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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and senior members of his Kadima party have hinted over the past few days that the Israeli government may agree to divide Jerusalem, outlining how some eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods have an Arab majority, with some even housing refugee camps.

But key Jerusalem neighborhoods mentioned as slated for possible evacuation are owned by the Jewish National Fund, which has over the years allowed tens of thousands of Arabs to illegally squat on its land, resulting in the current situation whereby the areas have an Arab majority.

The JNF purchased the land in question using Jewish donor funds for the specific purpose of Jewish settlement.

Vice Premier Haim Ramon last week reportedly mapped out a future partition of Jerusalem under a deal with the Palestinians, stating that Israel may give up the Shoafat and Kalandiya neighborhoods, among other communities.

But some of the areas mentioned, including hundreds of acres in Shoafat and Kalandiya, are among those owned by the JNF.

The Jewish-owned lands were recently blocked off from Jewish sections of Jerusalem and isolated to Arab neighborhoods by Israel’s security fence.

Neither the Israeli government nor JNF took any concrete measures to stop the illegal building, which continues today in both Kalandiya and Shoafat.

Internal JNF documents obtained by WorldNetDaily outline the illegal Arab construction on Jewish-owned land. A survey of Kalandiya summarized on JNF stationery conducted in December 2000 and signed by a JNF worker states, “In a lot of the plots I find Arabs are living and building illegally and also working the JNF land without permission.”

Gaza Christian Murdered

The manager of a Christian bookstore in the Gaza Strip who was found dead last weekend was first publicly beaten and tortured by Islamic gunmen who accused him of spreading Christianity, according to witnesses and Palestinian security officials speaking to WND.

The body of Rami Ayyad, who managed the only Christian bookstore in Gaza, reportedly was found Sunday riddled with gunshot and stab wounds. Ayyad, a Baptist, was accused by Gaza-based Islamic groups of engaging in missionary activity.

Ayyad’s bookstore, owned by the Palestinian Bible Society, was firebombed in April. He told relatives after the firebombing that he received numerous death threats from Islamists.

According to witnesses and security officials associated with Hamas’s so-called Executive Force speaking to WND, Ayyad was publicly tortured a few blocks from his store before he was shot to death.

The witnesses said they saw three armed men, two of whom were wearing masks, beat Ayyad repeatedly with clubs and the butts of their guns while they accused him of attempting to spread Christianity in Gaza. They then shot him.

Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadia Salafiya, an Islamic “outreach movement” that recently announced the opening of a “military wing” to enforce Muslim law in Gaza, told WND although his group “didn’t carry out the Ayyad attack,” all Christians in Gaza engaged in missionary activity will be “dealt with harshly.”

“Also no more alcohol on the streets. All women, including non-Muslims, need to understand they must be covered at all times while in public,” he said.

About 3,000 Christians live in the Gaza Strip, which has a population of over one million.

A Job Offer for Sean Penn

Palestinian terror leaders are hailing statements by actor Sean Penn regarding Iran, the war in Iraq and the global war on terror, stating that militants have “deep respect” for Penn, and urging Americans to listen to the Hollywood activist.

One senior jihadist leader even asked Penn to officially represent his terror organization’s cause to the world media.

“I tell Penn that we don’t have the money that the Zionists have, therefore we don’t own and we don’t have access to your media, and we hope you would represent our pain and our cause,” said Abu Hamed, northern Gaza Strip commander of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades.

Hamed and other terror leaders are quoted on the record sounding off about Penn in this writer’s new book Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans – to a Jew!

For one chapter, an array of senior terrorist leaders were asked to comment on the views of high-profile liberals and conservatives. They were read a series of Penn’s political statements – which they applauded – such as a recent open letter the actor sent to President Bush condemning the Iraq War, calling for Bush’s impeachment and labeling Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “villainously and criminally obscene people.”

The terrorists also were read a 2007 speech, translated into Arabic, in which Penn called for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons and questioned why the U.S. was allowed a nuclear arsenal.

Ala Senakreh, West Bank chief of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, said he feels “deep respect for Penn and people like him that prove that America is not only the country that sponsors the Israeli terrorists and all evil forces in the world, but also a country of brave people who want a different policy based on justice and peace.”

Ramadan Adassi, chief of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the northern West Bank Anskar refugee camp, said Penn’s words “express dignity, express a deep humanitarian sense and this doesn’t surprise me when it comes from an actor who has had to develop the sense of feeling.”

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief  for WorldNetDaily.comHe appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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