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97% of Palestinian Authority Arabs Support Hizbullah


A poll taken early this month by Near East Consulting, a Ramallah-based data analysis firm, shows that virtually the entire Palestinian Authority - 97% of those polled - support Hizbullah. Among Christian Arabs in the PA, 95% said they support Hizbullah. Over 90% said the kidnapped Israeli soldiers should not be freed unconditionally, while 6% said they should never be returned. 55% of those polled said they identify with Hizbullah's goal of destroying Israel - 11% more than in a previous poll a month earlier. Only 51% said they support a diplomatic agreement with Israel - a drop of 25% - although 78% support a ceasefire.

Gillerman: Crisis is About Terror, Not Territory

By Reuters

An Arab League delegation accused the Security Council on Tuesday of standing by idly while weeks of fighting between Israel and Lebanon's Hizbullah sow "the seeds of hatred and extremism" in the Middle East.

There was "a danger of civil war in Lebanon" if the council adopted a resolution aimed at ending the conflict without fully considering its ramifications, said Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani, the head of a three-man Arab League delegation.

The Arab League team was in New York to ask the 15-nation council to amend a US-French draft resolution aimed at a truce in the four-week conflict. The delegation flew to New York from an Arab foreign ministers meeting in Beirut on Monday at which Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said the resolution would do little to quell the violence.

"It is most saddening that the council stands idly by, crippled, unable to stop the blood bath which has become the bitter daily lot of the defenseless Lebanese people," the Qatari foreign minister told the council. "What is happening will sow the seeds of hatred and extremism in the area and provide a pretext for those who feel that the international community is taking sides and lacks fairness as to this dispute," he said.

But Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman said the critical test faced by the council was not whether it could adopt a resolution but "whether the council and international community can adopt a course of action ... which will end the threat that Hizbullah and its sponsors pose to Israel and Lebanon."

"The issue in this crisis is not territory but terror," he said, accusing Iran and Syria of training and funding Hizbullah fighters and directing their actions. An acceptable settlement of the crisis would also require "a strong and robust international force," Gillerman added.

AP Beirut Photo Faces Questions


A woman has made two appearances in photographs used by the Associated Press and Reuters, allegedly wailing over the destruction of her Beirut home. US bloggers have however noticed that photographs were taken two weeks apart from each other, according to times stamps on the images, and that the photographs were taken in different locations.

"Either this woman is the unluckiest multiple home owner in Beirut, or something isn't quite right," noted the author of the Drinking From Home blog.

In the first photograph , taken by Reuters, a woman is seen in front of a bombed out building in Beirut. "A Lebanese woman wails after looking at the wreckage of her apartment, in a building that was demolished by the Israeli attacks in southern Beirut" Reuters said in its caption. The photo was dated July 22 2006.

A second photograph of a woman who looks exactly like the woman in the first Reuters image, even bearing the same scar on her left cheek, is then supplied by the Associated Press.

"A Lebanese woman reacts at the destruction after she came to inspect her house in the suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon," the Associated Press caption claimed. The date accompanying the photograph is August 5 2006, and the scenes behind the woman are different to those of the July 22 photo.

After receiving "some emails" about the photos, the BBC removed the Associated Press image from its own website. The Associated Press has so far not responded to requests by YnetNews for an explanation of the mysterious time gap.

A Sister's Eulogy: ´Time For Anti-Expulsion Refusal´


At the funeral of Yehuda Greenfeld, one of the reservists killed by a Katyusha on Sunday, his sister eulogized him by calling on soldiers to refuse to die in the "War for a Peaceful Realignment."

Greenfeld, a 27-year-old father of two, was called up for reserve duty despite an injured shoulder. His family now faces the prospect of being forcibly removed from its home due to their location "behind" the Partition Wall - the third bereaved family in such a position since the start of the Re-Engagement War.

Yehuda's sister, an outspoken Land of Israel activist and one of the founders of the Ta Katom (Orange Cell) anti-expulsion student movement, began her outburst at the very start of the funeral, demanding the departure of IDF Chief Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, who oversaw the Disengagement and the exhumation of the bodies in Gush Katif's cemetery. She then took the podium and, with eyes red from tears, delivered the following address:

"Yehuda'leh, my dear, loving, innocent brother, with your large azure eyes, your sweet disposition and your delicate soul. I will yet tell the story of your life, of your beauty. But at this time, I am choosing to tell the story of your death.

"In our final telephone conversation I said to you: 'Don't go to be cannon fodder. Olmert said that the operation is a preparation for his `Realignment' Plan [to destroy most of the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria unilaterally, as was done in Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron one year ago -ed.]. Come home. You have a historic opportunity to refuse, so that the pogrom of Gush Katif will not return upon your own home in Michmas [the Binyamin-region community where Yehuda lived -ed.].

Yehuda and Shoshi's grandmother: "Come home!' I said to you, 'so that the retreats from Lebanon and from Gush Katif that brought us all this death will end. So that the pogromchiks in the black uniforms that reminded our grandmother of Auschwitz - those who banished us from Gush Katif and cracked our skulls in Amona - won't arrive at your sweet home in Michmas as well, after the fighting ends with some sham cease-fire, and throw you and your family out of your home, and the remains of your garden be transformed into a training ground for murderers – leading to more murder and more killing.'

"You listened to me in your usual sensitive manner. And I added: 'This is a war for the sake of nothing. For the sake of the elites who rule the country. They are carrying out a crime,' I told you. 'Please don't go,' I begged. 'This war is because of that expulsion [from Gaza and northern Samaria -ed.]. They expel us, and then send us to fight a war that they created - in order to expel us again - because we always return and we fight and die for them.'

Yehuda's mother: "Return home, soldiers – I am begging you. Before those in the black uniforms turn your house, too, into a pile of rubble and a base for the next murderers.

Yehuda was active in helping new immigrants from Ethiopia with their acclimation upon arrival in the Holy Land. Many who benefited from his warmth were present at the funeral.

The call for refusal in the current war has thus far not gained much popularity, despite Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's statements saying it would give "momentum" for his convergence plan. Only Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) and Women in Green have supported it. The Yesha Rabbinic Council issued a statement saying that the current war falls under the rubric of "If one comes to slay you, slay him first," and should not be a subject of refusal.

Captured Hizbullah Kidnapper Details Syrian, Iranian Collusion


The IDF released videotaped footage of an interview with a captured Hizbullah member who was involved in the July 12th attack in which eight IDF soldiers were killed and two others kidnapped.

Chief of Military Intelligence, Maj.Gen. Amos Yadlin told cabinet ministers that the Hizbullah terrorist had been taken prisoner during an operation in Lebanon. Soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are still being held hostage by the Iranian-backed Hizbullah.

Among other revelations of Hizbullah recruitment and training methods, the captured terrorist, Hussein Ali Sliman, said that he and a group of 40 or 50 others traveled from Beirut to Iran by way of an unofficial Syrian air strip in 2003. He also noted that the caravan of Hizbullah vehicles crossing into Syria traveled by way of an official military lane. The trip was undertaken for one of two practical field exercises of Hizbullah terrorists under Iranian tutelage.

Sliman, age 22 from the Beirut-area Burj Al-Barajneh PLO refugee camp, was interrogated after being captured by IDF forces in an unspecified raid in Lebanon. Speaking in Arabic, the captive Hizbullah member appears to be very calm and cooperative with his off-camera interrogator in the edited recording.

Early in the interview, Sliman described how he began Hizbullah militia training activities at the age of 15, after school hours, in his home town. The training, Sliman said, lasted one and a half months, during which the youths were given military, educational and religious instruction.

Sliman: "I was young. In 2000, I took part in a combat course, after the liberation [a reference to the Israeli unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon in that year - ed.]." Interrogator: "And until 2000, what did you do during that period?" Sliman: "Nothing. Mosque attendance. Mosque attendance and lessons with the sheikh [Muslim cleric]."

After a multi-faceted 45-day combat course in the Ba'albek region of eastern Lebanon, Sliman learned how to use anti-tank weapons and eventually took part in what might be likened to a military officer's course for commanders of specific districts.

When asked by his questioner if he took courses outside of Lebanon, Sliman answered, "Not a course. I took part in practical field training exercises ['war games' - ed.]. Two exercises." Interrogator: "When was the first exercise?" Sliman: "At the end of 2003." Interrogator: "Where did you do it?" Sliman: "In Iran." Interrogator: "How did you leave for Iran?" Sliman: "We left Beirut in cars, range rovers, other vehicles...."

Interrogator: "Hizbullah cars. It is known that military cars belong to the Hizbullah." Sliman: "Not military vehicles, but..." Interrogator: "But they are recognized as belonging to the Hizbullah." Sliman: "Yes. Recognizable."

The captured Hizbullah terrorist was then asked where they went from Beirut. "From Beirut to the Damascus airport," he replied. "At the Al-Missna Crossing, by way of the military lane."

After clarifying that the group of about 50 Hizbullah terrorists traveled to Syria as a group, by way of a military crossing, the interrogator asked Sliman what they did once they reached the Damascus airport.

Sliman: "We did not enter the Damascus airport; we entered a separate area...." Interrogator: "That is to say, unofficial." Sliman: "Yes, unofficial." Interrogator: "They entered the Damascus airport..." Sliman: "An airport bus, the bus came and took us and we took off in the plane." Interrogator: "Did they stamp your passports when you left?" Sliman: "We didn't have any passports." Regarding his part in the July 12th attack and kidnapping on the Lebanese-Israeli border, Sliman said that he was assigned to prevent the approach of IDF reinforcements from nearby military positions.

IDF Broadcasts Hizbullah's Dead on al-Manar


While Israel Defense Forces soldiers are fighting brutal battles in the villages of southern Lebanon, the army is also fighting a fierce PR war against Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

The IDF took over the airwaves of Hizbullah's al-Manar television network as it showed Nasrallah's last speech and replaced the broadcast with propaganda footage. The video showed the bodies of Hizbullah operatives and asserted that fighters were fleeing from the battlegrounds.

Since the beginning of fighting in Lebanon the IDF has briefly taken control of the airwaves of al-Manar, Radio Nour, and Radio Sawt Al-Shab (the radio station of the Communist Party, which identifies with Hizbullah) to relay Israeli messages aimed at boosting deterrence, demoralizing Hizbullah and presenting Nasrallah as a liar and incapable leader.

The IDF has only assumed control of ground transmissions via regular antennae; satellite broadcasts were uninterrupted. Like everything in the IDF, there was a three-part explanation supporting the take-over of Hizbullah media: 1. Use of the organization's own platforms to broadcast Israel's messages 2. Creating the sense that the organization is "penetrable" and that Israel has powerful capabilities 3. Damaging the organization's abilities for set periods of time, and using the media as part of the war on to access the consciousness of the Lebanese community.

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