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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

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Israeli military intelligence officers have been asked not to talk to the media without prior authorization from their superiors concerning Israel’s gains in Lebanon, according to sources in the Israeli Defense Forces intelligence unit.

The sources said Hizbullah has been dealt a “decisive blow” by the Jewish state’s military campaign, but contrary to statements by political leaders in Jerusalem, the terror group’s infrastructure in much of south Lebanon has not been destroyed. They said Hizbullah maintains the ability to fire hundreds of rockets per day into Israel.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this week told the Knesset that Israel’s military campaign in Lebanon had “changed the strategic balance in the region” to Hizbullah’s disadvantage. He claimed Hizbullah’s vast arsenal of weapons had been largely destroyed and that the terror group’s self-confidence was undermined.

His comments aroused audible scoffs from other Knesset members.

Military officials say Hizbullah strongholds in the central regions of south Lebanon remain intact. They said that because the IDF was not authorized to conduct a large-scale ground assault to the Latani River – about 18 miles into Lebanon – until two days before this week’s cease-fire was imposed, Hizbullah fighters were not eliminated from major nearby cities such as Tyre. Tyre and surrounding areas were routinely used by Hizbullah to fire rockets into northern Israeli cities.

After nearly four weeks of fighting, Olmert’s cabinet last week approved the larger assault the IDF had petitioned for, authorizing about 40,000 troops to enter Lebanon and advance to the Latani River.

The IDF estimated it would need about three days to reach central Lebanon and another four to six weeks to successfully wipe out the Hizbullah infrastructure in the areas leading back to the Israeli border. But this Monday morning – three days after the Israeli army was given a green light to advance – a cease-fire was imposed and the Jewish state suspended operations.

Iranian Soldiers Found Killed in Lebanon

Iranian soldiers were found among the bodies of Hizbullah gunmen killed by Israel in the days prior to the cease-fire, a senior Israeli military official told WorldNetDaily.

The official, who did not release the number of Iranian bodies found, said Israel had killed about 480 Hizbullah fighters since the beginning of the fighting on July 12.

The information follows scores of reports over the past few weeks that Iranian soldiers had been aiding Hizbullah terrorists from Lebanon in their attacks against Israel, including help with the firing of rockets into Israeli population centers.

The officials said the Iranian soldiers’ duties included keeping custody of long-range missiles within Hizbullah’s arsenal, including Zalzal rockets which are said to have a range of 125 miles, placing Tel Aviv within firing range.

Rice-Bashing in Arab Media

Syrian television last week aired a program in which Secretary of State’ Condoleezza Rice’s “ugliness” was the topic.

Syrian author Colette Khuri, being interviewed on her country’s main state-controlled television network, was asked to comment on recent statements by Rice referring to the “birth pangs” of a new Middle East.

According to a translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (www.memri.org), Khuri replied, “If I were asked, as an author, to portray malice, I would sketch an image of Condoleezza Rice. This woman is grim, both in the way she looks and in the way she is inside. I don’t know why she is always malicious from within.”

The interviewer chimed in, “In any case, her external ugliness reflects her internal ugliness.”

Khuri responded, “It’s the other way around, my dear. It is the internal ugliness that is reflected in one’s face. A woman can only be ugly from the inside. Any woman can be beautiful, if she is beautiful from within. It is the internal ugliness of this woman (Rice) that reflects her looks.”

Rice-bashing has been a popular sport in other Middle East state-run media the past few weeks, as reported last week in this column.

Several media outlets controlled by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party have been using racist rhetoric in their coverage of Rice in the past few weeks, referring to the American representative as the “black woman,” “raven,” “colored dark skinned black lady” and “black spinster.”

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 other top American radio programs. Klein is editor of the Galil Report, an e-mail intelligence newsletter focused on news about Israel. Subscriptions are available at www.g2bulletin.com.

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About the Author: Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m (CHANGE TO 7-9 p.m.). His website is KleinOnline.com


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