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Mashaal: I'll Convince Fatah to Continue Resistance


Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said Sunday evening that he will work to convince Fatah that "resistance" is the only way to bring about the end of Israel's "occupation."

Interviewed by Reuters, Mashaal said, "What is needed today ... is to have resistance in all forms, armed and public ones." He added "Any occupier in the world never retreats voluntarily ... It only retreats under pressure and force."

Israel Remembers Its Heroes


The main ceremony for Memorial Day for the Soldiers Who Fell in Israel's Wars and the Victims of Terror Attacks began at the Kotel plaza at 8 p.m. Sunday as a 60-second-long siren sounded nationwide. Millions of Israeli citizens stood in honor of the 22,867 people who gave their lives fighting for the homeland, and who were murdered in the terror attacks.

On Monday morning, at 11, a second, two-minute siren will sound, as the day's central ceremony for the fallen soldiers will begin at Har Herzl. Two hours later, at 1 p.m., the ceremony for terror victims will commence.

Remembrance Day is not a religious holiday but it is marked with an air of spiritual solemnity, including the full participation of rabbis - military and other - who recite prayers for the fallen at the ceremonies.

President Shimon Peres warned Israel's neighbors not to repeat their past mistakes: "I am here to tell you today that Israel is as strong as ever. We were the first in the world to have an "Iron Dome" that can stop missiles. We have the ability to fly to the heights of space, to dive to the depths of the ocean, and to create a viewing eye not only on our borders but also onto new vistas.

"Wars broke out because the attackers were not aware of Israel's hidden strength. Today, as well, I suggest to those that are looking for war - do not make the same mistake again. Do not overlook our hidden abilities. Israel's strength lies in her justness. We are prepared to physically defend our land, and morally to defend our heritage. The Israeli spirit has a talent to overcome any situation and to prepare for tomorrow.

"From the founding of the State of Israel until today, in my various positions, I comfort bereaved families. Every visit to a bereaved family is a deep experience. Before I arrive I learn about the personal bravery of the soldier and the battle which took his life. In their home, the photo albums are opened, and together with the family, I follow page after page how their daughters and sons grew, from the cradle to the battle. (...)

"I see the young men and women, their eyes glowing, full of life and beauty, free and restrained. The house is filled anew with pain. I learn about the mother, the father, the history of the family... I see the fountain from which our greatest sons are drawn. The fountain of Torah and bravery."

Peres also spoke about kidnapped Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, saying "we will not rest and will not be silent until we see Gilad Shalit here, with us, healthy and whole."

The Chief of Staff, Lt.Gen. Benny Gantz, mentioned the upheavals in the Middle East that began in January: "The events that erupted from a reality of oppression and desperation," he said, "give rise to signs of hope, but also destabilize the region and add possible threats to the State of Israel. In view of all this, the IDF must be prepared to deal with an ever-growing variety of threats, in every single front and possibly in all of them at once," he said, quoting an old Israeli saying: "The entire nation is the front.

"Only an army like that," he continued, "will send a clear message to those who wish us ill, that the State of Israel and the Jewish people have a firm defensive shield, and that anyone who rises against us will feel the full weight of our fist."

Final Audiotape, Bin Laden Warned U.S. Over Security of Palestine


An Islamist website said that Osama bin Laden warned the United States they would not be secure until Palestine is secure, AFP news agency reported on Sunday.

According to the news agency, the al-Qaida website quotes bin Laden as saying "America will not be able to dream of security until we live in security in Palestine. It is unfair that you live in peace while our brothers in Gaza live in insecurity."

The quote is apparently taken from bin Laden's last audio tape that he recorded before being killed by American troops. "Accordingly, and with the will of God, our attacks will continue against you as long as your support for Israel continues," the al-Qaida chief said in the audio recording.

"So the message we wanted to convey through the plane of our hero, the fighter Umar Farouk, may God be with him, confirms a previous message which had been sent to you by our heroes of September 11," bin Laden reportedly said in the minute-long recording.

Vanunu: I'm a Traitor, Take my Citizenship


Convicted nuclear spy Mordechai Vanunu has demanded that Minister of Interior Eli Yishai strip him of his Israeli citizenship under a new law to strip citizenship from convicted traitors. Vanunu was convicted of treason and spying for disclosing secrets from Israel's nuclear reactor in Dimona.

He served 18 years in prison and was released, but has since been detained for violating legal orders against contact with foreign citizens. "I am asking the state of Israel to revoke my citizenship," he wrote to Yishai. "This wish for revocation of citizenship is neither new nor recent. Now, however, it is supported by the new Revocation of Citizenship Law."

Taking away Vanunu's citizenship would create an impossible legal situation, since the terms of his parole include prohibitions on leaving Israel or approaching foreign embassies. Without citizenship, Vanunu would not have legal status in Israel, but also would not be allowed to leave.

Vanunu was born in Be'er Sheva, and worked at the Negev Nuclear Research Center until 1985. In 1986 he converted to Anglican Christianity and renamed himself John Crossman; the following year, he leaked Israeli nuclear secrets to a British journalist.

He has disassociated himself from Israel and Judaism, and has even gone so far as to refuse to speak Hebrew. In demanding to lose his Israeli citizenship, Vanunu said he would go to any country willing to offer him citizenship.

"I have no other citizenship, but I can easily get one," he wrote to Yishai. "I have no interest in Israeli citizenship... Israel does not want me nor do I want Israel." He referred to his stay in Israel since 1986 as "twenty-five years of imprisonment."

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