SWI NEWS: 4 Shvat 5769, Thursday, January 29, 2009
DEBKAfile Special Report
January 29, 2009, 11:51 AM (GMT+02:00)
Israeli Cobra in action against Hamas
Israeli air raids struck a Hamas target in Khan Younes, inflicting at least 10 Palestinian casualties Thursday, Jan. 29, after two missiles aimed at Sderot from Gaza early that morning landed in the Shear Hanegev region.
The first pair was fired Wednesday. Overnight, the Israeli Air force struck a missile workshop in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. DEBKAfile's military circles report that in the 48 hours since a roadside bomb from Gaza killed an Israeli soldier and injured three, Hamas has reverted to its tit-for-tat cycle in an effort to demonstrate who makes the rules.
Earlier, we reported that the approach of a fresh Gaza flare-up caused defense minister Ehud Barak to cancel his trip this week to Washington for talks with US defense secretary Robert Gates. Wednesday, as Barack Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell met with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem, Hamas fired its first two Qassam missiles and several mortar rounds into southern Israel since the 22-day conflict was halted by ceasefires. In Damascus, meanwhile Hamas and other radical Palestinian leaders rejected Cairo's plan for a long-term truce, demanding the reopening of all the Gaza crossings first.
This rejection was backed by the fresh round of missiles and mortar shells from Gaza.
Hamas was signaling its intention to revert to pummeling southern Israel again with rockets and missiles if its armed forces resorted to major retaliation for the fatal roadside bomb.
Until Hamas-Damascus slapped down its veto, Egypt had hoped for a long-term truce to begin on Feb. 5, followed by a power-sharing conference between the warring Palestinian factions on Feb. 22. The timeline was announced by Egyptian foreign minister Aboul Gheit.
But Hamas' rejection has taken Cairo back to square one. The Egyptians believe that a good military hiding by Israel will bring the Palestinian Islamist extremists back to the negotiation table in a more reasonable frame of mind. This situation prompted Barak's remark that another Hamas attack or two is to be expected soon.
Israeli and Egyptian leaders updated Mitchell Wednesday and explained why the ceasefire which he sought to consolidate during his Middle East tour had become untenable. Cairo and Jerusalem were equally resigned to another round of hostilities before diplomacy could take off.
Our military sources stress that the Israeli air strike which killed a Hamas member of the bomb squad in Khan Younis Tuesday night and its bombardment of three Philadelphi Corridor smuggling tunnels early Wednesday were but a foretaste of the reprisals the Israel military has in store for curbing further Hamas aggression.
Spanish court to probe Israeli officials for alleged 'crimes against humanity'Madrid Court grants motion by Palestinian group to probe several senior defense officials for their involvement in 2002 hit on Hamas operative Salah Shehade; which left 14 dead, 100 wounded. Defense minister calls announcement 'delusional', says he will do all in his power to have charges dropped
|National Infrastructure Minister and former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and former IAF and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz may face criminal charges in Spain for killing Palestinian civilians seven years ago.
A Spanish court granted a petition by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights on Thursday, asking the two be investigated for alleged "crimes against humanity" for their involvement in the 2002 assassination of Hamas operative Salah Shehade. Fourteen civilians were killed in the incident and about 100 more were injured.
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon, former GOC Southern Command Doron Almog, former National Security Council Head Giora Eiland and Brigadier-General (Res.) Mike Herzog have also been named as persons on interest in the case.
"Those who call the killing of terrorists 'a crime against humanity' are living in an upside-down world," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He called the Spanish announcement "delusional".
"This decision is all the more outrageous when you consider Hamas' true colors, being revealed once again these days to us and the world," Barak added. He said he would do everything in his power to get the charges dropped.
"All senior officials belonging to the defense establishment, past and present, acted properly and in the name of the State of Israel, out of their commitment to protect the citizens of Israel," he said.
According to a legal source in Madrid, Justice Fernando Andeo decided to grant the Palestinian petition "in the name of universal justice."
Scene of Shehade assassination in 2002 (Photo: Reuters)
Andeo, a Audiencia Nacional de España (National Court of Spain) judge, is expected to inform both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities of his decision.
Shehade was the founder of Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades – the organization's military wing. He was arrested by Israel in the 1980s and later turned over to the Palestinian Authority's custody. The latter set him free in early 2000.
Shehade was considered to be the mastermind behind hundreds of deadly terror attacks on Israel. He was targeted by the IAF on July 22, 2002.
Hizbullah chief: Israelis fear our response to Mugniyah assassinationAddressing nearing anniversary of Mugniyah assassination, Nasrallah says 'Israelis are living in fear of our revenge. Don’t expect me to say when we will strike'; accuses Israel of holding on to remains of 350 Lebanese and Palestinian gunmen
|Hizbullah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said Thursday that "what happened in Gaza was a political and military failure for Israel. Some of the Israelis are using the political considerations of an election time to mislead others." Speaking of the nearing one-year anniversary of the assassination of top Hizbullah commander Imad Mugniyah, he said: "The Israelis are living in fear of our revenge. Don’t expect me to say when we will strike or respond to what the Israelis claim had happened." Nasrallah was referring to reports in Israel according to which a large-scale terror attack planned by Hizbullah in Europe had been thwarted. In his speech, delivered in honor of "Liberty Day," Nasrallah accused Israel of holding on to the remains of 350 Lebanese and Palestinian gunmen, instead of returning them to their families. "We do not claim to have an exact number, but we know that about 350 Palestinian and Lebanese fatalities have yet to be returned to their families. We consider them to be missing in action and hold Israel responsible for their fate," he said. Nasrallah said the terror group had proof that Israeli security forces snatched gunmen's bodies while operating in Lebanon. "We are in possession of photos that prove the forces of the occupation took the bodies and airlifted them (to Israel). The number of the missing gunmen is in the hundreds. Most of them are Lebanese, while the rest are Palestinian. "Israel is responsible for their bodies because some of them were captured at Israeli checkpoints, while others were apprehended at their own homes and were never heard from again. Nasrallah called on the Lebanese government to retrieve the bodies. The Hizbullah chief specifically mentioned two of the terrorists who were killed during of a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway in which 38 Israeli civilians were killed, 13 of them children, and 71 were wounded. Hizbullah expected to receive the remains of Dalal Mughrabi, who led the attack, and Yahya Skaf during the exchange deal in which the bodies of kidnapped IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were returned to Israel in July 2008. As part of the agreement Israel exhumed the bodies of gunmen buried at the cemetery for enemy combatants near Kibbutz Amiad in northern Israel and returned them to Lebanon. The remains of Mughrabi and Skaf were sent to France for DNA testing, but Nasrallah said that there was no way of knowing for certain that the remains belonged to the two terrorists. The sheikh added that "the issue of the 11,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel should fall under the responsibility of the Arab nation and should be treated as jihadi and moral matter."|
((( WILL THE UNITED NATIONS DENY THE HOLOCAUST? )))
Durban II Alert
Iranian-led Durban II "anti-racism"
negotiations end in total disgrace:
ZIONISM IS RACISM,
QUESTIONING THE HOLOCAUST
are now on the Durban II negotiating table
Intensive negotiations last week in Geneva have resulted in a new version of the "Draft Outcome Document" for Durban II - released yesterday.Iran - a Vice-Chair of the executive committee for Durban II - played a leading role in the drafting process, speaking more often than any other single state. The result? Now on the negotiating table: Jewish self-determination or Zionism is racism. Israel is guilty of apartheid and the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust is questionable.
The press release should be up at the website soon.
|Published:||01.29.09, 17:58 / Israel News|
Roni Sofer and AFP
|Latest Update:||01.29.09, 18:18 / Israel News|