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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Israel has for the past two years had information indicating that the two Israeli soldiers kidnaped by Hizbullah in 2006 were most likely dead, WorldNetDaily has learned.

It wasn’t until two weeks ago that Prime Minister Olmert told the Knesset that Israeli intelligence strongly believed the abducted army reservists, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, were killed during the Hizbullah raid that sparked Israel’s 2006 war against the terrorist group in Lebanon.

Olmert dropped the bombshell just before the Knesset began voting on whether to approve a controversial prisoner exchange deal with Hizbullah that would see the release of the two abducted soldiers in exchange for Israel releasing live terrorists, including convicted murderer Samir Kuntar.

Since 2006, Olmert’s associates as well as the families of Goldwasser and Regev waged public relations campaigns to push for a deal with Hizbullah to free the kidnaped soldiers. The families, believing the two men were alive, appeared frequently in Israeli media petitioning the government to do more to bring about their freedom.

But according to informed security sources, the intelligence unit of the Israel Defense Forces and other Israeli security organizations assumed the soldiers were dead almost from the start of the 2006 war.

Immediate Israeli probes two years ago found a large amount of blood at the scene of the abductions near the Israeli border, indicating the reservists sustained serious, likely life-threatening injuries.

Further information obtained from other sources, including visits to Hizbullah by foreign dignitaries and humanitarian organizations, revealed no signs of life from the two soldiers, leading Israeli security organizations to their assessment Regev and Goldwasser were already dead.

Bolton: Why Talk?

Neither French diplomacy nor Israeli talks with Syria will move Damascus from its tight relationship with Iran, charged former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton in an interview with this column.

Bolton said he “cannot understand” why Prime Minister Olmert has been engaging in negotiations with Syria while that country continues supporting terrorism, generating instability in Lebanon and upholding a close military alliance with Tehran.

“I don’t really understand why he is engaging in these talks. Israel should be isolating the Syrian regime and working toward its replacement. The talks won’t break the Iranian-Syrian connection,” said Bolton.

“Mere diplomacy alone won’t split Iran from Syria. I don’t see the upside to talks that will grant the Baath party [led by Syrian President Bashar Assad] longevity and legitimacy.”
 
Bolton added it must be investigated whether Iran bankrolled the nuclear site in Syria targeted by Israel last September and reportedly constructed with North Korean aid.

Although he didn’t mention Olmert by name, Bolton had strong words clearly directed at the Israeli leader, who is negotiating with Syria and agreed to a truce with Hamas while he faces a criminal investigation that could unseat him from high office.

“It is always hard for a weak, besieged government to take dramatic action. When you have the kind of upheaval in the government as you do in Israel today, it is always to the advantage of your adversaries,” he said.

Fatah No-Fault

Evidence points to involvement of Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization in a foiled suicide bombing last week, but Israel was quick to blame Hamas for the attempted attack.

IDF forces killed terrorist Talal Abed just outside the northern West Bank city of Jenin during an attempt to arrest him. Abed was reportedly shot after he opened fire on Israeli soldiers.

A spokesman for the IDF told WND as well as the Israeli media that Abed was a member of Hamas and that he was involved in planning a suicide bombing inside Israel.

But Abed is a well-known Kfar Dan-area leader of Fatah’s declared military wing, the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades.

Indeed, the Brigades released a pamphlet stating Abed was a member of the group’s Abu Ammar cell, named after former Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, who was also known as Abu Ammar. A top Fatah Brigades leader in Jenin said Abed was a member of his group and that he was planning an attack.

Immediately following Abed’s death, Palestinian news websites officially run by Fatah mourned Abed as a “Fatah Martyr.”

“Talal [Abed] was one of the leaders of the Abu Ammar Brigades cells that belong to Fatah,” stated the Firas Palestinian news website, which is owned and operated by Fatah officials.

More Fatah Moderation

Fatah’s Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades officially announced this week it is no longer party to a three-week truce forged in Gaza between Hamas and Israel. Hamas continues to abide by the cease-fire, while Fatah took credit for launching over a dozen rockets aimed at Jewish civilian population centers.

A pamphlet released by the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades calls the Gaza truce “illogical.”

“The cease-fire is gone and the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades will make the enemy pay a high price for its crimes against the truce Hamas gave for free to the enemy. We emphasize our right to act at any time and place of our choosing,” reads the pamphlet, which was signed by the Brigades “in the name of Allah.”

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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