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The Poster Awaiting President Bush in Jerusalem


In the upcoming days, billboards all over Jerusalem will be plastered with a new poster on the eve of U.S. President Bush's visit to Israel. Pictured in the poster is a gigantic Bible, towering over the walls of the Old City. The caption says: "Bush, read your Bible. God gave Israel to the Jews."

Olmert Calls on Hamas to Accept Early Elections

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has renewed his call for Hamas to accept early elections. And clashes between Hamas and backers of Abbas' Fatah movement have increased in the Gaza Strip with at least six Palestinians killed during the past few days.

Speaking in the West Bank, Abbas called for Hamas to return to a dialogue with Fatah, saying that it is time for a new page to be turned in Palestinian relations. He called for Hamas to cede its control of Gaza and agree to early elections.

A Hamas spokesman immediately rejected Abbas' call, saying there were no practical steps that could be taken at the present time to start such a dialogue. In his remarks, Abbas again called for Israel to stop settlement construction in the West Bank.

Speaking on Israeli radio, Israeli Cabinet member and Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon said Israel should dismantle illegal outposts in the West Bank. Ramon said Israel should move immediately to dismantle all outposts built after 2000, because not to do so could raise tensions between the United States and Israel during President George Bush's upcoming visit to the region.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel might have to share Jerusalem with Palestinians in an eventual peace agreement. Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and considers the entire city its eternal capital. Palestinians want Arab East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. (Editor: Israel recaptured the area, which had been seized by Jordan after the British evacuated the region.)

Bush travels to the Middle East in less than two weeks in a bid to encourage Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to step up progress towards a negotiated peace settlement - something Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed to do at the U.S. sponsored Annapolis peace conference last November.

Arab Israeli Arrested for Cyber-Sabotage of Israeli Websites


Police have arrested a 17-year-old Israeli Arab for involvement in an international group of hackers that targeted Israeli websites for cyber-vandalism.

In 2006, the hackers managed to shut down about 750 Israeli websites and their attacks have caused millions of shekels in damage. The group, calling itself "Team-Evil", apparently included hackers in Saudi Arabia,

The Israeli youth arrested in recent days was apprehended after an 18-month investigation. The young man's mother attempted to hide his personal computer when police arrived at the house, but the computer was found, and investigators found additional evidence of the teen's criminal activity. He will be charged with several serious computer-related crimes.

In June 2006, around 750 Israeli websites were hacked in one day in a coordinated campaign. The sites were taken down and replaced with a screen displaying the message: "Hacked by Team-Evil Arab hackers u KILL palestin people we KILL Israeli servers. (sic)"

Among the targeted sites were those of Bank Hapoalim, a Haifa-area hospital, the Israeli representatives of international car manufacturers BMW, Subaru and Citroen, and of the Kadima party. Most of the vandalized sites were back to normal operation within a day.

A more recent attack with the same signature occurred in August 2007, when the Likud party's official website was defaced. The content on the main page of the site was replaced by anti-Israel slogans and party logos were replaced with anti-Semitic symbols, including swastikas.

Danny Lieberman, CTO of Software Associates, a professional security consultancy based in Israel, said that the latest arrest "doesn't say anything about the ease of catching hackers." The 2006 attack indicated "a higher level of technical skill by the attackers than that usually seen by similar groups. However, the tools [used in the attack were] very simple and they succeeded because the Web application [exploited by the hackers] was not updated with the latest security patches."

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Lieberman observed that there has been no significant improvement in Israeli IT security since the 2006 attacks. "As a rule," Lieberman said, "most Israeli companies are better at buying security technology than sustaining a business process of fixing application software bugs.

"Most Israeli IT managers are fighting yesterday's security battles and have an attitude that security is their employees' problem not theirs. The prevailing mentality and sloppy maintenance mean that Israeli IT managers are no better prepared than they were two years ago."

The Associated Press reported in 2006 that Team-Evil had begun hacking and vandalizing US government websites as early as 2004. In 2002, an Israeli hacker named Ehud Tannenbaum, known as "The Analyzer," was sentenced to 18 months in jail for breaking into the NASA, Pentagon, and Defense Ministry computer systems, among other virtual locations.

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