APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday June 28, 2013
Number of the day:
--Percentage of Israelis who support returning to peace talks with the Palestinians, according to an Israel Hayom poll.**
Front Page News:
- They are talking about it: window of opportunity, confidence-building steps, negotiations, pre-conditions, three-way summit, historic opportunity, Arab Initiative, American pressure, evacuation of outposts, '67 borders, final status agreement, temporary borders, right of return
- Soul talks, empowerment and reinforcement: Kerry's mediation between Netanyahu and Abbas is similar to psychotherapy
- Economic peace - What did Lapid promise Netanyahu in their meeting at the Prime Minister's Residence?
- Syrian mud - Hezbollah's PR is hiding heavy damage the organization is causing itself // Amos Harel
- Lapid vs. the method - The law for increased government and raising the threshold will be brought to discussion among the ministers
- A year to Morsi's rise, the opposition threatens another popular revolution
- After they beat cancer, the ill are left without an address
- The women who want to save the health system in the south
- Instead of fighting, the kibbutz fish farmers and the water birds are learning to live in co-existence
- Chief of Staff: Nasrallah's cloak is burning - Gantz reveals IDF belief that Hezbollah has weakened
- (Netanyahu:) Between Kerry and Danon
- And then comes the Tsunami // Nahum Barnea
- Head without a party // Sima Kadmon
- Jump in number of Tel-Aviv residents in IDF officer's course
- Soldier hanging from train - was killed
- From 10 comes 1: Ministers promised to cut their salaries by 10%, but decided on 1%
- Even after Kerry's fifth trip, negotiations with the Palestinians are not expected to be renewed (Hebrew)
- Who will be blamed? // Shalom Yerushalmi
- Israel needs liberation // Ben-Dror Yemini
- The one-state option // Uri Elitzur (Hebrew)
- Intrigue and conspiracies in Israel's National Security Council - Amidror left because of conflict with Steinitz (Hebrew)
- On the way to AndraLaMoussia - Soldiers and police deployed ahead of demonstration by millions of Egyptians expected on Sunday, a year since President Morsi was elected (Hebrew)
- Hezbollah in trouble due to involvement in Syria; Gantz: "The fire has begun to catch the edges of Nasrallah's robe" (Hebrew)
- Habayti Hayehudi candidate for Chief Rabbi: The Rabbi who decided that Jews should not rent apartments out to Arabs (Hebrew)
- The Chief of Staff: "The fire is catching Nasrallah's robe"
- The main worry - Syria // Dan Margalit
- Spread their wings - Pilot's course 166 graduated yesterday
- Israel Hayom poll: Most of the public supports negotiations, but does not believe an agreement will be reached
- On (Yedioth Ahronoth publisher) Noni Moses' evil empire: When Netanyahu's head is the target, all the means are kosher // Gonen Ginat
- Criminal assassination in broad daylight near school: Motorcyclist shot dead two men in the heart of Petah Tikva
- A year to Morsi's rule: Egypt preparing for stormy weekend and the 'million person demonstration'
- They cut their cutback: MKs salaries to be cut by 1%
The Chief of Staff declares that Hezbollah is weak, the US Secretary of State arrives in Israel to revive peace talks, but locals have little faith and Tel-Aviv gets some respect after the number of its graduates from officers' and pilot's course rises. Meanwhile, Hamas has met European diplomats to get taken off the terror list.
When Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said at the pilot's graduation course yesterday that "Nasrallah's robes have begun to catch on fire" he was expressing aloud for the first time the IDF's new assessment of Hezbollah: that the organization has weakened incredibly due to its support of the Assad regime in Syria and its involvement in the Syrian civil war. Today, Hezbollah faces three fronts: Israel, Syria and internal Lebanon, writes Yedioth's Yossi Yehoshua. Hezbollah lost some 200 fighters in battles in Lebanon - a loss also for future battles with Israel because these men came from elite units. Not only that, but Hezbollah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah needs to give answers at home why it was necessary to sacrifice their men. On the Lebanese front [as well as around the Arab world - OH], Nasrallah is losing his title of honor as the 'Defender of Lebanon' and is turning his organization into a source, which is embroiling Lebanon in the Syrian civil war. But for Israel he is prepared. Hezbollah's missile systems have not been affected by the battles in Syria and the organization is on high alert for any mission. The question is what happens if and when Hezbollah tries to transfer 'game-changing weapons' from Syria to Lebanon. Senior sources in Israel told Yedioth that Israel should not open a front against Hezbollah now when it is sinking. The IDF has also understood that another reason it should not respond is because there is blood pact between Syria and Hezbollah, in which case, an Israeli action would cause two fronts to open. Next week Gantz will visit London, the first UK visit by an Israeli army chief since 1998.
Both Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Israel Air Force Chief Amir Eshel hinted yesterday at secret operations Israel carried out in the region. "The Air Force is ready for any mission entrusted to it, near or far. Those who need to know that we aren't just talking know this. Last year we operated in many sectors, some visible and some hidden. Task was achieved in all of them by pilots and air force pilots," Netanyahu said, while referring to criticism made by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who said this week that if Netanyahu wants to act on the Syrian front, he should do so and not talk about it - but better that he neither threaten or attack. Eshel said that "Reality forced upon us many missions over the last year, most of them far and hidden from the eye, on the edge of imagination."
US Secretary of State Kerry met with Netanyahu for four hours last night and will be meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today, but neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians believes anything will come of this. Nevertheless, both sides are cooperating to a certain extent in order not to be blamed for the failure of Kerry's efforts. Haaretz's Barak Ravid writes that "So far his diplomacy has yielded nothing but some face-saving, limited flexibility from each side aimed mainly at appeasing Kerry and avoiding being blamed for the failure of talks. The core problem is the abyss of suspicion and hostility that separates Netanyahu and Abbas, with neither believing a word the other says." Maariv writes that Kerry's goal is to get the two leaders together in a summit and that King Abdullah of Jordan is demanding of Abbas to come to a summit in Amman next week. (NRG Hebrew) Israel Hayom writes that 'on this trip, Kerry is trying to pin down precisely what conditions Abbas and Netanyahu have for resuming talks and perhaps discuss confidence-building measures."
Ynet reported that Likud members are concerned that Netanyahu might be shifting to center. One minister told Ynet, "(Netanyahu) understands that he has an opportunity to position himself in the center. It would not be harmful, and with what is happening in the Likud, this is also a good opportunity to show Americans that he is serious about his intentions in the policy."
Yesterday, both Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres rejected the idea of a bi-national state. Peres on his part said, "The chances for the renewal of the peace process must not be missed. We welcome the arrival of Kerry to Israel in an effort to renew peace and we shall all help him along."
Israel Hayom published a poll that revealed that most Israelis support peace talks, but don't believe a deal is possible. Some, 55% of respondents did not believe that a permanent peace agreement was even possible, but 30.9% said that they did believe it was possible.
When asked what was the one thing Israel must never agree to in talks, the answers were interesting:
35.5% said dividing Jerusalem
30.3% opposed giving the Palestinians the right of return
17.6% opposed handing over all the territories
7% opposed handing over just the settlement blocs
9.7% said they did not know.
More from Israel Hayom here.
- Settlers attack Palestinian man near Hebron - Khalid Bheis was driving south of Hebron Thursday when a suspicious vehicle approached. A Jewish settler extended his hand throwing a large rock at his car, smashing the windshield. "I pulled over quickly and tried to get out of the car. I heard gunshots, so I crouched on the ground until the settlers fled the scene." (Maan)
- Family: Soldiers attacked disabled son in Hebron - Israeli forces assaulted a disabled youth in al-Arrub refugee camp in Hebron early Thursday after raiding his house, detaining him for hours and forcing him to walk barefoot over thorns. "He couldn't stand and they forced him to but he fell on the floor. (Maan)
- Israel weighs demolition of flagship EU sustainability project in West Bank village of Susya - Civil Administration issues stop work orders for tents and solar panels, many of which were established with European Union help for humanitarian purposes. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers constructed two new unauthorized houses in the Mitzpeh Avigayil outpost. (Haaretz)
- Israeli forces demolish houses, agricultural structures near Jericho - Israeli forces demolished two houses and several agricultural structures north of Jericho Thursday. The deputy governor asserted it was part of Israeli plans to "empty the Jordan Valley of its indigenous residents." (Maan)
- Israeli authorities uproot trees in Bethlehem - Israeli authorities began digging up agricultural land and uprooting trees in the village of Khirbet al-Nahla in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem on Thursday. (Maan)
- Mass detentions across West Bank spark clashes - The Israeli army detained 19 Palestinians across the West Bank overnight Wednesday. In Beit Ummar village, the detentions sparked clashes and Israeli forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas, injuring three teenagers. (Maan)
- Israel demolishes properties in Tubas 'without notice' - Israeli forces on Thursday began demolishing two agricultural properties belonging to Jamil and Lutfi Odeh in Tammun village. Jamil was injured after trying to remove personal property from one of the structures. He had not received any demolition orders. (Maan)
- 20% of IDF Officer's Course graduates: settlers - Settlers made a new record when they made up 20 of the 99 people who finished officer's course this week. The army would not give out the information, but the graduates did the counting for Maariv. Eleven of them are from Samaria, making their representation in the course 940 times greater than the general population of the country. (NRG Hebrew)
- Habayit Hayehudi Habayti Hayehudi candidate for Chief Rabbi: The Rabbi who decided that Jews should not rent apartments out to Arabs - The [pro-settler] party will support Safed Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu to become the Sephardic Chief Rabbi if he apologizes for his extremist statements. He has been indicted over racial incitement. (Maariv, p. 5/NRG Hebrew and JPost)
- Report: Netanyahu taps Dermer as next ambassador to US - Army Radio: U.S.-born Ron Dermer will replace another U.S.-born ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, in August. (Israel Hayom)
- UN Security Council renews Golan peacekeeping mission - UNSC renews for six months peacekeeping mission in Golan Heights; organization plans to increase UNDOF force, boost protection in light of Syrian fighting. (Agencies, Ynet)
- UN demands Syrian government, opposition halt all military activity in Golan Heights - Security Council extends mandate of peacekeeping force deployed on Israeli-Syrian border, calls for stepped up measures to protect troops. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- American tourist raped in Jaffa flea market - Woman tells Israeli police she was shopping for jewelry when one of the suspects invited her to the back of the shop to see additional merchandise and then raped her. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Arab Christians demand equal rights -- and equal duties - Arab Christian priest Gavriel Nadaf is being persecuted by the Arab-Israeli political establishment for advocating an equal sharing of the burden amongst his flock. "Our future as a Christian minority is intertwined with that of the State of Israel." (Israel Hayom)
- The Maccabees are at it again - IDF Manpower Directorate report shows the city of Modiin Maccabim-Reut has the most active reservist population in Israel. Bottom five cities in ranking are predominantly haredi, with Jerusalem coming in with the 5th lowest number of active reservists. (Israel Hayom)
- Hamas confirms: Erdogan to visit Gaza on July 5 - Hamas announced that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit the Gaza Strip next week on July 5. (Ynet)
- Iran's supreme leader: Nuclear solution 'easy' if West is serious - U.S. and its allies not interested in solving nuclear standoff, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says in first remarks on talks since presidential election. (Agencies, Haaretz)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.