Wednesday, April 26, 2006

[imra] Daily digest - Volume: 2 Issue: 1378 (15 messages)

imra Wed Apr 26 00:27:26 2006 Volume 2 : Issue 1378

In this issue of the imra daily Digest:

Dutch and Belgian F-16s for Jordan
3 Reports: Palestinian Security Chaos
and Proliferation of Small Arms
Interim PM Olmert Telephones Egyptian President
Mubarak after terror attack in Sinai
Comparison: President Abbas Condemns
Bombings in Egypt and "Tel Aviv Operation"
Civil Committee of 804 Syrians
Missing in Lebanon / Statement
COS Halutz indicates was oblivious of what
transpired in Israel over last decade?
G. Steinberg, "Call Iran's nuclear bluff, before its too late"
FM Livni meets with Spanish counterpart
MEMRI: Egypt's Former Dep. of Domestic
Security: Israel Could Be Behind Sinai Attacks
The Jerusalem Municipality has approved
17 construction plans in eastern Jerusalem
Excerpts: Cash crunch in Palestine.
Sectarian violence in Egypt.25 April 2006
Govt. Spokesperson Announces Finding
Weapons North of Jordan
Hamas Weapons To Jordan Linked To PA Deputies
Iran Unable To Block Hormuz



(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

[IMRA: Acting PM Olmert: "Whatever is necessary to prevent terrorist attacks
is possible, it must be done everywhere, without restriction or
reservation." said a little more than week after he decided to reject the
unanimous recommendation of security officials that he authorize the
implementation of the necessary measures to prevent terrorist attacks.]

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 23.4.06:

1. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Israel Police commissioner Moshe Karadi,
the Deputy Director of the ISA, GOC Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yedlin and
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni briefed ministers on security and diplomatic

A. Defense Minister Mofaz said that the deadly 17.4.06 suicide bombing
( ) near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv
enjoyed the backing of the Hamas government and underscored the latter's
principled support of terrorism even as Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman
Abu Mazen condemned the attack, thus earning severe criticism from Hamas.

He noted the significant increase in the number of warnings (75 last week as
opposed to 55 in the entire month of February) and said that while more than
10 suicide attacks on Israeli territory have been foiled since the beginning
of the year, 17 people have been killed in terrorist attacks so far this

Defense Minister Mofaz discussed the Kassam rocket fire from the Gaza Strip
and noted that last Friday there had been an attempt to launch a Katyusha

He said that the political crisis in the Palestinian Authority had found
expression in the speeches by Hamas leaders who attacked Abu Mazen and his
people. He discussed the violent clashes in Gaza between Fatah and Hamas
militants that took place against the background of the appointment of
senior terrorist Jamal Abu Samhadana to the post of Interior Ministry and
police inspector-general, which was rescinded by Abu Mazen, and of Abu Mazen
's appointment of Rashid Abu Shabakh to be in charge of the security
services, which Hamas does not recognize.

Defense Minister Mofaz also discussed the PA budget crisis, which mainly
affects the payment of salaries and the financing of ongoing activities.
Hamas leaders are optimistic regarding Iran's promise of $100 million and
Qatar's of $50 million even though the funds have yet to arrive.

He noted that Jordan had postponed a visit by the Hamas government's foreign
minister following the discovery of a cache of arms that Hamas had
infiltrated into Jordan.

Regarding the Iranian issue, Defense Minister Mofaz noted that the Iranians
have announced progress in their ability to enrich uranium, a technological
breakthrough that currently enables civilian, not military, use. The
Iranians are continuing dialogue and negotiations in order to gain time.
Regarding the situation in the north, he noted that UN Secy.-Gen. Kofi Annan
has called for Hezbollah to be disarmed and reminded the Cabinet that
Ambassador Larsen has called on the Lebanese government to disarm Hezbollah
and has said that the Shaba Farms are Syrian territory that is under Israeli
occupation. Syria is continuing to enhance its ties with Iran and the
Palestinian terrorist organizations, offering the latter both financial and
material support.

B. Israel Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi also briefed ministers on the
17.4.06 suicide.

He referred to the issue of persons staying illegally in Israel and said
that 730 had been arrested last week alone. He said that while increased
Israel Police and security force activity on the highways and at checkpoints
has created traffic delays, there is no alternative.

C. The Deputy Director of the ISA discussed the issue of terrorist attack
warnings as well as the 17.4.06 suicide bombing.

He discussed counter-terrorist efforts and the need to complete the security
fence ( ), especially in the greater Jerusalem

D. GOC Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yedlin discussed the Iranian nuclear
issue and the Palestinian issue, especially the PA's internal crises.

E. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni discussed the international community's
principled stand regarding the Hamas government, according to which the
latter is not legitimate as long as it does not meet the three conditions
that have been set for it. The international community is also aware of the
fact that this position need not punish the Palestinian people. But over
time it is possible to expect that if the Hamas government does not fall
even as the sense of a humanitarian crisis is created - the international
community will recognize the reality and there will be an erosion in the

She also discussed Hamas officials' remarks in support of the 17.4.06
suicide bombing and the Samahadana appointment, which strengthened the line
in the international community according to which the Hamas government is
not legitimate. The condemnations made by statesmen in the international
media were directed at Hamas and strengthened the line currently being taken
by the international community.

Foreign Minister Livni discussed international events related to the
Palestinian issue such as the 27.4.06 donors' conference at which the matter
of assistance to the Palestinians will be raised, the 9.5.06 Quartet meeting
and the aforementioned Jordanian postponement of the Palestinian Foreign
Minister's visit.

She reported on her recent meeting with EU member state ambassadors at which
she discussed the 17.4.06 suicide bombing and EU policy towards Hamas. She
noted that the ambassadors understood Israel's position; there has been no
attempt to erode the principled line that has been formulated against the
Hamas government.

Foreign Minister Livni also discussed the Iranian issue and noted that the
world is currently waiting for IAEA Director-General ElBaradei's report and
the concomitant UN Security Council discussion. She said that the main
question is whether the UN Security Council would consider action under
Chapter VII of the UN Charter
( She said that Russia and
China opposed the imposition of sanctions and that the former was continuing
its own contacts with Iran in order to position itself as an independent and
leading element in the international arena, despite its membership in the
Quartet and obligations regarding joint action that derive therefrom.

She discussed the recent conference in Tehran at which inflammatory
anti-Israel statements were made, including those in support of the armed
struggle and the Hamas government.

Foreign Minister Livni also referred to Lebanese affairs, echoing Defense
Minister Mofaz's aforesaid remarks.

F. Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made the following summary remarks:
"The Iranian issue is both central and substantive and tops the State of
Israel's list of priorities. This a potential threat on the existential
level. While other issues are very important, this one is the most central
vis-a-vis the size of the threat and its significance. I reiterate that
this is not a threat just against Israel. If the platforms that the
Iranians are developing come to fruition, Europe, the US and whole of
Western civilization will be potentially threatened. When such a government
possesses such delivery capabilities, it must alarm most countries of the
world, especially those which carry global responsibilities. Therefore, our
position has always been that it would not be correct to focus on us as the
spearhead of the global struggle as if it were our local, individual problem
and not a problem for the entire international community. The international
struggle must be led and managed by - first and foremost - the US, Europe
and the UN institutions. We are not ignoring our need to take a long,
varied and impressive series of steps in order to be prepared for any
eventuality and in order to not make things easier for the Iranians. But
others must lead and we are in contact with them and are coordinating with
them. This is important because sometimes it sounds a little exaggerated
and undesirable that all kinds of statements are made here regarding what
should and should not be done with the Iranians. Let us be properly focused
and let others act, declare, threaten and warn as they will.

We have been briefed on last week's suicide bombing. We will now make a
supreme effort to complete the fence as soon as possible, especially in the
greater Jerusalem area. The entire fence is a problem but in the greater
Jerusalem area it has been proven that all of the terrorists' routes utilize
the incomplete fence in the greater Jerusalem area. The High Court of
Justice has recently made two rulings that ease the situation. I hold
weekly status discussions to check, see and decide and we will move forward
as quickly as possible in order to complete this project. The fence,
including in the greater Jerusalem area, is not at the expense of
counter-terrorist and preventive operations by the security forces. I
recall Defense Minister Mofaz's remarks. I do not think that any element in
the world could show such counter-terrorist achievements. We salute the
security services. However, when an attack is successful, it is very hard
and the problem is that nobody either remembers or counts the times it did
not happen. We only count the wounded. We must carry on with all
counter-terrorist activities and I have instructed the security forces that
there are no restrictions on counter-terrorist and preventive operations.
Whatever is necessary to prevent terrorist attacks is possible, it must be
done everywhere, without restriction or reservation. The international
community understands this today better than ever even if it does not always
like it. The statements by the leaders of the Palestinian Hamas government
very much helped to sharpen awareness regarding the nature of this regime.
Following the Samahadana appointment, the US State Department said that
Hamas's true face was being exposed. International statements and reactions
following the Hamas leaders' remarks were very sharp, even in the world
press. The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian, which is a
decidedly left-wing newspaper, all came out with editorials commending the
prudence of the Israeli position and said in effect: It has been proven that
Israel has no partner and therefore, this certainly leads to the taking of
unilateral measures by the State of Israel. It is very interesting to see
this process. We must - and the Foreign Ministry is acting accordingly -
emphasize the fact that the Hamas government is a terrorist government.
When such leaders declare that they in effect support terrorist attacks and
that they do not intend to prevent them and are unable to do so from a moral
perspective - then this government has become a terrorist government, and
this is the information line that we will take in the media and in our
diplomatic contacts. It is very important that the diplomatic community,
foreign ministries and governments around the world internalize the fact
that we have no partner here whom it is possible to talk to."

2. The Cabinet decided to appoint Finance Ministry Budget Division Energy
Coordinator Uri Shusterman as the Finance Ministry representative to the
Public Utility Authority-Electricity ( ).


Subject: Dutch and Belgian F-16s for Jordan

Dutch and Belgian F-16s for Jordan

(Source: Dutch Ministry of Defence; issued April 20, 2006)

(Issued in Dutch only; unofficial translation by

The Netherlands and Belgium signed in Amman today a Letter of Intent for the
sale of 20 surplus F-16 fighters to Jordan.

Detailed negotiations for the terms of this sale of surplus equipment will
begin soon. It is expected that the aircraft will be delivered to the Royal
Jordanian Air Force in 2008.

The agreement was signed by Dutch State Secretary of Defence Cees van der
Knaap, General Jacques de Winter on behalf of the Belgian Ministry of
Defence, and Prince Feisal Bin Al Hussein on behalf of the Jordanian
Ministry of Defence.

The Netherlands have offered to sell eight F-16s that have undergone a
Mid-Life Upgrade (five single-seaters and three two-seaters), while Belgium
will provide the other 12.

In November 2005, Jordan had already acquired three two-seat F-16s from the
Netherlands for training purposes. A month later, Chile bought another 18

With this latest sale to Jordan, all 29 F-16s that were surplus to Dutch
requirements have been disposed of.

The Royal Dutch Air Force now operates 108 F-16 fighters. (ends)


Acquisition of Belgian F-16s by Jordan

(Source: Belgian Ministry of Defence; issued April 20, 2006)

(Issued in French only; unofficial translation by

The Jordanian authorities have signed a Letter of Intent for the purchase of
20 Belgian and Dutch F-16s.

This letter opens the way for detailed negotiations on the acquisition
contract, which covers MLU aircraft upgraded to the latest NATO standard.
The Jordanians had shown interest in such a purchase during the visit to
Amman by Belgian Defence Minister Andre Flahaut a few days ago.

If the contract is concluded, the entire proceeds of the sale will be paid
into the defense budget account.



Subject: 3 Reports: Palestinian Security Chaos
and Proliferation of Small Arms

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

#1 Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms
Use of Weapons in Clan and Personal Disputes

Field Update
24 April 2006

1 Citizen Killed and 4 Injured during a Clan Dispute in Rafah

On Sunday, 23 April 2006, Mousa Mahfouz Shallouf (33) was killed by a bullet
to the neck and 4 others were injured, one seriously, during a clan dispute
over the ownership of a plot of land in Rafah.

PCHR's initial investigation indicates that at approximately 21:00 on
Sunday, a dispute erupted between members of the Shallouf clan in the Mawasi
area, west of Rafah. The incident took place over an old dispute regarding
the ownership of a plot of land, which is governmental property. The
dispute escalated rapidly into clashes involving the use of firearms and
other weapons. The clashes resulted in the death of Mousa Shallouf and the
injury of another 4. Sources at Abu Yousef El-Najjar Hospital in Rafah
indicated that one of the injuries was serious. The injured are:
- Fadel Musallam Shallouf, 21, injured by a bullet to the right
- Yaser Musallam Shallouf, 29, injured by a bullet to the left leg;
- Anwar Ghayyad Shallouf, 36, suffered multiple gunshots to
different parts of the body. His injuries are serious; and
- Habis Ghayyad Shallouf, 31, suffered multiple stab wounds and
bruises in different parts of the body.

PCHR is gravely concerned over the continuation of internal violence,
including the use of arms during personal and clan disputes. Such incidents
serve to further aggravate the state of security chaos currently seen in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Centre calls upon the Palestinian
National Authority to take special preventive measures to ensure that such
incidents do not occur and to preserve the safety of citizens.

#2 Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms
Attacking Public Institutions and Officials

Field Update
24 April 2006

Attacks on Public Institutions Continue
Palestinian Gunmen Attack the Ministry of Health Compound in Gaza City

At approximately 14:00 on Sunday, 23 April 2005, armed clashes took place in
the Ministry of Health compound in Wehda Street, Gaza City. The clashes
took place between an armed group and a Police force supported by a group
from the Izzedeen El-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas). The
clashes resulted in 4 injuries, including 1 policeman.

PCHR's initial investigation indicates that a group of 7 gunmen attempted to
obtain the approval of the Minister of Health, Dr. Basem Na'im, for a
request for treatment for a patient abroad. However, the Minister refused,
stating that the request was illegal. The gunmen fired heavily inside the
Ministry building. A police force was summoned to the scene to apprehend
the gunmen. However the situation escalated and the gunmen clashed with the
police, who were supported by members of the Izzedeen El-Qassam Brigades.
The clash continued for more than half an hour and resulted in the injury of
four people, including a caretaker in the Ministry and a policeman. The
injured were taken to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for treatment.

The injured were:
- Rami Mohammad Yassin, a 25-year-old resident of the Zaitoon
neighborhood in Gaza City and a member of the armed group, was injured in
the face and feet. His condition is moderate;
- Ismail El-Saqqa, a 27-year-old resident of the Zaitoon
neighborhood in Gaza City and a member of the armed group, was injured in
the face and legs. His condition is moderate;
- Karam Shublaq, 17-years old, suffered injures in the abdomen and
his condition is moderate. He is a caretaker in the Ministry of Health and
was in the area during the clashes.
- Mo'een Awad, 24-years old, a policeman injured in the right
forearm and his condition is moderate.

PCHR strongly condemns this attack and expresses grave concern over the
escalating security chaos in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Centre
calls upon the Palestinian National Authority, represented by the
Attorney-General, to investigate these attacks and to bring the perpetrators
to justice.

#3 Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms
Misuse of Weapons by Armed Groups and Security Personnel

Field Update
24 April 2006

2 Citizens Injured by Gunfire during a Fatah March in Toubas

On the evening of Sunday, 23 April 2006, Mohammad Hatem Suliman As'ad (21)
was injured by two bullets to the legs and Walid Mahmoud Abu Naser (31) was
injured by a bullet to the left leg. Both are from the town of Toubas in
the northern West Bank and they were injured by shots fired by gunmen
participating in a Fatah march in the town, organized in protest against the
statements made by Khaled Meshal.

PCHR's initial investigation indicates that at approximately 19:30 on
Sunday, the two citizens were injured as they were participating in a march
in the streets of the town. Scores of Fatah activists and supporters
participated in the protest against the statements of Khaled Meshal, and
demanded an apology be made to the Palestinian National Authority and its
President, Mahmoud Abbas. A number of gunmen participating in the march
fired into the air and two citizens were injured by stray bullets.

PCHR is very concerned over the continued number of deaths and injuries
resulting from the misuse of weapons, which has become a prominent feature
of the ongoing security chaos in the region. The Centre calls upon the
Palestinian National Authority to take preventive measures to prevent such
incidents and safeguard the safety of citizens.

Public Document
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8
2824776 - 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip.
E-mail:, Webpage
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Subject: Interim PM Olmert Telephones Egyptian President
Mubarak after terror attack in Sinai

Interim PM Olmert Telephones Egyptian President Mubarak
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this evening (Monday), 24.4.06,
telephoned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in order to express both his
condolences and those of the Israeli people over the terrorist attack at
Dahab in the Sinai. The two men discussed the need to cooperate in the
struggle against global terrorism.


Subject: Comparison: President Abbas Condemns
Bombings in Egypt and "Tel Aviv Operation"

#1 President Abbas Condemns Dahab Bombings in Egypt

ANKARA, April 24, 2006 (WAFA-PLO news agency) - President Mahmoud Abbas
condemned Monday the criminal bombings in a tourist resort in Sinai in Egypt
which caused the death of many innocents.

President Abbas said in a statement that the planners of this inhumane
operations are enemies of the humanity and their deed emerged from blind
hatred .

During a phone with the Omer Suleiman, Head of Egyptian Intelligence,
President Abbas condemned the terrorist attack against innocent civilians in
Dahab resort in Sinai.

He affirmed that the Palestinian people and their leadership are by the side
of the Egyptian people and government to confront these terrorist acts.
A.D. (22:32 P) (19:32 GMT)

2. President Abbas: We Condemn Tel Aviv Operation

RAMALLAH, April 17, 2006 (WAFA - PLO news agency) - President Mahmoud Abbas
condemned Monday today's operation against Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv.

Upon his arrival from the Jordanian capital Amman to Ramallah, President
Abbas told reporters that "this operation is totally condemned," adding it
harms the Palestinian people.

He added that the security apparatuses will never stop pursuing the
perpetrators of these attacks and they will do their best to thwart them.

Regarding the Israeli escalation, President Abbas said "this escalation is
continued and it is unjustified," pointing out that such operations give
Israel pretexts to continue its escalation.
A.D. (21:27 P) (18:27 GMT)


Subject: Civil Committee of 804 Syrians
Missing in Lebanon / Statement

Civil Committee of Syrians Missing in Lebanon / Statement
Monday, April 24, 2006 - 09:40 PM
Damascus, SANA - Syrian News Agency

Civil Committee of Syrians Missing in Lebanon called for considering the
lost Syrians issue in Lebanon as a first and primary item in any
Syrian-Lebanese discussions.

"Bad fortune of Syrians lost in Lebanon led them to be victims of criminals
and killers who assaulted Syrians working there, killed some of them,
detained others and handed over others to foreign parties to do whatever
they want with them. these acts are condemned by laws and religions," the
Committee said in a statement SANA had received a copy of.

The statement added that the Lebanese fraternal people are innocent of those
malicious parties which killed the Syrian workers, calling for punishing
those who were responsible for the crimes and for getting back the lost
Syrians who still alive.

The number of Syrians missing in Lebanon is 804.



Subject: COS Halutz indicates was oblivious of what
transpired in Israel over last decade?

[IMRA: 'Never forget, never forgive - Rabin' was a bumper sticker that
plastered cars after Rabin was assasinated and cars can be seen with it to
this day. It was the "call to arms" against the national camp.

Was COS Dan Halutz so out of touch with Israel as he saw it from the heights
of the IAF during this period of Israel's history that he did not realize
that when opponents of the destruction of the Jewish communities in the Gaza
Strip and Northern Samaria used the same phrase that they were simply
adopting a line that had been used against them?]

Halutz blasts settlers for protesting Gaza, northern West Bank pullout using
Holocaust terminology
Neta Sela YNET 25 April 2006,7340,L-3243222,00.html

The cheapening of the Holocaust is happening right at our own backyard, as
evidenced by settlers resorting to Holocaust terminology to protest the Gaza
and northern West Bank disengagement, Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said Monday.

"One of the things that happened to us is that we're cheapening the
Holocaust by everyday use (of Holocaust terminology.) Look at the
disengagement and the connection to the Holocaust. 'Never forget, never
forgive' is a sentence from the Holocaust that was posted in every Sukkah in
Samaria on colorful placards showing troops evacuating residents," Halutz
said in remarks to senior officers at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in
Jerusalem. "This is apropos the claim that the cheapening of the Holocaust
is right at our doorstep and not anywhere else."

The army chief concluded the day with his own personal lessons regarding the

"The lesson that we must ensure this never happens again to the Jewish
people is an operative lesson," he said. "There's someone talking like
Hitler. He's talking now. You heard him a week ago, two weeks ago, and a
month ago. This leads to operative significance for the State of Israel, and
I suggest that we don't erase this and put this matter to the side as an
insignificant issue. This is a very important thing, and I don't know how to
ensure the Holocaust doesn't repeat, unless we work on this issue so that it
doesn't repeat."

Following the address, the army chief was asked whether he was referring to
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Halutz responded: "Everyone can
understand what he wishes to understand."

Earlier Monday, President Moshe Katsav also addressed the Iranian threat and
noted that Ahmadinejad's remarks are "permeating the Muslim conscience."

"In the face of Iran's determination and the deception of the international
community, the free world is displaying hesitance, which is being
interpreted as weakness and exploited," Katsav said.

Roee Nahmias contributed to the story

(04.24.06, 16:47)


Subject: G. Steinberg, "Call Iran's nuclear bluff, before its too late"

Calling Iran's nuclear bluff

Globe and Mail April 20 2006

Tel Aviv � For anyone who still had doubts about Iran's intentions, Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent triumphant declaration that his
country had become a member of "the nuclear club" clarified the issue. This
boast was accompanied by macabre "yellow cake" parties -- a reference to the
colour and texture of the uranium used in the enrichment process. Threats of
mass terror, including training for suicide bombers, in retaliation for any
attempts to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, complete the picture.

But a careful look at Iran's capabilities, as distinct from the rhetoric,
suggests that the regime still faces significant obstacles in acquiring
nuclear weapons. To get there, the enrichment plants will need to be
expanded from 164 centrifuges to tens of thousands of complex devices, along
with the rest of the technology involved. Satellite photos reveal that
underground buildings in the town of Natanz and city of Isfahan are being
expanded, but the job of getting all the parts working properly inside the
facilities will be far more difficult.

In other words, Mr. Ahmadinejad and the Iranian regime are bluffing, and it
will take some time to produce enough fissile material to make nuclear
weapons. Rather than a sign of strength, the premature and exaggerated
boasts appear to reflect weakness, and recognition that concerted
international action can stop the nuclear program in its tracks.

Indeed, in contrast to the sharp divisions three years ago over Iraq and
Saddam Hussein, in this case, there is a high degree of co-operation and
co-ordination between the U.S. government, Europe and even Russia.

The representatives of these countries met this week in Moscow to develop a
joint strategy to prevent Iran from going nuclear. They understand the
dangers posed by a radical Islamic regime supporting terrorism, able to
control oil supplies, and armed with nuclear weapons.

These dangers were highlighted in the terrorist summit in Tehran, with
leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah joining Mr. Ahmadinejad in calling for
Israel's annihilation. At the same time, a terror attack in Tel Aviv this
week killed nine civilians, illustrating the tangible threat to Israel.

The Iranian leadership's primary strategy, following the North Korean model,
is to buy time through a combination of negotiations and threats. After
Pyongyang ejected the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency
in the 1990s, Washington entered into long negotiations, allowing the North
Koreans to produce enough fissile material for a few nuclear weapons. At
that stage, the dangers of military action were too high.

Using this script, Iran delayed referral of its violations of the

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to the Security Council for two years,
while pretending to negotiate on a European proposal for compromise.

Now, the Iranian leadership is trying to prevent concerted action by
claiming that its nuclear capabilities are a fait accompli.

To stop this bluff from becoming reality, the U.S.-led governments seeking
to prevent Iran from going nuclear will have to move quickly and
consistently. Sanctions and boycotts can have an important impact,
particularly by putting pressure on the regime from within. Chafing under
the dictatorship of the ayatollahs and sham elections, Iranian society is
very different than Iraq under Saddam Hussein, or North Korea, and isolation
from the rest of the world would be painful. Iran sends teams to many major
sports events, such as the World Cup, and symbolic exclusion would be
unpopular. Economically, sanctions would increase unemployment and emphasize
the government's incompetence. The image of Iran as a nuclear superpower may
be appealing, but it will lose its lustre when the costs become too great.

In this vein, the threat to use military force as a last resort has already
proven effective, and should not be removed from the table. The shrill
statements and signs of panic from Iran's leaders were triggered by the fear
of a U.S. attack. In response, Iran has also boasted of new and devastating
weapons but, in this realm as well, the bluff is an attempt to hide a weak
hand. Very visible military exercises conducted by the Revolutionary Guards
included tests of various missiles, including "a top-secret high-speed
torpedo" so sophisticated that "no submarine or warship can escape." In
reality, the superfast torpedo looks very similar to a Russian weapon,
developed many years ago, with a small range and limited effectiveness.

And the same is true for other recent so-called military breakthroughs. This
does not mean that Iran is incapable of responding if attacked, but in doing
so, it risks far greater damage. This situation, and the years that have
elapsed after Iran renewed its nuclear weapons efforts, leave no good

If allowed to continue, Iranians have the skills and equipment to succeed in
making nuclear weapons. But they are not there yet, and they can still be
stopped by concerted international action.
Gerald M. Steinberg directs the Program on Conflict Management at Bar Ilan
University in Israel.


Subject: FM Livni meets with Spanish counterpart

FM Livni meets with Spanish counterpart
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister's Bureau)

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni held a breakfast meeting today (Monday, 24
April 2006) with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos.

Minister Livni praised the Spanish government for its uncompromising stance
regarding the necessity for the Hamas government of the Palestinian
Authority to comply with the three conditions set by the international
community in order to receive legitimacy (recognizing Israel, ending
terrorism, and fulfilling previous commitments of the PA).

Livni said that, as long as the Palestinian Authority is led by Hamas, the
international community must maintain a united front against it, since
"easing up now would make further progress difficult." She said it is likely
that in the near future Hamas leaders would make apparently moderate
declarations in an attempt to gain legitimacy and funding.

The two ministers also discussed the danger facing the world as a result of
Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

Minister Moratinos briefed his Israeli counterpart on his talks with Omar
Suleiman, Muhammad Dahlan, and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. He also announced
that Spain supports Israel and is working to provide it with a special
status in Europe.


Subject: MEMRI: Egypt's Former Dep. of Domestic
Security: Israel Could Be Behind Sinai Attacks

The following are excerpts from an interview with General Fuad 'Allam, the
former deputy head of the Egyptian Domestic Security Agency. The interview,
in which he blamed Israel for the recent Sinai bombings, aired on Dream 2 TV
on April 24, 2006.

Previously, on October 5, 2004, 'Allam had told the Nahdat Misr newspaper
that Israel was responsible for the October 2004 Sinai bombings: "None of
the suspects in these bombings - whether Egypt, Palestine, or Al-Qa'ida -
have anything to gain [from carrying out the bombings], except for Israel.
All of the evidence points to the conclusion that the Israeli Mossad is the
first and last to gain from this operation. As for the Palestinian factions,
no one suspects that they were involved in this incident - except for
Israel, which accuses them - unless the Mossad got one of these factions
involved [in carrying out the attacks]."


*Clip # 1117 - Former Deputy Head of Egyptian Domestic Security Agency
General Fuad 'Allam: Very Possible that Israel Is Behind the Sinai Bombings

Fuad 'Allam: It is very possible that Israel is behind this, because... What
is peculiar about the operations that took place in Taba, Sharm Al-Sheik,
and now in Dahab is that they all targeted locations frequented by
Egyptians, perhaps even more than tourists. These were three cafeterias. You
asked about a supermarket, but it was in fact a cafeteria adjacent to a
supermarket. These three cafeterias are known to be frequented by Egyptians
more than by foreigners. The same thing happened in... Maybe Taba was a
little different, because the target was the hotel itself, but in Sharm
Al-Sheikh it was the same: Places crowded with Egyptians were targeted.

This makes me tend towards the possibility that a foreign element - the
enemies, and maybe the Israeli Mossad - are behind this operation,
especially since we cannot ignore the fact that all three operations were
preceded by Israeli warnings to the Israeli citizens not to stay in Sinai
because of the possibility of terrorist attacks.


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Subject: The Jerusalem Municipality has approved
17 construction plans in eastern Jerusalem

Jerusalem, April 25, 2006

The Jerusalem Municipality has approved 17 construction plans in eastern

Gideon Schmerling,
Jerusalem Municipality Spokesman

The Jerusalem municipality has approved 17 construction plans in eastern
Jerusalem in order to allow wider, organized construction to the people of
eastern Jerusalem. The local committee, which approved the plan, initiated
by mayor Uri lupolianski, has passed its recommendation to the regional
committee for approval.

Mayor Lupolianski, who initiated this move back when he was chairman of the
local committee for planning and construction, noted that this is a
revolutionary step and a breakthrough in advancing the status of eastern
Jerusalem residents as fully equal residents and improving the quality of
living among the Arab sector.

The entire area of eastern Jerusalem didn't have any comprehensive plan
until the 1980's, when the municipality first initiated massive planning in
that area, over 1,500 acres. In 1996 two plans were approved for Beit Hanina
and in 1999 a plan was approved for Shoaafat. These plans determined land
designations as well as allowed building percentages and terms for
construction. 375 acres of the land is designated specifically for
residential construction.

Due to the complexity of the land and its ownership, Mayor Lupolianski has
instructed to prepare 50 specific plans which include unification and
designation orders to allow proper areas for public constructions (mainly
roads, schools and parks). The difficulty in this area stems from the need
to locate all the land owners and the existence of vast illegal
construction. These difficulties necessitated a large planning effort and
extended the time required to complete the work, due to the need to hold
recurring measuring and constant updating of the plans.

So far 5 plans have been fully approved, 23 have been presented to the local
committee (17 of them were discussed and approved by the committee
yesterday) and 22 are awaiting approval by the regional committee. This
marks 2006 as the culmination of an extensive planning effort which will
allow the residents of those neighborhoods to receive building permits and
develop appropriate public properties.

While preparing those plans, it was decided to increase building rights in
this area from 50% to 75% and again to 112.5%. This added to the delay since
the balance charts had to be updated.

The planning department of the Jerusalem Municipality has done extensive
efforts during the last three years in order to promote the plans and
complete them as soon as possible. So far the municipality has invested over
8 million NIS in the aforementioned 50 compounds and 3 more are needed in
order to finish planning by the end of the year.

Below - details of the plans for Beit Hanina and Shoaafat.

Unification and Designation plans in Beit Hanina and Shoaafat

1. Shoaafat
Approved plan 3456 A
Approved in 1999
Total land: 625 acres
120 unification and designation plans
Total area of plans: 125 acres
Allocations for public use: 50 acres, for roads and open areas.

2. Beit Hanina
Two approved plans:
Approved plan 3457 A
Approved in 1996
Total land: 457 acres
12 unification and designation plans
Total area of plans: 130 acres
Allocations for public use: 50 acres

Approved plan 3458 A
Approved in 1996
Total land: 490 acres
17 unification and designation plans
Total area of plans: 165 acres
Allocations for public use: 67.5 acres


Subject: Excerpts: Cash crunch in Palestine.
Sectarian violence in Egypt.25 April 2006

Excerpts: Cash crunch in Palestine. Sectarian violence in Egypt.25 April

+++JORDAN TIMES 25 April '06:"Abbas says won't fire Hamas for now "
"warned ...Hamas' anti-Israel policies could bring the Palestinian people

"Hamas .. was in league with other groups that did attack Israel"

"Abbas ... to dissolve the government .... only if the economic situation
in the
territories becomes catastrophic""
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AP) - The moderate Palestinian president publicly warned
Hamas was high time they recognised Israel.
..Abbas' warning ... drew a stern threat from the group to call off its
15-month-old truce with Israel.
. . .. Abbas...has warned since January 25 elections that Hamas'
anti-Israel policies could bring the Palestinian people to ruin.
"The constitution gives me clear and definite authority to remove a
government from power, but I don't want to use this authority. Everyone
should know that by law this power is in my hands," Abbas said ... ..
The senior Hamas official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he
was not authorised to speak to the media, ... threatened to stop recognising
a truce with Israel that Abbas brokered in February 2005.
"We will go, but we will not recognise the Palestinian political regime," he
said. "We will not participate in any new election and we will go
underground as we did before and we will not adhere to any commitments, any
truce, by anyone."
An Israeli government spokesman... dismissed Hamas' threat to breach the
truce, saying the group had never recognised it. Although it suspended its
suicide bombing campaign after the ceasefire was reached, Hamas was in
league with other groups that did attack Israel, Gissin charged, "and it
never renounced terrorism."
A spokesman for the Hamas-led government, Ghazi Hamad, said Abbas should not
have warned Hamas he could disband the government ... .
. . .Abbas doesn't plan to dissolve the government soon, and will do so
only if the economic situation in the territories becomes catastrophic... .
. . .Once Abbas determines there is a stalemate, he has the authority to
order new elections.
Abbas also said Hamas must negotiate with Israel unless it wanted to mire
the Palestinian people in a financial catastrophe.
. . ."Hamas can support me or not. When I find a way to a solution with
Israel, I'll present this to the Palestinian people in a referendum," he
said. . . .

Mushir Abu Masri, a Hamas lawmaker in Gaza, denounced Abbas' call on Hamas
to negotiate with Israel.
. . .The cash crunch has left the Hamas government unable to pay the
165,000 people on its payroll - including about 80,000 security forces, many
of them armed and loyal to Abbas.

+++AL-AHRAM WEEKLY 20-26 April '06:"Open sores"
"the Coptic Christian community is seething with rage and frustration ...
The nation's Muslim majority is also fustrated"

""for Muslims and Christians alike, it is poverty, social insecurity
joblessness among the young and political marginalisation that are driving
feelings of oppression, and leading many to religious intolerance and

"the Egyptian people are becoming more outspoken and brazen in their
demands for change"
... sectarian violence that erupted over the weekend in Alexandria, Egypts
second-largest city, came as no surprise to keen observers of the state of
the nation. The incident has forced people throughout the country to pause
for a moment and reflect.
Much of the Coptic Christian community is seething with rage and
frustration. They believe that they are politically marginalised and
discriminated against ... that security forces were not doing enough to
defend them. The nations' Muslim majority is also frustrated; some ...
believe ... security forces favour Copts at the Muslims' expense.
... for Muslims and Christians alike, it is poverty, social insecurity,
joblessness among the young and political marginalisation that are driving
feelings of oppression, and leading many to religious intolerance and
. . .At the root of the sectarian violence are deteriorating economic
conditions. ... accusing the other has become an easy alternative to facing
the host of social and economic ills plaguing the nation.
For years, periodic outbursts of sectarian strife were fairly common in some
parts of the countryside, and especially in the remote and outlying
districts of rural southern Egypt. Today, these incidents seem to have
become more common in the larger urban centres, and especially in
That's why the government must move fast to rectify the situation. . . .

Sue Lerner - Associate - IMRA


Subject: Govt. Spokesperson Announces Finding
Weapons North of Jordan

Urgent/ Govt. Spokesperson Announces Finding Weapons North of Jordan

Amman, April 25 (Petra - Jordan news agency)-- The security apparatus found
new quantities of weapons in a village north of Jordan, Spokesperson of the
government Nasser Judeh announced on Tuesday.

"The security apparatus seized weapons, TNT explosives, T4, and missiles to
target some foundations and a number of officials," he added.

//Petra// Ashkar

25/04/2006 13:20:31


Subject: Hamas Weapons To Jordan Linked To PA Deputies

Hamas Weapons To Jordan Linked To PA Deputies

LONDON [MENL] -- Jordan has determined that five Palestinian legislators
have been helping Hamas smuggle weapons into the Hashemite kingdom.

Jordanian security sources said five members of the Palestinian Legislative
Council were found to have helped procure and smuggle rocket launchers,
automatic weapons and ammunition into Jordan. The sources said the
legislators employed their connections to procure the weapons and transport
them to the kingdom.

The five legislators were not identified. But they said the PLC members were
leading operatives of Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and won seats in
Palestinian legislative elections on Jan. 25.
The London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat daily quoted Jordanian sources as saying
that the Amman government provided details of the involvement of Palestinian
legislators during the visit of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the kingdom
last week. The newspaper said the episode has harmed relations between Amman
and Ramallah and resulted in the cancellation of a scheduled visit on April
19 by PA Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar.


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Subject: Iran Unable To Block Hormuz

Iran Unable To Block Hormuz

WASHINGTON [MENL] -- Iran lacks the capability to block the world's leading
shipping route for crude oil exports.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies said the Iranian Navy,
including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has failed to procure the
platforms or weapons required to block the Straits of Hormuz, the passage
for 60 percent of the world's oil trade. In a report, the Washington-based
center said the United States could block any Iranian attempt to attack Gulf
shipping, particularly from the sea.

"Iran could not close the Strait of Hormuz, or halt tanker traffic, and its
submarines and much of its IRGC forces would probably be destroyed in a
matter of days if they become operational," the report said.

The assertion undermined an Iranian warning to threaten the global oil trade
if attacked by the United States. The warning was issued during the Holy
Prophet exercise in the Gulf, which took place from March 31 to April 6.

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End of [imra] Daily digest - Volume: 2 Issue: 1378 (15 messages)

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