Israel Resource Review 22nd October, 2006


Shimon Shiffer, Correspondent, Yediot Ahronot

A high-ranking Russian delegation for nuclear affairs will come to Israel in the near future for talks with a variety of officials about how to prevent Iran from achieving the knowledge and ability to manufacture nuclear weapons. The above was agreed to in the course of the meeting that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held last week with the Russian leadership and President Vladimir Putin.

Olmert believes that the differences of opinion regarding Iran's nuclear program, "if they exist at all, are far more limited, and they are only on the tactical level that pertains to diplomatic comportment and not to issues of substance," he said. Olmert spoke about this issue on Thursday night with the journalists who accompanied him to Moscow.

"I emerged from the meetings with Putin and others in the Russian leadership with the sense that Russia is opposed to Iran achieving nuclear capabilities," said Olmert and added that the international community needed now to face down Iran and to stop all efforts to reach compromises with it just a moment before Iran crosses the technological threshold that will allow it to assemble a nuclear bomb.

Olmert hinted that the Russians said things and have taken action that cannot be made public, but which demonstrate that "they support my approach with respect to Iran."

Putin told Olmert that Russia is opposed in principle to the use of sanctions against Iran at this stage and would prefer continued public dialogue with Tehran and, in tandem, to form an international coalition that is capable of preventing Iran from obtaining the technology needed to manufacture nuclear weapons.

This was published in Yediot on October 22nd, 2006

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Correspondent. Hatzofeh.

The statements that were made on Thursday by the French commander of UNIFIL troops, Major General Alain Pellegrini, that he was awaiting orders on the use of UNIFIL troops, including instructions to intercept Israeli Air Force jets flying in Lebanese skies, are an outrage.

It is not clear just how well this ebullient and garrulous French general is performing the other duties that were given him in the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, for example, preventing arms from being smuggled from Iran and Syria to Hizbullah, or enforcing the prohibition of terrorists from that terror organization from moving in the direction of the border with Israel.

Towards Israel that impudent French general can flex his muscles. We ought to remind him that the only operations his army can chalk up to its credit in the past hundred years are the panicked flight from and the disgraceful surrender to the Wehrmacht troops in World War II, and the flight from Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam in the 1950s.

Ever since, the French tanks have not fired a single shell in battle, and French planes have not carried out a single offensive sortie.

Even when they joined the war in Iraq in 1991 they went on "clean" photographic sorties and did not soil their hands with bombings or air battles.

It would be highly recommended to the French commander who is so "eager to pull the trigger," that he make sure to keep the French tanks that were pulled out of the storehouses painted white and clean, and not to dirty them with the dust of war.

The French army still needs them for their heroic July 14th parades down the Champs Elysee.

It would have been best had official Israel put that fellow, who donned a UN-blue Napoleon's hat, in his rightful place.

This was published on October 22nd, 2006 in Hatzofeh

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Israel Ignores Threats and Resumes Flights over Lebanon
David Bedein

Although the Israeli security establishment is disturbed by the threatening voices that are being heard in France, security sources said Wednesday: "We will continue to fly over the skies of Lebanon." Security establishment officials also added that Israel Defense Force troops that are fired upon and that are in danger are permitted to return fire and destroy the source of the threat. However, it is not clear how the Air Force aircraft will respond in a case where U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) troops attempt to launch anti-aircraft rockets at them.

The statements refer to a threat by French Minister of Defense Michelle Aliot-Marie. Last Tuesday, the French defense minister said during a conference of the United Nations at the U.N. headquarters in New York that "the violations of the cease-fire by the Israeli Air Force are very dangerous and must stop for the good of the interests of all sides - the coalition forces in Lebanon can return fire." In the veiled threat against the aircraft of the Israeli Air Force, she added, "The violations of sovereign airspace are very dangerous. They are dangerous, first of all, because they can be seen as hostile by the coalition forces, which can respond as part of their right to defend themselves." Marie's statements were made recently, after the commanding officer of the UNIFIL force, French General Alain Pellegrini, threatened that, according to his troops' rules of engagement, they may return fire at aircraft of the Israeli Air Force that violate the sovereignty of Lebanon's airspace.

In response, Israeli security sources said: "The flights under discussion are intended for photography for intelligence purposes. As long as U.N. Resolution 1701 is not fully implemented and while Syria and Iran continue to arm Hezbollah, as happened just in the past several days, it is obvious that we have no intention to stop flying."

Regarding the possibility that the anti-aircraft troops of the U.N. would open fire at Air Force aircraft, security officials believe that it is "difficult to see a situation in which French troops fire on us, but in any case, in the current situation the cessation of flights is completely out of the question."

Israeli political sources in Israel also mentioned the French threat over the weekend, saying: "When Resolution 1701 is fully carried out, meaning after arms smuggling is stopped, after Hezbollah is disarmed and the kidnapped soldiers return to Israel, the Air Force flights in Lebanese airspace will stop as well."

ŠThe Evening Bulletin 2006

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