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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

They are billed as the most professional Palestinian police force ever assembled. They received advanced U.S. training and were deployed this week amid much fanfare and claims they would fight crime and terrorism. But less than 30 minutes into their first mission, the force ran scared from armed terrorists they were charged with combating.

Meet the new elite police unit of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization which has been 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 part of a trial run, a unit of 480 members of the elite force deployed last Sunday in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. The Jenin force’s commander, Suleiman Amran, told reporters the deployment is an important day for the town and that there’s “no chance for troublemakers to return to Jenin.”

Last Tuesday, the Jenin unit embarked on its first mission – to clear out a section of Cabatiya, a Palestinian camp just south of Jenin considered the main base of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization. Witnesses said that within less than 30 minutes of the start of the clashes, the elite Palestinian police force retreated from the scene.

“They cannot fight terrorism. The Israel Defense Forces must do most of the work for them in that regard. When it comes to public security, they can block off streets and create a perimeter and carry out other basic duties, but beyond that, fighting crime isn’t going well,” said a security official.

Saudi Aid Against Hizbullah

With U.S. approval, Saudi Arabia has in recent months provided weaponry to militias associated with anti-Syrian Lebanese opposition leaders to bolster them against the Hizbullah terror organization, informed security officials told this column.

The Saudi weapons were provided to militias associated with Lebanon’s Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, Parliament leader Saad Hariri, and former president Amin Gemayel, according to security officials.

Elderly Bnei Menashe Wed

In an emotional festival, the oldest immigrant couple from a group of “lost Jews” to arrive in Israel renewed their vows in a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony. The two, aged 97 and 88, are part a group of hundreds who recently moved here from India believing they are one of the “lost tribes” of Israel.

“The fact that they married under a Jewish wedding canopy in Israel after so many years of waiting symbolizes the return of the Jewish people to Zion,” said Michael Freund, chairman of Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based immigrant organization working with the “lost” Jews.

The couple believe they are Bnei Menashe, the descendants of Manashe, one of the biblical patriarch Joseph’s two sons and a grandson of Jacob, the man whose name was changed to Israel. The tribe lives in the two Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur, to which they say they were exiled from Israel more than 2,700 years ago by the Assyrian empire.

Israeli diplomatic wrangling has halted immigration of 7,000 Bnei Menashe still stuck in India.

Obama Adviser Out

An adviser to Sen. Barack Obama who quit last week after it was reported he held talks with Hamas was a well-known supporter of negotiations with Hamas and providing international assistance to the terrorist group.

Robert Malley, an employee of the International Crisis Group, said he served as an “informal” Middle East adviser to Obama. He told NBC News he decided to step down after the Times of London inquired about whether he had contacts with Hamas. Malley’s pro-Hamas views, though, were no secret.

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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