Israel Resource Review 21st November, 2008


PLO Promotes League Of Arab Nations Initiative To Israeli Public
Charter of the League of Arab Nations Remains Intact
David Bedein

On Thursday, November 20,the PLO Negotiation Department took the unusual move of sponsoring an advertisement from the League of Arab Nations in the major Israeli media.

The ad proclaimed that "57 Arab and Islamic states will establish diplomatic ties and normal relations with Israel in exchange for a full peace agreement" if Israel will accept the League of Arab Nations' initiative which mandates that Israeli accept U.N. Resolution 194 that would allow Arab refugees to return to villages that were lost in 1948 and also mandate that Israeli withdraw soldiers and civilians from all areas that Israel acquired after the 1967 war including the Old City of Jerusalem.

The League of Arab Nations' ad ran as a full-page ad in both major Israeli daily newspapers, Yediot Ahronot and Ma'ariv, featuring the Israeli and Palestinian flags at the top of the page and surrounded by a border of flags of Arab and Islamic states.

The text of the advertisement presents the Saudi initiative in seven clauses in Hebrew, and concludes with a brief summary in Arabic. At the bottom of the page appear the logos of the Council of the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Conference. The ad was signed by the PLO Negotiation Department.

The significance of this ad is that the League of Arab Nations has remained in a state of full-scale war with Israel since the League of Arab Nations invaded the nascent Jewish state with seven Arab armies on the day of its birth on May 15, 1948, with the stated purpose of annihilating Israel.

The League of Arab Nations has never agreed to any armistice or peace treaty with Israel.

The same goes for the most influential member of the League of Arab Nations, Saudi Arabia, which has never signed any peace accord or armistice with Israel, unlike Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, all of which have peace treaties or armistice arrangements with the Jewish state.

It was the League of Arab States that founded the PLO in 1964 before the 1967 war, with the purpose of liberating all of Palestine. The PLO charter, which remains intact despite the Oslo process, also mandates the PLO to continue the war with Israel until all of Palestine is liberated. In that context, the PLO remains subservient to the League of Arab Nations.

Clause 10 of the charter of the League of Arab Nations, adopted in March 1945, defines Palestine as the sole nation that will occupy the land in between Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

I asked the spokesperson of the League of Arab Nations office in Washington as to whether it intends to change Clause 10 of its charter. The answer was a terse "no."

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Israel Blasts UN High Commissioner For Refugees
David Bedein

Jerusalem - The Israeli Foreign Ministry has issued a scathing denunciation of the United Nations High Commisisoner of Refugees.

The condemnation attacks what the ministry refers to as the "high commissioner's utterly shortsighted press release regarding the situation in Gaza," in which the high commissioner held Israel responsible for the "humanitarian crisis" affecting the Palestinians in Gaza.

In the words of the statement of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, "Most disturbing is the way she casually refers to Palestinian aggression in the very last sentence of her statement, as almost an afterthought."

Israel claims that "overall responsibility for the situation in the Gaza Strip lies with Hamas."

The terror group, the Jewish state says, "invests all of its resources in arms and terrorism instead of providing for the civilians that it brutally controls."

Hamas and affiliated Palestinian terrorist groups have "fired more 170 rockets and mortars at Israel during the past 10 days, with 25 slamming into Israel over the weekend alone."

The Israel Foreign Ministry went to accuse UNHCR as colluding with the Hamas press strategy, adding, "it is disappointing to see the high commissioner fall victim to Hamas' cynical manipulation of the media, and reprint blatant misinformation in her press release."

The Israelis complained the U.N. agency has allowed itself to become part of the Palestinians' political game, and consequently, it has dealt with the situation in a less than even-handed manner.

"Israel expects the High Commissioner to investigate the facts before issuing one-sided statements about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and to begin by forcefully condemning the perpetrators of terror," the foreign ministry said.

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King Abdullah buries Jordanian troop deployment as solution to West Bank puzzle

Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)

Jordan King Abdullah held an emergency meeting last night with Prime Minister Olmert and Defense Minister Barak to plead that the IDF stay out of Gaza because a conflict in the Gaza Strip could ignite the already delicate situation in Jordan - where over 60% are Palestinians, and undermine his regime.

On the other hand, to this day there are otherwise serious Israelis who, recognizing that it would be sheer madness for Israel to cut a deal with the Palestinians that would leave them responsible for security in Palestinian areas of the West Bank, propose assigning the task to Jordanian troops.

What's the connection?

If the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan thinks their street won't stomach their simply standing idly by as Israel defends itself against Palestinian terrorists, they certainly won't accept Jordanian forces acting as "Israel's subcontractor" in the West Bank.

Yes, Jordan not only captures but even prosecutes and jails Arabs who engage in terror activity against Israeli targets from within Jordan. But in that case the crime is more violating Jordan's sovereignty than it is the action against Israelis.

This would by no means be the case should Jordanian soldiers find themselves chasing after terrorists from Kalkiliya preparing and executing attacks against Israelis in neighboring Kfar Sava.

Arab forces deployed in the West Bank from any country would face similar pressures not to perform.

It certainly is frustrating that simplistic "solutions" like handing over security in the West Bank to Jordan and the Gaza Strip to Egypt can't stand up to a little reality testing.

But the purpose of the exercise isn't to propose unworkable solutions as if it was no more than a task on a list that one wants to check off.

The policy debate deserves and should require more than that.

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Turkey to Invest $12 bln in Iran

[With thanks to IMRA for posting this article]

TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkey will invest $12 billion in Iran's Pars offshore gas field, said Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler.

"Turkey will invest $12 billion on developing phases of South Pars offshore gas field in southern Iran and construction of gas pipeline from Assalouyeh to Turkish border," Hilmi Guler said yesterday.

Referring to the agreement signed by Iran's Oil Minister Gholam Hussein Nozari and Guler in Tehran, the Turkish minister termed the agreement as vital.

"We will implement all bilaterally inked agreement," Guler said.

Iran and Turkey inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) according to which Turkey will invest in developing phases 22, 23 and 24 of Iran's South Pars gas field and will buy 50 per cent of its produced gas when the project is completed.

As per the MoU, Turkmenistan's gas will be transferred from Iran to Turkey and Iran will pipe its gas to Europe through Turkey.

Iran will transfer 35 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas to Turkey annually.

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Ashkelon: Hundreds protest Qassam barrages
Residents of southern city rally against government inaction in face of increased, improved rocket attacks from Gaza
Shmulik Hadad ,YNET,7340,L-3626302,00.html

Hundreds of people gathered at the main junction at the entrance to Ashkelon, Thursday afternoon, to rally against the lack of fortifications in the city to protect residents from ongoing barrages of rockets launched from Gaza.

Dozens of rockets have been launched at the western Negev in the past two weeks, one of which was a longer-range Grad rocket that wounded 15 in an Ashkelon shopping mall last Wednesday. Residents of the southern city had previously been largely out of rocket range.

Children in the crowd dropped to the ground as protest organizers blared a Color Red alert. Other protesters carried signs reading, "Don't abandon children in the field," "Who will save my house?" and "Ashkelon deserves to have quiet."

"We're sick of the behavior of the military and other sources. People are shooting rockets, missiles at us and no one is responding," said resident Moshe Nisimfor.

"It's time for the Palestinians to understand that there's someone on the other said that can act against them with force. Unfortunately, the government doesn't understand this," he said.

"(Hamas leader Ismail) Haniyeh, understood this when he purged Gaza of Fatah operatives and (late king) Hussein did it in Jordan," he added. "Only Israel continues to do nothing."

The Ashkelon Parents Association was among the protest organizers. Some members, pursuant to a special meeting on potential civil action on the topic, had called for boycotting schools. However, in the end, the group agreed on a protest as a better first option.

Rocket fire from Gaza continued the afternoon of the protest. A rocket landed in the western Negev, fortunately not resulting in any casualties.

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Insight in the News in Israel
Arlene Kushner, Senior Policy Research Analyst, Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd.

Posting: November 20, 2008


It seems fairly pervasive. And I'll provide just two examples here, both touching on issues I've raised in the last day or two:

In response to increased launching of rockets from Gaza, Defense Minister Barak placed a closure on Gaza several days ago. Barak, however, has now received an official IDF assessment saying that the closures are not hurting Hamas at all, because it is using the dozens of tunnels under the Philadelphi Corridor to bring in whatever they wish (other than fuel).

Yet in spite of the fact that what is being done is not proving effective, the closures will remain in effect. Explained a ministry of defense official:

"We cannot allow the Palestinians to fire rockets into our cities without a response."

This really inspires confidence that our cities are well defended, does it not?

To understand this statement, however, you must read the subtext: We don't want to do a major military operation into Gaza, but if we do nothing we'll be pressured in that direction. And so, we re instituting the closures. Even though they have no effect on Hamas, they give the Israeli people the impression that we're tough.

One might weep from this.


And then we have the on-going situation with Beit HaShalom in Hevron. Today I noted a piece on this subject that ran on YNet, written by Dror Etkes, who is with the very far left Yesh Din organization. The title of the piece: "Yet another illegal settlement." Subtitle: "Takeover of disputed Hebron home another illegal attempt to create new settlement." Huh?

Yes, lunacy, but studied lunacy with an agenda. I am sharing it here to show what the good people of Hevron contend with in terms of accusations. Why call Beit HaShalom an "illegal settlement"? Because these are buzz words intended to immediately defame and delegitimize.

Etkes speaks of displacing Palestinians who have lived in the area for generations and secret plots by the Jews.


Because positions such as his are so often encountered in the media (and YNet was content to run this), I thought it important to touch very briefly on the facts and the background here.

The Jewish connection to Hevron is impeccable and ancient. It begins with the Torah and Avraham's purchase there of a burial cave and surrounding fields. It continues with King David, who was anointed king there and ruled from that city for seven years. Judah Maccabee did battle in Hevron in the second century BCE, when the city was re-established as Jewish, following destruction of the First Temple. In Second Temple times, Herod built the huge structure that stands atop the original burial caves, which remains to this day.

In the two millennia since, there has been a pattern of Jews holding fast to this city -- either as a remnant people or in larger numbers, at different historical times. I cannot but merely mention this complex history here: In the 15th and 16th centuries, Sephardi Jews from Spain and Portugal established a vibrant community that lasted for 400 years. They were joined by Kabbalists and then in the late 17th and early 18th century by Ashkenazi Jews including Lubavitch Hassidim. A major synagogue had been constructed, and other substantial buildings, within a Jewish quarter. There was scholarship and commerce.


The destruction of this ancient and venerable community came with the Arab massacres of 1929.

The violence was instigated by the Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, who later became an active supporter of the Nazis. He was, it should be noted, the mentor of Yasser Arafat.

The Mufti's goal, quite simply, was the elimination of the Jewish community of Hevron. To that end he instigated and made false charges that Jews had set fire to the Al Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. (Just as the Islamic Movement of Israel makes similar charges today.)

The Arab rioting began following inflammatory sermons and went on for hours, with the indiscriminate slaughter of women, children and the aged. The rioters, wielding weapons, went from house to house, crying, "Slaughter the Jews."

The British, who controlled the area under the Mandate for Palestine, decided it was easier to move the survivors out of Hevron than to defend them. Thus the ancient community came to an end.


When the British pulled out, and the War of Independence was over, the Jordanians controlled the area, and they made it entirely Judenrein. No re-establishment of the ancient community was possible.

This possibility arose only after 1967, when Israel gained control of Judea, and of Hevron. And even then, there were difficulties as successive governments showed considerable reluctance to cooperate.

A core of committed and courageous people has persisted, however. They have been called kooks, and worse, but they have a vision that is solid. They understand that the legacy that is Hevron and the Ma'arat Hamachpelah -- the Cave of the Patriarchs -- cannot be abandoned. Not if we are to hold our heads up and claim our rightful place in this land. Not if we are to remember who we are.

There is no way to surrender our heritage because of Arab violence. And they know full well that no Jew would be permitted to pray at the Machpelah if not for the presence of the Jewish community there. Influential Muslims in the area have conceded as much. (Look what happened when the Tomb of Joseph was turned over to the PA and subsequently vandalized and destroyed.) They know, as well, that our claim to Jerusalem is weakened if Hevron is relinquished.

Ultimately, the people returned to the area that was the old Jewish Quarter of Hevron, and they acquired buildings that had been Jewish. Acquired them through meticulous legal processes and purchases -- not via illegal seizures. They acquired other buildings for residential purposes legally as well


With the unfortunate advent of Oslo and its subsequent agreements, much of Hevron was officially turned over to the PA. But not all of it. There is an official agreement -- signed by Binyamin Netanyahu and Yasser Arafat -- with regard to a division of the city, with one portion -- roughly 20% -- controlled by Israel; it includes the Machpelah and what was the old Jewish Quarter. Jews have a right to live there. Understand: Jews have a right to live there. This is not remotely an "illegal settlement."

Actually, the Jewish community of Hevron felt threatened by this agreement, as the Arabs were irritated that they hadn't gotten the whole city, and represented the Jews as interlopers. There has been Arab violence over the years -- none more horrendous than the murder in 2001 of ten month old Shalhevet Pass, who was shot by a sniper on a nearby hill who aimed directly at her head.

As to the building under question now, which is firmly and solidly within the area under Israeli control: No one was living in it for years before the Jews moved in. No Arabs were displaced. Understand this as well.


I am absolutely convinced of the legitimacy of the Jewish purchase of Beit HaShalom, just as I am convinced of the insidious political motivations of the government officials who would push out the residents now. For a detailed run down of the legal issues, you might want to see the Hebron website at:

I am not confident that justice will be done in this matter, just as justice has not been done in several similar incidents over the years. But I am confident that the Jewish community of Hevron will persist. The very least we can do for them is to understand their position and to salute their courage.

What is encouraging is that a greater number of Israeli citizens, not resident in Hevron, have gotten weary with what is going on and are ready to stand with them.


Right now the IDF is saying they may forcibly evacuate the building after Shabbat -- as many visitors are expected over Shabbat because of the Torah reading regarding Avraham's purchase of the cave.

I have also noted that Minister of Religious Affairs Yitzhak Cohen is urging that nothing be done until after the elections in February:

"This is an explosive public issue that could lead to the worst of all. Dealing with this crisis should be to the point and disconnected from any political influences." (emphasis added)

To which I say Amen.


Posting: November 19, 2008

"Beit HaShalom"

Beit HaShalom, or Peace House, is a four-story building in Hevron -- along the main road called Worshippers' Way that runs from Kiryat Arba to the Ma'arat Hamachpelah (Tomb of the Patriarchs) -- that was purchased by Jews in 2005. Since March 2007, twenty families have lived in this house, which is now the center of a major dispute. There are serious and painful implications to what is taking place.

In spite of clear legal documentation that the building had been purchased from a Palestinian by the Jewish community via a mediator, the original owner is denying that he ever sold the house. (It must be noted that it is a serious, potentially capital offense in the PA for an Arab to sell land to a Jew -- which fact provides context to his denials.)

In the course of proceedings, the Jewish community of Hevron submitted a tape recording, made without coercion, in which the previous owner acknowledges having sold his property. The courts declined to listen to this recording. Ultimately the issue made its way to the High Court, which on Sunday ruled that civil courts must make the final decision, but that in the meantime, the residents of the house had three days in which to vacate. Today was that deadline.

Please, see a more detailed description of these events by Benny Katzover:,7340,L-3625503,00.html


The issue here is one of essential justice -- as the house was legally purchased and no law prevents such a purchase. It is also about the right of Jews to own property in the land of Israel.

The decisions being made here are clearly political: As Jewish Community of Hevron spokesman Noam Arnon observed, if this were not a Jewish home in Hevron, this would not be happening. That is, if the Arab ownership of a home were challenged, or if the dispute were taking place within Green Line Israel, there would not be a rush to evict residents before the dispute was resolved. In fact, from prior reading I have the distinct impression that there is solid precedent for allowing residents to remain (if they have been resident for some months) until resolution. What is more, the Court named the State, at its request, as the temporary custodian of the property, so the State could decline to force eviction.

What we are seeing here is a government and in particular a defense minister, prior to an election, making decisions that will impress left wing voters, who are being courted in an electoral battle against the more right wing Likud. It is, again, the demonization of the "settler." The rush to appease the Arab demand. Arabs would rather see all Jews gone from Hevron, which happens to be the second holiest city in Judaism, and a city to which Jews have rights by law and agreement with the PA. What we are seeing is a readiness to trample those rights.

In my book, those Jews who are residents in Hevron are heroes, doing the work for all of Israel.

A great deal more is at stake than the rights of the 20 families -- as significant as these rights are. This is part of a pattern that diminishes Jewish rights to the land and accedes in every instance to Arab demands. As the move to pull back is made, our right to be here at all is reduced. If Jews cannot live in the second holiest of our cities, then where?


What we may face, again, is the absolute obscenity of Jews evacuating Jews from their homes, as the government moves to act by sending in the IDF to forcibly evict the residents.

Those residents will not go willingly. And they will be backed by thousands who believe in the right of the residents to stay where they are. A meeting was held in preparation for what is expected to follow. Those participating in resisting the eviction, when it comes, are being called upon not to be violent. They will, however, defend themselves.

Five new families -- including MK Nissim Ze'ev (Shas) -- have moved into the building in a display of solidarity. And other MKs, prominent among them Aryeh Eldad and Uri Ariel (NU-NRP), have spoken out on behalf of the residents. MK Otniel Shneller (Kadima) has stated that he "has no doubt that the Peace House was bought according to the law and that it is important for the security" of Hevron. [Important because it provides a Jewish presence on the road that worshippers utilize.]


And now -- at the last minute, actually -- the IDF has announced a delay in its move to evacuate the building. Clearly the fear of violence was a major factor in reaching this decision. Barak will holding a meeting tomorrow to review plans for the evacuation. The Post is reporting that if the evacuation is carried out, it will be at night, some weeks from now, without prior notice so that activists will not have time to regroup.

They shouldn't count on this however, as I expect great vigilance in this matter.


It is a great irony that our Torah reading for this Shabbat includes the story of the purchase by our father Abraham of the Cave of the Machpelah for the burial of his wife, Sarah. The first property in the land of Israel purchased with scrupulous care by the first Jew.


To voice protest about the anticipated evacuation of Beit HaShalom:

Ministry of Defense Ehud Barak Phone: 03-569-2010 -- outside Israel 972-3- 569-2010 Faxes: 03-696-2757/691-6940/691-7915 -- outside of Israel 972 - 3 and then the selected number. Email:

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Livni Faxes: 02-530-3367/530-3704 -- outside of Israel 972-2 and then the chosen number Email:

Fax is the most effective means of communicating.


November 18, 2008

"Picking Up"

For nine days I have been away from my computer, celebrating my Mom's 90th with family in MA. I returned today to learn that my computer will be out of commission for half of tomorrow. And so, I begin here with a brief run-down of various events, with more to follow soon.

When last I wrote, I reported on the November 5th mission of Robert Malley to Cairo and Damascus on behalf of president- elect Obama. He delivered a message, according to Middle East Newsline, of Obama's readiness to be more responsive to Egypt's and Syria's concerns.

This alone is unsettling, but must be followed by additional information: Malley had been an advisor to Obama until last May But when Malley not only recommended that Hamas be dealt with directly but told The Times that he had had regular meeting with Hamas, it caused a furor. Thus it was announced that Obama had distanced himself from Malley, who would no longer serve an advisory function. Ben LaBolt, an Obama spokesman, said then that Malley "has no formal role in the campaign and will not play any role in the future." (emphasis added)

But here he is now, serving on behalf of Obama. Questions -- serious questions -- are being raised about Obama's integrity in this regard. It should be noted that Malley's father Simon was of Syrian extraction, but lived in Egypt; he was passionately anti-Israel. This makes son Robert an ideal person to deliver conciliatory messages to Syrian and Egypt, and sheds light on the direction in which Obama may be going.


Regardless of Obama's actual position regarding matters in the Middle East, perceptions also matter. From various sources I am picking up concerns that the Arab world -- rightly or wrongly -- sees Obama as being in their pocket. This perception can have serious implications, and I will be following this closely.

From one very knowledgeable source, we have this: " . . . the Muslim world -- from Iran to Libya -- regards President-elect Obama as its own. Even Al Qaida quietly sees Obama as a tool in Islamic expansionism."

From an Obama aide we have a statement regarding Obama's support for the Saudi "peace" plan, which calls for Israeli pull-back to pre-67 lines.


Also to be watched closely is the situation with regard to an escalating number of rocket attacks -- with both Kassams and more dangerous Katyushas -- on Sderot and neighboring areas from Gaza.

Tzipi Livni says that this situation represents a "fundamental violation" of the "ceasefire." What she doesn't acknowledge is that there IS no ceasefire. If the attacks continue, she declared, a response that would be "harsh and painful" would follow.

This is difficult for me to report on, because what is going on is not tolerable, not something any sovereign nation should tolerate. That "harsh and painful" response is long overdue.

Ehud Olmert talks about pressure on Hamas via keeping crossings closed. Hamas fights back here with PR that fallaciously represents the people of Gaza as enduring inhumane conditions. The fact is that humanitarian supplies are always allowed in, but the world buys into the Hamas version of events quite readily.

And Ehud Barak? He has cautioned that we should not get "carried away" because the "ceasefire" is in our best interest. Said he: " . . . if the Gaza factions want to resume the truce, we will consider it in a positive light." We're talking about more than "resumption" actually -- we're looking at the possibility of "renewal," as the original terms are about to expire.


Here is the heart of the problem: At the Sunday Cabinet meeting, Olmert declared: "The responsibility for breaking the calm and creating a situation of recurrent continuing violence in he South lies entirely with Hamas . . . Let no party come to the government of Israel and claim otherwise . . . "

See, world, he is saying, ever so defensively, we have a right to respond, because they're the bad ones. "They started it," as it were. The catch is that even if they weren't "breaking the ceasefire," we would have a right to pre-emptive action because of the incredible strengthening of weapons and army Hamas is carrying on inside of Gaza.

An Israeli airstrike on a launching area on Sunday killed four gunmen.


An issue to be watched and explored: Who is calling the shots now, Livni or a very lame-duck Olmert? This is in regard, in particular, to the negotiations with the PA. How much weight do Olmert statements have, when Livni is on a different wave length? And to what degree will the world, and most particularly the Quartet, attempt to hold us to injudicious Olmert statements, such as a recent one stating that we really must withdraw to close to the pre-67 lines?

What undercuts Olmert most are the declarations by Abbas (this is not new) that what Olmert proposes is insufficient. Abbas still insists they must have it all.


Moshe Ya'alon -- former IDF Chief of Staff fired by Sharon for his outspoken stance against the disengagement, and currently a senior distinguished fellow at the Shalem Center's Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies -- has announced that he will be running for the Knesset with the Likud.

His readiness to become politically active is most welcome, and his addition to the Likud roster continues to strengthen it.


From the inside, just yesterday, I learned that there is enormous discontent with Ehud Barak, head of Labor, from within the Labor party.


Jerusalem mayor-elect, Nir Barkat, a secular businessman, promises to bring Jerusalem a new dynamism. It is to be fervently hoped so.

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Hamas Becomes Directly Involved In Attacks
Middle East Newsline

{This news item appears on the same day that the Jerusalem Post headline proclams that Israel has assured Jordan that it will not topple the Hamas regime in Gaza - ]

Israel has determined that the Hamas regime was directly involved in attacks against the Jewish state.

A report by a government-sponsored intelligence center asserted that the Hamas regime has raised its profile in the latest Palestinian offensive against Israel. The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center,, said Hamas has for the first time become directly involved in missile and mortar strikes against Israel from the Gaza Strip.

"Another important facet of the recent escalation is that for the first time, there is direct Hamas involvement in the rocket and mortar shell fire," the report, titled "Significant Erosion of the Lull Arrangement in the Gaza Strip," said. "Moreover, Hamas publicly claims responsibility, as do the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Fatah and the smaller organizations."

Until November 2008, the Hamas regime did not participate in missile, mortar and rocket strikes against Israel from the Gaza Strip, the report said. Instead, the regime allowed Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees and other militias to conduct daily attacks.

The report, dated November 16, said Hamas has ended enforcement of the ceasefire with Israel, launched in June 2008. On November 14, the Israeli center said, Hamas halted fire, but allowed other militias to continue attacks.

"Hamas and the other terrorist organizations have exploited the quiet created by the lull to continue their military buildup and prepare themselves for 'the morning after,'" the report said.

The report said Hamas and its militia allies have been using the BM-21 Grad 122 mm rockets as well as the Kassam-class short-range missile. Several of the Grads have struck the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. =

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