17.02.2004 HA’ARETZ 1. US DEMANDING THAT WITHDRAWAL BE COORDINATED WITH PALESTINIANS IN ORDER TO PREVENT “CHAOS.” US and the disengagement: Israel to be able to determine withdrawal line unilaterally. Implementation to be coordinated with PA, which will prepare to assume responsibility. Objective – strengthen link between disengagement and roadmap. Coordination meant to prevent Hamas from taking over Gaza Strip. Administration doesn’t want disengagement to be seen as power move. 2. NIS 96 MILLION TO BE TRANSFERRED TO SETTLEMENTS. 3. PM TO POLICE: STOP WHINING; OFFICERS: HIS PLIGHT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. Court: Gilad Sharon must hand over documents related to Cyril Kern and Greek island even if they are not in his physical possession. HATZOFEH 1. Coalition crisis: Three motions of no-confidence in government rejected – but most NRP and National Union MKs were absent from votes. HOUSING MINISTRY TO TRANSFER NIS 96 MILLION TO YESHA COMMUNITIES AND EASTERN JERUSALEM. By single vote, Knesset Finance committee approved sum designed to build homes and provide security for Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem. Opposition claims: Political hijack. Sharon addressed Knesset plenum on occasion of his government’s first anniversary and announced that he is planning national service for all Israeli citizens. PM also said that, “We are also seeing buds of success for government policy.” Opposition Chairman MK Shimon Peres attacked Sharon and his government in response and said: “You are blind, deaf and dumb.”

2. SENIOR POLICE OFFICIALS: SHARON’S ATTACK ON US – REVENGE FOR INVESTIGATING HIM. At police command staff conference in Herzliya, Sharon attacked Police Commissioner. “Enough whining,” Sharon rebuked policemen and said: Use your heads, excuses for faulty police work due to budget cuts are unacceptable. Senior officers outraged at Sharon’s remarks. 3. OVER TWO METERS OF SNOW ON MT. HERMON. 4. WORK ACCIDENT IN GAZA: TERRORIST KILLED AS HE PREPARES BOMB. 5. INITIATIVE: ALL CITIZENS TO TAKE COURSE ON EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS. MA’ARIV 1. Finance Committee approves budgets for Migron outpost. NIS 60 MILLION FOR SETTLEMENTS. NIS 51 million to be transferred to construction in territories. NIS 36 million to be transferred to “rural construction” – mostly in settlements. 2. LAW TO DETACH IDF FROM EVACUATION. Initiative: Ban IDF from participating in evacuation. Explanation: 40% of lower-level commanders are religious. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. Sharp confrontation between PM and senior police leadership. THE REBUKE – SHARON TO POLICE: “STOP CRYING.” THE INSULT – SENIOR POLICE OFFICERS: “SHARON TAKING REVENGE ON US.” Court rejects Gilad Sharon’s appeal and orders him to hand over documents. 2. VANUNU TO SIT AT HOME WITH FOUR GUARDS. 3. MK’S OUTRAGED OVER INCREASE IN PRICE OF BREAD – AND TRANSFERRED NIS 51 MILLION TO SETTLEMENTS. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Yediot Ahronot strongly criticizes the government’s plan to cut child benefits. Hatzofeh discusses the Israel Police report on the increase in crime in Israel, and urges the government to act before the situation deteriorates any further.BPI