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Tuesday, December 06, 2005 

Netanyahu calls for strong action following the murders in Netanya

In the New York Sun today, Benjamin Netanyahu's called for strong action against the terrorists responsible:
In the wake of yesterday's suicide bombing at a shopping mall in Netanya, Israel, the campaign of Benjamin Netanyahu is demanding a "fast and strong" response from Prime Minister Sharon.

Mr. Netanyahu's chief of staff and campaign manager, Yechiel Leiter, said yesterday that the bombings proved that Israel should never have unilaterally withdrawn from Gaza or temporarily stopped construction of the security barrier that separates Israeli territory from Palestinian Arab population centers. The line of political attack came a day after Mr. Netanyahu suggested that he would authorize pre-emptive strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities if elected again to his old position as premier.

Mr. Sharon, who last month left Mr. Netanyahu's Likud to form his own party, yesterday called an emergency meeting of his Cabinet to discuss a response to the attack.

Responsibility for the bombing was claimed by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization that has not abided by a cease-fire agreement that was reached in February and is due to expire next week.

The bombing killed five people and injured 40 more. Its impact on Israeli politics could be significant. Mr. Netanyahu, who opposed Mr. Sharon's withdrawal plan, could stand to benefit if Israelis come to see the prime minister's latest overtures as undermining national security when they go to the polls in March.


The emphasis from the Netanyahu camp on disengagement was in contrast to the reaction of Mr. Sharon's government, which stressed yesterday that the bombings proved how little the Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has done to disarm terrorists in Gaza and the West Bank.

"Today's attack in Netanya happened first and foremost because the Palestinian Authority refuses to take any meaningful steps to prevent such terror," an official in the prime minister's office, David Baker, wrote in an e-mail to The New York Sun. "The PA refuses to arrest and incarcerate terrorists. It refuses to disarm and dismantle its terror organizations."

America, Europe, the United Nations, and Russia in a joint statement yesterday, condemned the attacks and urged Syria to close down offices of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. But the statement yesterday also urged, in language reminiscent of the Oslo process, all parties to "exercise restraint, avoid an escalation of violence, and keep the channels of communication open."
Once again, such would-be world leaders refuse to recognize that the PLO is not legitimate, and blur the differences between sides.
The Associated Press yesterday quoted Israeli security officials as saying that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad would be targeted by the military and that targeted killings would resume in response to the attacks. However, one Israeli official who spoke with the Sun on condition of anonymity stressed that Israel's response would be tempered so as not to "humiliate Abbas as he is preparing for Palestinian elections."
I read in Yediot Ahronot that, if the defense forces are going to take action, by destroying enemy structures, it'll only be after they've been emptied of people. If that's so, then that shows that Sharon's government as it stands for now is still continuing with its dishonesty.

In some more news here:
Mr. Netanyahu has become more hawkish in recent days in his race for the leadership of Likud. On Sunday, during an interview with the Maariv newspaper, Mr. Netanyahu invoked Prime Minister Begin's decision to bomb the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981. He said, "I will continue the tradition established by Menachem Begin, who did not allow Iraq to develop such a nuclear threat against Israel, and by a daring and courageous act gave us two decades of tranquility."

Mr. Leiter yesterday said, "I think there is frustration to go around on diplomacy and Iran." He added, "We are dealing with a nuclear umbrella for the worst terrorist groups in the world."

Mr. Netanyahu's words Sunday appeared to be aimed at Mr. Sharon, who thus far has publicly endorsed the European and American-led diplomatic talks with Iran at Vienna under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Yes, Iran's nuclear research certainly will have to be dealt with, and that's a good point too.

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