Newsletter : 11fx1102.txt
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`Civil Rights' Group: No Guards for Jews
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has filed suit against the Housing Ministry,
calling to put an end to the presence of private security guards in Jerusalem
neighborhoods where Jews are a minority. Roughly 350 guards are employed by Jerusalem
Jewish communities in areas where Arab violence against Jews is common. The Supreme Court
is hearing the case, and has ordered the government to respond to the petition within two
US Fears Uncoordinated Israeli Strike on Iran
Fearing an uncoordinated Israeli attack against Iran, the United States is working on
several levels to pressure the UN's Security Council into imposing harsher sanctions on
Iran, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
A senior State Department official said there was growing concern among Obama
administration officials ahead of an IAEA report set to be published in November
indicating considerable progress in Tehran's development of its military nuclear program.
The US is concerned that the report may trigger Israeli actions against the Islamic
Republic which may not necessarily be in line with US interests in the region.
The official said that Washington's reevaluation of an Israeli strike in Iran is based
on various maneuvers Israel has performed in the past few years. The US administration is
now bent on exercising more pressure on Tehran in order to dissuade Israel from this path,
the source said.
Washington is therefore pressing China and Russia who are currently opposed to the
publication of the IAEA report. The report may cause embarrassment to both countries that
are strongly against harsher sanctions on Iran.
According to the US official, it is possible that the report, coupled with the exposure
of the US evaluation of Israeli potential to strike Iran, will encourage Russia and China
to support the US initiative to aggravate penal measures against Tehran.
US concern over an Israeli move is so great, the official said, that Washington is
working on several levels to pressure the Security Council. This includes appealing to the
Security Council to condemn Iran for its attempt to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to
Last week, it was reported that many Israelis are concerned that Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided on an attack on Iran's nuclear
reactors. The US is naturally also concerned over such plans which may send the entire
region into a whirlwind.
On Saturday, the New York Times reported that the United States plans to bolster its
military presence in the Gulf after the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq.
Citing unidentified officials and diplomats, the newspaper said the repositioning could
include new combat forces in Kuwait able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a
military confrontation with Iran.
Israel to Expedite Settlement Construction
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his forum of eight senior ministers decided
Tuesday to initiate a new wave of settlement construction in the West Bank, as part of a
wider set of sanctions Israel decided to impose on the Palestinian Authority after it was
accepted to UNESCO as a member on Monday.
Netanyahu's office said Tuesday that the construction of 2,000 housing units planned in
East Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, and Ma'aleh Adumim should be expedited. "All of the mentioned
areas are ones that would remain in Israeli control under any future peace agreement,"
Netanyahu's office said in a statement.
The eight senior ministers also decided to suspend the transfer of tax money which
Israel has collected for the Palestinian Authority in October. The money, which amounts to
more than NIS 300 million, was supposed to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority
before the Eid al-Adha holiday, when the money was to be used to pay the salaries of
policemen and clerks of the Palestinian Authority.
During Tuesday's discussion, an argument erupted between Finance Minister Yuval
Steinitz and Defense Minister Ehud Barak about whether to permanently halt the transfer of
tax money to the PA. Barak maintained that halting the tax money transfer will jeopardize
the future of the security coordination with the Palestinians in the West Bank, while
Steinitz supported the move.
Moreover, the eight ministers also decided to no longer allow UNESCO missions into
Israel, and to examine the possibility of revoking the VIP status of senior Palestinian
officials which allows them to pass through checkpoints.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas responded to the decision on
Tuesday, saying that Israel had decided "to speed up the destruction of the peace process"
by deciding to accelerate the construction of settlements on land where the Palestinians
aim to found an independent state. Nabil Abu Rdainah also described as "inhumane" Israel's
decision to temporarily halt transfers of funds to the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas: Shalit Kidnapping 'A Good Thing'
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas went on record in Arabic saying he will
never recognize a "Jewish state." He also said the kidnapping and five year ordeal of IDF
soldier Gilad Shalit was "a good thing."
The report came from Middle East Media Research Institute, who translated and posted an
interview Abbas gave on Egyptian state TV last month. "First of all, let me make something
clear about the story of the Jewish state," Abbas told Dream2TV on Oct. 23. "They started
talking to me about the Jewish state only two years ago. I've said it before and I will
say it again: I will never recognize the Jewishness of the state or a Jewish state."
In the same interview Abbas said the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who
was held captive for five years by Hamas militants, was a "good thing. They were able to
keep him and hide him," he said admiringly.
Shalit was ultimately freed in exchange for 1,027 security prisoners, including some
450 terrorists, last month.
Abbas, packaged as a moderate by media handlers and pro-Arab politicians in the West,
has long said one thing in English and another in Arabic. Despite this, he signed a unity
agreement with the Hamas terror organization which maintains a genocidal posture
towards Israel earlier this year.
He has also repeatedly accused Israel of being responsible for stalled peace-talks
while openly putting maximalist preconditions on his participation in negotiations that he
knows will be wholly unacceptable to officials in Jerusalem.
In September Abbas violated the bilateral framework of the Oslo Accords when he sought
unilateral recognition of a PA state based on pre-1967 lines without consulting Israel or
the US, both of whom are Oslo signatories. Israel has called for negotiations to resume
without preconditions from either side.
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