Israel-Palestine News Compiler

Obama wants Israel to hold parallel talks with Palestinians and Syria

Posted in Israel and the US, US and Palestine by beyondtheborder on April 17, 2009

The Obama administration is preparing a Middle East peace process that will include simultaneous bilateral talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and Syria. The plan is based on the Arab peace initiative that offers establishing normal relations between Israel and Arab League states in exchange for withdrawing from the occupied territories and establishing a Palestinian state.

The United States will put together a “security package,” including demilitarization of the territories from which Israel will withdraw and the option of stationing a multinational force in them for years.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078889.html

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IDF deal for F-35 sours over soaring costs of fighter jets

Posted in Internal Israeli Affairs, Israel and the US by beyondtheborder on April 17, 2009

Because of the F-35’s structure, which places missiles, bombs and electronic devices inside the plane, no system can be installed externally and considerable internal modifications would be required.

These modifications push up the aircraft’s price by at least 25 percent. In 2002, Lockheed Martin cited the cost of one F-35 at some $47 million, but now the official price is about $80 million, in part reflecting the dollar’s devaluation. The modifications Israel is demanding raise the price tag to over $100 million.

One Pentagon estimate quoted the cost of 75 F-35s in addition to spare parts, engines and a comprehensive support system at $15 billion. Senior defense establishment officials say such prices are prohibitive.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078888.html

Court: Dichter cannot be sued in U.S. over 2002 Gaza bombing

Posted in Israel and the US, US and Palestine by beyondtheborder on April 16, 2009

A New York federal appeals court said on Thursday that former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter cannot be sued in the United States for 15 deaths in a Gaza City bombing. The court said the former security official was immune under common law from being held responsible for the July 2002 bombing of an apartment complex.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078829.html

The target of the bombing was Hamas leader Saleh Shehada, but the strike also killed 14 civilians.

US District Judge William H. Pauley III said in a written decision that he ”cannot ignore the potential impact of this litigation on the Middle East’s delicate diplomacy.”

For full article, visit http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3395161,00.html

Kazakh minister arrested in Israeli arms sales bribe case

Posted in Internal Israeli Affairs, Israel and the International Community by beyondtheborder on April 14, 2009

Kazakhstan’s deputy defense minister was arrested yesterday as local security service KNB issued a public statement accusing several other senior officers and officials in the ministry of purchasing flawed military equipment from Israel.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078375.html

Adams to ‘Post’: Hamas wants peace

“But there was a time when there was no dialogue in Ireland, and there was conflict,” he said. “Once we opened up the process to allow dialogue, and made it inclusive, we started a very difficult process that challenged everyone. It challenged Sinn Fein, it challenged the British government, challenged the unionists.”

Adams said there was a “certainty” about war “that people can be comfortable in, because you don’t have to take chances.”

But, he said, “you can take chances and ensure that no person has to be killed, or live in fear or be imprisoned and subjected to all the people of Israel and the people of Palestine have been subjected to. We took the chance in Ireland. It wasn’t easy, but the rewards more than vindicate and validate the risks that were taken.”

For full article, visit http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1239488111539&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Israel is profiting from Egypt-Hezbollah quarrel

Posted in Egypt and Palestine, Israel and Egypt, Opinion Pieces by beyondtheborder on April 12, 2009

Israel, which can regard the events with some satisfaction, is keeping a low profile. Hezbollah’s penetration into Egypt, now facing a close race for Mubarak’s successor, leaves no doubt as to Iran’s intentions. This may result in increased security coordination between Israel and Egypt against arms smuggling into the Strip, and will apparently also dictate Cairo’s continued cool stance toward Gaza.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1077896.html

Hezbollah admits Running Guns to Gaza; Denies Accusations of Wanting to Launch Attacks in Egypt

Posted in Lebanon and Israel, The Gaza Strip by beyondtheborder on April 10, 2009

This is the first time the militant group has acknowledged Shehab was a member, although media reports in November linked him to the group. “What he [Shehab] really did was a kind of logistic work to help Palestinian brothers in transporting men and equipment for the resistance inside Palestine,” Nasrallah said.

During a live television address, Nasrallah denied accusations that Hezbollah is trying to harm Egyptian security or is planning attacks on Egyptian targets, saying such claims “are meant to sully the image of Hezbollah among the Egyptian people.”

“I fully reject and deny all charges that Hezbollah was intending to launch an act of aggression in Egypt or at any part of the world,” Nasrallah said on al-Manar Television.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1077695.html

Nasrallah said the aim of these accusation is to “agitate the Egyptian people and to defame Hezbollah’s pure and bright image.

“Such accusations aim to only please the Americans and Israelis for the Egyptian regime has failed by all means,” he said, and declared it was a “duty for Hezbollah” to help the Palestinians.

For full article, visit http://yalibnan.com/site/archives/2009/04/nasrallah_admit.php

“If helping the Palestinians is a crime, I officially admit to my crime … and if it is an accusation, we are proud of it. Everybody knows that this is not the first time Hezbollah has  tried to furnish arms to the Palestinians,” he said.Rula Amin, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Beirut, said” “Hezbollah has never denied that it supports the resistance in Gaza.

“It sees it as a duty for all Arab countries to support Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups in Gaza in order to resist Israeli occupation. For Hezbollah, it would not be a shameful thing to smuggle money and weapons to Gaza.”

For full article, visit http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/04/200941019538502350.html

Russia signs deal to buy Israeli drones

Posted in Internal Israeli Affairs, Israel and the International Community by beyondtheborder on April 10, 2009

Russian media have reported the deal is worth about $50 million and that Russia will buy the drones from Israel’s largest defence firm, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). IAI officials declined to comment.

Russia’s five-day war with neighbouring Georgia last August exposed a Soviet-style army with obsolete equipment and a lack of spy drones and high-precision bombs, analysts said.

For full article, visit http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3699694,00.html

He added that Russia wanted to study the technology of the drones in an effort to improve its own pilotless planes, which came under criticism during the Georgia conflict.

Mr Popovkin said Russia had used a Tipchak drone during the fighting with Georgia, but that it had “very many problems”, RIA-Novosti reported.

“You could hear it flying from 100km away,” RIA-Novosti quoted him as saying. “It returned all shot up.”

For full article, visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7994076.stm

Israeli conductor’s Egypt visit causes stir

Posted in Israel and Egypt by beyondtheborder on April 10, 2009

The Argentinian-born conductor was due to give a concert in January, but it was cancelled due to Israel’s deadly 22-day military onslaught of Gaza that ended on January 18.

The concert, Barenboim’s first in Egypt, has ruffled feathers in intellectual circles, with music critic Amgad Mustafa describing the visit as “sneaky normalisation” with Israel.

But Egypt’s culture minister was quick to defend Barenboim’s visit.

“This conductor has attacked Israeli policies and there has even been a request to have him stripped of his citizenship,” Faruq Hosni told AFP.

For full article, visit http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090406/wl_mideast_afp/entertainmentmideastconflictegyptmusic

Israel: No objection to West’s talks with Tehran

Israel does not object to talks between the West and Iran intended to stop Iran’s nuclearization, as long as Iran does not take advantage of these talks, a top source in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government told Haaretz Thursday.

The source was commenting on the announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration that it will fully participate in talks with Iran on its nuclear program, putting the ball in Tehran’s court with a new engagement policy.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1077654.html