28.04.2004 HEADLINES FROM THE HEBREW PRESS HAARETZ 1. CONCERN IN SHARONS BUREAU OVER REFERENDUM DEFEAT; INCREASING PACE OF TALKS WITH PARTY ACTIVISTS. More than 60,000 attended protest march in Gush Katif sponsored by Yesha Council and program opponents. 2. IDF TO DIG TRENCH ALONG PHILADELPHIA ROUTE. 3. JORDAN TO RECEIVE BALANCING LETTER ON BUSH-SHARON UNDERSTANDINGS. 4. SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS IN FOREIGN EMBASSIES QUARTER IN DAMASCUS. 5. DISAGREEMENT OVER RELEASE OF KUNTAR DELAYING SECOND STAGE OF CAPTIVES DEAL. 6. 10,000 FANS FOR MACCABI – 700 FOR CSKA. Final Four games to begin tomorrow evening: Skipper vs. Siena and Maccabi vs. CSKA. 7. INDEPENDENCE DAY: BETWEEN TRAFFIC JAMS AND BARBEQUES.
Hundreds of thousands visit nature reserves and national parks; main JNF sites filled to capacity. HATZOFEH 1. Tens of thousands left outside Gush Katif, which couldnt receive incredible quantities of people. THE GREAT SOLIDARITY. 100,000 attend gathering against Sharons withdrawal plan. Number of participants astounded Gush Katif residents, who didnt expect so many people. In early morning, protest march began under heading: Gush Katif – I swear. NRP Chairman Effie Eitam said that, During evacuation, we will be here in hundreds of thousands and will be fortified wall so that that which has been planted will not be uprooted. Minister Sharansky: Cannot disengage from such a crowd. Additional ministers, MKs and many public figures attended event, which turned into show of force. 2. DAMASCUS SHAKEN BY SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS. 3. INDEPENDENCE FESTIVITIES: 1.5 MILLION ISRAELIS HEAD FOR OUTDOORS. 4. SECURITY ALERT CONTINUES, SENIOR HAMAS TERRORIST ELIMINATED. MAARIV 1. TERROR IN DAMASCUS. At least 15 explosions shook Syrian capital overnight, near embassies area. According to reports, UN offices went up in flames. Syrian television reported casualties in exchanges of fire with terrorists. 2. 70,000-STRONG PROTEST. Tens of thousands marched in Gush Katif yesterday in order to show solidarity with residents and demonstrate against disengagement plan. Sharon intends to declare Likud referendum as vote of confidence in his policy. 3. STATE TO DISBURSE NIS 600 TO EACH CITIZEN. Netanyahu decides: Every adult citizen will be able to choose whether to buy NIS 1,170 worth of discounted shares in Bank Leumi or receive NIS 600 in cash. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. SHARON: REFERENDUM – VOTE OF CONFIDENCE IN ME. Told his confidants. Four days before disengagement referendum: Sharon staff concerned over defeat. 2. SHOW OF FORCE IN GUSH KATIF. On eve of disengagement plan referendum, at least 70,000 people arrived in Gush Katif in order to express support for settlement – and against evacuation of Gaza communities. 3. DUE TO FINAL FOUR: COMPLETE CLOSURE ON TERRITORIES. Closure, which began before Passover, extended due to concerns of attack on games. 4. BANK LEUMI PRIVATIZATION: OPTIONS FOR EVERY CITIZEN. Every citizen to receive gift worth NIS 700. 5. TERROR ATTACK IN HEART OF DAMASCUS. Terrorists fired RPGs at foreign embassies area. Number of injuries unknown. Syria: Al Qaeda responsible. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Both papers discuss the upcoming Likud referendum on Prime Minister Ariel Sharons disengagement plan: Yediot Ahronot questions the meaning of Minister Netanyahu and Livnats refusal to aid the campaign to convince Likud party members to support the Disengagement plan, and asserts that it is, an implied call on Likud members not to vote or to vote against. The editors criticize the ministers for taking this position and point out that it, damages their personal credibility and their leadership capabilities. The paper avers that, The disengagement plan is crucial to Israels future, and says that it is the politicians responsibility to take a clear stand on it. The editors argue that, On this matter, it is impossible – politically and ethically – to be indecisive. It is impossible to change your mind according to surveys to zig-zag, to be in favor, but in fact to oppose. Hatzofeh comments that both those who oppose and those who support the plan are working hard to convince their supporters to vote, and suggests that those who support the plan are largely ambivalent. Yediot Ahronot, in its second editorial, discusses the privatization of Israeli banks. BPI.