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Israel: Troops Kill Two Armed Palestinians Near Settlement

By VOA News

The Israeli military said troops have shot and killed two armed Palestinian gunmen outside a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The military said the shootings occurred Tuesday at a settlement near the West Bank town of Nablus. Reuters quoted Palestinian sources as saying the two men belonged to the militant al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Earlier Tuesday, Palestinians said a teenager was shot dead and another youth was wounded near Ramallah by Israeli gunfire during a stone-throwing protest against the barrier fence that Israel is building in the West Bank. Israeli sources said its troops were not involved in the shooting.

Israel Condemns Russia's Missiles Sale to Syria


Taking a stance reminiscent of Russia's cold-war, Soviet era, Russian President Vladimir Putin notified Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, that Russia would not cancel the sale of sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, despite Israel's objections. Sharon disclosed Putin's decision at a news conference held Tuesday evening for the foreign press. "We are not pleased with the sales of weapons to Syria," said Sharon.

Sharon told reporters that Putin promised him at a meeting that took place more than two years ago that Russia would not sell such weapons to the Syrians. Sharon said he would continue to maintain contact with the Russians "in order to settle this issue, and ensure that these weapons don't reach terror organizations in Lebanon."

Regarding the pullout from Gaza and the expulsion of its Jewish residents from their homes, farms, and factories, Sharon said that his plan "will be coordinated with the Palestinians." He reiterated his opinion that Israel "needed to take painful steps", adding that Israel is willing to make "painful compromises for peace, but it will not make any compromises with terror." Sharon said that the pullout plan would strengthen Israel's hold on major settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, which "will be part of the Jewish state in the future."

When asked about Israel's reaction to the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Sharon said it was "unnecessary to respond" to Syrian accusations of Israeli involvement. He did add, however, that Israel was not happy with the assassination that has the potential to destabilize Lebanon and Israel's northern border. "It should not have happened. We don't know who did it."

Sharon reminded reporters that many Palestinian terror groups have their headquarters in Syria, and that Syria along with Iran support Hizbullah terrorists operating along the Israel-Lebanon border. "Syria must allow the Lebanese army to deploy its forces along the border with Israel," and withdraw its armed forces from Lebanon in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1559."

Transfer of Arabs Enjoys Strong Support


A survey showing a plurality of Israelis in favor of the transfer of at least part of the Arab population of Samaria/Gaza was suppressed for a month - until WorldNetDaily demanded its release. The poll was commissioned by Mishalot Yisrael, a group formed to assess public opinion regarding Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan. Mutagim, a large Israeli polling company, carried it out on Jan. 12.

Almost 400 respondents were asked whether they "prefer the 'Sharon/Peres Disengagement Plan,' which stipulates the transfer of Gaza and Northern Shomron to Palestinian control and the expulsion of all Jews who live there - or do they prefer a plan known as the 'Jewish Alternative Disengagement Plan,' which includes the Israeli annexation of these territories and the expulsion of the Arabs living there to an area outside Israel." The results showed that 39% of the general Israeli population favored the latter plan, while 37% favored Sharon's plan.

Mutagim refused to release the survey results, claiming that a question was entered late and the company was only able to interview 397 people instead of the 511 originally planned. The company offered to conduct another survey for free. Yekutiel Ben-Yaakov, director of Mishalot Yisroel, told WorldNetDaily that he demanded the release of the poll results. "The polling companies are afraid. They don't want to put anything out that shows the Israeli people would rather kick out the Palestinians and not evacuate the Jews," Ben-Yaakov said.

And Arutz-7 reported several months ago that an October 2004 survey commissioned by Channel 2 TV showed that 58% of adults aged 18-22 supported the transfer of Arabs, while 26.4% believe that the late Rabbi Meir Kahane was correct in his call to expel the Arabs. A third of those polled believe that Kach should be declared a legal party once again. In addition, a survey carried out in June of last year by Haifa University's National Security Research Center indicated that over 55% of the Jewish public feels that Israeli-Arabs are a threat to national security.

Saudi Defense Minister: Bin Laden Sent by the Jews


During a meeting to plan the recent Saudi conference on counter-terrorism the Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia claimed that arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden was "sent by the Jews."

The Defense Minister, Prince Sultan Feted read a poem with the following verse: "Long live security - may its men hold their heads high on every corner. [Bin Laden], whose ideology is sick, who was sent by the Jews, who is the architect of theft, was treacherous and sent us the criminals. This traitor of the nation tried to harm us, but his efforts boomeranged back upon him."

And an Iranian TV program has claimed that an Israeli boat patrolling near Iran is holding kidnapped babies to be used later for their organs. "We are talking about children no one cares about [and who] have been kidnapped on the excuse of being concerned for them, and after they mature, the Zionists uses their hearts, kidneys and other organs," the TV presentation charged on the Iranian Shahar channel.

The producer is Ahmed Mir Alawii, who also was responsible for the film Zahra's Blue Eyes, which premiered on the same channel in December and portrayed Israel officials supposedly operating on Arab children and using their organs for transplants.

In the latest program, Alawii claims, "A white boat sails on the oceans and does not enter Iran's territorial waters or those of other countries. Our Arab brethren should be careful of this boat where the Zionists hold children from the age of one and two. They receive the best medical treatment and are [placed] under constant surveillance. Why are they being cared for? [The objective is to] use them for medical objectives."

Egyptian Paper Slams Sharansky Book


Egypt's semi-official newspaper "Al Ahram" has called Israeli Minister Natan Sharansky's new book promoting democracy "dangerous" and "full of lies." Al Ahram" published an article Tuesday - the first in a series - defining as "dangerous" Sharansky's new book, "The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror." The paper noted that all copies of the book, which was published in September 2004, had been sold out.

"I'm happy that Egyptian citizens will become familiar with the thesis presented in the book, according to which freedom and democracy are suitable for all peoples," said Sharansky in response to the report. "I am sure that our region is ready for the era of democratization, and that the interest in the book will encourage discussion of the issue." Sharansky is a former Prisoner of Zion who now serve as Minister of Diaspora Affairs in the Israeli government.

Al Ahram claims that the danger posed by the book increased after President George W. Bush read it and invited Sharansky to the White House to talk about it. "When the president of the only world power says that the book reflects his philosophy and policy, there is no doubt that the book should be read with special interest," the paper reported, but it stated that the book would have a dangerous impact because it is "full of lies." The paper also claimed that Sharansky harbors hostility towards Egypt.

The Al-Ahram article noted ominously that the danger of another Israel-Egypt war breaking out couldn't be negated. Israel withdrew from the entire Sinai Desert in 1982 in exchange for a promise of peace from Egypt.

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