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IsraCast Archive | May-June 2005

DISENGAGEMENT COUNTDOWN 2

Finance Minister Netanyahu: 'I Will Not Quit Cabinet & Lead Campaign Against Disengagement'

Withdrawal Opponents Launch Massive Protest Aimed At Paralyzing Traffic Across Nation; Israel Police Warn Greater Force Will Be Used To Keep Roads Open

Former IDF Chief Of Staff Yaalon Left In Dark About Disengagement

Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ended days of speculation that he will bolt the government and lead the campaign to halt Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza strip and 4 West bank settlements. Netanyahu, Prime Minister Sharon's main rival in the Likud, has declared that he is sticking in the cabinet although he believes the disengagement is a big mistake which will jeopardize the country's future security. His announcement came as thousands of disengagement opponents stepped up their campaign by blocking traffic around the country. The Israel Police warn they will not tolerate such a move and ready to move in with force. David Essing reports on developments as the disengagement countdown continues.

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PRESIDENT-ELECT AHMADINEJAD DEEPENS IRANIAN NUCLEAR THREAT

Menashe Amir: 'Radical President, Combined With Most Extreme Islamic Leadership, Pose Greater Nuclear Threat To Israel & Rest of World'

'Only Relentless Pressure By U.S. & E.U. May Deter Iran From Nuclear Weapons Drive'

'Iran Will Now Step Up Support For Hezbollah in south Lebanon and Hamas And Especially Islamic Jihad in Palestinian Areas'

The election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, acting on the orders from Islamic leaders who call for Israel’s extermination, presents an even greater threat to the Jewish state. However, Menashe Amir, a leading Israeli expert on Iran, also says Tehran is threatening Europe & The U.S. as well as targets in the Middle East. The Iranians are determined to continue their drive to acquire nuclear weapons and will start resuming the enrichment of uranium for nuclear weapons, unless deterred by the European Union and the U.S. Moreover, although Iran already has developed a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to many parts of the region, it is also working on an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 10,000 kilometers (over 6,000 miles). Interviewed by David Essing, analyst Amir also foresees the new Iranian President stepping up aid to Hezbollah in south Lebanon and Hamas and particularly the Islamic Jihad in the Palestinian areas.

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THIS WEEK – 24.6.05

Israeli Official: ‘'If Palestinians don't Take Mahmoud Abbas Seriously How Can Israel?’

Labor Party: Washes Its Dirty Linen In Public - But Why Does Postponing Primaries Until After Disengagement Favor Ehud Barak? ’

Bibi Netanyahu: Time Running For Finance Minister To Stand Up And Be Counted In Anti - Disengagement Campaign

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came and went; so did Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. With less than two months to D-day for Israel's disengagement, the Palestinian attacks continue. Two Israelis were killed and the lives of scores of Israelis saved, when a Palestinian suicide bomber was caught on her way to blow up Soroka hospital in Beer-Sheva with ten kilograms of explosives packed inside her underwear. At the Jerusalem summit, Prime Minister Sharon blasted Abbas for not ordering his estimated 30,000 plus security personnel to crack down on the terrorists. Abbas says No Way! He is not strong enough and he will persuade the Palestinians to follow him and not the suicide bombers. Secretary Rice was again showing the U.S. flag, glossing over the terrorism and hoping for accelerated progress on the Roadmap. And Sharon's Likud rival Binyamin Netanyahu is facing mounting pressure to spearhead the campaign against the withdrawal.

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Lower the risk of colorectal cancer

According to a joint Israeli-American study, cholesterol-reducing drugs can lower the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The first large-scale research on the beneficial effects of cholesterol-reducing drugs on colorectal cancer was conducted in Israel over the past six years. The research showed that people who used cholesterol reducing drugs had a 47 percent reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer compared with those who did not take them.

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SHARON - ABBAS CLASH

Israel's Ariel Sharon: 'Palestinian Authority Must Get Serious And Take On The Terrorists'

Palestinians' Mahmoud Abbas: 'Help Me, I'm Not Strong Enough'

Israel Resumes Targeting Jihad Leaders Plotting Fresh Attacks

After two Israelis were killed by Palestinian attacks, it came as no surprise that terrorism was at the top of the agenda when Israel's Prime Minister Sharon met Palestinian leader Abbas in Jerusalem. Sharon told Abbas the Palestinian attacks during the current lull were intolerable and Israel will not sit idly by while her citizens are being killed and wounded. At the same time, the Prime Minister spoke of new Israeli incentives. For his part, Chairman Abbas explained that he is still weak and needs Israel's help to strengthen his hand'. Although the two sides crossed swords over the issue of terrorism, they did agree to cooperate on several aspects of Israel's upcoming disengagement in the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements.

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CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS ISRAEL

Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing: 'China Wishes To Preserve Her close Ties With Israel'

'China And Israel Are Two Ancient Peoples Living In Their Historic Homelands'

'Six Million Jewish People And Twenty Million Chinese Were Slaughtered During World War Two'

The U.S. boycott of an Israeli arms sale to China has apparently not affected the very close ties between Israel and China. Chinese Foreign Minister Zhaoxing continued his trip to Israel saying his country wishes to maintain its relations with Israel in all spheres including the 'army'. He also announced that China has placed Israel on its recommended tourist map and hotels here had better start building more rooms for thousands of Chinese tourists who will invade Jerusalem, the city of peace. The Chinese official received a very warm welcome from state President Moshe Katzav and from Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin and the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

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ISRAEL ARRESTS FIFTY TERRORISTS

Sharon Signals Abbas Over Terror Escalation

Jerusalem Summit To Focus On Terrorism

Just hours before Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas meet in Jerusalem, Israeli security forces launched a major sweep on the West Bank rounding up 50 terrorist suspects. The Israeli action follows deadly Palestinian attacks despite the current understanding to halt the violence.

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RICE TALKS PEACE IN JERUSALEM

Palestinians Kill Israeli In Gaza

Israel & U.S. On Collision Course

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has come and gone - mission accomplished. Her job was to keep the ball rolling for Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements starting in the second half of August. In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian terrorists opened fire in the Gaza Strip killing one IDF soldier and wounded two others. It was only one of the daily violations of the current 'lull' in the Palestinian attacks. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to agree on closer Israeli- Palestinian cooperation for Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements starting in mid-August.

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EARLY ELECTION MOVES IN ISRAEL

Former Likud Minister Meridor: 'An Early Election Will Follow The Disengagement This Fall'

Likud MK Landau: 'It's Still Possible To Halt Disengagement If Netanyahu Will Quit Government And Lead Campaign Against Sharon'

IsraCast Prediction: Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin Will Resign Rather Than Preside Over Parliament During Withdrawal

An early election atmosphere is building in Israel. First, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin charged that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cannot lose no-confidence votes in Parliament and continue to carry out the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements this fall. Several Likud MKs have also called for an election before the disengagement is implemented. Former Likud cabinet minister Dan Meridor believes an early election will take place after the disengagement. Meanwhile, Likud rebel MK Uzi Landau calls on Finance Minister Bibi Netanyahu and other Likud cabinet ministers to quit the government in order to block the pullout.

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Lackluster Race Poses No Real Threat To Prime Minister

Peres Leads Trailed By Peretz And Barak

Analyst David Essing: 'After Disengagement Ariel Sharon May Be Counting On Mahmoud Abbas And George W. Bush'

Israel's 'opposition-coalition' Labor party is headed into the home stretch for its primaries for party leadership. Labor recently joined Sharon's coalition cabinet with one goal only, to support the Prime Minister's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements against the wish of most of his own Likud party members. Labor rejects nearly every other position taken by Sharon and the Likud. How long will this bizarre state of affairs carry on after this fall's pullout? Sharon may be relying on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. President George W. Bush.

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THIS WEEK 12-6-05

Palestinian Foreign Minister Nasser al-Kidwa: 'We Will Not Disarm Terrorists As Long As Israeli Occupation Continues'

Deputy Premier Ehud Olmert: 'Palestinian Announcement Is Ticking Cluster Bomb On Way To Roadmap'

Palestinian Shelling Nearly Crosses Israel's Red Line Sharon Warns Abbas Officially That Attacks Must Stop Before August Disengagement

Is it now official? A senior official of the Palestinian Authority declares the PA will not disarm the Palestinian terror organizations. This is the first clause in the Roadmap peace plan that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon demands must be implemented. The Palestinian shelling in the Gaza Strip again violated the cease-fire killing 3 people and wounding several others this week. The terrorists also launched more Qassam rockets across the border at the Israeli town of Sderot. Miraculously, no one was seriously hurt when one of the rockets smashed through the roof into the living room of an apartment. Israel did not retaliate except for pin point rocketing of terrorists planning more attacks. However, Israel has officially informed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that no attacks will be tolerated when Israel starts evacuating the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements starting in August. And the Shabak's super 'spook' Avi Dichter went public after retiring; he rejected the notion that the disengagement will trigger a new Palestinian war of terrorism.

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INTIFADA #3 OR NOT?

Former Shabak Security Chief Avi Dichter: 'There Is No Israeli Intelligence Assessment That Palestinians Will Launch New War Of Terrorism After Israel Implements Disengagement'

'Withdrawal From Gaza Strip May Reduce Terrorism; Israel Must Prevent Terrorists From Taking Control Of West Bank Areas'

'There Are Israeli Fanatics Who Would Not Hesitate To Put A Bullet In The Prime Minister Because They Realize This Is The Only Way to Halt Disengagement'

Former Shabak Security Chief Avi Dichter rejects the assessment of former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon that the Palestinians are likely to launch a new war of terrorism after Israel implements a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 settlements in West Bank this fall. In interviews with Israeli newspapers, Dichter says the Palestinians realize that after murdering 1042 Israelis during the past four and a half years, they have achieved nothing and have actually been losing the confrontation. The former security chief warned that Israeli extremists now realize that the Prime Minister is bound on carrying out the disengagement and would assassinate Sharon if given the chance. Dichter also reveals how the 'targeted killing' of terrorist leaders has been so effective in combating Palestinian terrorism.

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Fight bacteria without antibiotics

In research conducted at the Hebrew University, a method for controlling bacterial activity without antibiotics was developed. The research showed how it is possible to interfere with the communication of groups of bacteria thus enabling new ways of fighting bacterial infections and disease caused by germs as well as ways to help beneficial bacteria to multiply.

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SHARON HOLDS HIS FIRE

PM Sharon: 'Israel's Unilateral Disengagement Will Be Implemented On Schedule!'

IDF Chief Of Staff Halutz: 'Terrorist Shelling That Killed Three Workers Is Testing Our Patience But We Must Look To Long Term'

Channel 2 News: 'Less Than 50 % Of Israelis Now Support Sharon's Disengagement Plan'

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian terrorists again bombard Israeli settlements and the town of Sderot across the border. Although they kill 3 people and injure other civilians, Prime Minister Sharon declares Israel's unilateral withdrawal will be implemented on schedule starting after August 15th. However, Sharon is apparently losing the support of Israelis for the pullout in the wake of the Palestinian attacks. What is Sharon's game plan?

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Israel Will Disarm Gaza Settlers

Defense Minister Mofaz: 'At The Last Moment, Israel Will Disarm Gaza Settlers One Way Or the Other!'

'If Palestinians Open Fire During Evacuation, IDF Will Take Control Of Firing Areas'

The Rice Visit: Will U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Again Praise Mahmoud Abbas, While He Allows Terrorists To Prepare New Round Of Violence?

Israel's Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz took the wraps off plans for the upcoming Israeli evacuation of the Gaza Strip and 4 settlements in the northern West Bank. The unilateral evacuation is planned to start shortly after August 15th. In the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Mofaz also disclosed that call-up orders are now being issued to IDF reservists who are to participate in the evacuation of some 8.000 settlers from their homes.

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THIS WEEK: 3.06.05

Outgoing Chief Of Staff Yaalon - Paints Apocalyptic Picture Of Palestinian State Likud's Bibi Netanyahu Slams Sharon's Disengagement

Islamic Jihad Sends More Suicide Bombers - Israel Releases 398 More Palestinian Security Prisoners

Former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe 'Bogey' Yaalon retired this week warning that the Palestinians have not given up their campaign to destroy the Jewish state, one way or the other. In the ruling Likud party, Finance Minister Bibi Netanyahu quoted Yaalon in declaring that he will vote against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate the Gaza Strip and 4 settlements in the northern West Bank. In a related development, Israeli security forces foiled an Islamic Jihad plot to send two suicide bombers into Jerusalem. This as Israel released 398 Palestinian security prisoners; they were actually arrested before they could kill or wound any Israelis.

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REACTIONS TO GEN. Yaalon'S WARNING

Dep. Premier Olmert:'If Palestinians Launch New War Of Terrorism After Disengagement, Israel Will Make Them Wish They Hadn't!'

Olmert Reacted To Outgoing IDF Chief Of Staff's Warning That After Israel's Withdrawal, Palestinians Will Start Intifada #3

Analyst David Essing:'Government May Order IDF To Remain Deployed In Northern Samaria After Pullout From 4 Settlements'

Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz became the IDF's new Chief of Staff today - outgoing commander Gen. Moshe Yaalon bowed out with a grave warning of new Palestinian terrorism. Yaalon told the Israeli daily Haaretz that the Palestinians will launch a new war of terrorism if they do not get their way after Israel's upcoming evacuation of the Gaza Strip and 4 settlements in northern Samaria. Reacting to the assessment, Deputy Premier Ehud Olmert warned if the Palestinians do renew the violence, Israel would hit back hard. In light of the grim outlook of Israel's intelligence community it now appears likely that the cabinet will instruct the IDF to remain deployed in northern Samaria to prevent terror attacks on the metropolitan area of Tel Aviv.

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BRITAIN & THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR THREAT

Ambassador McDonald: 'Iranian Nuclear Weapons Will Threaten European Union Destabilizing Middle East & The World'

'E.U. Hopes For Indefinite Suspension Of Iran's Uranium Enrichment; We're A Long Way From Military Action Against Iran'

'Israel's Disengagement Must Lead To Forward Momentum on Roadmap'

British Ambassador Simon McDonald says Tehran is seeking to renew its uranium enrichment program but the E-3 (Britain, France & Germany) is talking a tough stand in negotiations with the Iranians. In an address to Israel's Council on Foreign relations in Jerusalem, the Ambassador warned that Iran's drive for nuclear weapons is the world's #1 problem. On the Israeli Palestinian, the British diplomat said things were looking up in light of Israel's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and 4 settlements in Samaria. However he added that Prime Minister Sharon's disengagement plan must lead to further movement.

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Saad Hariri's Party Sweeps Lebanese Ballot In Beirut

Israeli Officials: 'Hezbollah Will Not Give Up Its Power Easily; Sheik Nasrallah's Warning That It Has Deployed 12,000 Rockets Aimed At Israel Was Designed To Boast Its Prestige'

Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who has warned that one nuclear bomb could destroy Israel, is now frontrunner in Presidential Election Campaign in Iran

The victory of Saad Hariri's anti-Syria party in the Beirut election could usher in a new era in Lebanon. Hariri's list swept all 19 seats in the Lebanese capital while the rest of the country votes for the remainder of the 128 seats over the next three Sundays. Saad is the son of former Premier Rafik Hariri who was assassinated in February apparently by Syrian agents. Rafik Hariri opposed Syria's occupation of Lebanon and his murder sparked international pressure which forced Syria to end its 30 year domination of Lebanon. However, Israeli officials believe that Hezbollah, Iran's proxy forces in Lebanon, will not surrender its power easily. Meanwhile, the frontrunner in the Iranian election campaign turns out to be Ayatollah Rafsanjani who has spoken about destroying Israel with one nuclear bomb.

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ISRAEL RELEASES 400 PALESTINIANS

PM Sharon: 'Israel Will Release Another 400 Palestinian Security Prisoners Although Chairman Abbas Is Not Fighting Terrorism'

Finance Minister Netanyahu: 'Grave Mistake To Release Palestinian Terrorists While Abbas Dodges His Commitments And Hamas Grows Stronger'

Senior IDF Commander: 'Army Should Remain In Northern Samaria At Least Four Months After Evacuation Of Four Settlements There'

The Israeli cabinet has voted overwhelmingly to release another 400 Palestinian security prisoners. Five hundred Palestinians were freed a short time after the Sharm el Sheik agreement in February. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the Cabinet that Israel would honor her commitments although Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was not keeping his by fighting terrorism. The Cabinet vote was 18-3; in voting against Finance Minister Bibi Netanyahu argued it was a big mistake to free more terrorists while the Palestinians continue the violence. In another development, IDF Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh recommends the army remain in Northern Samaria for at least four months after the upcoming evacuation of 4 Israeli settlements.

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ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE!

U.S. President Bush Tries To Shore Up Palestinian President Abbas In Light Of Hamas Threat

Bush Makes Abbas The Same Offer Made To Arafat - A Palestinian State With All The Trimmings On Condition Of No Terrorism

Israeli officials: 'Nothing New In Bush Statement; U.S. President Is Consistent In Demanding Palestinian Halt To Violence In Order To Advance To Roadmap'

U.S. President George W. Bush lauded Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at their joint new conference at the White House. Abbas was able to fly home with strong American backing for his declared policy of rejecting terrorism and negotiating a two-state solution with Israel. But after the hoopla of his Washington visit, Abbas returns to Ramallah to face Hamas and the other terror groups that vow never to give up their weapons and to use them against Israel when they deem fit.

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SAVING MAHMOUD ABBAS

Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas Meets President George Bush In Washington While Under Siege Of Hamas In Gaza

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: 'I Will Ask Cabinet To Release 400 More Palestinian Prisoners And I Urge Abbas To Open New Chapter In Relations'

Analyst David Essing: 'Abbas Is Trying To Create a Hamas-Hybrid - Part terrorist And Part Political; Despite Red Carpet, Doubtful That Bush Will Buy It'

Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will have his job cut out for him when he meets U.S. President George Bush in the White House today. Abbas can be expected to come with a list of Israeli violations of the recent Sharm el Sheik agreement; this against the backdrop of Hamas launching more than 100 mortars and Qassam rockets last week at Israeli civilians. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is flying home from his U.S. visit after again calling on the Palestinian leader to back up his statements about halting terrorism the terror attacks.

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SHALOM, SHARON & LAURA BUSH

Several MKs: 'Foreign Minister Shalom Should Resign, He Runs The Foreign Ministry Like A Byzantine Court!'

FM Shalom: 'Let's Not Slavishly Follow The Smoke Screen By Ambassador Ayalon And The Media Over the Madonna Affair'

'Doubtful If Palestinian Election Will Be Held on July 17th'

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom has reacted to allegations that he acted inappropriately in seeking to fire Israel's Ambassador to Washington Danny Ayalon; this because Shalom's wife Judy was not photographed with Madonna during her visit to Israel. Shalom told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the entire affair was a 'smokescreen' blown out of proportion and everyone should wait for the results of the Civil Service enquiry that is now underway at the Washington embassy. However several opposition members called on the Foreign Minister to resign.

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THIS WEEK - 22.05.05

‘Hamas-Stan Already In Gaza?’

Cabinet Minister Olmert & The 'Retarded Palestinian Child Syndrome'

Public Corruption & 'The dogs Bark, but the caravan moves on!'

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NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNERS GATHERED IN JORDAN

Jordanian King Abdullah: 'The friends of Middle East peace are also actively working and today they have an opportunity to succeed'

'Two states living side by side based on international legality'

Jordan hosted today Nobel laureates from around the world - Twenty nine peace prize winners including Elie Wiesel gathered in the ancient city of Petra. Over the next two days they will try to find solutions for problems such as terror and peace, economic development and poverty, health, education and media.

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HAMAS FLARE-UP

Despite Cease-fire, Israel Decides To React With Precision Strikes Against Palestinian Terrorists Who Carry Out More Attacks on Israeli Settlements In Gaza Strip

Deputy Defense Minister Boim: 'One Way Or The Other, Palestinian Attacks Must Stop Before Israeli Withdrawal From Gaza; If Mahmoud Abbas Doesn't Act We Will!'

Hamas Spokesman: 'The Cease-fire Is Fragile Because Israel Is Not Keeping Her Commitments: We Have Not Decided Officially To End Cease-fire'

The 'Tahdia' cease-fire is now in danger of collapsing after Hamas terrorists launched their biggest assault since February. One Israeli civilian was wounded by shrapnel and some damage was caused. Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim has declared that Israel will not carry out the upcoming Gaza withdrawal under fire; the IDF would first have to cope with the Palestinian violence.

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Driving miss daisy - reducing traffic accidents

An Israeli company has created a new device which may soon help reduce the number of traffic accidents that are related to driver's lack of attentiveness and dozing. The company has already demonstrated the basic technology and received financial support from both General Motors and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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RUSSIAN ROULETTE IN GAZA

In the Gaza Strip, IDF Launches Air to Ground Missile To Take Out Palestinian Terrorists Who Were Firing Mortar Bombs At Israeli Settlements

Israeli Official: 'It's A Message To Palestinians, We Will Not Accept Their Playing Russian Roulette With Mortar Attacks'

For the first time since the 'Tahdia' cease-fire went into force in February, an IDF pilot-less drone launched a missile at Palestinians who were lobbing mortar rockets at Israeli targets in the Gaza Strip.

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SHABAK HAS A NEW CHIEF

Yuval Diskin: 'Shabak Security Service Will Make Every Effort To Protect Muslim Holy Sites From Attacks By Jewish Fanatics'

'Mounting Jihad Threat To Israeli Air Travel And Targets Abroad'

The new Shabak Security Chief Yuval Diskin has unveiled his thinking on both the Arab and Jewish threats facing Israel today. In his first briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Diskin presented a detailed assessment against the backdrop of Israel's controversial plan to evacuate the Gaza Strip and 4 northern Samaria settlements starting in August.

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HAMAS BUILDING POPULAR ARMY

IDF Chief Of Staff Yaalon: 'Hamas Is Building Its Strength Faster Than Palestinian Authority'

'In Lebanon, Cracks Are Emerging Between Hezbollah And Its Iranian And Syrian Sponsors'

MKs From Left And Right Praise The Outgoing Chief of Staff For His Outstanding Role In The War Against Terrorism

Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon has briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for the last time as IDF Chief of Staff. Yaalon focused on the rising power of Hamas vis-vis Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and 'cracks' developing in Lebanon between Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian sponsors. The Chief of Staff was praised by both sides of the House for containing the Palestinian wave of terrorism launched by Yasser Arafat in September 2000.

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MADONNA CASHIERS AMBASSADOR?

American Singer Stars In Diplomatic Brouhaha

Foreign Minister Shalom Plans To Fire Israel's Ambassador To U.S. Over Affair

Even in the hurly-burly of Israel's tempestuous politics, the latest scandal is something else. This is the cast: Madonna, the American super star, Judy the wife of Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Israel's Ambassador to Washington Danny Ayalon and his wife Anne. Only the zaniest Hollywood producer could dream up this 'Only in Israel' caper. But it's true; this is the story that has dominated Israel's headlines over the past two days.

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HEZBOLLAH - 'WE ATTACK, THEREFORE WE ARE!'

PM Sharon: 'We Will Not Open A Northern Front After Latest Hezbollah Attacks From Lebanon.'

IDF General Ganz: 'Lebanese Government Had Better Rein In Hezbollah, Or Israel Will Take Further Counter-Measures!'

Along the Lebanese frontier, Hezbollah launched a series of cross border shelling of Israeli civilian and military targets. There were no Israeli casualties but some damage. The IDF responded with limited air strikes and tank fire. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says Israel has no intention of being drawn into a further escalation by the pro-Iranian Hezbollah.

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CHANGE IN COMMAND

Major Security Shake-Up Now Underway - Shabak Chief Dichter Retires; IDF Chief Of Staff Yaalon Steps Down Next week.

Yuval Diskin has taken over from Avi Dichter as Chief of the Shabak Security Service. At a ceremony in the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Ariel Sharon formally appointed Diskin who served as a Deputy to Dichter in the Security Service.The change in command is only the first of two major changes in Israel's command structure that has succeeded in containing Palestinian suicide bombers.

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MEMORIAL DAY - 2005

Israel Pays Tribute To 20,368 Soldiers And Civilians Who Fell In Defense Of The Jewish Homeland

In Past Year, 169 Soldiers And 63 Civilians Have Been Killed, Mainly In Palestinian Terror Attacks

IDF Chief Of Staff Yaalon: 'It's Not Clear What Will Happen After Gaza Withdrawal But IDF Is Prepared To Cope With Palestinian Escalation In Terror'

During Memorial Day, tens of thousands of Israelis have attended services in military cemeteries throughout the country. At eleven o'clock in the morning, sirens wailed and the nation paused for a two minute silence in tribute to the service-men and women who have died in defense of Israel. At the main ceremony on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon spoke of Israel's readiness to make peace with her neighbors while being prepared to face any challenge. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who opposes the upcoming Gaza withdrawal, warned of Israeli leaders who would try and partition Jerusalem but would be opposed by common Israelis. IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon, who retires next month, also spoke about future developments.

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HAMAS - REALITY & ILLUSION

Hamas Election Gains Trigger Different Israeli Reactions

PM Sharon: 'Disengagement Will Be Implemented Shortly After Tisha B'Av on August 14th'

Foreign Minister Shalom: 'If Hamas Wins Palestinian Election, Call Off Disengagement Or Hamas Will Turn Gaza Strip Into Hamas-Stan!'

The Hamas gains in Palestinian municipal elections in the Gaza Strip have touched off various responses in Israel. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom proposed that Israel reconsider the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements, if Hamas wins the July election for the Palestinian parliament. However, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has confirmed the controversial evacuation will be implemented shortly after Tisha B'Av, which marks the destruction of the First and Second Biblical Temples and falls on August 14th.

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THE FRIENDLY ROBOT THAT WILL MOW YOUR LAWN

A robot that will perform all the cooking and cleaning chores around the house might still be a long way off, but small robots that perform specific tasks are already a reality. The newest robot developed in Israel takes the job of mowing the lawn out of our hands completely saving us time and money.

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MACCABI TEL-AVIV WON THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

The Israeli Basketball Team Did It Again!

Maccabi Tel Aviv - Tau Vitoria (Spain): 90 - 78

MOSCOW - Maccabi Tel Aviv won the Final Four and claimed its second Euroleague victory in a row, the fifth in the history of the basketball team. Over 6,000 Israeli fans were cheering Maccabi at the game in Moscow and after Maccabi won thousands of fans in Israel filled Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, dancing and celebrating all night.

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GAZA - PALESTINIAN ANTI-TANK ROCKET AT BUS OF ISRAELI PUPILS!

Israeli officials: 'We Expect Mahmoud Abbas To Take Action; If He Doesn't We Will!'

'Terror Groups Are Getting Bolder Because Abbas Not Confronting Them'

Latest Opinion Poll Gives PM Lower Approval Rating of 52% With Public Support For Withdrawal Also Slipping to 54%

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip have fired an anti-tank missile at a bus of Israeli school children. Israeli officials have issued a stern warning to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to act before it is too late.A public opinion poll indicates the Israeli public is less enthusiastic about Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's leadership and his plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements now planned around mid-August. On the other hand, the poll by the Israeli daily Maariv, shows that Israelis are more upbeat about their personal security. David Essing reports on these issues and what Sharon says quietly about Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the Sharansky resignation and Israel's security border with Egypt.

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KNESSET REBELLS

Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee Rejects Prime Minister Sharon's Plan To allow Egyptian Troops To Re-enter Sinai

MK Steinitz: 'Tragic Mistake To Allow Egyptian Troops Back Into Sinai!'

Vice-Premier Peres: 'Gaza Evacuation Will Be Postponed from July To Mid August Due To Jewish Holy Days'

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has voted 8-2 in favor of a vote by Israel's Parliament on the issue of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's proposal to allow Egyptian troops to re-enter Sinai in order to block the smuggling of Palestinian weapons into the Gaza Strip. Members from both the right and left supported the proposal. The committee first heard three leading jurists who all said a deal to allow Egyptian troops into Sinai would reopen the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty which calls for the demilitarization of Sinai.

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WEST BANK SECURITY FENCE SAVES HUNDREDS OF ISRAELI LIVES

Shabak Chief Avi Dichter: 'West Bank Security Fence Has Cut 90 % of Israeli Fatalities In Terror Attacks From Samaria!'

'If Security Fence Had Been Built Earlier, It Would Have Altered Israel's War On Terrorism'

'Greatest Failure Was Not Preventing Palestinian Assassination Of Cabinet Minister Rechavam Zeevi'

Soon about to retire, Shabak Security Chief Avi Dichter has given his final briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Dichter was widely praised by both right and left-wingers for doing an outstanding job in fighting the war against Palestinian terrorism. Opposition leader Tommy Lapid even chided Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for not extending Dichter's term for another year. He is to be replaced by his deputy Yuval Diskin.

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DISENGAGEMENT CONNEXIONS

IDF Soldier Killed While Tracking Down Palestinian Killer Indicates President Mahmoud Abbas Is Still Talking But Not 'Doing'

Cabinet Minister Sharansky's Resignation Is Proof Withdrawal Will Be Implemented

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Solidifies 'Silent Alliance' with Israel

Within a 24-hour period, there has been a flurry of developments swirling around Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's withdrawal plan. On the West Bank, another bloody clash with Palestinian terrorists, while another cabinet resignation shakes the Sharon government. Inside the national unity cabinet, the gap between Likud and Labor remains as wide as ever over the future of the West Bank. Against his being ousted shortly before this summer's evacuation, IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon has blasted Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. And on the positive side, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wraps up a friendly visit in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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IsraCast Archive | May-June 2005

IsraCast Archive