APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday, August 23, 2013
Number of the day:
Amount of shekels (=$4.5 million) the state will spend on developing a national park in the midst of the Arab E. Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, known by some Jews as Ir David, the City of David.**
Front Page News:
- Explosive borders - For the first time in two years, salvo of rockets fell on the north. IDF: Area turning into center for Global Jihad
- Red line in Syria crossed - but West only getting farther from it // Zvi Bar'el
- In moment of truth, Obama cannot run away from his historic obligation // Chemi Shalev
- Abbas: Peace agreement will put end to conflict, we won't demand Haifa and Acre
- Turkel Committee examining complaint about (former deputy governor of BoI) Eckstein
- Rain of gag orders - More and more civil cases held behind closed doors. And who is representing the public debate?
- Bridges in the air - Why is the Education Ministry working against the only bridge plan for Ethiopian pupils?
- Detained residents - Intrusive questions, lookouts in the street and interrogations of neighbors. The intrusion into the privacy in public housing
- What is the interpretation of Lieberman's provoking of Netanyahu in the race for mayor of Jerusalem
- Peres: Stop the crazy murderer in Damascus
- Rockets at the Galilee
- The bad news // Alex Fishman
- Violent robbery of a cellular phone
- Nadav Abeksis reveals the secret of his life: he will never marry, he is a homosexual
- Crazed Middle East (large photo of dead Syrian children laying in a row in a bed)
- Israel cannot be silent - It must act in Syria // Amnon Lord
- Load the gun // Arel Segal
- What does the Syrian child learn? // Nadav Eyal
- A new moral scale // Ben-Dror Yemini
- Sunni Jihad organization took responsibility for shooting of Katyushas on western Galilee (Hebrew)
- Mubarak released from jail after two and a half years
- Shooting at the north - attempt to draw Israel into war with Syria
- Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak - Outside prison
- Adopting a family for the (High) Holidays
- 41% undecided whether to vaccinate their children against polio
- Report: Men who ran over Lee Zeitouni to be indicted in France for manslaughter
- Soon: New HMO - For dentistry only
Peace Talks Highlights:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made significant statements about a future Palestinian state and peace agreement in a meeting with a Meretz party delegation in Ramallah, Maariv reported on sources of conflict during this week's round of peace talks, the Palestinian Authority called on the Middle East Quartet to stop setlement expansion and Israel's Education Minister said he has no hopes for peace, while US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly would blame Israel if talks failed.
Only Haaretz reported at length what Abbas told a Meretz party delegation in Ramallah. Reporter Barak Ravid, who went to Ramallah for the event, wrote that Abbas:
* Wants a negotiated peace agreement to include a clause stating that the conflict with Israel is over.
* Wants to accelerate the rate of the meetings. "We wanted the meetings between negotiating teams to take place every day or every second day, and not once a week or every 10 days like the Israelis want. I don't know why they don't want to. We don't have much time," Abbas told the Meretz delegates.
* Wouldn't rule out some Jewish settlements remaining under Palestinian sovereignty.
* Said that Palestinians don't aspire to return to Haifa, Acre and Safed.
* Clarified that in any peace settlement the Palestinian state would agree to be demilitarized. He noted that during earlier negotiations with former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert there was an agreement to post American soldiers in the West Bank to help maintain security.
* Said that the Palestinians wanted US envoy Martin Indyk to take an active role in the talks and be present at the negotiations, but Israel opposed this. "We decided not to make a big deal of it," he said.
* Said there were no advances in the negotiations during the last three rounds of negotiations and the talks are still in their preliminary stages.
* Has no problem with nor any reservations regarding meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
* Would be willing to implement any agreement in stages.
(Read the whole article here without a paywall.)
Israel Hayom noted that Abbas said Israel refused to increase the frequency of the peace talks and that Abbas said the Palestinians would not demand Haifa, Acre and Safed as part of a peace agreement.
Two major sources of conflict came up in the second round of peace talks held this week in Jericho, sources told Maariv. During a discussion of borders and security and the connection between them, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the '67 borders are the guiding principle for the Palestinians and asked if the Israelis accept that principle. Chief Israeli negotiator Minister Tzipi Livni said she did not agree to that principle and did not give a complete answer regarding the borders. 'Israel does not agree to reveal its borders before it is clear what is will get in exchange in regards to security arrangements,' wrote Maariv. Moreover, it appears Israel made some changes to the 21 point document it gave recently to the Palestinians. The document details various issues Israel thinks is relevant to negotiations. The Palestinians received the document and rejected it. The new document has 17 points, some of the points were grouped together. (NRG Hebrew)
Netanyahu will travel to Rome to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry on September 8th, ahead of his speech at the UN General Assembly on September 30th. Kerry has warned Netanyahu that if the talks with the Palestinians fail, Israel will have to deal with an intense global de-legitimization campaign. A senior Israeli official told Maariv that the leaked talks between the two show that "Kerry believes that most of the responsibility for the success of the talks is on Netanyahu and less on the Palestinians. Therefore, he demands a lot from Netanyahu."
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority has urged the Middle East Quartet to stop settlement expansion, Maan reported. The ministry called upon local, regional and international bodies to document Israel's settlement expansion "which is against international law and the Geneva conventions." The documentation, added the statement, will be used in possible legal procedures against Israel at international level.
Education Minister Shai Piron said he does not believe that Israel will achieve peace anytime soon, Maariv reported. The paper noted that 'while the leader of Yesh Atid is investing great efforts in the idea of peace, (his #2) is throwing cold water on the renewed negotiations.' Piron told Maariv reporters on Radio Gal Yisrael that "If I knew that it were possible to achieve the end of the conflict through peace with our neighbors through two states for two peoples, including the price of evacuating the settlements, I would support it. But I don't believe that, in light of the things that I read in reports that I receive as Education Minister about what is written in Palestinian school books, that in my life and my children's lifetime we will get to a place where we can sign a peace agreement." (NRG Hebrew)
More foreign officials are visiting the region to encourage the peace talks. French Foreign Minister to arrive Saturday for a two-day visit, during which he will visit the Palestinian Authority, Israel Hayom reported.
The Israeli Air Force hit targets in Lebanon in response to the firing of at least three rockets fired on the Western Galilee Thursday. Sunni global jihad operatives took responsibility for the rockets and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman condemned the Katyusha attack and Israel blamed the Lebanese government. The rockets were Iron Dome's baptism of fire on Israel's northern front, writes Haaretz. But despite intercepting one rocket, some residential areas sustained hits from two other rockets.
- **Israel to spend millions on Jewish sites in East Jerusalem - The government and the Jerusalem municipality are teaming up to fund development in the City of David and at a mikveh in the Arab neighborhood of Jabal Mukkaber. (Haaretz)
- Right-wing activist sent threatening letter to Prime Minister - Police arrested Thursday a young right wing activist, 22, who is suspected of price-tag attacks, and suspected of sending a ltter to the Prime Minister threatening to murder him as a reaction to the release of terrorists last week. (Israel Hayom, p. 11)
- Monastery near Jerusalem defaced in suspected 'price tag' attack - The Beit Jamal Monastery is known for its good relations with Israelis who visit to buy its ceramics. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Israeli and Palestinian police chiefs pledge deeper cooperation - Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian police chiefs conclude three-day summit in West Bank city of Jericho on Wednesday, hailing progress. Palestinian police chief invites Israeli Commissioner Yohanan Danino to give lecture to PA police officers. (Israel Hayom)
- PM names deputy Mossad chief next national security adviser - Yossi Cohen, a veteran of 30 years in the defense establishment, to replace retiring National Security Adviser Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror. Prime Minister Netanyahu: Cohen is uniquely qualified for the job. Cabinet to vote on appointment on Sunday. (Israel Hayom)
- Anti-Hamas movement emerges in Gaza - Group calling itself 'rebellion against tyranny' inspired by Egypt's Tamarod movement calls for mass protests against Gaza rulers. (Maan)
- Netanyahu to give speech at UN, likely to meet with Obama - Also this year the Prime Minister at the General Assembly at the end of September is expected to focus on Israel's need for a strong army and for the world to stop Iran from achieving a nuclear bomb. (Israel Hayom, p. 11)
- Jordan, Israel in advanced talks on water deal - Hashemite Kingdom, thirsty for water due to huge influx of Syrian refugees, to get Kinneret water in return for desalinated water from Aqaba plant. (Ynet)
- Senior faculty at West Bank's Ariel University threaten strike over pay - Following the controversial decision to give university status to the Israeli academic institution, the professors want more money. (Haaretz)
- Jerusalem city council hopeful's campaign platform: Get Arabs out of our parks - Right-wing activist Aryeh King wants to improve quality of life in Jerusalem's peripheries, and is playing up the race card to appeal to voters. (Haaretz)
- Jerusalem family living in tent on ruins of home - Khaled al-Zeir erected the tent on the rubble of his home in the al-Abbasiya neighborhood of Silwan in E. Jerusalem. Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished the 60-square-meter room al-Zeir lived in with his wife and seven children. (Maan)
- Israel levels East Jerusalem land for 'national park' - Israeli bulldozers leveled around 20,000 square meters of Palestinian land in the Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur on Wednesday for a 'National Park,' which would separate the neighborhoods of al-Tur and al-Isawiya, diminish the possibility of future expansion for Palestinian villages in the area, and facilitate the link between Jerusalem and the Maale Adumim and E1 settlement area. (Maan)
- Settlers raze Palestinian land near Nablus - Settlers accompanied by Israeli soldiers used bulldozers to raze Palestinian land in the al-Wara area of Einabus village in order to expand Yitzhar settlement. (Maan)
- Lieberman: Erdogan following in footsteps of Goebbels - Former FM slams Turkish PM for comments in which he claimed Israel behind Egyptian turmoil. 'Everyone who hears hateful incitement understands beyond doubt that Erdogan following in footsteps of Goebbels,' Lieberman insists. (Ynet)
- Prisoner deported to Gaza Strip - Israel on Thursday deported a Palestinian prisoner to the Gaza Strip as part of a deal to end his 40-day hunger strike. Ayman Abu Daoud is from the West Bank city of Hebron, where his wife and children live. (Maan)
- Israeli forces detain Jerusalem teenager at Allenby - Nur Salim Shalabi, 15, was stopped by Israeli security officers at the Israeli side of the crossing while travelling back from Jordan to the West Bank with his mother. (Maan)
- IDF rearms combat battalions with doctors - In special move led by Medical Corp in response to 2010 discovery that 1-in-3 combat battalions has no doctor, only paramedic, IDF finally succeeds in manning each battalion with doctor of its own. (Ynet)
- Imports from Israel lower West Bank tomato prices - Tomato prices in the West Bank have dropped due to imports from Israel, prompting farmers and merchants to urge for intervention by the ministry of agriculture to protect local products. (Maan)
- PA to ask EU to increase financial support - The Palestinian Authority will hold talks with European Union to increase financial support to the West Bank government. (Maan)
- Number of matriculating Israeli students nudges up to just under 50% - Percent of 12th graders who earned a matriculation certificate in 2011-2012 reached 49.8 percent, as opposed to 48.1 percent the previous year. (Haaretz)
- Minister: PM is punishing me - Transportation's Yisrael Katz says Netanyahu transferring 'infrastructure' title from his ministry because he opposed releasing Palestinian prisoners. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Getting high beyond Green Line - Shortage of soft drugs across country leads young Israelis to settlements, where residents fearlessly grow marijuana. (Ynet)
- Manifesto of a Jewish right-wing pundit - In Guardian Angel, the combative Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips tells the story of her transformation into a 'culture warrior.' (Haaretz)
- Court grants East Jerusalem widow last-minute reprieve from deportation - Nahil Rajbi married a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem in 1994 and has lived there since 1995; their six children are permanent residents of Israel. (Haaretz)
- Improving the world while making a healthy profit - An increasing number of Israeli startups are looking to use their high-tech know-how to make the world a better place and make money in the process. (Haaretz)
- Bennett fined NIS 65,000 for using campaign funds to pay private investigator - Head of Habayit Hayehudi attempted to bill party for investigator's services but had no authority to do so, state comptroller determines. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Palestinian arrested for selling 'Morsi perfume' - A 36-year-old Hamas member arrested after Tulkarem perfume shop he owns raided. Brother claims arrests stems from sales of Morsi dedicated perfume. (Agencies, Ynet)
- After two years behind bars, Mubarak released from prison -A Cairo court has upheld a petition demanding the release of the deposed Egyptian president to house arrest. He was flown to a nearby hospital. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- U.S. military shipments to Egypt in doubt - The Obama Administration is acting cautiously in its responses to both Egypt and Syria, but the pressure is on for firm action. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Steinitz: Israeli intelligence believes Assad gassed civilians - Israel concerned about U.S.'s "flexible red line" regarding Assad's use of chemical weapons and how it may affect regional deterrence and other conflicts, such as the Iranian nuclear threat • Russia, China block U.N. probe of Wednesday's attack in Syria. (Israel Hayom)
- Israeli intelligence backs reports of latest chemical weapons attack in Syria - Intelligence minister criticizes international community over inaction; France says retaliation necessary if reports are true, Turkey says Syria has crossed all 'red lines.' (Haaretz)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.