Jerusalem – The perpetrators of a “cyberterror attack” on the Bank of Israel have been disclosed for the first time: The six hackers who penetrated the bank’s Web site last week and flooded it with abuse promise to continue their activity against other Israeli sites.

The six members of the Muslim group of hackers DZ Team related in an interview published yesterday in Kalkalist that four of them live in Algeria and two in Egypt. They say that they met each other and banded together in an underground site of hacker groups.

“Moorish” of Algeria, the group’s spokesman, said, “In the first stage we entered the Bank of Israel’s site and reached the server with surprising ease. In the second stage we managed to take control of it and cracked the security system. We had access to the entire site, and no one would have known until we told the world.” Despite their statements, the group actually had access only to the Bank of Israel database that is operated by an external firm, not to the bank servers in which transactions are carried out.

This is the 10th time that the group has hacked into an Israeli site. Before this, their main achievement was taking down a private site supporting Binyamin Netanyahu. Moran Zavdi, an information security consultant who monitors underground hacker sites, says that this is a busy group: “Until now, they have hacked into about 950 sites, mostly small sites abroad. The Bank of Israel site is a serious advance for them.”

The group members said that they do not see themselves as terrorists.

“We are not a terrorist group,” said “The Legend,” an Egyptian member of the group who is Hebrew-speaking and specializes in locating security breaches. “We are average young Muslims who are trying to express themselves. You can’t compare hacking into computers and taking over servers to bombings and killing innocent people.”

But “The Moorish” explained: “I am proud of the perpetrators of suicide bombings, and ‘inshallah’ [Arabic for ‘God willing’] there will be thousands more like them. This is the greatest sacrifice that they can make.”

The hackers emphasized that their activity is religiously motivated. “We do everything in the name of Allah,” said “Oxide,” another Egyptian member of the group, who specializes in creating Trojan horses in Web sites that enable their makers to take over sites. “All Muslim hackers are anti-Israeli.”

They said that their activity against Israeli sites would increase and be escalated. “It is important for us to inform the Israeli public that we are not indifferent to what is happening in Gaza, and we are against the repression of the Palestinian people. We all invest several hours a day in hacking into Israeli sites. We are very proud of the latest achievement, but soon we will move to the next step and turn to bigger and more important sites.”

Mortar Shell In Yard Of Medical Clinic

“It looked like a firing range. Starting in the morning, mortar shells started to fall on us one after another, each of them hitting closer and closer. It started in our fields and moved inside until the last one reached the clinic,” said Kibbutz Kissufim coordinator Shlomi Ilan on Tuesday, describing the salvo of mortar shells that landed on the kibbutz.

The last shell landed a few meters away from the kibbutz’s clinic, 20 minutes before it opened for patients. Most of the shrapnel hit the fortified wall, but the shards that hit the windows shattered them and the pieces fell inside. “This is our daily routine,” Mr. Ilan summed up the attack yesterday.

At least 10 missiles were fired on Tuesday at these western Negev Communities.

IDF Salutes Heroes Of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

“The state of Israel and the IDF [Israeli Defense Force] are the answer to the Holocaust, and they will ensure that such an event does not take place in the future,” said Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi in a ceremony held on Tuesday at the foot of the bunker commanded by Mordechai Anielewicz in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

“We should study and teach the heroic story of Mordechai Anielewicz and his friends. They rose up, fought and took action. The norms in the IDF also draw from the Holocaust, and it is important for us to learn from this chapter. I have come here in the name of the IDF soldiers and commanders to salute them and their courage. They fought with a firm spirit, with leadership and determination, despite knowing all along that the chances were close to zero,” said Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi.

The chief of staff, who arrived on Tuesday for a three-day visit in memorial sites and death camps in Poland, was received by an honor guard of the Polish army headed by the Polish deputy chief of staff.

On Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi visited the Jewish cemetery and the Nozyk synagogue, and then marched along the “heroism route” from the Umschlagplatz deportation square to the bunker at Mila 18, where a full military memorial service was held.

In the afternoon, Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi held a working meeting with Poland’s defense minister and chief of staff, and discussed with them the Iranian threat, the question of Hamas and Hezbollah and the issue of the kidnapped soldiers. In the evening, the chief of staff placed a wreath on the grave of the anonymous soldier in Pilsudskiego Square.

Details Of Bush’s Visit

On his forthcoming visit to Israel, President George Bush will be accompanied by an entourage numbering about 800, a fleet of limousines and jeeps and hundreds of security guards and snipers.

On May 14, at noon, he will land in Israel and will be met by an exclusive gathering of past and present senior Israeli officials and cabinet ministers. From the airport he will be taken to Jerusalem by helicopter.

His first meeting will be with President Shimon Peres. He will then meet Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at his residence for a working meeting, after which they will hold a joint news conference.

In the evening, Mr. Bush will be the guest of honor at the conference of President Peres at the Jerusalem Convention Center. He will deliver an address at a special session devoted to the American contribution to Israel. This will be followed by an artistic program including a pas-de-deux by ballet dancers Ido Tadmor and Desmond Richardson, the Israeli song “Lu Yehi” (Let It Be) sung by a children’s choir, a piano duet by two participants in the Arthur Rubinstein competition, and the two national anthems sung by a choir of the Black Hebrews from Dimona. There will then be a reception for a small number of VIPs.

On the morning of May 15, Mr. Olmert and Mr. Bush will fly to Masada for a tour with press coverage. Mr. Bush will then return to Jerusalem to address the Knesset.

On the morning of May 16, Mr. Bush will meet Israeli teenagers, including new immigrants. He will then be taken to the airport in a helicopter for his departure from Israel.

David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com

©The Bulletin 2008

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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