- Bush's administration gave Israel the go-ahead to attack
Syria in retaliation to Tel Aviv bombing that took place last weekend,
killing 5 Israelis, the Hebrew daily 'Yediot Ahronot' reported.
- Also, the U.S. didn't ask Tel Aviv to exercise self restraint,
as in past cases vis-à-vis the Palestinian commando raids, the newspaper
- 'Yediot Ahronot', moreover, said that the Israeli ambassador
to Washington discussed with a senior U.S. official intelligence information
obtained by the Israeli intelligence service claiming that Jihad Resistance
Movement had masterminded the Tel Aviv blast from inside Damascus.
- In his meeting with his Belgian counterpart in the occupied
Jerusalem, the Israeli foreign minister Silvan Shalom said he had tabled
an official request to the Belgian government to include the Lebanese Hezbollah
Movement in the European list of "terror groups".
- The Israeli chief diplomat claimed that Hezbollah was
financially supporting the Palestinian resistance groups and planning various
military attacks targeting the Israeli occupation forces.
- Washington has stepped up its pressure against Damascus,
calling on it to immediately pull its troops out of Lebanon and accusing
it of having hands in Tel Aviv bombing.
- Attending 'Supporting the Palestinian Authority' meeting
in London, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice claimed that she had
"firm evidence" that Syrian-based Jihad movement was " involved
in planning" the Tel Aviv attack.
- "There is firm evidence that Palestinian Islamic
Jihad, sitting in Damascus, not only knew about these attacks but was involved
in the planning," Rice told ABC News.
- "And so the Syrians have a lot to answer for,"
Rice said. "We don't know the degree of Syrian involvement, but certainly
what is happening on the territory of Syria, in and around Damascus, is
clearly threatening to the different kind of Middle East we're trying to
- "We will be prepared to talk with others ... with
the Israelis, with the Palestinians, with others in the region about this."
- Meanwhile, a Bush administration official made a similar
statement in Washington, claiming that the United States had obtained "firm
evidence that the bombing on the 25th of February was not only authorized
by Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders in Damascus but that PIJ leaders also
were actively involved in planning."
- However, the official refused to state the evidence,
only saying it was based on "U.S. intelligence."