Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has reiterated his stance opposing the current withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestine territories they recently occupied. During his meeting with EU foreign policy and security chief Xavier Solana, Ariel Sharon said the troops would remain there unless Palestine terror stops. Meanwhile, numerous sources claim the withdrawal of the troops is a controversial issue in Israel. It was decided long ago that the Israeli troops would return to the positions they occupied a week ago, before Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evy was murdered. According to some sources, the decision will be implemented in two days, after Foreign Minister Shimon Peres returns from the USA. US President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell reportedly made it clear in a very tough tone that Israel's latest actions impeded the US anti-terror action in Afghanistan, in particular, hampered the US from attracting Islamic states into the coalition. However, observers do not exclude that the Israeli leaders might refuse to withdraw the troops. By numerous estimates, the decision to withdraw the Israeli forces will urge the rightist ministers to quit the Ariel Sharon national unity government--something entailing a governmental crisis.
US military analysts are concerned about the appearance of a new Russian sniper rifle known as T-5000
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign