* The Independent has an interview with an Al Aqsa Brigades leader who openly admits Yassir Arafat’s involvement in his group’s terrorism:
While on the subject of the PLO chairman, what about his periodic condemnations of murders carried out by Palestinian militants? “It’s a tactic,” says Zubeidi. About this at least, he and the Israelis, who hold Arafat’s Fatah directly responsible for financing the Brigades, appear to agree.
Also, the Independent apparently agrees with Hamas et al that Israeli settlers shouldn’t be considered civilians:
“He declines to discuss how many Israeli deaths he has been personally responsible for since then, or the details of the many operations the faction has conducted from Jenin against civilians, soldiers and settlers“
(Hat tip: Alvin D.)
* (Via YNet) Report: Iran Establishes Suicide Bomber Unit to Strike Israel
Iranian intelligence has established a unit charged with recruiting suicide bombers to be sent to Israel, Iraq, and Lebanon, the London-based Arab newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Friday.
The newspaper received a video cassette of the speech of a senior Iranian intelligence official speaking to students at al-Hussein University, where Revolutionary Guards are trained.
In it, he warns that Iran has the capability to strike the U.S. and other Western countries: “We’ve looked at 29 sensitive sites in the West and we know how to hit them.”
* Missile Defense for El Al Fleet
Next month, El Al will begin equipping all of its planes with an anti-missile system called “Flight Guard” – the first airline in the world to use such a system.
Within seconds of a missile being detected, an onboard computer releases flares, fired at different angles to act as a diversion.
The system is completely automated because a missile attack could happen before the pilots could react.
* Moshe Arens on The Gaza Paradox
* ‘Arabs, too, are losing patience with Arafat’ – via IHT
* Washington Times editorial on ‘Gaza’s Future’
By launching a robust military campaign to destroy weapons-smuggling tunnels along the border separating Gaza and Egypt, Sharon seeks to prevent a situation in which Israel is perceived as being weak. But the most critical reason for the campaign (which is likely to be repeated in the months ahead, whether settlements remain in Gaza or not) is to deny the terrorists the ability to smuggle long-range weapons into Gaza for use against nearby Israeli cities.
Israel’s failure to do that before withdrawing from Lebanon has resulted in Hizballah being able to deploy missiles capable of reaching Haifa, an area where much of Israel’s industrial capacity is located. Sharon is understandably determined to prevent Hizballah and its friends from doing this in the south.