Israel Resource Review 16th November, 2006


Middle East News Line

Hizbullah recruited nearly 1,000 Al Qaida-aligned Sunnis to fight Israel in the war in Lebanon in mid-2006.

A United Nations report said at least 720 Sunnis from Somalia were recruited by Hizbullah to fight Israel in the 34-day war that ended on August 14. The report said Hizbullah brought the insurgents to Lebanon in July 2006 at the start of the war.

"In exchange for the contribution of the Somali military force, Hizbullah arranged for additional support to be given by the governments of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic, which was subsequently provided," the report said.

The 86-page report provided details of Hizbullah's relationship with Al Qaida-aligned Sunni insurgency groups in the war against Israel. The report said the Somalis were paid at least $2,000 each to fight in Lebanon.

The families of Somalis killed in the war were given as much as $30,000 each. The report said financing came from Hizbullah's patron, Iran, as well as other Middle East states.

Israel has never reported the use of non-Lebanese Sunnis to fight Israel. The military reported the deployment of hundreds of soldiers from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps during the war.

On July 27, the UN said, Hizbullah sent 200 Somali fighters from Lebanon to Syria. The report said the Hizbullah fighters received training in Syria.

The report, scheduled to be discussed on November 17 by the Security Council, asserted that Egypt and Syria have also aided Somali fighters. The UN has sought to maintain an arms embargo on Mogadishu since 1992.

Hizbullah provided training to the Somalis, the UN said. The report, authored by four experts, also said Iran tried to obtain uranium from Somalia in exchange for weapons.

"At the time of the writing of this report, there were two Iranians in Dusa Mareb engaged on matters linked to the exploration of uranium in exchange for arms," the report, dated October 16, said.

The UN said the leader of the Al Qaida-aligned Council of Islamic Courts, Aden Hashi Farah, selected about 720 experienced fighters in mid-July 2006. The report said the Somalis traveled to Lebanon where they fought alongside Hizbullah.

In September, Farah ordered at least 100 Somalis to return from Lebanon, accompanied by five Hizbullah operatives. The rest of the Somali contingent stayed in Lebanon and received advanced training.

The report said Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Syria were also supplying Al Qaida-aligned forces in Somalia. The UN report said the Somalis have received anti-aircraft missiles, grenade launchers and other advanced weapons.

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Commentary: The Reactivated Peace Process?
Arlene Kushner

Barry Rubin, in his most recent column, lists "four phony panaceas, which will clearly not work." These are quick fixes that a very foolish and nearsighted world is promoting. Rubin says, not only will they not work, "they are likely to make the extremists bolder and more reckless." I assure you, it's quite clear to them that the world is very foolish and nearsighted. The phony panaceas are:

"1. Reactivating the Palestinian-Israel peace process. I don't care what your political preferences are, but you've got to be really reality-challenged to believe in this one. PA chair Mahmoud Abbas cannot be helped by anyone. His Fatah group is divided, largely radical, and remarkably ineffective. He is weak and vacillating. Hamas daily explains it will not change its goal of destroying Israel and is salivating for a chance to get out on the battlefield.

"2. Negotiations with Syria. Right. Give them Lebanon, forget about Hariri, and they'll happily come to meetings for the next ten years. But make peace with Israel, you must be kidding.

"3. Bringing in Iran and Syria to decide Iraq's future. So the solution is to throw Lebanon and Iraq to the wolves, begging the radicals to see this proves the West wants to be friends? Could anything possibly persuade them more not to make a single concession because victory is nigh?

"4. Convince Iran by talks and concessions to stop building nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. Why should they, when they know defying the West will cost them zero?"

Rubin says it's time to get serious: " . . . we are at a turning point . . . because the big changes . . . are clearly visible a bit down the road. Now is the time to make decisions about what to do.

"It is going to be easy to make little day-to-day, reactive decisions. Yet, this approach will be inadequate. On each of a half-dozen impending crises, a strategy is needed. Yet, all too rarely do I see discussion of the real issues, especially coming from the biggest names and in the most prestigious publications in Europe and America."

It's as I wrote recently: The world is going to hell in a handbasket. It's not too late to fix things, but zero hour gets closer.


So . . . yesterday I reported both on casualties in Sderot caused by rockets shot from Gaza, as well as on the very clear message being delivered by military and security officials that not enough is being done to stop the Kassams -- that the gov't hasn't taken a strong enough stand. Now let's take a look at the response from gov't officials.

Olmert said: " . . . there is not one easy solution for the war against Kassams . . . " Did anyone say this would be easy? This is a war, in case he hasn't noticed. Wars are rarely easy.

"We will continue to promote diplomatic activities. It should be noted that there is no problem in the Palestinians' ability to fight terror." This means Olmert hopes someone else will protect us. (This is his pattern: It's UNIFIL at the border with Lebanon and Egypt at the border between Egypt and Gaza. And we know how well those forces are doing.) In this instance, the someone is Abbas. I guess Olmert hasn't read what Rubin said about Abbas (#1 above). This statement, along with many others Olmert has made, definitely puts him in the category of those who are "really reality-challenged."

" . . . in the south of the country there is an ongoing firing of Kassams, and I view it with great severity . . . . " Wow, great severity, huh? They must be quaking in their boots.

" . . . Our activity will continue each time in accordance with the news and the circumstances . . . " This stop-gap approach is exactly what our military/security people say won't work. An action that is brief and localized will cause terrorists to temporarily withdraw, only to return shortly thereafter. They are telling us that a sustained IDF presence in Gaza is required, large scale.


But this is what Vice Premier Shimon Peres says:

"We can occupy Gaza, but that would be a cardinal mistake. Sinking into the Gaza mud will not guarantee the end of missiles fired at Israeli communities. The IDF will also serve as a convenient target for hurting soldiers."

I am not making this up. And my source (YNet) is reliable and actually center-left. The English in the quote above leaves a good deal to be desired, but the point that Peres is making (although he would never say it so distinctly) is that it's better to stay out of Gaza and put civilians at risk for injury and death, then to put soldiers in Gaza, where they might get injured or killed.

Is there any way to appear weaker to our enemies than with a statement such as this??? Our deterrence is shot (excuse the pun). Our gov't is telling Hamas that we're not going to come after them with all necessary strength because we want to keep our boys safe.

Allow me to repeat here what Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said yesterday (emphasis added):

"The army's activity is not sufficient, A broadening [of operations] is necessary. Defense forces exist to protect citizens, even at the expense of harm to the defense forces."

It is clear to me from everything I'm reading that the IDF is ready to go in for a major operation, but that the gov't is preventing it.

Peres says more: "With patience and restraint we must continue the international pressure which will get Hamas off the tree. [Off the tree?] The solution is to talk when Hamas stops entrenching itself and the missiles stop."

Restraint? Precisely what is not needed. International pressure? Show me even one iota of evidence that the international community is applying real pressure here. He's suggesting that we play it cool and wait for the EU (and maybe the UN?) to make Hamas stop shooting at us, and then we can all sit down and talk. This approach makes Peres even more "reality-challenged" than Olmert.


PA President Mahmoud Abbas gave an interview to the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper in London in which he said he had clear assurances from the US that if a PA unity government was formed financial sanctions would be lifted and IDF actions would stop.

Well, Abbas telling this to an Arab paper in London does not make it so. I'd need to know a lot more about what American assurances where made by exactly whom before responding in a definitive way. And yet. and yet . . . this rings bells. There is certainly an eagerness internationally to see the PA moderated, even if that moderation is only facade. The tendency of western leaders to settle this cheaply is a source of on-going concern to me.


As to IDF actions stopping, my first response was that this does not ring true. My first response is that the issue here is not what sort of gov't the PA has but what sort of rockets are being launched in our direction. Even "really reality-challenged" Olmert, I thought to myself, wouldn't stop all IDF action unless there were quiet at the border with Gaza.

But then I thought again. For Defense Minister Peretz has now said that he "hopes that the trends in the Palestinian Authority will turn to strengthening the moderates, and if not, Israel will deal a heavy and painful blow to the terrorists." "Trends in the PA that will turn to strengthening the moderates"? Code for a (pretend moderate) unity gov't, which would give him an excuse to hold off with that "heavy and painful blow"?

And Minister Gideon Ezra (Kadima) has just suggested a unilateral ceasefire to "see how the Palestinians react." If their reaction isn't appropriate, "we will flatten the Strip." Nonsense, we're not going to flatten the Strip. That's bravado only and shows that his statement is not serious.

As to how the Palestinians "will react," if there is a hiatus in their launching of rockets, does this make it all OK? What about the tons of explosives and the sophisticated weaponry that has been and is continuing to be smuggled in from Egypt?

Please, note this carefully: People who intend peace do not do what the Palestinians in Gaza are doing. They are itching to hit us big time. Hamas is training an army. To be too easily taken in by a pretense of peace, by a mere lull in the launching of rockets, while the training and the weapon smuggling continue, would be a huge and dangerous mistake. Unless we take out the terrorist infrastructure, or there is some (exceedingly unlikely) major shift in events with weapons surrendered and turned over, they will continue to posses the ability to hit us, and will do so when our guard is down.


To make matters worse, Spain, Italy and France are promoting a new "peace initiative." It would involve an immediate cease-fire; formation of a national unity government by the Palestinians that can gain international recognition; an exchange of prisoners - including the kidnapped IDF soldiers; talks between Israel's prime minister and the Palestinian Authority president and an international mission in Gaza to monitor a cease-fire.

Echoing Kofi Annan, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero says, "Peace between Israel and the Palestinians means to a large extent peace on the international scene." An incredible statement.


The EU is already on board with this part-way as it has passed a resolution to send international peacekeepers to Gaza. This is not a positive development. Consistently "international peacekeepers" have failed to act in an unbiased fashion so that Israel's security is safeguarded. Look at UNIFIL.

I can tell you how it would work: The "peacekeepers" would say they cannot control the renegade forces shooting the Kassams but would demand that Israel not respond.

You can trust me: "Peacekeepers" in the Gaza Strip would no more take out Hamas weapon stores than UNIFIL has taken out what Hezbollah has -- in spite of the UN resolution.


The IDF and Israeli security have announced that they have uncovered a cell in Nablus -- set into place by the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza -- that was manufacturing explosive belts made with a liquid explosive that cannot be detected with a metal detector. In July a cell member stopped for a routine search in Jerusalem was found to be wearing such a belt. Under interrogation, this cell member revealed the names of four others -- one of whom was working for PA Preventive Security and who subsequently turned over a second belt. Authorities said both belts contained unusually large amounts of explosives, so that detonating them would have generated major terror disasters.


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Reflections on New Reality in Israel

a'ariv-NRG (online service

I once had my private life. I raised a family, a business, a home—thank God. I voted for a different party each election. Even the Pensioners Party once got my vote. What suddenly came over me, causing me to leave my warm corner and start fighting with the whole world?

I know exactly what it was. It was a kind of thunderbolt that hit me over the head, and I remember it as if it hit me a moment ago. Suddenly I understood that what I see is what I get. In other words, there are no secrets. What I see is actually the reality. It was when Rabin and Peres brought the Oslo Accords. Then, whenever the leftist of the day arguing with me in reserve duty would run out of explanations for this insanity, the trump card would be produced: "Do you mean to tell me that Rabin, the chief of staff of the Six-Day War, doesn't know these things? He must know things that you don't know, and if he says that it's good I am relaxed."

One fine day I understood that the people up there do not know anything fundamental that I do not. The way they rule us and demand that we obey them is based on the fact that we, the ordinary citizens, believe that the people in power have secret information. But suddenly I realized that the basic information is known to all. This defensive shield of the ordinary citizen suddenly crumbled for me. The emperor truly had no clothes…

As soon as I understood this, I realized that the responsibility was in my hands. I can no longer get up in the morning, go to work and depend on the leaders, who must know something that I do not. Now I would like, with great cruelty, to spoil this fun for you too. It is not that I am a sadist or something, but the present situation has all the makings of a real danger to the existence of the state. You can see it yourselves, and all I am telling you is that what you see is precisely the reality. You are on your own.

Three facts that we all understand

First, three facts that we all see and know full well: before our eyes, the defeat of the US in Iraq is being completed. In October 2001, after the World Trade Center fell and everyone was certain that the United States was going to teach the entire Arab world a lesson, I predicted this defeat accurately. I wrote then that the US had lost the war, since it did not really identify the enemy, and just as Israel was withdrawing from one defeat to another, the Americans were also on a collision course.

It is clear to us all that the US, in its present situation, does not intend to carry out any additional military operation in the Middle East. There is certainly no point in depending on Europe, which is being painted green, "Arab" Europe as some are already calling it today. In other words, we remain alone versus an almost-nuclear Iran.

However, the IDF, after burying its soul in the sands of Gush Katif, is no longer capable of defending the State of Israel. Maj. Gen. Ron Tal said clear things in this respect. It is worthwhile to listen. Everyone is searching for the answer in pointless beheadings or in improving the army's technical ability, and do not understand that the problem lies much deeper. Those who did not disobey the expulsion order, not only did they not preserve the integrity of the IDF, they destroyed it with their own hands.

I am not talking at all about the security collapse caused by "disengagement," a collapse whose fruits were well described this week by the GSS director. I am talking about the moral collapse that has wiped out the IDF. Whether you agree with me or not, the facts are indisputable.

Last summer, in the first encounter with an enemy that is not the settlers, the IDF suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of a handful of guerillas in Lebanon. Recently the IDF met with a humiliating defeat in Beit Hanoun. In both cases, these were military operations initiated by the IDF, at the conclusion of which the security situation became worse than it was before.

Anyone who wishes to deceive himself with contortions and post-modern terminology can take comfort in the interviews given by Dan Halutz and Gal Hirsch, but basically—we lost. Until the IDF vomits out from its midst the entire leadership that was involved in planning and implementing that transfer and destruction, there is no point in talking about rehabilitating the army.

In addition, the person who was placed at the head of the Defense Ministry was the most suitable from a political standpoint, but in my opinion, the worst from a professional standpoint. To hell with the country, the seat is much more important. Nasrallah has already managed to forget the name of the union leader. We, on the other hand, will really never forget the name of Amir Peretz. Nothing can be done with the present leadership The entire security and political leadership is currently occupied with personal survival. They have neither time nor interest in the state's citizens. From what I read and hear, the commanders in the field do not trust them, and rightfully so. The poor showing of the IDF in Lebanon and Gaza leaves no room for doubt as to its ability to currently provide a military response to the Iranian threat.

Various commentators and scholars try to argue that a nuclear Iran is actually not so bad. When it comes down to brass tacks, say the same commentators and scholars who also supported Oslo and disengagement, Ahmadinejad will not sacrifice himself and his country in order to destroy Israel, just as the Soviet Union never used the nuclear weapons that stood at its disposal.

The problem is that there is no basis for comparison. Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev never declared their intention of destroying the United States. Ahmadinejad does not even try to conceal his intentions with regard to us. Unlike the US and most countries of the world, Israel is a kind of city-state. The Tel Aviv area, which is for all intents and purposes Israel, can be neutralized in a single nuclear strike.

True, it is possible that a submarine or a plane that manages to take off will be able to exact a price from Iran for wiping Israel off the amp, but Iran is not a city-state like Israel. Will Ahmadinejad, the man who marched thousands of Iranian children into the Iraqi minefields in order to blow them up and make room for the tanks, not be willing to sacrifice a few Iranian cities in order to become the modern Saladin, the leader of the Muslim world, the immortal who liberated the Middle Eastern "Muslim expanse" from the "Zionist pigs and monkeys"?

These are the facts that we all know. The inept band leading the country has no other significant information. The responsibility is now in your hands. Can something be done? The answer is that nothing can be done with the present leadership. A leadership is needed that will bring about a moral revolution. A leadership that will restore our justice to us.

Only such a revolution will truly make it possible to rehabilitate the country and the IDF, and enable us to cope with the danger of the approaching Holocaust. The only public that has the moral codes and the overall responsibility for the fate of the people of Israel, the public that is capable of producing a leadership that is suitable to lead such a revolution, is the same public that has been singled out as the enemy of the people—the orange public. Go to them.

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Sderot victim was a Muslim married to a Jew

At 7:18 a.m. on Wednesday morning, six Kassam rockets slammed into Sderot, killing Fatima Slutsker, 57, and seriously wounding Maor Peretz, 24, a security guard for Defense Minister Amir Peretz.

Slutsker was a Muslim woman who came from the Caucasus Mountains in the Former Soviet Union just three years ago with her Jewish husband.

An eyewitness in a store nearby said she had crossed the road seconds before the rocket landed, and had been waiting for her husband, who was still on the other side of the street.

Avichai Yosef and Benny Libranti from Zaka, the rescue organization that rushes to the scene after terrorist attacks, described he bloody scene as looking like a suicide bombing on a bus.

They said it took hours to gather body parts, which were scattered in a 50-meter, and bones and legs were found on the top of the trees and on car windshields.

Slutsker was laid to rest in the non-Jewish section of the Sderot cemetery on Wednesday afternoon. Of the approximately 150 people that attended her funeral, only 60 of Sderot's 20,000 residents showed up. Most of the others were members of the media.

Residents said that they were afraid to leave their homes to go to the cemetery, which is in the closest part of town to the Gaza Strip.

But a delegation of Moslem Knesset members showed up to pay their respects as Slutsker was laid to rest.

Slutsker was the sixth resident of Sderot killed by rockets from Gaza, out of a total of 23 killed by Kassams over the past two years.

Maor Peretz, a resident of Sderot, was also directly hit by a rocket that landed near Amir Peretz's home and sheared off his legs. Peretz, who is not related to the defense minister, was rushed to Ashkelon's Barzilai Medical Center, where he was listed in "serious but stable condition."

Another barrage of rockets struck Sderot at 6:10 p.m. This time, a 17-year-old man sustained serious wounds as he and his friends were sitting on a park bench.

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