HEADLINES FROM THE HEBREW PRESS

2.10 HA’ARETZ 1. GOVERNMENT DECIDES: 80% OF SETTLERS WEST OF FENCE. In first stage, “horseshoe” east of Ariel, Immanuel and Kedumim. In six months: Talks with US on closing gaps. Within fence: Western Samaria, Gush Eztion and Hebron Hills.


Length of fence approximately 430km, at a cost of NIS 4.5 billion. Approximately 75,000 Palestinians to be within defined enclaves. Seventeen ministers supported proposed route for fence; four opposed. 2. NEGOTIATIONS WITH HIZBALLAH. Ball is in Iran’s court. 3. GOVERNMENT ATTEMPTING TO NEUTRALIZE PORT STRIKE; PRELIMINARY CONTACTS ON ENDING SANCTIONS. 4. Labor relations: Research – number of strike days and strikers in Israeli are highest in West. 2003 LIKELY TO BREAK ISRAELI STRIKE RECORDS. 5. Palestinian Authority: Response to Hamas accusations – we are not exposing your people. SECURITY SERVICES: WE CANNOT PREVENT ISRAEL FROM CARRYING OUT ELIMINATIONS. 6. CLAIM: IDF DEMOLISHED INHABITED HOUSES. Palestinians: Homes destroyed in Rafiah were inhabited; IDF: They were empty. 7. FROM TONIGHT: STANDARD TIME. HATZOFEH 1. Yesterday: Government approved final route of separation fence according to security establishment’s recommendation. FENCE MAP APPROVED BY GOVERNMENT INCLUDES ARIEL AND KEDUMIM. Fence route that was approved yesterday deviates from Green Line deep into Judea and Samaria in three places: In Ariel region, Gush Eztion and Hebron Hills. In western Samaria, construction will begin close to Ariel and will continue west of it, towards existing fence near Elkanah. Concern: In this situation Americans will try to stop continuation of construction and thus lead to creation of breach that Cabinet decision, in practice, cancelled. Palestinian Authority condemns approved fence route. Erekat: US must pressure Israel in order to cancel fence around Jerusalem, on West Bank and in Gaza. 2. HISTADRUT CHAIRMAN: I AM PREPARED TO ENTER INTO NEGOTIATIONS WITH TREASURY ON PORTS ISSUE. 3. TONIGHT: MOVING TO STANDARD TIME. At 01.00, clocks move back one hour to 24:00. MA’ARIV . Israeli assessment: US to reduce profile in Middle East. “BUSH WILL STOP MEDIATION.” Internal memos in Jerusalem: Until next presidential elections, US will be satisfied to maintain status quo and will not present new initiatives. President Bush will distance himself from new Palestinian Prime Minister Abu-Ala. 2. FROM TONIGHT: STANDARD TIME. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. Sharon firm in carrying out prisoner swap deal: “We will not leave one Israeli with men who act like animals.” Happiness diluted with sadness: First granddaughter born to Tannenbaum last week. “TANNENBAUM IN SERIOUS CONDITION, THEY EXTRACTED ALL HIS TEETH.” German mediator reports: Israeli prisoner was severely tortured. Sharon demands assurances from Germany: Iranian prisoners to be released only in return for information on Ron Arad. 2. PORT WORKERS’ SALARY SCANDAL. (…). 3. TONIGHT: STANDARD TIME. At 01.00 tonight clocks move back one hour to 24:00. __________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Yediot Ahronot refers to State Comptroller Eliezer Goldberg’s recent report and asks, “Do we really need a State Comptroller who is a retired Supreme Court judge, with an office full of determined and dedicated investigators, in order to discover what the government is openly telling us: That the fence, like almost everything else regarding decision-making and the implementation of wide-ranging projects, is one big bluff?” The editors dismiss yesterday’s Cabinet decision regarding the security fence and claim that the government has yet to decide how the fence will be financed or how it will deal with the Palestinians who will live within the fence’s confines. The paper avers that, “There is one thing that the State Comptroller hasn’t explained because it is beyond his purview: How the public, whose interests the establishment is designed to serve and whom it is designed to protect, condones all of this by its silence.” Hatzofeh comments on the efforts of the Finance and Transportation Ministries to deal with, and circumvent, the dockworkers’ strike by seeking to use Jordanian and Egyptian ports. The editors suggest that routing maritime traffic through Aqaba and Port Said may be too expensive to be practical and call on the government to back up its claim that the dockworkers are being vastly overpaid by publishing the relevant data on their salaries. The paper declares that, “This is the hour to return to sanity in all areas and especially to significantly lower salaries that perhaps were very nice during the stock market’s giddier days which have long since passed.”