SWI NEWS: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 7 Iyar, 5770

Netanyahu: Less Time to Act on Iran with Each Passing Day

  by Gil Ronen
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sounded an urgent note regarding the Iranian threat in a Monday interview on America's ABC network, saying that “we have a lot less time with each day that passes.” “And the crucial thing,” he said, “is to use the time available for forceful international action led by the United States. If you can, go through the Security Council. If you can't, go outside the Security Council.” “I spoke with President Obama when he was Senator Obama,” he said on the morning news show, Good Morning America. “He visited Israel. And I was the leader of the Opposition at… that time. And I said… if he gets elected President... all the issues that will flood his desk will one day be pushed aside by one overriding issue. And that is if Iran attempts to develop atomic bombs. Because they could very well either use it or threaten to use it or threaten to give it to terrorists or even give them a crude device with fissionable material that can be put in a container ship. And this could come to Manhattan or to any port in the United States or in Europe or, for that matter, in Israel.” 'A minimal requirement' The international community can deliver “crippling sanctions” against Iran, he said. “If you stop … Iran from importing refined petroleum, that's a fancy word for gasoline,” Netanyahu explained, “then Iran simply doesn't have refining capacity and this regime comes to a halt. I think that's crippling sanctions. Now if the UN Security Council doesn't pass it because they'll dilute the resolution to get acquiescence of their members, then certainly the United States and other willing partners in the international community can... enforce these sanctions outside the Security Council. There is a way to deliver these crippling sanctions. This should be done now.” “I think this is a minimal requirement right now,” he added. The point was “not really to send messages," he said, “but to actually make this regime begin to make choices. Because right now they feel they don't have to make choices. They understand that the spotlight is on them but they're not doing anything. And the critical thing is I think there's an understanding in Washington, certainly in Jerusalem and quite a few other capitals in the world, that very forceful action has to be taken to make Iran stop. I think the future of peace in the world and of stability and security is at stake.” Asked if he was worried that war could break out this summer, the prime minister said: “If it's up to us, there won't be any war." Iran, he added, is trying to create tensions through Hizbullah, “probably to deflect the world's attention from Iran's advancement and its plan to develop nuclear weapons.” (IsraelNationalNews.com)

Israel Exports Up 11,250 Times Since First Independence Day

  by Malkah Fleisher
In the short 62 years since Israel declared independence, the Jewish state's exports have multiplied 11,250 times, according to a report by the Israel Export and Cooperation Institute. Released ahead of Independence Day, the report stated that while exports totaled $6 million in 1948, they stood at $67.5 billion in 2009. The current export value has more than doubled since 1998, and is $6.5 billion less than the expected figure for 2010. The report also shows that while Europe consumed about 70% of Israeli exports in the early years of the state, it now purchases just 32%. In 2009, North America bought 37% of the exports, and Asia 20%. While Israel is still an exporter of diamonds and agricultural products such as the country's popular oranges and other citrus, it now exports a tremendous amount of knowledge-based goods and services, with an emphasis on hi-tech. (IsraelNationalNews.com)

Hamas: 'We'll Kidnap More IDF Soldiers'

  by Hana Levi Julian
Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal vowed Monday at a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria that the terrorist group would kidnap more IDF soldiers in order to free operatives jailed in Israel. The Damascus-based terror leader complained to reporters on the eve of Israel's 62nd Independence Day celebrations that the Jewish State is dragging its heels on a deal to trade terrorist prisoners for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Shalit was abducted on June 25, 2006 in a cross-border raid carried out by operatives from three Hamas-linked terror groups on an IDF base near the Kerem Shalom Crossing. At least one of the groups, the Army of Islam, also has ties to the international al-Qaeda terrorist organization. Shalit's condition and whereabouts remain unknown, although it is believed that he is alive and being hostage held somewhere in Gaza. For several years following his abduction, Egyptian officials and others had tried to broker a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel. Each time a deal appeared imminent, Hamas backed away. The most recent attempt, in November 2009, was brokered by Egypt and Germany and would have involved the release of more than a thousand jailed terrorists, hundreds of whom were convicted of murdering Israelis. Israel agreed to release nearly all of them, but drew the line at releasing a handful who were serving multiple life sentences for masterminding terror attacks and especially brutal murders. Mashaal also blamed the United States for the most recent failure of Palestinian Authority reconciliation talks between Hamas and the rival Fatah faction which rules the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria. Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, which has since been governed separately by the terrorist faction. (IsraelNationalNews.com)

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