"Future Parliament" Building In Abu Dis Also Taken Over
"...massive computer network [from Orient House], now in the hands of Minister of Public Security Uzi Landau, contains details of terrorist activity and precise data on pre-1948 houses and real estate which the PA planned to claim in Israeli courts."
MID-EAST REALITIES © - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 8/10: Ariel Sharon has a terrible history of brutality and murder, and indeed by the usual definitions these days he is at the very least indictable as a war criminal. Even so, especially now in his new role as Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon is an extraordinarily crafty and sophisticated strategist as well as tactician. Indeed, over the past few decades it is Ariel Sharon who has arguably had more of an influence on how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has evolved to today's disastrous state than any other individual. In former roles and Ministerships it was Sharon who masterminded the settlement expansion plans as well as the very crucial concepts of "by-pass roads", "demolitions", and "natural growth". It was Sharon who long ago pretended to make a prominent building in the old walled city of Jerusalem his home, decorating the top of the building on the main street in the Muslim Quarter with a huge Israeli flag and Menorah for all to see all the time. And it was actually Sharon, along with Menachem Begin and with the help back then of Ronald Reagan and American friends, who first put forward the "autonomy" approach -- including it leading he said long ago to a "Palestinian State" (of sorts that is) -- which in many ways is how the Apartheid-like situation of today got its early start.
As usual, the regime of Yasser Arafat was caught off-guard when it came to Orient House, as the article that follows indicates. They should have been prepared with copies of all their vital information and computer data securely stored at other locations; and they should have been prepared to at least be able to quickly destroy all the important data and information being worked on in Orient House at the first sign of "invasion". But then in addition to their ruthlessly powerful enemy, the Jewish State of Israel, the Palestinians are also saddled with the corrupt and incompetent regime of Yasser Arafat and company.
While the IDF engaged in some retaliatory measures last night, the most significant steps taken by the Government of Israel were in the political realm: Israel closed the Headquarters of the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem known as the Orient House. Overnight, Police and IDF forces entered the building, unfurled an Israeli flag over the structure in place of the PLO one, and removed all the pictures of Faisal Husseini which decorated the exterior courtyard and walls of the building. All computers, documents, and files in the building were confiscated. A loaded Uzi sub-machine gun which was found on premises led to the arrest of seven Arab guards. Also last night, PA operations in eight other Jerusalem buildings were terminated.
Israel's takeover of the Orient House caught the PLO by complete surprise. Reporters in Jerusalem and PA areas say that while the PLO expected extensive Israeli retaliation raids against installations throughout Judea and Samaria, they were sure that Israel would never touch the Orient House. Prime Minister Sharon clarified in a closed meeting that Israel's presence in the Orient House is not a temporary one, but "forever. We are exercising our sovereignty over Jerusalem," said the Prime Minister.
David Bedein of Israel Resource News Agency says that while every Israeli government in the past 8 years has declared that Jerusalem will remain unified under Israeli sovereignty, the same governments condoned the operation of PA institutions in Jerusalem. "The most blatant was the Orient House where PA officials would receive foreign dignitaries and diplomats for meetings. Moreover, terrorist offensives and strategies were actually planned at meetings held at the Orient House. Its massive computer network, now in the hands of Minister of Public Security Uzi Landau, contains details of terrorist activity and precise data on pre-1948 houses and real estate which the PA planned to claim in Israeli courts."
During a visit to the Orient House this morning, Minister Uzi Landau said, "Once Israeli begins enforcing the law in Jerusalem and preventing the waving of the PLO flag, we will be able to gradually halt terrorism." The Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza congratulated the government on asserting Israeli sovereignty in its capital, "albeit, ten years late."
In other retaliatory moves following the Jerusalem bombing attack, the PA headquarters in the Jerusalem suburb Abu Dis were taken over by Israeli forces. The grandiose structure was built to serve as a future PA parliament as part of the Beilin-Peres-Abu Mazen plan to divide Jerusalem and establish the capital of a Palestinian state in its eastern, Arab-populated suburbs. The IDF spokesman says that the building directly served the military arms of the PA including: Force 17, General Intelligence, Preventive Security, Military Intelligence, and the Palestinian police. Part of the building sits on Israeli land, a reality that has been overlooked by previous Israeli governments. [Arutz Sheva News Service - Jerusalem (affiliated with Israeli right-wing]
JERUSALEM POST - Jerusalem - August 10: Politicians from across the spectrum reacted angrily to yesterday's bombing in Jerusalem, saying the current situation cannot be tolerated. The Right was united behind the need for a harsh response to the Palestinian Authority, but divided about how far to go.
Communications Minister Reuven Rivlin said that while Israel must strike back against the PA, the response cannot harm women and children and allow the conflict to escalate beyond control.
"We can't let Arafat get what he wants, which is an all-out, chaotic regional war," Rivlin told Channel 1. "There are a number of different options, but a dramatic response will bring only new dramas."
Rivlin said the strike must be against the entire terror infrastructure, noting that Israel need not separate among Hamas, Fatah, and the Islamic Jihad, because they are all under PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's control.
A life-long Jerusalem resident, Rivlin said he has no intention of changing his lifestyle because of the terrorists. "Rivlins have lived here for 200 years, and we have been through a lot," Rivlin said. "We are not about to stop eating in restaurants."
Shas chairman and Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon should carry out the far-reaching plan to attack the PA that was approved after the June 1 Dolphinarium bombing but deferred by Arafat's call for a cease-fire.
Yishai said IDF actions in the past few weeks have proven beneficial in eliminating terror and should be increased. He said there is no point in talking to Arafat after all his incitement and lies.
Coalition chairman Ze'ev Boim said that with the attack, "the countdown to the end of the Palestinian Authority has begun." Boim said Arafat's hands are drenched in blood and that there is no longer any point in restraint.
Boim called on Sharon to strike at the infrastructure of the inciting Palestinian propaganda machine, and to apply his policy of targeted killings to the upper echelons of the PA.
Herut MK Michael Kleiner said Israel must assassinate Arafat. "Sharon needs to forget about the response of the world and turn the Oslo clock backward by capturing the PA [territories] and freeing the Middle East of the presence of Arafat," Kleiner said.
Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi said he hopes Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer have learned their lesson after getting yet another slap in the face from Arafat. "Just yesterday the foreign minister and defense minister said to restart negotiations," Ze'evi said. "Arafat restarted the negotiations on Jaffa and King George."
Ministers criticized Ben-Eliezer for calling for Peres to meet with Arafat this week after months of saying he had finished his historic role. The ministers said his change of heart was due only to the upcoming election of Labor Party leader. "Is he going to act as the defense minister or continue to prepare for the primary?" a minister said on Israel Radio.
President Moshe Katsav called on world leaders to demand unequivocally that Arafat put a stop to Palestinian terror once and for all, and that if he fails to do so, they shun him.
National Infrastructure Minister Avigdor Lieberman called upon the government to designate the PA a terror organization and initiate tighter controls on the movement of the Palestinians. He said that Peres has proven the he is "totally disconnected from reality."
Labor and Social Affairs Minister Shlomo Benizri called for intense attacks against the PA, not only as a response to terror attacks, but consistently. He denounced calls to restart negotiations, saying, "What more can we give them? It doesn't work. We need to start hitting them in a language they understand."
"We are in a war, and in a war there are regrettably cases where you cannot prevent losses," said Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert. "We will act together with the government of Israel to reach every one of those who is responsible for terror, to hit them and kill them."
Labor Secretary-General Minister Ra'anan Cohen added a security debate to the agenda of Sunday's Labor central committee meeting, saying that "the murder of innocent women and children cannot go unanswered."
Opposition leader Meretz chairman Yossi Sarid said that despite the attack and because of it, immediate negotiations with the PA are essential.
"The sad thing is we are sealed off from their suffering and they are sealed off from ours," Sarid told Israel Radio. "Every dispute around the world in history was solved through negotiations. We must come together in order to solve the situation."