Jerusalem – Israel has decided to set a higher “price tag” for the continued Kassam rocket fire. For every Israeli house that is damaged, a base or institution that serves Hamas in Gaza will be bombed.

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and other high-ranking IDF officers recently presented to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert a bank of targets that includes Hamas institutions. These targets can be bombed by the Israeli Air Force if the order is given in the wake of Kassam rocket fire on Sderot and the Gaza periphery communities.

The Israeli prime minister and the defense minister have begun approving the proposed targets. On Sunday night, Mr. Olmert busied himself approving targets that were presented to him by his military secretary, Maj. Gen. Meir Kalifi. The decision to bomb Hamas targets is geared to serve as a substitute for launching an extensive ground operation in the Gaza Strip, which Israel has no intention of undertaking for the time being.

With that having been said, political officials said that for the time being the IDF would also continue to make deep incursions into the Gaza Strip in order to strike at the Kassam rocket cells.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Forces has also stepped up its activity Judea and Samaria.

Before dawn today, the Israeli army arrested 24 key members of Hamas in Nablus, including lecturers from A-Najah University which is based in that city.

Damage To Sderot Industry Estimated

At $12 Million

Kassam rocket fire on Sderot and its environs has caused cumulative damage of about $12 million to the industrial factories in the town, prompting some 200 employees to leave their jobs.

These data were provided by Yehuda Segev, the chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, in the aftermath of the most recent Kassam rocket strike on a factory in the area.

He said that after checking with the factories in the area it became evident that in the past number of months it has become more difficult to find people to fill executive posts, skilled laborers, R&D workers and so forth in the area.

Mr. Segev submitted a formal request to the director of the Israel Finance Ministry’s Tax Authority to compensate the factories in Sderot and the Gaza periphery communities for fortification costs.

Mr. Segev said that the trying security situation in Sderot and the Gaza periphery communities had forced the industrial factories (some 90 factories and workshops) to spend millions of shekels to fortify buildings, strengthen bomb shelters and purchase mobile secure rooms.

He noted in his letter to the Israel Tax Authority that these costs were geared to protect the workers’ lives and to allow continued work in the factory, even if at a lower volume.

Winograd Report: No Expected Resignation

Contrary to what it promised, the Winograd Committee will not be able publish its final report by the end of this year. This is because the members of the committee have not yet finished writing the report. It appears that the report will only be published following

President Bush’s visit to Israel. Kalman Gayer, a pollster for Kadima, the political party of Prime Minister Olmert, told the Israeli media that he believed that the prime minister would not resign following the publication of the report.

©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.