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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Fearing the collapse of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government, the Palestinian Authority asked the U.S. government for backing to rush a deal regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state, this column has learned.

According to a top PA negotiator, the Palestinians expect Olmert to be forced from office before the end of the year. They fear some of the negotiations led by Olmert’s government will be fruitless unless an understanding is reached before the Israeli leader vacates office.

“What we are seeking is to quickly reach certain understandings, put those understandings on paper and have them guaranteed by the U.S. so the understandings can be used as a starting point in negotiations with the next Israeli prime minister,” the PA negotiator said.

Olmert’s government has been conducting intense negotiations with the PA, beginning at last November’s U.S.-backed Annapolis summit, which sought to create a Palestinian state before Bush leaves office in January. Israel is expected to offer the Palestinians most of the West Bank and sections of Jerusalem.

PA Official: Jerusalem ’100% Muslim’

Jerusalem and the Temple Mount belong to the Muslims and any Israeli action that “offends” the Mount will be answered by 1.5 billion Muslims, declared the chief of staff for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

“Jerusalem is Muslim. The blessed Al Aksa mosque and Harem Al Sharif [Temple Mount] is 100 percent Muslim. The Israelis are playing with fire when they threaten Al Aksa with digging that is taking place,” said Abbas’s chief of staff, Rafiq Al Husseini, in an interview.

Husseini was referring to Israeli plans to construct a new bridge from the Western Wall area to the Temple Mount.

The old bridge was damaged two years ago. When Israeli workers tried to repair it, Palestinian leaders claimed the work was threatening the Al Aksa Mosque, even though the mosque is located hundreds of feet away. The work did not tunnel under any Mount foundation or touch any structure connected to the mosque, and the repair work – which had been pre-approved by Jordan and the Mount’s Muslim custodians – was conducted under the scrutiny of an accessible 24/7 webcam.

“Any hurting of Jerusalem will explode the whole negotiations between us and the Israelis … we must work to strengthen Palestinian ties to Jerusalem,” Husseini said.

Foxes Guarding the Coop

Several known members of Fatah’s Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the most active West Bank terrorist organization, are currently enrolled in elite U.S.-run advanced security training courses, a WorldNetDaily investigation has discovered.

The U.S.-run courses are training a new PA police force that is being billed as the most professional, capable Palestinian security force ever assembled. All candidates for the courses were reportedly screened by the U.S., Israel and the PA to ensure that no terrorists are enrolled.

The police units are being built up to assume security control of the West Bank following the planned creation of a Palestinian state and any Israeli evacuation from the territory. The units’ duties include fighting Palestinian terrorism.

The U.S. runs training bases for the PA police in the West Bank city of Jericho and also at U.S.-operated bases in the Jordanian village of Giftlik.

Two Brigades members from the West Bank city of Ramallah are enrolled in the Jericho course, while at least two other Brigades members are being trained by the U.S. in Jordan, according to the information obtained by WND.

Three of the four Brigades members in the U.S. courses previously participated in anti-Israel shooting attacks, and one was involved in the planning of terrorist attacks but did not personally carry out any attack.

Information obtained by WND confirms that Muhammad Qataqi, one of the top Brigades leaders in Nablus, was accepted into the U.S.-run courses earlier this year, although he ultimately did not enroll in the course.

Many members of Fatah’s Brigades terror group also serve openly in the PA security forces, including in senior security roles in Fatah’s Force 17 presidential guard units and in the PA’s Preventative Security Services, which serve as de facto police forces.

Royal Birthday Bash

The King David Museum & Genealogy Center, a new interactive museum that officially opened its doors in March in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, is celebrating the 3,048th birthday of King David, which takes place on Shavuot. According to tradition, King David was born and died on Shavuot.

The Museum is holding special week-long sessions and projects commemorating the birthday, life, rein and legacy of the second biblical king of Israel.

“The legacy of King David is as important today as during the time of his rule,” said Susan Roth, founder of the Davidic Dynasty, which promoted the museum.

“What King David did 3,000 years ago needs to be done again today – that is to unite all Jews together into one nation instead of attempting to separate ourselves due to such things as degree of religiousness or political affiliation,” said Roth.

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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