HEADLINES FROM THE HEBREW PRESS

HA’ARETZ 1. UNITY AGREEMENT EXPECTED TO BE SIGNED TODAY; SHARON PLANNING TO PRESENT GOVERNMENT THIS WEEK. 2. KHAN YUNIS OPERATION CONCLUDED; 11 PALESTINIANS KILLED. 3. COLDEST WEEK IN 50 YEARS: -10 DEGREES ON GOLAN HEIGHTS. 4. MINISTRY OF JUSTICE: WITHDRAWAL FROM PHILADELPHIA CORRIDOR WILL BE ACCEPTED AS END OF OCCUPATION. Assessment: “International consensus that occupation has ended will be formed.” HATZOFEH 1. (…). LIKUD – LABOR AGREEMENT; PERES – DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER. Labor party to receive approximately five portfolios according to coalition agreement: Interior, Infrastructure, Construction, Communications and Tourism. Will also receive two ministers without portfolio. Peres will be deputy PM with special post that will be created especially for him. 2. IDF OPERATION AGAINST MORTAR FIRE ON GUSH-KATIF ENDED IN TWO DAYS. 21 terrorists involved in mortar fire hit during operation. IAF planes twice hit those who were firing mortars. Despite operation – Kassam rocket fire against Gush Katif continued. Kassam fire at northern Negev – damage to houses and car in Sderot. 3. MUBARAK AGREED TO RELEASE AZZAM AZZAM – BECAUSE ONE OF THE TERRORISTS RELEASED WAS A SON OF HIS RELATIVE. Israeli sources confirm. Dozens of additional terrorists to be released over weekend in framework of completing deal after Cabinet approves issue. 4. BLAIR TO ARRIVE THIS WEEK IN ISRAEL TO ADVANCE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN BRITAIN. MA’ARIV 1. New government to be sworn in on Thursday. UNITY. Labor to receive eight ministries. Peres to be deputy Prime Minister and special office to be set up especially for him. 2. Worrying new survey: 51% OF YOUTH: DON’T WANT ARABS IN KNESSET. 2004 Israel: Youth much more extremist. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. UNITY. Agreement: Eight ministries for Labor, new position created for Peres – Deputy PM’s Office. Price of agreement: NIS 700 million cut from budget. Sharon refusing to talk to Dalia Itzik following her comments: “Likud crawling towards us.” 2. Special: US President to Yediot Ahronot correspondent: BUSH: I AM DETERMINED TO BRING PEACE. “I will devote time and creativity to peace between Israel and Palestinians.” “Assad must wait.” ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Hatzofeh asks why tunnel-detecting equipment has not been stationed at all IDF outposts in the Gaza Strip. The editors urge the IDF to put more energy into discovering the tunnels and assert, “The public wants to know the reason for the intelligence failure, especially in light of the fact that it is so clear that IDF outposts are a target for tunnel attacks.” Yediot Ahronot complains about the slow pace of infrastructure construction in Israel. Yediot Ahronot, in its second editorial, says that “It is impossible to understate the diplomatic and economic importance,” of the Egyptian-Israeli agreement for mutual industrial cooperation. The editors note that a similar agreement with Jordan has proved very successful and has survived the last four years of intifada. The editors comment that, “Strengthening economic relations is not a substitute for peace, but it helps to establish it.” BPI-info