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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

The U.S. was briefed beforehand on Israeli plans to attack a suspected nuclear site in Syria and ultimately approved Israel’s Sept. 6 air strike, according to an informed security source. The strike reportedly destroyed a planned nuclear reactor being built with North Korea’s help,

The source told WorldNetDaily that prior to the raid Israel gave top U.S. defense and political officials documentary intelligence that detailed the targeted site and verified charges that the site’s intended use was for illicit nuclear purposes.

The evidence collected by Israel included videos, highly advanced imaging results and other evidence the source said could not be disclosed for fear of compromising intelligence collecting methods.

In trips to Washington, Defense Minister Ehud Barak briefed top political officials and several senior officials at the Pentagon about proposed Israeli plans to strike the facility, the source said. The plans were ultimately agreed upon after questions about the timing of the strike were resolved, the informed source said.

The Bush administration, the CIA and other intelligence officials last week briefed select congressional committees on some details of the Sept. 6 air strike, but denied that the U.S. had approved the attack.

Flunking Security 101

An elite, U.S.-trained security unit billed as the most professional Palestinian police force ever assembled has failed basic tests and has been incapable of fighting terrorism, according to security officials speaking to this column.

The U.S.-backed Palestinian force is being built up to assume security control of the West Bank following the planned creation of a Palestinian state and an expected Israeli evacuation from the territory. As a trial balloon, a unit of 500 members of the elite Palestinian force deployed in February to assume security control in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, which is a major stronghold of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades terrorist organization.

Israel allowed the deployment, which was coordinated with the Palestinian Authority. Gen. Keith Dayton, the U.S. security coordinator for the Palestinian territories, personally oversaw the unit’s training at U.S.-operated bases in Jordan and in the West Bank city of Jericho.

The Nablus police were to be responsible for public security and for fighting crime and terrorism. But security officials monitoring the unit’s progress said this week that the units are failing.

One major episode began playing out this month when 13 senior leaders of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades who had been pardoned recently by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert publicly took up arms, created a stronghold in Nablus’s Old City, and vowed terror attacks against Israel. The U.S.-backed police unit was called upon to eject the Al Aksa rebels from their stronghold. The operation was to be seen as a major test of the force’s capabilities. A large force attempted to raid the terrorists’ stronghold several times, but according to security officials, they repeatedly failed.

“We are talking about six attempts so far; five of the attempts utilized more than 300 policemen against the 13 terrorists, and all attempts failed miserably,” said a security official. “They couldn’t even get near the stronghold without being heavily fired upon and then retreating.”

This past weekend, Israeli military forces raided the Nablus stronghold, killing two terrorists and sending the other 11 into hiding.

Hamas Planning 9/11-Style Attacks?

Egyptian authorities reportedly arrested members of the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist organization for providing Hamas with components used to build pilotless drone aircraft.

This column broke the story in May 2006 that Hamas was seeking the ability to attack Israel using small pilotless airplanes laden with explosives. Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas’s so-called military wing, said at the time that the aim was to fly the aircraft 9/11-style into important targets. This week, the state-run Al-Ahram Egyptian daily quoted security officials stating that Egyptian forces detained four people and accused them of plotting to buy fuel and a remote control device for a small pilotless aircraft for Hamas.

The newspaper said some equipment for the aircraft had already been acquired and transferred to the Gaza Strip, which borders Egypt. Hamas’s Abdullah would not confirm if his group has aircraft but said that if they were acquired Hamas would fly the planes into Jewish targets.

“The goal is to have these planes carry maximum quantities of explosives and that they will be able to hit the targets that are fixed for its operation at a high level of accuracy. All the Zionist goals in our dear Palestine are legitimate.”

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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