20.01.04 HA’ARETZ 1. SOLDIER SAPPER KILLED BY HIZBALLAH ANTI-TANK ROCKET; IDF PLANNING MODERATE RESPONSE. Soldier hit in his bulldozer near Zarit on northern border. Additional soldier seriously wounded and evacuated to Rambam hospital in Haifa. IDF: This was planned ambush, bombs were bait. Hizballah: Bulldozer crossed border into Lebanese territory. Yaalon: Assad’s proposal to resume negotiations “worth considering.”

2. PERES, ON EXPOSURE OF HIS MEETING WITH ABU ALA: SHARON USING SECRET MATERIAL AGAINST ME. 3. Nature (…). EIGHT LEOPARDS IN ISRAEL, TWO IN JUDEAN DESERT. 4. HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE TO APPARENTLY DECIDE ON YIGAL AMIR’S WEDDING. Prisons Service commissioner announces that he will prevent wedding; draft law to ban life prisoners from marrying submitted. HATZOFEH 1. Soldier killed and comrade seriously wounded by Hizballah fire on northern border. NORTHERN BORDER HEATING UP. During to defuse string of explosives, rocket was fired at heavy vehicle carrying out operation. As a result, one soldier was mortally wounded and died later from his wounds. Additional soldier seriously wounded. Security establishment admits that it was surprised by Hizballah attack. Assessment strengthening that violation of quiet by Hizballah was carried out with Syrian encouragement. Today: DM convening urgent discussion to decide on response. OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz tries to calm mood: Those on other side of border should be worried. 2. CHIEF-OF-STAFF: ASSASSINATING YASSIN IS LEGITIMATE. 3. SHARON: PERES MET WITH ABU ALA. Opposition demands opening of investigation on suspicion that, “Sharon is monitoring Peres.” 4. FOUR REFUSENIKS DISMISSED FROM GENERAL STAFF RECONNAISSANCE UNIT. 5. ECONOMY RETURNS TO GROWTH: COMBINED INDEX ROSE BY 0.2% IN DECEMBER. MA’ARIV 1. Expose: Israeli minister to visit Islamic nuclear power for first time. PAKISTAN AND ISRAEL ON ROAD TO ESTABLISHING RELATIONS. Secret contacts have taken place in recent months between senior officials from two countries, in series of meetings in US and Europe. At weekend: FM Shalom and President Musharaf at conference in Switzerland. In March, [Agriculture and Rural Development] Minister Yisrael Katz to land in Pakistan. 2. HIZBALLAH ROCKET KILLED JAN. Hizballah crossed another red line yesterday on northern border. Bulldozer that was clearing mines was severely damaged by antitank rocket. Engineering Corps soldier Jan Rotzanski killed. Additional soldier seriously wounded. IDF concentrating forces on northern border. 3. “READY TO SUFFER FOR HIM.” Yigal Amir’s bride: “I feel as if I’m in a TV soap opera.” YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. Escalation in north: Soldier killed by Hizballah rocket. BULLDOZER DEATHTRAP. Two soldiers in IDF bulldozer were dismantling string of explosives near fence, when rocket hit them. Seriously wounded soldier tried to pull dying comrade, Sgt. Jan Rotzanski, out of fire, but latter died soon afterward. Assessment: IDF to respond to attack, but will try not to intensify situation. 2. “THERE WERE OTHER WOMEN WHO WANTED TO MARRY YIGAL – BUT HE CHOSE ME.” Future wife of PM’s assassin: “This is not forced match, he showed interest in me and we quickly developed a relationship.” Prisons Service refusing to allow wedding, High Court of Justice likely to decide. Dalia Rabin fell ill and was hospitalized. 3. “SHARON USED INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION AGAINST PERES.” Outrage in Labor: PM revealed precise details of secret Peres-Abu Ala meeting. Sharon confidants deny use of intelligence material. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Yediot Ahronot refers to accusations that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon allegedly used and leaked intelligence information regarding Labor Chairman MK Shimon Peres’s recent meeting with PA Prime Minister Abu Ala, at yesterday’s meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. The editors believe that, “In the imaginary world of Israeli governance, it is difficult to get excited over the unacceptable norm of ‘political’ intelligence or that the Prime Minister leaked information,” and suggest that a strong and politically secure Prime Minister would not be unduly perturbed by talks held by opposition leaders. Hatzofeh believes that, “In 2004, we will face thousands of additional unemployed people who haven’t – hitherto – been included in the unemployment forecasts,” and adds that, “Since unemployment is growing, it is amazing to hear from government officials optimistic forecasts to the effect that unemployment has been halted and that we are now on the high road towards growth.” Yediot Ahronot, in its second editorial, suggests that Yigal Amir, who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on 4.11.95, and his would-be bride, “can go to hell together.”