28.12.2003 HA’ARETZ 1. IRAN ESTIMATES: OVER 20,000 PERISHED IN EARTHQUAKE. (…). Iran: we will take aid from everyone – except Israel. 2. CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO IDF FIRE ON LEFTIST ACTIVISTS BEING CONSIDERED. 3. SHARON “SERIOUSLY CHECKING” ASSAD’S OFFER TO RENEW TALKS. 4. Overnight negotiations to end sanctions; CAREFUL OPTIMISM IN TREASURY AND HISTADRUT. 5. “AMOS 2” SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED. Israeli satellite will transfer television broadcasts and carry out missions for security establishment. HATZOFEH 1. Two injured from IDF fire as Palestinians and leftist demonstrators attempt to damage security fence. YA’ALON: SHOOTING WAS JUSTIFIED. Rampage continued in demonstration outside Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv in protest of IDF fire – seven arrested. Father of one of those injured is Chairman of Eshkol Regional Council in Negev, which is fighting against setting up fence. Injured woman is a tourist who did not know what the demonstration was about.

2. ISTANBUL TERRORISTS PLANNED TO BLOW UP ISRAELI SHIP. 3. “AMOS 2” SATELLITE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED INTO SPACE. 4. ABDUCTEES FROM COLOMBIA RETURN HOME. MA’ARIV 1. Iran after earthquake: “We don’t want any help from the Zionists.” TENS OF THOUSANDS BURIED IN RUBBLE. (…). Despite Iranian refusal: Israeli organizations collecting donations. Foreign Minister: Israel is hurting over this human tragedy. 2. LIVE FIRE ON LEFTIST DEMONSTRATORS. “Why did they shoot at me?” asks Gil Na’amati, who was demonstrating against fence – and was seriously injured by soldiers’ fire. Left condemns: Illegal order. Right responds: He deserved it. Chief-of-Staff: We will investigate serious incident. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. Storm following IDF fire on Israeli demonstrators. COMMANDER ORDERED: SHOOT AT DEMONSTRATORS. 2. The earth shook: At least 40,000 dead in Iran. “WE WANT HELP FROM EVERYONE, EXCEPT ISRAEL.” ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Yediot Ahronot refers to last Friday’s incident in which IDF soldiers used live fire against leftwing extremists who were protesting the security fence and allegedly attempting to damage it. The editors aver that, “It is not too early to determine that the entire incident shows signs of the brutalization the prolonged occupation and state of war in the territories are creating in the IDF in particular and in Israeli consciousness in general.” The paper calls on IDF commanders to, “inform the political leadership of the continuing damage caused by having the army fulfill police functions,” and says that, “They must recognize the fact that sharp measures are necessary in order to restore the proper restraint.” Hatzofeh asserts that, “Under Sharon’s scandalous administration, terror has struck Israel as it hasn’t struck it since the founding of the state.” The editors urge the Prime Minister to recall his February 1990 resignation from Yitzhak Shamir’s government due to the latter’s alleged inability to deal with terrorism and resign as Prime Minister. Hatzofeh, in its second editorial, comments on reports in last Friday’s newspapers that Shas MK Yair Peretz said that outgoing Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein – who has indicted Peretz on fraud charges – “was worse than Hitler and Eichman.” The editors cannot believe that a Shas MK would be capable of saying such things and urge the police, “to locate the impostor who has repeatedly libeled Shas leaders.”BPI.