Reuters reports (18 October) on an interview with Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin by Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. "Israel, as the Jewish state, must disappear from the map," said Yassin.
While Yassin condemned the killing of women, children and the elderly as a violation of Islamic law, he justified suicide terrorist bombings against Israel. Scores of Israelis have been killed in terror attacks launched by Hamas -- including women, children and the elderly. Hamas might stop its attacks "only if Israel withdraws from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, evacuates the settlers, frees all the prisoners and avoids involvement in Palestinian affairs," said Yassin -- and even then, Yassin would only "consider a temporary armistice," he said.
Associated Press reports (14 October) that an Egyptian on trial for killing nine German tourists last month told reporters he had intended to attack Jews. "I wish they had been Jews... I was ready to kill even 100 or even 200 Jews. Jihad [holy war] is in my blood," he said. [Source IRIS (Information Regarding Israels Security)
Egyptian Defense Minister: "We Must Be Ready to Move Quickly to a State of War"
Following are remarks of Egyptian Defense Minister Muhammad Tantawi in an interview with Egyptian Television on October 7, 1997:
"We must have the ability to move quickly from a state of peace to a state of war. We refer to this as the 'theory of conscription'. We must have a very large conscription plan. An additional point is that we must possess equivalent operational capability at the highest possible level and in order to achieve this the training must be at the highest level. Another point is that there must not be a state of feebleness.
We are in a state of peace and what must I say to the soldiers? We as a general command inculcate in the heads of the fighters that we are in a state of peace and that we are not on the verge of war. The opposite is true - Egypt's face is turned toward peace. This is our strategic direction and there is no turning back from it. However, peace requires two sides and not merely one side.
We also quote for them the following Koranic verse: 'Prepare for yourselves the forces and the reins of the horses through which you can instill fear upon the enemies of Allah and your enemies'. This is the approach of deterrence. In order to prevent war you must have deterrent force. If you do not have a deterrent force then you provide a motive to those with whom you differ to seek to achieve his interests at your expense through war.
An additional verse we quote to the soldiers is: 'others besides you whom you do not know but Allah knows', which means that I do not know who is my enemy. It is possible that today's friend may be tomorrow's enemy.
This is what we plant in the minds of the fighters - that they must be in a perennial state of utmost readiness."
Note: Article III (1c) of the March 26, 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty states that the two sides "will refrain from the threat or use of force, directly or indirectly, against each other and will settle all disputes between them by peaceful means."
Article III (2) states, "Each Party also undertakes to refrain from organizing, instigating, inciting, assisting or participating in acts or threats of belligerency, hostility, subversion or violence against the other Party..."
Article 5 (3) of Annex III to the treaty states, "The Parties shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance and will, accordingly, abstain from hostile propaganda against each other."
Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah has made it clear that a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon and from the Golan Heights will not lead to quiet on Israel's northern border. In an interview with Der Spiegel, Nasrallah says, "Even if Israel withdraws from Lebanon and the Golan, we will not lay down our arms. We will continue to fight until all of Palestine is liberated."
Nasrallah said that the calls within the Israeli public to withdraw from Lebanon clearly indicate that the Israelis are "fatigued" by their presence there. During a visit in Iran today, the Hizbullah leader promised that the organization would not cease its fight against Israel until "Israel is liquidated."
Hamas leader Khaled Mish'al and the recently-released Sheikh Ahmed Yassin made similar remarks over the weekend. An aide to Sheikh Yassin, in a BBC television interview, said that Hamas might consider a truce if all settlers were evacuated from Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and the whole of the territory was given to the Palestinians. However, he added that even a truce on those terms could only be "of limited duration, for us to regain our strength." [Source: ARUTZ 7, MED 10/21]Translated and reprinted from Ha'aretz of October 26, 1997
The establishment of a Palestinian shipping port in Gaza is extremely problematic and poses a much bigger security risk than the Dahaniya airport in Rafah, an Israeli security document says. The document clashes with the recommendation of a recent survey conducted by Dutch experts at the request of the Palestinian Authority, that, in effect, supports the Palestinian position of locating a port south of Netzarim. The Dutch survey, which focuses on engineering and not security issues, will be discussed today at a meeting of the Gaza Port Committee, one of nine joint Israeli-Palestinian committees.
The Israeli defense establishment report cites specific security problems raised by the construction of a port south of Netzarim: security against attacks on Israeli installations, security checks on ships and the waiting area for ships outside the port. According to the document, the Israeli navy cannot fulfill all the security needs and, as such, another solution is needed to control the unloading of cargo.
Similarly, it is not possible to thoroughly check entire ships. The document also indicates Israel's interest in maintaining total control over the port, something the Palestinians will certainly object to. Finally, a port near Netzarim will endanger the Jewish residents in the area. Israel must, therefore, ensure that a security agreement
entitles the army to defend the area and monitor all those entering the port, the document says.
But the Dutch engineering survey recommends building the main Palestinian port south of Netzarim. Israel claims that building a breakwater in the port will block the flow of sand between the coasts, causing a loss of sand on the Israeli side. The Dutch recommend a variety of special construction techniques that would prevent such problems and are prepared to fund a sizable portion of the costs. They propose locating the port south of Gaza so as not to cause damage to the Israeli coast and removing the fishing boat docks off the Gaza city coast
© Copyright 1997 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved
[Source: Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis) (mail POB 982 Kfar Sava) Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-9-7411645]