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Hamas No. 2 Allowed to Travel Freely in Israel


Mahmoud Abu Tir, the Hamas terror group's number two, is being allowed to travel freely in Israel, according to Jerusalem activist Aryeh King. He said police have refused demands to arrest Tir, or even investigate him for membership in a terror group. Tir can be clearly spotted in a crowd due to his bright orange beard, which is dyed with henna. Tir lives in the village of Umm Taba, about 1,500 feet from Jerusalem's Har Homa neighborhood. He holds Israeli citizenship and receives national insurance from Israel.

13 Suspects in Custody in French Hate Homicide

By & Ha'aretz

The naked mutilated body of 23-year-old Ilan Halimi was found bound to a tree near railroad tracks in Paris February 14, in what Paris police report does not appear to be a hate related anti-Semitic attack. Members of the Jewish community state the evidence in the case clearly indicates otherwise.

According to French police, 13 suspects, ages 17-32, have been arrested in the case, including a female believed responsible for enticing Halimi to come to the area where the murderers waited for his arrival. The gang includes Muslims of North African descent and is headed by Youssef Fofana, who has escaped police capture so far. Police have documented that the woman made contact with Halimi in the cellular telephone store where he was employed, persuading him to exchange telephone numbers.

French media reports stated the victim was "tortured to death" as well as being "handcuffed and gagged," adding he "died en route to hospital." The latest case is believed connected to recent kidnappings in which the victims were enticed to an area by a female.

While police are unwilling to label the attacks anti-Semitic, local Jewish residents assert that the gang has been targeting Jewish victims since December. Police admit that, to date, they have not made significant progress in the case.

Hundreds of SWAT officers raided apartments in Bagneux and arrested 12 people. Another suspect was arrested in Belgium. "They acted with indescribable cruelty," the judiciary police chief leading the investigation said. "They kept him naked and tied up for weeks. They cut him and in the end poured flammable liquid on him and set him alight."

"We think there is anti-Semitism in this affair," Rafi Halimi, Ilan's uncle, told the press. "First, because the killers tried to kidnap at least two other Jews, and second, because of what they said on the phone," Rafi Halimi added. The family found a scanned image of Ilan, his eyes covered and a gun pointed at his head." The message said, "450,000 euros or call the funeral home,'" his sister, Yael, related.

"When we said we didn't have 450,000 euros to give them they told us to go to the synagogue and get it," Rafi said. "They also recited verses from the Koran."

But the Paris public prosecutor, Jean-Claude Marin, told Parisian Jewish radio on Thursday "no element of the current investigation could link this murder to an anti-Semitic declaration or action." The umbrella group of French Jewish secular organizations, CRIF, issued a statement Friday calling on the Jewish community "to keep calm, cautious and wait for developments in the investigation."

Ilan Halimi's mother, Ruth, accused the police of missteps that led to her son's death. She revealed to Ha'aretz that the police told the family to ignore the gang's attempts to contact them for five critical days, after which Ilan was found near death outside the city. She also accused the police of ignoring the anti-Semitic motivation in the case in order not to alienate Muslims. "If Ilan hadn't been Jewish, he wouldn't have been murdered," she says.

The family came to France from Morocco 25 years ago. Ruth said that Ilan recently began talking about immigrating to Israel. "He only wanted to work a little first to save up money for the trip," she said, her voice breaking.

Olmert: Hamas-Led Government Will be 'Terrorist Authority'

By VOA News

Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the Palestinian Authority is becoming a "terrorist authority" now that Hamas has taken control of the Palestinian parliament.

Olmert's comments, his harshest public statements yet on Hamas' election victory last month, came ahead of an Israeli cabinet decision to impose tough new restrictions on the Palestinians aimed at weakening a new Hamas-led government.

Olmert said Israel would have no contact with the Palestinian government and urged the international community to isolate the Hamas-led government. Israel's Cabinet also decided to stop $50 million per month of customs payments to the Palestinians.

The Cabinet urged the United States and Europe to follow suit and cut off nearly $1 billion in annual aid to the Palestinian Authority. But the Cabinet rejected some more drastic proposals, including a ban on the travel of Palestinians through Israeli territory.

The Cabinet did not accept recommendations by the Defense Ministry to bar thousands of Palestinian workers and restrict the flow of goods from Gaza into Israel. "Israel will do nothing to impede humanitarian support for the Palestinian people," said Israeli spokesman Mark Regev.

Saturday, 74 members of Hamas were sworn in as lawmakers in the 132-seat Palestinian Legislative Council. Afterwards, Hamas said it would not abide by previously signed agreements recognizing Israel's right to exist, despite a call to do so by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas' designated prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, said Israel's sanctions are designed to break the will of the Palestinian people following his group's overwhelming election victory.

Hamas refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist and has claimed responsibility in the past for dozens of suicide bombing attacks against Israeli targets.

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials said two members of the militant Popular Resistance Committees were killed in an Israeli air strike on the southern Gaza Strip. Israeli army officials said the two men were trying to plant a bomb close to a security fence that separates Gaza from Israel.

PA Media: 'There is No Better Blood Than the Blood of Jews'


In a reversal of the old classic blood libels of which Jews were accused in Eastern Europe for hundreds of years, Hamas has released a video threatening to "drink the blood of the Jews".

According to a report by the Palestinian Media Watch, the video featured the "goodbye" statements made by two would-be Hamas suicide terrorists.

The video can be seen by going to

The terrorists, preparing for their role as suicide attackers, were shown brandishing their guns and threatening Jews. "Jihad is the only way to liberate Palestine - all of Palestine - from the impurity of the Jews," one announced.

"We will chase you everywhere!" he threatened. "We are a nation that drinks blood, and we know that there is no blood better than the blood of Jews. We will not leave you alone until we have quenched our thirst with your blood, and our children's thirst with your blood. We will not leave until you leave the Muslim countries.

"We will destroy you, blow you up, take revenge against you," said the second. He vowed to "purify the land" from a Jewish presence, calling Jews "pigs that have defiled our country... This operation is revenge against the sons of monkeys and pigs."

An additional message was directed at one of the terrorists' mothers, with instructions for her to "be joyous" at his death. "Don't let me see you sad on my wedding day with the Maidens of Paradise," he exhorted. Be happy and not sad, because in the name of Allah, after death is merciful Allah's paradise". The video included a final farewell scene in which the mother helps her terrorist son put on his military vest.

Iranian Fatwa Approves Use of Nukes
Israel News Faxx Services

Iran's hard-line spiritual leaders have issued a fatwa or holy edict, sanctioning the use of atomic weapons as a "countermeasure" against other nuclear powers. According to a cleric it is "only natural" to have nuclear bombs as a "countermeasure" against other nuclear powers, thought to be a reference to the US and Israel.

Iran also warned that any Israeli attack against it would provoke a "swift response", state-run television reported.

Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehei said an Israeli attack would be "stupidity." In case the Zionist regime attacks Iran, it will get a swift response and will regret its action," Ejehei said.

Israel has threatened to attack Iran's nuclear facilities if negotiations fail to convince Iran to give up its uranium enrichment program.

Poland to Bar Iranian Team from Auschwitz

By VOA News

Polish officials said they would not admit a research team Iran reportedly plans to send to Auschwitz, the notorious World War II Nazi death camp.

Polish Foreign Minister Stefan Mellar said his country should stop Iran from investigating the scale of the Holocaust, which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has dismissed as a myth. The manager of the Auschwitz museum said that deniers of the Holocaust profane the memory of its victims and will not be admitted.

Most estimates put the number of deaths at Auschwitz alone at more than one million, mostly Jews.

Last week, Iran's ambassador to Portugal said he doubts the number of victims of the Holocaust, usually estimated at about six million. He said that, based on what he has seen at Auschwitz, it would take about 15 years to burn that number of bodies.

El Al Fitted with World-Class Defense System


El Al Israel Airline's passengers are among the best-protected clientele flying the skies, but the company has just taken security to a higher level.

Security sources said that the airline completed the installation of an anti-missile system on each of its 29 passenger aircraft. Israel Military Industries and its subsidiary Elta, both of which are state-owned, developed the new security equipment.

Carrying a $1 million price tag per unit, the "Flight Guard" is an Israeli-made system, which is now installed on each of the planes in El Al's fleet.

The installation of the system is the final touch on a security overhaul that began in 2002 after an al-Qaeda terrorist in Kenya fired shoulder-held missiles at an Israeli charter flight.

According to an aircraft industry source, "The State and El Al invest NIS 100 million (about $22.5 million) a year in the airline's security.

El Al officials declined to comment on the move and said it does not discuss security issues. The company, Israel's official national carrier, is also the largest airline in the country.

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