhile, Kassam rockets and mortar shells are still being manufactured in residential areas, and weapons are still being smuggled to the various terror organizations via Egypt.

    Abu Mazen knows this and, according to intelligence officials, has done nothing to damage the terrorist infrastructure.

    Dozens of terror cells are currently mobilizing in Gaza and Judea and Samaria, guided by Hizbullah and financed by Iran. Abu Mazen is aware of this reality, but his people prefer to trade in words and to refrain from taking action.

    The green light that Israel has given Abu Mazen is already costing it dearly, and it is making a mistake by refraining from publicly criticizing him for not combating terrorism and not rooting it out.

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    Senior Israeli Security Officials:
    War on Terror in West Bank "NOT SERIOUS"
    Nana (online Israeli news service)


    Israeli Security officials today blamed the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Abu Mazen, for not fighting terror in the West Bank. This is unlike the situation in the Gaza Strip, where a considerable drop in the number of incidents is evident, coming to two or three a day.

    A senior security official said that Abu Mazen has not made changes in the top ranks of the security organizations in the West Bank, which he says indicates a lack of seriousness in the PA's war on terror. "Only replacing the old generation of officers in the West Bank will constitute a real declaration of intent," he told Ha'aretz, "not a lot can be expected from the present bunch."

    This piece ran on the Nana Wire Service on March 3rd, 2005

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    Islamic Jihad Plan to Fire Rockets at Afula
    Hagai Huberman
    Correspondent, Hatzofeh


    This week Islamic Jihad was in the headlines and not only because of the terror attack at the Tel Aviv nightclub on Friday night.

    . . . Terror attacks planned by the organization that were no less serious were played down.

    On Monday afternoon, following a two day hunt, Nahal Brigade forces discovered a commercial vehicle laden with powerful explosives near the village of Arabe in the Jenin area, not far from the Menashe brigade command headquarters. The car, which was in an advanced stage of preparation, was found with a long cable with a battery, and with a video camera connected to it in order to document the terror attack.

    The car was detonated in a controlled manner by security force sappers. An Islamic Jihad infrastructure in the Tulkarm area was behind the attempt to carry out a large scale terror attack, directed by the Islamic Jihad command headquarters in Syria.

    A few months, ago, on December 30, security forces arrested Jibril Zubeidi, a wanted 19 year old Islamic Jihad terrorist youth. The wanted man, brother of Zakariya Zubeidi, was caught after trying to flee from the vehicle he was driving. In the vehicle were found M-16 rifles, as well as two magazines of ammunition.

    Information that the GSS gave permission to publish indicated that until his arrest Jibril Zubeidi was a wanted man who operated on behalf of the Islamic Jihad infrastructure in the Jenin area, and was connected to a large number of terrorists and wanted men in the area in which some of them were arrested. Zubeidi operated tirelessly to carry out terror attacks against IDF forces in the Samaria area and on the Israeli home front. He was also involved in shooting attacks at IDF soldiers and the planning and guiding of many terror attacks.

    During his interrogation by GSS officials, Zubeidi said that the infrastructure he belonged to had planned serious terror attacks. The most serious one among them was a plan to fire rockets at Afula, by placing the launching area between Jenin and Afula. The rockets were not fired because of technological problems with the infrastructure. It is reasonable to assume that in view of the damage to morale created by the Kassam rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, it was not hard for activists such as Zubeidi and his cohorts to identify the potential that could be found in the firing of rockets from northern Samaria to Israeli territory.

    Another terror attack that was planned was the blowing up of a car bomb. Zubeidi admitted his involvement in the preparation of a booby trapped vehicle together with senior wanted Islamic Jihad men in Jenin. The car bomb was meant to blow up near IDF soldiers next to the IDF roadblock on the seamline.

    And there was also a planned suicide bombing. Zubeidi was involved in the attempt to dispatch two suicide bombers to carry out the suicide bombing at French Hill in Jerusalem, and even agreed to make sure to send them to Israel. The two suicide bombers, who were supposed to shoot at a school and cause a large number of victims, were arrested in an operation by GSS and IDF. In this manner a terror attack was thwarted, which was supposed to be in response to the death of Mohammed Camil, an Islamic Jihad terrorist from Kabatiya.

    The official Palestinian Authority news agency ignored the terror attack, while the Palestinian print media reported the Islamic Jihad taking responsibility for the terror attack in Tel Aviv by terrorist Abdullah Said Badran, a student from the village of Dir Russon, north of Tulkarm.

    This official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, in its Hebrew edition, this week presented complaints against IDF activity, while ignoring the fact that these operations stemmed from the same terror attack.

    A report published on Monday with the headline, "Occupation Soldiers Occupied the Town of Dir al-Russon," wrote this: "Security sources and eyewitnesses reported that a large force of the Israeli occupying army yesterday invaded the town of Dir al-Russon, south of the city of Tulkarm, and took it over. The Israeli occupying soldiers very carefully searched the home of town resident Said Ibrahim Badran, leaving the town afterwards without any reports of arrests being made during this raid."

    Not one word about the fact that only two days before, a suicide bomber had left the town to carry out a terror attack, or that the very same resident of this town, coincidentally, is the father of the same suicide bomber.

    And another report from the same agency, on the same day, on its Hebrew language site. The headline: "Military steps against those coming from Tulkarm to Nablus have been increased." And the report (in Hebrew) says that, "Eyewitnesses report Israeli occupying forces have significantly increased the maneuvers that they carry out against civilians, who yesterday tried to travel on the roads leading from Tulkarm to Nablus, in the northern West Bank. Eye witnesses reported that the Israeli occupying forces yesterday set up a mobile roadblock near the settlement of Shaveh Shomron, which is located on the lands of the town of Dir Sharaf, which is northwest of Nablus, combed and searched the belongings of the citizens who tried to use the road, and caused long lines of Palestinian vehicles, who waited for their turn near the roadblock."

    Again, not one word about the fact that the search was being conducted there simply in the wake of the terror attack, which originated in that very area . . .

    This piece ran in Hatzofeh on March 3rd, 2005

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    False Media Reports About Rabbinical Ruling Led to Edict Allowing Bedouin Soldiers Who Serve in the IDF to Kill "Settlers"
    Ronny Sofer
    Correspondent, Y-Net(an Israeli wire service)


    [In the words of Dr. Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA, " Chalk up a major accomplishment to the media-Sharon administration tag team: after giving top billing to a fake story for a day about a nonexistent rabbinical ruling allowing settlers to shoot at non-Jewish soldiers a leading Bedouin cleric responded with a real ruling. The news item about a supposed Rabbincal edict which permitted Israeli citizens to kill non-Jewish Israeli soldiers ran on the Israeli news wires for two full days, until the IBA NEWS finally acknowledged it to be a falsified news story with no factual basis. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency ran the news item for two days without pulling it off their news wire -db]

    TEL AVIV - A leading Bedouin cleric has issued a religious edict allowing Bedouin soldiers to kill anyone who attempts to harm them in the process of settlement evacuation, Channel 2 reported Wednesday.

    "Whoever attempts to harm Bedouin soldiers.shouldn't think they would just stand there and do nothing," said Sheikh Kamal Abu Nadi, whose rulings are respected by families whose sons serve in the IDF.

    Notably, Druze, Bedouin, and even some Muslim youngsters choose to serve in the IDF. The cleric himself served in the army for 11 years.

    This item ran on the Y-Net News Service on March 2nd, 2005

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    Text:
    Does the US Arms Export Control Act Permit Israel to use US-made Law Enforcement Equipment to Oppress a Native Population?


    [In light of the intention of the current Israeli government to use US-made law enforcement equipment to raze the homes of a selected minority ethnic group, it may be instructive to examine sections 505 and 502 of the US Arms Export Control Act to determine if it is permitted, under US law, for foreign nations who benefit from US AID to use US-made law enforcement equipment to oppress and repress peaceful and law abiding citizens - db.]

    Sec. 505 Conditions of Eligibility

    (505)(a) In addition to such other provisions as the President may require, no defense articles or related training or other defense service shall be furnished to any country on a grant basis unless it shall have agreed that--

    (a)(1) it will not, without the consent of the President . . . .

    (a)(1)(B) transfer, or permit any officer, employee, or agent of that country to transfer such articles or related training or other defense service by gift, sale, or otherwise, or

    (a)(1)(C) use or permit the use of such articles or related training or other defense service for purposes other than those for which furnished; . . . . .

    (505)(b) No defense articles shall be furnished on a grant basis to any country at a cost in excess of $3,000,000 in any fiscal year unless the President determines--

    (b)(1) that such country conforms to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations;

    (b)(2) that such defense articles will be utilized by such country for the maintenance of its own defensive strength, or the defensive strength of the free world;

    (b)(3) that such country is taking all reasonable measures, consistent with its political and economic stability, which may be needed to develop its defense capacities; and

    (b)(4) that the increased ability of such country to defend itself is important to the security of the United States.

    (505)(c) The President shall regularly reduce and, with such deliberate speed as orderly procedure and other relevant considerations, including prior commitments, will permit, shall terminate all further grants of military equipment and supplies to any country having sufficient wealth to enable it, in the judgment of the President, to maintain and equip its own military forces at adequate strength, without undue burden to its economy.

    (505)(d)(1) Assistance and deliveries of assistance under this chapter to any country shall be terminated as hereinafter provided, if such country uses defense articles or defense services furnished under this Act, the Mutual Security Act of 1954, or any predecessor Foreign Assistance Act, in substantial violation (either in terms of quantities or in terms of the gravity of the consequences regardless of the quantities involved) of any agreement entered into pursuant to any such Act (A) by using such articles or services for a purpose not authorized under section 502 or, if such agreement provides that such articles or services may only be used for purposes more limited than those authorized under section 502, for a purpose not authorized under such agreement; (B) by transferring such articles or services to, or permitting any use of such articles or services by, anyone not an officer, employee, or agent of the recipient country without the consent of the President; or(C) by failing to maintain the security of such articles or services.

    (505)(e) In considering a request for approval of any transfer of any weapon, weapons system, munitions, aircraft, military boat, military vessel, or other implement of war to another country, the President shall not give his consent under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(4) to the transfer unless the United States itself would transfer the defense article under consideration to that country. In addition, the President shall not give his consent under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(4) to the transfer of any significant defense articles on the United States Munitions List unless the foreign country requesting consent to transfer agrees to demilitarize such defense articles prior to transfer, or the proposed recipient foreign country provides a commitment in writing to the United States Government that it will not transfer such defense articles if not demilitarized, to any other foreign country or person without first obtaining the consent of the President . . . .

    (505)(g)(1) It is the policy of the United States that no assistance under this chapter should be furnished to any foreign country, the laws, regulations, official policies, or governmental practices of which prevent any United States person (as defined in section 7701(a)(30) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954) from participating in the furnishing of defense articles or defense services under this chapter on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or sex . . . . .


    Now for excerpts of teh Foreign Assistance Act . . . .

    Sec. 502B Human Rights

    (a)(1)The United States shall, in accordance with its international obligations as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and in keeping with the constitutional heritage and traditions of the United States, promote and encourage increased respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the world without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. Accordingly, a principal goal of the foreign policy of the United States shall be to promote the increased observance of internationally recognized human rights by all countries.

    (2)Except under circumstances specified in this section, no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. Security assistance may not be provided to the police, domestic intelligence, or similar law enforcement forces of a country, and licenses may not be issued under the Export Administration Act of 1979 for the export of crime control and detection instruments and equipment to a country, the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights unless the President certifies in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate (when licenses are to be issued pursuant to the Export Administration Act of 1979), that extraordinary circumstances exist warranting provision of such assistance and issuance of such licenses. Assistance may not be provided under chapter 5 of this part to a country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights unless the President certifies in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate that extraordinary circumstances exist warranting provision of such assistance.

    (3) In furtherance of paragraphs (1) and (2), the President is directed to formulate and conduct international security assistance programs of the United States in a manner which will promote and advance human rights and avoid identification of the United States, through such programs, with governments which deny to their people internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, in violation of international law or in contravention of the policy of the United States as expressed in this section or otherwise.

    (4) In determining whether the government of a country engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, the President shall give particular consideration to whether the government-

    (A) has engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom, as defined in section 3 of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998; or
    (B) has failed to undertake serious and sustained efforts to combat particularly severe violations of religious freedom when such efforts could have been reasonably undertaken.

    (b) The Secretary of State shall transmit to the Congress, as part of the presentation materials for security assistance programs proposed for each fiscal year, a full and complete report, prepared with the assistance of the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and with the assistance of the Am- bassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, with respect to practices regarding the observance of and respect for internationally recognized human rights in each country proposed as a recipient of security assistance. Wherever applicable, such report shall include consolidated information regarding the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and evidence of acts that may constitute genocide (as defined in article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and modified by the United States instrument of ratification to that convention and section 2(a) of the Genocide Convention Implementation Act of 1987). Wherever applicable, such report shall include information on practices regarding coercion in population control, including coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization. Such report shall also include, wherever applicable, information on violations of religious freedom, including particularly severe violations of religious freedom (as defined in section 3 of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998). Each report under this section shall describe the extent to which each country has extended protection to refugees, including the provision of first asylum and resettlement. Each report under this section shall list the votes of each member of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on all country-specific and thematic resolutions voted on at the Commission's annual session during the period covered during the preceding year. In determining whether a government falls within the provisions of subsection (a)(3) and in the preparation of any report or statement required under this section, consideration shall be given to-

    (1) the relevant findings of appropriate international organizations, including nongovernmental organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross; and

    (2) the extent of cooperation by such government in permitting an unimpeded investigation by any such organization of alleged violations of internationally recognized human rights.

    (c)(1) Upon the request of the Senate or the House of Representatives by resolution of either such House, or upon the request of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate or the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of State shall, within thirty days after receipt of such request, transmit to both such committees a statement, prepared with the assistance of the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, with respect to the country designated in such request, setting forth-

    (A) all the available information about observance of and respect for human rights and fundamental freedom in that country, and a detailed description of practices by the recipient government with respect thereto;

    (B) the steps the United States has taken to-

    (i) promote respect for and observance of human rights in that country and discourage any practices which are inimical to internationally recognized human rights, and

    (ii) publicly or privately call attention to, and disassociate

    the United States and any security assistance provided for such country from, such practices;

    (C) whether, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, notwithstanding any such practices-

    (i) extraordinary circumstances exist which necessitate a continuation of security assistance for such country, and, if so, a description of such circumstances and the extent to which such assistance should be continued (subject to such conditions as Congress may impose under this section),and

    (ii) on all the facts it is in the national interest of the United States to provide such assistance; and

    (D) such other information as such committee or such House may request.

    (2)(A) A resolution of request under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be considered in the Senate in accordance with the provisions of section 601(b) of the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976.

    (B) The term ''certification'', as used in section 601 of such Act, means, for the purposes of this subsection, a resolution of request of the Senate under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

    (3) In the event a statement with respect to a country is requested pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection but is not transmitted in accordance therewith within thirty days after receipt of such request, no security assistance shall be delivered to such country except as may thereafter be specifically authorized by law from such country unless and until such statement is transmitted.

    (4)(A) In the event a statement with respect to a country is transmitted under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Congress may at any time thereafter adopt a joint resolution terminating, restricting, or continuing security assistance for such country. In the event such a joint resolution is adopted, such assistance shall be so terminated, so restricted, or so continued, as the case may be.

    (B) Any such resolution shall be considered in the Senate in accordance with the provisions of section 601(b) of the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976.

    (C) The term ''certification'', as used in section 601 of such Act, means, for the purposes of this paragraph, a statement transmitted under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

    (d) For the purposes of this section-

    (1) the term ''gross violations of internationally recognized human rights'' includes torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges and trial, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons,635 and other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of person; and

    (2) the term ''security assistance'' means-

    (A) assistance under chapter 2 (military assistance) or chapter 4 (economic support fund) or chapter 5 (military education and training) or chapter 6 (peacekeeping operations) or chapter 8 (antiterrorism assistance) of this part;

    (B) sales of defense articles or services, extensions of credits (including participations in credits),638 and guaranties of loans under the Arms Export Control Act; or

    (C) any license in effect with respect to the export of defense articles or defense services to or for the armed forces, police, intelligence, or other internal security forces of a foreign country under section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act.

    (e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, funds authorized to be appropriated under part I of this Act may be made available for the furnishing of assistance to any country with respect to which the President finds that such a significant improvement in its human rights record has occurred as to warrant lifting the prohibition on furnishing such assistance in the national interest of the United States.

    (f) In allocating the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act and the Arms Export Control Act, the President shall take into account significant improvements in the human rights records of recipient countries, except that such allocations may not contravene any other provision of law.

    (g) Whenever the provisions of subsection (e) or (f) of this section are applied, the President shall report to the Congress before making any funds available pursuant to those subsections. The report shall specify the country involved, the amount and kinds of assistance to be provided, and the justification for providing the assistance, including a description of the significant improvements which have occurred in the country's human rights record.

    (h) (1) The report required by subsection (b) shall include the following:

    (A) A description of the nature and extent of severe forms of trafficking in persons, as defined in section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, in each foreign country.

    (B) With respect to each country that is a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons, an assessment of the efforts by the government of that country to combat such trafficking. The assessment shall address the following:

    (i) Whether government authorities in that country participate in, facilitate, or condone such trafficking.

    (ii) Which government authorities in that country are involved in activities to combat such trafficking.

    (iii) What steps the government of that country has taken to prohibit government officials from participating in, facilitating, or condoning such trafficking, including the investigation, prosecution, and conviction of such officials.

    (iv) What steps the government of that country has taken to prohibit other individuals from participating in such trafficking, including the investigation, prosecution, and conviction of individuals involved in severe forms of trafficking in persons, the criminal and civil penalties for such trafficking, and the efficacy of those penalties in eliminating or reducing such trafficking.

    (v) What steps the government of that country has taken to assist victims of such trafficking, including efforts to prevent victims from being further victimized by traffickers, government officials, or others, grants of relief from deportation, and provision of humanitarian relief, including provision of mental and physical health care and shelter.

    (vi) Whether the government of that country is cooperating with governments of other countries to extradite traffickers when requested, or, to the extent that such cooperation would be inconsistent with the laws of such country or with extradition treaties to which such country is a party, whether the government of that country is taking all appropriate measures to modify or replace such laws and treaties so as to permit such cooperation.

    (vii) Whether the government of that country is assisting in international investigations of transnational trafficking networks and in other cooperative efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons.

    (viii) Whether the government of that country refrains from prosecuting victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons due to such victims having been trafficked, and refrains from other discriminatory treatment of such victims.

    (ix) Whether the government of that country recognizes the rights of victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons and ensures their access to justice.

    (C) Such other information relating to trafficking in persons as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

    (2) In compiling data and making assessments for the purposes of paragraph (1), United States diplomatic mission personnel shall consult with human rights organizations and other appropriate nongovernmental organizations. Sec. 505 Conditions of Eligibility

    (505)(a) In addition to such other provisions as the President may require, no defense articles or related training or other defense service shall be furnished to any country on a grant basis unless it shall have agreed that--

    (a)(1) it will not, without the consent of the President . . . .

    (a)(1)(B) transfer, or permit any officer, employee, or agent of that country to transfer such articles or related training or other defense service by gift, sale, or otherwise, or

    (a)(1)(C) use or permit the use of such articles or related training or other defense service for purposes other than those for which furnished; . . . . .

    (505)(b) No defense articles shall be furnished on a grant basis to any country at a cost in excess of $3,000,000 in any fiscal year unless the President determines--

    (b)(1) that such country conforms to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations;

    (b)(2) that such defense articles will be utilized by such country for the maintenance of its own defensive strength, or the defensive strength of the free world;

    (b)(3) that such country is taking all reasonable measures, consistent with its political and economic stability, which may be needed to develop its defense capacities; and

    (b)(4) that the increased ability of such country to defend itself is important to the security of the United States.

    (505)(c) The President shall regularly reduce and, with such deliberate speed as orderly procedure and other relevant considerations, including prior commitments, will permit, shall terminate all further grants of military equipment and supplies to any country having sufficient wealth to enable it, in the judgment of the President, to maintain and equip its own military forces at adequate strength, without undue burden to its economy.

    (505)(d)(1) Assistance and deliveries of assistance under this chapter to any country shall be terminated as hereinafter provided, if such country uses defense articles or defense services furnished under this Act, the Mutual Security Act of 1954, or any predecessor Foreign Assistance Act, in substantial violation (either in terms of quantities or in terms of the gravity of the consequences regardless of the quantities involved) of any agreement entered into pursuant to any such Act (A) by using such articles or services for a purpose not authorized under section 502 or, if such agreement provides that such articles or services may only be used for purposes more limited than those authorized under section 502, for a purpose not authorized under such agreement; (B) by transferring such articles or services to, or permitting any use of such articles or services by, anyone not an officer, employee, or agent of the recipient country without the consent of the President; or(C) by failing to maintain the security of such articles or services.

    (505)(e) In considering a request for approval of any transfer of any weapon, weapons system, munitions, aircraft, military boat, military vessel, or other implement of war to another country, the President shall not give his consent under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(4) to the transfer unless the United States itself would transfer the defense article under consideration to that country. In addition, the President shall not give his consent under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(4) to the transfer of any significant defense articles on the United States Munitions List unless the foreign country requesting consent to transfer agrees to demilitarize such defense articles prior to transfer, or the proposed recipient foreign country provides a commitment in writing to the United States Government that it will not transfer such defense articles if not demilitarized, to any other foreign country or person without first obtaining the consent of the President . . . .

    (505)(g)(1) It is the policy of the United States that no assistance under this chapter should be furnished to any foreign country, the laws, regulations, official policies, or governmental practices of which prevent any United States person (as defined in section 7701(a)(30) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954) from participating in the furnishing of defense articles or defense services under this chapter on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or sex . . . . .

    Souce: www.fas.org/asmp/campaigns/legislationindex.html

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    Talking Peace and Executing Those Who Cooperate With Israel
    Amit Cohen and Ilil Shahar
    Correspondents, Maariv


    [The spokesman for the US Embassy, Paul Paten, was asked if the US, which is promoting democracy among the Palestinians, would intervene to stop these executions of dissidents. he would not give a definitive answer - db]

    Israel believed that Abu Mazen's election marked a new attitude in the Palestinian Authority towards human rights, but it appears that with regard to those who cooperate with Israel, the attitude is the same as in Arafat's time. In the coming month, the PA will execute 15 Palestinians charged with cooperation with Israel.

    The last steps are currently being carried out for coordinating between the PA agencies, in advance of the execution of 15 people who were convicted of cooperation boration with Israel and the murder of Palestinian citizens. Director of the Military Courts Authority Saeb Kidwa announced last night that Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Ikrima Sabri had examined the 15 cases of the sentenced prisoners and given religious authorization to have them executed.

    Sabri returned the cases to PA Chairman Abu Mazen, who is supposed to submit the cases to the appropriate authorities for the execution of the sentence. The execution will be carried out by the Palestinian security services, under the supervision of the Military Courts Authority.

    The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel has condemned the decision to execute the coooperaters and announced that it is opposed in principle to this type of punishment. The committee requested that the sentences be repealed, since they are illegitimate, cruel and inhumane . . .

    Following this, Minister Sharansky sent an urgent letter to the prime minister, writing the following:

    "The Israeli government should pose an uncompromising demand to the PA not to execute cooperators. It is unthinkable that the Palestinian Authority demands that Israel release terrorists, and we accede to the demand in hope of opening the way to a future of peace, while it intends to carry out state-sponsored murder of people who helped us fight terrorism."

    This piece ran in Maariv on March 4th, 2005

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    Should the CIA Train PLO Armed Personnel Once Again?
    Matthew Kalman
    Correspondent, New York Daily News


    BETHLEHEM,

    As the U.S. renews its training sessions for Palestinian security forces, a group photo from seven years ago holds a stark warning for the Bush administration about the fate of past CIA trainees.

    In June 1998, somewhere near CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., two rows of men in military fatigues posed for their graduation photo.

    All of them were officers in the Palestinian General Intelligence Service, charged with hunting down terrorists and preventing attacks on Israel. They had just completed a training course, paid for by American taxpayers, in which they learned firearms and counterterrorist tactics.

    But some of the men in the picture later swapped sides and began using the skills they learned in Virginia against the Israelis.

    Now the Bush administration is considering renewing these courses under the supervision of Mideast security coordinator Lt. Gen. William Ward.

    The U.S. is prepared to play a major role in "the training of the Palestinian security forces and in making sure that they are security forces that are part of the solution, not part of the problem," Secretary of State Rice said in London last month.

    The men in the 1998 photo came from the West Bank towns of Bethlehem, Jericho and Nablus.

    Kneeling fourth from the left in the front row is Raafat Bajali. In December 2001, Bajali was killed when a bomb he was making blew up in his face. He had become a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

    Standing in the back row, second from the left, is Khaled Abu Nijmeh, from the Deheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem.

    By 2001, he had become one of the most-wanted Palestinian militants in the city, suspected of involvement in a string of attacks against Israelis.

    In May 2002, he was one of 13 gunmen escorted from the Church of the Nativity siege in Bethlehem, flown to Cyprus and then to exile in Europe.

    "I am a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and a first sergeant in Palestinian General Intelligence," Abu Nijmeh, now 36, said from his temporary home in Rome.

    "I personally received a course in anti-terrorism and VIP protection," he continued. "I was not alone. Many Palestinian security people were trained by the Americans."

    There have been warnings for years of the dangers of the CIA training program.

    "The CIA and British efforts to train Palestinians during the Oslo process helped strengthen terrorist capabilities," said Israeli political analyst Gerald Steinberg of Bar-Ilan University.

    A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that if previous U.S. aid went to train would-be militants, "obviously steps will be taken so that any future training does not lead to a similar outcome

    This article ran on the New York Daily News on March 3rd, 2005: www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_report/story/286157p-245023c.html

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