26.012.2004 HA’ARETZ 1. UNEMPLOYMENT LAST YEAR: 10.7% – HIGHEST SINCE ’92. Disappointment in Treasury over unemployment data: government approves cuts. 2. HAGUE DISCUSSIONS CLOSE: BOTH SIDES SATISFIED. Palestinian Authority: We won; Israel: The one-sided discussion gave a clear message; conclusions in a few months. 3. BATTLE AGAINST TERROR REACHES RAMALLAH BANKS: ISRAEL SEIZES NIS 37 MILLION. 4. Tennenbaum saga: MAZUZ APPROVED – AND DEAL TO BE FORMULATED OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. 5. VA’ANUNU ON DECISION TO RELEASE HIM: I WON; THEY DIDN’T MANAGE TO BREAK ME. Told his brother: “It’s my right to express my opinion like anyone who is opposed to nuclear weapons in the world or in Israel.”

HATZOFEH 1. 287,000 unemployed in Israel – 10.9% of work force. PEAK UNEMPLOYMENT. Government approved NIS 5 billion cut for security and local municipalities. (…). 2. OPPOSITION TO TENNENBAUM DEAL INCREASING. Attorney General gives green light to attempts to reach agreement with Tennenbaum’s lawyers. Justice Ministry: Basis of decision – consideration of Israel’s vital interests. MKs threatening to go to High Court of Justice to oppose Tennenbaum deal. 3. HEZBOLLAH – MAIN FINANCER OF TERROR IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA. Security establishment carries out comprehensive operation to seize terror funds in Ramallah banks. 390 accounts suspected of holding terrorist funds, which arrived from outside Palestinian Authority’s jurisdiction, found in checks on computer systems. 4. TENSION AMONG SETTLERS: HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE TO ISSUE DECISION ON UPROOTING OUTPOSTS THIS MORNING. If OC Central Command’s unusual decree is approved, struggle on ground to be renewed next week. MA’ARIV 1. 19,000 ADDITIONAL UNEMPLOYED. Number of women who are unemployed jumped 10% in one year. Number of unemployed reaching 300,000. 2. SCARED TO BECOME PREGNANT. Survey shows: Recession affects 51% of Israelis in decision over whether to have another child or not. 3. DRUGS, KIDNAPPING – AND THE PAY-OFF. Tennenbaum’s lies becoming clearer. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. (…). BUTCHER FROM BANGKOK. (…). 2. VA’ANUNU: I DON’T KNOW ANYMORE SECRETS. (…). 3. NEW PEAK IN UNEMPLOYMENT: 287,000 WITHOUT WORK. Unemployment reaching 11%. 4. BIRTHDAY FOR SHARON. Celebrating 76th birthday. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Hatzofeh refers to ISA Director Avi Dichter’s recent remarks to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the Palestinians are making considerable efforts to develop weaponry – i.e. improved Kassam rockets, inter alia – to bypass the security fence and warns that, “When the IDF abandons the Gaza Strip and uproots the Jewish communities in Gush Katif, all of the terrorist organizations will be free to quietly and systematically develop the Kassam, to extend its range and boost its destructive power.” The editors scoff at the idea that the IDF would respond with artillery fire in the event of post-withdrawal Kassam barrages, and suggest that pressure from Europe and the US, especially if the Democrats control the White House, would, “reduce the IDF’s firepower.” Yediot Ahronot comments on the recently reported upsurge in unemployment in the final quarter of 2003 and notes that economic growth last year was insufficient to compensate. The editors assert that, “As long as the Israeli economy grows at less than 4% per annum, unemployment will not decline and will even expand, especially among women, those who receive support payments and populations which haven’t looked for work up until now,” and believe that, “Continuous 5-6% economic growth per annum is the only answer to unemployment.” The paper asks in conclusion, “But how many ministers in the Sharon government understand this? And how many have internalized it?” Yediot Ahronot, in its second editorial, reviews Mel Gibson’s controversial new film The Passion of the Christ.