Newsletter : 5fax0513.txt
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Netanyahu: Israel Soon Won't Need U.S. Non-Military Aid
Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Thursday claimed that by 2009, Israel would be
economically independent and not need non-military aid from the United States. He said
that by then there will not any "poor elderly" Israelis. Netanyahu also said that
unemployment and taxes will drop and that tourism will grow. Last week, he said he favors
changing the Israeli law that prohibits gambling. He is supporting the construction of
casino hotels in Eilat.
Israel Warns Iran Over Nuke Threat
By Agence France-Presse & Reuters
Israel's chief of staff issued a veiled warning Thursday to Iran over its pursuit of a
controversial nuclear program. "Israel has always found the means to respond to threats
... I hope that pressure being put on Iran will be effective," General Moshe Yaalon was
quoted as saying on Army Radio when asked about the Islamic republic's nuclear program.
A top Iranian nuclear official announced earlier that Tehran could soon announce a
resumption of a "noticeable part" of uranium conversion work, part of the process used to
produce nuclear fuel for power generation or the explosive core of an atomic bomb.
France, Britain and Germany warned Iran they would break off EU talks and join
Washington in seeking UN Security Council action if Tehran makes good on its threats to
resume atomic work.
The foreign ministers of the European Union's three biggest powers sent a strongly
worded letter to Hassan Rohani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, warning that resuming
potentially arms-related nuclear work "would bring the negotiating process to an end", an
EU diplomat quoted the letter as saying. "The consequences could only be negative for
Iran," it said.
Iran, insisting on its "right" to possess nuclear technology for peaceful purposes,
warned that mounting pressure could undermine its commitment to the Non-Proliferation
Treaty - the cornerstone of the global effort to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
Israeli archenemy Iran has always denied that it is pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
Yaalon's declaration came the same day as Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Iran
would be able to produce a nuclear bomb in "six to nine months time."
Israeli aircraft attacked and destroyed an Iraqi nuclear installation at Osirak,
outside Baghdad, in 1981. On March 22, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Israel had no
intention of launching a strike against Iranian nuclear installations.
Rocket Disrupts Israel's Birthday
By The Australian & Xinhuanet
Independence Day celebrations were stilled along part of Israel's northern border early
Thursday when a Katyusha rocket fired from Lebanon exploded in the frontier town of
Shlomi. A bakery was severely damaged but there were no casualties.
Israeli sources said any military response would not come before the end of ceremonies
marking Israel's 57th anniversary. Israeli army commanders said the rocket was not fired
by Hizbullah terrorists, the major military force on the Lebanese side of the border, but
by a dissident Palestinian group based in one of the refugee camps in Lebanon.
The Katyusha exploded close to midnight, local time, just after fireworks had been set
off in Shlomi, where residents, as elsewhere in the country, were celebrating in the
streets. Town officials halted the celebrations and urged residents to return to their
Israeli Ultra nationalists, Supporters Protest Gaza Evacuation Plan
By VOA News
Thousands of Israelis poured into Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip Thursday,
marking Israel's Independence Day with protests against Israel's planned evacuation of the
Gaza Strip in August.
Settlers and their supporters heard anti-evacuation speakers vow to defeat Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to pull all 8,500 settlers from Gaza and four small West Bank
enclaves. Protesters also dedicated a new synagogue in southern Gaza, in a move apparently
aimed at showing their resolve to defeat the pullout plan.
The Israeli army is drawing up plans for ejecting settlers who resist evacuation orders
and for thousands of supporters expected to try to join them in Gaza ahead of the
Arabs: 'Israel Must Leave Jerusalem'
By Jerusalem Newswire
Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip is not enough if the Jewish state wants peace
with the Arab world, according to a joint declaration following this week's Arab-South
American summit in Brasilia, Brazil.
PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas, one of only seven major Arab leaders to attend the gathering,
reiterated his demand that the Jews vacate every inch of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip
as part of any final status agreement. "We are very keen to reaching just peace with
Israel on basis of full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab and Palestinian lands [sic]
it occupied in 1967," Abbas said.
He suggested all of the Middle East's current instability and violence was the result
of Israel's failure to retreat in accordance with the UN's recommendations in resolutions
242 and 338. [Ed. Note - Both 242 and 338 fall under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, meaning
they are merely recommendations, rather than binding international law.]
"The Middle East, including Palestine as its core concern, is still suffering from
instability and violence, simply because Israel has not so far complied with the
international legitimacy resolutions 338 and 242," Abbas insisted, ignoring decades of
regional upheaval and violence against the Jews prior to 1967.
South American leaders had hoped to keep the summit focused on economic cooperation in
an effort to counter American domination in that area. They acquiesced to the passions of
their Arab guests, however, and condemnation of Israel was made the centerpiece of the
summit's "Declaration of Brasilia."
The declaration's draft, which was approved by attending foreign ministers Monday,
demanded the removal of all Jewish settlements, including "those in east Jerusalem." It
also lent approval to anti-Jewish "Palestinian" terrorism under the guise of resisting
"foreign occupation in accordance with the principles of international legitimacy and in
compliance with international humanitarian law."
The document denounced terrorism but called for an international conference to define
who is a terrorist, suggesting that the killers of Israeli Jews and US soldiers in Iraq do
not fit the bill.
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