Jerusalem, Israel – Families of Israelis killed by missiles fired at Israel from Gaza intend to sue the Palestinian Authority for hundreds of millions of shekels. Within a few weeks, they intend to submit a class-action suit against the Palestinian Authority to the Beer Sheva District Court.

Over the past seven years, eight people, most of them residents of Sderot, have been killed by the Gaza missiles. On Sunday, the families had a meeting organized by Alon Davidi, head of the “Sderot Security Advocacy Council.”

Their lawyers explained the expected legal procedure to the families.

“Winning the case will not ease the pain caused by my brother’s death,” said Zimro Yakobov, whose brother Yaakov was killed in a Kassam attack.

“But it will help us to go on living. Yaakov left children. Who is going to look after them? Perhaps the money from the lawsuit will help.”

Among the participants were members of the Gelkovich family, who lost their daughter Dana, the Ohayon family, who lost their baby son Afik, the Yosipov family, who lost their father Mordechai, the Ababa family, who lost their baby son Yuval, and the Inso family, who lost their baby daughter Dorit.

The lawyers said the suit would be filed within a few weeks, after the families bring all the necessary documents.    

Head Of Mossad: Assad Negotiations Could Lead To War

It is highly unusual for the head of the most secret of Israel’s intelligence operations, the Mossad, to make any public statement or assessment at any time.

However, Israel’s current Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, has warned that negotiations with Syria could lead to war instead of peace. Dagan expressed that view to the Israeli cabinet that the current deadlock which exists between Israel and Syria that is preserving stability.

In the discussion, the Mossad director said the peace signals which Syria has been sending are purely tactical and devoid of substance. He said this conclusion was based on intelligence, not just on evaluations. He expressed apprehension that if the negotiations between Syria and Israel were to fail, the consequent crisis could deteriorate into war, and therefore the status quo was better for Israel.  

In the present situation, Dagan asserted, the chances of Syria starting a war are negligible, because the Syrians understand that they would suffer severe damage. He said Syria’s deployment is purely defensive, not offensive. Although the Scud missiles possessed by the Syrian army could cause heavy damage to Israeli civilian targets, they could not win the war, and the Syrians know that, Dagan said.

While most Israelis assume that Syria only covets the part of Golan Heights that it lost in the 1967 war, most Israelis are simply not aware of the fact that Syria remains in a state of war with Israel that it declared on Israel in 1948, together with other Arab countries, and with its intention unchanged – the annihilation of the Jewish state. Syria has never rescinded that declaration of total war on Israel.

PA Officials: U.S. Assures That Israel Will Not Invade Gaza

Senior officials of the Palestinian Authority have said that the U.S. State Department sent a message to the PA that the U.S. has ordered the Israeli military not to conduct large-scale operations in the Gaza Strip. These sources said the military restraint came in wake of U.S. warnings to the government of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

“We’ve received assurances from the highest levels in the U.S. government that Israel would not launch a large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip,” a PA source told the Middle East Newsline.

While the Bush administration has relayed a plan that stipulated the deployment of PA troops in northern Gaza to prevent Palestinian missile fire, the spokesman of the U.S. Embassy stood by his statement to The Bulletin from May 7 that the U.S. government has placed no constraints whatsoever on Israeli military response to attacks from Gaza.

Hamas Ambushed U.S. Convoy, Seized Weapons For Fatah

Journalist Aaron Klein, a native of Philadelphia, Israel bureau chief of World Net Daily, writing in the Yediot newspaper in Israel, broke the story yesterday that Hamas ambushed a convoy in the Gaza Strip on Sunday and seized a stockpile of U.S. weapons transferred in recent months to militias associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, according to Hamas and Fatah sources.

“We obtained the U.S. weapons and will keep hijacking any assistance the Americans provide to Fatah. Our fighters are aware of the American and Israeli conspiracies to topple our government. We’re trained and well prepared to defeat the American-backed (Palestinian) agents,” a top member of Hamas’ military wing in the Gaza Strip told Klein.

David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com

©The Bulletin 2007

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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.