Newsletter : 5fax0714.txt
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Sharon (in the past): 'The Fate of Netzarim is the Fate of Tel Aviv'
"The fate of Netzarim is the fate of Tel Aviv" - activists of the National Home
organization plan to actualize that statement, made by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon when he
was running for re-election against the Labor Party's Amram Mitzna, who proposed uprooting
Netzarim in the central Gaza region.
The National Home activists said they plan to close roads in Tel Aviv every Monday and
Wednesday at 5 p.m. until Gush Katif is no longer closed. Gush Katif, in the Gaza region,
was closed by military fiat today to non-residents, ahead of the implementation of the
government's Disengagement Plan to uproot all the Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip and
in northern Samaria.
Sharon Vows to Target Islamic Jihad Leaders as Death Toll Rises
By Sonja Pace (VOA-Jerusalem)
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has vowed to target the leaders of the extremist group,
Islamic Jihad, which claimed responsibility for Tuesday's suicide bombing in the coastal
city of Netanya that killed four people and injured dozens more. Israel has already
responded to the bombing by closing off the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Sharon told reporters he's ordered security forces to step up operations against
Islamic Jihad and "hit the leadership." The comment would signal a return to Israel's
controversial policy of targeted assassinations of militant leaders - a practice it
suspended following a truce with the Palestinians concluded in early February.
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said the decision is justified. Islamic Jihad, he said,
made a strategic decision to commit a terrorist attack. Israel, he said, is going to act
at any place, at any time against Islamic Jihad.
Shortly after Tuesday evening's bombing, Israel sealed off the West Bank and Gaza Strip
and security forces moved back into Tulkarem, re-occupying the West Bank city they had
turned over to Palestinian control just four months ago. Troops rounded up a number of
Islamic Jihad militants and the military said the security sweep could last several
Speaking on Israel Radio, Yuval Steinitz, head of the Foreign Affairs and Defense
committee in Israel's parliament said Tuesday's suicide attack should come as no surprise
and he put the blame on Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen.
"Well, unfortunately this was forthcoming, taking into account that Abu Mazen was doing
and is doing nothing to disarm the terrorists," said Steinitz.
Palestinian leaders were quick to condemn the Netanya bombing and Abbas has vowed to
track down those responsible. Palestinian government spokesman, Samir Hilleleh said action
against the militants was imminent. Speaking on Palestinian radio, Hilleleh said it would
soon be very clear that there is one (Palestinian) Authority and one gun. He said this
would be implemented soon and without exception or excuses.
Abbas spoke of "one Authority - one weapon" when he took office in January. It was to
be a signal to the various militant groups that only the Palestinian Authority would be in
charge and only its forces would be allowed to carry weapons. But, Abbas has avoided going
up directly against the militants, opting instead for a dialogue to coax them into a truce
with Israel and try to bring them into the political process. Tuesday's Netanya bombing
has increased the pressure on Abbas to move more aggressively.
U.S. Says Syria Gives Safe Harbor to Palestinian Terrorists
By David Gollust (VOA-State Department)
The United States is stepping up criticism of Syria for allowing the group responsible
for Tuesday's suicide bombing in Israel to operate on its territory. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said such support should end immediately.
The Bush administration is not accusing Syria of direct complicity in the deadly
suicide attack at an Israeli shopping mall in the coastal town of Netanya. But U.S.
officials do accuse Damascus of allowing the group blamed for the attack, Palestinian
Islamic Jihad or PIJ, to operate freely on its territory as it tries to torpedo progress
in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
In the immediate aftermath of Tuesday's attack, the United States condemned the bombing
and urged the Palestinian Authority to take immediate action to find those responsible and
bring them to justice. The Syrian connection was raised later by Rice, who in a written
statement from the South Korean capital, Seoul, said it is essential that Syria end its
support for terrorist organizations, particularly those like PIJ, which she said are
headquartered and harbored in Damascus. She said Syria should immediately stop letting its
territory be used for insurgent activities and actions that she said frustrate the
aspirations of the Lebanese, Iraqi and Palestinian people.
Security Forces Turn Away 1,000 Israelis from Gaza
Security forces turned away more than 1,000 Israelis from the Kissufim crossing and
other checkpoints leading to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the first day of an Israel
Defense Forces closure of Gaza settlements.
In a step seen as a watershed moment in his disengagement plan, Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon ordered Gaza closed to non-resident Israelis on Wednesday morning, declaring it a
closed military zone in a bid to blunt plans by anti-pullout activists to flood the Strip
The order effectively closes off the Strip until the end of the disengagement, and
comes after a temporary closure imposed two weeks ago to allow Israeli security forces to
evacuate a hotel in which anti-pullout activists had barricaded themselves. However, the
Israel Defense Forces will be issuing temporary visitors' permits to settlers' guests, as
long as they do not appear on the army's blacklist.
Senior police officials said Wednesday night they were satisfied with what they termed
the relative quiet at the Kissufim crossing. However, a short time later several dozen
Gaza settlers held a rally at Kissufim to protest the Gaza closure. They refused to
identify themselves to police officers.
The IDF will be flexible in issuing the guest permits - which will be valid for either
24 or 72 hours - during the first phase of the closure. But if the army discovers that
anti-pullout activists are entering the Strip, it will tighten restrictions, to the point
of keeping even close family members from visiting their relatives in Gaza
Several right-wing activists have been placed on a blacklist compiled by the Shin Bet
security service and the police, and will not be allowed visitor permits. The closure
order also grants GOC Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh the authority to
determine the exact date of declaring the northern West Bank a sealed military zone ahead
of the evacuation of four settlements under the disengagement.
"This is the first time in history that a Jewish prime minister has blockaded Jewish
communities and declared a part of Israel free of Jews," the Yesha Council of settlements
said in a statement. "This is yet another of the prime minister's achievements in tearing
the nation apart and trampling the values of democracy and Zionism as well as the
residents' human rights."
"We have been blockaded, so there is no reason why the government should not also be in
the same situation," a Kfar Darom resident told Israel Radio.
Knesset member Ran Cohen (Meretz-Yahad) congratulated Sharon on deciding to close off
the Strip. "This is a very logical and correct decision in face of the provocation of
settlers and their supporters to thwart the disengagement," he said. "There is no other
way of stopping these provocateurs from disrupting life in this country."
Gaza settlers will be issued permanent magnetic permits to be used with an automated
verification system, aimed at reducing to a minimum the waiting time at the crossings, the
IDF said Wednesday. The approximately 1,000 Israelis who work in Gaza settlements but
don't live there will also be issued permanent permits. All other non-residents will be
required to present temporary permits issued by the IDF, which is establishing an
authorization center for the purpose. The army said it would respond to Gaza settlers'
requests for permits within eight hours.
Hundreds of cars were backed up about for 2.5 miles from the entrance to Gush Katif
Wednesday evening. Police used force in an effort to clear the entrance of vehicles.
Police have prevented non-residents from entering, and many residents refuse to show their
identification cards. One woman said she has been living in Ne've Dekalim for 20 years and
"this is the first time I had to show an identity card in order to go home." She said
police directed her through a field so she could get home.
IDF Soldiers Refuse Gush Katif Closure Orders
Six IDF soldiers from the prestigious Givati brigade refused to carry out orders to bar
Jews from entering Gaza's Jewish communities Wednesday. The soldiers, part of the "Rotem"
unit, announced in front of their fellow soldiers that they refuse to take part in the
closure of Gush Katif, calling the order illegal and immoral. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
signed an order declaring the region closed to non-residents Wednesday morning.
IDF Southern Commander Maj. Gen. Dan Harel told reporters that the soldiers would be
punished. He brushed off suggestions of a looming refusal movement. "We will handle those
six soldiers in the exact same way as we handled the 30 others who have refused orders
recently. We will implement our policy, which does not accept either right-wing or
left-wing insubordination," he said.
More than 30,000 active duty and reserve soldiers and officers have signed a petition
declaring they will refuse orders to implement the Disengagement Plan, according to the
Homat Magen ("Defensive Shield") refusal movement. "These heroes of the IDF are salvaging
the army's honor," Homat Magen announced. "The wave of refusals will become a tsunami that
will wash away the blatantly illegal expulsion order." The Rotem unit is made up of
soldiers who were drafted one year ago and includes many yeshiva students.
The Golani brigade, which was originally slated to take a direct role in the expulsion
of the Jews of Gaza, was recently reassigned due to widespread concern among officers of
mass refusal. Bumper stickers have appeared on vehicles around Israel, reading: "My Golani
Does Not Expel Jews. Respect!"
A ceremony will take place next Sunday opposite the IDF enlistment office in Haifa,
during which IDF officers plan on returning their ranks to the IDF. The officer claim that
by closing Gush Katif and taking part in the forced removal of Jewish residents from their
homes, the IDF is betraying its code of ethics and the basic tenets upon which it was
Western Media and the "T word'
By Alan D. Abbey (Commentary)
If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and blows itself up in
the midst of a crowded London train station causing mass casualties, it is likely a
terrorist. But if that same "duck" blows itself up on a crowded street in Netanya, it is
a "militant" carrying out an "attack." At least according to the U.S. and British media,
who still make a distinction between what happens here, and what has recently happened in
It seems that the news media have finally unwrapped the word terrorist from its
hermetically sealed cocoon and let it spread its wings in their newspapers and websites in
the wake of last Thursday's suicide terror attacks in London. "The Times " of London
Online Style Guide has this entry: "Remember, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom
So, I guess British Islamic militants who blow themselves up are the Times' kind of
terrorists. Here's a part of their latest story on the incident: "Four friends from
northern England have changed the face of terrorism by carrying out the suicide bombings
that brought carnage to London last week. Three of the men lived in Leeds and the
immediate fear is that members of a terrorist cell linked to the city are planning further
London's "Independent " newspaper, notorious for its slanted coverage about Israel,
posted this headline on its website Wednesday: "The police's nightmare: home-grown
terrorists." The BBC, usually known for its reserve, has a heading on its website: "What
happened: How the key incidents unfolded on London's day of terror."
Despite what seemed clear to us in Israel within the first few minutes of hearing what
was happening in London, those news agencies had to be dragged kicking and screaming, as
it were, into acknowledging that the four coordinated attacks last Thursday were in fact
something other than a "power surge." An air of disbelief hung over those news
organizations' early reports.
Nonetheless, by mid-week, with the attackers widely believed to be British citizens of
Pakistani descent, the terms "terror" and "terrorist" were popping up in unusual places on
Even the U.S. media have gotten into the act. USA Today, in a dispatch from London,
said: "In a breakthrough in their investigation, police arrested a man Tuesday in
connection with last week's terrorist bombings." The New York Times led its website with
this headline on Wednesday: "4 From Britain Carried Out Terror Blasts, Police Say."
Not so in their coverage of the latest suicide bombing in Israel, which has left at
least four Israelis dead as of Wednesday. "The Guardian " reported that Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas "will be urged by the Israelis to show that he is cracking down on
militants." The BBC said: "Tuesday's attack in the Israeli town of Netanya was claimed by
Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad."
USA Today wrote: "A Palestinian suicide bomber killed three women and injured at least
30 other people in the coastal city of Netanya on Tuesday evening in an attack that ended
five months of relative calm in the region. In response, Israeli forces raided the
Palestinian town of Tulkarm early Wednesday, killing one police officer who fired on
troops hunting down Islamic Jihad militants believed responsible for the bombing..."
The New York Times also did its best not to use the T-word: "A Palestinian suicide
bomber set off his explosives Tuesday evening at a busy intersection outside a shopping
mall here, killing himself and two women and wounding more than 50 people, the Israeli
Fellas, try this definition of terrorism from "The American Heritage Dictionary of the
English Language, Fourth Edition," on for size: "The unlawful use or threatened use of
force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the
intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or
It seems pretty simple to me: If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and employs
the unlawful use of force or violence against people with the intention of intimidating
societies, it is a terrorist, whether it is quacking in London, New York, Madrid or
(Alan D. Abbey is Editor and Managing Director of Ynetnews.com)
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)