Newsletter : 8fax0129.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
>JN Jan. 29, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 17
Israel Issues Tough Warning to Iraq
Israel, responding to a U.N. official's warning that Baghdad
has enough biological material to "blow away Tel Aviv," said
Wednesday an Iraqi attack would draw strong Israeli retaliation.
"Surely Iraq must know that it will not pay to attack Israel and
that Israel has all the means necessary to make such an attack
very, very dangerous for Iraq," said David Bar-Illan, a senior aide
to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. U.N. weapons inspection chief
Richard Butler was quoted Tuesday, saying that Iraq had sufficient
biological agents such as anthrax or botulin toxin to strike a
death blow against Tel Aviv.
Israel Stops Short of Threatening Iraq
By Mark Lavie (VOA-Tel Aviv) & IINS News Service
Israel is expressing concern about the increased tension in the
dispute between Iraq and the United Nations. The head of the UN
weapons inspection team says Iraq has enough biological weapons
material to destroy the population of Tel Aviv.
Senior Israeli Cabinet ministers discussed the potential threat
from Iraq. And Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordecai later
briefed members of parliament. He said Israel is watching
"We are trying to understand what is the aim of the United States,
and what will be the reaction of Iraq, and we will do everything
that will be necessary for our security in our country."
The Iraqi threat is not just theory. In 1991, when the United
States led a coalition in an offensive after Iraq's invasion of
Kuwait, the Iraqi leader responded quickly by firing 39 Scud
missiles at Israel.
A member of the Israeli parliament, Zvi Weinberg, heard the
assessment from the defense minister, and after checking other
sources said he came to this conclusion.
"There is a great likelihood, at least, that the United States has
already decided to hit Iraq within two weeks time, and there is a
possibility, without going into panic, but we have to be aware of
the fact that there is a possibility that he will repeat his step
of the Gulf War, and we have to be ready for it."
Israel is stopping just short of threatening Iraq in return. A
top aide to Israel's prime minister warned that Israel has the
means to make an Iraqi attack more costly to Iraq than to Israel.
UN Chief Weapons Inspector Richard Butler stated that the Iraqis do
have anthrax and other biological warfare. But his team's
limitations have prevented them from knowing the exact substances,
amounts or locations.
Butler stated that non-conventional substances might be stored
inside warheads, drop-tanks, or in other locations deemed
off-limits to the UN inspectors.
Israeli officials reiterated the need for gas masks at this time,
as a security measure, but stressed the point that the country is
not facing a crisis and there is no need for panic.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi press has lashed out against Butler, calling
him worse than the United States. They labeled him a "Zionist." The
Iraqi media also accused Butler and the US of torpedoing Russian
efforts to reach a political settlement to the conflict, claiming
that Butler is pushing for the military option.
Knesset Gas Mask Supply Found Deficient
By IINS News Service
When Knesset Speaker Dan Tichon checked the warehouse Wednesday to
see the status of the gas masks on standby, he was somewhat
surprised to see that many gas masks were missing. The masks were
taken out over one-month ago for replacement and have not found
their way back. After a few calls, all the masks designated for the
Knesset warehouse were back on the shelves by day's end.
Iranian Officials Call for Israel's Total Destruction
During the annual commemoration of "Jerusalem Day" at the
weekend, Iranian officials called for the complete destruction of
Israel, Yediot Ahronot reports.
Speaking at the festivities, during which Iran expressed sympathy
for the Palestinian cause, former Iranian President Hashemi
Rafsanjani said he was certain the day would come when the "useless
Zionist entity" would be no more.
Iranian authorities published an official statement calling on
Muslims throughout the world to combine their resources in order to
support the Palestinians and bring about the "complete destruction
of the State of Israel."
Protecting US Troops in the Gulf
By IINS News Service
The Chicago-based EmergencyNet News Agency reports that US Defense
Department Kenneth Bacon said the Pentagon is looking to improve
its capability to defend its 24,400 troops in the Persian Gulf
region against chemical and biological attack, should the standoff
with Iraq turn to military action.
Bacon said that should Iraq try to hit allied forces or US with
chemical or biological weapons, the US response would be "decisive
and devastating." To help protect US forces against chemical or
biological attacks, the Pentagon is considering sending in special
teams, as well as detectors, decontamination units and specialized
protective gear. Medical defenses to help troops deals with such
attacks also are being examined.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)