[Galilee Institute Note: Many rumors have been circulating in recent
hours regarding the well being of Eliyahu Asheri, the posibility of a
third hostage (Noah Moskovich, 62, of Rishon Lezion, who has been
missing for two days now), the charred remains of a body near Ramallah
and the buzzing of President Assad's palace in Latakiya. Rumors will
continue to run rampant over the next few days as all news outlets in
Israel and internationally continue to follow the events and report
"up-to-the-minute." We again urge caution. TGI will do all it can to
get the stories to you in a responsible and timely matter after a
fact-checking and source valuation process." The following is the best
assessment of the situation as of 05:00 AM Jerusalem Standard Time]
Eliyahu Pinchas Asheri
A spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza issued a
report early Thursday morning (01:30) claiming that the PRC had
executed 18-year-old Eliyahu Asheri, the Israeli civilian youth
presumed kidnapped since Sunday.
The IDF has confirmed (04:30) that a patrol of combat engineers
working on intelligence information located a body in vehicle in a
Wadi near Ramallah that fits Asheri's description. Initial findings
indicate that the youth may have been shot as early as Sunday. The
body is now in transit by ambulance to the Ofer military base for
identification. No official statement has been made at this hour.
Palestinian sources have told Israel Radio that the arrest of a senior
Fatah member on Wednesday assisted the in locating the body.
A charred body found by police near Ramallah earlier on Wednesday was
identified as a Palestinian man who was killed in a local feud. The
positive identification was made by the Israel's Institute for
Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir.
Buzz of Assad Palace
In unofficial statements the IDF Spokesperson's Office reported that
four Israel Air Force F-16 aircrafts carried out a low-altitude aerial
flight over Syrian President Bashar Assad's palace, near the city of
Latakia in northern Syria.
According to the official IDF dispatch (only Hebrew version avilable
at this time) the flight was carried out as part of the Israel Defense
Forces' operation and that Israel views the Syrian leadership as the
main sponsor of terror groups headed by Hamas.
"The IDF will continue to employ all operational options at its
disposal against Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and
the Hamas terrorist organization in order to return Corporal Shalit to
Israel quickly and peacefully," read the dispatch.
Operation Summer Rain
The Associated Press and other news services quoting Arab sources are
reporting that Israeli forces have arrested as many as 30 Hamas
members currently serving in public positions in the PA. Known to have
been arrested are the deputy prime minister of the PA, Nasser
al-Shaer, three cabinet ministers (including labor minister, Mohammed
Barghouti and of Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu Arfa), four legislators,
the mayor of Kalkiliya and his deputy as well as Hamas spokesmen
Mahmoud Abu Tir and Mahmoud Atuan.
The arrest operation began shortly after midnight and took place in
Ramallah, Shchem, Kalkilya, Jenin and Jerusalem. All arrested are
affiliated with the Hamas terrorist orgamization.
PM Olmert Speaks With UN Secy.-Gen. Annan
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke this evening (Wednesday), 28.6.06, with UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who telephoned in order to be updated on the
situation. The latter said that he had spoken with both Syrian President
Bashar Assad and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Abu Mazen and had urged
them to assist as much as possible in releasing IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
UN Secy.-Gen. Annan also said that he was concerned over the situation in the
PA and asked that Israel act with restraint. Prime Minister Olmert said
that Israel is doing everything to release the soldier and prevent the
firing of Kassam rockets at Israel. He added that the PA is doing nothing
to either bring about the release of Cpl. Shalit or to halt the firing of
Kassam rockets at Israeli communities.
The Prime Minister said that Israel has lost patience and must act in
order to release Cpl. Shalit and prevent the firing of Kassam rockets
at Israeli communities. He said that Israel is acting to defend itself
and is taking all necessary steps not to harm civilians.
PM Olmert Speaks With Egyptian President Mubarak
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke today (Wednesday), 28.6.06, with Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak, who telephoned in order to be updated on the latest
developments in southern Israel. The Prime Minister updated the Egyptian
President on the latest actions that have been taken in the Gaza Strip and
thanked him for Egypt's assistance in the efforts to lower tensions and to
bring about the release of abducted IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT ON THE EXECUTION OF RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS IN IRAQ
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
An Al Qaida-lnked Iraqi terrorist organization announced on Sunday, 25.6.06,
that it had executed four Russian diplomats who had been kidnapped on
3.6.06. Israel expresses regret and outrage over the deaths of the Russian
diplomats. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni extends her condolences to the
diplomats' families and expresses her solidarity with the Russian people.
She emphasizes Russia's, Israel's and the entire enlightened world's common
struggle against terrorism and hopes that those who perpetrated this
criminal act will be captured and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Posted with permission by Dr. Mike Cohen http://www.gogalil.com