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>Israel Faxx
>JN Aug. 1, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 131

Israel Threatens Lebanon for Draining of Water Supply


The Hatzbani River, which runs from southern Lebanon to northern Israel, is being taxed beyond agreed-upon limits by the Lebanese authorities.

Israel says that if the excessive pumping does not end, it will halt its supply of water to other south Lebanon villages and consider military action.

Israel is currently in the midst of a very serious drought, and the waters of the Hatzbani are a critical source of water.

Palestinians Call for Revenge

By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli combat helicopters have attacked a Palestinian militant group in the West Bank town of Nablus, killing at least eight people. Helicopter gun ships blasted offices of the militant Islamic group Hamas in Nablus.

Two senior members of Hamas' political wing, Jamal Mansur and Jamal Salim, died in the attack. Two children, who were brothers, were also killed.

After the attack, Palestinians poured into the streets of Nablus crying in anguish and calling for revenge. Palestinian officials are describing the killings as a "massacre," and the Palestinian Authority called for a two-day period of mourning.

Speaking in Gaza, Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin said "the Israeli people will pay a heavy price" for the attack. Hamas has carried out numerous bombings against Israel in recent months, and has warned it is planning additional attacks.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in a statement, said Hamas members had carried out acts of terror in the past, and were planning more attacks in the future. The statement expressed regret for the deaths of the children.

Israel has carried out a series of targeted killings, described by Palestinians as assassinations, as part of a policy to halt terrorist bombings against Israelis. Palestinians say about 50 people have been targeted since the uprising against Israeli occupation began more than 10 months ago.

The United States condemned the Israeli attack, calling it "excessive" and "highly provocative." The British government also condemned the attack, saying it could not accept Israel's targeted assassination of Palestinian militants.

Iraqi Incursion into Jordan

Gamla News Service

Last week, DEBKA-Net-Weekly and the second largest electronic news site in the U.S., World Net Daily, broke the news about Iraqi commandos being in Jordan. This is undoubtedly the most important military development in the 10 months of the Palestinian confrontation with Israel.

World Watch Daily picked up the story after its senior correspondent verified it from a high-placed source in Amman. That source noted that certain unidentified forces were at pains to suppress the information.

Other news reports cited the same high-placed Jordanian source as disclosing that a second Iraqi force was now poised on the Jordanian frontier, almost 10 times the number of the first wave of invaders - an estimated 10,000-18,000 troops.

In addition, the U.S. investigative publication Global Strafor reported from Washington that the U.S. is on the point of launching a military strike against Iraq.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources learned that the troops' mission is to reach the Israeli border, cross the Jordan River and move into the main Palestinian cities of the West Bank - Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus and Bethlehem - and fight alongside the Palestinians.

The invading units are highly trained and well-equipped commandos able to operate and survive in the field for long periods when cut off from their headquarters and sources of supply.

Saddam Hussein secretly appointed his eldest son, Qusay, supreme commander of what the Iraqi president is now describing as "the Iraqi-Jordanian-Israeli front."

DEBKA-Weekly-Net sources in Jerusalem and Washington reported that King Abdullah has asked President George W. Bush for American intervention against the Iraqi threat. He also turned to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon to invoke the secret Israeli-Jordanian defense pact signed by the late King Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin that obliges Israel to act against military or terrorist elements endangering the existence of the Kingdom of Jordan or the Hashemite throne.

U.S. Navy Steers Clear of Haifa Port

By Aluf Benn (Courtesy of Ha'Aretz)

Ships of the American Sixth Fleet have not anchored in Haifa port since shortly after the Intifada began, leading to concern here for the health of the port-based economy and the state of relations with the U.S.

The official reason given to Israeli officials was concern for the safety of the crews and the general prohibition imposed on Sixth Fleet ships anchoring in Middle East ports since the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen on October 12, last year. The blast killed 17 American sailors and injured 39 others.

Until the Cole bombing, Sixth Fleet ships anchored regularly in Haifa. Aircraft carriers and other larger ships anchored outside the port and their crews contributed about a million dollars a day in tourist income to the city.

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