Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with Access/Middle East
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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July 29, 2003

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In-Depth Issue:

Hamas Receives 70% of Its Funding from Saudi Arabia - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
    A senior security official said Tuesday that Hamas continued to receive 70% of its funding from non-government organizations in Saudi Arabia.
    The official also noted that Palestinian Security Minister Mohammed Dahlan's efforts to take over the terror organizations in the West Bank were meeting with only partial success.
    The official predicted that the cease-fire (hudna) would last longer than the agreed three months.
    However, IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon said Tuesday that the army was preparing itself for the possibility of another wave of violence, which could erupt if the Palestinian leadership did not take any action against terror.
    Ya'alon said that it was possible there would be a temporary lull in the violence, but added that he has started to count the days until the next outbreak of violence.

Al-Qaeda Targeting Israeli Interests in East Africa - Ze'ev Schiff (Ha'aretz)
    Fawzal Abdullah Mohammed, a senior activist in al-Qaeda believed responsible for attacks against Israeli and American targets in Kenya and Tanzania, recently arrived in east Africa and is plotting an attack with a light aircraft against an Israeli or American target, say Israeli security sources.

Who is Trying to Kill Musa Arafat? - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    General Musa Arafat, the commander of the PA's Military Intelligence who escaped an assassination attempt Thursday, is a cousin and lookalike of Yasser Arafat.
    He is one of a number of security chiefs who have refused to take orders from Mohammed Dahlan, insisting on reporting directly to Arafat in Ramallah.
    Other security organizations that remain under Arafat's control are the West Bank branch of the Preventive Security Service led by Col. Ziad Hab al-Reeh, the West Bank branch of General Intelligence led by Col. Tawkif Tirawi, the National Security Force led by Haj Ismail Jabr, and Force 17 (Arafat's presidential guard) led by Brig. Gen. Faisal Abu Sharkh.
    Musa Arafat ruled out the possibility that the attack on him was the work of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or Israel.
    "Gen. Arafat is pointing an accusing finger at his rivals in the Palestinian security forces," remarked a veteran journalist from Gaza City.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Saudi FM to Meet Bush Over 9/11 Allegations
    Saudi officials, furious over a congressional report issued last week alleging possible links between individuals in the Saudi government and some of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers, have requested and been granted a meeting Tuesday between Foreign Minister Prince Saud Faisal and President Bush. The meeting will take place shortly after Bush meets with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Some U.S. officials said it appeared the Saudi government was moving toward asking the president to declassify a classified - but well-publicized - 28-page section of the report dealing with allegations about Saudi Arabia. The Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar bin Sultan, said last week, "Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide...but we cannot respond to blank pages." Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) sent a letter to Bush Monday citing Bandar's statement as a reason for declassifying those pages. (Washington Post)
  • White House: No Release for Terrorists with "Blood on Their Hands"
    The White House Monday welcomed a package of Israeli goodwill gestures toward the Palestinians, including the announced freeing of more than 500 Palestinian prisoners, among them members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. "We welcome steps like this," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan, but added, "No one should want anyone released that had blood on their hands." (Washington Times)
  • International Peacekeeping Force in Iraq to Cost U.S. $200 Million
    Dov S. Zakheim, the Pentagon comptroller, said Friday that the Defense Department will pay $30-40 million in airlift costs for transporting most of a 9,000-member division to Iraq and about $200 million to cover meals, medical care, and other support costs. Zakheim said the Pentagon is not covering the cost of compensating troops, the largest expense, which more than a dozen participating countries in the division will bear. The Polish-led division will include 2,400 Polish troops, 1,300 troops from Spain, 1,640 from Ukraine, and smaller battalions from Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mongolia, and the Philippines. (Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Missing Israeli Soldier Found Murdered - Uri Ash and David Ratner
    The body of IDF Corporal Oleg Shaichat, 20, was found Monday - a week after he disappeared - buried in an olive grove between the Arab villages of Kafr Kana and Mashad, northeast of Nazareth in northern Israel. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Arafat Adviser Calls for Kidnapping IDF Soldiers - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Ahmed Jbarra, the veteran Palestinian prisoner who was released by Israel on the eve of the Aqaba summit in Jordan last month, has called on Palestinians to kidnap Israeli soldiers in order to exchange them for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Jbarra murdered 14 people when he planted a booby-trapped refrigerator in Jerusalem's Zion Square in 1975. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Sharon, Rice Discuss Security Fence - Herb Keinon
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice agreed Monday to continue contacts regarding the security fence in order to lessen its negative effect on the Palestinians. According to Israel Radio, Rice did not demand that Israel halt construction of the fence. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Putting "Pressure" in Perspective - Herb Keinon
    Reports of imminent pressure from the U.S. have preceded nearly every one of Sharon's visits to Washington. True, Bush wants to build Abbas up, but making life difficult for Sharon is not in Bush's domestic interest as he gears up for an election campaign. U.S. pressure could be applied through a hug, the way the Clinton administration used to pressure Ehud Barak: "We have your interests at heart, and it would be in your interest to do what we advise." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israeli Girl Shot in West Bank Terror Attack - Joel Leyden
    An 11-year-old Israeli girl was shot inside a car as she was traveling with her parents near the Jewish community of Yitzhar in the West Bank Monday night, and was lightly wounded in the legs. Four other passengers, including children, escaped injury, though numerous bullet holes penetrated the side of the car. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Graves Vandalized on Mount of Olives - Etgar Lefkovits
    About 100 Jewish graves at Jerusalem's ancient Mount of Olives cemetery have been vandalized in recent months by local Arabs, a Jerusalem burial society said Monday. A visit to the cemetery, located adjacent to several Arab neighborhoods, revealed a dozen broken or shattered graves, scores of toppled tombstones, Arabic graffiti drawn on one grave, and a swastika on a cemetery wall. A security guard reported that Arab teens hang out at the site at night, drinking beer and playing music. The late prime minister Menachem Begin's grave is a frequent target for Arab vandals, said the guard. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Facing Facts About Saudi Arabia - Editorial
    The Congressional report on the terror attacks contains important information that should be pursued. The White House should agree to the declassification of a 28-page section of the report that deals with foreign governments' involvement in the attacks. These pages are said to describe how senior Saudi officials funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to charitable and other groups that may have helped finance the terrorist operation. (New York Times)
  • Ending Terrorism Still Comes First - Yoel Marcus
    The U.S. administration has made it plain as day to Abbas that the hudna is not a substitute for dismantling the terror organizations. This is Bush's very own, no-two-ways-about-it policy. The disbanding of terrorist organizations is the first operational clause of the road map and a prerequisite for its continuation. (Ha'aretz)
  • The Search for Osama - Jane Mayer
    The CIA and foreign intelligence services believe bin Laden is most likely hiding somewhere along the 1,500-mile border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mansoor Ijaz, an American financier with family members in Pakistan, contends that "Bin Laden is travelling around within about a hundred-and-fifty-mile diameter....He�s essentially being babysat by tribal leaders." Rahimullah Yusufzai, a journalist in Peshawar known for his interviews with bin Laden, says that bin Laden was likely hiding in western Pakistan. Dominic Simpson, the head of the Middle East division of Kroll, a New York-based security firm, reported on a recent meeting inside Pakistan attended by Mullah Mohammed Omar, the fugitive leader of the Taliban. Simpson said that during the meeting Omar confided, "Yes, I am with Osama. We�re travelling together in Pakistan." (New Yorker)
  • Observations:  

    The Facade of "Reconciliation" - Gerald M. Steinberg (Jerusalem Post)

    • Reconciliation is a wonderful concept. When the fighting ends, armies are disbanded, prisoners of war are released, and borders opened.
    • Unfortunately, in the "Oslo peace process," the release of Palestinian terrorists allowed many to go back to kill again. The Palestinian police, created and trained by the CIA to prevent terrorism, joined Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Arafat's terror brigades. The funds provided to create jobs and end the poverty believed to be the "root cause" of terror were used to buy weapons and explosives.
    • Instead of finally accepting the historic legitimacy of a Jewish state alongside 21 Islamic countries, most Palestinian leaders and their supporters continue to churn out propaganda labeling Zionism as "racism and apartheid." To agree, under these conditions, to the Palestinian demand for a mass release of terrorists as a "confidence-building measure" would be to invite yet another and even more deadly round of terror attacks.
    • Similarly, to halt the construction of the separation barrier, designed to impede the access of terrorists to Israeli cities and reduce the friction between the populations, would be suicidal.
    • Until Zionism and Israel are recognized as the expression of the legitimate rights of the Jewish people, talk of peace and reconciliation is a facade.

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