Prime Minister Sharon Flies To Meet Bush In Washington:Controversy rages over release of more prisoners


28 July 2003

Israeli cabinet ministers furious over Sharon announcement Sunday during flight to Washington that 210 Hamas-Jihad prisoners would be released – 100 more than approved in cabinet a few hours earlier. Israel PM meets Rice at White House Monday, Tuesday President Bush. More Israeli concessions to Palestinians released.

Sixty-one Israeli victims of Palestinian terror petition high court to prevent action by prime minister and defense minister to free imprisoned Palestinian terrorists. DEBKAfile’s Palestinian sources report: Upon their return from Washington, Dahlan backed by Abu Mazen sacks Arafat’s appointee as West Bank Fatah secretary Hussein al-Sheikh in major Palestinian leadership shakeup.

Dahlan disconnects al-Sheikh from his Nablus-Jenin Tulkarm Terror Triangle, replaces him with Muhamad Abu Lutfi, and pushes for first elections in 18 years to Fatah institutions to oust Arafat’s partisans.

DEBKAfile was first to disclose Arafat’s appointment of al-Sheikh to orchestrate fresh Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades terror campaign

Dahlan-Abu Mazen initiative responding to Washington’s pressure would be first real blow to Palestinian terror structure, open road to Palestinian reform and Israeli handover of more West Bank towns to Palestinian security control .

Three explosive charges discovered and defused Sunday on dirt path outside Kibbutz Meirav leading to fence going up to separate Gilboa Mts from northern West Bank

Hizballah are constructing line of concrete lookout towers full length of Israeli border with help of Syrian military engineers in violation of Syrian promise to Washington to evacuate Hizballah from Israeli border region. Planned to fill electronic command gap, towers track every movement on Israeli side, are useful aid for would-be abductors.

Fate of Israeli reserve officer Elhanan Tanenboim kidnapped nearly three years ago by Hizballah is cause of grave concern in Israel after terror group’s leader Nasrallah declared Sunday night: “Tanenboim’s condition is unknown. Who knows if he is still alive?” Nasrallah gave Israeli “last chance” to negotiate prisoner exchange. If not, Hizballah would “work day and night” to snatch more Israelis.