Newsletter : 3fax0709.txt
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Peres Comes Out Loud & Clear To Remove Jews From Gaza
Opposition Knesset leader Shimon Peres Tuesday told Army Radio that the time has come
to remove Jews from Gaza. Peres blamed the Jews of Gush Katif and neighboring communities
of being a "burden" to the nation, insisting there is no justification for Jewish
communities to remain in Gaza.
Palestinian Militants Claim Responsibility for Suicide Bombing
By Larry James (VOA-Jerusalem)
A faction of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility
for a suicide bombing that killed an elderly Israeli woman Monday. But Islamic Jihad's
spokesman in the Gaza Strip said his group was committed to honoring the ceasefire it
agreed to two weeks ago.
The claim of responsibility for the bombing came from a branch of Islamic Jihad based
in the West Bank town of Jenin. A statement issued there said the attack in the Israeli
village of Kfar Yavetz was only the first and that more attacks would follow unless Israel
released all Palestinian prisoners. But an Islamic Jihad spokesman in the Gaza Strip said
the organization remained committed to the ceasefire they announced 10 days ago.
Israeli police had initially blamed a natural gas leak for the explosion that leveled
the home of a 65-year-old woman. But after finding the body of an unidentified man in the
rubble they began investigating it as a possible terror attack. The police said that
explosion killed Mazal Afari, 65, a mother of eight.
The explosion shook Moshav Kfar Ya'vetz, founded by the HaPoel HaMizrachi movement some
70 years ago, and residents ran out to see what had happened. The first thought was that a
gas explosion had occurred, and when Afari's body and that of an unidentified male were
discovered, inquiries were made as to whether he was a member of the moshav. When no one
answering his description was reported missing, and when the home's gas canisters were
found intact, the police began to believe that this was in fact a terrorist attack.
The spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the bombing proved that the
Palestinian ceasefire was worthless. Ra'anan Gissin said the ceasefire was not worth the
paper it was written on and is no substitute for what he termed relentless real action to
dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minster Mahmoud Abbas canceled his Wednesday meeting with
Ariel Sharon. Reports said that some people on the Fatah Central Committee, of which Abbas
is a member, are dissatisfied with the way he has been handling negotiations with Sharon.
They say he is too willing to make concessions and has little to show for his efforts so
Israel Radio reported one of the issues involves Israel's position on the release of
Palestinian prisoners. On Sunday, the Israeli cabinet agreed to free about 350
Palestinians, but security officials recommended that no members of militant groups, be
considered for release. Palestinians say such a policy could lead to a resumption of
attacks on Israelis. Reports quoting Israeli sources said that there would not be any
prisoner releases until both prime ministers met.
Iran Tests Missile Capable of Hitting Israel
By James Martone (VOA-Cairo)
Iran said it has conducted a final test on a medium-range surface-to-surface missile
its range makes it capable of reaching Israel. Iran said conducted a "delivery test" of
its Shahab 3 ballistic missile, which can strike up to 806 miles, bringing Israel within
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters in Tehran that the
final test of the missile took place a few weeks ago. The announcement followed an Israeli
newspaper report last week that Iran had conducted such a test. It also was made days
before the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, was to
One expert on Iran, Dr. Pakinam El-Sharqawi, said the announcement of the missile test
is in line with that country's policy of deterrence. "They always keep saying that we are
developing and making more and more sophisticated missiles, and it is a kind of
self-defense that is one of their own methods of self-defense in the region."
Sharqawi, a professor of political science at Cairo University, said that by flexing
its muscles now, Iran was sending a message to countries that it considers increasingly
aggressive, including the United States. She said she does not expect the missile test to
interfere with ElBaradei's Tehran visit to seek clarification of Iran's nuclear
Lessons to Learn from Entebbe
Commentary by Arno Weinstein
Since 1976 the 4th of July marked two significant events in the free world, one ensured
the dominance of Western thought throughout the world and the other taught us how to keep
civilization alive. The American Revolution, as a seminal event, needs no embellishment
here, however the other event might. Twenty-seven years ago, on July 4th, elite Israeli
Special Forces rescued 105 Jewish and Israeli hostages from the hands of Arab Palestinian
terrorists at the Entebbe airport in Uganda.
The fact that 27 years have passed since the otherwise left-oriented government of
Israel took dramatic efforts to destroy the murderous purposes of terrorists won't be
marked with great fanfare. There won't be television specials, in-depth analysis in the
newspapers, nor will pundits around the United States opine on the rescue at Entebbe.
For shame, on the contrary, we should all be stirred to righteous determination while
the heroics of Entebbe are retold once again. It comes as no surprise, however, that
Entebbe will again be forgotten. There is no sorrow over the fact that the great courage
of the IDF is ignored, but rather what is so very distasteful is that the lessons of
Entebbe have been lost. Following the evil terror actions of 9/11, Entebbe should have
been America's blueprint for the War on Terror. And for a brief moment in time it actually
appeared that it was. But alas, "The Road Map" is upon us.
And that is a tragedy, because this summer, with the imposition of "The Road Map" to
peace and the outrageous notion of terrorist "cease fires," it is very instructional to
review just how Israelis and the western world used to respond to terror. The action of
Entebbe not only saved lives, but also produced new facts on the ground and important
In the midst of these troubled times, the PFLP (the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine) with the aid of German terrorists hijacked an Air France jetliner filled with
Israeli and Jewish passengers and flew them to Entebbe, Uganda. The ordeal of the hostages
in Entebbe, and the flamboyant antics of Uganda's Muslim dictator, Idi Amin, drew the
attention of the world away from the American bicentennial celebration. As the terrorist
threat to randomly murder a Jewish or Israeli hostage every hour until their demands were
met, more attention was drawn to the drama.
The Israeli response to the terrorists was simple and direct: "Israel does not
negotiate with terrorists!" The success of the rescue operation, launched after Israel
used the subterfuge of a compromise, was spectacular. Over 90 hostages were rescued, with
just a few hostage casualties; the one fatality among the Israeli commandos was Col. Yoni
Netanyahu, whose younger brother Benjamin would later be elected Israel's prime
Israel was seen by world opinion as having triumphed over international terrorism. The
morale of the Israeli people was lifted. The Israeli army regained its reputation earned
in the stunning victories of the Six Day War and its self-confidence was restored.
[Arno Weinstein is the Executive Vice President and National Director of the American Friends of Israel's National Union (www.TheNationalUnion.com). The National Union is Israel's largest politically conservative voting bloc and holds two cabinet posts and seven Knesset seats.]
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