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IDF: `Axis of evil´ seeks to prevent calm in territories (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Gideon Alon 02/02/05)Source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/534926.html HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The "axis of evil," which includes Hezbollah, Hamas and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, is determined to prevent Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas from achieving calm in the territories, IDF Intelligence chief Major General Aharon Ze´evi (Farkash) said yesterday.

Ze´evi, addressing the Knesset´s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah recently met senior Hamas leader Khaled Meshal and the two decided to continue the attacks against Israel.

Ze´evi said there has been a drastic reduction in terror attacks recently, but not a complete halt. Abbas is acting to reach a "calm," but not a cease-fire. All the opponents of the calm are preparing for action, he said.

"The bullet is in the barrel, but they´re not pulling the trigger. The preparations for terror acts continue. The present calm is extremely precarious and everything can disrupt it," he said.

Abbas had agreed to let Hamas leaders keep their weapons during cease- fire talks, Ze´evi said, adding that Hamas and Hezbollah are working together to dash any such halt of attacks. Abbas has also promised to take part in the "political process," which could pave the way to their taking part in the government, Ze´evi said.

Ze´evi said the PA was trying to impose law and order in the territories. Among other things, Abbas ordered the demolition of an illegally built wall around his house in Gaza and cut 50 percent of his pay to set an example.

MK Ran Cohen (Yahad) said the only way Abbas can strengthen his position and stand up to the Hamas opposition and Hezbollah´s terrorist subversion is by establishing a cease-fire.

MK Yossi Sarid (Yahad) said, "If someone had told me only two weeks ago that Abbas would achieve all he has so far, I would have thought he was out of his mind."

Ze´evi also revealed details of the new missile deal being worked out between Russia and Syria, to sell the latter the latest-generation SA- 18 missiles. He said the missiles can intercept cruise missiles, stealth bombers and helicopters.

Aluf Benn adds:

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has sent a senior Israeli envoy to Washington to discuss the Iranian nuclear plan.

The envoy was accompanied by Sharon´s military secretary, Major General Yoav Galant.

The coordination talks follow the increased interest in the Iranian issue, on the event of President George W. Bush´s departure to Europe at the end of the month.

The United States and Israel are not pleased with the Europeans´ diplomatic contacts with Iran and believe they will not suffice to stop the Iranian nuclear project. (© Copyright 2005 Haaretz. 02/02/05)

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