Thursday, November 30

'Peace breaking out' index: Rice praises leaders as Navy foils possible seaborne attack


SOUND UP: TELETYPE (under v/o)

V/O (1940's-style radio announcer): "And here's the latest 'Peace breaking out' index for Thursday evening, November 30th – four days into the reputed
ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Debka File
leads with a update that the Israeli Navy interdicted a Palestinian vessel from Gaza loitering near Ashkelon's offshore oil terminal. The Israeli crew stopped the boat
“after a chase and exchange of fire outside the limits set for Palestinian fishing boats. Security authorities seek to establish if the boat was bound for a sabotage operation against Israel’s key oil installations.”

Meanwhile, The Jerusalem Post reports:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for his speech earlier this week, saying that his call for a renewal of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations was an important step that was likely to both contribute towards calm and advance the peace processes in the region.

And Haaretz adds:

Speaking a press conference with Abbas in Jericho hours earlier, Rice said that Washington wanted to "intensify our efforts" to renew the peace process. She said that the U.S. has made clear it expects a viable, contiguous Palestinian state when it is created, and that no actions should be taken now to prejudge the outcome of a final peace agreement.

She added that the U.S. is interested in seeing Palestinian Authority reforms of its security services and political institutions.

Meanwhile, Abbas told reporters that talks on a unity government with the ruling Hamas organization had reached a "dead end."

Ynet News warns, however, that all the international and local good will and backslapping/stabbing haven't stopped Palestinian in Gaza from continuing to smuggle in weaponry from Egypt:

Knesset members, military officials warn 'truce' damaging Israel's security; Popular Resistance Committees: Ceasefire offers a period of calm for our fighters to recover and prepare for our final goal of evacuating Palestine

"It's business as usual," said a Palestinian security official in Gaza. "Nothing out of the ordinary as far as smuggling. Not a massive amount, just the normal routine amount."

"We will keep fighting (Israel), but for the moment we will postpone certain parts of the military struggle," said Abu Abir. "We will reinforce very quickly and rush what we are doing to prepare (for attacks against Israel) in Gaza and in the West Bank."

Abu Abdullah, a senior leader of Hamas' so-called "military wing," told WND Hamas agreed to the ceasefire "because we need a period of calm to recuperate. This lull in fighting will not bring us to speak about peace."

SOUND UP: TELETYPE (under v/o)

This has been a "Peace breaking out" index update for Thursday evening, November 30th. More background about the reported ceasefire is


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