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Friday, March 12, 2004

DEBKA:

In Al Aqsa Friday sermon of unprecedented anti-Jewish virulence, Muslim preacher referred to Jews as “sons of monkeys and pigs,” and “murderers of prophets.” Loudspeakers boomed across Jerusalem’s Old City with his message condemning the Jews to “total extinction.”


Am Yisrael chai. Good Shabbos!

3/11



My deepest condolences to the families, friends and
countrymen of those killed in yesterday's terrorist attack in Madrid.
"We were ALL on this train"

A demonstrator holds aloft a sign reading 'We were all on this train'
as Spaniards took to the streets to demonstrate in Madrid's Puerta
del Sol, March 12, 2004. They were protesting against the series of
explosions on March 11 which left nearly 200 dead and 1500 injured
in the Spanish capital. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

posted by Imshin:
Why Spain? No, it has nothing to do with Spain’s support of the war in Iraq, and it has a lot more to do with Palestinian Islamic terrorism than anyone in the west seems capable of realizing.

These Muslim fanatics who are striving for world domination are not interested in the modern world. For these people, Spain, or at least the southern part of it, is occupied Muslim land.

Just like Palestine.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Yassin laughs


Palestinian Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, laughs during
an interview by Associated Press at his home in Gaza city, Tuesday
March 9, 2004. Sheik Yassin said that rival Palestinian factions should
try to reach agreement on who will control the Gaza Strip after a possible
Israeli withdrawal, but stopped short of demanding a role for his group
and said that such an agreement could help prevent conflict and chaos
in Gaza.

Arabic on Palestinian flag, in the shape of a map of Israel, reads:
'Islamic resistance movement of Hamas, a gift to Sheikh Ahmed Yassin'.
(AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Hollywood honors a Nazi

by Joseph Farah, at WorldNetDaily
I waited a week to write this.

I waited intentionally to see if there would be any apology, any second-guessing, any mea culpa from Hollywood.

Nope.

A full week after the Academy Awards show that honored entertainment industry figures who died in 2003, including Adolf Hitler's filmmaker-propagandist Leni Riefenstahl, no one has expressed regrets or remorse to the American people or to the world's Jews. . .

In case you missed it, in a segment of the Oscars extravaganza last weekend, the Academy offered up its annual memorial to those entertainment industry figures who died last year. The list included Riefenstahl, Hitler's favorite filmmaker – the one who produced all of his epic propaganda works. . .

Although Riefenstahl later claimed she did not support the Nazis, when Hitler conquered Paris in 1940, she sent him a telegram declaring: "Your deeds exceed the power of human imagination. They are without equal in the history of mankind. How can we (the German people) ever thank you?" She produced Nazi documentaries during the 1930s and never apologized for her association with Hitler, claiming she didn't know about the mass murders.


War marriage ceremony with Maj. Peter Jacob in 1944


Yet, far from rethinking the decision, some top Academy officials have rationalized the inclusion of Riefenstahl.

"She had a greatness to her and she had amazing longevity," said Sid Gannis, a Hollywood producer and Academy vice president. "There was no special debate whatsoever in the decision to include her on the list, and I personally agree with it."

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer said: "I don't have a problem with it. She was a genius, and her movies were innovative and still copied today. ...

"Yes, Hitler was evil, but I think it was proper to have her name there," Elton John said. "She was a great filmmaker, and as an artist myself, I think she deserved to be there."

Hitler was evil, but ...

Does that "but" bother you as much as it bothers me?

RIEFENSTAHL, GIBSON, RICH AND DERSHOWITZ; SWASTIKAS ON SYNAGOGUES AND LOVINGWAY;
Frodo's Summation

If you Google News, there is little about Riefenstahl being honored by the Academy. Recent articles segue right into the Gibson movie. Take for example, Frank Rich's Mel Gibson Forgives Us for His Sins in the New York Times. Rich says, "As a director, Mr. Gibson is no Leni Riefenstahl. His movie is just too ponderous to spark a pogrom on its own — in America anyway." This leads him to the Lovingway United Pentecostal Church sign in Denver.

Is the press pulling all these elements together because it thrives on conflict? Or are we simply experiencing multiple symptoms of the cosmic plague that is antisemitism? Either way, Frank Rich is feeling "less secure as a Jew in America than ever before," and he is not alone - see also Alan Dershowitz.

Oh yeah, and before I go to help set up the Kosher-for-Passover store at the JCC, did you hear about the swastikas painted on the BMH synagogue in Denver this past Shabbos/Purim?

As it turns out, the Lovingway Pentecostal church got a dose of swastika graffiti on their sign, discovered Sunday. This followed the resignation of Pastor Gordon on Saturday night.

Frodo: “I wish it need not have happened in my time.”

Gandalf
: “So do I. And so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Rantisi: Retreat from Gaza is a big victory for Palestinian resistance

JPost: Hamas said on Monday that it would continue its attacks on Israel even after the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in order to "liberate the rest of Palestine."

Rantisi said he believed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was serious about evacuating all the settlements from the Gaza Strip. "Today he [Sharon] knows that it is safer for him to run away from the hell of the Gaza Strip," he added. "He realizes that remaining in the Gaza Strip is going to cost him a lot. There is no doubt that this retreat from the Gaza Strip is a big victory for the Palestinian resistance. It is also an indication that the armed resistance is the only option the Palestinians possess."

Asked if Hamas would cease its attacks on Israel after the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Rantisi said: "The Zionist withdrawal from the Gaza Strip does not mean the end of the Palestinian tragedy. There can be no ceasefire until we achieve all our goals. Palestine, in general, and the West Bank in particular, remain occupied, Jerusalem continues to be desecrated and thousands of our prisoners are still behind bars. All this means that the resistance will continue and it will not stop with the retreat of the Zionists from the Gaza Strip. On the contrary, it will enhance the resistance operations. The armed wing [of Hamas] has its own methods to chase the enemy after they flee from the Gaza Strip."

JPost: The voice of Dr. Muhammad Deif, both Hamas' co-founder and top bomb maker, who tops Israel's most wanted list, was heard on a recorded tape for the first time since he escaped an IAF targeted strike in September 2002, reported Channel 2 on Monday.

"We began to hear from the crazy Sharon, who always claimed Netzarim as his home town, talking about withdrawing from the whole of the Gaza Strip," Deif was heard saying.

"Israel's fall is near, with Allah's help, and it is closer than they imagine. We will see victory with our very own eyes. Martyrdom is the ultimate desire of Palestine's elderly, young, and female young" the Hamas fugitive said.

Deif declared that Hamas engineers will persist perfecting explosive devices and rockets, that the organization receives hundreds of volunteer suicide-bombers, including entire families, and that the number of joint operations with other Palestinian groups will increase.

Maariv/Hebrew only: Deif made clear that Hamas' Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades makes no distinction between the two sides of the "green line." "There is no difference between our land that was conquered in 1948 and that which was conquered in 1967," he said.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Help Boulder friends help Israel

Order Israeli honey and olive oil through HALAVI Import Company

Several good friends got together and formed an import company, which has brought Israeli honey and olive oil to Colorado.
Olive Grove olive oil is distributed in the United States by Halavi Imports, a local company founded by five Boulder-area friends who came together with the idea of importing products from Israel to help boost that country's economy. After careful consideration, they choose olive oil as their initial product. They then searched out the highest-quality kosher, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil Israel has to offer and negotiated to bring it to the Colorado region.

Olive Grove olive oil is available through food specialty stores, selected restaurants, and local synagogue gift shops in the greater Boulder/Denver area. Bottles come in two sizes -250 ml and 500 ml (about a half-pint and a pint) - with attractive jug handles and pour spouts. It is competitively priced with the best Italian and Spanish oils. For more information on ordering Olive Grove olive oil, phone Halavi Imports at (303) 352-1967 or e-mail the company at orders@halavi.com
If you have any connections with possible outlets for this great endeavor, wherever you are, please do what you can to help spread the word. This is a labor of love.

Harmonic convergence in New Hampshire

What do the Episcopal church, a gay man, and a Palestinian shepherd have in common?
If your answer is "a crosier," you're right!
The outgoing bishop of New Hampshire, Douglas E. Theuner, right,
presents the incoming bishop, V. Gene Robinson, left, with a crosier,
carved by a Palestinian shepherd, as a gift during Robinson's
investiture ceremony Sunday, March 7, 2004, at St. Paul's Church in
Concord, N.H. Robinson officially became the Episcopal Church's first
openly gay bishop. (AP Photo/Lee Marriner)

Children of Jihad

Where's UNICEF when you need them?

A Palestinian boy yawns as he holds an M-16
rifle during an Islamic Jihad rally at Khan Younis
refugee camp Southern Gaza Strip March 8,
2004. Thousands of Palestinians attended an
Islamic Jihad rally for the families of the
Palestinianswho died during an Israeli raid on
the camp two years ago.
al-REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Palestinian boy yawns? Looks to me more like he's screaming "anti-Israel slogans."

Either way, nobody cares about this kid. Human rights organizations ignore the cynical abuse of Palestinian children by their supposed government, which is hardly distinguishable from their friendly neighborhood terrorist organization, in this case, Islamic Jihad.

Boker Tov, UK!


Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair (R) shakes hands with Prime
Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Ahmed Qurei at
10 Downing Street in London March 8, 2004.
al-REUTERS/Stephen Hird



British Muslim suicide bombers Ashif Muhahmmad Hanif, 22 (R)
and Omar Khan Sharif, 27 (L) are seen as they pose with AK 47
rifles in a frame grab taken from a videotape handed out by
Hamas March 8, 2004, nearly a year after their deaths. The
22-year-old Briton of Pakistani descent blew himself up at Mike's
Place
, a jazz club on Tel Aviv's beach promenade, on April 30,
2003, killing three people in an attack claimed by Hamas. Hanif's
partner in the attack, 27-year-old Sharif, attempted to detonate
his bomb, but failed, then fled the scene. His body later washed
ashore on the Tel Aviv beach. al-REUTERS/ HO/ Hamas

Avi Dershowitz: "I will not be silenced nor intimidated"

In fact, he was both.
from IsraelInsider via LGF:

The other day, I experienced violent anti-Semitism for the first time in my adult life. It took place in front of Faneuil Hall, the birthplace of American independence and liberty. . .

Although the signs they were carrying were not anti-Semitic, the sign carriers were shouting epithets at me that crossed the line from civility to bigotry. "Dershowitz and Hitler, just the same, the only difference is the name." The sin that, in the opinion of the screamers, warranted this comparison between me and the man who murdered dozens of my family members was my support for Israel.

It was irrelevant to these chanters that I also support a Palestinian state, the end of the Israeli occupation and the dismantling of most of the settlements.

They also shouted "Dershowitz and Gibbels [sic], just the same, the only difference is the name" - not even knowing how to pronounce the name of the anti-Semitic Nazi propagandist.

One sign carrier shouted that Jews who support Israel are worse than Nazis. Another demanded that I be tortured and killed.

It wasn't only their words; it was the hatred in their eyes. If a dozen Boston police were not protecting me, I have little doubt I would have been physically attacked. Their eyes were ablaze with fanatical zeal. . .

That is not the way the marketplace of ideas is supposed to work. It is not the conception of liberty for which Sam and John Adams spoke so eloquently and controversially in and around Faneuil Hall more than two hundred years ago. It was far more reminiscent of rallies conducted by Nazi thugs in Berlin seventy years ago.

Charles Johnson and LGF readers have put together a string of connections that leads from this hateful gang to Teresa Heinz Kerry money; make sure you visit the LGF link above.

I don't think that's the worst of it, though. For all those who were going to make aliyah when and if Alan Dershowitz needed the protection of a dozen policemen to walk in Boston, now's the time. If you were waiting for the distinction between anti-Israel and anti-Jew to become blurred, now's the time.

For the rest of us, what are we waiting for? At what point do we take this very seriously and act to protect ourselves and our children? A Jew is a Jew is a Jew.

Sanctions on Syria?

CRAWFORD, Texas (AFP/Yahoo) - The United States will soon slap sanctions on Syria, under a 2003 law allowing President George W. Bush (news - web sites) to punish the country for alleged support of radical Islamic groups and weapons programs, a US official said.

"It's coming," said a White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official would not say what kind of sanctions would be imposed or when they might take effect.

In November 2003, the US Congress approved economic and diplomatic sanctions against Syria, which Washington accuses of supporting terrorism. Bush signed the legislation, called the "Syria Accountability Act," into law in late December.

The law demands that Syria end its alleged support for terrorism, halt development of chemical and biological arms and medium and long-range missiles, and withdraw troops it has deployed in Lebanon.

It provides various levels of political and economic levers that can be used against Syria, including reducing the level of diplomatic representation and restricting the movements of Syrian diplomats in the United States.

Washington could also ban the sale of technology meant for civilian use but with military applications, freeze the assets of Syrians in the United States, and bar Syrian aircraft from US airspace.
DEBKAfile: Police called in to break up first ever anti-government rallies sweeping Syrian cities - staged Monday by opposition factions for ruling Baath revolution anniversary.

U.S. Midde East Policy: Maturity or Rationalization?

Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review: Maturity in the Middle East

Since September 11 we have witnessed a historic emergence of a comprehensive foreign policy to confront Islamic fundamentalism and its parasitic relationship with Middle East autocracy - without which it cannot survive. The Bush administration has advanced the most ambitious, humane, and needed initiatives for the Middle East in the last half century. We no longer give autocracies a pass for pumping oil and keeping out Communists. Instead, without naivete we strive for constitutional government and modernization. We are trying to help to integrate the Middle East into the rest of the world's democratic economy - and to end our own appeasement of fundamentalism, dictatorship, gender-apartheid, anti-Semitism, and press censorship. For the first time in a half-century, the Saudi royal family is more worried about American support for democratic change in the Middle East than we are of an oil embargo.


Zbigniew Brzezinski in the NY Times: The Wrong Way to Sell Democracy to the Arab World

There is a suspicion - not only among the Arabs but also among the Europeans whose support the U.S. is seeking - that the sudden focus on democracy has been promoted by administration officials who wish to delay any serious American effort to push the Israelis and Palestinians to reach a genuine peace settlement. That suspicion was fueled by Vice President Dick Cheney's recent remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The spread of democracy, Cheney said, was "the precondition for peace and prosperity in Western Europe" after World War II. He went on to assert that democratic reform "is also essential to a peaceful resolution of the longstanding Arab-Israeli dispute." Cheney's argument that democracy is the precondition for peace appeared to many to be a rationalization for postponing any effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Goodbye, Soccer Moms -- Hello, Security Moms

MOTHERS AGAINST TOLERATING TERROR
by Anne Morse, via C-Log at Townhall.com:

In newspaper and magazine stories, security moms have said they are willing to make sacrifices in their personal freedoms and beliefs if it would mean ensuring that a terrorist couldn’t blow up their kids’ schools . . .

Ferocious is the term presidential candidates should fix in their minds when they hear the term “Security Moms.” Because inside the most gentle, peace-loving, apple-pie baking mommy is a snarling Rottweiler who will kill to keep her babies safe.

Pre-September 11, this willingness to kill for our kids was an instinct the average American mom understood only in abstraction; today’s mother feels it in her gut. Every time she sees the televised faces of those deck-of-cards terrorists, she wants to play 52-card pickup with their corpses.

I can recall the exact moment my own killer instinct emerged from the sleepy backwater of my mind and morphed into a gut-wrenching, stomach-churning, heart-pounding rage. It was the day I saw on the news a videotape recovered from an al-Qaeda hideout. It showed terrorists rehearsing an attack on an American elementary school. Some of them were posing as children and teachers, screaming in fear as gun-toting men burst into their “school” and herded them into a classroom. Presumably, they planned to murder as many children as possible. . .
My own "exact moment" was the day they bombed the Passover seder in Netanya, two years ago this spring.
Two years into the war on terror, the hearts of America’s mothers have hardened, and no wonder. The first thing many of us did on Sept. 11, when we heard about those jets crashing into buildings, was to jump in the car and pick up our kids. It was goodbye to the Soccer Mom, who had time to worry about animal rights and air pollution, and hello to the Security Mom, who’s obsessed with keeping her children safe -- not just from school yard bullies and child molesters, but also from those who think they’ll receive 70 black-eyed virgins if they murder American kids.
Oh, and btw, they're voting for Bush:
Debbie Creighton -- a mother of two who twice voted for Bill Clinton and normally supports candidates who favor abortion and welfare rights -- bluntly sums up the attitude of Security Moms: “Since 9/11,” she told Time, “all I want is a President who is strong.”
Yeah.


PURIM, an aliya story

by Stewart Weiss, in the Jerusalem Post
Is the Bible relevant? As we read the Book of Esther during these days of Purim, I find myself wondering just what this story is all about.

On the surface, it is a classic morality play. The forces of injustice and cruelty become ascendant, threatening to exterminate a whole people simply because they are different. A reluctant band of heroes enters the scene, eloquently pleading their cause and ultimately gaining the favor of the King.

The despicable tyrant is vanquished, Good triumphs over Evil, and all live happily ever after. Neat, sweet and complete.

But hark, fair reader. Purim doth teach that all is not as it seemeth; that masks of many shapes and sizes disguise a much deeper message hiding behind the poetry and prose.

I suggest that one of the central themes of the Purim story is the ancient, yet ongoing, interplay between the Jew of the Diaspora and the Jew of Israel. It is precisely this motif which not only makes the Megila eternal, but among the most popular and well-known of all the books of the Bible.

THE JEWS of Shushan are your archetypal Diaspora Jews. They seem to live quite comfortably under a benevolent ruler who respects their rights and ignores their idiosyncrasies. They are even invited to royal banquets – where the food is glatt kosher – and are called upon regularly for advice.

Yet, for all their prominence, the Jews still tread that thin line between security and suspicion. Can they trust their hosts, and can their own loyalty to the crown be trusted? Among themselves they perpetually debate – with no foregone conclusion – whether they are Persian Jews or Jewish Persians.

Haman and Mordechai enter the scene, bringing the deeper issues into focus.

Haman is no stranger to Jews, having lived among them and observed their rites and rituals for quite some time. He has no love for Jews, to be sure, but is quite prepared to strike a modus vivendi with them – if they demonstrate that their first allegiance is to the state and its sovereign.

Haman therefore prepares a test, convincing the king to hold a party celebrating the end of Jewish independence, even using the vessels of the Temple to toast Jewish subservience to the mighty Persian Empire.

Alas, the Jews submit and enthusiastically attend the party celebrating their own demise. They laugh and make merry, hardly realizing the joke is on them.

But there is one Jew who will not abdicate his soul. Mordechai is of a different character. He remembers Jerusalem, having survived the Temple's destruction. He dresses like a Jew, and prefers Hebrew to Persian. He will neither bend nor bow, despite the intense pressure from both the grand vizier and his own co-religionists. Mordechai may live in the exile, but he is a son of Israel in form and substance.

When Haman sees Mordechai unbowed, he understands – better than the Jews themselves – that they will not forever be compromised. He therefore employs the age-old charges of "dual loyalty" and "fifth column" against them, convincing the Persian monarch that "once a Jew, always a Jew," and that this "certain people" will never mesh with the pure Persian pedigree.

In the battle of wills that follows Mordechai must convince his people that abandoning their heritage will not keep them safe. Eventually, their salvation lies in reasserting their unique character and "casting their lot" with the King of Kings rather than with despots of flesh and blood.

Esther, for her part, is the story's most tragic figure. Caught between being a daughter of Israel and queen for a day, she never does make a whole and final peace. While she will save her people from disaster and gain lasting fame, in the process she will leave her home, intermarry, and bear a child for a man she does not love.

On stages all over the world this same little piece of theater is played out each and every day.

Jews in countries throughout the exile live in various conditions of pain or pleasure. They pray to be left alone, yet know that their own personal Haman may be lurking right around the corner, just waiting to take advantage of their precarious position.

They fear the day will come when they will be tested and have to choose between fealty and faith, and they are afraid they will choose wrong. They wonder if a Mordechai or Esther will arise to save them, too.

But there is a big difference between Persia then and the Jewish world now.

Today, we have a place where a Jew can live as a Jew, with no fear of religious persecution, at present or in the future. We have a homeland where no Jew need divide his loyalty. We have a country and an army that will do battle with every Haman that tries to torment us, that will quash every plot that tries to destroy us.

The Jews of the Persian Empire are largely a footnote of history, but Israel is the center of history in the making, beckoning every Jew to come home, where we truly belong.

And that, as they say, is the whole Megila.

CSM blames phenomenon of child terrorism on "hopeless and inhuman environment"

"because hope is diminishing"
Christian Science Monitor: "As life looks bleaker, suicide bombers get younger"

The Masri family's tragedy is part of a trend that many Palestinians see as a worrisome mark of desperation: younger and younger Palestinians enlisting for suicide missions against Israel.
The article fails to lay blame at the doorstep of the Palestinian Authority, which is directly responsible for the pedagogy of hate constantly broadcast on PA television and radio. See for yourself at Palestinian Media Watch - just click on the video report, "Ask for Death," about the indoctrination of children.

You may also want to refer the author of the CSM article, Ilene R. Prusher, to the vast resources available at the Palestinian Media Watch website. She could use some education in Palestinian "education."
"As life looks bleaker, suicide bombers get younger" (3/5/04) gives a terribly misleading impression that Palestinian youth are taking part in terrorist activity solely because of the sociological problems suffered in the territories. Though not directly admitted, the message here is that children are driven to become terrorists by the hardships of "Israeli occupation."

Prusher fails to lay blame where it belongs: at the doorstep of the Palestinian Authority, which says one thing in English to reporters, but glorifies terrorism to children in constant broadcasts on official television and radio.

Prusher, CSM editors and readers would do well to study the website of Palestinian Media Watch at www.pmw.org.il to discover what is truly behind the phenomenon of child terrorism.

I would go so far as to suggest that the Palestinian leadership encourages child terrorism exactly because of the inverse relationship between the child's age and the extent of press coverage received. This article is a clear example. How terribly sad that the CSM is playing right along, and repeating the terrorists' propaganda.

Further research might lead to the discovery that the PA is intentionally involving their children in this war. The Geneva Conventions happen to prohibit the use of children as combatants (under a certain age).

I would be interested to read Prusher's interviews with representatives of children's rights organizations on the subject; they have been curiously reticent to criticize the Palestinian Authority's cynical abuse of children.

Anne Lieberman
Boulder, CO

Purim attacks thwarted

Arutz Sheva: The past 48 hours have seen a drastic spike in attempted terror attacks, but just like the Purim story – in which a genocidal plot against the Jewish people resulted in the destruction of the plotters rather than the Jews – the terrorists failed to inflict any damage.

“In addition to reading the Megilla (the Purim story) and delivering mishloach manot (gifts given to one another on Purim) Israel has had to adopt another yearly custom – foiling attempts to carry out terror attacks on Purim.” That is how the noontime IDF Radio broadcast began.

Over the Sabbath, three vehicles, two painted to look like IDF jeeps, took part in what was to have been a major multi-stage terror attack at the Erez Crossing in Gaza. The attack began when the first vehicle, a taxicab loaded with explosives, detonated near an IDF post at the southern entrance of the workers terminal at the Erez industrial zone.

Following that explosion, what looked like two IDF jeeps arrived at the scene. An Arab terrorist jumped out of one of the jeeps and opened fire at an IDF post at the terminal. The soldiers returned fire and threw a hand grenade at the terrorist. The gunman was not hit, returned to the jeep, and both jeeps continued towards the Erez terminal.

The first jeep exploded near a PA roadblock at the entrance to the Erez terminal. The other jeep continued towards the IDF post at the VIP passage of the terminal, and tried unsuccessfully to break through the metal barrier. A gunman wearing an IDF uniform exited the jeep and opened fire at the soldiers inside the post. The soldiers reacted quickly and shot the gunman and a second terrorist inside the jeep dead.

According to PA reports, several PA policemen were injured as result of the explosions. In searches conducted after the incident, two Kalashnikov assault rifles, 10 hand grenades and 10 magazines were discovered. In a press release, the IDF spokesman’s office said, “It is important to stress that thanks to the alertness of the IDF soldiers at the Erez crossing a large-scale attack was prevented. This attempt is evidence of long-term and serious planning of the three terrorist organizations (Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah), to carry out a large-scale attack and target IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians at the Erez crossing.

Following the attack, IDF forces entered the El Buriej slums near Gaza City upon receiving intelligence information about impending attacks emanating from the area. The planned attacks including planting explosive devices and shooting anti-tank missiles at Jewish targets. After IDF troops, escorted by tanks, armored personnel carriers, and helicopters, entered the slums, calls went out over the mosques’ loudspeakers calling upon residents to come out of their homes and fight.

During the operation, intense exchanges of fire erupted between armed terrorists and IDF soldiers. Terrorists fired dozens of anti-tank missiles, along with automatic fire and several explosive devices and grenades towards IDF forces.

PA sources report at least 14 killed and over 60 wounded in the battle. No IDF casualties were reported. In a statement to the press, Chief-of-Staff, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon stated, “. . . the terrorist organizations endanger the civilian Palestinian population with the use of buildings and infrastructures in the heart of populated areas for their terrorist activities.”

Ya’alon added that this and other operations in recent days have prevented suicide bombing attacks and are part of the ongoing war against terror. He made it clear that such operations would continue if and when they are deemed necessary.

Overnight, a Golani Brigade force uncovered a bomb factory in the village of Anza, north of Jenin. Mortar shells, gunpowder, bomb components, cellular telephones, pesticides and other related items were uncovered.

Elsewhere, security forces remain on a level III alert across the country – taking extra measures to prevent terror attacks. An IDF operation in Ramallah prevented a suicide bombing attack planned for Jerusalem on Saturday night.

Intelligence officials are reporting over 50 terror warnings throughout the country.

Chief-of-Staff, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon said this morning that it is possible that the recent intensification in terror attacks against Israelis could be related to talk about an impending withdrawal from Gaza.
Maariv reports Yaalon as saying that the Erez checkpoint may have to be closed for good.
“Everything that is happening here leads me to the conclusion that we care about employing the Palestinian families in Gaza more than the terrorist organizations do”, Yaalon said.

He said, “we shall continue to find employment for the 4,000 families in the Erez industrial area and 15,000 families at the crossing. But if terrorism does not let up, we shall have to reconsider operating the crossing.”
Just like in Iraq, where the terrorists are trying to foment civil war between Shiites and Sunni, the Palestinian terrorists are keeping their own people from getting to jobs in Israel, hoping to incite further reaction against Israel. I can't imagine that the Palestinian people don't understand who is threatening their economic lives. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Arafat's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attacks.