Newsletter : 7fax0828.txt
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Pope's Quote Replaces Hitler on Billboard Pizza Ad
A picture of Adolf Hitler holding a slice of pizza in one hand while performing the
Nazi salute with his other hand proved to be a bad joke for Hell's Pizza in New
The firm took down the billboard poster following protests and has replaced it with a
quote from Pope Benedict saying, "Hell is real and eternal."
Hell's Pizza thought the original billboard was amusing. "We hoped we could get away
with people seeing Hitler with a piece of pizza [and thinking it] funny," said an
advertising official for the pizza company.
Olmert-Abbas Meeting Under Cloud of Hamas Attack Plans
Amid urgent warnings that Hamas terrorists are planning a mammoth attack to be carried
out in Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to meet again with Palestinian
Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday in Jerusalem to discuss an "agreement of
principles" that would form the basis for a final status settlement.
The deputy director of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) told the Cabinet that
Hamas leaders in Damascus have ordered their followers in Judea and Samaria to carry out a
large-scale terror attack in Israel. His statement confirms previous reports that Hamas
has become a growing threat to the control of Abbas' Fatah faction over PA areas in Judea
and Samaria. Fatah was routed from Gaza in a violent coup by Hamas forces in June.
The orders to attack are also intended to undermine diplomatic efforts by Olmert and
Abbas to reach an "agreement of principles" prior to an international Middle East summit
scheduled to be held in November.
The two men are expected to meet as part of their ongoing push to settle the major
differences between Israel and the PA before the rest of the international community
becomes more intensely involved in the process.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is slated to arrive in the region for a meeting
with Abbas in September in preparation for the summit. Olmert previously said he would not
engage in "final status" talks for a new PA Arab state. Final status talks at this point
would contradict the U.S. Roadmap plan, which calls first for the setting of temporary
borders. The Prime Minister has avoided the term "final status," using instead "agreement
of principles" to describe the plan he and Abbas are crafting.
A special Knesset session has been called for next Tuesday at the request of 25 MKs who
claim Olmert has no mandate to engage in final-status talks at this time.
Abbas' rival Fatah faction has received generous financial, military and other support
from Israel, the U.S. and other international sources since its "divorce" from Hamas in
June. The PA unity government led by the two terror organizations dissolved in the wake of
Hamas' bloody takeover of Gaza at that time, while Fatah retained control of PA areas in
Judea and Samaria.
Hamas political advisor Ahmad Yousef was cagey about the group's orders from Damascus,
saying in an interview with Ha'aretz, "There is no change in the Hamas position. Israel is
threatening us and attacking us we are only responding to provocations, " adding
"We do not intend to initiate any action such as the resumption of suicide bombings," but
his counterpart in Gaza, spokesman Fawzi Barhum, refused to confirm or deny the Shin Bet
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet Western-backed Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas here in Jerusalem. Both Israel and the United States want to strengthen Mr.
Abbas after the violent takeover of the Gaza Strip by the Islamic militant group Hamas two
months ago. Hamas routed the forces of the rival Fatah faction, led by Mr. Abbas, who now
heads a moderate government in the West Bank.
Hamas, Fatah Form Joint Terror Group
Hamas and members of the so-called military wing of Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization have been carrying out joint attacks against Israel and
recently formed a new terror group to conduct operations against the Jewish state, top
Fatah militants told WND.
The information comes as the U.S. recently announced large sums of aid to Fatah and
initiated military training programs for West Bank Fatah militias purportedly to back
Abbas' group against Hamas and to isolate Hamas in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
Top leaders of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group told WND their
organization the past few weeks carried out a series of joint attacks with Hamas against
Israeli soldiers operating in the northern West Bank.
They said the Brigades and Hamas formed a new organization called the Fire Belt to
attack Israel, and that this past weekend the new Fire Belt group worked together to lob
grenades at Israeli forces operating in the vicinity of the northern West Bank city of
The Brigades, Fatah's declared "military wing," took credit along with the Islamic
Jihad terror group for every suicide bombing in Israel in 2005 and 2006.
One-hundred-seventy-eight members of the Brigades were granted amnesty last month by Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert as a gesture to bolster Abbas against Hamas and build up Fatah forces
in the West Bank.
Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leaders in Nablus told WND the new Fire Belt group consists of
Brigades members mostly from Nablus who are not on Olmert's official amnesty list.
Abu Nasser, a leader of the Brigades in Nablus and a self-declared top commander of the
Fire Belt group with Hamas, told WND that Fatah militants are "unified" with Hamas and
that the two would attack Israel together.
"Fatah and Hamas are having diplomatic problems but that doesn't mean we are not
unified in the battle against the (Israeli) occupation," he said. "The Fire Belt will
carry out many more attacks. We hope this cooperation will bring the two parties [Fatah
and Hamas] to respect Palestinian unity and safeguard that unity. Our enemy is not Hamas,
it is Israel," said Abu Nasser.
Abu Nasser is on a list of 152 Brigades members the PA recently presented to Israel for
amnesty consideration as part of further Israeli gestures to bolster Abbas against Hamas.
He would not say where the funding for his new Hamas-Fatah terror group originates.
Palestinian security officials associated with Abbas said the Fire Belt receives most
of its funding from Hamas and from the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hizbullah militia. The
security officials claimed the new group was not coordinated with the Fatah leadership and
was working to undermine Abbas. They claimed the Brigades, which took credit for scores of
attacks the last few weeks, is committed to halting violence against Israel in line with
the amnesty deal.
Last week, the State Department announced a multimillion dollar program to train Fatah
militants in the West Bank. Under an agreement signed this month by Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad, Fatah's Force 17 officers are
slated to take course work and conduct VIP protection exercises under the State
Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Force 17 serve as de facto police units in the
West Bank. Many members of Force 17 openly serve in the Brigades.
The Fatah training program, which includes courses in the use of weapons, is part of a
larger $86.5 million aid package granted to the PA by Congress in April.
Rice and other top Bush administration officials have said the U.S. is seeking to back
Abbas against Hamas, which in June took control of all Fatah security compounds in the
Gaza Strip. But there have been indications Hamas and Fatah are seeking
The London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat Sunday reported the Hamas leadership is
considering an initiative proposing it hand back Gaza Strip security compounds seized from
Fatah in June to achieve reconciliation with Abbas' group.
Also the Iranian Fars news agency last week quoted Palestinian diplomatic sources
stating Abbas appointed two senior Fatah officials to hold informal talks with Hamas to
affect reconciliation with the group. Fatah denied the report, but Ahmed Yousef, a top
political advisor to Hamas' Gaza leader and deposed Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, said
Abbas indeed allowed some Fatah officials to hold unofficial talks with Hamas.
In a move that raised diplomatic eyebrows in Washington and Jerusalem, Fatah earlier
this month paid the salaries of almost half the members of rival Hamas' security forces.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at first claimed the salaries where transferred in error
and assured a delegation of visiting House of Representatives members that Fatah had no
financial dealings with Hamas. Later, a PA investigation chartered by Fayyad claimed that
a bribed PA Finance Ministry official was responsible for the salary transfer to Hamas.
Palestinian State Outline 'Coming by November'
Newly installed Israeli President Shimon Peres hopes to achieve the outline of a final
status deal with the Palestinians before an international conference in November, the
veteran politician said.
Israeli diplomatic sources told WND earlier this month Peres quietly drafted a plan for
the Jewish state to evacuate and transfer to the Palestinians nearly the entire West Bank
and several Arab Israeli cities located within territory that undisputedly is Israel's
according to the international community.
The official role of president here is limited largely to ceremonial matters; the
president is not allowed to lead foreign policy.
The diplomatic sources also said earlier this U.S.-brokered month biweekly meetings
between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are
being utilized to draft the outline of a permanent status deal ultimately yielding a
Palestinian state scheduled to be aired in public at the November summit, which is being
organized by the U.S.
Confirming the plan, Peres told Tokyo's Nikkei business daily newspaper he believes the
outline of a final deal can be achieved before November. "To work out the details (of the
political if not the geographical outline of a future Palestinian state) will take more
time, but (as for) principles, yes, we can achieve an agreement" before the autumn peace
conference, he said.
Peres said improved economic conditions for the Palestinians will lead to "peaceful
coexistence," adding "We shall go in a policy of two tracks, economic development and
political negotiations, one complementary to the other but not dependent upon it." Last
week the Arab media reported Peres held a secret meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister
Salam Fayyad at his official residence in Jerusalem.
Israeli diplomatic sources told WND during the meeting Peres presented Fayyad with his
plan for Israel to evacuate the West Bank, which borders Jerusalem and is within rocket
range of Tel Aviv and Israel's international airport. The West Bank is home to many
biblical Jewish communities and some of Judaism's holiest sites.
Peres also presented his initiative to top European Union officials, Olmert and to top
aides for Abbas in the past few weeks, after he took office as Israeli president last
month, diplomatic sources in Jerusalem told WND. Olmert, Abbas, Fayad and the EU are
mulling over the plan, said the diplomatic sources, who stated Olmert agrees with much of
the plan's contents.
Peres' plan calls for Israel to hand 97 percent of the West Bank over to Abbas, with
Israel retaining a small number of the territory's Jewish communities. In exchange for
Israel keeping some land, the Jewish state would give the PA control of Arab Israeli
cities north of Tel Aviv which, together with the evacuated West Bank territory, would
amount to the equivalent of 100 percent of the West Bank.
Sunday, Abbas said the PA would not consent to population exchanges as part of a
permanent agreement that would leave some West Bank Jewish communities with Israel.
When Peres assumed the role of president last month, political analysts and pundits
here widely expected him to defy the limits of his office and take a hands-on role in
Israeli diplomacy and policy making. According to Knesset sources, Peres is contemplating
even asking lawmakers to officially expand the role of the president to include conducting
During his acceptance speech last month, Peres called for Israel to retreat from the
West Bank. The next day, he called for direct negotiations with Syria, which is hosting
top Palestinian terror leaders and supporting the Lebanese Hizbullah militia, which last
summer launched thousands of rockets into Israeli population centers. Syrian President
Bashar Assad warned several times the past few months his country is preparing for
Peres, Israel's longest standing Knesset member, was considered the driving force of
the 1993 Oslo Accords. The Peres Peace Center, headed by the new president, advocates the
division of Jerusalem and Israeli withdrawals from the strategic West Bank and Golan
Heights. Peres repeatedly has come under fire by critics for policies and plans many say
would greatly undermine Israel's security if implemented.
An official biography of the elder statesman released earlier this year, entitled
"Shimon Peres," revealed a draft agreement he hammered out with West Germany in 1961 to
allow the creation of German military bases on Israeli soil less than two decades after
The biography also detailed a controversial plan Peres concocted to lease French Guyana
from France and create an Israeli colony there at a time when the nine-year-old Israel was
desperate for immigrants and struggling to establish itself.
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