Prepared for the |
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
IDF: Hizbullah Missiles Deployed in South Lebanon - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
PA Rocket Fire Escalating - Yaakov Katz and Tovah Lazaroff (Jerusalem Post)
Hamas Court Halts Distribution of PA Daily in Gaza (AFP)
Italian Book Fair's Plans to Honor Israel Lead to Protests - Elisabetta Povoledo
(New York Times)
Arab Clan Chiefs Meet with Settlers in Hebron - Efrat Weiss (Ynet News)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
An 8-year-old boy and his older brother were seriously wounded Saturday when a rocket fired by Palestinians from Gaza slammed into the Israeli town of Sderot. The younger boy's legs were at least partially severed by the explosion, Israel's Army Radio reported. His 19-year-old brother was also badly hurt. (AP)
See also Boy Injured by Palestinian Rocket Loses Leg - Shmulik Hadad
Doctors at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon were forced Sunday to amputate part of the left leg of Osher Tuito, 8, who was seriously injured in a rocket attack in Sderot on Saturday. "We are trying to keep the second leg, but it's also in bad condition," said Dr. Emil Chai, the hospital's deputy director-general. "Apart from that, he has a hole in his chest and his lungs are injured." (Ynet News)
Osher, who dreamed of becoming a soccer player, does not know yet that he has lost one of his legs. He remains under total sedation so he doesn't suffer from severe pain. Staffers at Barzilai Medical Center were themselves traumatized by Osher's suffering, as he was conscious upon arrival at the trauma room and repeatedly screamed "Save me!" (Jerusalem Post)
See also Israel Protests to UN Over Gaza Rocket Fire (AFP)
Asim had been sent to Spain to be a suicide bomber, but he also was an informant for French intelligence working in the no man's land of Waziristan in Pakistan. He told Spanish investigators the largely Pakistani terrorism cell members recently arrested in Barcelona envisioned a wave of spectacular attacks: Coordinated suicide bombings would start in the city's subway system and then sweep through Portugal, Germany, France and Britain if certain demands were not met. "The jihadi threat from Pakistan is the biggest emerging threat we are facing in Europe," said Judge Baltasar Garzon, Spain's highest anti-terrorism magistrate. "Pakistan is an ideological and training hotbed for jihadists, and they are being exported here."
Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, told the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday, "We had 20 terrorists show up in Spain that had been trained in Pakistan that were going to be suicide bombers, fanning out over Europe." Three suspects identified as would-be suicide bombers arrived from Pakistan through other European cities: one via Sweden, a second via Germany, and a third via Portugal. (New York Times)
On Nov. 3, U.S. soldiers raided a safe house of the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq and captured a diary. "I am Abu Tariq, Emir of al-Layin and al-Mashadah Sector," it began. Over 16 pages, the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader detailed the organization's demise in his sector. He once had 600 men, but now his force was down to 20 or fewer. (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch visited Egypt, Israel and the PA last week and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to visit the region shortly. Welch said that the breaching of the Gaza-Egypt border wall by Hamas has led to a significant change in Egypt's attitude. He said the Egyptians are now more ready than ever to cooperate to change the situation at the border as well as combat smuggling there. (Ha'aretz)
Egyptian authorities have begun questioning hundreds of foreign Arabs who entered Gaza after the border was breached, and then returned to Sinai. Some 2,000 foreigners, mostly Egyptians, are believed to have entered Gaza. (Jerusalem Post)
In a sharply critical commentary in Al-Hayat, Majed Kialy wrote, "Somewhere along the way, the Palestinians have lost sight of the real cause." Hamas' "grandiose" objective of "liberating all the land which was occupied in 1948" is unachievable. "Instead of making the withdrawal from Gaza a national achievement, it has become a liability for the Palestinian national project," he says. Hamas has "increased its military might within Palestinian society, but has diminished its capacity to act against Israel." "These facts require courage and self-criticism especially on the part of Hamas' leadership, who must tell the people with all honesty that the armed resistance is dying down." This is an internal Palestinian debate that does not usually reach Israeli ears. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Israel withdrew all its forces and civilians from Gaza more than two years ago. It created the first opportunity in Gaza's history for self-governance. Never before, certainly not during Egyptian military rule till 1967, did local residents have their fate in their own hands. Those who predicted that governance would moderate the Hamas message were proven wrong. And those in capitals from Moscow to Riyadh who believed they could talk sense to Hamas had little to show for their efforts.
Israel faces an Iranian-financed franchise on its border. Since Israel left Gaza, literally thousands of rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli towns and villages have occurred. What is Israel to do? Ignore the attacks? Turn the other cheek? Some would have Israel negotiate with Hamas, but over what? If the other party does not recognize your right to exist, what is there to discuss? The timetable for your own destruction? Others propose a hudna, or temporary truce. But if the outcome is to allow Hamas to strengthen its terrorist infrastructure, much as Hizbullah did in southern Lebanon after Israel's unilateral withdrawal in 2000, then Hamas, not Israel, benefits.
Hamas wants to use Gaza as a launching pad against Israel, while seeking protection from the international community. That gives new meaning to the word chutzpah. To protect the possibility of peace, the international community mustn't let Hamas get away with it. The writer is executive director of the American Jewish Committee. (Miami Herald)
The four armed men who assaulted eight-year-old Shahab al-Akhras on a street corner in Rafah for wearing the black-and-white checked scarf associated with Fatah were wearing the uniforms of Hamas' Executive Force, Fatah's deadly rival. "They said that if they saw me wearing the scarf again they would shoot me in the legs," said the boy. The internal struggle between the Islamist Hamas and Fatah in Gaza is now over Gaza's children. "There is a preoccupation among the children about the issue of who is Hamas and who is Fatah," said Iyad Sarraj, a Palestinian psychologist.
The children of Fatah families in particular, who saw fathers, brothers and uncles defeated by Hamas last June, are taking responsibility for the adult world. They fly the yellow Fatah flag on their bicycles to taunt the gunmen of the Executive Force, on occasion riding in gangs through Hamas demonstrations. They sometimes throw stones and insults, shouting "Shia!" at Hamas members. Ghazi Hamid, a former spokesman for Hamas, says, "I have never seen such splits in Palestinian society. Such hatred. And it really worries me. I have eight children and they talk about what goes on in school. The children abuse each other over what party they say they follow." (Observer-UK)
Restraint Is Not Possible - Editorial (Ha'aretz)
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