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Please note our new address and telephone number. Tuesday, June 17 will be our final issue before we move to Florida. Israel Faxx will resume publication on June 23.

Sharon Says He Would Accept Hamas Ceasefire

By VOA News

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he would respect a ceasefire by Palestinian militants, but would still target so-called "ticking bombs." An Israeli cabinet official said the prime minister told his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday that Israel would halt its targeted killings of terrorist leaders if Hamas and Islamic Jihad declare a ceasefire.

But the unidentified official said Sharon promised he would still target what Israel calls "ticking bombs," a terrorist ready to strike and the commander who ordered the attack.

The United States and others have criticized Israel's policy of assassinating terrorist leaders with missiles and helicopters. The terrorists are often shot at as they drive through populated Palestinian areas. The attacks often kill or wound civilians.

An unsuccessful Israeli attempt to kill Hamas spokesman Abdel-Aziz Rantissi last week in Gaza City killed a Palestinian woman and wounded 27 other people. Israel had previously called for a total dismantling of Hamas and Islamic Jihad as a condition for peace.

President Bush said Sunday the world must deal harshly with Hamas. He said it is trying to destroy the peace process. But Bush said peace between Israel and the Palestinians is still possible after a week of Palestinian terrorist attacks and Israeli retaliation that killed at least 60 people.

Meanwhile, Egyptian mediators have urged Palestinian militants to halt attacks on Israelis. The Egyptians met with militant leaders and officials of Yasir Arafat's Fatah movement Sunday in Gaza City. Assistant Secretary of State John Wolf and a team of U.S. monitors are in Jerusalem to help Israel and the Palestinians carry out then internationally backed "road map" to peace.

The peace plan includes an end to Palestinian violence and the dismantling of Israeli settlements, leading to a Palestinian state in 2005. The United States developed the road map with Russia, the United Nations and the European Union.

The Israeli group Peace Now said Sunday Jewish settlers have set up five new outposts in the West Bank, days after the Israeli military began dismantling such sites under the road map peace plan.

Israeli media reports said its military was preparing to pull out of northern Gaza Strip, and turn over security to Palestinian authorities. Israel's army radio reported that details are still being worked out, but that the move could some soon.

Both Israelis and Palestinians have been under pressure from Washington to take steps to salvage the so-called road map international peace plan, a plan that has been severely undermined by a week of violence in which more than 60 people on both sides of the conflict were killed.

Commentary: A Palestinian State -- Unsafe at any Speed

By Arno Weinstein

The Bush Administration's public condemnation of Israel's efforts to destroy the command infrastructure of the Hamas terrorist organization is disappointing to say the least. The condemnation unfortunately demonstrates the administration's schizophrenic approach to "the War on Terror." Israel's helicopter air strikes over the last several days are aimed directly at decreasing the ability of Hamas to continue terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. Homicide bombers have murdered over 365 Israelis in just the last 32 months.

The U.S. government should praise Israel's aggressive targeting of Hamas leaders and those of other terrorist groups and not condemn it. If attacks on Hamas terrorist leaders and planners are not acceptable to the Bush Administration one must wonder what sort of fight U.S. allies are expected to wage in the "War on Terror."

Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of Justice. The Bush Doctrine, boldly announced by President Bush when he launched the "War on Terrorism" following the vicious terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, must be applied to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah if it is to remain an honest approach to eradicating terror.

The real message of the Bush Doctrine and the 'War on Terrorism' has already been reduced from its original potency by the State Department. Certain elements within the State Department have helped to change the Bush Administration's position into one that supports a PLO State.

An Arafat led PLO terrorist state - and that is what will be created from the so-called 'Road Map' -- whether Arafat, Abbas or any PLO terrorist is chairman, president or prime minister -- is wrong. It is wrong because a Palestinian State is unsafe at any size and under any administration. A PLO terror state is wrong not just because it endangers Israel's security, but because of what a PLO state would mean to international terrorists in general and Islamic terrorists in particular. Finally, a PLO terror state is wrong because it will, most assuredly, destroy what remains of The Bush Doctrine.

Terrorists will see a Palestinian state as a reward for terrorism. It will quickly become the central address for international state supported terrorism. Throughout the years the PLO has developed close working relationships to such wildly distant groups as The Japanese Red Army, the Red Army Faction, various factions of the IRA and has worked with terrorist sponsoring states such as Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya and others.

The creation of a Palestinian State will delay if not forestall any victory in the "War on Terror." Should the schizophrenic approach to the "War on Terror" now maintained by the Bush administration not be put right, the mission will be lost. The ramifications of this scenario are enormous. Without exaggeration, our very way of life is at stake as is the future of the Jewish State.

(Arno Weinstein is the executive vice president and national director of the American Friends of Israel's National Union ( The National Union is Israel's largest politically conservative voting bloc in and holds two cabinet posts and seven Knesset seats.

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