Rebecca Anna Stoil
The IDF officially unveiled a new vehicle on Sunday designed to get infantry to and from the battlefield more efficiently.
The Tiger, a heavy infantry fighting vehicle built on the chassis of the Merkava 1 battle tank, “will be a significant aspect of operations in infantry brigades and will allow us to better perform ground maneuvers in order to achieve decision on the battlefield,” said OC Ground Forces Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi.
A number of the vehicles would be deployed by the end of the year, Mizrahi said.
The Tiger is expected to be much more secure against anti-tank weapons, such as those used by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and by Hizbullah in Lebanon, than its predecessors.
The Tiger prototype was first displayed in March 2005 at a Low Intensity Conflict exhibition in Tel Aviv, and since then, the Merkava Tank Directorate has been working on production.
To make the Tigers, the turret, top and driver station hatch have been removed from old Merkava 1 tanks, and replaced with increased armor, including a new armored rear door that doubles as a ramp. The Merkava 1 is more than 20 years old.
The underbelly of the Tiger …
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By Michael B. Oren
It begins with a single Qassam rocket, one of the thousands of homemade projectiles fired in recent years by the Islamic radicals of Hamas from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel. The rockets have made life nightmarish for many Israelis but have largely missed their targets. But this one gets “lucky”: It smashes into an elementary school, wounding 40 children and killing 15.
The Israeli government, which had heretofore responded to the Qassams with airstrikes and small ground raids, cannot resist the nationwide demand for action. Within hours, tens of thousands of Israeli troops and hundreds of tanks are rushing into Gaza, battling house-to-house in teeming refugee camps. Just as swiftly, Palestinian officials accuse Israel of perpetrating a massacre and invite the foreign press to photograph the corpse-strewn rubble. The images flash around the Middle East on al-Jazeera TV and trigger violent demonstrations in Arab capitals.
Hezbollah, the radical Lebanese Shiite militia, then gets into the act, raining Katyusha rockets on northern Israel. But when Israeli warplanes bomb the Katyusha batteries, Syria leaps in, sending its commandos to retaliate by capturing key Israeli bunkers atop the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel's counterattack succeeds only in precipitating a …
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Khaled Abu Toameh
US President George W. Bush is said to have approved a covert initiative to overthrow the Hamas government shortly after Hamas won the January 2006 parliamentary election, according to confidential documents obtained by Vanity Fair magazine.
The documents, which have been corroborated by sources at the US State Department and Palestinian officials, reveal that the plan was supposed to be implemented by the State Department.
The report confirms allegations by Hamas and other Palestinians that the US has been supplying Fatah with weapons and money so that its forces could bring down the Hamas government. Some senior Fatah officials have also accused the US of “meddling” in Palestinian affairs by encouraging Fatah to work toward toppling the Hamas government.
The magazine said that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams were entrusted with provoking a Palestinian civil war, in which forces led by Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan – fortified with new weapons supplied at America's behest – would remove the democratically elected, Hamas-led government.
The State Department, according to Vanity Fair, declined to comment.
The magazine quoted a former US intelligence official with experience in covert plans that said the plan was …
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by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
A near-lynch by an Arab mob in Jerusalem ended without casualties on Monday, as rioters confronted civilians and soldiers in several locales. Arab students at Israeli universities held pro-Palestinian Authority demonstrations as well. Hundreds of policemen are on high-alert duty in the capital on Tuesday.
Israeli security sources say that the riots are not a spontaneous outpouring of rage over the events in Gaza, as they are often portrayed. Rather, the sources say, the unrest is organized and incited by those elements interested in “heating up” the Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria regions. Those behind the incitement are attempting to spark what some sources say may be a “third Intifada.”
Rioting, rock-throwing and firebomb attacks by Arab mobs were reported in several locations in municipal
Had they been able to, the Arab attackers “would have lynched us, not just the car.”
Jerusalem during the day. In one instance, two municipal workers escaped a lynch mob on Salah A-Din Street, a main road in the eastern part of the capital. On Monday night, they described the event to Mayor Uri Lupolianski.
Inspectors Ephraim Moshe and Chaya Eliyahu said they were driving down the street when they realized the road …
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By Nina Khrushcheva
The question that has dominated Russian politics, and world discussion of Russian politics – “Will Vladimir Putin or won't he stay in power?” – has now been settled. The former president will and he won't. The election of Putin's longtime acolyte and handpicked successor, Dmitri Medvedev, as Russia's president means that Putin is formally surrendering all the pomp and circumstance of Kremlin power. But now it looks like 21-gun salutes and first place in protocol lines are the only things that Putin is giving up – if that. In opting to become Medvedev's prime minister, Putin sees himself as coming closer to the machine of power, because he will obtain minute-by-minute control of the government.
This bizarre transfer of office but not power – perhaps a slight improvement on state governors in the American south who used to hand their offices to their wives when their term limits expired – is Putin's scenario. But what if it is not Medvedev's? What if Medvedev, after a few years, becomes as independent of his patron as Putin became of Boris Yeltsin, the man who put him on the Kremlin throne? Should that turn out to be the …
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TWC founder and global warming skeptic advocates suing Al Gore to expose 'the fraud of global warming.'
By Jeff Poor
The Weather Channel has lost its way, according to John Coleman, who founded the channel in 1982.
Coleman told an audience at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change on March 3 in New York that he is highly critical of global warming alarmism.
The Weather Channel had great promise, and that's all gone now because they've made every mistake in the book on what they've done and how they've done it and it's very sad,” Coleman said. “It's now for sale and there's a new owner of The Weather Channel will be announced – several billion dollars having changed hands in the near future. Let's hope the new owners can recapture the vision and stop reporting the traffic, telling us what to think and start giving us useful weather information.”
The Weather Channel has been an outlet for global warming alarmism. In December 2006, The Weather Channel's Heidi Cullen argued on her blog that weathercasters who had doubts about human influence on global warming should be punished with decertification by the American Meteorological Society.
Coleman also told the audience …
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