Jerusalem, Israel – In a briefing given yesterday to the Israeli cabinet, The Director of Israel Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin warned that Iran, Hezbollah and Syria are preparing for war in the summer.

He qualified this, however, by saying that their preparations are of a defensive nature, for fear that a prospective American strike against Iran would be accompanied by an American-Israeli front against Syria.

Following this assessment, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert conveyed a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad by means of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, stating that Israel has no intention of attacking Syria in the summer. According to the same report, however, the prime minister said in closed conversations that if Assad makes an error of judgment and attacks Israel with missiles, the IDF would be given free rein to deal Syria a severe blow.

Maj. Gen. Yadlin compared the situation to the period prior to the Six-Day War “when a war is reached that no one wants to reach, as a result of the involvement of many players.” The prime minister instructed the security establishment to increase its intelligence efforts and to be alert to the happenings on the Syrian side.

With reference to the summit of Arab states in Saudi Arabia, Yadlin said that this is the first time it was attended by a Hamas representative.

“The main player on the Palestinian side was Khaled Mashal,” he said.

However, Yadlin asserted that his participation in the summit had caused dissension in Hamas.

“There are figures in Hamas who call this process the ‘Arafatization of Mashal.’ In the last month he led a process of a unity government, and now Mashal is being accused of leading a moderate line at the Arab League summit in Riyadh,” he said.

As a result, Yadlin assessed that Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya is adopting a technique of separation between the government and Hamas: “Haniya is not attacking the resolutions of the summit, but he is also not supporting them. The government is adopting moderate positions, and the movement is emphasizing that it does not accept the initiative.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Olmert spoke yesterday in a press conference following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and voiced willingness to meet with leaders of Arab States.

Olmert called upon the Arab leaders to meet with him and engage in dialogue, and announced that “if the king of Saudi Arabia initiates a meeting of other Arab countries, and invites me and the head of the Palestinian Authority, in order to present the ideas of Saudi Arabia to us, we will come to hear him.” In his conversation with Chancellor Merkel, the prime minister thanked her for her efforts on the matter of the kidnapped soldiers.

IDF Resumes Activities In Gaza Strip

The IDF recently resumed its activities inside the Gaza Strip, after receiving authorization for this from the political echelon. At the same time, the army is preparing for the possibility that the escalation in Gaza will make it necessary to launch a large-scale operation in the area.

The current activity is taking place near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, and it is aimed at hitting cells trying to attack Israel and at locating tunnels. The new policy and the return of IDF soldiers into the Gaza Strip marks a real change compared with the past four months, in which the IDF refrained from entering the Gaza Strip, in an attempt to respect the cease-fire which the Palestinians had declared. In the same period, however, the Palestinians fired more than 180 Kassam rockets and it appears that the IDF has recently received information that they have also been digging tunnels into Israel.


Dogs In America

Sixteen Israeli dogs and eight police officers from California will this week complete the first course in detecting explosives, as part of the cooperation between the Internal Security Ministry of Israel and that of California.

At the end of the week, immediately after the emotional graduation ceremony, the dogs and their handlers will fly to the United States, and next week it will be possible to hear the police giving them orders in Hebrew, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Santa Clara.

The dogs are trained to respond to expressions such as “shev” [sit], “azov” [let go], “hapes” [search] and of course “kelev tov!” [good dog], and therefore the American police had to learn to pronounce the Hebrew words.

“The course which we are giving to the Americans is the first cooperation with law enforcement agencies in the United States,” explained Yoram Doctori, an Israeli security expert who works in California and is coordinator of the American course. […]

The dogs have already acquired significant operational experience in Israel, and in two cases they prevented terrorist attacks or obstructed them because the suicide bombers were deterred when they saw them.

A personal note: This reporter can confirm that a dog and a horse once inspired a fellow native Philadelphian to learn Hebrew. Indeed, during the days in which I helped social work professionals place themselves in jobs and careers in Israel, there was a young woman from Philadelphia who was having a terrible time learning the holy tongue. However, she was a jogger. Having jogged to work every morning along the West River Drive along the Schuykill River, she began to jog every morning along the Tel Aviv beach. Each morning, before dawn, she would see a Tel Aviv street cleaner with a horse and buggy give precise instructions to his horse – in Hebrew, of course, and she would see a blind man walking his dog, in Hebrew, of course. Her conclusion: IF a horse and a dog could understand Hebrew, so could she.

David Bedein can be reached at His Web site is

©The Bulletin 2007


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David Bedein
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: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.