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The Lekarev Report - Israel News August 4, 2008

3 Av 5768
August 4, 2008 
hizbollah-heil.jpgIsrael Warns of Imminent Hizbollah Attack

Israelis who are currently traveling or working in Western Africa should take extra precautions and be on alert, as Hizbullah may try to perpetrate an attack against them, security officials warned over the weekend.

According to the warning, the motivation behind the attack would be Hizbullah's desire to avenge the assassination of Hizbullah operations chief Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus in February, which the group has blamed on Israel. Israel has consistently denied all connection to the killing.

Security officials believe that the threat of an attack has increased given the completion of the prisoner swap deal between the guerrilla group and Israel for the bodies of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. While the final phase of the deal - the release of five Palestinians prisoners - has yet to be carried out, officials fear that Hizbullah no longer feels a need for restraint.

The officials also explained the reason why Africa was of particular concern, saying that Hizbullah would prefer to conduct their attack in a third-world country rather than in a cross-border operation like the one which sparked the Second Lebanon War.

Please note the Nazi-style salute which these Hizbollah fighters are giving to their commander.

Fatah Members Flee Hamas Violence in Gaza

Northern Gaza Brigade Commander Colonel Ron Ashrov reported on Saturday night that IDF forces rescued dozens of Fatah members who were fleeing Gaza City under heavy machine gun, sniper and mortar fire, after Fatah and Hamas clashes broke out.

Several were injured and were taken to Israeli hospitals and treated, a marked contrast to the way Hamas or Fatah would treat injured Israeli soldiers.  The army said several of the men would remain at least temporarily at Israel's Barzilai hospital near the Gaza Strip, where they have been undergoing treatment for wounds sustained during fighting with Hamas.   At latest report there are some 30 wounded Fatah fighters being treated in Israeli hospitals.

Initially Israel began sending the Fatah members back to Gaza, but soon discovered that on their return they were immediately arrested which has a high likelihood that they would suffer brutal torture in Hamas prisons.  Therefore, after consultations yesterday, Israel will begin transferring the Fatah members to Ramallah instead of returning them to Gaza.

We are told that 180 Fatah members fled Gaza.  150 of them will be taken to Ramallah, considered the erstwhile "capital" of the Fatah government of President Mahmoud Abbas.
bb20ovadia.jpgNetanyahu: Kadima Will Sell Jerusalem

In a meeting yesterday with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas Orthodox Party, Benjamin Netanyahu made an impassioned plea regarding Jerusalem. 

"Jerusalem was destroyed several times, taken from our people again and again, but the Jewish People never let go of Jerusalem," opposition leader and Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu told Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in a lightly veiled attack against the "diplomatic horizon" offered by Kadima's foreign policy agenda.

Speaking of the need for Jewish education, Netanyahu said "the proof to what extent we need [Jewish education] can be seen already today," adding "and here we find, for the first time in the history of our nation something we have never seen before: a ruling political party offering pieces of Jerusalem, parts of the city dear to our heritage, to strangers, even to our worst enemies. I see this not only as a political failure, not only a security threat but also a fundamental failure in education."

Yosef, on his side, congratulated Netanyahu "on secret things" he has done "for the sake of Torah." Rabbi Yosef said "there are a lot of things he [Netanyahu] did in secret only for the sake of Heaven."

assad_and_ahmadinejad.jpgCelebrating in Tehran

Iranian President Mahmoud Admadinejad hosted Syrian President Bashar Assad in Tehran, as the Iranian leader celebrated his "winning" of the nuclear dispute with the West.

It would appear that the Iranian and Syrian rulers are so pleased with their unforeseen success in out maneuvering the West that they quickly gathered themselves for a summit for follow-up
When Iranian leaders rejected the ultimatum on their "right" to develop a nuclear program, Washington responded mildly "we are not counting the days", while the European Union said there was no hurry.

The Syrian-Iranian get-together also follows the failure of top Israeli leaders traveling to Washington in the past three weeks to persuade the Bush administration of the urgency of considering military action against Iran's nuclear installations - or at least backing an Israeli operation.

Iran's supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, president Mahmoud Ahminejad and Assad can therefore pat each others backs over the cooling of US-Israeli strategic relations in on top of their other successes.

A torrent of studies suddenly coming out of US think tanks in recent weeks shows how hard American research and intelligence circles are leaning on the Bush administration to expand its dialogue with Tehran.  Bush is being urged to call off sanctions against Iran's nuclear program and withdraw US backing from Iran's disaffected minorities' revolt against the Islamic regime - all for the purpose of putting US-Iranian relations on a normal footing.

This is not good news, my friends.

img_9510-copy_wh.jpgAshkenazi:  We Know Shalit's Location
IDF Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, said today that the Army knows the whereabouts of Gilad Shalit and that the young soldier is alive.

Speaking to a class of new inductees into the IDF, the Chief of Staff said, "We hope to be able bring this case to an end, as we returned Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev."

"I can't say I am pleased," he added,  "but we completed the mission in the north and returned Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, unfortunately not alive, but we returned them to a Jewish grave. I can't go into details, but efforts are being exerted on the Gilad Shalit issue on all levels."
He also told the troops that Israeli soldiers "must always remember that if anything happens to them, we will make sure they are returned to their families."

Top Advisor to Syrian President Assassinated

Gen. Muhammad Suleiman, shot dead in the Syrian port town of Tartus early Saturday, Aug. 2 by a sniper, was a shadowy figure who acted for Bashar Assad in the regime's four most sensitive and confidential spheres:

1. He was the president's liaison man with the North Korean government. On his frequent trips to Pyongyang, Gen. Suleiman organized the consignment of components for the plutonium reactor in northern Syria, which Israeli demolished last September, and the security of the North Korean scientists and technicians who accompanied them.

2. Muhammad Suleiman was also the president's private channel of communication with Iranian military and intelligence chiefs; in this capacity, he most probably facilitated the Syrian-Iranian-North Korean connection. The Syrian reactor was designed to produce nuclear fuel for the Iranian program and radioactive weapons for Syria.

3. The late general also acted as the president's contact man with Hizballah's leaders. He worked directly with Imad Mughniyeh, head of Hizballah's security apparatus, who was killed in Damascus last February. (Ed. note - very interesting connection!)

4. His key function was the management of Assad's personal interaction with the Syrian chief of staff, generals and heads of military intelligence. There was no state secret from the powerful general.  He was to have accompanied the Syrian president on his state visit to Tehran Saturday; instead he was laid to rest in his home village of Driekesh in the north.

Damascus has done its utmost to keep the general's death under wraps, but word has spread and theories abound: Speculation ranges from an outside hand, or a jealous rival to an internal element who felt the concentration of so much power in one hand was a threat to the regime.

We will probably never know.
Israeli Companies Buying Up Foreign Firms

Though a number of Israeli businesses have been bought by foreigners in recent years, Israeli firms have now turned the tables and are gobbling up foreign companies as homegrown firms flex their economic muscle.

The Israeli-based Ness Technologies has agreed to purchase Logos, a Czech information technology provider, for $68 million as Israeli firms continue an aggressive purchase of foreign companies.

Last month, Teva Pharmaceuticals announced it would pay more than $7 billion for the American-based Barr drug company, making TEVA the largest company in the world for generic medications.

The branching out of Israeli firms has helped reverse the trend of the shekel-dollar rate, which has been on a steady downward dive the past three years.  The acquisition provides a lifeline for Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Stanley Fischer, who has been caught in a vice between trying to keep the shekel-dollar rate from falling without having to raise the interest rate further to stave off inflation.

Shalom and blessings,

For I know their works and their thoughts; the time is coming, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and shall see My glory.

Isaiah 66:18
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