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Israel Air Force destroys an explosives’ lab in Gaza.

Vatican has never banned the Tridentine Mass despite the Nostra Aetate and other shows of rapprochement with Jews, but Pope Benedict is expected to bring it back into mass use by Catholics.
Vatican recognized Israel only in 1993.

Hamas’ Izzadin Kassam group threatened to launch guerrilla warfare against peacekeepers, should they arrive. The peacekeepers would actually benefit Hamas by stemming Israeli retaliation raids, but Hamas laudably puts national pride above expediency. Israeli government agreed to the UN peacekeepers in Gaza with Chapter 7 mandate – a permission to actively engage guerrillas. The UN could agree to the Chapter 7 mandate in Gaza because the Chapter 6 (defense-only) mandate in Lebanon proved unworkable, with Syria continuing smuggling weapons to Hezbollah.

Dozens of top Fatah officials demanded that Abbas bans Mohammed Dahlan from active political role. Though officially Dahlan is blamed for the fall of Gaza to the democratically elected Hamas, the real concern is over Dahlan’ discrediting Fatah. Dahlan evolved into the top Palestinian gangster and the proverbial corruptioner. Israel considers Dahlan as possible alternative to weak Abbas.

A World Bank report lashed out at the Palestinian deal with British Gas company to develop the offshore gas field near Gaza. Ehud Barak gave the field – the only viable field in Israel – to Arafat with the understanding that Arafat would concede it to the British Gas. Barak thus circumvented the tender process which was required to sign the contract with British Gas when Israel owned the gas field. The amount of kickbacks to Barak is estimated in millions of dollars. Avigdor Lieberman also partook in the corrupt deal.

July 2007
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