Jerusalem -?Palestinian terrorists fired eight Kassam rockets and 13 mortar bombs from the Gaza Strip into the Negev on Saturday.

On Saturday night, a Kassam rocket exploded in a factory at a kibbutz in the Western Negev. By some miracle, none of the people working there was killed.Yesterday, Palestinian mortar fire scored a direct hit on a kibbutz, where a two-year-old child suffered shrapnel wounds and was rushed to the Ashkelon Barzelai hospital in serious condition.

More Rockets To Be Fired, Range

To Be Increased

An examination of how rocket technology in the Gaza Strip is developing shows clearly that this weapon is capable of causing Israel much more damage than it has inflicted up until now. It is expected that in the next few years the terrorist organizations, learning from the example of Hezbollah in Lebanon, will succeed in making the rockets much more accurate and increasing their range and the quantity of explosives in the warheads they carry. This is stated in a report by the Israel Center for Information on Intelligence and Terrorism, which reviews the development of the rocket fire. The extent of the launchings is expected to grow significantly, both as a result of improved technology, which will increase the shelf life of the rockets, and also if Hamas joins in the launching of the rockets in the wake of political developments. At the same time, the quantity of professionally manufactured rockets, with a range of over 20 kilometers, possessed by the terrorist organizations, is likely to increase, and this will bring more Israeli residential areas within the range of the rockets.

Israeli government spokespeople would not answer questions from The Bulletin as to why the Israeli army was not killing or capturing the terrorist commanders who are giving orders to shell Jewish communities in southern Israel.

Livni In Paris For The Palestinian Economy

Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is in Paris, where she is attending the conference of countries that donate funds to the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will present a plan for building governmental institutions and plans for reform in the Palestinian Authority in order to raise more than $1.5 billion.

Among the participants at the conference will be U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the U.N. Secretary General. Also attending will be representatives of 80 countries and international organizations, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The conference will be opened by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and the speakers will include Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Tony Blair and other leaders. During the conference, Ms. Livni will meet other foreign ministers, including some from Arab countries. Israeli Foreign Ministry has yet to respond to the question as to whether Israel will object to foreign governments providing funds for Palestinian Authority schools, since the Israel Ministry of Defense has published a study of Palestinian schoolbooks whose curriculum is based on the importance of destroying Israel. The Israel Foreign Ministry is familiar with that study, which appears on the unofficial Web site of Israeli intelligence, www.intelligence.org.il, and is authored by Noa Meridor, the wife of Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Sallai Meridor.

Celebrating 20 Years

Of Terrorism

Observing the 20th anniversary of the organization Hamas, rallies and processions expressing support took place throughout the Gaza Strip. Supporters of the organization carrying green Hamas flags marched throughout the towns to express their support. At the same time, specially ordered cars brought supporters from all over the Gaza Strip to the main rally in Gaza City.

The central rally, entitled “Dawn of Victory from the Heart of the Siege,” was held at Al-Katiba square in the city. As the hours passed, the number of people present grew. Around noon, when the proceedings began, hundreds of thousands had come to see the Hamas leadership, headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who declared: “This mass rally proves that if someone puts his faith in God, is faithful to the national principles, says no to recognition of Israel and conducts clean politics, his popularity increases. That is Hamas. … Only the path of jihad and resistance will lead to the liberation of Palestine, Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque, not the path of negotiations, meetings, smiles and kisses.”

Osama Mezini, one of the leaders of Hamas, addressed the issue of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Hamas in June 2006. “Gilad Shalit will not see the light of day before the Palestinian prisoners leave the Israeli prisons,” Mr. Mezini said.

Hamas member of parliament Mushir al-Masri added that “the departure of the Zionist enemy from the Gaza Strip will not be similar to his entry. The Gaza Strip will become the graveyard of his soldiers.”

From Damascus, the head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Mashal, wrote a special article that was published on the Hamas Web site: “It is a great mistake to think that Hamas is in trouble or suffers from a lack of legitimacy. It is the people that decides and supports the organization,” Mr. Mashal wrote. “Hamas is stronger than ever in spite of the international boycott and is ready to fight back and realize the objective of liberation of Palestine. The Palestinian people is able and also willing to initiate a third and fourth Intifada until the hour of victory comes.”

Israeli Intelligence Officials In Midst Of Persuasion Campaign

A delegation of Israeli intelligence officials is about to complete a series of urgent meetings in the United States with the goal of proving to the Americans that the Iranian nuclear weapons program was definitely still in development.

Israeli officials believe that the Iranians have since launched a new production line that is not fully known about by Western officials. The Israeli intelligence officials told their American counterparts that the Iranians have a long record of deceiving Western agents and of covering up the tracks of their true activity.

Another formal round of meetings between intelligence officials from Israel and the United States is slated to be held shortly as part of the Israeli effort to persuade the Americans that it is impossible to risk working on the assumption that Iran is not trying to obtain nuclear weapons. The Israeli delegation might divulge information to their American counterparts in the course of these meetings that they refrained from sharing until now due to “information security” concerns.

Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter on Saturday spoke out vehemently against the report. “Something went wrong with the American program that analyzes the severity of the threat of nuclear weapons in Iran,” said Mr. Dichter. “One needs to hope that the United States will know how to rectify that.

“The mistaken American preconception about the Iranian nuclear [program] could lead to a regional Yom Kippur in which Israel will be one of the threatened countries, but not only Israel,” warned Mr. Dichter. “The size of the area that is threatened by Iran is equivalent to the range of missiles in its possession and includes countries in Europe and North Africa.”

Mr. Dichter added, “A mistaken preconception by the leading superpower in the world is not merely a domestic American affair. This ought to trouble Israel and other countries that are close to the United States no less than it does us.”

In response to a question as to whether Israel has the capability to attack Iran, Mr. Dichter said: “Despite the fact that Israel is ranked fourth in the world in arms exports, it is not a superpower. It is a state, and it can be a superpower for only a few hours. A superpower has to stand at the front of the struggle against the Iranian nuclear threat.”

Mr. Dichter warned about other possible repercussions that the mistaken American preconception could have. “Those very same intelligence agencies that made a mistaken decision about Iran might now make a mistaken decision about the Palestinians. The American preconception might be might be mistaken with respect to their ability to judge whether the Palestinians have met their commitments according to the first phase of the road map and place Israel in an uncomfortable situation in Judea and Samaria.”

At the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting held yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert scolded Mr. Dichter for speaking up against the American government. Mr. Dichter looked the other way when Mr. Olmert was speaking to him, relating to Mr. Olmert as if he were a lame duck Israeli prime minister.

©The Bulletin 2007

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Previous articleIncisive Commentary
Next articleHamas Bases To Be Targeted By Israelis
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.