Jerusalem – The three-way summit of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is to take place on February 19. This was announced on Tuesday night by Olmert, in a speech in Jerusalem to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations from North America.
Olmert said he appreciates the effort which Rice is putting into pushing the process forward, but in the end it will be a bilateral step.
Any Palestinian government that adopts the conditions of the Quartet and the international community will be acceptable to Israel, Olmert said, and Israel will cooperate with it.
Yet until then Israel would do everything in its power to prevent terrorism. He said in recent months Israel had exercised absolute restraint, but the Palestinians had not honored the cease-fire for even one day.
Every day missiles are fired into Israeli territory, he said, but Israel exercised self-restraint because in his opinion Israel was strong enough to show forbearance sometimes, so as to avoid strengthening the extremists.
On the Iranian threat Olmert said there is a way to prevent Iran’s progress towards a nuclear capability, without recourse to violence. He said the actions of the international community have more effect than is widely believed. He admitted that this had not been enough, but if the international community increased its efforts and persisted with effective economic sanctions, the Iranians would be forced to reconsider their program. In a reference to the point of no return, after which it would be impossible to halt the Iranian nuclear program, Olmert said there is still time for various actions. Israel had never pushed anyone into extremist acts. But Israel would not hesitate, and would do everything in its power to remind the world to use every means to stop the Iranians.
Assad Transferred Kornet Anti-Tank Rockets To Hezbollah
In violation of the U.N. resolution, Syria recently transferred large quantities of new anti-tank rockets to Hezbollah-this according to information that has reached the senior political echelon in Jerusalem. This includes Russian Kornet rockets that inflicted severe losses on the IDF during the war.
A senior source revealed that as part of the lessons that it learned from the war, Hezbollah realized that it must obtain large quantities of advanced rockets, with which its guerrillas could hit Israeli tanks.
Senior political sources revealed that in addition to the anti-tank rockets, Hezbollah is continuing to stockpile Katyusha rockets and medium and long-range rockets.
“Hezbollah is gaining strength before our eyes again, and we are not doing a thing,” said a senior political source. There is growing criticism in Israel in light of the increased arms smuggling into Lebanon.
“Hezbollah learned the trick: All the arms smuggling is being carried out north of the Litani River, far from the UNIFIL soldiers. The latter are aware of the smuggling, but are not doing anything,” said a political source. “There is no choice but to demand the deployment of international forces along the border with Syria, or to exact a price from the Syrians so that they understand that Israel will not accept the transfer of weaponry to our enemies.” In consultations held recently by the Foreign Ministry, it was decided to increase the diplomatic activity overseas in order to convince the international community to act to enforce the arms embargo.
©The Bulletin 2007