Newsletter : 8fax0206.txt
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Hamas Recruitment Center in Jerusalem Shut Down
Police have shut down a Hamas recruitment center operating in Jerusalem. Local Arabs
claimed the center was merely an "education club."
Police said the center, located in the capital's Sur Bahir neighborhood, is run by
Hamas members and funded by the Islamist group. The center has operated since 2000 and
reportedly recruits young people to serve as Hamas terrorists.
Israel Beefs Up Security after Suicide Bombing
By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli security forces remain on high alert Wednesday morning after the first suicide
bombing in a year, which took place Monday in southern Israel. The Jewish state is
considering a number of options in response to the attack.
Israeli police and soldiers have beefed up patrols in crowded public places such as bus
stations and malls. There are warnings that more Palestinian terrorists have infiltrated
Israel after the first suicide bombing in the desert town of Dimona.
One Israeli was killed in the attack, but it could have been much worse. A second
Palestinian bomber was killed by police before he could detonate the explosives strapped
to his body.
Police are investigating claims by Palestinian groups that the bombers infiltrated
Israel from the unfenced border with the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. They are said to have
crossed into Egypt after terrorists destroyed the border wall between the Gaza Strip and
Egypt two weeks ago. That enabled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to cross into
Israeli Cabinet ministers will meet Wednesday to discuss building a fence on the
porous, 150-mile-long border with Egypt.
Cabinet Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said a fence is a necessity now that the
Gaza-Egypt border has been breached. He told Israel Radio that the fence could be
completed in a year.
The Islamic terrorist group Hamas, which rules Gaza, was one of the Palestinian
organizations that claimed responsibility for the bombing. It was the first such claim by
Hamas since 2004, and it prompted this threat from Israeli parliamentarian Tzahi
Hanegbi, who heads parliament's influential Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said
Israel should assassinate the political leaders of Hamas. He told Israel Radio that
assassinations have been an effective deterrent in the past, and he said, no Hamas leader
should be immune.
Hamas brushed off the threats. The group said it would not be intimidated by what it
described as Israeli "terrorism and crimes."
Israeli Forces Kill Nine Hamas Terrorists in Gaza
By VOA News
Terrorists from Gaza launched more than 15 rockets Tuesday, wounding at least five
Israelis in the town of Sderot. And Israeli forces have killed nine Palestinian Hamas
terrorists in the Gaza Strip, one day after the group purportedly carried out a suicide
bombing in Israel.
An Israeli air strike on a Hamas police post in southern Gaza killed seven members of
the group Tuesday. Hours later, another Israeli air raid in northern Gaza wounded three
Earlier, Israeli troops operating in southern Gaza shot and killed two Hamas
terrorists. Hamas claimed "full responsibility" for Monday's suicide bombing that killed
an Israeli woman in the southern Israeli town of Dimona. It is the first time since 2004
that Hamas has asserted it was behind a suicide attack inside Israel.
Hamas said the two attackers came from the West Bank city of Hebron, refuting another
militant group's claim that the bombers were from Gaza and crossed into Egypt before
Members of Hamas blasted open parts of the Gaza-Egypt border barrier last month,
allowing Gazans to enter Egypt freely, until Egyptian authorities sealed the boundary on
Egypt's foreign minister called on Hamas today to return control of the main border
crossing to EU observers and the government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
'Another Bomber Infiltrated, Ready for Attack'
In addition to two bombers involved in Monday's suicide attack in Israel, one more
suicide bomber has infiltrated the Jewish state with explosives and is poised to carry out
an imminent attack, according to senior terrorist sources speaking to WND.
"There are three bombers who made it inside Israel. The third is inside. We won't say
where, but he has explosives, and we lost contact with him," said a senior terrorist
source, speaking from the Gaza Strip.
Israeli security sources said they commenced a search for a third bomber but cautioned
in the past terrorists have lied while claiming of more bombers inside Israel.
The suicide bombers had crossed into Israel from Egypt after Gaza-based militants 12
days ago blew up the Gaza-Egypt border wall, allowing hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians to stream into the Egyptian Sinai desert.
Yuval Diskin, chief of Israel's Shin Bet Security Services, warned during a speech to
the Knesset that some Palestinian terrorists who crossed into the Egyptian Sinai desert
the past two weeks relocated themselves to form terror cells in strategic areas bordering
The Shin Bet chief said Israeli intelligence is aware of at least 20 specific locations
at the Israel-Egypt border currently in use by Palestinian terrorists in attempts to
infiltrate the Jewish state to carry out attacks. He said security has been boosted at
those locations, but he stressed the need for Israel to immediate construct a security
fence along the entire Israel-Egypt border.
Police to Investigate Olmert for Negotiating Jerusalem's Future
The police have received a criminal complaint against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for
discussing the future of Jerusalem with a foreign entity - in violation of the Jerusalem
Law. However, the police have not reported any progress on investigating the matter.
The complaint was originally filed a month ago by Jerusalem attorney Baruch Ben-Yosef,
on behalf of the Victims of Arab Terror International organization, headed by Shifra
Hoffman. On Monday, Ben-Yosef sent a reminder to the police, asking why he had not heard
from them regarding his complaint.
"On Jan.6," Ben-Yosef wrote, "a complaint was submitted to your office [that of the
Jerusalem District Police Commissioner - ed.] regarding intent to perpetrate a crime
according to Basic Law: Jerusalem, in that the Prime Minister announced his government's
willingness to negotiate with a foreign and hostile entity regarding the division of
"Ever since the complaint was filed," Ben-Yosef wrote, "and despite the fact that the
above negotiations have actually commenced, we have not heard of any progress in the
investigation. I request to be advised as to what has been done regarding this
Clause 6 of "Basic Law: Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel" states, "No authorities over
the area of Jerusalem currently under the purview of the State of Israel or the Jerusalem
Municipality shall be given over to any foreign political or governmental entity, or any
other similar foreign entity, neither permanently or temporarily." Clause 5 states that
the Old City and other areas liberated by Israel during the Six Day War are an integral
part of Jerusalem for the purposes of this law.
Clause 7 states that the preceding two clauses can be changed only if such a change is
supported by a full majority - 61 MKs - of the Knesset.
"According to professional legal opinion," Ben-Yosef wrote in the original complaint,
"any negotiations with a foreign entity regarding the division of Jerusalem and/or the
giving away of parts of it to any foreign authority, are in total and blatant violation of
U.S.: Iran May be Able to Make Nukes by 2009
The head of American intelligence said Tuesday that it is unclear whether Tehran has
returned to its production of nuclear weapons in the past six months, and warned that Iran
"would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon" by
the end of next year.
Speaking two months after a U.S. intelligence report cast doubt on Tehran's nuclear
ambitions, National Intelligence Director John Michael McConnell made his remarks during
an appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee to present an annual report on
threats to the U.S.
A National Intelligence Estimate report released in December said that Iran halted its
nuclear weapons development program in the fall of 2003. "We remain concerned about Iran's
intentions and assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping
open the option to develop nuclear weapons," the report said.
"We assess with high confidence that Iran has the scientific, technical and industrial
capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons," it said, adding that the only realistic
way to prevent Iran from producing such weapons was "an Iranian political decision to
abandon a nuclear weapons objective."
McConnell expressed skepticism at the ability of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
and his Fatah movement to deliver security for Israel and to overcome Hamas' efforts to
stymie the political process.
He said that despite pressures on Hamas, "the group remains fairly unified, especially
its military wing, and in charge in the Gaza Strip where it controls all PA facilities.
Hamas continues to curtail freedoms and to harass Fatah members."
McConnell said however, that the U.S. recognizes signs of Fatah's progress in the West
Bank, praising "renewed security and law enforcement cooperation with Israeli forces in
taking more effective action against Hamas."
There was no mention in the report of the Israel Air Force attack on Syria in September
2007, which foreign news sources have speculated was a strike on a nuclear facility built
with North Korean assistance. He said, however, that North Korea, which has sold ballistic
missiles to Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, could "proliferate nuclear weapons
Pope Nixes Reference to Jews` `Blindness` Over Jesus in Prayer
Pope Benedict has ordered changes to a Latin prayer for Jews at Good Friday services by
traditionalist Catholics, deleting a reference to their "blindness" over Christ, the
Vatican said on Tuesday.
The Vatican newspaper l'Osservatore Romano published the new version of the prayer in
Latin and said it should be used by the traditionalist minority starting this Good Friday,
Apart from the deletion of the word "blindness," the new prayer also removes a phrase
that asked God to "remove the veil from their hearts." But the new prayer hopes that Jews
will recognize Christ.
Jewish groups had protested against the old prayer and had asked the pope to change it.
According to an unofficial translation from Latin, the new prayer says in part: "Let us
also pray for the Jews. So that God our Lord enlightens their hearts so that they
recognize Jesus Christ savior of all men." It also asks God that "all Israel be saved."
Jewish groups complained last year when the Pope issued a decree allowing a wider use
of the old-style Latin Mass and a missal, or prayer book that was phased out after the
reforms of the Second Vatican Council, which met from 1962 to 1965.
Good Friday is the day Christians commemorate the death of Jesus. Only some several
hundred thousand traditionalists follow the old-style Latin rite and will use the Latin
The overwhelming number of the world's some 1.1 billion Catholics attends mass in their
local languages. They would use a post-Second Vatican Council missal, which includes a
Good Friday prayer for Jews which asks that they "arrive at the fullness of
Benedict's decree, issued on July 7, authorized wider use of the old Latin missal, a
move which traditionalist Catholics had demanded for decades but which Jews and other
Christian groups said could set back inter-religious dialogue.
Implementation of the decree has been difficult. The pope's number two, Cardinal
Tarcisio Bertone, said recently the Vatican was preparing a document on how it should be
introduced around the world.
Before the Second Vatican Council, Catholic mass and prayers were full of elaborate
ritual led in Latin. Many traditionalists missed the Latin rite's sense of mystery and the
centuries-old Gregorian chant that went with it. Some denounced Council reforms that
included a repudiation of the notion of collective Jewish guilt for Christ's death and
urged dialogue with all other faiths.
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