Jerusalem – The Bulletin Middle East Bureau has received the 500-page Second Lebanon War Investigation Commission Report, which was written by a team of lawyers chaired by retired Israeli Judge Eliahu Winograd.

In the 10-page summary provided by Mr. Winograd to a crowded press conference yesterday evening in the Israel Convention Center, Mr. Winograd indicated that all levels of Israeli military and political leadership were responsible for what Mr. Winograd described as a “missed opportunity.”

Mr. Winograd wryly commented that a small terror group managed to terrorize the entire northern region of Israel, despite the fact that Israel retains the strongest army in the Middle East.

Mr. Winograd made sweeping statements that Israel somehow had no strategic plan in place during the war and that the Israeli government and military maintained a disproportionate dependency on the Israeli Air Force.

Perhaps the most surprising statement of Mr. Winograd was that U.N. Resolution 1701 was a great accomplishment for Israel, which forbids any further presence of Hezbollah in southern Israel.

Israel Captures Islamic Jihad Commander

The Middle East NewsLine confirms that Israel’s military has captured a commander of the Iranian-sponsored Islamic Jihad.

The military said forces from the army and Israel Security Agency arrested Mohammed Issa Halil Abeda in Bethlehem. Mr. Abeda was identified as the head of Jihad in the Bethlehem area, a key stronghold of the organization in the West Bank.

“Abeda commanded several Islamic Jihad terror cells and was involved in the planning and funding of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers,” the military statement said on Tuesday.

Jihad used Bethlehem as a launching pad for attacks on neighboring Jerusalem as well as the highway to Hebron. They said Jihad was aided by the ruling Fatah militia, led by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Over the last year, the military has sought to erode the Jihad leadership in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Several senior commanders, including the heads of Jihad networks in Jenin and Nablus, were killed.

Jihad supporters sought to block the Israeli arrest of Mr. Abeda on Monday. Scores of Palestinians hurled firebombs, bricks and finally opened fire toward Israeli forces.

“After a number of rioters opened fire at the soldiers, the forces returned fire at their lower bodies,” the statement said.

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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