HEADLINES & EDITORIALS

HEADLINES FROM THE HEBREW PRESS HA’ARETZ 1. 100 ISRAELI TERROR VICTIMS TO BE FLOWN TO FLORIDA TO TESTIFY IN MAJOR TRIAL US IS CONDUCTING AGAINST ISLAMIC JIHAD. The investigation: Much testimony is fruit of unprecedented Israeli-US cooperation. The parties: University of South Florida Prof. and Jihad members from US, Syria and Gaza. The indictment: Ran criminal organization, aided terrorist organization and involvement in terrorist attacks in Israel. The witnesses: The wounded, victims’ relatives, police and ZAKA personnel. 2. Sharon: Start building at Nitzanim. GOVERNMENT INCREASES PRESSURE ON GUSH KATIF SETTLERS TO RESPOND TO NITZANIM PLAN. 3. PM’S OFFICE VS. FINANCE MINISTRY: NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO LOWER TAXES. 4. POLLARD NOT EXCITED OVER SHARON’S GESTURE. Pollard “disappointed and disgusted” by Ambassador Ayalon’s visit to his prison. HATZOFEH 1. Senior IDF source: Preparations for disengagement – severe blow to security. IDF CANCELLING VITAL EXERCISES – IN ORDER TO IMPLEMENT DISENGAGEMENT PLAN. IDF cancels major divisional exercise that was due to be held in early June. Training bases to be used as well during disengagement in order to implement plan. 2. REMANDS EXTENDED FOR MOST HIGHWAY BLOCKING DETAINEES. 3. ISA DIRECTOR: IDF WITHDRAWAL FROM NORTHERN SAMARIA WILL LEAD TO STRENGTHENING OF TERRORISM. 4. POLLARD: AMBASSADOR AYALON’S VISIT – GOVERNMENT TRICK. 5. EHUD BARAK: BLOCKING HIGHWAY IS LEGITIMATE PROTEST. MA’ARIV 1. New ISA Director warns: ISRAELI PLANES ARE TARGETS. Diskin: “We will have to invest more in aviation security.” 2. CONSUL’S SON – ILLEGAL WORKER. Another diplomat in trouble: Consul in Miami. 3. 426 FAMILIES SIGN NITZANIM PLAN. PM went into field and was outraged: Stop playing for time and get to work! YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. 450 FAMILIES SIGN AGREEMENT ON EVACUATION TO NITZANIM. 25% of Gush Katif settlers. Sharon rebukes contractors for foot-dragging in construction for evacuees: Nothing moving. 2. FINANCE MINISTRY CONCERN: SHARON WILL TORPEDO NETANYAHU PLAN. Netanyahu confidants, ahead of discussion tomorrow: Sharon has gone back on his support for non-substantive reasons. PM’s confidants confirm: PM hesitating. 3. SENIOR TOURIST IN EILAT: MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT. Went on private vacation after wearying elections. BPI-info


EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Yediot Ahronot says that, “The first quarter of the year was bad for the Israeli economy,” because, “Productive investments fell sharply, industrial exports shrank, the standard of living declined and growth slowed to a crawl.” The editors commend Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to enact further tax reductions but suggest that the Government would do better if it invested heavily in infrastructure and in the development of peripheral areas. Yediot Ahronot, in its second editorial, discusses the Moscow trial of Mikhail Khorodovsky and says that his is a, “stage-managed and tragic trial.” Hatzofeh discusses outgoing IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon’s recent remarks to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee regarding Hamas’s continuing military build-up. The editors doubt that Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen will take any serious to collect Hamas’s weapons and cite, “current intelligence reports that also warn about the great quantity of upgraded Kassam rockets held by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.” BPI-info