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Iran's Salami: We Can Affect half of World's Energy


A senior Iranian commander said Thursday his country can target enemy positions with an unlimited number of self manufactured missiles.

Gen. Hossein Salami, Commander of the air force of the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps, is quoted by Iranian news agency Fars as saying the West tries "to dominate the Middle East through playing a game of endless crises."

He added that Iran "can affect the flow of half of the world energy as soon as it wishes because it is in control of all affairs and issues. And this control cannot be taken away from Iran because it is a geo-strategic influence."

Israel Rejects Prisoner Swap

Israel has rejected Hamas' demands of the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit, the IDF corporal captured and held captive by Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees after a Palestinian tunnel raid into Israel in June 2006. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying that the list of prisoners was "disappointing and creates expectations that we have no chance of meeting.' In turn, it is being reported that Egypt is asking Hamas to lower its demands by 50, reducing the reported number from 650 to 600. Among the 50 are likely the most notorious captured Palestinian terrorist leaders, such as Marwan al-Barghouti. Curiously, the unnamed Egyptian source said, "Nothing is final yet. The deal is still in its first stages." Observers may note that a deal has been `in its first stages' since the close of the Israeli-Hizbullah war in Lebanon over the summer of 2006.

Gates Says Washington to Sell Smart Bombs to Saudi Arabia

By Ha'aretz

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during his visit to Israel that Washington has decided to sell Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs to Saudi Arabia, Ha'aretz has learned.

A recent discussion in Washington raised the possibility that Jerusalem would ask the U.S. not to sell the satellite-guided smart bombs to the Saudis, but it was decided to reject this request.

The Israel Air Force itself has purchased the high-accuracy JDAMs, and used them against Hizbullah targets during the Second Lebanon War.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz expressed Israel's opposition to the sale of the weapons to Saudi or other Persian Gulf states during his visit to the U.S. a few weeks ago. Peretz said Israel was concerned the weapons might fall into terrorist hands. Israel also argues that the presence of such weapons in the Arab countries undermines Washington's pledge that Israel would enjoy a qualitative edge in the region - attained mainly by the possession of advanced weaponry.

Articles by Arab security experts in the Western and the Arab press recently have argued that Israel's opposition to the sale of advanced arms to the Arab states has placed the country in a strategic contradiction. According to the head of the Kuwait Center for Strategic Studies, Dr. Sami al-Faraj, various countries in the Gulf have armed themselves as a deterrent against Iran, but while Israel has a great interest in creating focuses of deterrence against Iran, it expresses automatic opposition when other countries seek to obtain these weapons.

Washington has rejected such requests from Israel before: surrounding the sale of AWACs and advanced F-16s to Saudi Arabia, and Harpoon missiles to Egypt. Arab experts said satellite-guided weapons can be purchased from Europe or Russia, although there is no comparison between European and Russian technology and that of the U.S.

The main component of the JDAM is not the bomb itself, but rather its tail kit, which can also be installed on an ordinary bomb. The target location is fed to the system by satellite, which can also be done by computer during flight. The computer determines the best moment for the pilot to release the bomb. Pilots and other experts say this type of bomb "can be aimed through a window."

Battery Malfunction Prevented Major Terror Attack


Two months ago, security forces arrested an Islamic Jihad terrorist in the city of Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv, after he ditched his explosive device in a Rishon Lezion dumpster.

An indictment filed against him this week revealed that the would-be bomber attempted to activate the device, which weighed 15 kilograms, while traveling on a bus from Jaffa to Rishon Lezion, but failed to do so due to a malfunction, apparently because the batteries were faulty.

The Samaria military court ruled that 25-year-old Omar Ahmed Abu al-Rob of Jilabun would remain in custody until the conclusions of the criminal proceedings against him.

The investigation material revealed that it was sheer luck which prevented the death and injury of dozens of Israelis. The terrorist made his way from Jenin to Tel Aviv via Jerusalem, taking advantage of breaches in the separation fence. The preparations for the attack were carried out comprehensively.

A day before the bombing was scheduled to take place, the terrorist received a bag containing a device with an on-off switch and batteries. He received orders that moving the switch to the on mode would cause the device to explode.

The terrorist took a taxi from the Jenin area to Ramallah, and then traveled by taxi to the Qalandiya area. He continued to an area where the separation fence was breached and entered Israel. He took an Israeli bus to Jerusalem, and then traveled by taxi to Tel Aviv.

The entire time, he was carrying the explosive bag on his back, but the batteries were not connected. The investigation revealed that when he arrived in Tel Aviv, he got off the taxi and connected the batteries to the explosive device. The batteries were apparently inserted incorrectly, preventing the device from exploding.

The would-be bomber took the switch out of his back and got into a taxi, looking for the right place to carry out the attack. He asked the driver to drive him to Jaffa. During the drive, he spotted a bus stop and asked the taxi driver to stop the car.

In his investigation, the terrorist said that a "long" bus arrived at the stop, packed with passengers on their way to Rishon Lezion. He paid the driver and took a seat at the center of the bus in order to kill as many passengers as possible.

The would-be bomber told his investigators that he began citing Koran verses in his mind, and then pressed the switch and moved it to an on mode, but the bag did not explode. The terrorist did not give up and pressed the switch four more times.

After understanding that a technical malfunction prevented the bombing, he continued to Rishon Lezion, where he got off the bus. He ditched the explosive device in a dumpster at a city park and called a friend living in Bat Yam, informing him that he was on his way to his house.

At the same time, security forces received intelligence information and closed the entire Rishon Lezion and Bat Yam area. The terrorist arrived at his friend's house and the latter attempted to convince him to try and carry out the attack again by entering a restaurant with the explosive bag. However, it was too late, as security forces raided the house and arrested him. The investigation revealed that Abu al-Rob had been involved in a number of attempts to target IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens.

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