HA’ARETZ 1. POWELL EN ROUTE TO ISRAEL; WILL REQUEST TO RESTRAIN IDF AND WITHDRAWAL FROM PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY CITIES AHEAD OF ELECTIONS. 2. TEST FOR SHARON: THREE REBELS RUNNING FOR LEADING POSITIONS IN LIKUD. 3. EMBARRASSMENT FOR IDF: OFFICERS LIVING IN ILLEGAL OUTPOSTS. 4. ISA AND MOSSAD BUDGETS TRANSFERRED WITHOUT APPROVAL. 5. INTIFADA HAS ALSO KILLED ARABIC STUDIES IN ISRAEL. HATZOFEH 1. (…) PUBLIC WORKS AUTHORITY ACCUSES: ENGINEER COMMITTED SUICIDE DUE TO CHANNEL 2. (…). 2. DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITY BY PALESTINIAN LEADERSHIP – IN JERUSALEM. Abu Ala held meeting to prepare for Powell’s visit with US Middle Eastern envoy David Furst. Three candidates for elections so far. Fatah candidate to be selected on Wednesday – apparently Abu Mazen. Palestinians demanding Israeli withdrawal before elections. 3. CRUCIAL LIKUD ELECTIONS: HANEGBI VS. LANDAU. MA’ARIV 1. (…). DEADLY INVESTIGATION. (…). YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. New poverty report: More poor, more hungry, more workers don’t finish month. 1.4 MILLION POOR PEOPLE. This is the National Insurance assessment ahead of publication of annual report. Included among poor, approximately 660,000 children. Reason: Cuts in benefits. Who is poor: Family earning less than NIS 4,463. 2. STORM IN LIKUD: HANEGBI VS. LANDAU.

______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Yediot Ahronot, in its second editorial, asserts that, “From the current Palestinian leadership are arriving new and clear notes that herald a willingness to talk with Israel even before the elections,” and believes that, “In order to advance this positive surge, the Israeli government must focus less on setting conditions for dialogue and more on developing immediate initiatives for cooperation that could advance it.” Hatzofeh accuses Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of conceding Israel’s longstanding demand that the Palestinian Authority confiscate all illegally-held weapons and calls for him to be ousted from office as soon as possible. Yediot Ahronot, in its third editorial, reminds its readers that Ireland recently topped a quality-of-life index in The Economist and attributes this to the economic prosperity that has followed the end of the violence in Belfast and elsewhere. Yediot Ahronot discusses the case in which a public official in the north, who is currently on trial, committed suicide yesterday following an investigative report about him on one of Israel’s television news programs. BPI-info