Israel Resource Review 11th November, 2006


Amit Cohen
Correspondent, Maariv

After explicit threats from al-Qaida,now Palestinian organizations are also warning that they will carry out terror attacks against American targets.

The Palestinian threat came in the wake of the veto imposed by the US at the UN Security Council against the proposed resolution to condemn Israel about the killing of civilians in Beit Hanoun.

Four Palestinian organizations, including a faction of the Popular Resistance Committees and three factions of Fatah, threatened that the US would become a target for terror attacks. "America is once again ignoring the bloodshed of innocents," said the joint statement. "The massacre in Beit Hanoun was carried out by the Israeli occupation, with American weapons and under American supervision. The US gave the green light for the massacre, and gave its blessing by vetoing the condemnation."

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Hagai Huberman
Correspondent, HaTzofeh

MPs from the Change and Reform party, which is part of Hamas in the Nablus district, met on Saturday with a delegation from the city of Stavanger in Norway.

The delegation was greeted MPs Sheikh Hamed al-Bitawi, Ahmed al-Haj Ali and Daoud Abu Sir, as well as Mona Mansour.

The members of the Norwegian delegation were pleased by the meeting, and announced their solidarity with the Palestinian people. They noted that they felt shame when they saw that their country's government did not recognize the government of the Palestinian people.

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Middle East News Line

Israel has begun considering the ramifications of Arab allies building their militaries with Western arms and technology.

The Israel Army General Staff has determined that Israel could be threatened by Western-equipped armies along its border. The military has been mostly worried over the threat of advanced U.S. weapons in the militaries of Egypt and Jordan.

"This is not an immediate threat, but it is not something that we can ignore," a military source said. "When we have F-16s and they have F-16s, then the difference between us is not great."

The concern over the Western-equipped Arab militaries has been deemed a leading medium- and long-term threat by the General Staff. The military brass has been drafting short- and medium-term assessments for 2007, which would be presented to the government in December.

The sources said Israel has discussed the U.S. equipping of the Egyptian military with the Bush administration. They said the Israelis have sought assurances as well as decisions that would ensure superiority of the Jewish state over its neighbors, even those who have been at peace.

The threat has been particularly acute with Egypt, which over the last 25 years has built an air force comprised of F-16s and AH-64 Apache helicopters. The Egyptians have also been building an armored force of nearly 1,000 M1A1 main battle tanks.

"The commitment of the Egyptians to peace and stability has become increasingly questionable," the source said. "At the same time, [President Hosni] Mubarak's regime has been fading while the Muslim Brotherhood is growing stronger."

The latest military assessment raised the prospect of an Islamic revolution in Egypt that would turn its U.S.-equipped military against Israel. The General Staff also discussed the stability of Jordan, which has been receiving F-16s and advanced weapons.

The General Staff has determined the leading short-range threat as a war with Hibzullah and Syria in 2007. Another threat was of a Middle East war in wake of an expected U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

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Ronen Tal
Correspondent, Yediot Aharonot

Over the past few days missiles full of steel ball bearings have been launched from the Gaza Strip, and in light of their increasing precision, it was decided to stop reporting the site of their landings.

Six Kassam rockets landed on Thursday in Sderot and the western Negev.

One landed in the area near a hesder yeshiva where about 400 students study. No one was injured, but damage was caused to the building and several nearby parked cars. In the evening a Kassam rocket landed in the heart of the commercial center and hit a store.

The owner managed to escape when he heard the Red Color alert. Two people were lightly wounded by shrapnel.

Some of the rockets that were launched recently contained steel ball bearings, which scatter as a result of the force of the explosion. "We see walls with many holes in the area where the rockets land," said the security officer of the Sdot Negev Regional Council.

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