06.26.05 Update

6.26.2005

Islamic Jihad terror leaders declared they will end the "calm" and strike Tel Aviv if Israel tried to capture or kill them. Israel earlier this week arrested 50 Islamic Jihad terrorists, including several who were not "ticking bombs," following a continued escalation in terrorism which killed an IDF soldier and a civilian. Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Abdullah Shalah, quoted in an Arab newspaper in Lebanon, warned Israel that if goes after terrorist leaders, the diplomatic process will end immediately, Arutz Sheva reports.

Wanted Ukraine general will be returned from Israel.
Israeli officials in Jerusalem confirmed Saturday that Ukrainian General Alexei Pukach is in Israel but indicated that he would be leaving "expeditiously." Pukach is accused of murdering journalist Georgy Gongadze two years ago and fleeing to Russia, though more recently some suggested he had come to Israel, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Israel bows to U.S. pressure on arms sales to China. Ha'aretz reportedthat Israel has decided to comply with all of Washington's demands in a bid to end the crisis with the United States over arms exports. The U.S. government has been critical of Israel's increasing military cooperation wth China. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told a delegation visiting Washington on Friday to agree to American limitations.


Minister of Finance Binyamin Netanyahu has invited California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger to visit Israel
, the Jerusalem Post reports. Netanyahu extended the invitation during his recent visit to the U.S. during a meeting between the two on economic issues.

Demolition begins on abandoned Gaza homes. The Associated Press reports that Israeli troops on Sunday began demolishing a string of abandoned beachfront cottages in the southern Gaza Strip, settler leaders said, heading off efforts by hardline settlers to take over the buildings for resistance against Israel's planned withdrawal from the area. A group opposed to the Gaza pullout had begun in recent weeks to refurbish the buildings, which were used as vacation villas by Egyptians before Israel captured Gaza in 1967.

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