Jerusalem – A four-way summit meeting among Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, King Abdullah of Jordan and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is being planned for early next week in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Even beforehand, Prime Minister Olmert and PA Chairman Abbas may meet next week in Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss strengthening the new Palestinian Prime Minister Fayad’s government and promoting a new negotiating process.
One of the stumbling blocks that prevented a similar summit from being held in May was a disagreement between the PA and Israel over the withheld Palestinian tax funds; with the formation of the new Hamas-less Palestinian government, Israel has agreed to release those funds, ending the argument.
None of the four participants of the scheduled summit meeting have relations with Hamas at this point.
Abbas, who signed the Mecca agreement with the Hamas leadership just four months ago, on Wednesday described Hamas in a fiery speech he delivered in Ramallah as a “gang of murderers who break the law, who are Muslim heretics. This is a clash between the Palestinian national enterprise and the benighted militias that are trying to establish a rule of darkness. There will be no dialogue with murdering revolutionaries.”
Attacks Hit Sderot
At around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, the Red Color alert sounded in Sderot and immediately afterward, several loud explosions were heard. One after the other, Arabs from Hamas-controlled Gaza fired six Kassam rockets that landed in Sderot and the nearby kibbutzim.
Three rockets fell in the city, one near a gas station in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, and two others not far from Kibbutz Nir-Am.
Luckily, the attack ended with only lightly injured and shocked victims.
Kibbutz Nir-Am next to Sderot also took hits. A fire broke out in a wheat field, and the main electricity line was damaged and caused a power outage throughout the kibbutz. Two people sustained injuries from shrapnel, and 10 were rushed to hospitals suffering from shock. Two houses and a synagogue were damaged.
Israeli Arab Rebellion
At Tel Aviv University
More than 100 students at Tel Aviv University, all of whom are members of the Northern Chapter of the Israel-based Islamic Movement, held a rally on Wednesday on the university campus to commemorate Nakba (the “catastrophe”) Day, which marks the establishment of the State of Israel. Many students who happened to pass by were astonished to see the Islamic Movement activists all brandishing green shirts, scarves and flags.
Green is the color of Hamas.
The Northern Chapter of the Islamic Movement is considered to be the more radical chapter in the movement, and a number of its leaders were arrested in the past for allegedly having extended assistance to Hamas.
The deputy director of the Northern Chapter of the Islamic Movement, Kamal Khatib, who has a history of statements against the state, addressed the rally. At the end of the rally, booklets were distributed that were decorated with a map of the Land of Israel with explanations about all of the communities that prior to the establishment of the State of Israel were Palestinian and which were “conquered by the Jews.”
Libya Designated To Head?U.N. Racism Conference
On Thursday, Libya was designated head of an anti-racism panel of the United Nations Human Rights Council, to oversee two years of preparatory meetings leading up to a world conference in 2009. “Choosing Colonel Khaddafi to head a world anti-racism conference is like appointing a pyromaniac to be fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch. “It is obscene that the same racist government that awarded its highest prize in 2002 to convicted Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy is now in charge of fighting racism.”
According to U.N. custom, Libya may also become host of the 2009 conference.
It seemed yet another sign that the newly reconfigured Human Rights Council was repeating the practices of its discredited predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, which was dissolved in 2003, shortly after it chose Libya as its head.
The first meeting of the panel is expected in late July.
Other countries on the 20-member bureau of the Preparatory Committee for the Review of the Durban Conference are: Argentina, Armenia, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Croatia, Cuba, Estonia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Norway, Russia, Senegal, South Africa and Turkey. Armenia was a contender for the presidency but withdrew its candidacy.
The 2009 gathering is intended to be a follow-up of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, which took place in Durban, South Africa a few days before 9/11. That conference was mired in controversy. The NGO Declaration said that Arabs were the victims of anti-Semitism and condemned Israel for its “brand of apartheid and other racist crimes against humanity.” During the conference, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson denounced the distribution of anti-Semitic cartoons by groups such as the Arab Lawyers’ Union. The United States and Israel walked out in the last days, with the conference described as a “festival of hate” by a senior Canadian government official.
David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2007