Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

30 Tishrei 5766 - November 2, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Israeli Politics Lurches On: Sharon Postpones Vote for Ministers; Vows to Strike Sources of Terror

by M Plaut and Yated Ne'eman Staff

The winter Knesset session opened with an address by Prime Minister about security issues. In the background was the announcement that a vote for Knesset approval of ministerial appointments that Sharon made and were approved by the Cabinet, was postponed for a week.

Calling for a return to the road map, Sharon said that the Palestinian Authority must dismantle terror groups. He also affirmed his commitment to the construction of the separation fence.

"Israel will continue to protect itself and hurt the terrorists," said Sharon. "We have no choice. We will continue to build the security fence with no political, practical, or budgetary problems."

Sharon praised the UN for standing against extremist countries like Iran and Syria that threatened the region.

"In the last few days we received a reminder of the reality in our region, which is saturated with a hatred of Israel. The President of Iran's call to wipe Israel off the map, expresses what many in this region wish, but are afraid to explicitly utter," Sharon said. "Their murderous intentions are expressed daily by heinous attacks, such as the ones directed at us during the past week. The dispatchers of terror in Iran and Damascus, in Gaza and Jenin, in Tul Karem or Kabatia, in Hebron and Bethlehem, do not require reasons or excuses — they merely require opportunities."

Sharon also discussed domestic issues, mentioning a new plan to fight poverty that he intends to launch alongside Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres and acting Finance Minister Ehud Olmert.

While Sharon spoke about the plan, a Shas MK interrupted his speech by asking whether or not Sharon thought his government would be around long enough to carry it out.

"Don't you worry about it," Sharon answered, drawing a laugh from the plenum. "Not only will I begin in this government, but I will carry on in the next."

During the session, the Knesset also voted down three no- confidence measures, the first from Shinui over the general performance of the government, the second from National Union over the government's role in the disengagement, and the final one from Meretz over social, political and financial issues.

Sharon noted an international first: "Today, for the first time since the establishment of the State, the U.N. Security Council will discuss a motion presented by Israel. The purpose of the motion is to commemorate the Holocaust around the world, by fixing a date for a memorial day . . .

Approval of this motion would constitute an additional example for the normalization of Israel's position in the U.N. and for the improvement of Israel's position around the world. We must thank our Minister of Foreign Affairs and the ministry employees for their efforts in this regard."

In the night between Monday and Tuesday, the IDF continued its pressure on Palestinian terrorists. On a raid in Jenin and the nearby town of Kabatia, 12 Islamic Jihad fugitives were arrested. IDF operations in the Jenin and Tul Karem areas are expected to continue for several days, including an intense search for Iyad Abu-Roub, believed to have taken over command of the Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank since the assassination of the Jihad's former military chief a week ago. Since the Hadera bombing, the IDF and Shin Bet have been focusing on the Islamic Jihad network in Jenin and adjacent Kabatia that was behind the attack.

In a separate operation in a village near Bethlehem, eight men suspected of belonging to Hamas were arrested.

On Tuesday the Cabinet also approved a proposal for European Union personnel to operate the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. The EU personnel are to enforce security procedures stipulated by Israel. The approval is conditioned on the EU personnel having substantial enforcement capabilities and not just being observers.

Israel is supposed to have closed circuit observation cameras at the crossing and the Palestinian border control information system.

This is the first time that Israel has ever agreed to have security issues handled by anyone other than itself. However one analyst suggested that Israel now views the entire Gaza enclave as being outside of its security envelope, so that the EU personnel are really being introduced in a Palestinian area and not in an Israeli area. In any case it is clear that Israel could have no direct involvement in security procedures at that location.


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