Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Snapshots of the Holy Land

Hamas announces candidates for parliament speaker, faction chair:
Hamas announced Wednesday that it intends to appoint Abed al-Aziz Duaik to head the new Palestinian parliament.

Duaik is considered one of the most senior members of the organization in the West Bank and a member of the movement's more pragmatic wing.

Earlier Wednesday, the group announced that Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas member in Gaza and one of its leading radicals, would serve as the Hamas faction chairman in the new parliament.

Zahar had been considered a contender for the prime minister's job, and Wednesday's appointment meant he was no longer in the running.

Hamas sources said they expect the group to soon announce that the most senior Hamas man in Gaza and No. 1 on the party's parliamentary list, Ismail Haniyeh, will serve as prime minister.

These moves give the impression that the organization is appointing its more moderate members to the important positions, and giving hardliners like al-Zahar more peripheral roles.

Hamas Video: We will drink the blood of the Jews:
The Hamas website this week presented the parting video messages of two Hamas suicide terrorists. One message was for Jews, whose blood Hamas promises to drink until Jews "leave the Muslim countries," and the second to a mother, as she helps dress her son for battle prior to his suicide terror mission.

Each terrorist had a separate message for Jews. This [sic] first said,

"My message to the loathed Jews is that there is no god but Allah, we will chase you everywhere! We are a nation that drinks blood, and we know that there is no blood better than the blood of Jews. We will not leave you alone until we have quenched our thirst with your blood, and our children's thirst with your blood. We will not leave until you leave the Muslim countries."

The second terrorist said the following:

"In the name of Allah, we will destroy you, blow you up, take revenge against you, [and] purify the land of you, pigs that have defiled our country... This operation is revenge against the sons of monkeys and pigs."

One of the terrorists saw his death as a wedding with the Maidens of Paradise:

"I dedicate this wedding [i.e. death for Allah] to all of those who have chosen Allah as their goal, the Quran as their constitution and the Prophet [Muhammad] as their role model. Jihad is the only way to liberate Palestine - all of Palestine - from the impurity of the Jews."

The message to one of the terrorist's mother was instruction for her to be joyous over his death and his "wedding" with the "Maidens of Paradise."

"My dear mother, you who have cared for me, today I sacrifice my life to be your intercessor [on Judgment Day]. O my love and soul, wipe your tears, don't be saddened. In the name of Allah, I've achieve all that I've aspired. Don't let me see you sad on my wedding day with the Maidens of Paradise. So be happy and not sad, because in the name of Allah, after death is merciful Allah's paradise."

Included in the clip is the farewell scene between the mother and terrorist son while she helps him don his military vest. In the background one can hear the lyrics, "My dear mother, don't cry over us."

El Al Airlines installs anti-missile systems on passenger aircrafts:
El Al Israel Airlines has installed anti-missiles systems on its passenger aircraft, completing an overhaul launched after a 2002 attempt to shoot down a plane, security sources said on Wednesday.

They said the "Flight Guard", an Israeli-made system costing around $1 million per unit, was operational on the entire El Al fleet. It was not immediately clear if this applied to five planes leased by El Al as well as its own 29 aircraft.

El Al, Israel's national carrier and largest airline, declined to comment, saying it did not discuss security issues.