HA’ARETZ 1. MINISTER EZRA FIRES CMDR. MIZRAHI; SENIOR POLICE BRASS CLAIM: TIMING IS POLITICAL. (…). 2. CITY IN RED: MILLIONS OF LOCUSTS WIPE OUT LAWNS IN EILAT GARDENS. 3. ACHIEVEMENT FOR SHARON: NO REBEL WON IN ELECTIONS FOR LIKUD INSTITUTIONS. 4. POWELL IN ISRAEL. Will Meet Israeli and PA leaders today. HATZOFEH 1. Over 90% voted in elections for Likud institutions. IRREGULARITIES IN VOTE. Likud Central Committee vote count delayed due to claims of irregularities. Assessment: High turnout favors Sharon’s candidates. Landau’s appeal to station observers at elections accepted. 2. LOCUST ONSLAUGHT – MANY SWARMS COVER EILAT AND THE NEGEV. MA’ARIV 1. (…). FIRED. (…). 2. TRIPLE DEFEAT FOR REBELS AT LIKUD CONVENTION. 3. TERM OF ISA DIRECTOR WILL NOT BE EXTENDED. 4. ONSLAUGHT CONTINUES. After occupying most of Eilat, locust swarms moved northward yesterday – and also reached Tel Aviv. Agriculture Ministry hoping that temperature drop today will help eradicate pests. 5. TODAY: FIRST SNOW ON MT. HERMON, STRONG STORMS THROUGHOUT COUNTRY. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. (…). THE DISMISSAL. (…). 2. Debacle for Likud rebels. HANEGBI DEFEATS LANDAU. Likud Central Committee did not disengage from Sharon and voted for 2 of his 3 candidates. Tzahi Hanegbi – Central Committee Chairman. Danny Naveh – Bureau Chairman. Likud assessment: elected Director of Secretariat, Yisrael Katz, likely to make life difficult for Sharon. 3. RAIN OF LOCUSTS. Today: Cold winds likely to send swarms of locusts back towards Egypt, but pink locusts have already swarmed on Eilat and gnawed on agricultural areas up to Ofakim. Several locusts even reached Tel Aviv yesterday. 4. INTIFADA SONG. Chief Education Officer instructed friend to compose song about fighting in territories. 5. TODAY: STORMY AND WET. Rain to strengthen towards evening and temperatures to drop. Snow alert in north.

______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Both papers comment on the 2003 National Insurance Institute poverty statistics, which are due to be published tomorrow: Hatzofeh says that, “While Netanyahu is no saint, Sharon is the only one who needs to pay the price because only he could have prevented the decrees that contributed to the worsening poverty,” and fears that, “It is already possible to determine that the 2004 poverty report will be worse than the current report.” Yediot Ahronot says that, “Israel needs a social ‘Operation Defensive Shield ’; poverty is like terrorism – where it flourishes, economies don’t.” Bpi-info