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10,000+ Troops to be Deployed to Evict Jews in Gaza and Shomron


Leaders of Judea, Samaria and Gaza met Monday to draw up a new strategy against the proposed evacuation of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. Army reserve officers who live in Yesha are advising them on ways to circumvent planned police blockades during the evacuation. Yesha Council leader Pinchas Wallerstein said opponents to the disengagement plan must put all their energy into forcing the government to hold a national referendum. More than 10,000 soldiers and police troops will take part in the implementation of the Gaza Disengagement Plan that was approved by the cabinet on Sunday. The inner circle of police and soldiers would be comprised of 6,000 troops, involved in actually removing residents from their homes, backed up by the outer ring of over 4,000 troops. The outer ring would serve a support function as well as providing a barrier towards the prevention of supporters reaching the communities being evacuated.

Bush sets Goal of Peace in Middle East

By Paula Wolfson (VOA-Brussels)

President Bush said Monday that the immediate goal facing the U.S. and Europe is peace in the Middle East. He delivered a major foreign policy address that singled out Syria and Iran for tough criticism. The president's words were blunt as he described threats to security in the Middle East and his hopes for peace. The toughest words were reserved for Syria and Iran.

The president called on the Palestinians to implement further democratic reforms, and stressed a successful Palestinian democracy should be Israel's goal as well. "So Israel must freeze settlement activity, help Palestinians build a thriving economy, and ensure that a new Palestinian state is truly viable, with contiguous territory on the West Bank."

Bush said the upcoming London conference on the Middle East would give the United States and Europe a chance to work together to further the goal of Israeli-Palestinian peace. He said they also share a common goal in Iran. "For the sake of peace, the Iranian regime must end its support for terrorism, and must not develop nuclear weapons,."

Iran said its nuclear program is designed to provide for its own energy needs. The United States has questioned that claim, saying an oil-rich nation like Iran does not need nuclear power.

The Bush Vision: Uproot Jews So PLO Can Have Contiguous State


President Bush has called on Israel, "to freeze settlement activity, help Palestinians build a thriving economy and ensure that a new Palestinian state is truly viable, with contiguous territory on the West Bank." Enunciating a vision that in principle can be attained only by dismantling more Jewish towns and communities in Judea and Samaria, Bush stated bluntly that "a state of scattered territories [for the PLO] will not work."

Many Jewish communities, reestablished on ancient biblical sites in territory liberated from the Arabs in the Six-Day War, are located along the main highway linking Arab populated cities in Judea and Samaria. It is hard to conceive of a viable and contiguous PLO state as long as these Jewish towns and villages continue to exist, thrive and expand. Bush also promised American support for the emerging PLO state: "As Palestinian leaders assume responsibility for Gaza and an increasingly larger territory, we will help them build the economic and political and security institutions needed to govern effectively."

Expressing confidence in PA chief Mahmoud Abbas, Bush said, "President Abbas has the opportunity to put forward a strategy of reform which can and will gain support from the international community, including financial support. I hope he will seize the moment." Bush said he would direct Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to attend a conference to be hosted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London next month "to convey America's strong support for the Palestinian people as they build a democratic state."

Bush also reiterated rhetoric directed towards the Arabs: "Arab states must end incitement in their own media, cut off public and private funding for terrorism, stop their support for extremist education, and establish normal relations with Israel." Bush also repeated his anti-terrorist message, and what many have begun to call, his messianic vision of democracy, requesting PA leaders to "confront and dismantle terrorist groups, fight corruption, encourage free enterprise, and rest true authority with the people. Only a democracy can serve the hopes of Palestinians and make Israel secure and raise the flag of a free Palestine."

What Sharon Omitted to Tell Ministers Before They Approved Evacuations

By DEBKAfile (Copyright 2005 DEBKAfile) (Commentary)

The Israeli prime minister finally managed to elicit two momentous decisions from his cabinet on Sunday, Feb. 20. The hard one was the evacuation of 26 Israeli communities from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank, one of the most polarizing in Israel's history. Sharon and his defense minister immediately signed the decrees making the removals possible as of July 20. After the eight weeks allotted for the evictions, it will be illegal for any Israeli to reside in the Gaza Strip.

But along the way, Sharon split his party, dropped ministers and divided at east two pro-settlement factions. Only after he built a new government coalition with Labor to neutralize his own party rebels, did he see his way to majority support for his pullout plan in the Knesset and cabinet. By then, two top national security chiefs had fallen by the wayside, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, and Shin Beit Director Avi Dichter.

The 8,000 evacuees have been given five months notice to accept the payouts on offer and go quietly or wait to be forcibly evicted under an elaborate evacuation plan requiring 6,000 policemen to remove them bodily, backed by several thousand armed soldiers for security.

The second decision confirmed by Israeli ministers later in the session approved the southern section of West Bank defense barrier after its route was amended. The revised route encloses 7% of West Bank territory instead of 16% in the original blueprint. The fence will encircle the Gush Etzion cluster and town of Maale Adummim south and east of Jerusalem. Both are bound to the capital as virtual satellites. But the town of Ariel further north will be excluded as will the Israeli communities of southern Mt. Hebron where the fence will follow the pre-1967 route. Although this is essentially a security fence, its route suggests that in future bargaining, these communities may find themselves in the same boat as their fellows in the Gaza Strip.

When the prime minister told the ministers at the critical voting session that disengagement is an "essential step for the state of Israel's future," he did not share with them certain facts that might have altered the way they voted. DEBKAfile uncovered some of those facts: The Palestinian Front. Friday, Dec. 11, three days before the well-publicized Sharm el-Sheikh summit of Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian leaders, the opposite camp met secretly on ways to disrupt it at a Hizbullah base near Hermel in the Lebanese Beqaa Valley.

Organized by the "Palestinian Desk" of Syrian military intelligence, it was attended by the officer who orchestrated Rafiq Hariri's assassination two months later, Gen. Rustum Ghazallah, as well as, DEBKAfile's intelligence sources reveal, Col. Askar Assdallahi, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard unit stationed at a secret Syrian military camp in the Zabadni Valley 24 miles north of Damascus. Syria has never admitted to hosting an Iranian Revolutionary Guard force on its soil. Also there were Palestinian Hamas operations chief and liaison man with Tehran, Imad al Alami, and Ezze-din-al Qassam commander Musbah Abu Huwila, whom Israeli attempted to liquidate in Damascus on December 14, 2004.

The two Jihad Islami operatives present were senior recruiter and trainer Akram Ajuri and head of operations in Lebanon Ziyad Nakhla. The two high-ranking Hizbullah officers at the meeting were training director Abu Zainab aka Hassan Ali Dib and the undercover liaison with Hamas and Jihad Gaza commands, Kassam Kasir. Present too were delegates of Fatah-Damascus and the Palestinian "Fronts."

On the agenda: the organization of a fresh terrorist offensive to accompany Israel's withdrawals. Here are the decisions of that secret conclave: 1. Unanimous rejection of the ceasefire Mahmoud Abbas and Ariel Sharon planned for the Sharm summit. 2. The Hamas, Jihad, Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades and Gaza Strip Popular Committees would lay the groundwork of the terror offensive by planting hundreds of explosive charges along Israeli traffic routes to blow up the Israeli units executing the evacuations. Israeli military sources revealed Sunday, Feb. 20, that in the last two weeks, 22 of these bombs, some as large as 70 kilos, were uncovered before they could do any harm.

3. Every effort would be made to step up the flow of smuggled weapons from Egyptian Sinai into the Gaza Strip, especially missiles of all types including anti-tank and surface-to-air rockets, the latter for shooting down Israeli helicopters and drones deployed to silence concentrated Palestinian Qassam missile assaults on Israeli targets. 4. Hizbullah promised to redouble its recruitment of spies and spotters among Israeli Arabs to keep the terrorists abreast of Israeli military movements. 5. Iran's Asdallahi and Syria's Ghazallah announced an extra $1-million allocation each to fund the operation to disrupt the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

This is what Gen. Yaalon was talking about Sunday when he referred to the disengagement operation as "a very vulnerable and fragile process subject to a Hamas and Hizbullah veto." He added: "We see that the Palestinians are caught up in internal debate. But there is no change whatever in Hamas thinking; it is exploiting the slowdown of military action to re-arm."

The American Front: In her latest telephone conversation with Mahmoud Abbas, secretary of state Condoleezza Rice repeated three times: Dismantle, dismantle, dismantle. But during her visit earlier this month she - and subsequently coordinator Lt.-Gen William E Ward - carried the same message to Sharon:

A. We don't believe Abbas will make it. That is why we haven't invited him to the White House and the funds allocated to him will only be forwarded if he takes real action against terror. From what we have seen thus far, he has not done anything at all. He simply hides behind Mohammed Dahlan's talks with your defense minister (Mofaz). Dahlan has not lived up to any of his promises to us. B. We are therefore standing back from your dispute and will confine ourselves to being observers. If there is anything we need to say, we will say it. C. If you need help in implementing your disengagement plan, get back to us and we will see what we can do, but we accept no responsibility for the move. D. So that Washington can keep its distance, an American diplomatic coordinator will soon be appointed to complement Ward's function in security. According to our sources, a middle-ranking official will be chosen to downgrade the Bush administration's engagement in the dispute and keep it off the desks of the Oval Office and the secretary of state.

The Bush administration has decided to remain aloof - if not quite wash its hands of Abbas - because of his decision to forego any attempt to dismantle or disarm the terrorists, after failing to persuade them even to join a temporary ceasefire. His plan of action only goes as far as absorbing terrorist manpower in the Palestinian Authority's security forces. But every attempt made in the past to turn terrorists into security or police officers and wean them away from terror with new uniforms and paychecks has failed.

The European Front: Following the American step back from the Middle East dispute, Sharon sent his top aide Dov Weisglass to London and Brussels instead of Washington to report on the government's pullback decision. This mission went ahead despite the fact that the European Union foreign affairs executive Javier Solana conveyed a secret assurance to Abbas. He advised him not to be dismayed by the cool wind blowing from Washington, because immediately after Israel completes its pullback, the EU would stage a big international conference to work on the final-status accord between Israel and the Palestinians. What this means, according to DEBKAfile's Middle East experts, is that the Europeans have given Abu Mazen the means to duck the American demand to dismantle terrorists.

So keen is Solana on his Middle East initiative that on the day of the Hariri assassination in Beirut, the Spanish ambassador in Tel Aviv was ordered to fly to Damascus via Cyprus for a briefing on Abbas' situation to Spanish minister Miguel Moratinos who was then visiting Damascus.

Undercover Police Agent Responsible for Right-Wing Incitement


A police informant initiated much right-wing incitement in recent weeks. Similar police tactics were used in the mid-1990s against protestors of the Oslo Accords. So reported Ma'ariv Monday in a front-page story.

The paper stated that the police agent initiated some of the more extreme protest acts of recent weeks - acts that were widely attributed to the entire national camp. The activities thus cast a cloud of illegitimacy on the entire anti-disengagement cause. The agent provocateur was behind a recent bumper sticker, which implied that Prime Minister Sharon's death was near. The sticker read: "Sharon, Lily [the PM's late wife] is waiting for you." He also recruited people to attend the road-blocking protests of last week, which brought much public wrath upon the anti-disengagement cause.

The police informant resides in a community in Judea and Samaria (Yesha). Armed with police "protection" because of the information he transmits to them, the agent initiated extremist acts, ostensibly to "entrap" protestors. He reportedly said he plans more violent activities over the coming months, including vandalizing or setting fire to courthouses and other public buildings.

The media have routinely attributed such activities to "extreme right-wing" elements. Etgar Lefkovits of the Jerusalem Post, for instance, wrote on Friday, "For the second time in as many days, suspected Jewish extremists spray-painted graffiti Thursday against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in central Jerusalem, police said... Police said that they suspect far-right activists, affiliated with the outlawed Kach movement, were behind the vandalism. Similar slogans appeared on city streets and billboards prior to the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin."

In fact, the revelation of the police agent provocateur was reminiscent of the Avishai Raviv case in 1995. An agent of the General Security Service (Shabak), Raviv was paid to inform on the activities of his right-wing neighbors, and in fact instigated some of the more violent and extreme activities himself. Tzvi Hendel, speaking in the capacity of Deputy Education Minister, said that Raviv was "a sick provocateur who did all he could to sow hatred for the Jews living in Judea and Samaria by Israeli citizens."

Raviv goaded Yigal Amir into murdering Rabin, according to testimony of at least two people. Raviv himself later admitted that he not only knew of Amir's intention to murder Rabin, but that he gave Amir the impression that he concurred with Amir's conclusions. "The main point is," said Prof. Hillel Weiss of Bar-Ilan University at the time, "that the GSS was behind a cruel, heartless plan to besmirch an entire public and frame them with the crime of attempting to murder the Prime Minister."

Raviv was indicted in April 1999 - 18 months after it was officially released that he was a GSS agent, and only following court suits and public pressure demanding that Raviv be put on trial. The charge sheet specified not that Raviv encouraged Amir, but rather that he did "not prevent" the murder. After the trial was delayed many times over the course of more than three full years, the trial began in earnest only in July 2002. Eight months later, Raviv was acquitted of all charges.

Likud MK Michael Eitan, one of the strongest advocates at the time of a public inquiry into the Raviv-Amir connection, said something then that might easily be said about Monday's. Eitan said that the verdict "was a personal, legal vindication of one man - but the entire public interest issue still remains a tightly closed secret. No one has investigated those on behalf of whom GSS-agent Raviv was operating. No one has investigated the incitement against Jewish citizens and Arabs living in Judea and Samaria. No one has investigated the smear campaign against Jewish leaders that came before and after the murder. All this and much more remains closed and shut."

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