Newsletter : 7fax0119.txt
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Israel Asks Japan for Support
By VOA News
Israel's foreign minister says that Iran is a threat to all of the Middle East.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called for international support for governments run by
moderates, such as in Jordan, to counter Iran.
She said that Iran, which the United States and other governments suspect of seeking to
build nuclear weapons, is not only a threat to Israel but to the Middle East.
Japan's Foreign Ministry said Tokyo invited Livni to upgrade relations. Last year, when
former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited Israel, the two governments
agreed to seek regular high-level meetings.
Israel Urges Silence on U.S. Weapons to Palestinians
Israeli leaders are pressuring senior officials in the Israeli Defense Forces to put
aside reservations regarding U.S. plans to train, finance and arm militias associated with
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, WND has learned.
The senior IDF officials fear some of the U.S. aid, weapons and equipment slated to be
provided to the Palestinians will be used to attack the Jewish state, according to defense
The Israeli army officials have petitioned to make their objections public in
conversations with U.S. and European diplomats, defense sources said. "We are being
pressured from the (Israeli) political echelon not to interfere with American plans to
provide weapons and equipment to Fatah," said a senior IDF source. "The concerns are that
the weapons and equipment will be shared with elements of Fatah that regularly attack
Israeli troops and plan attacks against Israeli civilians.
"We've been told this (American aid) is a decision for the prime minister and minister
of Defense and that our public objections are inappropriate," the IDF source told WND.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last week told reporters the U.S. is working with
Fatah to create a unified Palestinian security force, which she said would combine Fatah
factions and afford more control over the distribution of American aid and weapons.
The Bush administration reportedly will grant $86.4 million to strengthen the Fatah
forces, including Force 17, Abbas' security detail, which also serves as de facto police
units in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
The U.S. aid is meant to bolster Fatah, which the U.S. considers moderate, against
Hamas. Fatah and Hamas have engaged in weeks of deadly factional clashes after Abbas' call
last month for new Palestinian elections in a move widely seen as an attempt to dismantle
the Hamas-led PA.
Referring to the weapons previously supplied to Fatah with little control over
distribution, Rice stated, "It was envisioned that the Palestinian Authority would have
security forces. The problem is those security forces broke [up] into essentially personal
militias under Arafat. They broke into too many that were often warring with each other."
Rice announced U.S. military envoys in Israel created "a plan for security forces that
can be part of the solution, not part of the problem. And this plan is not just to equip
them and train them, [but] it is also to professionalize them, to unify them, to put them
under a single command."
"This is a train-and-equip program that is going to move over time," Rice said, "so it
is not as if you simply arm the Palestinians on Day One and then have no input or control
over what happens from then on. I think as a result you can maintain some control on what
is being done."
According to Palestinian security sources speaking to WND, Fatah's strongman in Gaza,
Mahmoud Dahlan, has been tasked with leading the effort to create the unified Fatah
security forces under the auspices of Keith Dayton, the U.S. security coordinator in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip.
WND has learned the new unified Fatah forces, currently being set up in the Gaza Strip
and West Bank, are set to include leaders of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror
organization from Nablus and Jenin in the northern West Bank and from the Brigade's
leadership in the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is the declared "military wing" of Fatah. Together with
Islamic Jihad, the Brigades has taken responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel
the past two years, including an attack in Tel Aviv in April that killed U.S. teenager
Daniel Wultz and nine Israelis. The Brigades also has carried out scores of deadly
shooting and rocket attacks against Israeli civilians in recent months.
According to sources in the Brigades, Dahlan held a series of meetings in recent weeks
with the terror group's northern West Bank leadership, members of which also serve as
officials in Fatah's Preventative Security Services, a major Palestinian police force.
Dahlan told the Brigades leaders who are also members of the Preventative Security
Services they would be part of the new U.S.-backed unified forces, which the U.S. expects
to fight against Hamas, the Brigades sources said.
"Dahlan said he is with us. Whatever we need, arms, money, it will be provided to us as
part of the new (unified) security forces," a senior Brigades leader said. "The project
this time is supposed to be arming Fatah against Hamas, but Allah forbid, I will never
shoot against my brothers in Hamas," the Brigades leader said. "The weapons and aid will
protect the institutions of Fatah and be used to fight Israeli occupation."
All Brigades leaders are also members of Fatah. Abbas last June appointed senior Al
Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leader Mahmoud Damra as commander of Force 17. Damra, who was
arrested by Israel in November, was on the Jewish state's most-wanted list of terrorists.
Scores of Brigades leaders openly serve as members of Force 17.
Senior Brigades leaders in Nablus told WND they previously participated in American
training programs. Among American-trained Brigades leaders is a terrorist who openly
boasts of carrying out anti-Israel shooting attacks and involvement in planning four
Abu Yousuf, a Fatah militant from Abba's Force 17 security forces who also serves in
the Brigades, told WND while some of the new U.S. aid and weapons may be used in
confrontations against Hamas, the bulk of the American arms and training to Fatah would be
utilized to "hit the Zionists."
"If Israel will deliver what it promised to Abu Mazen (Abbas), [meaning a] withdrawal
from Palestinian lands, including east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, remove all the
checkpoints in the West Bank, release our prisoners, and find a clear solution for our
refugees, we'll control our forces and the distribution of weapons
"But if Israel doesn't deliver, and we find ourselves manipulated by Israel, we cannot
guarantee members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Force 17 will not use these weapons
against Israel. Our goal is to change the occupation," said Abu Yousuf. "It's unnatural to
think these American weapons won't be used against the Israelis."
Meanwhile, Muhammad Abdel-Al, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees terror
organization, told WND his group would infiltrate the new unified security force aided by
the U.S. "We have members in the Fatah security organizations, including in Force 17, who
will be a part of this American training," Abdel-Al said. "There are activists in Fatah
affiliated with all the Palestinian groups, including ours, and Hamas. We vow that should
(American) arms reach us, we will use them against the occupation and the Zionist
The Popular Resistance Committees is a coalition of several Palestinian terror groups
and is responsible for scores of anti-Israel shootings and rocket attacks. The Committees
is also accused of carrying out a bombing in 2003 on a U.S. convoy in Gaza in which three
U.S. contractors were killed.
A Committees leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, told WND members of his
organization who serve in Fatah security forces, including those slated for U.S. training,
have been instructed to pledge allegiance to Abbas and keep their membership in the
Also, Abu Oubaida, a spokesman for Hamas so-called "military wing," told WND last week
his terror group will obtain any weapons transferred to Fatah militias or purchased by
Fatah using the incoming U.S. aid.
"I am sure that like in the past, this $86 million from America will find its way to
the Hamas resistance via the honorable persons in the Fatah security organizations,
including in Force 17. I can confirm 100 percent that this money and purchased weapons
will find its way to Hamas," said Abu Oubaida.
The Hamas spokesman and other Hamas officials said "scores" of Fatah militants have
switched over to Hamas in recent months. Sources close to Hamas said the Fatah militants,
including members of Force 17, worked with Hamas after receiving larger paychecks from the
terror group. "When they join Hamas, they bring along their new weapons," said a Hamas
Arab Convert Arrested For Aiding Jihad Brother
An Arab who converted to Judaism and moved from the PA to Haifa was indicted Thursday
for conspiring with the enemy and contacting a foreign agent his brother, an
Islamic Jihad terrorist.
Assaf Ben-David, born Hussam Hafez Mahmoud Suafta, converted to Judaism and left the
PA-controlled village of Tubas, near Shechem once he received Israeli citizenship. He
recently returned to Islam after living for years as a Hareidi-religious Jew and is
accused of trying to pass materials for manufacturing explosives to his brother Salah, a
member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group
Salah was killed on December 20th in clashes with the IDF in Tubas before he could
receive the nitric acid from his brother.
Hussam Suafta, 39, was arrested a number of times for taking part in riots and
anti-Israel attacks during the Intifada of the late 1980s. He worked in Israel illegally
and in 1993 began the conversion process, even enrolling in a Jerusalem yeshiva. Three
years later he received Israeli citizenship and changed his name to Assaf Ben-David. He
later married a Jewish woman, adopted her children from a previous marriage and received
the status of an oleh chadash, a new immigrant to Israel.
Hussam was in touch with Salah by telephone in recent months and met with him in Jenin
in October, when he agreed to procure a large amount of nitric acid. The two developed
codes in order to evade detection and Salah gave Hussam several SIM cards to be used to
evade Israeli surveillance.
Salah was killed resisting arrest on December 20th and Hussam converted to Islam anew
just before he was apprehended on December 26. Two of Suafta's brothers are also in
Israeli prisons after taking part in plans to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel
Israeli Scientists Developing Ways to Fix Heart and Brain
Israeli researchers at the Technion in Haifa have created beating heart tissue from
stem cells while Weizmann Institute scientists have found an enzyme that may be able to
prevent brain damage.
Technion scientists Dr. Shulamit Levenberg and Prof. Lior Gepstein have successfully
used embryonic stem cells to create blood vessels within the tissue, which should enable
its incorporation into the heart's vascular system.
The researchers created the heart tissue through differentiation of human embryonic
stem cells into heart muscle and endothelial cells. They then grew the two together with
fibroblasts, embryonic supporting cells.
The advance, according to the Circulation Research Journal that wrote up the study,
could eventually enable the repair of heart tissue caused by heart disease and heart
attacks. Tissue irreversibly dies during a heart attack when blood is cut off to a section
of the heart.
"Without this system, acceptance could be prolonged and the cells could die during this
time period," Levenberg told Israel21c. "In our work, we demonstrated the importance of
the endothelial cells (cells that build blood vessels), which encourage differentiation of
the heart cells and their organization, in addition to their multiplication. That is - it
is important to create heart cell tissue, with all its component cells, in this case the
endothelial cells, heart cells and cells that support the blood vessels."
The growth of the cells took place on a special porous and biodegradable scaffold
designed by the Technion researchers.
The next step is examining whether such tissue, implanted in the heart, would gain
acceptance and be incorporated by the heart into the larger vascular system. Levenberg is
optimistic. She believes that the development will one day lead to a cure to degenerative
diseases. Scientific American Journal named her one of the world's 50 leading scientists
in 2006 for her work.
Another development, discovered by scientists at the Weizmann Institute, may facilitate
the revival of dead brain cells caused by head trauma, stroke or disease.
The new method gets rid of excess glutamate, which floods damaged areas of the brain,
leading to the death of larger areas after a trauma. Glutamate carries impulses from one
nerve cell to another. When brain cells are damaged, it spills out and overexcites the
cells it touches, killing them as well.
Weizmann Institute Prof. Vivian Teichberg, Prof. Yoram Shapira of the Soroka Medical
Center and Dr. Alexander Zlotnik of Ben Gurion University of the Negev have developed a
possible solution that may bypass many of the delivery problems with the drugs available
for the purpose.
They discovered that a certain enzyme injected into the blood of rats acted to contain
and absorb the glutamate as it spilled into the brain, preventing most of the damage. The
method will next be tested in clinical trials to examine whether it could have a similar
effect on a human brain.
Iranian Minister: Zionist Attack on Iran is Suicide
Iran's Minister of Defense, Brigadier General Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, has described
"recent rumors" of an Israeli plan to strike Iranian nuclear facilities as a
"psychological operation," adding that such an attack would be a "suicidal act for the
Zionist regime," according to a report released Thursday by the Fars News Agency.
On January 7, the London Sunday Times published a report in which it was claimed that
"Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran's uranium enrichment facilities with
tactical nuclear weapons."
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Sudanese minister of defense, who is
visiting Tehran, the Fars News Agency said Najjar was responding to "the recent rumors
about the likely invasion of the Iranian nuclear sites by the Zionist regime."I think they
are not stupid enough to even think about such an action, because their smallest move will
confront the most severe response by Tehran, which will make them regret the action for
ever," Najjar was quoted as saying.
"This is a bluff which serves psychological operation and aims to assess the reaction
of the Iranian people and officials," Najjar added. According to the report, the Iranian
defense minister also said that "the Israelis have taken back their utterances in this
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