Netanyahu plans 'warning tour' of hills near airport

Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu and other top Likud MKs will tour the Samarian ridge overlooking Ben-Gurion Airport and the Gush Dan region on Sunday, in an effort to warn voters that drawing the border along the current route of the security fence would leave the airport in range of Palestinian missile fire. The MKs will visit a hilltop in Beit Aryeh that overlooks the airport runway and a vista in Ofarim from which it is possible to see - and fire upon - the entire Gush Dan area. Netanyahu intends to use the tour to stress that the Likud would maintain secure and defensible borders for Israel while Kadima's borders would endanger the country. A Likud spokesman said that recent efforts by Palestinian terrorists to down airplanes that flew over the Gaza Strip enhance the threat posed by Kadima's policies. Netanyahu will also hold events next week in Tiberias and Ganot. A Shvakim Panorama poll broadcast on Israel Radio on Thursday indicated that Netanyahu had succeeded in using the election of Hamas to persuade voters to shift their support to the Likud. The poll found for the first time that Likud and Labor were in a tie for second place with 16 mandates, well behind Kadima's 39. Kadima intends to send its MKs to campaign publicly next week in junctions and malls, following a long hiatus since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke. The head of Kadima's organizational campaign, Transportation Minister Meir Sheetrit, said that 30,000 people have already registered as Kadima supporters. The party only started this week to collect its NIS 50 membership fee after a long delay caused by a clause in the Kadima charter that had authorized only Sharon to sign the party's checks. Ten shekels from every fee will go toward the Jewish National Fund planting a forest in the Negev that will be called the Kadima Forest. The Likud appealed to Central Elections Committee chair Dorit Beinish, asking her to rule the gimmick illegal but she decided this week that there was nothing wrong with it. Kadima's campaign branches throughout the country will be headed by mayors who have left Labor or Likud for Kadima, including Beersheba's Ya'acov Turner, Haifa's Yona Yahav and Karmiel's Adi Eldar. Rahat Mayor Talal Al Granawi met with Olmert on Thursday and agreed to join the party and head its campaign in the Beduin sector. Labor accused Kadima of bribing mayors with promises of perks from the Interior Ministry. The party called upon Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz to investigate the matter.