Newsletter : 4fax0707.txt
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Channel 2: There is a Plot to Murder the Prime Minister
By VOA News & IsraelNationalNews.com
According to a Channel 2 TV News report Wednesday evening, there are persons who have
decided to murder Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. An Israeli security minister says he has
"no doubt" there are Jewish extremists who have already decided to try to kill Sharon or
other top officials to stop Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip. Speaking on Israeli TV,
Tsachi Hagnebi said he was concerned such extremists might act once the government begins
removing Jewish settlements. Sharon plans to remove some 7,500 settlers from their homes
in the Gaza Strip and another 500 from the West Bank. Most Israelis support the
withdrawal, but many settlers are adamantly opposed to the plan.
Powell Expresses Disappointment Over Israeli Record on Settlements
By David Gollust (VOA-State Department)
Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday that the Bush administration is
disappointed with Israel's record in dismantling settlement outposts in the West Bank as
called for in the international Middle East peace "road map."
Powell held talks Tuesday with Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, who said Israel
will comply "in the near future."
Israel committed itself under the "road map" issued more than a year ago to tear down all
unauthorized settler outposts erected after March of 2001, when Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon came to power.
But while some of the outposts have been dismantled, Israeli opposition lawmakers say
others remain and are being supplemented with structures and paved roads and are taking on
the appearance of permanent settlements. In a talk with reporters after meeting Shalom,
Powell said the issue was a matter of concern for the Bush administration.
"With respect to the outposts, and other activity related to settlements and access,
the minister and I had an open and candid discussion about it," he said. "I explained to
the minister that we have some disappointment in the rate at which outposts have been
removed and the minister gave me assurances that they are hard at work on that, and we'll
be exchanging more information on the subject."
For his part, Shalom said the Sharon government is committed to removing the
unauthorized outposts, even though he said the Palestinians have done nothing to implement
their "road map" commitments. He said "tens" of such outposts have been dismantled already
and that the United States has been given a list of the 28 remaining, which he said would
be dealt with "in the near future."
The left-leaning Israeli watchdog group, Peace Now, said this week there were 53
In his comments, Shalom also defended Israel's controversial security barrier in the
West Bank and expressed hope the United States and other sympathetic countries can head
off an expected advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice next week that the
barrier contravenes international law. He said the barrier has caused a "huge decline" in
the number of terrorist attacks in Israeli cities while allowing Israel to eliminate many
security checkpoints in the West Bank.
"We lost 1,000 casualties in the last three-and-a-half years and since we have built
this fence, it gives us the opportunity to cancel 80 roadblocks within the territories,
which gives more freedom to the Palestinians while they don't have free access to the
Israeli state in order to carry out attacks against us," he said. "It gives us the
possibility to cancel more roadblocks in the future."
Israel's own Supreme Court late last month ordered the Sharon government to re-route a
segment of the barrier near Jerusalem on grounds that its current path violated the human
rights of local Palestinians. The Bush administration, for its part, says the barrier is
problematic to the extent that it intrudes into Palestinian areas and pre-judges the
borders of an envisaged Palestinian state.
IAEA Chief in Israel, Sharon Sticks to Policy of Nuclear Ambiguity
By VOA News
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency is in Israel for talks expected to
focus on ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons. Israel neither acknowledges nor
denies having a nuclear arsenal, and has maintained a policy of nuclear ambiguity for
decades. However, international experts say they suspect the Jewish state has as many as
200 nuclear warheads.
Ahead of his two-day trip, IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei said Israel should start talks
on ridding the region of nuclear weapons whether it acknowledges having them or not. In a
statement released Tuesday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Israel would not change its
policy of nuclear ambiguity and would maintain in its hands all the force components
needed for its defense.
Meantime, an Israeli court has upheld a government decision to refuse entry to a
British journalist who reported on Israel's covert nuclear program in 1986. Journalist
Peter Hounam was trying to enter Israel to help convicted Israeli nuclear traitor
Mordechai Vanunu appeal restrictions placed on him after his release from prison in April.
Vanunu spent 18 years in jail for revealing details of an Israeli nuclear plant to Hounam,
who in 1986 wrote for Britain's Sunday Times.
Analysts used the Times' report to estimate Israel had as many as 200 nuclear warheads,
a contention that Israel neither confirms nor denies. In May, the Israeli Interior
Ministry said Hounam could still act to reveal sensitive information if allowed to enter
Uganda Mulls Museum to Commemorate Entebbe Operation
Uganda's old airport may be turned into a museum to commemorate the daring night raid
by Israeli commandos 28 years ago to rescue hijacked hostages, a Ugandan official said on
Israeli Special Forces troops stormed the Entebbe terminal, south of the capital
Kampala, after Palestinian and German militants hijacked an Air France plane with some 100
Israelis on board and flew it to the tiny east African country.
"We are refurbishing the old terminal building and looking at turning it into a national
heritage site," said Ignatius Igundura, spokesman for Uganda's Civil Aviation
"One option is that we could turn it into a museum because it has that historical
element of the daring raid by the Jews to rescue their people," he told Reuters, adding
officials from the tourism and antiquities departments were being consulted.
The refurbishment was part of a 1 billion Uganda shilling (about $550,000) scheme to
renovate the airport area, he said. International flights now use a new airport building
close to the site of the old terminal. The old airfield is a back base for the UN
peacekeeping force in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
The 1976 hijacking and Israeli raid embarrassed Uganda's then dictator Idi Amin, who
had exploited the incident in a bid to win Arab support. The hijackers demanded the
release of some 50 Palestinians held in prisons around the world, and threatened to kill
the Israelis among the hostages if their demands were not met.
But six days after the hijackers landed at Entebbe, Israeli commandos staged a daring
90-minute night raid at the airport and freed the captives. Seven hijackers were killed
along with several Ugandan soldiers guarding the terminal. Two hostages also died in the
battle, and their bodies were taken by the Israelis.
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