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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

The death of Daniel Wultz, a Florida teenager critically injured last month in a suicide bombing at an Israeli restaurant (see story, page 3), is a “gift from Allah” and revenge against American Jewish support for Israel, said Abu Nasser, a leader of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, one of the groups responsible for the deadly blast.

“We wish this young dog will go directly with no transit to hell. [Wultz] was part of the American support machine that helps our enemy. I imagine him as one of these Nazis who live here. There is no difference between him and them,” Abu Nasser said.

Abu Nasser went on to pledge more suicide bombings inside Israel.

Abu Amin, a leader of the Islamic Jihad, which also took responsibility for the April 17 bombing in which Wultz was injured, said Wultz’s death should demonstrate to Americans “that even if you live in the U.S. the hand of Allah and the sword of the Jihad fighters will reach you and you will find the same end [as Wultz].”

Asked if his group would specifically target Americans in Israel, Abu Amin replied, “Concerning the Americans we do not target them but I will not be surprised if the resistance organizations would reconsider this matter. America is a full partner of the enemy in the siege against our people.

“If we know there are Americans in a place we plan to attack, we will not cancel the operation. On the contrary, this would be a sign from Allah that this is a more blessed operation. Killing Americans and Jews in one operation – it can be great.”

*******

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s administration is scurrying to put together an agenda for the Israeli leader’s scheduled talks in Washington next week. A series of specific requests, mostly tied to financial aid, have already been rejected by the White House, sources in Olmert’s office said.

Olmert aims to secure large U.S. grant and loan packages to fund his stated plan to withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria at a cost of at least $11 billion. Meanwhile, American officials object to Olmert raising funding issues during his upcoming trip, diplomatic sources said.

The sources added that the White House is not convinced Olmert commands a government coalition stable enough to carry out the withdrawal plan. American Jewish leaders close to the U.S. administration have rushed to Jerusalem in recent days to consult with Olmert and to help formulate a strategy for the White House visit. Olmert is scheduled to meet with Bush next Tuesday after a trip to the Pentagon, and is slated to address Congress next Wednesday.

Financing for the withdrawal plan is considered crucial for its implementation. The U.S. previously pledged to help fund Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, which was carried out last summer at a cost of about $2 billion, but little aid actually arrived. Analysts here contend the Judea and Samaria withdrawal plan could get stalled in the Knesset if Olmert doesn’t secure international funding to defray the costs.

Bush is said to be hard-pressed to sell additional Israeli aid packages to Congress during an election year, when lawmakers are already debating the price tags of the wars in Iraq and Aghanistan. Also factored in are recent large domestic aid packages after Hurricane Katrina, the diplomatic sources said.

*******

The Lebanese Hizbullah militia, backed by Syria and Iran, must stop using land disputes surrounding the Shebaa Farms as a pretext to continue arming itself, and should cease bringing Israeli-Palestinian issues into play in the Lebanese arena, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said in an interview with WorldNetDaily.

“The question of the Shebaa Farms was invented by Syria and Iran using Hizbullah as a pretense to have an armed presence in Lebanon. This must end,” said Jumblatt, who is the head of Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party and considered the most prominent anti-Syrian Lebanese politician.

Jumblatt said he supports dialogue with Syria and the international community to change the status of the Shebaa Farms from Syrian to Lebanese territory and to work toward an ultimate Israeli withdrawal from the land.

“But the question of Hizbullah shouldn’t be tied to the Shebaa Farms. They must disarm now. No more excuses. No bringing other issues, like the conflict with Israel, into Lebanon,” he said.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He is a co-host of ABC Radio’s nationally syndicated John Batchelor Show and can be heard regularly on American radio.

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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