Friday, January 26, 2007

Russia and West divided over Kosovo

A boy walks past graffiti in in Kosovo which reads: "No negotiation - Self-determination."

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Russia has reacted unfavourably to a United Nations plan to give Kosovo greater independence from Serbia.Martti Ahtisaari, the UN special envoy for Future Status Process for Kosovo, unveiled the plan at the UN complex in Vienna to the six-nation Contact Group on Friday. which
The Group, comprising the US, Russia, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, has set policy on Kosovo since the United Nations took control of the province in 1999.

After the meeting, Ahtisaari said Russia had called for any decision on Kosovo to be delayed until Serbia formed a new government.
The five other members of the group - the US, Britain, France, Italy, Germany - were in favour of the plan and saw no need for delay, he added.

Ahtisaari needs the approval of the Contact Group before he can make the plan public.Diplomatic sources had said that the Vienna meeting was intended to be the last step before Ahtisaari presented his blueprint to officials in Pristina and Belgrade on February 2.Serbs and Kosovo Albanians had been due to discuss the fine print of the deal during February, although there was little prospect of them reaching an agreement.Independence demandedEight years after Nato drove out Serb forces accused of ethnic cleansing in the province, Kosovo is demanding nothing less than full independence.
Meanwhile, Serbia is offering only far-reaching autonomy for a territory that it sees as the traditional birth-place of the Serb nation.Ahtisaari said on Wednesday that his plan would focus on "the protection of minority rights, in particular of the Kosovo Serbs" and "a strong international civilian and military presence within a broader future international engagement in Kosovo."Diplomatic and UN sources told Reuters news agency that Kosovo would be given the right to apply for membership of international organisations, potentially including the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. They said it would provide for a right to dual citizenship, and urge Pristina to establish good relations with Serbia and other neighbours, but would contain no reference to Serbian sovereignty. Self-determinationGermany, Britain, France, Italy and the United States have all said they believe the Albanians should be granted self-determination but Russia has said it will not back a solution that goes against the wishes of Serbia, a fellow Slavic and Orthodox Christian nation that is a natural ally.Diplomats had said they felt there was enough room for manoeuvre between the two positions to avoid a Russian veto in the UN Security Council later this year.Nato countries, which have more than 16,000 peacekeepers in Kosovo, have vowed to maintain support for international efforts to resolve its status but called a rapid resolution. "There was an enduring and unflagging commitment for Nato to play its part in the process related to status and beyond it," James Appathurai, Nato spokesman, said."There was a strong sense around the table on the need for a resolution as soon as possible. Long delays risk a lack of clarity, risk fostering instability," he added.
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Curfew follows fatal Beirut clashes

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A curfew has been declared in Beirut after four students were reported killed as rival groups of pro- and anti-government students fought a pitched battle at a university, leaving at least 35 others wounded.

The curfew, from 8.30pm (1830 GMT) until dawn on Friday, was declared by the Lebanese army following hours of violence in the capital.
Students wielding clubs and throwing rocks attacked each other at the Al-Arabiya University in a southern sector of the Lebanese capital. Al Jazeera correspondent Mike Hanna said the fighting "started with an argument and then got physical".
"It was a very intensive and very serious clash on the campus highlighting the political divisions across the country."

The fighting began on the main campus and then moved out on to the street, as students set fire to tyres and cars in order to block traffic. Dozens of men wearing construction helmets and carrying makeshift weapons - chair legs, pipes, garden tools, sticks and chains - converged on the university and fought with police.
University cordoned offTroops fired into the air to try and break up the crowds and cordoned off the neighbourhood. Military trucks were used to evacuate the streets of civilians trapped by the violence.

Some students claimed that during the fighting they came under fire from snipers on the surrounding rooftops.
Followers of the Future Movement led by Saad al-Hariri, the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority leader, and opposition supporters of the Shia Hezbollah movement and its ally Amal, were said to have been involved in the clashes.
Television stations run by both camps blamed each other for the violence. Fouad Siniora, the prime minister, appealed to the Lebanese to "avoid tension and escalation.""I call on everyone to return to the voice of reason," he added.
Call for calmHezbollah issued a statement urging its supporters to leave the streets around the university and respect the curfew."We are using a Fatwa (religious decree) ... in the interests of the country and civil peace ... everyone should evacuate the streets, remain calm and leave the stage for the Lebanese army and security forces," he said.

The Lebanese army fired shots into the air to disperse the students

Nabih Berri, the parliamentary speaker and leader of Amal, told several Lebanese television stations: "What everyone should do now is halt the strife.""I call upon you once again to channel all your powers towards reconciliation ... towards national unity," he said.Al-Hariri urged his followers to "remain calm and not respond to provocation".The fighting followed widespread unrest in the country earlier this week when the opposition staged a general strike and subsequent fighting left at least six people dead and scores injured.
The opposition is seeking veto power in government and early parliamentary elections to topple the Siniora's cabinet.
Siniora and al-Hariri have refused to accept the demands.
Al-Taamir clash
Another clash between troops and armed men, belonging to a group called the Jund al-Sham, in al-Taamir district near Ain al-Helwa camp in southern Lebanon left three people hurt, including a soldier.
Al Jazeera's correspondent reported that the fighting erupted after the armed men obstructed the troops' deployment in the area.
Soldiers opened fire after the armed men threw stones. Witnesses said three people were injured.
The violence came as Siniora won pledges of more than $7bn in aid at a donors' conference in Paris to help rebuild Lebanon following the war between Israel and Hezbollah last summer.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Olmert urges president to go

Katsav said he had already faced a "trial by media
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Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, has called for Moshe Katsav, the Israeli president, to resign over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

On Wednesday, immediately after Katsav publicly refuted the allegations against him and promised to clear his name, Olmert said he had "no doubt" that Katsav should stand down.
Olmert said: "I have no doubt that the president cannot continue and fulfill his position and he should leave the residence of the president of Israel."
In a statement on Tuesday, Menachem Mazuz, the attorney general, announced he planned to indict Katsav on suspicion that he raped a former staff member and sexually assaulted three other women who worked for him.

Katsav called the allegations "smears and lies" that were "terrible, hurtful" and said: "I will fight to my last breath to clear my name."

He said he had already suffered a "trial by media".

Appeal to the citizens

Analysts saw Katsav's speech as an attack on the media and an appeal to public opinion.

He appealed directly to the citizens of Israel, saying: "As time goes by and as the facts emerge you, the citizens of Israel, will understand what terrible injustice has been done here."

Gill Hoffman, a journalist with the Jerusalem Post, told Al Jazeera: "He [Katsav] was really talking to the media and the Israeli citizens rather than members of the knesset [Israeli parliament]. A lot of Israelis will sympathise with him - they will now question what they thought before."
Jacky Rowland, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Israel, said: "He was trying to appeal over the heads of the opinion makers.

"The bottom line is that the fact that any allegations have been made against him casts a stain over the presidency.

"And people feel the president, in the interests of the dignity of the office that he holds, should step down."

Earlier in the day Katsav notified the knesset that he was taking a leave of absence from his duties.

Dalia Itzik, the knesset speaker, will temporarily fill the position - the first time the country has had a female president.

Under Israeli law, the president cannot be put on trial while in office but the knesset does have the power to impeach him.

But analysts say an investigation could take over a year and Katsav's presidency is due to end in July.

Mazuz said he would invite Katsav and his lawyers to a hearing, the date of which has not been set, before finalising charges.

Katsav has said he will resign if he is charged.

Nour Odeh, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza, said that Palestinians, who are also experiencing internal political conflict, "know that when there is internal trouble in Israel, it is Palestinians who end up paying the price".

She also said the events were "a further indication to Palestinians not to put their faith in Israeli politicians".

The post of president in Israel is largely ceremonial and the case is unlikely to have any direct impact on the government or on Olmert, who himself is under investigation over alleged corruption.

The knesset elected Katsav as president in 2000, after Ezer Weizman, the previous president, resigned from the post following revelations he had received $450,000 in gifts from a French millionaire.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bush warns against failure in Iraq

For the first time in his presidency Bush addressed a Democrat-controlled congress [Reuters]

George Bush, the US president, has used his seventh annual State of the Union address to urge Congress to give his Iraq plan "a chance to work".

He warned against "failure" in Iraq and described the war there as part of a larger battle against Sunni and Shia extremists who were "faces of the same totalitarian threat".
"Many in this chamber understand that America must not fail in Iraq - because you understand that the consequences in failure would be grievous and far reaching," Bush said.

He also addressed domestic issues, proposing fuel usage cuts to curb climate change and health care and education reforms.
"Totalitarian threat"

He said the Iraq war had changed dramatically with the outbreak of sectarian warfare and reprisals.

"This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we are in," he said.

"It is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle," the president said. "So let us find our resolve and turn events toward victory."
He said Shia extremists backed by Iran and Sunni extremists aided by al-Qaeda and the "old regime" would take over in Baghdad if America "failed" in Iraq.
He said the most important mission in America's history was to "spare the American people from this danger" and asked for support for his plan to send an extra 21,500 US troops to Iraq.
A Washington-Post/ABC News poll released on Monday gave Bush a job approval rating of 33 per cent, showing him to be at the weakest point of his presidency.
In his address to a nation increasingly opposed to the Iraq war and to a congress which for the first time in his presidency is controlled by Democrats, Bush stressed the need for unity.

Domestic policy

Bush also used the address to outline a domestic policy for the year.

"A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy - and that is what we have. Unemployment is low, inflation is low, and wages are rising," he said, adding that more enterprise rather than increased government intervention was key.

He also called for Republicans and Democrats to overcome differences concerning the direction of social security spending.

He proposed a reduction in US fuel usage by 20 per cent in 10 years, an increase in health care for Americans, a new immigration policy and improvements to education.
Bush said that improved vehicle fuel standards and diversification of energy sources – such as the use of ethanol fuel – was necessary.
"It is in our vital interest to diversify America's energy supply and the way forward is through technology," he said.

The energy proposals by Bush fall short of seeking mandatory caps on carbon emissions which are sought by some Democrats in the congress.

Bush is not pushing for a specific increase in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which many experts see as critical to reduce oil usage but which the White House fears would prompt manufacturers to build smaller, less-safe cars.
Instead, he will ask congress for authority to reform CAFE standards, with the goal of reducing projected annual fuel use by up to 8.5 billion gallons, according to Joel Kaplan, the deputy White House chief of staff.

Strategic reserve

Bush also called for doubling the strategic petroleum reserve from 727 million barrels to 1.5 billion barrels, in a bid to bolster US energy security.
The US will begin buying extra oil this spring as part of a plan by the Bush administration to expand emergency reserves, the White House said on Tuesday.

"Expanding the strategic petroleum reserve is a wise and a prudent policy decision that would provide an additional layer of protection for our nation's energy security," said Sam Bodman, the US energy secretary.

Meanwhile, Bush's health care plan will propose making health insurance taxable income and deductible up to $15,000 a year for families, starting in 2009.

The move could raise taxes for as many as 30 million Americans but lower costs for many others.
A US official said the plan would cost $30 to $40 billion in its formative years but eventually pay for itself.
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Monday, January 22, 2007

The Iraqi Sniper - القناص العراقي

Baghdad -
لم يكد الجندي الأمريكي ايفرسون يخرج من دبابتة، - قرب مدخل مخفر أمريكي يسمى السيف في الانبار- حتى التقطه قناص عراقي برصاصة 7.62 ملليمتر فأصابته إصابة مباشرة فوق الجزء الأعلى من صدريّتة الواقية، فمزقت كتفه وخرجت من ظهره.No sooner had the American soldier Iverson out from the tank, near the entrance station-called American sword in Anbar - even plucked an Iraqi sniper bullet 7.62 millimeters injuring him directly over the upper part of the protective Sadrith, fracturing his shoulder and exited from his back.
وسقط في داخل الدبابة جريحا .ومن على سطح المخفر رد جنود المدفعية الرشاشة بوابل من النيران . لكن القناص قد اختفى.وقال الرقيب أوّل جيرمي غان، هذا القناص يعرف ماذا كان يفعل. حيث نواجه هنا بعض الرجال مع الأسلحة يستيقظون فجأة وهمهم اطلاق النار على الأمريكان. ولكنهم لا يصوبون على الجسم المحمي بواسطة الصدرية الواقية، واعتقد بأنهم يستخدمون المنظار المرتبط ببندقية القنص. تم نقل الجندي المصاب إفيرسون بواسطة الطائرة المروحية إلى مستشفى في شمال بغداد وبقي على قيد الحياة. كان الضحيّة الرابعة للقنّاص العراقي منذ سبتمبر/أيلول من بين 40 جنديا أمريكيا يخدمون في مخفر السيف، وهو عبارة عن قصر محاط بأكياس الرمل في جنوب وسط الرمادي. يقول الجنود والضبّاط الكبار في الجيش الأمريكي إن المشكلة ومنذ بداية الحرب هي التهديد الذي يشكله القنّاصة والذي إشتدّ في الأشهر الأخيرة. حيث طور الرجال المسلحون مهاراتهم واكتسبوا معدات أفضل، وبشكل خاص بنادق مزودة بأجهزة الرؤية ألليلية لاستهداف القوات الأمريكية بعد أن غروب الشمس.They were inside the tank were injured. It is on the roof of a police station troops artillery barrage of automatic fire. But the soldiers have disappeared. He said Sergeant Jeremy Gan, the sniper knows what he did. As we face here some of the men with weapons wake up suddenly, their fire on the Americans. But do not aiming to object protected by the protective chest, and I think they are using the telescope associated with a Kalashnikov hunting. The injured soldier was transferred Iverson by helicopter to a hospital in the north of Baghdad remained alive. The fourth victim of a sniper Iraqi since September of 40 American soldiers serving in the post sword, a palace surrounded by sandbags in the south-central Ramadi. Says soldiers and senior officers in the American army said that the problem, since the beginning of the war was the threat posed by snipers, which has intensified in recent months. Armed men stage where their skills and acquire better equipment, particularly rifles equipped with night vision to target American forces after sunset.
إن جنود البحرية والجنود الآخرين الذين استهدفهم رجال القناصة العراقيين تحطم هذه الطلقات روحهم المعنوية، حيث تأتيهم طلقة واحدة بدون سابق انذر ولا يعلمون متى تأتي. حيث يقول العريف بنجامين إوبست، الذي يخدم في مخفر السيف: الجنود هنا تعبوا جدا من هذه المهمة وهم محبطون، وهي تشبه محاولة لإيجاد ذبابة في غابة." وقال إوبست ان المشكلة في محافظة ألانبار أصبحت جدّية بحيث ان خبراء عسكريين زاروا مخفر السيف مؤخرا لدراسة مشكلة القنّاصة في المنطقة، على أمل تطوير طرق لمواجهة هذا التهديد.The marines and other soldiers who have been targeted by Iraqi sniper bullets shattered the morale, been brought in one shot without prior warning and did not know when to come at all. Corporal Benjamin says Obst, who served in the post sword : the soldiers here very tired of this task and they are frustrated, and resembles an attempt to find a fly in the jungle. " Obst said that the problem in the province of Anbar has become so serious that the military experts visited the station sword recently to study the problem of snipers in the area, hoping to develop ways to face this threat.
وقال الملازم أوّل جيرارد داو، آمر مخفر السيف، إن الجنود الأمريكان يتحرّكون عادة خلال الليل في الرمادي لتقليل الخطر. لكن الآن بعض الرجال المسلّحين يستعملون أجهزة الرؤية الليلية لذا فهم يستطيعون الضرب في أي وقت يشاءون.ونعرف ان هؤلاء القناصة يمتلكون أفضلها.He said First Lieutenant Gerard Dow station is the sword, that the American soldiers usually move during the night in Ramadi, to minimize the danger. But now some armed men using night vision devices so they can strike at any time they chose. We know that they have the best snipers.
في خلال إسبوع من المقابلات، مع الجنود في مخفر السيف تكلّموا بتكرار حول القنّاصة خارج بوّابات حصنهم .وفي المناقشات اللاحقة مع جنود البحرية والقادة عبر محافظة الأنبار كشفوا بأنّ التهديد أصبح واسع الانتشار. ويقول الرائد ماثيو فان واجينين،وهو ضابط من الكتيبة الأولى، الفوج المدرّع السابع وثلاثون، ان موالين لصدام حسين في المنفى في سوريا والأردن قد موّلوا برامج التدريب لهؤلاء القنّاصة.Within a week of interviews with soldiers in the outpost have spoken to happen on the sword snipers outside the gates of its Datule. In subsequent discussions with Marine soldiers and commanders across Anbar province revealed that the threat has become widespread. He says Major Matthew van Agenin, an officer of the 1st Battalion, 7th armored brigade and the 30th, that loyal to Saddam Hussein in exile in Syria and Jordan had financed training programs for those snipers.
وأضاف نواجه رجالا مسلّحين بسطاء يصوبون الطلقات ضدنا ، لكنّ عندهم قيادة متوسطة المستوى أيضا تستطيع القيادة في جميع أنحاء الأنبار، ويتنقلون جيئة وذهابا في البلدة حينما يريدون. القيادة العسكرية الأمريكية في بغداد قلّلت من أهميّة تدفّق المقاتلين الأجانب في العراق، لكن العديد من الجنود وجنود البحرية في الأنبار قالوا بأنّهم يواجهون أفضل القنّاصة من جميع أنحاء الشرق الأوسط يأتون إلى العراق لفرصة قنص أمريكي بطلقة واحدة. ونحن لا نملك حتى قنّاصة جيّدين مثلهم. تعلّم بعض القنّاصة حرفتهم الأساسية عندما خدموا في جيش صدام. لكن هناك قلق واضح أيضا بين الأمريكان من إن تدريب الجيش العراقي الحالي في المعسكرات الأمريكية ينشر المهارات بين الجنود الذين ينقلبون على القوات الأمريكية.His face armed men discharging simple shots against us, but they also lead the average level can command in all parts of Anbar, and move back and forth in the town when they want. American military command in Baghdad, played down the importance of the flow of foreign fighters in Iraq, but many soldiers and marines in Anbar said they were facing the best sniper from all parts of the Middle East come to Iraq for the opportunity to hunt American single shot. We do not have to like good snipers. Learn some basic craft snipers when served in the army of Saddam. But there is also clear concern among Americans that the current Iraqi army training in the camps of America publishes skills among soldiers who overthrow the American forces.
وقال الرّقيب شون جي . إجير، أيضا من الفوج المدرع سابع وثلاثون. "أنا لا أحبّ الطريقة التي يحاربوننا بها ، لكنني كنت سأعمل نفس الشيء إذا شخص ما يحتلّ بلادي. وكان هذا الرقيب هو مدفعي يقف في أعلى عربة همفي -قرب محطة قطار الرمادي المدمرة - وفي أغسطس/آب أخطأته رصاصات مرت بمسافة بوصات عنه وأنقذه زجاج الأمان، لكنها أصابت مدفعه الرشّاش، وأصيب بشظايا في وجهه. لكنه سيحتاج إلى عملية جراحية بعد أن يترك العراق لإزالة نصف الشظايا العشرة التي ما زالت غائرة في وجهه.He said Sergeant Shawn Gee. Agir, also of the armored regiment seventh and 30th. "I do not like the way in which Iharbonna out, but I was the same thing I will if someone occupies my country. This was an artillery sergeant was standing at the top of a cart near-barricaded railway station in Ramadi destroyer-August Akhtath bullets passed inches from a distance and saved him safety glass, but hit the machine-gun, and injured by shrapnel in the face. But he will need surgery after leaving Iraq to remove shrapnel half of the ten that are still wounds in the face.
وألان يحاول الجنود أن يجعلوا أنفسهم أهدافا صعبة للقناصة من خلال التعرج أثناء المسير ولا يقفون في مكان واحد إلا ثواني معدودات.لكن أفضل القنّاصة ينتظرون لساعات، في أغلب الأحيان قرب المطبات الطبيعية حيث تجبر القوات الأمريكية على التوقّف.حيث يجثمون في الممرات،وفي البنايات المتروكة، أو يشقّون طريقهم بالقوة عبر العديد من البيوت ويطلقون النار من المنافذ ويطلقون النار أيضا من نوافذ السيارات.Now that the soldiers were trying to make themselves targets of snipers difficult through meandering during contain not stand in one place only a few seconds ago. But the best snipers waiting for hours, often near the natural bumps where American forces are forced to stop. Where rode in the corridors, in the abandoned buildings, or making their way through the force of many houses and fire outlets and also firing from the windows of cars.
وهناك مجموعة واحدة من القناصة في الرمادي عندهم سيارة مجهزة بمصدات ومعتمات جهّزت لهذا الغرض حي يتمكن القنّاص داخلها أن يقنص للحظات دون أن يكتشف. يصيبون هدفهم مرة واحدة ويختفون، ويلتقطون معهم أغلفة الرصاص ويغطّون الفتحات التي يطلقون.منها الرصاص. حتّى عندما يخفقون في القتل، فان جرح الجنود كافيا لأن يعرقل العمليات العسكرية لساعات، من اجل إخلاء المصاب. والبحث عن القنّاص عادة هو تمرين في الإحباط، فمن المستحيل احتوائه.There is one group of snipers in Ramadi have a car equipped Bmusdat Maatmat and equipped for this purpose neighborhood that soldiers inside the Ignas of moments without detection. Inflict their once and disappear, and with them picking up bullets and casings covering the openings with a bullet. Including petrol. Even when they fail to murder, the soldiers injured enough as hinder military operations for hours, in order to evacuate the injured. The search for a sniper is usually an exercise in frustration, it is impossible to contain.
قبل منتصف الليل بقليل بعد قنص الجندي إفيرسون ترك 20 جنديا أمريكيا وستّة من الجنود العراقيين مخفر السيف لاكتساح البيوت في جهة الشرق من المخفر وهي المنطقة المحتملة التي انطلقت منها الاطلاقة. وكون معظم الرمادي بعد حلول الظلام بدون قوّة كهربائية و القلة الباقية من السكّان قرب مخفر السيف مجتمعين على ضوء الشّموع في غرف جلوسهم وهجم عليهم الجنود الغاضبين وحطّموا أبوابهم.Shortly before midnight after attacking a soldier Iverson left 20 American soldiers and six Iraqi soldiers station sword to overrun homes in the east of the station a potential region which launched Alatalagh. The fact that most of Ramadi after dark without electrical power and the few remaining populations near the station gathered on the sword light candles in the rooms seating and angry soldiers attacked them and destroyed their doors.
وصاح الناس"نعم، نعم، بأصوات مرعوبة — لقد كانت كلمات نعم بالانكليزية كل ما يعرفونه. في بعض البيوت، طلب جنود معلومات من السكان من خلال مترجم بدون تدمير الكثير من متاعهم .لكن في البيوت الأخرى كسروا النوافذ، وقلبوا الأرائك ومزّقوا الصور من الحائط كما فتّشوا كل شيء.The people shouted "Yes, yes, the votes of Kinshasa - The words Yes I know everything. In some houses, the soldiers information from the population through an interpreter without the destruction of many of their belongings. But in the homes of other broken windows, and turned sofas and tore the pictures from the wall and searched everything.
وأطفأ الجنود العراقيون أعقاب سكائرهم في السجاد الأرضي المحاك يدويا. وصرخ بهم الملازم أوّل داو. "هل تعرفون من الشخص الذي جاء وأطلق النار علينا! تعرف من هم الغرباء! "قل "أخبرنا! "وهنا تلعثم وائل حقي- الذي يعيش مع أبّيه المسن-"أنا سائق سيارة أجرة، "أذهب للعمل طوال اليوم ولا أعرف شيء." كما هو الحال عادة، لا أحد يعرض أيةّ معلومات عن القنّاص وأصرّوا على إن المسلحين يأتون من الأجزاء الأخرى من المدينة. لكن على سقف منزل متروك، أكتشف الجنود فتحة، قطعت في ستار السقف وأخفيت بقطع من الطابوق ، وهي توفر منظرا جيدا لمشاهدة مخفر السيفIraqi soldiers and extinguished in the aftermath of Scarham carpets ground simulator manually. And shouted First Lt. Dow them. "Do you know who the person who came and opened fire on us! Know who the strangers! "Say" told us! "Here stammering Wael my right - who lives with his father-sitter," I am a taxi driver, "Go to work throughout the day, I do not know anything." As is usually the case, no one offered any information on the soldiers and insisted that the armed men had come from other parts of the city. But on the roof of the house up, the soldiers found the hole, made in the guise of the ceiling and hidden piece of brickwork, which provides a good sight to watch the station sword وكانت كبيرة بما فيها الكفاية لدس بندقية فيها.The large enough Ldes including the rifle.

Israel to name new military chief

Ashkenazi was passed over for the chief of staff position in 2005
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A former general who spent several years fighting Hezbollah in southern Lebanon is set to be named as Israel's news chief of the armed forces, the country's media has reported.Gabi Ashkenazi will replace Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz who resigned last week after heavy criticism of Israel's war with Hezbollah last summer.
An aide to Amir Peretz, the defence minister, said the appointment was likely to be announced later on Monday.Israeli media said Ashkenazi would get the job after his leading rival for the post, Moshe Kaplinsky, the deputy chief of staff, wrote a letter to Peretz dropping out of the race.
After Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, and Peretz have met to discuss the appointment it will need to be approved by Israel's parliament.Northern commandAshkenazi served extensively in southern Lebanon and headed the army's northern command in the final years before Israeli troops, after constant attacks by Hezbollah fighters, withdrew from the country in 2000.He was passed over for the chief of staff post in favour of Halutz in 2005.The outgoing military chief tendered his resignation after months of public condemnation of the military's failure to defeat Hezbollah, retrieve two captured soldiers or halt rocket attacks on Israel during the 34-day war during July and August last year.The former air force chief was criticised by military affairs correspondents over what they described as his over-reliance on air power during the conflict.Defence ministry roleAshkenazi's current position as director of the defence ministry is a civilian role and he is therefore seen as reasonably safe candidate to replace Halutz ahead of the preliminary findings of an inquiry examining the handling of the war.Alon Ben-David, senior defence correspondent for Israel's Channel 10, told Al Jazeera: "I think Ashkenazi's first assignment will be to rehabilitate the IDF [Israeli defence force] ground forces." "On top of that I think he will have to prepare the IDF for a potential confrontation with Iran because the issue of Iran, and the nuclear programme of Iran is definitely going to be on the agenda," he added.Ashkenazi, 53, a retired major general, fought as a young infantryman in the 1973 Mideast War and took part in Israel's rescue of more than 100 hostages held by Palestinian and German hijackers at Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976.He served as an officer in the first Lebanon war in 1982, and then oversaw the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from south Lebanon in 2000.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies