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Yassin: Jewish State in Europe, Not in Israel


Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin proposes that Israel be replaced by a Jewish state somewhere in Europe. In an interview with Der Spiegel in Germany, Yassin said that the purpose of the "Palestinian struggle is so that all Palestinians can live on their homeland... I am against a Jewish state on Palestinian land. The Jews should found a state in Europe."

Hamas Planned Attacks in North America


A Canadian Hamas member planned to assassinate a senior Israeli official in the United States, and target leaders of the American and Canadian Jewish communities as well.

A gag order was lifted Monday permitting the publication of the planned Hamas terrorist attacks by Jamal Akal, 23, from Nutzeirat in Gaza, just south of Netzarim. He was taken into Israeli custody five weeks ago. Akal was living in Canada for several years and holds Canadian citizenship.

Security officials reported that he arrived in Gaza recently for what he reported was a family visit. It was learned, however, that he was finalizing plans to assassinate a senior Israeli official visiting the United States, as well as perpetrate other attacks.

Akal admitted to his interrogators that after arriving in Gaza, he met with Ahmed Wahabe, a senior Hamas terrorist from Nutzeirat, who asked him if he could assist Hamas in Canada. After Akal agreed, Wahabe instructed him to gather information via the media on any senior Israeli official who might be arriving in the U.S., and to learn as much about his itinerary as possible.

Wahabe also asked Akal to attack members of the U.S. and Canadian Jewish communities, either by shooting or by bombing their homes and/or cars. "New York is an easy place to find Jews," Wahabe said, and advised him to train with an M-16 rifle. Wahabe also told Akal to contact people in the mosques in which he prayed in Canada, and raise funds, ostensibly for the families of suicide bombers. In actuality, however, the funds would be used for purchasing a weapon and financing his expenses in monitoring his prospective targets and in perpetrating the attacks.

Three days before Akal was due to return to Canada, Wahabe contacted him again, taught him how to use an M-16, and practiced with him near Netzarim. Wahabe also gave Akal theoretical and practical instruction in making bombs.

Experts Ponder Impact of Failed Palestinian Ceasefire Talks

By Greg LaMotte (VOA-Cairo)

Sunday's failed ceasefire talks among Palestinian factions meeting in Cairo have political analysts and senior government officials in the region pondering what the eventual impact of that failure might be.

Not only did the three and a half days of meetings fail to produce agreement to halt hostilities against Israel, Palestinian sources said no agreements of any kind were reached among the Palestinian factions. According to the head of the al-Quds Center for Political Studies in Amman, Jordan, Uraib el-Rantawi, that failure could spell bad news for the Palestinian people.

"It is a step back for the Palestinians," said el-Rantawi. "It is a bad signal, the failure to reach an agreement. It is a very bad signal for the public opinion among the Palestinians themselves. This will give the right-wing government in Israel an excuse not to go ahead with the peace process, [not] to comply with the road map agenda. And I think this will bring pressure on the Palestinian authority to take care about those factions and to go ahead with its agenda to secure the situation in Palestine."

The meeting of the Palestinian factions was hosted by the Egyptian government. The spokesman for the 22-member Arab League in Cairo, Hossam Zaki, said Palestinians would never be able to agree to halt hostilities, unless Israel provides assurances it is willing to do the same.

"We have to bear in mind that this is not a dialogue in a vacuum," explained Zaki. "This is a dialogue that has to be taken in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which means that there's another side to the equation. And the equation is not only Palestinian, it is Palestinian-Israeli. And as long as Israel is not committed to anything, there is no real hope that the Palestinian factions can reach a sustainable kind of deal on the freeze of their activities."

While Israeli officials have insisted only an end to all Palestinian hostilities could pave the way for a mutual ceasefire agreement, they have also said they are willing to scale back military operations in the territories, as long as the relative quiet of recent weeks continues.

The spokesman for the Arab League said that, while the Palestinian factions failed to reach any agreements, the fact they were willing to gather for such a high level meeting should be seen as a desire among Palestinians to achieve peace.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia had hoped the factions would agree to halt attacks against Israel, so he could take such an agreement to the bargaining table with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Officials for both prime ministers have been meeting in an effort to arrange a summit between the two men.

Egyptian Library Pulls Protocols; Lies About It


Egypt's Alexandria Library, renovated recently by UNESCO, had included in its display of manuscripts of Judaism, along with Torah scrolls and other items, the anti-Semitic tract, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. However, following media attention, the item was removed from the display.

The Alexandria Library director, Ismail Siraj A-Din, said that it was a mistake to have displayed it and that it was only shown "as a curiosity." He denied that it was displayed alongside Torah scrolls.

However, according to an interview with the manuscript museum director, Dr. Yusuf Zeidan, in the Nov. 17, 2003, edition of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Usbu, he "decided immediately to place it next to the Torah. Although it is not a monotheistic holy book, it has become one of the sacred [tenets] of the Jews, next to their first constitution, their religious law, [and] their way of life. In other words, it is not merely an ideological or theoretical book."

AG Orders probe into Street Nudity Promo

By Baruch Kra, Ha'aretz Correspondent

Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein ordered the police to launch an investigation of individuals involved in the sales promotion campaign for the Kenvelo clothing company on Monday. The organizers of the campaign are suspected of enticing young men and women into undressing on a public stage in exchange for a free pair of pants or a shirt.

Kenvelo launched its campaign under the slogan, "A shirt for a shirt; pants for pants." A few weeks ago, the company erected a platform in Sheinkin Street in Tel Aviv, and called on passers-by to step up, remove their clothes and, in return, receive shirts and pants from the company. Many of the passers-by went along with the promotion, got up on the stage and undressed.

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