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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Palestinian terrorists have expressed frantic concern for Ehud Olmert’s health following media reports of the prime minister’s prostate cancer.

Prior to Olmert’s press conference announcing the non-life threatening tumor, Israeli television channels and radio networks dramatically announced Olmert would disclose an unspecified illness within hours.

Before the actual announcement, WorldNetDaily’s Jerusalem bureau received calls from members of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the declared military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party.

“I don’t want him to leave office or die before he has the occasion to follow through with his promises of granting amnesty,” said one leader of the Brigades.

Olmert in June granted amnesty to nearly 200 members of the Brigades and has been considering offering amnesty to hundreds more on condition the gunmen disarm and refrain from terror attacks.

According to media reports, most terrorists granted amnesty in June have failed to disarm; many have reportedly been involved in a series of attacks on Jews.

PA Official: U.S. Will Hit Iran Facility

A senior Palestinian intelligence official said that based on meetings with American diplomats, he understood that the U.S. plans to target Iran’s suspected nuclear installations in two to three months if negotiations with Tehran don’t generate a major breakthrough.

The official, speaking to WND on condition of anonymity, said that according to what he understood, the U.S. will “pay” for Arab support for a U.S. strike against Iran by creating a temporary Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and most of the West Bank by next summer.

The official met last week with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her trip here earlier this month to prepare for a U.S.-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian summit next month in which Israel is expected to outline a future Palestinian state in most of the West Bank.

The Palestinian intelligence official would not say if he was basing his information on any specific statements by U.S. officials that a military operation against Iran was in the works.

“It’s based on what I understood from the Americans,” he said.

Pollard on the Agenda?

Recent reports that Olmert has been holding secret talks with the U.S. for the release of imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard are not credible, according to diplomatic sources who said they are aware of the matter.

Commenting on the issue, Pollard, who completes his 22nd year of a life sentence next month, said Israel hasn’t taken “even the basic steps” to secure his freedom.

Pollard strongly refuted statements and a form letter released by Olmert’s office that it is extending full support to him and his family in line with legal requirements afforded a recognized Israeli agent.

“Why is it that my wife continues to live in poverty and distress and I continue to rot in prison, while the government of Israel continues to lie blatantly about supporting us and about efforts for my release?” wrote Pollard this week in a letter to Israel’s ambassador to Washington.

Earlier this month, however, Yediot Aharonot, Israel’s leading daily, reported that Olmert recently officially requested that the U.S. free Pollard. The newspaper further reported that a letter issued by the prime minister’s bureau showed that secret talks with President Bush and other U.S. officials regarding Pollard’s release have been ongoing.

The report followed a request by the heads of all Knesset political factions for Olmert to immediately work to secure Pollard’s release.

Terrorists Guard U.S. Official

Senior terrorists, including chiefs of the most active West Bank terror organization, were part of an official Palestinian security team that protected a prominent U.S. envoy last week, this column has learned.

Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, U.S. security coordinator for the Palestinian territories, toured the northern West Bank city of Nablus last Thursday and expressed support for a plan to achieve independence for the Palestinians in the city.

Nablus is the stronghold of Fatah’s Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, which has taken credit for every suicide bombing in Israel during the past three years.

Palestinian officials told WND they deployed three rings of Palestinian security officers around Dayton. The third ring, they said, consisted of about 200 Fatah security officers who encircled the vicinity that Dayton was visiting.

Among those encircling Dayton as official members of the Palestinian security forces were Nablus’s senior leadership of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, including Ala Senakreh, the Brigades’ West Bank chief, and Nasser Abu Aziz, number two leader of the Brigades in the West Bank.

Speaking about his role in protecting Dayton, Senakreh told this column he was “impressed” with the U.S. envoy’s bodyguards.

“One of them could eat ten of our people,” said Senakreh, who also commented that he liked the “fancy” vehicle in which Dayton arrived.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief  for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the recently published book Schmoozing with Terrorists.

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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