International pressure was mounting on Syria this week with the release of an interim report by the United Nations tying Damascus to the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and another U.N. report charging that Syria was maintaining indirect military control of Lebanon despite withdrawing its troops last spring.
The latter report, prepared by U.N. special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, said Syria was using its agents in the army, intelligence organizations and Lebanese administration.
The back-to-back drive-by shootings in the West Bank Sunday that killed three young Israelis (two female cousins and a 14-year-old) and injured six others were viewed by some Israeli analysts as just another in a string of terrorist attacks. But others saw it as the possible start of a new wave of West Bank attacks launched by Palestinians emboldened by Israel's Gaza withdrawal.
by Michele Chabin and Stewart Ain |
Staff Writer and Israel Correspondent
On a cold and rainy night this week, a major New York-area distributor of lulav and etrog sets drove his truck to a Brooklyn pier at midnight and hauled away 10,000 sets for next week's Sukkot holiday.
He bought the sets in a cash-only transaction from an importer (no questions asked) who had told him that if he wanted his supply, he should "be there at midnight."
"I felt like I was in a crime movie," the distributor later told a friend.
On July 12, at 3 a.m., Asher and Chava Vodka heard a loud knock on the door of their small apartment in Bat Yam, a poor town on the Mediterranean Sea near Tel Aviv, where they had been asleep with their two young children.“Open up. Police,” they heard.
Just hours after a suicide bomber killed at least four Israelis outside a shopping mall in the northern Israeli coastal city of Netanya, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon signaled his determination to go ahead with the withdrawal from Gaza by sealing it off to non-residents.