Newsletter : 4fax1109.txt
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Iran Threatens Retaliation if Nuclear Plants are Hit
Iran threatened on Monday to strike back at Israel or any other country that attacked
its nuclear facilities. U.S. and Israeli officials accuse Iran of seeking to develop
atomic bombs under cover of a civilian nuclear program. Iran denies the charges saying it
only intends to produce electricity from nuclear power plants. "If Israel or any other
country attacks any site in Iran, we know no limits to threaten their interests," Deputy
Revolutionary Guards Commander Mohammad-Baqer Zolqadr said. "That means anywhere in the
world, within their borders or outside it," he told reporters.
Palestinian Leaders Trying to Visit Arafat Despite Wife's Objections
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and his predecessor Mahmoud Abbas,
secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, arrived in Paris on Monday
night to check on the condition of Yasir Arafat, after Arafat's wife publicly accused them
of seeking to "bury alive" the ailing PA chairman. The delegation is determined to
clarify the exact nature of Arafat's health problems.
The PA leaders departed from Jordan on Monday evening in a private jet and are expected
to go on Tuesday morning to the French military hospital where Arafat is being treated.
However, a hospital spokesman on Monday said visiting rights were restricted given the
delicate nature of Arafat's health. He remains "stable" in intensive care, Gen. Christian
Estripeau told reporters.
The leaders are also due to meet with French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier and French
President Jacques Chirac to discuss Arafat's medical condition. They are expected to ask
the president to order the Percy Military Hospital where Arafat is hospitalized to present
the delegation with a full report on Arafat's condition - something Mrs. Arafat has so far
In what she called "an appeal to the Palestinian people," broadcast live by the
pan-Arab Al-Jazeera network, Suha Arafat accused Palestinian officials on their way to
Paris of conspiring to usurp the role her husband has held for four decades as Palestinian
leader. "Let it be known to the honest Palestinian people that a bunch of those who want
to inherit are coming to Paris," she screamed in Arabic over the telephone.
"You have to realize the size of the conspiracy. I tell you they are trying to bury Abu
Ammar alive," she continued, using Arafat's nom de guerre. "He is all right and he is
going home. God is great." She said she was calling from Arafat's bedside at the French
military hospital, where the 75-year-old leader has been in intensive care since last
With Arafat clinging to life, Mrs. Arafat has been one of a handful of people to see
her husband and has tightly controlled information on his condition. Palestinian officials
have grumbled that Mrs. Arafat, who has spent the past three years living in France, has
gained too much power.
"It's an absurd situation that Suha is sitting there and deciding when, how and who,"
deputy Palestinian cabinet minister Sufian Abu Zaida, told Army Radio. "This is a woman
who hasn't seen her husband for three years. It is bizarre that at the end of his days,
his wife decides who enters and who does not. Yasir Arafat is not the private property of
Suha Arafat," Abu Zaida continued. Abdel Rahim said Arafat "does not belong to a small
family but to the entire Palestinian nation."
Sources in the defense establishment believe Tuesday will be the day on which the
Palestinians will ask to disconnect Arafat from life support and announce his death.
Tuesday night marks Lailat al-Kader, the night Muslims believe God revealed the Koran to
the prophet Mohammed. The death of the Palestinian leader on that day will, therefore, be
Preparing for Arafat's Funeral
Israel's police have prepared "Operation New Reality" for Yasir Arafat's death, funeral
and aftermath. Worst-case eventualities for which the security forces have prepared
include an out-of-control mass funeral procession, including a possible attempt to kidnap
the body and bury it in Jerusalem.
Once Arafat is finally declared dead, the police will go into high alert: all vacations
will be canceled, Arabs will not be allowed to enter the Temple Mount or the Machpelah
Cave in Hebron, and police and army helicopters will fly over areas where riots are
feared. The IDF will declare closures in Judea and Samaria, and will encircle the
PA-controlled cities. Protection of some public figures will be enhanced for fear of
"revenge" killings, and reinforcements will be sent to prisons holding Israel's 4,000 Arab
security prisoners. Similarly, security will be enhanced around Jewish towns in Yesha, at
border crossings, and in crowded areas.
What to Do with Arafat's Billions?
Al-Jazeera has reported that a "bitter fight [has] broken out over who should control
[Arafat's] fortune, estimated to be between $4.2 billion and $6.5 billion." This is
probably the highest estimate of Arafat's wealth, with others ranging between $300 million
and $3 billion. A report by Forbes magazine in March of 2003 reported that Arafat was
rated #6 on the list of the world's richest "Kings, Queens and Despots." A CBS report last
year stated, "U.S. officials estimate Arafat's personal nest egg at between $1 billion and
It is widely known that Arafat purposely blurred the line between money given to the
PLO, the Palestinian Authority and himself, and that it will not be easy to separate them
once his death is finalized. Al-Jazeera reports that he owns a number of hotels and
holiday resorts in Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, and Austria; is the main shareholder
in two cellular telephone companies operating in Tunisia and Algeria; and is in
partnership in some of his businesses with Arab politicians and entrepreneurs such as
Rifaat Assad, a brother of the late Syrian President Hafez Assad.
A CBS "60 Minutes" report of March 2003 gave many details about Arafat's fortune and
how he misused it. Excerpts: "Arafat diverted nearly $1 billion in public funds to ensure
his political survival, but a lot more is unaccounted for... Although the money for [his]
portfolio came from public funds like Palestinian taxes, virtually none of it was used for
the Palestinian people; it was all controlled by Arafat. And, [accountant] Prince says,
none of these dealings were made public...
"Martin Indyk, a top adviser on the Middle East in the Clinton administration and now
head of the Saban Center, a Washington think-tank, says Arafat was always traveling the
world, looking for handouts... "Arafat for years would cry poor, saying, 'I can't pay the
salaries, we're gonna have a disaster here, the Palestinian economy is going to
collapse,'" says Indyk. And we would all mouth those words: 'The Palestinian economy is
going to collapse if we don't do something about this.' But at the same time, he's
accumulating hundreds of millions of dollars.
"Dennis Ross, who was Middle East negotiator for the first President Bush and President
Clinton, and now heads the Washington Institute for Near East Policy [says that] Arafat's
'walking-around money' financed a vast patronage system. 'I used to see that people came
in, you know, with their requests,' Ross says. 'I need a phone. I need an operation. I
need a job.' Arafat had money to dispense. All told, U.S. officials estimate Arafat's
personal nest egg at between $1 billion and $3 billion...
"According to Israeli officials, [Suha Arafat] gets $100,000 a month from Arafat out of
the Palestinian budget, and lives lavishly in Paris on this allowance. He also uses the
money to bolster his own standing. Both Israeli and U.S. sources say those recent
outpourings of support at Arafat's compound were 'rent-a-rallies,' and that Arafat has
spent millions to support terrorists and purchase weapons.
"'Did he steal from his own people? He defines himself as being the embodiment of the
Palestinian people', Ross answers. 'So what's good for him is good for them. Did they
benefit? The answer is no. Did they lose? The answer is yes...'"
"The PLO's former treasurer told us he saw Saddam Hussein hand Arafat a $50 million
check for supporting him during the first Gulf War. And there were other large gifts from
the KGB and the Saudis. Ross says, Arafat used to say to me, 'Where's my money? You need
to go to the Saudis and get my money.' It was never the Palestinians' money."
It is not known exactly what disease Arafat has, as leukemia and cancer have been ruled
out. Hospital spokesmen have given practically no information, leaving the field open for
speculation. At least two prominent political figures imply that Arafat has AIDS - and
Arab affairs expert Dr. Mordechai Keidar says that it is a popular theory in the
Palestinian Authority as well.
Former White House speechwriter David Frum wrote recently in National Review Online
that Arafat's illness is well known, but has been kept under wraps by the mainstream
media. "We know he has a blood disease that is depressing his immune system," writes
Frum. "We know that he has suddenly dropped considerable weight -- possibly as much as
one-third of all his body weight. We know that he is suffering intermittent mental
dysfunction. What does this sound like?" Two weeks ago, former US federal prosecutor John
Loftus told ABC radio that Arafat is dying of AIDS, and that the CIA has known about this
for a while.
Arutz-7 recently quoted former Romanian deputy foreign intelligence chief Ion Pacepa,
the highest-ranking intelligence officer ever to have defected from the former Soviet
bloc, regarding Arafat's murderous tendencies. Pacepa's memoirs also have much to say
about Arafat's homosexuality, noting that the Romanian government bugged Arafat and
recorded his debauchery with his bodyguards. Pacepa quotes Constantin Munteaunu, a
general assigned to tutor Arafat about the West on behalf of the Romanian government, as
saying, "I've never before seen so much cleverness, blood and filth all together in one
man." After reading Munteaunu's report, Pacepa wrote, "I felt a compulsion to take a
shower whenever I had been kissed by Arafat, or even just shaken his hand."
France Rejects Jewish Call to Probe Muslim Group
France has rejected a U.S.-based Jewish group's call for legal action against one of
the country's largest Muslim organizations that it said was anti-Semitic and linked to the
militant Islamist group Hamas.
Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin declined to follow up a call by the Simon
Wiesenthal Center to probe links between the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF)
and pro-Palestinian groups it says collect money for Hamas and to replace the UOIF
leadership. "We must avoid stigmatizing anyone or jumping to conclusions," he told Europe
1 radio. "It's clear the state is being tough, but it's not its role to jump to
conclusions." The UOIF denied it was anti-Jewish.
The Wiesenthal Center's Paris office urged the government two weeks ago to launch a
probe "leading to the dismantling and possible condemnation of this organization 's
current leadership and its replacement by more moderate voices of French Islam." Its
director Shimon Samuels said the UOIF was "a radical political organization " linked to
the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, who has issued fatwas
(religious decrees) supporting suicide bombers. The Center also linked the UOIF to a
pro-Hamas group banned in the United States.
Israeli Flying Car to Provide Revolutionary Rescue Tool
An aviation vehicle is currently being developed in Israel that can fly amid
skyscrapers and park inside buildings. Its purpose is not to find that elusive parking
place in New York City, but rather to become the most effective life-saving rescue feature
since the ambulance. Called the X-Hawk, the vehicle is a "rotorless" Vertical-Take-Off
and Landing (VTOL) vehicle. Unlike a helicopter, the X-Hawk's propellers are not extended,
but incorporated into the body of the aircraft, enabling it to pull up close to the
windows of tall buildings without danger of collision.
Those unique characteristics make the X-Hawk perfect for rescue and law enforcement
work: evacuating injured people from high-rise buildings, high-speed pursuit and other
daring police activities. The X-Hawk is expected to be able to achieve a maximum speed of
125 mph and to remain airborne for up to 90 minutes (like small helicopters).
Dr. Raffi Yoeli is the driving force behind the X-Hawk. Yoeli served in the Israeli Air
Force as an engineer and received his PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Haifa's Technion
Institute of Technology. He began his civilian career at Israel Aircraft Industries where
he was one of the heads of the aborted Lavi fighter plane project.
Yoeli established the Urban Aerodynamics Company in 2001 for the purpose of developing
an urban aerial vehicle designed specifically for an urban environment. "In a regular
helicopter, if you want to move left, you have to first tilt to the left. Then you have to
correct the movement by tilting to the right in order to straighten out. We eliminate
those movements - a very important point when you're working in constricted air space like
an urban environment," explained Janina Frankel-Yoeli, Urban Aerodynamics Vice President
of Marketing, and Raffi Yoeli's wife.
The X-Hawk is based on all proven, off-the-shelf certified technology, meaning the
engines are already Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) certified, and have been up and running
in other helicopters. "What we've done is integrate the existing technology together with
a patented control system. It's a vane control system; there are rows of vanes on the top
and bottom of the panel - each of the ducts looks and works like a Venetian blind. They
can either turn in unison or in a few degrees in one direction or the other," she
With its ability to go where no helicopter has gone before, the X-Hawk can be a
windfall for emergency rescue workers - whether they're involved in rescue efforts from
buildings, city streets, or even open highways. "The X-Hawk can dock on the side of a
building; it can be of vital use in medical response teams. Until now, you can't use an
air ambulance in the middle of a city. If there's an accident in downtown Manhattan, the
only option is ground police, and you know what traffic there can be like," said
"Even in a situation in which there is more open space, like on a large highway, you
never have aerial responders being the first to arrive. There's always a ground crew
first. They have to make sure the area is clear of wires, debris and other obstacles for
landing. With the X-Hawk, the aerial medical response team can be first, saving precious
minutes in which lives can be saved."
But where the X-Hawk has really dazzled the U.S. rescue professionals who have learned
about the vehicle is in its potential to rescue people from buildings. "We have amazing
potential to save people from buildings, an area that has received tremendous focus since
9/11. We had the fire chief from Washington D.C. visit us recently, and he said, 'that's
great, but what's more important is to get my people in to the top floors of the
"He said it takes on average one minute per story for a firefighter or rescue professional
to get up with equipment. If we're talking about 40 stories, that means the X-Hawk would
be saving 40 minutes. That's a lot of lives that can be saved in 40 minutes," said
Urban Aerodynamics has produced one concept demonstrator of the new aircraft - called
the City Hawk. It has completed 10 hover tests, at a height of six to 10 feet, with a
pilot, and has registered a U.S. patent for the control system. The company is now moving
forward with the development of our X-Hawk prototype vehicles.
According to Hebrew paper Yediot Achronot, an American company that deals with aerial
medical evacuations has asked to be included in the project. The X-Hawk recently showed
its abilities at a conference held by the American Law Enforcement Association, including
representatives from airborne police units. "We're in the design stages for the X-Hawk,
and in the process of raising $10 million for a civil demonstrator. At the same time,
we're approaching the U.S. government and U.S. companies to become partners with us in
developing the X-Hawk for military purposes," said Frankel-Yoeli.
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