Sunday, October 15, 2006

Israel today in the news

Dichter Set to Travel to America on Sunday

( Public Security Minister Avi Dichter is set to travel to the United States on Sunday to participate in the International Police Commissioners' Organization convention.

The Boston event will be the senior minister’s first trip to the US since entering his cabinet post.

Neo Nazi Suspects in Cemetery Vandalism Arrested

( Three suspects linked to the neo-Nazi group Russian National Unity were arrested in Tver in connection with the October 3 vandalism of Jewish and Muslim gravestones, according to an October 11 report posted on the Russian Jewish web site The vandals defiled 105 Muslim and 68 Jewish gravestones.

They painted racist slogans and swastikas throughout the cemetery. The suspects were detained on October 10 and are facing charges of "desecrating places of burial." (Bigotry Monitor -- UCSJ's weekly newsletter)

MQG: Expedite Katzav Case

( Movement for Quality Government (MQG) officials on Saturday called upon Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to act expeditiously in the case of President Moshe Katsav.

Organization officials are seeking a decision from Mazuz regarding a possible criminal indictment against the president, explaining “a heavy cloud is looming over the presidency,” as a result of the ongoing allegations against him.

MQG officials are also calling on the president to resign pending the outcome of proceedings against him.

Vehicle Discovered with Weapons Inside

Israeli soldiers during the night discovered a vehicle in the Salim area east of Shechem. A search of the vehicle turned up a makeshift gun, a knife, and ammunition. The three occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody.

Suleiman Meets Meshal in Damascus

( Egyptian intelligence chief, General Omar Suleiman met in Damascus with Hamas politburo leader Khaled Meshal, seeking Hamas approval for a plan that would result in the release of prisoners held by Israel in exchange for Hamas’ release of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit.

Egypt continues playing a mediation role in the hope of obtaining Hamas’ agreement. To date, Meshal has vetoed all plans intended of leading to Corporal Shalit’s release.

IDF Cuts Off Beit Hanoun

( IDF soldiers continue operating in northern Gaza in a stepped-up effort to bring a stop to Kassam rocket attacks into Israel. Soldiers isolated northern Gaza from other areas on Saturday night. PA (Palestinian Authority) sources report the Beit Hanoun area, used to launch most Kassam attacks, was cut off from all other areas of Gaza.

Reservists to Testify Before Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee

( IDF reservists on Sunday will begin testifying before the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee regarding the war in Lebanon.

The senior committee is beginning its probe of the government’s handling of the war, which includes hearing first-hand testimony from reservists who served in the war.

Dozens of officers and soldiers have indicated a willingness to give their testimony to the committee.

No Injuries in Saturday Night Rocket Attacks

( No injuries were reported on Saturday night when Kassam rockets landed in Sderot.

The air force retaliated with an aerial assault, knocking out rocket launchers in northern Gaza.

Olmert: Iranian Threat Will Dominate Putin Meeting

( Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated that the Iranian threat and recent developments in North Korea will be atop his agenda in his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The prime minister released his statement to the media on Sunday morning, at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting.

Jerusalem Protest in Support of Ron Arad

( Pilots who were in training with Ron Arad held a protest on Sunday morning in Jerusalem, outside the Prime Minister’s Office. The event was timed to coincide with the weekly cabinet meeting. Monday marks the 20th anniversary of the air force navigator being captured by Amal terrorists after his plane was shot down over Lebanon.

The protestors called on the prime minister and the government to bring Arad home – reminding the government to include him in any future prisoner-exchange agreement.

Also joining the air force personnel was retired Major-General Uzi Dayan, who warned the fate of the three recently-abducted soldiers, Eldad Regev, Ehud Goldwasser and Gilad Shalit may be similar to that of Ron Arad due to the government’s handling of affairs.

Peretz to Call for Voluntary Evacuation of Outposts

( Defense Minister Amir Peretz stated he plans to meet with Yesha leaders regarding the possible voluntary evacuation of unauthorized outposts.

Addressing the outpost question during Sunday morning’s weekly cabinet meeting, Peretz stated that the issue of unauthorized outposts has fallen from the public spotlight due to the war in Lebanon, but the matter remains.

The senior minister hopes that meeting with Yesha leaders will lead to an understanding by which they will agree to voluntarily evacuate the outposts.

Olmert Warns an Iranian Nuclear Weapon Could Fall into Hizbullah Hands

( Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told cabinet ministers during Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting that a nuclear weapon in Iranian hands would make its way to Hizbullah.

“Anyone taking the North Korea situation lightly will most likely find a nuclear weapon in Iran, and then al-Qaeda,” warned the prime minister.

Suspected Sabotage to Kedumim Sewage Line

( Police are investigating what appears to be intentional sabotage to the sewage line of the community of Kedumim in Samaria.

Following up on complaints of problems from residents, police now believe that under the guise of being olive farmers, PA (Palestinian Authority) residents intentionally sabotaged the sewage line, creating community-wide problems.

Just last week, the army issued orders to officers stationed in Judea and Samaria not to interfere with the annual olive harvest, and to permit Arab farmers to approach Jewish communities, even to work on the perimeter of the communities to harvest their olive crop.

Livni: Kadima Must Sponsor Government Reform Bill
16:00 Oct 15, '06 / 23 Tishrei 5767

( Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stated her Kadima Party should push off Wednesday’s planned preliminary vote on the Yisrael Beitenu Party bill calling for a change in the form of government. Livni stated that Kadima must submit its own reform bill in place of the current bill sponsored by Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Lieberman.

Regarding Yisrael Beitenu’s inclusion in the ruling government coalition, Livni stated any party willing to accept the current coalition guidelines is welcome to join.

IDF Forces Arrest Fatah Terrorist in Shechem

( IDF forces arrested a terrorist suspect in Shechem Sunday evening.

The terrorist was a member of Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas.

A pistol which was found in the possession of the terrorist was confiscated.

The suspect was transferred to the security forces for questioning.

Two Wounded North of Jerusalem

( Two men working as security guards were wounded by gunfire in Atarot, north of Jerusalem.

The two were wounded from shrapnel and are listed in light condition.

The victims were transferred by MDA to Hadassa Ein Kerem hospital for treatment.

The police are investigating the circumstances of the incident.

Armed Terrorist Caught in Gush Etzion

( A female terrorist was caught armed with a knife near the community of Bat Ayin in the Gush Etzion region, south of Jerusalem.

The woman confessed under interrogation that she intended to carry out a terrorist attack

The police are continuing their investigation.

Katzav to Open Knesset Session Monday

( President Moshe Katzav has announced that he will attend the opening session of the Knesset Monday but that he will not speak.

Katzav is under increasing pressure to resign after the police recommended his
indictment for sexual harassment, illegal wire tapping, and irregularities in issuing governmental pardons.

Katzav has denied all wrongdoing and insists on his innocence.

Hamas Smuggling Anti-Aircraft Weapons into Gaza

( The head of Military Intelligence's reseach brigade, Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz said Sunday that Hamas is smuggling anti-aircraft weapoms into the Gaza Strip.

Hamas plans to use the weapons against Israeli aircraft in future conflicts.

According to Baidatz the IDF will have to implement new tactics in order to counter the threat.

The threat of Hamas using weapons to bring down Israeli civilian aircraft flying out of Ben-Gurion International airport has been mentioned in the past as well.


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