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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Iran tests missiles for hitting Israel, US bases, first space monkey in July

First Iranian ballistic silo unveiled

Tuesday, June 28, Day Two of the Great Prophet Mohammad War Games 6, Iran made a point of flexing muscle in the direction of the United States and Israel. After simultaneously test-firing 14 2,000-range missiles at a single target, Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace division, emphasized:  "Iranian missiles can target US bases in Afghanistan and any part of Israeli territory."

He boasted America had made Iran's task easier: "Their military bases in the region are in a range of 130, 250 and maximum 700 kilometers in Afghanistan which we can hit with these missiles."

DEBKAfile's military sources note that this was the first time Tehran had threatened US bases in Afghanistan.

Asked whether Iranian missiles were a threat to Europe, Hajizadeh said that while Iran had the technological capacity to build longer-range missiles, the 2,000-km range had been chosen precisely with Israel and US bases in mind, because "we do not feel a threat from any other country." The Iranian commander clearly aimed at calming European fears of attack, especially Britain, France, Germany and Italy.

This statement should be taken with a very large pinch of salt. According to our sources, Iran is working at top speed on at least three new operational ballistic surface missiles with longer ranges. They are Shahab-4, for targets at a distance of 3,200-4,000 kilometers; the Sejjil (2,500 kilometers) and the Ashura-Ghadr 110A (3,000 kilometers). Shahab-4 and Ashura/Ghadr 110A are quite capable of hitting central and western Europe. Iran is furthermore developing intercontinental ballistic missiles - Shahab-5 (5,000 kilometers) and Shahab-6 (10,000 kilometers) - which put North America within range.

Iran's missile industry will take another leap forward in July with the planned launch of the Kavoshgar-5 rocket for putting a monkey in space. Iranian media claim that five monkeys, one of which will be chosen for the mission, have completed their training.

DEBKAfile's military sources report that since launching the Omid, which weighed only 27 kilos, in February 2009, the Iranian aerospace industry has made major strides if it can put a monkey, requiring a payload of 330 kilos, into space. This capability means that Iran has reached the capacity to fire a nuclear-armed missile at any point on the planet.

After the Omid's success two and-a-half years ago, US and Israeli missile and intelligence experts warned the Obama administration and the Israeli government that Tehran had achieved a dangerous technological and military breakthrough on the road to a nuclear weapon. Both refrained from addressing the threat then and even now do not seem too interested

Gov't on flotilla: We won't be surprised this time - Flotilla faces serious delays, might sail only next week

Learning lessons from last year's ‘Mavi Marmara,’ gov’t invests resources to gather info on who and what are on flotilla ships sailing to Gaza.

Israel has invested significant “intelligence assets” into assessing who and what is on the vessels that are expected to sail soon for the Gaza Strip, so that “this time Israel won’t be surprised,” diplomatic officials said on Tuesday.

The officials said the government internalized lessons learned from both the Eiland and Turkel committees, which looked into the handling of last year’s 
Mavi Marmara flotilla, and found that Israel was surprised by the level and type of resistance it came up against.

This time, the officials said, there are people whose jobs it is to ascertain who and what is going on the ships.

The officials’ comments came after security and diplomatic personnel said on Sunday that radical elements had hidden chemicals such as sulfur to be used against IDF soldiers if they try to interdict the flotilla.

In addition, officials said that there was growing concern that “hard-core” Islamic activists were intermingling with passengers on the ships who are believed to be genuinely nonviolent, and would use these passengers if necessary as “protective shields.”

In last year’s flotilla of six ships, the “hard-core” Islamic activists were concentrated on the 
Mavi Marmara, and were not on the other vessels. If they now “intermingle” with the passengers on the other vessels, this would “create special operational challenges” for the IDF, the official said.

Government officials said it was easier to obtain information about the ships and the passengers this time because the Greek authorities, who have come out strongly against the flotilla, have been much more cooperative than the Turkish authorities were last year.

Last year, Turkey was a main center for those organizing the flotilla, but Ankara – under a great deal of pressure from a number of different countries – stepped back this year, forcing the organizers to try to launch from Greece.

One official said the Greeks were strictly adhering to regulations regarding 
insuranceand the issuing of permits to the vessels.

While Athens may not forbid the ships to sail from Greek ports, as Cyprus has done, “going by the book” has caused the organizers delay and considerable uncertainty.

Even with the concern that some of the activists aboard the vessels had less than peaceful intentions, diplomatic officials noted with some satisfaction that while the organizers originally spoke of some 1,500 activists intent on setting sail, in the end it appears about one-fourth of that number will try to break the Gaza 

One senior Foreign Ministry official said this was due in part to the diplomatic pressure for countries to do what they could to dissuade their citizens from participating, something a number of countries did by issuing official warnings.

Also on Tuesday, the 
Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Ministry held a drill with government and military spokespeople about how to get Israel’s message across on the Internet in real time if the flotilla turns violent and there are casualties.


Technical difficulties, dwindling participation and possible sabotage sap momentum of Freedom Flotilla 2; 350 people expected to participate. 

Withdrawn insurance deeds, alleged sabotage and Greek bureaucracy have dealt a setback to organizers of Freedom Flotilla 2, who said on Tuesday that departure to the Gaza Strip might be postponed until next week.

n addition, a mere 350 people are expected to participate in the flotilla, as opposed to the 1,500 originally expected by the organizers.

“There have been many obstacles and complaints. Some boats are not ready and it is not clear when we will sail, although we expect it will be in the coming week,” Ewa Jasiewicz, a leader of the Free Gaza Movement from Poland, told The Jerusalem Postfrom Greece. “We cannot rule out the possibility that it will be pushed off until the beginning of next week.”

In any case, the 
Israel Navy is continuing with its preparations to stop the planned flotillaof 10 ships.

On Tuesday, officers from the navy and the air force held a series of meetings to review operational plans, and senior IDF officers have, over the past few days, spoken with foreign military attachés based in Israel as well as with their counterparts from countries whose citizens are participating in the flotilla.

“We want to make sure everyone is aware of what we are doing and why,” a senior officer explained.

The 10 ships expected to participate in the flotilla include the 
Freedom from Ireland, The Audacity of Hope from the United States, the Tahrir from Canada, the Swedish and Greek Juliano, two Swedish-Greek cargo ships carrying 3,000 tons of supplies, the Italian ship Stefano Chiarini and the French ships Julien Rivoire and Dignity.

The two French vessels left Corsica over the weekend and are making their way to the rendezvous point in the Mediterranean, Jasiewicz said, while other ships are docked in Greece awaiting approval to depart for the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday, the propeller shaft of the 
Juliano was found cut, leading organizers to accuse Israel of sabotaging the ship, which will take several days to fix.

“Insurance has been withdrawn, one of 
the ships was sabotaged and Greek authorities have not given all of the permits,” Jasiewicz said about the delays.

Jasiewicz rejected IDF assertions reported in the 
Post on Tuesday that intelligence obtained by Israel shows that some of the passengers plan to attack soldiers and are bringing sacks of sulfur on board to pour on the soldiers and then set them on fire.

“We have no record of that. It is a false claim,” she said.

“All of the passengers have been trained in nonviolence and noncompliance tactics. The whole idea is not to have contact with the Israeli army. We are not seeking any violent confrontation... The only violence we have heard of is coming from the Israeli army.”

Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz said on Tuesday that the flotilla is not meant to 
bring Gazans humanitarian aid, but rather to delegitimize Israel internationally.

Gantz, who was speaking at an IDF ceremony honoring reservists, said there is no lack of basic supplies in Gaza, and that they are “importing televisions and plasma screens, and exporting agricultural products to the entire Arab world.”

The IDF was well-equipped and ready to deal with any threat posed by flotillaactivists, he said.

Speaking at the same ceremony, Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the flotillaa “provocation,” adding that “there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. If [activists] are sensitive to human suffering, then they need to turn their efforts to freeing [kidnapped soldier] Gilad Schalit or at least allowing him visitors.”

What was being taught in Gaza about the 2010 Flotilla?

Gaza-Based Yemeni Professor Abd Al-Fatah Nu'man:  

"As Much as the Heroes on the Flotilla Want to Reach Gaza, The Option of Martyrdom Is More Desirable to Them."

IDF Delivers Goods to Gaza but Flotilla Leader Claims ’Blockade’

The IDF oversees the shipment of 6,000 tons of food, fuel, merchandise and building material to Gaza every day but flotilla leaders allege a “blockade” exists. The requests never exceed the transit vehicles' capacity.

The daily deliveries never turn into “media frenzy,” according to IDF spokesmen. “In contrast, previous convoys, instigating violent provocations with Israeli or Egyptian forces, rarely delivered substantial amounts of goods into Gaza,” the IDF said on its website.

Israel maintains a maritime blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza to allow the Navy to stop the smuggling of missiles and advanced weapons for the use of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations that use Gaza as a launching pad for attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers.

The IDF noted that aid from European convoys to Gaza has continuously been transferred overland in an orderly way without the violence that characterized last year’s IHH-backed flotilla.

After Navy commandos prevented the ships from sailing to Gaza, the boats were led to the port in Ashdod, where it was discovered that the IHH’s Mavi Marmara ship was not carrying any aid at all.

The 2010 Gaza flotilla’s five other ships arrived with only 20 truckloads worth of goods, including expired medication. Before the ships left ports for Gaza, a flotilla organizer said the real aim was to Isolate Israel in the international community.

In contrast, the European convoy “Miles of Smiles 3” last month arrived at the Rafiah land crossing at the Egyptian border. “The convoy’s ten European human rights organizations transferred 30 tons of medical supplies, 12 ambulances, baby food, and wheelchairs to Gaza by coordinating efforts with the Egyptian Red Crescent,” the IDF stated.

It added, “The transfer of goods and materials did not entail violence because the organizers focused on delivering supplies, rather than delegitimizing Israel through a violent confrontation.”

The IDF explained how to donate to Gaza Arabs by contacting the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Humanitarian organizations operating in Gaza submit all formal requests to Israel’s COGAT, a governmental body that coordinates civilian policy including humanitarian issues, infrastructure projects and economic projects.

Last year, Israel changed its more limited policy and allowed all goods to enter Gaza after being checked, except for dual-use products, which undergo a review to make sure they will not be used for the Hamas terrorist infrastructure and weapons.

Why Israel Needs to Get Serious about Treason - Knesset passes law revoking citizenship for treason

Israel recently passed a law that would strip Israelis of their citizenship if convicted of espionage or treason.  Condemned for this by countries all over the world, almost all of whom have far harsher anti-treason laws than Israel, the Israeli law has yet to be applied to anyone.  Sometimes called the “Azmi Bishara Law,” it was motivated by an Arab member of the Israeli parliament (or Knesset), Azmi Bishara, from one of the Arab fascist parties, who had openly engaged in espionage and treason, including passing on intelligence to the Hezb’Allah terrorist organization while it was firing rockets at Israeli civilians.  Bishara is now in hiding and has yet to be prosecuted.  The anti-Israel lobby has denounced this law as “racist,” just as it denounces everything Israel does as racist (including rescuing Haitian earthquake victims).
Treason itself is left undefined under this new Israeli law, and in general it has been interpreted by the legal authorities in Israel so loosely that virtually no one has ever been prosecuted for it.  Israeli law defines treason as “acts that impair the integrity of Israel” or “impair its sovereignty,” and the granting of assistance to the enemy during time of war.  Based on British law, Article 99(a) of the Israeli Criminal Code states, “If a person with intent to assist an enemy in war against Israel commits an act calculated to do so, he is liable to the death penalty or to life imprisonment.”   It goes without saying that no one at all has ever been sentenced to either punishment for treason in Israel.  Only a few people engaged in actual espionage, and this includes nuclear spy Mordecai Vanunu and some old-time spies for the Soviet Union, have ever even been so charged with “treason.”
This Israeli law is little more than a joke.  Israeli Arabs, including almost all the Arabs who sit in Israel’s Parliament, openly collaborate with the enemies of Israel, support their agendas, sometimes engaging in violence.  Israeli Jewish far Leftists work against the sovereignty and integrity of their own country every day.  Examples of this would include issuing calls for Israel’s destruction or support for international boycotts against Israel.  No one at all has been prosecuted for any of that.  The Israeli Attorney General is quite militant when it comes to prosecuting Right-wing Israeli Jews for “incitement” and “racism,” including offenders who wear politically incorrect Tee shirts or have bumper stickers on their cars that some might find in poor taste.  Israeli Arabs and Jewish Leftists never go to jail for collaborating with the enemy during times of war.  

It is instructive and illuminating to examine the history of what other Western democracies have done with traitors, especially during times of war.  It is important to see what sorts of anti-treason laws exist elsewhere in democratic countries.
Some countries have been putting teeth into old anti-treason laws recently because of international terrorism.  Britain’s Treason Act, which allowed for the prosecution of British nationals supporting the enemy in time of war, goes back to 1351.  It provided for mandatory execution of traitors.  Britain executed sixteen traitors under the Act during World War II.  The Act was suspended in 1946 and later was repealed. However, Britain has other laws against treason, and these are still being debated well into the 21st century.   Under the British Crime and Disorder Act of 1998, the punishment for treason is life imprisonment, but it had been death up until that law was passed.
Canada also has a Treason Act, where “high treason” consists of acts committed during time of war.  The punishment is mandatory life imprisonment.  Australian has a somewhat similar treason law.  Turkey, Ireland and Brazil have Treason Acts that provide for execution of traitors, as do many Third World countries.  The United States has had anti-treason laws that allow for executionof traitors, although these were seldom applied, and similar laws were once passed by some individual states.  The US also has the Espionage Act of 1917.  France’s law provides for life imprisonment for treason, as do Hong Kong’s, India’s, and New Zealand’s.  Switzerland’s Treason Act usually provides for softer punishments, but in some cases they can go as high as life imprisonment.  Modern Germany also has an anti-treason law with punishments up to life imprisonment for high treason, but that is defined as attempts to overturn the constitutional order.
Execution and life imprisonment were not the only responses of Western democracies to internal treason.  In 1939 the British government under Winston Churchill passed Defence Regulation 18B.  It suspended habeas corpus for Nazi sympathizers and allowed for their wholesale internment without a trial.  While enemy aliens were interned under other laws, this law was used to intern Britishnationals.  The law was used to jail pro-German citizens, including members of the pro-Nazi British Union of Fascists party, led by Oswald Mosley.
The United States passed its first law against enemy aliens and against treason in the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798.  It allowed for the internment of enemy aliens in time of war.  It remained on the books, supplemented by the Sedition Act of 1918, an initiative of President Woodrow Wilson, which was later repealed.
Abraham Lincoln may have been the most aggressive president when it came to prosecuting and jailing traitors.  He ordered the suspension of habeas corpus in 1861.  He used military tribunals and declarations of martial law liberally.  More than 4200 trials by military commission were conducted.  “Copperheads” or Americans in the North who identified with the rebellion in the South were arrested and jailed.  Other Copperheads were deported and stripped of citizenship.  Some traitors were executed.  13,000 people in the North were rounded up and jailed under martial law.  The Union government took action against newspapers that identified with the rebellion, closing some.  Under the Confiscation Act of 1861, the private property of those accused of treason, and not only Southerners, could be seized.
Britain had historically made liberal use of internment as an instrument against the enemy, especially during the Boer Wars.  After 1940 it arrested Germans, Austrians and Italians in larger numbers.  The Treachery Act passed Parliament that same year and allowed for the prosecution of any alien suspected of espionage or hostile activity, and included provision for execution of foreign spies,  In addition, over 7000 suspect aliens were deported, mainly to Canada and Australia.  Tragically, in some cases these included non-British Jews, for fears that German spies might have infiltrated Britain while amongst them.
Canada interned 80,000 people during World War I.  While the massive internment of Japanese-Americans by the United States during World War II is well known, less well known is the fact that thousands of ethnic Japanese were interned by Canada.  Australia also ran internment camps, holding as many as 7000 Australians, plus thousands of aliens sent there by Britain for internment.   While their numbers were much smaller than those of the interned Japanese-Americans, hundreds of Italian-Americans were interned by the US during World War II, and other restrictions were applied to Italian-Americans who were not interned.  German-Americans were subject to restrictions during World War I, over 6000 were arrested and over two thousand were interned.  11,000 alien Germans were interned in the United States during World War II.  Surprisingly, given the widespread pro-Nazi sentiments among some American ethnic Germans and the operations of several pro-Nazi organizations in the 1930s in the US, German–Americans were not interned during World War II, although some other countries in the Western Hemisphere did intern domestic ethnic Germans.   Small numbers of ethnic Germans were evicted from sensitive coastal areas of the US.  After Pearl Harbor the United States outlawed the pro-Nazi “German American Bund.”
Throughout Europe before and during World War II, the ethnic German minority populations by and large supported Nazi Germany.  After the war, these Germans well expelled en masse by many of those countries as retaliation for their identification with the enemy, including from democratic Czechoslovakia.  The same people today whining that Israel’s “Azmi Bishara Law” is “racist” have never had much to say about those expulsions.
The irony is that Israel’s Arab population more openly identifies with the country’s enemies than do any of those groups interned during war by Britain and the other Western democracies.  Most Israeli Arabs make little attempt to hide their contempt and intense hatred for the democratic country in which they live, while rarely seeking to move to any of the 22 countries that have an Arab ethnic majority.  Most (but not all) Israeli Arabs support political parties and groups openly hostile to the existence of Israel, openly supporting the genocidal terrorist groups and Moslem countries seeking Israel’s obliteration.  Israeli far-leftist groups, awash in funding from hostile anti-Israel foreign governments and organizations, engage in sedition and treason during time of war, led by Israel’s tenured Far Left.  None of these have been targeted for prosecution by Israel’s legal system or police.
Why not?  Why can Taliban John and Jihad Jane be prosecuted in the US, while traitors in Israel enjoy immunity?
Israel, and not Israel alone, needs to start putting some teeth into anti-treason legislation and enforcement.


Bill passes by vote of 37 to 11; Lieberman: We have fulfilled our campaign promise; plenum votes to strip Bishara of pension.

An Israel Beiteinu bill derided by critics as unfairly targeting Israeli Arabs passed into law late Monday night, with supporters welcoming it as a boost to internal deterrence against would-be terrorists and traitors.

The Citizenship Law enables courts to revoke citizenship – in addition to issuing prison sentences – against people who are convicted of treason, serious treason, aiding the enemy in a time of war or having committed an act of terror against the state.
Israel Beiteinu MKs David Rotem and Robert Ilatov cosponsored the bill, which easily passed the plenum by a vote of 37-11.

“Any normal state would have legislated this bill years ago,” said Rotem shortly after the bill passed. “I thank all of the legislators, who have sent a message tonight that citizenship and loyalty go hand in hand. There is no citizenship without loyalty.”

The bill originated in Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman’s campaign promise of “no loyalty, no citizenship.”
Initially, Israel Beiteinu pushed for legislation requiring a loyalty oath to a “Jewish and democratic” state, but the current law was the compromise that the faction managed to secure from the coalition.

“Another promise made by Israel Beiteinu to its voters has been fulfilled,” respondedLieberman minutes after the vote. “Without loyalty, there can be no citizenship. Any person who harms the country cannot enjoy the benefits of citizenship and its fruit. The law will help confront the phenomenon by which there are those who take advantage of our democracy in order to undermine it, and by which those who are called citizens collaborate with the enemy.”

In a gibe at Arab MKs who presented outspoken and impassioned opposition to the bill,Lieberman 
added that “unfortunately, we are witness to these incidents even among members of the Knesset.”

Opponents of the bill, including MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), cited the fact that the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) opposed the legislation.

The Shin Bet initially supported the bill, but changed its opinion and announced that it believed the current laws offered sufficient recourse against such offenders. The current law allows for canceling citizenship for breach of trust, and there have been cases in which citizenship has been revoked.

During the bill’s final committee hearings, a Shin Bet attorney said that there were enough provisions in the existing law to strip offenders’ citizenship as needed. He addedthat the bill itself was problematic and that Israeli Arabs indeed believed that the law was aimed at them.

“An absurd situation has been created in which the Shin Bet has to rein in the Knesset,” complained Horowitz. “In light of the Shin Bet’s 
position, it is impossible to hide behind the security excuse for this law.

Why do you support a bill that the Shin Bet said is deleterious to law and security?” Rotem, however, complained that according to recent reports, the Shin Bet’s 
change of heart had come after former Meretz MK Haim Oron met with outgoing Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin – a fact that was not mentioned during committee hearings on the bill.

“The real plan behind the bill is to create an air of fear and threat among the Arab population, as other bills sponsored by the same Knesset faction do,” Horowitz protested.

“We have seen a series of bills that create delegitimization of Arabs in Israel as citizens,” he continued, adding that he “found it hard to believe that this law will be used in the case of Jewish terrorists.”

The vote on the bill was moved from Wednesday to Monday after Arab legislators requested that bills important to their constituents not be read on Wednesday so they could participate in Land Day commemorations.

Wednesday, the last day of plenum 
voting in the Knesset’s Winter Session, coincides with the annual commemoration of the 1976 anti-land appropriation protests held in Israeli Arab communities, during which six protesters were killed by security forces.

Also late Monday night, the plenum voted to officially strip former Balad MK Azmi Bishara of his parliamentary benefits, including his pension. The pension Bishara received from the Knesset stood at NIS 7,228 per month.

In February, the plenum voted into law a bill that would allow the parliament to deny benefits to MKs who failed to report to the police for questioning, for a trial, or to serve a prison sentence.

PA Official Defends Hamas: Another Organization Kidnapped Schalit

An official with the Palestinian Authority has defended the Hamas terror organization, saying it was not Hamas terrorists who kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The comments were made by the PA’s representative in Belgium, Leila Shahid, during a discussion initiated by Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara (Likud). The discussion was held in the Belgian parliament’s foreign affairs committee and was attended by the Director of Kara’s office, Israel’s Ambassador to Belgium Tamar Samash, Shahid, and other committee members.

Shahid claimed during the discussion that it was a terror organization other than Hamas who kidnapped Shalit and transferred him to Hamas, who holds him to this day.

Her comments are not completely accurate, as Shalit was kidnapped by a group of terrorists consisting of members of Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and the Army of Islam terrorist groups. The latter has been linked to the international Al Qaeda terrorist organization, which has infiltrated Gaza.

Shahid went further to justify the kidnapping, saying, “I understand the Shalit family and believe we have to release Gilad, but Israel must release prisoners of Fatah, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad.”

In response, Mendi Safadi who serves as director of Deputy Minister Kara’s office, said: “Hamas is a terrorist organization which operates contrary to all international conventions, and I call upon you to declare an economic embargo on Hamas and stop the flow of funds into Gaza, since these funds end up in the hands of Hamas, who uses them to fund the holding of Gilad Shalit and carry out murderous terror attacks against Israeli citizens.”
Safadi added, “In an era where the PA and Hamas are negotiating a joint unity government, I would like to see the PA as solely responsible for the fate of Gilad. It is impossible to see both organizations as an independent political unit. The PA is evading responsibility for the crimes of its citizens.”

Safadi said that pressure must be applied on Hamas so that it allows the International Red Cross (ICRC) to visit Shalit and bring information about his condition.

Shalit, who was kidnapped in 2006, has not been allowed a single visit by the ICRC.  Last week, the organization called on Hamas to prove that Shalit is still alive.

“Because no sign of life has been had from Shalit for nearly two years, we demand that Hamas provide proof that he is still alive,” the Red Cross said in a statement which was immediately rejected by Hamas.

Israel’s ambassador to Brussels, Tamar Samash, expressed her agreement with Safadi’s comments, and presented to the Belgian committee members the differences between the detention conditions of prisoners from Hamas and other PA terror organization and the conditions under which Gilad Shalit is being kept.

The discussion was held amid reports earlier this week that Israel had accepted an offer by the German mediator to secure Shalit’s release.

“This proposal was harsh; it was not simple for the State of Israel,” said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. “However, we agreed to accept it in the belief that it was balanced between our desire to secure Gilad's release and to prevent possible harm to the lives and security of the Israeli people.”

Netanyahu noted that Israel was still awaiting Hamas’ response to the offer. Deputy Hamas leader Moussa Abu-Marzouk later told the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat that Hamas had rejected the proposal, calling it “discriminatory” and saying it adopted Israel’s “extreme and unfair” positions.

Benjamin Netanyahu Invites You to Ask Him Questions on YouTube

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asks people around the world – especially Arabs – to send him questions, which he will answer on YouTube.

“I would like to hear what you have to say, and I would like to hear what I have to say n response Talk to you soon.” he stated on his YouTube website.

This is the second time the Prime Minister has used the popular video site for direct dialogue. He said that more than one million viewed the first session. Questions are sent via YouTube, and his office said they can be on any topic, including peace talks, democracy in the Arab world, and even the Gaza flotilla.

“He is particularly interested in broadening the direct dialogue with people from the Arab world and would welcome questions from the countries undergoing what has been termed ‘the Arab Spring,” according to officials.

They added, “To date, the Prime Minister's office has received dozens of questions from Arab web users.  Most respondents expressed support for peace with Israel and are interested in understanding its positions regarding ‘the Arab Spring’ and the future of negotiations with the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Netanyahu will answer questions from video clips on his YouTube site in the coming weeks.   The Prime Minister's invitation to send questions, with Arabic subtitles below: 

وأشجع جميعكم على إرسال أسئلتكم
أدعو بشكل خاص المشاهدين والمتصفحين من الدول العربية.
أريد أن أسمع ما تريدون أن تقولوا لي وأريد أن تسمعوا ما أرد لكم.

يدعو رئيس الوزراء نتنياهو جيل الفيسبوك العربي الى ارسال أسئلة بالفيديو الموجهة اليه حول أي موضوع كان ليرد عليها على قناته الرسمية في موقع اليوتيوب. الرجاء تحميل الفيديوهات (الناطقة بالعربية أو بالانكليزية) على قنواتكم على اليوتيوب وارسال الرابط الى العنوان Ask وشكراً.

With Arabic subtitles

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shin Bet cracks top "Palestinian" terror cell

Security forces arrest nearly two dozen PFLP operatives running terrorist cells near Jerusalem; were planning on kidnapping IDF soldiers, shootings, and bombings; many had previously served in Israeli prisons.

The IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) have arrested close to two dozen Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) operatives who were running a number of terror cells near Jerusalem and were planning to kidnap soldiers and perpetrate other terror attacks against Israel, it was released for publication on Sunday.

Some of the operatives, the Shin Bet said, were Arabs from east Jerusalem in possession of Israeli 
identity cards enabling them to travel freely throughout the country.

Over 20 suspects have been arrested in recent weeks, the Shin Bet said, including a number who have significant military experience and have previously served time in Israeli prisons. One of the alleged leaders of the group was Nasser Abu-Khadir, a 50-year-old resident of the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem.

In 1981, Khadir was seriously injured when an explosive device he was building blew up 
in his hands. In 1988, he was released from prison and continued to engage in anti-Israel terrorist activity, for which he was arrested a number of additional times over the years.

The Shin Bet said that Khadir told his interrogators that he was responsible for establishing the terrorist infrastructure based in Jerusalem and Ramallah and was in touch with PFLP leadership in Damascus, which was supposed to provide financial and logistical assistance as well as overseas 
military training for Israel-based operatives.

Khadir allegedly instructed other members of the cells to purchase pistols and silencers and surrendered a weapon that he had already obtained following his arrest.

Another senior operative was Walid Habas, 31, from Kfar Akab in northern Jerusalem. Habas was released from an Israeli prison in 2007 after serving a four-year sentence for his involvement in the attempted lynching of an IDF soldier near Ramallah in 1998. Habas allegedly recruited new operatives into PFLP ranks and worked with Khadir to purchase weaponry. The Shin Bet said that he told interrogators he had discussed the possibility of training in Iran with Khadir.

A cell run by Habas was allegedly planning to kidnap an IDF soldier, a number of shooting attacks at soldiers and settlers in the Ramallah area and a bomb attack in Jerusalem. One target considered for the attack was a hotel near the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The cell, the Shin Bet said, was in the midst of working to obtain explosives as well as a cellphone which was to serve as the detonator. The cell members were also planning to murder a Palestinian they suspected of serving as a collaborator with Israeli security services.

Another operative, named Fares Barghouti, had served time in Israeli prisons between 2001 and 2005 and was released as part of an Israeli gesture to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He was arrested a year later for involvement in the outlawed PFLP and was enlisted into the new terror cells in 2010.

Other cell members were responsible for locating 
apartments that could be used as headquarters and base of operations for the cell, and for obtaining false Israeli identitycards that they could use to enter Israel.