Jerusalem – On the eve of President Bush’s visit to Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert issued an official statement announcing the Palestinian terrorists who murdered two off-duty Israeli soldiers, who were hiking in an Israeli nature reserve last Friday, were actually Palestinian policemen who served directly under Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority.

In addition, Mr. Olmert’s press statement revealed that the two Palestinian terrorists who murdered Ahikam Amihai and David Rubin avoided being apprehended by Israeli security forces by turning themselves into the same Palestinian Police force that they serve in.

According to Mr. Olmert, “the Palestinians returned the two soldiers’ weapons, as well as the terrorists’ weapons, only after a demand to this effect had been communicated” by Israeli security sources.

The two apprehended terrorists are Ali Hamid Dandanes (24), resident of Hebron, clerk at the Hebron sharia court and a Fatah activist who was an served with Palestinian General Intelligence and Amar Badad Khalim Taha (26), resident of Hebron, Fatah activist and a Palestinian National Security soldier.

A third terrorist, Bassel Nabil Naim Natashe (23), a resident of Hebron, was killed in the exchange of fire with Cpl. Ahikam and Sgt. Rubin.

Olmert’s statement also revealed that “the Palestinians’ interrogation of the two terrorists, it arises that the attack was perpetrated after one of the terrorists identified the hikers… and summoned his cohorts. The objective of this planned attack was to murder the hikers and steal their weapons”.

Olmert denounced that statements to the media by Abbas’s media advisors “that the incident was of a criminal nature”, while Olmert asserted that “these statements are designed to obviate the Palestinian Authority’s responsibility for the incident mainly due to the fact that the murders were perpetrated by Fatah and itssecurity apparatus”

The above statement was released to the media while Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is currently on a working visit to Jordan, where he met with King Abdullah II. Having concluded a working lunch with their staffs, the Prime Minister and the King held a private meeting.

During their working lunch, a statement from Olmert’s office said that the two leaders discussed bilateral relations, current negotiations, and President George Bush’s upcoming visit to the region.

King Abdullah, who met yesterday (Wednesday), 2.1.08, in Aqaba, with Palestinian Authority President Abbas expressed his hope that Abbas and Olmert will “advance the peace process and will continue the process begun at Annapolis to complete it as quickly as possible”.

Prime Minister Olmert updated King Abdullah on the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and indicated “the urgent need for the Palestinians to prepare to fight terrorism” and dismantle terror groups. The Prime Minister also stressed that Israel was not establishing new Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Jordan had occupied Judea and Samaria between 1949 and 1967. In 1967, the late Jordanian King Hussein ordered his troops based in Judea and Samaria to attack Israel, and was soundly defeated, forcing a withdrawal to the East Bank of the Jordan River. In 1988, Hussein declared that he had no interest in returning the rule of his kingdom over Judea and Samaria, an area also described as the “:west bank”

Israeli Troops Operate In Gaza

Israeli troops from the Infantry Corps, the Armored Corps and the Combat Engineering Unit, with the assistance of the Air Force, operated in the southern Gaza Strip since last night. The aim of the operation was to distance terrorist organizations-particularly Hamas-from the security fence, and to operate against the firing of Qassam rockets and mortar shells into Israel.

Armed Palestinian terrorists approached IDF forces and opened fire at them at several instances in clashes that erupted during the activity. The forces responded with fire both from the air and from the ground. Seven gunmen were killed consequently.

On Thursday, the IDF targeted four Islamic Jihad and Hamas terror organizations’ structures in the Gaza Strip: An Islamic Jihad weapons warehouse in Gaza city, an Islamic Jihad terror operative’s structure in the central Gaza Strip, a Hamas structure in the southern Gaza Strip and a Hamas post in the southern Gaza Strip. The attacks were carried out following the continuous firing of rockets and mortar shells into Israel, including the 122 mm Grad type Katyusha that hit the city of Ashkelon this morning. This is the farthest location in Israel that a rocket launched from Gaza has hit.

During the afternoon, Palestinian gunmen opened fire at an IDF force in the area of the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip, using anti-tank missiles and small arms. The force responded with fire and identified hitting the gunmen.

Throughout the day, Palestinians fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel over 25 mortar shells, six Qassam rockets and one Grad Katyusha.

Throughout the week approximately 30 Arab terrorists were hit by IDF forces.

©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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