2A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Abbas's troops investigate shooting NEWS IN BRIEF
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
ordered his security forces yesterday
to try to prevent attacks against Israel
and to investigate a shooting at a Gaza
Strip crossing that killed six Israeli
civilians last week.
Palestinian officials would not pro-
vide details of the order, and it was
unclear how it would be translated into
action, if at all. Abbas insists he will
use persuasion, not force, to rein in
A Hamas spokesman said the Islamic
militant group will continue carrying
Abbas was under growing pressure
to move against militants following
last week's attack at the Karni crossing
between Gaza and Israel. Israel sus-
pended ties with Abbas in response and
ordered its army Sunday to do whatever
was needed to stop Palestinian attacks.
Israel decided to hold off on a major
military offensive in Gaza to give Abbas
more time to act against militants, a senior
government official said yesterday.
Secretary of State Colin Powell also
urged Abbas in a phone call Sunday to
rein in the armed groups, officials said.
Abbas's victory in presidential elec-
tions last week had raised hopes for a
breakthrough in Mideast peacemaking.
However, the Karni attack, two days
before Abbas was sworn into office,
ended his honeymoon with Israel before
it ever started.
Israeli troops raided several areas of
Gaza over the weekend to halt rocket fire
on Israeli settlements and border towns,
withdrawing early yesterday. Sixteen Pal-
estinians were killed in the raids, among
them nine gunmen and seven civilians,
including a 10-year-old boy.
A senior Israeli military official said
yesterday the army will re-enter areas
of the West Bank it is slated to evacu-
ate later this year if Palestinian security
forces cannot prevent attacks from the
area. The remarks by the official, who
spoke on condition of anonymity, indi-
cated that Israel's planned withdrawal
from the northern West Bank this sum-
mer might not be permanent.
In a Palestinian Cabinet meeting yester-
day, Abbas instructed the security forces
to try to prevent attacks against Israel.
"A decision was taken that we will
handle our obligation to stop violence
against Israelis anywhere," Cabinet
minister Saeb Erekat said.
Abbas moved up his planned negotia-
tions with militants. Ministers said he
would travel to Gaza for talks with vari-
ous factions today, instead of tomorrow,
as initially scheduled.
The Palestinian Cabinet also asked
the Palestinian Preventive Security Ser-
vice, which controls the crossings into
Israel, to investigate the Karni attack.
Three militant groups, including Hamas
and the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades,
which has ties to Abbas' ruling Fatah
movement, carried out the attack.
Israeli officials said they have indica-
tions the attackers left from a Palestin-
ian Authority base and passed through
a Palestinian checkpoint on the way to
Israel has accused Palestinian secu-
rity forces of permitting acts of violence
and even collaborating with attackers.
It wants Abbas to overhaul the myriad
security forces and place them under a
Raanan Gissin, a Sharon aide, called
yesterday's Cabinet decision a "small
step in the right direction."
"Now we have to see how it happens
on the ground, based on things that were
said," he added.
Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri
said the group would not comply with
the new orders.
"We consider resistance as a red line,
and no one is allowed to cross this line,"
Hamas leaders have said they would
consider halting attacks if Israel stops
Yesterday, the Islamic Jihad group
sent two gunmen into a no-go zone near
the border fence between Gaza and Isra-
el, and Israeli troops killed one of them.
Report to address
Eight indicted in Spanish terror case
A Spanish judge indicted eight people on terrorism charges yesterday, saying they
provided logistical help and false documents for suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks.
The indictment was released by Spain's leading terror investigator, Judge
It said the eight had provided logistics and counterfeit documents for suspects
including Ramzi Binalshibh, an alleged would-be Sept. 11 hijacker who has been
in U.S. custody since his 2002 capture in Pakistan. He is believed to have been
the main contact between a group of Sept. 11 attackers in Hamburg, Germany and
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.
Binalshibh, who could not get into the United States to participate in the attacks
but served as a key money man, reportedly is being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"The group in question provided logistical support to Ramzi Binalshibh and
other members of al-Qaida linked to the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 in the United
States," Garzon said in the indictment.
GALLE, Sri Lanka
Tsunami recovery fast despite terror threat
U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said yesterday that Sri Lanka is
moving swiftly from relief to reconstruction three weeks after a devastating tsu-
nami and that help from U.S. military engineers will not be needed much longer.
In Indonesia, the United Nations banned its staff from traveling between the
hard-hit provincial capital of Banda Aceh to the east Sumatran city of Medan
because of reported fighting between the military and separatist rebels in the tsu-
nami-battered area, a U.N. spokesman said.
Also yesterday, the Indonesian military and the top U.N. official in Aceh prov-
ince said they had no information of a specific threat to aid workers in Indonesia,
despite a warning yesterday from Denmark of an "imminent terror attack."
An insurgent commander told The Associated Press that rebels will not attack I
foreign aid workers because the groups have been helping disaster victims.
After visiting a battered area on Sri Lanka's southern coast, Wolfowitz said he
was "impressed by how resilient people are" and then met the country's leaders to
see what more America can do.
Americans positive about Bush, doubt Iraq
A majority of Americans say they feel hopeful about President Bush's second
term and have a generally positive view of him personally, but they also express
continued doubts about Iraq.
People were most likely to identify Iraq as the top priority for Bush, an Associ-
ated Press poll found. But more than half wondered whether a stable government
can be established there. After winning re-election, Bush is preparing to pursue an
ambitious agenda that includes efforts to change Social Security, federal tax laws
and medical malpractice awards.
Ahead of Bush's inauguration on Thursday, six in 10 people said they felt hope-
ful about his second term.
JERSEY CITY, N.J.
Religious tensions flare at slain family's funeral
A funeral for an Egyptian Christian couple and their two daughters slain last
week devolved into a melee after the services yesterday, with mourners shoving
and punching each other as many blamed Muslims for the killings.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that Hossam Armanious, 47, his 37-
year-old wife, Amal Garas, and their daughters, Sylvia, 15, and Monica, 8, were slain
by a Muslim angered over postings that the father wrote in an Internet chat room.
The family is part of the Coptic Orthodox Church, whose members make up
about 10 percent of Egypt's population. Copts generally live in peace with Mus-
lims, but violence has flared in Egypt recently, including protests last month.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The final
U.S. intelligence report on weapons of
mass destruction in Iraq is expected to
address whether the banned armaments
may have been smuggled out of the
country before the war started.
Top Bush administration officials
have speculated publicly that chemi-
cal, biological or radiological weap-
ons may have been smuggled out,
and the question is one of the unre-
solved issues on WMD. The report
is due next month.
Intelligence and congressional
officials say they have not seen any
information indicating that WMD or
significant amounts of components
and equipment were transferred from
Iraq to neighboring Syria, Jordan or
The administration acknowledged
last week that the search for banned
weapons is largely over. The Iraq Sur-
vey Group's chief, Charles Duelfer, is
expected to submit the final install-
ments of his report in February. A
small number of the organization's
experts will remain on the job in case
new intelligence on Iraqi WMD is
But the officials familiar with the
search say U.S. authorities have found
no evidence that former Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein transferred WMD or
related equipment out of Iraq.
A special adviser to the CIA direc-
tor, Duelfer declined an interview
request through an agency spokes-
man. In his last public statements,
he told a Senate panel last October
that it remained unclear whether
banned weapons could have been
moved from Iraq.
"What I can tell you is that I believe
we know a lot of materials left Iraq and
went to Syria. There was certainly a lot
of traffic across the border points," he
said. "But whether in fact in any of these
trucks there was WMD-related materi-
als, I cannot say."
Last week, a congressional official,
speaking on condition of anonymity,
said suggestions that weapons or com-
ponents were sent from Iraq were based
on speculation stemming from uncor-
President Bush and top-raking
officials in his administration used
the existence of WMD in Iraq as the
main justification for the March 2003
invasion, and throughout much of
last year the White House continued
to raise the possibility the weapons
were transferred to another country.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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