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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice twice referred to Hamas as a “resistance movement” during a meeting with reporters from the New York Daily News earlier this month, but the newspaper did not report her remarks. Rice’s interview is transcribed in full on the State Department website.

During an interview with the editorial board of the Daily News, Rice was asked about the recent history of democratic elections in the Middle East resulting in the rise to power of terror groups such as Hamas.

Rice told the News it was “very interesting to see Hamas trying to come to terms with no longer being really a resistance movement, but having to deal with politics.”

Rice later referred to Hamas as a resistance movement a second time during the interview.

“A moderate Palestinian friend of mine said, ‘You know, they (Hamas) used to be the great resistance, running the streets with their faces covered and going after Israel. And now, they look like a bunch of politicians who also can’t make the sewer system work.’ “

She went on to refer to Hamas’s terror cells as the group’s “military wing.”  (The so-called military wing regularly carries out terror attacks, including shootings and firing of rockets into Jewish population centers.) 

Rice’s remarks were not challenged by the Daily News editors.  Much of the interview was conducted by NY Daily News Chairman Mort Zuckerman, a prominent Jewish leader.

Zuckerman did not return repeated requests for comment before press time.

Rice’s statements mark the second documented time in recent months she called Hamas a “resistance movement” during unscripted chats with journalists.

JNF Permits Arabs to Reside Illegally

Arab squatters are living illegally in a strategic Jewish-owned apartment complex accessing an entrance leading to Jerusalem’s Western Wall and Temple Mount, this column has learned.  The apartment in question was purchased by the Jewish National Fund, which collects hundreds of millions of dollars in Jewish donor funds for the stated purpose of Jewish settlement.

The apartment is located just inside Herod’s Gate, one of eight gates that access Jerusalem’s Old City and the walkways to the Western Wall and Temple Mount. The property is about 3,300 square feet and is considered strategic since it comprises the archway accessing the path in the area to the Temple Mount.

According to information obtained by WND, the Herod’s Gate apartment was purchased in 1991 by Himnuta, a group that buys real estate on behalf of the JNF, using funds from the Jewish organization. Upon purchasing the apartment, the JNF did not place Jewish families inside.  Arabs are living illegally in the JNF-purchased apartment.

Jewish groups speaking to WND said they offered to purchase the key property to allow Jews to move in, but the JNF turned them down. One of the Jewish groups said it was willing to pay a rate “much higher” than the apartment’s value and would take on any legal requirements to boot the Arab squatters.

Real estate ownership in Jerusalem’s Old City is widely considered a sensitive matter. Previous Israeli-Palestinian peace proposals tentatively divided parts of the city based on Jewish or Arab residence.

The report of Arabs illegally inhabiting a strategic JNF-owned apartment follows a series of Jewish Press stories detailing hundreds of acres of key properties in Jerusalem purchased by the JNF for Jewish settlement that were instead utilized for the illegal construction of dozens of Arab apartment buildings housing thousands and U.N. facilities.

The JNF seemingly has taken little action to evict the Arab squatters from its land, while the Israeli government, which manages the areas, did not halt the illegal Arab construction on the Jewish-owned properties. 

Jewish-owned lands recently were blocked off from Jewish sections of Jerusalem and isolated to Arab neighborhoods by Israel’s security fence.

U.S. Weapons End Up With Hamas

Hamas members this week provided this column with a preliminary list of what they claimed were hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. weaponry and equipment they seized when they took control of Gaza two weeks ago.

The list included dozens of mounted machine guns; approximately 7,400 American M-16 assault rifles; about 800,000 rounds of bullets; 18 armored personnel carriers; seven armored military jeeps; “tens” of armored civilian cars, including pickup trucks and magnums; eight massive trucks equipped with water cannons for dispersing protests; and 14 military-sized bulldozers.

Hamas sources said the list didn’t include what they said were large quantities of U.S.-provided rocket propelled grenades, grenade launchers, explosives, and military equipment, such as boots and tents.

Abu Abdullah, a senior member of Hamas’s so-called military wing, told WND that Hamas estimates they obtained at least $400 million worth of American weapons and equipment. That number couldn’t immediately be verified. The average cost of an M-16 in Gaza this week was $16,911, and the average cost of a bullet there was $12.07 – meaning that the cost in Gaza of U.S. assault rifles and bullets Hamas claims to have obtained amounts to over $137 million.

Palestinian sources say America is being petitioned to send more weapons to Fatah in the West Bank.

“Like the American weapons in Gaza we told you will come to Hamas, also the weapons and aid the Americans are giving to Abu Mazen (Abbas) as part of their conspiracy against us in the West Bank will finds its way to the Palestinian resistance and Hamas,” said Abu Abdullah.

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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