IDF: `Axis of evil´ seeks to prevent calm in territories (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Gideon Alon 02/02/05)
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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
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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