Jerusalem – Yesterday morning, a Hamas spokesman released a letter to the Israeli media saying that Hamas would not act against anyone who fires missiles into Israel. It said that “Israel can forget about its dream of Palestinians interfering with Palestinian resistance.”
In essence, less than a week into the latest cease-fire, the Palestinians have renewed daily mortar and missile strikes into Israel, thus violating the cease-fire.
On Tuesday, at least three Kassam-class missiles fired from the Gaza Strip rammed into the southern Israel city of Sderot. One of the missiles landed near a home and several people were hospitalized for shock. The Islamic Jihad accepted responsibility for the missile strike.
Israeli officials said their military would not respond to the Palestinian missile salvo.
Effie Cohen, whose home suffered a direct hit in Sderot, stood in the shambles of his kitchen that was destroyed on Tuesday in Sderot, where he shook his head with disgust and declared that he had no faith in the government of Israel.
This was the second Palestinian attack in two days from the Gaza Strip. On Monday, Palestinian gunners fired a mortar shell into Israel. “The prime minister has warned that the cease-fire could be short and fragile,” the office of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a statement after the Kassam strike.
US Sees Hezollah Operate In Venezuela
The Middle East Newsline has confirmed that the United States has determined that the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah was operating in Venezuela.
The Bush administration said the government in Venezuela was cooperating with Hezbollah. Officials said the government was also relaying funds to Hezbollah.
“It is extremely troubling to see the government of Venezuela employing and providing safe harbor to Hezbollah facilitators and fundraisers,” said Adam Szubin, the director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
On June 18, the Treasury Department sanctioned a Venezuelan diplomat identified as a financier of Hezbollah in the South American state. The diplomat was identified as Ghazi Nasr Al Din, banned from doing business with Americans or in the United States.
The U.S. Treasury order also sanctioned Fawzi Kan’an and two Venezuelan-based travel agencies, Biblos and Hilal. Officials said Mr. Kan’an, who denied any link to Hezbollah, owns or controls these agencies.
Mr. Nasr Al Din was president of the Shi’a Islamic Center in Caracas and is suspected of laundering funds to Hezbollah. In 2006, he brought two representatives to Caracas to solicit donations. In 2005, Mr. Nasr Al Din paid for Hezbollah members to attend a training course in Iran.
“Nasr Al Din has counseled Hezbollah donors on fundraising efforts and has provided donors with specific information on bank accounts where the donors’ deposits would go directly to Hezbollah,” the treasury official said.
Mr. Kan’an was described as another financier of Hezbollah and traveled with militia representatives to Iran. The treasury official said Mr. Kan’an used Biblos to funnel money to Lebanon.
“Kan’an has met with senior Hezbollah officials in Lebanon to discuss operational issues, including possible kidnappings and terrorist attacks,” the treasury official said. “Further, Kan’an has also traveled with other Hezbollah members to Iran for training.”
“They want to kill as many people as they can, they want it to be a big splash,” former CIA intelligence officer Bob Baer said. “They cannot have an operation fail, and I don’t think they will. They’re the A-team of terrorism.”
At the same time, the Bush administration has been examining a Lebanese request for a $400 million arms deal. Under the project, the United States would relay hundreds of anti-tank guided missiles, light weapons and military equipment to the Lebanese army, which in May refused to stop the Hezbollah offensive throughout the country.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2008