APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday November 20, 2012
Quote of the day:
"Periods of peace and quiet were always the result of a dialogue and agreement. We have already assassinated terrorists and launched, as well as invaded Gaza, and nothing has changed apart from more killing and more hatred."
--Petition by Israeli intellectuals and artists calling on government to obtain a ceasefire and dialogue to lead to a peace agreement.**
Front Page News:
- Egypt: We are very close to a ceasefire
- Among the killed in Gaza: Farmers, water vendors and neighbors of wanted men
- Exposed in the fields - (Israeli) farmers around the Gaza Strip are endangering themselves to save their crop
- Second class protected - In Rahat (Bedouin village in Israel), tens of thousands of residents, but only 4 shelters
- Applications instead of chips: Hi-tech is moving to a programming era
- The Sea of Galilee is recovering: Pumping will drop by half because of rains
- Court defends rights of homeless to sleep in parks
- Obama pressuring for ceasefire - Pillar of Cloud Day 7, dramatic debate in cabinet
- Hamas hit school, pilot-husband of teacher bombed Gaza
- Fear of bereaved mother: The son of Miriam Peretz was drafted with an Order 8
- Netanyahu's dilemma (Hebrew)
- Assessment: The supply of Fajr-5s in Gaza is almost completely destroyed, meaning: threat on Gush Dan (TLV area) has lessened
- Effort for calm, preparation for attack
- Air Force continues to attack; Fear: Terrorists will want to be last to shoot
- We salute you - Tens of thousands of IDF soldiers were called to the flag during Operation Pillar of Cloud - and did not hesitate
- Ahead of the calm: Political system preparing to renew election campaign
- Love in Order 8: Noam And Eyal met in reserve duty, got married, - and were drafted together
- Discussion on compensation in south: At the end of the operation
- Special entertainment section for children of south
Mediation over a ceasefire was today's main story in the Israeli press and the analysts described the dilemma facing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: Avoiding a ground invasion while trying not to appear that its threats to Hamas are empty. Gaza buried the members of the Al-Dalo family killed in an Israeli airstrike while the number of Palestinians killed passed 100, the number of strikes Israel made in Gaza yesterday. Gazan militants hit an empty school in Ashkelon, Israel began using artillery on Gaza for the first time in many years and violence spread to the West Bank. Finally, some well-known Israelis call for Gaza's decimation.
Last night the top nine Israeli ministers discussed whether to accept Hamas' conditions for a cease-fire. Egypt said it was close to achieving an agreement and UN chief Ban Ki-moon was in Cairo to discuss the cease-fire efforts. Netanyahu already rejected a French-Qatari cease-fire plan. Haaretz has a great (free access) blog with details from each day here.
Since Sunday, Israel has stepped up targeting of military heads in Gaza, writes Ynet. That explains the attack on the Al-Dalo family house that killed four children and five women. They were buried yesterday with rage and sadness. The Israeli escalation killed 24 people in just two days. Yesterday Israel hit the Al-Shorouq media building for the second time, where foreign and local media work, and killed at least one senior Islamic commander. Gaza militants hit a school in Ashkelon.
For the first time in this operation, Netanyahu blamed Iran for the Gaza attacks, saying that the Islamic Republic was responsible for arming and subsidizing Gaza terror organizations. Thus far, 1,200 targets have been hit, as opposed to the 150 attacked during Operation Cast Lead, four years ago, writes Ynet. The army has seriously damaged government and security buildings in Gaza, including the office of Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh, the Ministry of Interior, police stations and training camps.
Moreover, after years out of the scene of the conflict, the artillery corps returned to the Gaza region a few days ago and began firing into the Strip. In the past there was criticism of the use of artillery fire on crowded populated areas, because it is not considered precise, wrote Maariv. [To be more exact, a few years ago Israel killed many members of the same family, including children, after which it stopped the use of artillery. -OH]
This may be what the IDF Chief of Staff Beni Gantz was referring to when he told commanders yesterday:"I ask that you pay attention not to just take random houses and fire at them unnecessarily."
Violence has spread to the West Bank, the papers report. Maariv only ran a photo of Molotov cocktails on an armored military jeep with a caption. Ynet reported that a Palestinian was shot to death near Hebron, when Palestinians clashed with security forces and hurled Molotov cocktails in solidarity with Gazans. Hamdi Falah, 25, was shot four times and died en route to hospital, Palestinians reported. According to eye witnesses, Falah stood far from the soldiers when he was shot, which contradicts the IDF's version of the events. Meanwhile, 31-year-old Rashid Tamimi, who was hit by IDF fire during a Saturday protest against the IDF operation in Nabi Salah, died of his wounds.
Alongside the calls by dozens of Israeli intellectuals and artists for a ceasefire, Minister of Interior Eli Yishai urged the IDF to "send Gaza back to the Middle Ages" and destroy the Strip's infrastructure. Meanwhile, Ariel Sharon's son, Gilad, wrote a much-talked about Op-Ed in the Jerusalem Post, supporting essentially to kill all Gazans when he called to "flatten Gaza."
- **Dozens of Israeli artists and intellectuals call for ceasefire - Petition directed at PM Netanyahu, ministers urges government to launch dialogue with Hamas which will lead to peace agreement. (Ynet)
- Reservists ask for their sperm to be frozen if they die - New Family Organization makes available a 'biological will' - a legal document that allows a man's sperm or a woman's eggs to be used after their death. (Haaretz)
- Israeli survey: Almost half of Sderot preteens show symptoms of PTSD - The study, which appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is based on a questionnaire given to 154 seventh and eighth graders in 2007-8, when there had already thousands of rockets launched at the area from Gaza. (Haaretz)
- Faster than a speeding bullet, Iron Dome is undisputed star - Tel Aviv area Iron Dome intercepts three rockets in first two days of deployment. Unit is most advanced yet. Defense minister thanks U.S. and lauds Israeli achievements: "No other army in any country in the world has a system like it." (Israel Hayom)
- Hackers try cracking Iron Dome information systems - Since onset of Operation Pillar of Defense, more than 44 million attempts to disrupt government websites have been detected. At least 3,000 Israelis' email accounts have been hacked, resulting in thousands of hacked Facebook accounts. (Israel Hayom)
- One-way ticket to the front line - Young Americans who served in the IDF but live in the States are arriving in Israel to join their combat units. (Haaretz)
- Poll: Majority of Americans say Israel's Gaza offensive is justified - CNN poll indicates 57 percent of Americans support Israeli strikes in Gaza, while only a quarter believe IDF's military action is unjustified. (Haaretz)
- Noa Tishby in LA: Israel wants peace - Israeli actress attends pro-Israel rally in Los Angeles, tells audience she hopes 'world will begin to understand what we are dealing with.' (Ynet)
- Israeli legal forum warns recent court directive may discriminate against Arab(ic) speakers - Directive states that in the case of Arab plaintiffs or defendants that do not speak Hebrew, both sides in a civil suit must pay for a court translator to come and translate the proceedings. (Haaretz)
- Los Angeles protesters clash at pro-Israel rally - Police form skirmish lines between pro-Israel demonstrators, Palestinian supporters. (Ynet)
The minister of incitement (Haaretz Editorial) Yishai has urged the IDF ,to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages, and destroy the enclave's infrastructure.
Opaque binoculars (Avirama Golan, Haaretz) The Israeli public should recognize not just the benefits of the Iron Dome, but also the political, non-military worldview that gave rise to it.
When Morsi says 'Israel' out loud (Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz) At times it's hard to believe that this is the same senior Muslim Brotherhood leader who was described during Egyptian presidential election campaign as the man who 'would liberate Gaza and turn Jerusalem into the capital of the united Arab nations.'
The real test is calm (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) A ground incursion is still on the table, but it was delayed yet again Sunday to give more time for a diplomatic solution to develop.
Head in the sand (Sever Plocker, Yedioth) Israel's strategic situation versus Hamas is worse today than it was before the operation. Because if two weeks ago, someone would have said to us that Hamas was going to dare to provoke us and bomb cities in Gush Dan (Tel-Aviv area), we would have answered without hesitating with a response of the type: "That hasn't happened and will never happen. We won't let an attack on the heart of the country pass." But we just did....
The long wait, for Gazans and Israelis (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Israel is not thinking of reoccupying the Gaza Strip, but every day of waiting for news from Cairo could weaken what Israel achieved at the beginning of the operation and increase the risk of a disaster in which innocent people are hurt.
The end is known in advance (Alon Hilu, Yedioth) The deterioration into a game in which no one wins: escalation brings escalation. The lack of empathy and the numbness of the senses to the suffering of the other side. And after some are killed on our side and hundreds on their side, the mediation efforts increase, the unavoidable ceasefire, the military commentators reciting the IDF version about the power of deterrence, and next to the fresh graves - an army of construction workers, plumbers and insurance assessors racing to rehabilitate the ruins. Until the next round...
End the war while you're ahead (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) Israel has achieved its major operational goals and should end Operation Pillar of Defense to secure its victory, even if it means political compromise with Hamas.
A heavy hand with Hamas (Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom) Would the U.S. respond “proportionately” if 50 million Americans were under missile attack from Mexico or Canada for a decade?
Iron Dome might save Amir Peretz's legacy, but it has many fathers (Motti Bassok, Haaretz) Amir Peretz, a resident of Sderot, is widely credited for pushing the defense system despite political opposition. But how did the Iron Dome really come to be?
Gaza crisis highlights Netanyahu's failure to reconcile with Turkey (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) Netanyahu squandered more than two years since the Gaza flotilla debacle, during which time he could have secured a powerful Muslim ally.
War of nerves (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Reserve soldiers cannot remain mobilized forever and each passing day sees increasing international pressure on Israel to stop.
Israel’s new Gaza honeymoon with Obama (and why it may not last very long) (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) The U.S. President’s unflinching support for the Gaza operation and his role in the success of Iron Dome have restored much of his long lost credit with both Israelis and American Jews.
What's wrong with election considerations? (Avi Shilon, Haaretz) You can criticize Operation Pillar of Defense, but to say the main reason was election considerations is a cynical approach that misses the essence of democracy and the complexity of the conflict.
Preparing the ground for the big Iranian operation (Salman Masalha, Haaretz) The current operation in Gaza can be called 'the little southern Iranian operation,' since it's designed to paralyze Iran's power in Gaza.
Men just love bombshells (Tsafi Saar, Haaretz) Almost 80 percent of Israel women live in constant fear of sexual assault, but that's not a security threat so generals and manly men don't care.
A military incursion into the classroom (Alit Karp, Haaretz) The minister of education's new plan to reward schools for high military recruitment rates is a cheap play for easy, and dangerous, nationalism. It's much more difficult to educate.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem