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Army Confirms Kassam Fell in Central Israel during December


A gag order was lifted Sunday, disclosing that a Kassam rocket had landed near an Israeli community close to the Jenin-area town of Afula three weeks ago.

It was the first time a rocket fired from the West Bank had hit a target in Israel-proper. Security experts had long warned that the unilateral withdrawal from northern Samaria would allow terrorists there to develop Kassam-rocket capabilities against central Israel similar to those in the Gaza Strip.

Report: U.S. Planning to Strike Iran This Year

By The Times of India

The United States is mulling a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities this year and has informed NATO member states to make similar preparations, a report claimed.

Military action against Teheran to foil its nuclear ambitions is one among several options being considered by NATO members, military Intelligence officials familiar with the Iran file told German daily "Der Spiegel."

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Oman are also being updated with the plan, with U.S. officials saying a military operation is "a possible option," without giving a timetable, Ynetnews reported citing the report.

Der Spiegel reported that CIA head Porter Goss asked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his latest visit that Ankara allow the U.S. to use its military bases in the country for an air strike on Iran planned for 2006.

"What's new about these reports is that the United States seems to be sending top envoys to allied countries in preparation for an attack. It is no longer a matter of hints we heard over 2005," the German daily was quoted as saying. The daily also quoted a New York Times report last year saying that U.S. commando units have already infiltrated Iran to mark nuclear facilities for a possible strike.

Iran President in New Diatribe Against Israel

By Agence France Presse &

Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a new diatribe against arch foe Israel Sunday saying that the Jewish state was "anti-Islamic in nature" and the result of European "ethnic cleansing."

"In fact the Europeans have practiced ethnic cleansing against the Jews in Europe by expelling the Jews from all the European states," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

"They have shot two targets with a single bullet -- they have built a Jewish camp among the Islamic nations and got rid of the Jews from the whole of Europe. "The Zionist regime is a part of Europe, which was broken away from Europe, and is anti-Islamic in nature," he said.

In November, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened to "wipe Israel off the map." Then in December, he suggested European nations should give up some of their territory if they believed the World War II-era Holocaust took place, noting, "certain European countries would have the world go with their stand that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and have passed laws punishing anyone who says anything to the contrary.

"Granting without accepting that the Holocaust did occur, our question to the Europeans is: 'If innocent Jews were indeed butchered by Hitler, why should Palestinians be made to pay the cost in order to seek redress for the occupiers of Jerusalem?'

Two-Thirds of PA Arabs Support Al Qaeda Attacks


A Norwegian poll reveals that two-thirds of Palestinian Authority Arabs support Al Qaeda terrorist attacks, and 50 percent back suicide bombings.

Fafo, an independent Norwegian research foundation that receives donations for Norway's trade union and Norwegian corporations, carried out the poll, which was originally not reported in Israel.

Fafo headlined its press release by stating, "Palestinians support the ceasefire, but actions against Israel [are] still seen as legitimate."

However, the survey results buried toward the bottom of the release state, "Sixty-nine percent of Palestinians see violent action as a legitimate means in the current political situation and half of them believe that suicide attacks are necessary to force Israel to make political concessions."

The last survey figure shows that 65 percent of the respondents support Al Qaeda terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States, both of which recently have increased financial aid to the PA.

The respondents, while supporting the terrorist attacks, contradicted themselves, with 57 percent believing the Intifada should stop. In addition, 83 percent stated it is in their best interest to keep the "ceasefire" decided upon earlier this year. According to the pact, the PA was to stop incitement and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, while Israel promised to withdraw from Arab urban centers and release 900 prisoners, including jailed terrorists.

Another result of the Fafo survey reveals that only 35 percent of Arabs in Judea and Samaria feel more secure following the IDF withdrawal from the Gaza and northern Samaria regions, which followed the expulsion of Jewish residents in the areas and the destruction of their homes. Only 42 percent reported an improvement in their economic situation. Results from the Gaza area were the opposite.

An overwhelming majority wants the legislative elections to take place as scheduled on January 25, with 38 percent saying they will vote for Fatah and only 17 percent for Hamas. Other opinion polls have showed far higher support of Hamas, which recently swept several municipal elections in Samaria.

Palestinians Attack Foreign Interests in Gaza

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)

It was a violent New Years in the Gaza Strip, where Palestinian gunmen attacked a U.N. building and carried out another kidnapping. The deteriorating security situation is causing deep concern in both the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Masked Palestinian gunmen stormed into a club for U.N. workers in Gaza City, and blew it up. The blast shattered windows and ripped off the roof, but the building was empty and no one was hurt. Police say the club was attacked because it is the only place in conservative Muslim Gaza that serves alcohol.

The United Nations plays a vital role in assisting Palestinian refugees, but most foreign personnel have left Gaza because of a wave of violent protests and armed kidnappings. In the latest incident, gunmen stopped a minibus carrying foreigners, and seized an Italian hostage. He was released a short time later. Last week, three British citizens were kidnapped and released after three days in captivity.

Gaza has been plunging deeper into lawlessness since Israel pulled out in September. In a New Year's message, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas vowed to restore law and order. But Palestinian human rights activist Bassam Eid said Abbas has done nothing to impose the rule of law. "And without taking any measures toward a suitable security in Gaza, Gaza will remain as a chaos, as it is today."

That chaos has Israeli officials worried. "We are certainly anxious to encourage the Palestinian Authority to take charge," says Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Israel fears that the chaotic situation is strengthening the Islamic terrorist group Hamas, which seeks the destruction of the Jewish state. Hamas is capitalizing on the disarray in the Palestinian Authority and is posing a strong challenge to Abbas and his ruling Fatah party in parliamentary elections set for January 25. Fatah officials are so concerned about a Hamas victory, that they are urging Abbas to postpone the elections.

In separate statements issued Sunday, Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees said they were no longer bound by the truce deal brokered last March by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Islamic Jihad also scrapped the deal, and said they had fired rockets early today into southern Israel.

Churchill Wanted to Execute Hitler


Winston Churchill wanted to put Adolf Hitler in the electric chair if he ever fell into Allied hands, a Washington Times report said. Documents declassified at the turn of the new year show Churchill did not sign on to Allied plans for war-crimes trials after the war.

The British leader wanted summary execution for Nazi leaders. Moreover, he wanted to use the electric chair, which was never used in Britain. The documents also show Churchill was willing to destroy German villages in retaliation for Nazi atrocities in Czechoslovakia. The Times said the new information is contained in notebooks kept by Norman Brook, the former wartime deputy Cabinet secretary.

Notes taken during British cabinet meetings between 1942 and 1945 also show that Churchill argued against releasing Indian spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi from prison on compassionate grounds, according to reports on the BBC and other media organizations.

Other ministers argued that Gandhi, jailed in 1942 for speaking out against India's involvement in military action against Nazi Germany, should be released to keep him from starving himself to death during a jailhouse hunger strike, according to the reports. But Churchill objected, saying, "I would keep him there and let him do as he likes," the reports said. Gandhi was released in 1944.

The declassified notes, taken by Deputy Cabinet Secretary Norman Brook, provide the first unfiltered look at debates between Churchill and his cabinet members on key issues at the height of World War II. Previously released minutes of cabinet meetings have described discussions in general terms, without providing specific details of debates on matters such as how Britain would deal with any captured members of the Nazi top leadership.

The documents, made public at the National Archives, also show that Churchill decreed that Britain "mustn't interfere" with racial discrimination practices in the World War II-era U.S. military. At the time, black British soldiers were treated equally in the British army, while black and white U.S. soldiers ate and slept in separate areas. The documents show that Churchill and other ministers took a dim view of "U.S. prejudices" but did not want the issue to cause friction between the allies.

In October 1942, Churchill told the cabinet that U.S. views "must be considered." The cabinet agreed to instruct military leaders to respect U.S. policies without allowing them to influence British practices. But it did advise that British troops should show "a great deal of reserve" when dealing with black U.S. troops.

The documents show a particularly hard-line side of Churchill as a wartime leader, including his suggestion that Britain should retaliate for Nazi attacks on villages in Czechoslovakia by destroying three German villages for every Czech village assaulted by the Nazis, according to the reports.

At one war cabinet meeting in December 1942, the records show that Churchill commented: "Contemplate that if Hitler falls into our hands we shall certainly put him to death," describing Hitler as "the mainspring of evil." The prime minister proposed that Hitler should be treated like a "gangster" and executed in an electric chair from the United States. At the time, Britain carried out executions by hanging; capital punishment has since been banned in Britain.

It is unclear whether Churchill was serious or jesting, according to the reports, when he suggested that the United States might provide an electric chair as part of its Lend-Lease assistance program.

At a cabinet meeting on July 7, 1943, Churchill argued that leading Nazis who fell into British hands should be treated as "outlaws" and shot rather than put on trial, according to a report on the declassified documents in the Sunday Telegraph. Churchill proposed drawing up a list of 50 top Nazis and giving military field commanders authority to execute them without trial should they be captured.

At a cabinet meeting in April 1945, according to the notes, Churchill was opposed to war crimes tribunals favored by the United States and said any trial for Hitler would be a "farce."

My Aliyah

By Golan Canaan

Hello my wonderful friends. How are the cold states of America doing? I must say I thought Israel would be chilly this time of year, but it actually is amazingly and extraordinarily warm. I don't mean to be rubbing it in.

I spent my first day today roaming around town. I hung out at the main pedestrian mall at Ben Yehuda Street. I wrote some ideas in my blog too, but this was after my belly was full of Kosher Burger King. Boy did I have it my way :-).

I moved into my apartment. It's pretty cool, except for its distance from the main part of Jerusalem. I tried to walk to town and what a failure that was. I made it to the Promenade then I called my favorite buddy here in Israel, Moshe. Thanks to him I didn't collapse right there.

My apartment is cool. I have a French roommate, and he's nice enough. Also found out that three people that were on my flight were actually living right next door to me. We share a wall.

The Internet room (at the Beit Canada Absorption Center) is actually a big joke. Its first come first serve, and there is no WiFi That is why I trekked with two friends to this pleasant café, Aroma. And I am drinking my favorite tea with Nana (mint).

I have met so many people and amazingly I have remembered the names of most of them. Not bad for my memory skills.

PA TV: Expel Israelis from Israel


Calling it a new level of hatred, an Israeli monitor of Arab media condemned the Palestinian Authority for broadcasting a feature that called for the expulsion of Israelis from the Holy Land.

"It is time for you [Israelis] to be gone," said a voice over images of Tel Aviv and an Israeli flag. "Live wherever you like, but don't live among us. It is time for you to be gone. Die wherever you like, but don't die among us."

Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch said the feature, broadcast Dec. 20 and on a previous occasion, was "yet another program on Palestinian Authority television calling for the destruction of Israel."

Segments of the program, which focused on Jaffa, can be seen at

Marcus said the program opened with "a revision of history," by casting the ancient Canaanites as Arabs. "Palestine was attacked by invaders, but its Arab Canaanite features withstood attempts to change them," the narrator says. Jaffa "remained Arab in name, because the indigenous remain, while the foreign vanish.

Marcus said that in this program "the more than 3,000 years of Jewish history in the area are pre-dated by a fabricated Arab history." The Arab conquest, he pointed out, actually took place in the 7th century.

The final words of the program recited Israeli-Arab poet Mahmoud Darwish: "It is time for you [Israelis] to be gone. Live wherever you like, but don't live among us. It is time for you to be gone. Die wherever you like, but don't die among us. We have the past here. We have the present, the present and the future... So leave our country, our land, our sea, our wheat, our salt, and our wounds. Everything. And leave the memories."

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