07:17 Tuesday morning : the IDF is preparing to embark on a two month mission in the Gaza Strip which will aim to halt all Qassam rocket fire against Israel. (Guysen.Israel.News)Something about this bothers me; a bit like "War on Terror". In much the same way as the United States is not at war with "Terror" but in fact with Muslim religious fanatic terrorists, Israel is at war with the Palestinians, the Syrian regime, and the Iranian regime. So the "War on Kassams" seems like a feeble and pointless undertaking; it's mistaking one of the trees for the entire forest.
Three Russian passenger planes made emergency landings after suffering malfunctions one day after a jet burst into flames in Siberia after crashing during a landing. No one died in the new incidents, but three people were injured when their Tu-134, carrying the navy chief of staff, Vladimir Masorin, caught fire after it overran the runway at a military base in the Crimea region of Ukraine. An Airbus A-310 operated by S7 Airlines made an emergency landing in Ukraine after an engine malfunctioned, and a Urals Airlines Tu-154 flight from Yekaterinburg landed in Irkutsk after one of its engines broke down. On Sunday, an S7 A-310 crashed in Irkutsk; 124 people died and 4 were missing.
For 17-year-old Derya, a waif-like woman, the order to kill herself came from an uncle and was delivered in a text message to her cellphone. "You have blackened our name," it read. "Kill yourself and clean our shame or we will kill you first."
Derya says her crime was to fall for a boy she met at school. She knew the risks: Her aunt had been killed by her grandfather for seeing a boy. But after being cloistered and veiled for most of her life, she says, she felt free for the first time and wanted to express her independence.
When news of the love affair spread to her family, she says her mother warned her that her father would kill her. But she refused to listen. Then came the threatening text messages, sent by her brothers and uncles, sometimes 15 a day. Derya says they were the equivalent of a death sentence.
Hizbollah guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers and killed at least seven on Wednesday in what Israel described as an act of war by Lebanon that would draw a "very painful" response.I feel to spit.
Hizbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the two soldiers had been seized to force Israel to release prisoners.
"What we did today ... is the only feasible path to free detainees from Israeli jails," he told a news conference in Beirut, proposing "indirect" negotiations, not confrontation.
TEL AVIV — The Israel Air Force has concluded the first exercises to defend against a potential Palestinian surface-to-air missile threat.
Military sources said the air force has held exercises for combat pilots to avoid being targeted by the Soviet-origin SA-7 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile. The sources said the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority has acquired at least 10 SA-7 systems.
"There have been firings of anti-aircraft weapons in Gaza," a military source said. "What kind of weapons were not known."
The air force has been developing a model of the SA-7 for the exercises, Middle East Newsline reported. The sources said the dummy SA-7 would replace the use of flares used to replicate anti-aircraft weapons.
"The new dummy missile would replace the flares, which have simulated shoulder-fired missiles, and would enable much more efficient training," Maj. A., head of the enemy simulation unit at the air force, told the Israel Air Force Journal.
The Israeli officer said the air force would deploy an actual SA-7 without a warhead. The area that contains the warhead would be replaced by an advanced debriefing unit.
"It would all operate just like a real launch of the SA-7," the major, who could not be further identified, said. "The pilots would train to cope with the threat in a more realistic manner than in the past."
Israel's Elbit Systems has developed a missile defense system for the air force's transport fleet. Elbit's El-Op subsidiary and the Defense Ministry's Research and Development Directorate have cooperated in developing a laser that could divert any heat-seeking missile, including the SA-7.
Officers said the missile warning and counter-measures system would be installed on both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. They said the system would undergo trials in 2006.
Some state politicians had called for the University of Wisconsin-Madison to fire Kevin Barrett, a part-time instructor, after he spoke about his theories on a radio talk show last month.
The university provost, Patrick Farrell, said in a statement late on Monday: "We cannot allow political pressure from critics of unpopular ideas to inhibit the free exchange of ideas.
"To the extent that his views are discussed, Mr Barrett has assured me that students will be free and encouraged to challenge his viewpoint."
Barrett can present his view as one of many perspectives on the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington DC when he teaches Islam: Religion and Culture this fall, Farrell said.