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DAILY ALERT

December 9, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

How UNRWA Aids Terror - Amir Rapaport (Maariv)

    A secret report prepared by the Israeli security services accuses the UN aid organization UNRWA of "aiding terror."
    The organization, whose task is to assist in the health, education, and welfare of refugees, actually provides an infrastructure for terrorist activities, with UNRWA facilities frequently used by terrorists as havens.
    The report tells of UNRWA ambulance driver Nidal Nazal, arrested 5 months ago, who admitted using his ambulance to transport ammunition and messages between terrorist groups.
    Ala Hassan, a Tanzim terrorist arrested 9 months ago, said that ammunition was stored and target practice was held in the UNRWA school in Nablus. Nahad Atalla also admitting using an UNRWA vehicle to transport terrorists on their way to attacks.
    The report further states that UNRWA has a policy of hostility toward Israel and the IDF is willing to recognize only those workers who are foreigners and not Palestinian residents of the territories.


Allied War Games Open in Persian Gulf

    Gen. Tommy Franks, the American general who would run any U.S.-led war against Iraq, arrived in Qatar to prepare for the opening of a weeklong, simulated war game.
    If President Bush were to order an attack on Iraq, Franks probably would direct the operation from Camp As Sayliyah. Franks' naval commander is in Bahrain, his Air Force commander in Saudi Arabia, and his Army commander in Kuwait.
    The U.S. has several military installations in Qatar including Camp Snoopy, a major military logistics base, al-Udeid air base, where about 3,300 U.S. troops are stationed, and an ammunition storage facility called Falcon 78. (San Diego Union-Tribune/AP)
    Australian military observers will join a massive U.S. military exercise in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar to test command systems that would be used in a war with Iraq. Australia's inclusion points to expectations it will take part in any U.S.-led war.
    Australian SAS forces are expected to join any Iraq war, along with naval forces and P3 Orion reconnaissance aircraft which could be based in Qatar.
    British forces are also taking part in the exercise. More than 35,000 U.S. forces are already in the Persian Gulf area and more are on their way. (Sydney Morning Herald)
    See also U.S. Military Begins War Games in Qatar (Washington Post/AP)


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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • U.S. to Claim Iraq Lying about Arms
    Even before Iraq hands over the long-awaited declaration of its weapons and missile programs, the Bush administration is preparing to declare the nation in "material breach" of a tough UN resolution for expected omissions in the report, U.S. officials said Friday. The White House claims to have evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, despite Baghdad's repeated denials. But instead of pushing immediately for military action, the administration will use the anticipated gaps to argue for more aggressive inspections and the spiriting away of Iraqi scientists who could lead inspectors to "a smoking gun." (Los Angeles Times)
        See also Iraq's Arms Dossier
    Suggestions in American news reports that the CIA had a "smoking gun" in the form of information that would immediately expose lies in the document were played down by British intelligence. (London Times)
        See also Iraqi Report: Gold Mine Or Minefield? (Washington Post)
  • U.S. Military Nearly Set to Start Attack
    The U.S. will soon have enough heavy tanks, warships, aircraft, bombs, and troops in the Persian Gulf region to enable it to begin an attack against Iraq sometime in January, senior military officials say. By late next week, four aircraft carriers will be poised to strike Iraq on short notice, with a fifth in Southeast Asia ready to steam to the gulf in a crisis. The force in place by next month would be large enough to begin the "rolling start" of an offensive, but additional armored and air forces would have to be sent from Europe and the U.S. to sustain a larger attack that could mass 200,000 to 250,000 American troops. (New York Times)
  • More Palestinians Saying "Enough" - Karin Laub
    A slowly swelling chorus of Palestinian leaders and opinion-makers says taking up arms against Israel was a mistake and must stop. The latest voice is that of Jibril Rajoub, once the most powerful security chief in the West Bank, who says he warned Yasser Arafat 10 days after the start of the uprising that allowing armed gangs to take over would lead to disaster. ''Some of our people made terrible mistakes, and for this reason we paid a lot,'' Rajoub said. (Chicago Sun-Times/AP)
  • Al Qaeda Claims Responsibility in Kenya Attacks
    "I hereby confirm what has been issued by al Qaeda political office regarding our responsibility for the Mombasa attacks in Kenya," Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a leading al Qaeda member, said in an audio statement aired today on the Qatar-based al-Jazeera satellite television channel. "The Christian-Jewish alliance will not, God willing, be safe from attacks by the mujaheddin [holy warriors]....The alliance's installations and facilities everywhere will be subject to attacks," he said.
        An Israeli security source said Monday the Jewish state had received intelligence that warned of plans by al Qaeda to attack Jews and Israelis in Prague. (Washington Post/Reuters)
        See also Kenyan Missiles Found
    Two missiles fired at an Israeli airliner last week were recovered by Kenyan police from a maize farm near Mombasa, police said. "One unexploded missile was recovered deep underground, while only a part of the second missile was found," said Deputy Police Commissioner William Lang. Both missiles missed their target, an Israeli plane taking off from Mombasa's international airport with 261 passengers on board. (Telegraph - UK)
  • Elliott Abrams - New White House Director of Middle Eastern Affairs - Steven R. Weisman
    Administration officials say Abrams was picked for the Middle East and North Africa portfolio under Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, because a strong manager was needed and the previous director, Zalmay Khalilzad, had been preoccupied with the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Abrams's appointment thrilled those who had criticized the administration for being too tough on Israel and too deferential to the Palestinians. Associates say he is likely to side with those who say the road map pressed by Secretary Powell does not make it sufficiently clear that Arafat must be removed, and that terrorism must cease entirely, before Israel makes any irretrievable concessions on withdrawal from Palestinian territories. (New York Times)
        See also The Significance of the Abrams Appointment - Fred Barnes
    In a book, Present Dangers, published in 2000, Abrams wrote: American interests "do not lie in strengthening Palestinians at the expense of Israelis, abandoning our overall policy of supporting the expansion of democracy and human rights, or subordinating all other political and security goals to the 'success' of the Arab-Israel 'peace process.'" At the moment, the White House plans to implement the Bush guidelines from his speech last June. Among these are the easing aside of Arafat, the end of Palestinian terrorism against Israel, and reform of the PA. The Bush speech indicated these steps must be taken first, before moving on to concessions the Israelis might make. However, the position of Powell's State Department is that the Palestinians don't have to complete their required steps, only begin them. (Weekly Standard)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Two Soldiers Badly Hurt in Lebanon Border Blast - Amos Harel
    Two IDF soldiers were seriously wounded when the armored personnel carrier in which they were traveling hit a roadside mine near Moshav Zar'it near the border with Lebanon on Sunday. Major-General Benny Ganz, head of the Northern Command, said, "Someone is trying to heat up this sector. We won't be able to continue without reacting for long." (Ha'aretz)
  • Al Qaeda in Lebanon Said Directing Gaza Terrorists - Amos Harel
    The security establishment believes al Qaeda operatives in Lebanon, refugees from the American assault on Afghanistan, are working with Hizballah to send directives for operations to terrorists in Gaza. (Ha'aretz)
  • Saddam Providing Fresh Funds to Families of Homicide Bombers
    Israel Radio, quoting the PA-affiliated Al-Ayyam newspaper, said Monday that some $500,000 in funds provided by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would be distributed this week to families of Palestinians killed in the territories, including $25,000 each to families of three homicide bombers. Families of Palestinians who were not homicide terrorists would receive $10,000 each. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

    Sheep, Wolves, and Reality - Mortimer B. Zuckerman
    Expect nothing to come out of the continued push by the West for negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel. Why? Because diplomacy has come to a dead end. Terrorism has supplanted reason and even self-interest. What is at stake now is not the shape of a future Palestinian state. It is the existence of Israel. As the Kenya outrage shows, the right of Jews everywhere to live in peace is under siege.
        It bewilders Israelis that so much of the world tolerates and even excuses the terrorism they face each day. It is to his everlasting credit that President Bush sees clearly the stakes of this conflict and has the courage to speak plainly about it. How can anyone continue to believe there is the slightest possibility of good-faith negotiation until the terrorism is ended? This performance standard, established by President Bush in his June 24 speech on the Middle East, must become the official position of the quartet made up of the UN, EU, Russia, and our own State Department. (U.S. News)
  • The True Voice of Islam - King Abdullah II of Jordan
    Today Muslims must speak out boldly in defense of a dynamic, moderate Islam - an Islam that upholds the sanctity of human life, reaches out to the oppressed, respects men and women alike, and insists on the fellowship of all humankind. My father and great-grandfather believed that a peaceful, political solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict would be essential to defeating extremism and building a world of mutual acceptance and peace. (Washington Post)
  • Talking Points:

    Razing Terrorists' Houses is an Effective Deterrent - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)

    • IDF troops have demolished 25 houses belonging to families of terrorists in the Gaza Strip over the past three months. Senior army sources claim the demolition of homes has significant deterrent effect and led to averting close to 20 terrorist attacks when the terrorists' relatives pressured them to abort their plans for fear their homes would be demolished.
    • "For the first time, the terrorists' families are paying a price for their sons' activity, while earlier they won praise from the Palestinian Authority and residents, in addition to financial support," a senior officer said. Until recently the suicide bombers thought their attack assured their families' economic future, say IDF sources. Now that Israel has changed the equation, some families react by restraining or even locking up their sons to prevent them from carrying out a terrorist attack.
    • The fear of Israeli reaction is also reflected in pamphlets spread by Palestinian activists in Rafah and Khan Yunis calling on gunmen not to shoot at IDF soldiers from inhabited areas.
    • A preliminary military probe of the IDF operation in the Al-Bureij camp in Gaza, in which 10 Palestinians were killed last Friday, indicates no flaws in the troops' performance. The IDF says eight of those killed were involved in fighting the soldiers. A senior officer said, "the large number of casualties also has a deterrent value. There is no chance of getting the Palestinians to stop the struggle, unless they pay a heavy personal price. The blood cannot flow only in the streets of Tel Aviv."


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