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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

A senior Muslim cleric who has justified suicide bombings met last week with U.S. lawmakers, and consulted last month with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, WorldNetDaily has learned.

Sheik Taysir Tamimi’s Washington meetings were part of a new interfaith religious organization – the Council for Religious Institutions in the Holy Land – formed with the stated purpose of promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace. Among those he met with were Rice, Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), John Ensign (R-Nev.), and more than a dozen House members, including Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress.

According to media reports, Tamimi and his group presented a six-point platform to end religious incitement and ensure access to holy sites.

Tamimi, though, is well-known for his justification of Palestinian suicide bombings, and was accused by Israel of inciting violence at the beginning of the second Palestinian intifada that started in September 2000.

When asked to condemn suicide attacks during a video-taped interview earlier this year with this column, Tamimi refused, stating: “A suicide bomber who sees he will get killed by F-16s prefers to defend himself and has nothing but himself to defend himself…. We believe he who gets killed will go to Allah in the sky and be with the prophets and the martyrs and the just people.”

Tamimi went on during the interview to claim that Jews have no historical connection to Jerusalem or Israel and that the Jewish Temples never existed. He also said the Torah was “falsified” to claim the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs were Jewish when in fact they were prophets for Islam.

Rice on the Record

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has again referred to Hamas as a “resistance” movement during a meeting last week with reporters from the Dallas Morning News.

It was at least the fourth time in recent months that America’s top diplomat has used that terminology for Hamas during unscripted remarks with reporters.

Hamas is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shooting attacks and rocket firings. It’s classified by the State Department as a terror organization. The group’s official charter calls for the murder of Jews and quotes widely from the anti-Semitic “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Rice is currently mediating between Israel and the Palestinian Authority ahead of a U.S.-sponsored summit later this month at which Israel is expected to agree to a Palestinian state in most of the West Bank. Hamas officials repeatedly have stated they would take over the West Bank if Israel evacuates the strategic territory.

In previous interviews Rice not only called Hamas a “resistance movement” but during a June sit-in with the New York Daily News referred to the group’s terror cells as Hamas’s “military wing.”

Hamas’s so-called military wing regularly carries out terror attacks, including suicide bombings, deadly shootings and the regular firing of rockets into Jewish population centers.

Lawsuit Filed Against Wakf

In an unprecedented legal move, Israeli citizens this week filed a criminal lawsuit against the Muslim custodians of Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, alleging the Muslim trust destroyed Jewish antiquities, including a possible wall from the Second Jewish Temple.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government this summer allowed the Wakf, the Mount’s custodians, to use bulldozers and other heavy equipment to dig a massive trench that the Wakf claimed was necessary to replace electrical cables outside mosques on the site.

Allowing the use of bulldozers at any sensitive archaeological site is extremely unusual, particularly at the Temple Mount, which experts say contains sealed layers of artifacts as shallow as two to three feet below the surface.

According to leading archaeologists, the Wakf dig resulted in the destruction of scores of Temple-era artifacts.

This week, 150 Israeli citizens filed a criminal complaint against Wakf officials, utilizing a section of the country’s penal code that allows private citizens to bring criminal suits against an individual or group that did wrong, including in cases in which the defendant is accused of destroying property.

“The Temple Mount is the property of the Jewish nation and has been for thousands of years,” said lead counsel Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of the Shurat HaDin Israeli Law Center. “What the Wakf did was clearly destroying property of the Jewish people…Wakf leaders belong in prison.”

Hamas Cracks Down on Hair Gel

According to security officials affiliated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, gunmen associated with several Gaza-based Islamist organizations, including Hamas, have formed patrol units to enforce hard-line Islamic law in Gaza. The units are responsible for a slew of recent closures of pool halls, water pipe smoking clubs and stores that sell movies and music, the officials said.

Gaza-based militants have also attacked secular Palestinian youth for wearing hair gel in the Hamas-controlled territory.

The officials said they are aware of seven cases in recent weeks of Palestinian male youth being targeted by Islamist gunmen for wearing hair gel. In one case, a Palestinian teenager who protested to the gunmen was seriously injured by the militants, the officials said.

“Militants told the youths that hair gel is imitating the West and is the beginning of corruption. It doesn’t go with Islamic education, it goes against Islamic tradition and behavior,” said a Palestinian security official.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief  for WorldNetDaily.comHe 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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