Israel Resource Review 12th November, 2006


Abbas on 2nd Anniversary of Arafat's Death:We will never Alter his Principles
(WAFA - PLO news agency)

[This is the Pal. leader defined by the leaders of the USA and Israel as a "moderate" - db ]

RAMALLAH, November 11, 2006, (WAFA - PLO news agency)- President Mahmoud Abbas asserted Saturday that the path of the late President Yasser Arafat is the way of freedom and independence.

In a speech in a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat, in the Presidential HQ in Ramallah, President Abbas said that the "torch of freedom" lightened by President Arafat in 1965 would continue flaming despite the Israeli aggression, siege and Apartheid Wall.

President Abbas counted significant political and revolutionary spots in the life of the prominent leader Yasser Arafat.

He reminded that the late leader, Arafat, abided by the Palestinian rights, for freedom and independence, especially Jerusalem, the Christian and Islamic shrines and the solution of the issue of the Palestinian refugees based on the UN resolution 194 (Right of Return).

Abbas added that "we" will never change the principles and goals of Yasser Arafat, asserting that the peace president Arafat signed for is the "peace of the brave."

He asserted that the Israeli Occupation and colonisation of the Palestinian land is totally illegal and should be ended.

President reiterated that Jerusalem is the permanent capital of the Palestinian state, asserting that its annexation is illegal and should be ended.

Abbas highlighted that peace and security would never be achieved as long as the Israeli occupation, colonisation and annexing Jerusalem continues.

He affirmed that if Israel looks for peace it should implement the resolutions of the international legitimacy, to withdraw from the Palestinian and Arab territories occupied in 1967 and to recognise the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

"We chose the path of peace and negotiations and accepted the resolutions of the international legitimacy, the President Bush's vision for ending the Israeli occupation began in 1967, the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative (2002), and we unilaterally initiated the truce and welcomed an active role for the Quartet Committee. But the Israeli Government ignores the chances, neglects setting around the table of negotiations and intensifies its occupation, colonisation and incursions into our lands," President Abbas said.

He mentioned to the massacre of Beit Hanoun, asserting that what happened in Beit Hanoun is a strong sample of the Israeli policy towards the Palestinian people.

He said that the Israelis every day and every everywhere in Palestninian territory practices indiscriminate killing, destruction of houses and economy and siege.

Abbas sent a message to the Palestinian people in exile (USA, Europe, Asia, Arab Countries . . . etc) that the right of return of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and homeland is protected and supported by the international legitimacy.

He reiterated that the issue of the refugees is an issue of "homeland and identity", thus "we" refused all projects of settling the Palestinian refugees down in any country.

President highlighted the issue of more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, asserting that it is impossible to achieve peace while the prisoners, including lawmakers, ministers and mayors, are imprisoned.

President Abbas, called on "brothers and friends" to support the Palestinian people and to end the siege and the boycott imposed on them eight months ago.

He also called them to pressurise the Israeli Government to set for negotiations and to end its occupation.

President Abbas concluded his speech by announcing the establishment of the "Yasser Arafat Benevolent Association" , which would collect and protect the heritage of President Arafat and to carry out charity projects in education and culture.

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Middle East News Line

Israel has examined the prospect of developing long-range, precision-strike artillery that could destroy missile batteries in such countries as Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority and Syria.

Officials said the Defense Ministry was considering proposals from defense contractors for a platform that could rapidly detect and respond to missile threats from as far as 100 kilometers. The ministry was reviewing emerging military requirements for land-based artillery that could bolster airborne missile defense capabilities.

The General Staff has not set a requirement for long-range artillery, officials said. But commanders, particularly those in the Ground Forces Command and the Planning Division, have assessed that Israel would come under major threat from short- and medium-range rockets obtained by Palestinian insurgency groups, Hizbullah and Syria.

"There are several options to the short- and medium-range rocket threat," an official said. "One is to respond with ground forces, which could take anywhere from several hours to several days. The other is to develop an airborne defense, which would not be particularly effective. The last is to build a system in which they could fire no more than one missile or rocket before we track and destroy their launchers."

The concept of using long-range and precision-strike artillery has been endorsed by several leading commanders, including Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz. Funding support has also come from leading parliamentarians, including Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Yuval Steinitz.

Officials said the medium- and long-range rockets would be networked by a command, control, communications, computer and intelligence system. The C4I system, linked to radars and intelligence systems, would be capable of responding within seconds to enemy missile and rocket fire.

Israel has developed two medium- and long-range rockets over the last three years. Israel Aircraft Industries has developed the single-stage solid-fuel Long Range Artillery, or LORA, which could reach a range of up to 300 kilometers. LORA, which succeeded in four of five live-fire tests, was said to have a warhead of 570 kilograms. LORA was said to have a circle error of probability of less than five meters.

Israel Military Industries has developed the Ramam Trajectory Corrected System, which could convert Multiple Launch Rocket Systems to precision weapons. The MLRS has a range of up to 45 kilometers, but Lockheed Martin has been developing an extended-range version that could reach 70 kilometers.

Officials have termed Ramam a successful attempt to extend the land arm of the Israeli military. The system has already been deployed on MLRS batteries.

IMI has also developed EXTRA, with a range of more than 130 kilometers and a CEP of 10 meters. EXTRA, with a 125-kilogram warhead and planned for its first live-fire test in 2006, marked a partnership of IAI and IMI.

Officials said the emerging technology would also obviate the need for air strikes on enemy and rocket missile batteries. They said in a comprehensive war, this would ensure that the Israel Air Force was used for offensive missions, rather than to protect Israeli communities.

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