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Israeli Firefighters Can Leave if Attacked


Following a series of attacks on firefighters attempting to perform their duties, the Interior Ministry and the Israel Fire and Rescue Commission decided Sunday that firefighters who are physically attacked while on their way to put out a fire will be allowed to leave.

At least five attacks violent attacks on firefighters took place last year and in some cases the firefighters were pelted with heavy stones. In two cases, firefighters were later hospitalized for their injuries. Most of the attacks took place in Arab neighborhoods.

Israel: Hamas to Blame if Civilians are Hurt in Gaza Border March

By Ha'aretz

Israel warned Hamas on Sunday evening that the organization would be responsible for any consequences of a planned march along the Gaza Strip's border Monday, saying any harm to civilians would be Hamas' fault.

Some 40,000 Palestinians are expected to march along the Gaza Strip's border in protest of Israel's economic embargo on the coastal territory. "Israel will defend its territory and will stop any infiltration attempt into its sovereign borders," Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said in a joint statement sent to all Israeli embassies and missions.

"Hamas is behind activities that place the civilian population on the front lines," the statement added.

The Israel Police will heighten security across the country on Monday, as intelligence officials warned that tens of thousands of Gazans were planning to form a human chain from Rafah to the Erez border crossing as early as 10 a.m. (3 a.m. EST) on Monday.

The Israel Defense Forces has already beefed up troops along the border, in preparation for the march, expected after gasoline ran out in Gaza over the weekend. A large number of police forces will be deployed to join the IDF in the southern district, in case the protest gets out of hand.

The head of the Palestinian Popular Anti-Siege Committee protest, Jamal al-Khudary, said: "We do not have intentions of approaching the fence, either in the north or the south. We hope all the participants will abide by the instructions and we will try to prevent any violations." He also said the protesters would not try to confront IDF troops.

An official Hamas source maintained that the mass flow towards the border, which will be comprised Palestinian women and children, would be spontaneous and would not be based on a concrete plan.

However, he added that the next time Gaza residents decide to rally the economic embargo, the protest would be held only on the border with Israel, and not the border with Egypt.

A security source in Jerusalem said the army was preparing for "all scenarios" ahead of Monday's protest. "Obviously, if gunmen start shooting at the fence we will have to respond in kind and we are absolutely unwilling to countenance a situation where the fence is breached like it was at Rafah," the source said.

IDF troops on the border have been issued special open fire orders in order to stop even a small number of protesters from crossing the fence, and the army has demarked especially sensitive areas. If necessary, IDF artillery will fire warning shots at open areas, and should the protestors continue their advance, troops will employ riot dispersal methods.

As a last resort, snipers will open fire at protestors' legs. The orders were approved by senior General Staff officers as well as Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The IDF also said that all Gaza crossings would be closed Monday, including to foreign nationals and journalists.

The gasoline shortage was the result of limitations imposed by Israel on imports into the Strip, excluding fuel for emergency vehicles. Diesel fuel is also said to be in short supply.

Israel's concerns are based on the breach of the Gaza-Egyptian border a month ago, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians streamed across Rafah into Egypt after Hamas blew up the wall there.

Israel believes Hamas is now planning a new action, directed at Israel, to break the siege on the Gaza Strip and draw global attention to the plight of Gaza's impoverished residents.

Israeli Mayor Calls for Truce Talks with Hamas

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)

An Israeli mayor on the front lines of the conflict with the Palestinians is calling for a truce with Islamic terrorists. But reaction was cool in both the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem.

The mayor of the southern Israeli border town of Sderot, Eli Moyal, said he is willing to hold truce talks with Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. Sderot has been hard hit by daily Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza that have terrorized residents and battered the economy. It was an about-face for Moyal, a member of the hawkish Likud Party, who has been calling for the army to invade Gaza to end the rocket attacks.

Hamas, which has called for a truce in the past, dismissed Moyal's offer as a publicity stunt. The group said if Israel wants a cease-fire it should end military action and its crippling blockade of Gaza.

The Israeli government also rejected the truce proposal. Israeli spokesman Mark Regev said Hamas is a terrorist organization that refuses to renounce violence or recognize Israel. "We are talking of an extremist group, a very hateful agenda, a very extremist agenda, opposed to peace, opposed to reconciliation," said Regev. "And so there is not much to talk about."

At the weekly Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced a $91-million plan to fortify homes in Sderot. Olmert said that about half of the 8,000 homes in Sderot would be fortified, with the priority given to those buildings directly in the line of fire. The Prime Minister also said that Sderot would be equipped with an anti-missile defense system by 2010.

Obama Helped Fund Organization That Rejects 'Racist' Israel's Existence

By WorldNetDaily

The board of a nonprofit organization on which Sen. Barack Obama served as a paid director alongside a confessed domestic terrorist granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a "catastrophe" and supports intense immigration reform, including providing drivers licenses and education to illegal aliens.

The co-founder of the Arab group in question, Columbia University Prof. Rashid Khalidi, also has held a fundraiser for Obama. Khalidi who is a harsh critic of Israel has made statements supportive of Palestinian terror and reportedly has worked on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization while it was involved in anti-Western terrorism and was labeled by the State Department as a terror group.

In 2001, the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based nonprofit that describes itself as a group helping the disadvantaged, provided a $40,000 grant to the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, for which Khalidi's wife, Mona, serves as president. The Fund provided a second grant to the AAAN for $35,000 in 2002.

Obama was a director of the Woods Fund board from 1999 to Dec. 11, 2002, according to the Fund's website. According to tax filings, Obama received compensation of $6,000 per year for his service in 1999 and 2001.

Obama served on the Wood's Fund board alongside William C. Ayers, a member of the Weathermen terrorist group which sought to overthrow of the U.S. government and took responsibility for bombing the U.S. Capitol in 1971.

The AAAN, headquartered in the heart of Chicago's Palestinian immigrant community, describes itself as working to "empower Chicago-area Arab immigrants and Arab Americans through the combined strategies of community organizing, advocacy, education and social services, leadership development, and forging productive relationships with other communities."

The group co-sponsored a Palestinian art exhibit, titled, "The Subject of Palestine," that featured works related to what some Palestinians call the "Nakba" or "catastrophe" of Israel's founding in 1948.

According to the widely discredited Nakba narrative, Jews in 1948 forcibly expelled hundreds of thousands - some Palestinians claim over one million - Arabs from their homes and then took over the territory.

Historically, about 600,000 Arabs fled Israel after surrounding Arab countries warned they would destroy the Jewish state in 1948. Some Arabs also were driven out by Jewish forces while they were trying to push back invading Arab armies. At the same time, over 800,000 Jews were expelled or left Arab countries under threat after Israel was founded.

Contacted by phone, Mona Khalidi refused to answer WND's questions about the AAAN's involvement with Obama. Obama's campaign headquarters did not reply to a list of WND questions sent by e-mail to the senator's press office.

A Hole in the Temple Mount: God Made It

By Emanuel A. Winston (Commentary)

The Muslim Arabs blame the Jews for tunneling under the Temple Mount which they claim caused a small cave in. This happened after an earthquake (one of God's wonders) epicentered in northeastern Lebanon measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale, shook the Jerusalem area at 12.37 p.m. Friday February 15th.

The only damage reported in Israel was a hole on the Temple Mount and at Shechem (Nablus) the site of Joseph's Tomb which the Muslims destroyed in October 2000 (after then Prime Minister Ehud Barak ordered a unilateral retreat. He also left a wounded soldier to bleed to death - a Druze named Madhat Yusuf - Joseph in Arabic).

The Muslims burnt the holy books, destroyed the tomb and painted the dome green - the color of Islam and declared the Jewish Shrine to be Islamic and Joseph to be Muslim.

I agree with the Muslims that Jews, or at least this Jew, may have been responsible for the hole in the floor of the Temple Mount Plaza. NO. It wasn't any Jewish tunneling, although the Arab Wakf have been evacuating Solomon's Stables to create another huge mosque underground, resulting in the weakening of the retaining walls that hold up the Temple Plaza.

I have prayed to God for a long time to produce an earthquake that would turn the Golden Dome of the Rock and the Al Aksa Mosque into rubble. Pagan temples built on top of the Holy of Holies has been an affront to God and long overdue for cleansing.

In fact, I also lobbied God to flatten Teheran, Damascus, Baghdad, Riyadh, Cairo, Mecca, Medina, `et al' with a shift of His tectonic Earth plates. I didn't neglect to petition for the European nations who assisted in the Holocaust and have presently joined the Muslim Arab oil terrorist nations in their efforts to wipe out Israel as they so threaten.

I am sure many others have asked God for all of the above and more. So, we can agree that the hole that came from the earthquake was the fault of the Jews. I certainly made the request. Didn't you?

Rebel Catholics: Pope Caved on Prayer to Convert Jews

By Reuters

Rebel Catholic traditionalists who champion the old Latin mass have accused Pope Benedict of caving in to "foreign pressures" by dropping negative comments about Jews from a rare prayer in the Church's official language.

The Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), which was expelled from the Church in 1988, denounced the change in a Good Friday prayer that it said was one of the oldest in Christianity, dating back to the third century. On Feb. 5, the Vatican revised the prayer, removing a reference to Jewish "blindness" over Christ and deleting a phrase asking God to "remove the veil from their hearts."

Jews criticized the new text because it still says they should recognize Jesus Christ as the savior of all mankind. It asks that "all Israel may be saved" and keeps an underlying call to conversion that Jewish leaders had wanted omitted.

"Following foreign pressures on the Catholic Church, the Pope felt obligated to change the very venerable Prayer for the Jews which is an integral part of the Good Friday liturgy," the SSPX news service DICI said in a report at the weekend.

"While the necessity of accepting the Messiah to be saved has been retained, one can only profoundly deplore this change," it said. DICI did not elaborate on the "foreign pressures."

The change in the prayer will only be heard by a tiny minority of Catholics who attend services on Good Friday, the day marking Jesus Christ's crucifixion, that are held in Latin rather than in their local languages as usual.

Changing the Good Friday text was necessary after Pope Benedict allowed wider use of the old Latin mass last year. The Good Friday prayer said in local languages was revised in 1970 to drop all references that Jews had found offensive.

Widening the use of the old Latin or Tridentine mass was partly meant to attract followers of the SSPX back to Rome. The SSPX claims about a million followers, a small fraction of the 1.1-billion strong Church.

The leadership of the Swiss-based SSPX is still resolutely opposed to reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), including changes in liturgy and in relations with Jews. The Vatican said they must accept the Council to be readmitted. The SSPX was expelled from the Church in 1988 when its founder, French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, consecrated four bishops without Vatican approval.

Jewish groups have criticized the new text of the Latin prayer as offensive. An assembly representing Conservative rabbis worldwide expressed dismay over it and called on the Vatican to clarify the text's meaning.

But the Pope received support from a prominent Jewish scholar on Saturday. Rabbi Jacob Neusner of New York wrote in the German Catholic daily Die Tagespost: "Israel prays for non-Jews, so the other monotheists - including the Catholic Church - should have the same right without anyone feeling hurt."

Sometimes called "the Pope's favorite rabbi," Neusner was frequently cited in Benedict's 2007 book Jesus of Nazareth.

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