Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Middle East in Focus

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say He is." (Amos 5:14)

1. Israel denies attack plans on Iranian nuke sites - ICEJ News

Israel has denied a story in Britain's Sunday Times newspaper that claimed the Jewish State is planning to attack Iranian nuclear sites with low-yield tactical nukes, commonly known as "bunker busters." The Times reported that military sources had leaked attack plans, and suggested that in doing so, Israel may be trying to scare Iran, or coax the United States into stepping up actions against Tehran's nuclear program. The Iranian Foreign Ministry responded to Sunday's reports saying "anyone who attacks will regret their actions very quickly."

2. Olmert travels to China Monday, leaving out Iran - Jerusalem Post

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's will visit China on Monday to mark 15 years of normalized diplomatic and trade ties between the two countries, but according to reports, Olmert will not focus on China's role in blocking Iran's renegade nuclear program. While the Iranian issue will be mostly glossed over, Olmert is traveling east to explore an expansion of Israel's trade relations with China.

China's Ambassador to Israel, Chen Yonglong, avoided questions from The Jerusalem Post about the unique position his country holds in maintaining relations with both Israel and the Islamic Republic, whose leader has openly and repeatedly called for the destruction of the Jewish State.

3. Shin Bet: 14 percent of suicide bombers had Israeli citizenship - ICEJ News

According to Israeli Intelligence Agency (Shin Bet) reports, 38 of the 272 suicide bombings in Israel (almost 15 percent) were carried out by terrorists with Israeli citizenship received in the context of family reunification.

The Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee met on Monday in order to discuss the extension of a temporary law that prevents family reunification between Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza and Israeli Arabs due to security reasons. Ha'aretz reports that this is the fourth time the Knesset has been asked to extend the highly contentious law.

4. Infighting spreads to West Bank - Ynet News

Reports of heavy gunbattles between Hamas and Fatah Jenin poured in on Saturday night while in Gaza three members of a Hamas-affiliated family were killed by Fatah gunmen. Earlier in the day the first signs of West Bank infighting emerged as gunmen abducted Nablus deputy mayor Mahdi al-Khamdali at gunpoint. Meanwhile in Ramallah gunmen, reportedly from Fatah, stormed the offices of the Hamas- controlled Ministry of the Interior, shot the office manager in his legs and abducted him.

5. US to give $86 million to Abbas's forces - Jerusalem Post

The US government plans to transfer $86.4 million to the security forces of embattled Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in the coming days, senior Washington officials said on Friday.