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Al-Jazeera Protests Israeli Detention of Bureau Chief

By VOA News

The Arabic TV broadcaster al-Jazeera has protested Israel's detention of its Jerusalem bureau chief and one of its reporters. Al-Jazeera said bureau chief Walid al-Omary was released late Monday. In a statement, the Qatar-based broadcaster accused Israel of obstructing its coverage of the Israeli offensive against Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon. The network reiterated what it called its adherence to internationally recognized professional journalistic standards. An Israeli police spokesman told the Associated Press Omary was detained for questioning after videotaping Hizbullah rocket attacks on Haifa Sunday.


Multiple Sources Confirm Iranian Revolutionary Guard Units Aid Hizbullah

By WorldNewsDaily.com © 2006

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Units reportedly stationed in Lebanon fired many of the Hizbullah missiles that have slammed into the Jewish state the past few days, multiple sources told WorldNetDaily.

Over 150 Katyusha rockets have bombarded northern Israeli towns since Israel started retaliating inside Lebanon this past Wednesday following a Hizbullah raid in which two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped and three soldiers were killed.

The major port city of Haifa, Israel's third largest population center, was struck Thursday night, marking the furthest a Hizbullah rocket ever traveled inside Israel and placing over 2 million residents toward the north of the country within rocket range.

Israeli security officials told WND they have "concrete information" Iranian soldiers stationed at Hizbullah positions in Lebanon have aided in efforts to fire missiles into Israel since Wednesday.

Jordanian officials told WND they are "100 percent sure" Iranian Revolutionary Guard unit soldiers have fired rockets into Israel. They also said the Syrian army has provided Hizbullah with intelligence information on the locations of strategic Israeli targets to aid in Hizbullah rocket fire. A Ba'ath party official operating out of the Golan Heights told WND he has information Iranian soldiers have been firing rockets into Israel.

A senior Egyptian security official told WND it would be "very logical" if Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers have been helping Hizbullah fire the rockets.

Israel has long maintained Iranian Revolutionary Guard units have traveled regularly to south Lebanon to help train local Hizbullah fighters in terrorist tactics and to fortify Hizbullah positions along Israel's northern border. At times, Revolutionary Guard soldiers can be seen operating openly at Hizbullah outposts in plain view from the Israeli side, military officials say.

Iran and Syria are the largest financial sponsors of Hizbullah. Israel says many Hizbullah rockets were made in or upgraded by Iran. The missile defense system cannot destroy Katyusha rockets but could protect against surface-to-surface missiles, such as those possessed by Syria.

IDF Concerned Missiles Could Hit Central Israel

By Ha'aretz

Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah may decide to use the longer range missiles in his movement's arsenal against Israel, according to Israel Defense Forces assessments.

IDF sources said that use of such weapons would depend on authorization from Iran, which has equipped Hizbullah with long-range missiles and has played a formative role in shaping the character of the current fighting. If the confrontation continues to escalate, as it appeared to have done Sunday, the chances that Nasrallah's organization would launch such missiles increase.

The army is concerned that Iranian-made Zelzal missiles, whose range is estimated to exceed 120 miles, may be used, thus allowing Hizbullah to target the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Intelligence information suggests that the organization has a limited number of these missiles.

IDF sources said that the coming days of fighting against the Hizbullah would be critical with respect to whether the confrontation would further escalate.

According to the IDF, Nasrallah's warnings of further "surprises" against Israel are to be taken very seriously. Different scenarios are being considered, including the launch of missiles against Tel Aviv, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles laden with explosives, or a Hizbullah attempt to infiltrate Israel and take over a village in the north, where hostages could be used as bargaining chips.

Israel intends to call up a limited number of reservists in the coming days, including a number of infantry battalions, for possible limited operations in Lebanon and for backing up regular units that may be moved to the north.

The IDF is also preparing for a possible suicide attack by Fatah and Islamic Jihad terrorists operating from the West Bank, but receiving orders and funding from Hizbullah. An operation of this kind would be meant to show solidarity with the Lebanese movement.

Mary Feiner, better known as "Aunt Mary from the Good Fence," sat in a bustling restaurant on Tel Aviv's Nahalat Binyamin Street. During the 18 years Israel was in southern Lebanon, there was hardly an Israeli soldier or officer who had not benefited from her good deeds. But when the fighting began last week, and being tired of the Katyushas she had experienced during her childhood in Kiryat Shmona and the rockets that followed her to Metula, Mary decided to take a break at the apartment of her daughter, Ya'arit, a student in Tel Aviv.

People are now saying that Tel Aviv might be hit. "Then we'll have to go to the Dead Sea," they joke. But they don't really believe that the city will be attacked.

They were not the only ones to think this way. Despite the Home Front Command's instructions to be on alert, most Tel Avivians declared that their gut feeling was that an attack would not happen.

"I don't believe they have such a long range," said Rotem Zadik, owner of a mini-market on Melchett Street. He added that he has no plans to leave the city, but if he is wrong about the missiles, he will suggest that his wife take their baby to Eilat.

On the other hand, Anat Inbar, an instructor at the Studio C fitness center, and mother of a 20-month-old toddler, said: "If they come here, we will leave. I don't consider it brave to have a rocket land on your head if you can avoid it." Inbar said her family would go to Jerusalem, which many people avoided for years because of the terror attacks there.

World Jewry Rallies for Israel and Missing Soldiers

By IsraelNationalNews.com & YnetNews.com

World Jewry has begun to mobilize on behalf of Israel's two-front war, demonstrating in support of the Jewish State and protesting outside Syrian embassies and the United Nation's on its behalf.

Protestors against Syria and Iran gathered in New York City on Sunday and Monday and heard from Elie Weisel, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Frank Lautenberg, as well as Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman. Other rallies were held Monday in Chicago and San Francisco. Other rallies are scheduled Wednesday on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville and in Washington, D.C.

Arye Mekel, Consul General of Israel in New York, said some Muslims also confirmed their participation in the rally, adding that there is a `deep sense of understanding' among Jews that the events along Israel's northern border pose a real threat.

More than 1,000 Lebanese and Palestinians staged an anti-Israeli protest at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on Monday, police said. A Reuters witness said demonstrators were chanting "death to Israel" and "death to Zionists", while some carried placards bearing the image of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Police said around 1,200 people took part in the protest at the German capital's famous landmark, not far from a major memorial to the millions of Jews killed in the Holocaust.


Olmert: Israel Will Continue Attacks Against Hizbullah Terrorists

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would continue to attack Lebanon until two Israeli prisoners are freed and Hizbullah terrorists leave the area along Israel's northern border. Israel is continuing air strikes against targets in Lebanon, while Hizbullah continues to fire rockets into Israel.

Speaking in Israel's Knesset, Olmert vowed to root out what he described as a terrorist infrastructure in Lebanon, and in the Palestinian territories, that he said is backed by Iran and Syria.

He said Israel would search out and attack the terrorist infrastructure of both Hizbullah and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. He accused the governments of Syria and Iran of backing both groups. Olmert said Israelis would no longer live under the threat of rocket attacks from Lebanon or the Palestinian territories, describing Israel's actions as "basic self-defense."

The prime minister's comments came on a day when Israel carried out scores of strikes against targets in Lebanon, focusing on the southern suburbs of Beirut where Hizbullah militants are based. Meanwhile, air raid sirens sounded across northern Israel as Hizbullah retaliated with rocket attacks, targeting Israel's third largest city, Haifa, which was struck repeatedly on Monday.

Olmert explicitly pointed the finger at Iran and Syria, saying Hizbullah and Hamas "are nothing but emissaries, sent and supplied by enemies of peace in Tehran and Damascus."

He also said that even if Lebanon had no involvement in last Wednesday's attack on an IDF patrol along the northern border, which killed eight soldiers and resulted in the kidnapping of two others, "it holds full responsibility for the attack launched from its sovereign territory and the same goes for the PA with regard to the Kerem Shalom attack.

"Opposite the Palestinians we will fight until terrorism ceases, Gilad Shalit is brought home and the Kassam rockets stop," Olmert said. We will attack every terrorist staging area, destroy every terrorist base and liquidate members of the terror groups. Israel will not agree to live in the shadow of the threat of missiles and rockets on its citizens

Olmert recited the mishebeirach, the prayer for Divine protection for the IDF during his speech from the Knesset podium. "I am more proud today than any other day in my life to be a citizen of the State of Israel," Olmert concluded. "We will not surrender and we will not back down."

IDF ground forces moved into south Lebanon on Monday confirmed a senior army officer but said the operation was limited to clearing land for a buffer zone. According to an initial report by the Associated Press, "Israeli ground troops entered southern Lebanon to attack Hizbullah bases on the border." AP quoted a government spokesman who said Monday that the troops "rapidly returned to Israel after conducting their military operations."

An Israeli military source said at first that "a small military unit destroyed one or two Hizbullah outposts just over the line" in Lebanon Sunday night. "At the moment, there are no military ground troops in Lebanon, and we are working primarily with an air campaign," he added.

More details were forthcoming on Monday afternoon, when the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee was told by a senior army officer that ground troops had leveled a swathe of land inside Lebanese territory. Troops cleared an area extending up to one kilometer from Israel's northern border in order to stop Hizbullah terrorists from re-establishing their posts.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz reiterated that the IDF operation was aimed at creating a buffer zone to push the terrorists back far enough to prevent rocket attacks aimed at Israel. He added that military activities in the north would not end until the objective is accomplished. "We intend to complete this operation. We have no intention of allowing anyone to stop us before we complete the creation of a buffer zone," he said.

And Hizbullah terrorists fired long-range rockets at Israeli communities Sunday night and Monday, striking Haifa once more and causing a three-story building to collapse, injuring one person seriously.


Palestinian Refugee "Rentboys" Wander in the Lebanon

By The Pink News

As the conflict between Israel and terrorists and others within the Lebanon and the Palestinian territories worsens, PinkNews.co.uk's Matthew Steib examines what the plight of Palestinian refugee rentboys living within the Lebanon.

"I'm not gay. Don't write that I'm gay," implored Tarek, a 22-yearold resident of Chatila, a Palestinian refugee camp of more than 12,000 inhabitants just south of Beirut.

Based on appearance, Tarek seems to be the typical young man hanging out at the Corniche, the Lebanon's oldest gay cruising ground. Like most Lebanese young men, he wore a fashionable white shirt, dark blue jeans and brown shoes.

Unlike most Lebanese young men, however, his shirt wasn't meticulously pressed, his jeans had holes that weren't put there by a designer and his shoes did not shine. He was tall, very slim, clean-shaven, and looked much younger than he said he was.

I first saw Tarek leaning alone on the railing by the beach. He whistled at me, asked me the time, and I sat down with him to talk. Through our conversation, the tragedy of his life became evident.

"I started sleeping with men about a year ago, when I was hanging out with friends on the Corniche. They left and I was here alone. A man came up to me and asked me if I wanted to…" he said, rubbing his index fingers together to insinuate sex. I asked how much and he said '$60.' And that was that."

Tarek comes to the Corniche once or twice a week, where he sits alone most of the night. He lives with his parents, and says they don't know. "I don't come with my friends any more; I don't think they know. I don't want them to know. If I see someone here I know, I move."

His secrecy is helped by the fact that his parents don't ask him where he goes at night, "They see I have money and they don't have to give it to me."

Tarek chose to engage in prostitution because it was the easiest way to make money in a country where Palestinians are pushed to the outskirts of society. Unlike in Jordon and Syria where Palestinians have full civil rights, Lebanon denies access to public services including health care, education and the right to vote to the Palestinian refugees within its borders. This is despite the fact that they make up 10 percent of the Lebanon's population.

He says that working as a prostitute is "not bad." "The sex is bad, but the money is good. I don't know how else I can make so much money," he claimed. Tarek can usually pick up one or two guys a night, for a price of $15-$40 each. The men normally approach him, and they go to the beach, to a field, to a car, or to the man's house.

I asked him if he felt worried that someone would hurt him. "It happens," he said. He told me a story about how he got in a car with a man one night who was drunk. He beat Tarek with an empty beer bottle, took his money, and kicked him out of the car. "But I can get hurt anywhere in this country," he adds.

Tarek says he doesn't like sex with men, and keeps his eyes closed. "I'm never the woman," he states, indicating that he never played the passive role. "Do you not like gays?" I asked, and he pointed to himself and the Corniche. "Look at me, look what I have to do. What do I care what other people do? Lebanon hates me, Lebanon hates gays, everyone hates Israel; it's all the same. It's worthless. I hate hate," he said. "But me, I'm not gay," he reiterated.


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