weekend wrap 88.
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Soldier ousted for not shaking hands
First Sergeant Hananel Meged was expelled from his Armored Corps unit on Friday for refusing to shake the hand of Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz at an Independence Day ceremony honoring outstanding soldiers.
Straw replaced as foreign secretary
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was fired on Friday by Prime Minister Tony Blair, and was replaced by Margaret Beckett, who had headed the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Beckett would become the first woman to occupy that position. Instead, Straw was assigned to be leader of the House of Commons.
IDF drops leaflets over northern Gaza
The IAF dropped leaflets over the Gaza Strip on Saturday, urging the Palestinians to maintain quiet and stop attacks on Israel, otherwise the IDF would strike back. The move came a day after the IDF killed five Palestinians in a strike against a Popular Resistance Committees training camp. The strike was ordered by Defense Minister Amir Peretz less than a day after he took office.
Two settlers arrested in Hebron
Dozens of settlers gathered on Friday in and around a building in Hebron that was slated to be evacuated on Sunday night. They threw eggs, paint, and even glass bottles at IDF forces securing the site, in protest of the impending evacuation. Two policemen were injured by objects that were thrown at them. As a result, two settlers, including one minor, were arrested.
EU suggesting creating Quartet fund for PA
The EU on Friday prepared a $43 million aid package that would help fund Palestinian health and education services. Representatives of foreign affairs noted that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas would not be able to decide how the money would be distributed. Foreign ministers from Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia scheduled to meet with Quartet officials to find ways to send aid to the Palestinians.
UNSC members divided on Iran resolution
Russia and China dissented on Friday with the position held by the United States, Great Britain and France on the measures that the United Nations Security Council should take against Iran and its nuclear development program.
Warren Buffet purchases 80% of Iscar
Legendary investor Warren Buffet announced early Saturday morning that he would buy 80% of the Israeli metalworks company Iscar. The company's current owners, the famous Wertheimer family would receive $4 billion in the transaction. The move would constitute the largest purchase in Israeli history, as well as Buffet's largest purchase of a non-American company.
CIA Director Porter Goss resigns
After spending 19 turmoil-filled months at the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Director Porter Goss announced unexpectedly on Friday night that he would resign. He provided little explanation for his resignation. Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, top deputy to National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, is the leading candidate to replace Goss, a senior administration official said.
Netanyahu: Hamas are Iran's proxies
Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday supported the military strike on Gaza on the previous day, but disagreed with virtually all of the government's other policies. He stated that Hamas was among Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejed's most staunch supporters, effectively serving as his proxies. Netanyahu preconditioned any progress on the Israeli-Palestinian front with their dismantling of terror infrastructure and ceasing incitement to violence and hatred.
Haniyeh to meet Abbas to ease tensions in the PA
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Chairman Mahmoud Abbas scheduled to meet on Saturday in order to resolve the escalating tensions between the two sides.
British helicopter crashes in southern Iraq
A large crowd of locals cheered at the burning wreckage of a British military helicopter that crashed into a two-story building in Basra in southern Iraq on Saturday.