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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

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According to statements broadcast this month on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s state-run television, Jews have no historical connection to the Western Wall.

Dr. Hassan Khader, founder of the popular Al Quds Encyclopedia, said in an interview on PA television that the “Al-Buraq Wall” is part of the Al Aksa Mosque, and once served as a tying post for Muhammad’s horse.

“The issue of the Al-Burak Wall is one of the wonders which we don’t know why it happened in this order [of historical events],” Khader said.

“Who would have believed, back then, when Islam began in the time of the prophet, who would have believed that the Israelis would arrive 1,400 years later, conquer Jerusalem and would make this wall into their special place of worship, where they worship and pray? It’s incredible!”

According to Palestinian Media Watch (www.pmw.org.il), Khader’s interview has been broadcast repeatedly the past few weeks, coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Continues Khader: “The first connection of the Jews to this site began in the 16th century. The Jewish connection to this site is a recent connection, not ancient like the roots of the Islamic connection.”

“…Know that this wall is the only one of the four walls of the Al-Aksa Mosque – the mosque has four sides – this wall is the only one that carries an Islamic name since the beginning of Islam.”

In actuality, the Western Wall predates the Al Aksa Mosque by over 1,100 years.

IDF Petitioning To Reoccupy Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces, concerned about the massive amount of weaponry recently smuggled into the Gaza Strip and the regular firing of rockets at nearby Jewish communities, will present battle plans for approval by the government later this week for a large-scale Gaza offensive, senior IDF officers told WorldNetDaily.

The IDF plan, a version of which includes reoccupying parts of Gaza, is aimed at blocking Egypt-Gaza smuggling routes, confiscating weaponry already transferred into Gaza, halting the rocket fire directed at Jewish communities, and severely damaging Gaza’s terror infrastructure.

The officials said the offensive is “crucial” for Israel’s security and would be the largest military operation launched against Palestinian terror groups in Gaza since Israel evacuated the territory last year. But the officials said they worried the Gaza assault may be “watered down” or not approved at all by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for political reasons.

“We should never have withdrawn in the first place,” a senior officer told WND. “The greatest admission of the Gaza withdrawal’s failure would be for us to have to reoccupy any part of Gaza. I don’t think that will happen. Olmert would also have to contend with major international backlash for any such move.

More Syrian Moves To Retake Golan Heights

Syrian President Bashar Assad, who recently began directing his citizens to move to the Golan Heights, now is paying scores of Goan residents official state salaries. Israeli officials interpret Assad’s latest moves as an attempt to underscore Syria’s “ownership” of the Heights and to pressure the Jewish state into giving up the strategic territory. The officials said there are some indications Assad may stage a provocation aimed at restarting negotiations with Israel over relinquishing the Heights.

The Golan Heights consists of mountainous territory captured by the Jewish state after Syria used the terrain to attack Israel in 1967 and again in 1973. The Heights looks down on major Israeli and Syrian population centers and borders Israel, Syria and Lebanon. It is claimed by Damascus.

Military officials say returning the Golan Heights to Syria would grant Damascus the ability to mount an effective ground invasion of Israel.

Assad’s latest move follows a series of statements in which he warned that his army is preparing for possible confrontations with Israel. It also follows reports of indications that Syria is forming its own Hizbullah-like guerrilla organizations to fight Israel in hopes of “liberating” the Golan.

Congresswoman: Keep U.S. Aid Away From Palestinian Terrorists

The United States must provide safeguards to ensure American weapons and financial aid reportedly being given to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Force 17 personal security detail do not wind up in the possession of Palestinian terror groups, said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Middle East.

“I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that, if such assistance is provided, proper safeguards and monitoring are in place to avoid diversion of weapons and resources into the hands of Islamist jihadists operating in the Palestinian territories or working with Hamas and other entities classified by the U.S. as foreign terrorist organizations,” Ros-Lehtinen said.

The congresswoman was responding to an exclusive interview in this column earlier this month in which Abu Yousuf, a Force 17 officer, said weapons and aid the U.S. may provide to his group could be shared with the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades terror organization, the declared “military wing” of Fatah. Abu Yousuf, who also serves in the Al Aksa Brigades, hinted that American assault rifles sent by the U.S. to Force 17 in May were used in a spate of shooting attacks against Israeli civilians.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on America’s top radio programs.

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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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