APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday December 14, 2012
Quote of the day:
"Once, Gaza wanted to be part of the West Bank. Today the West Bank wants to be part of Gaza."
--Senior Fatah leader tells Yedioth how the mood of Palestinians has changed.**
Front Page News:
- "The suspicion that Lieberman used a complex mask of tricks...to hide his acts cannot be discounted...the public will read and judge" - Attorney General; Central case closed against Lieberman, indicted on fraud and breach of trust
- Lieberman hints he will refuse to resign: "Waiting for a legal opinion"
- Theft and sexual harassment cases within the police closed with reprimand
- Violent clashes in Hebron: High alert ahead of Hamas rally
- A dance floor for them: A peek into the dance clubs of the ultra-Orthodox women
- 1/4 page ad: 7th Jaffa Convention: Arabs and Jews in Israel in 2012
- Case closed - Attorney General decided to close case of straw companies against Lieberman for "lack of evidence." Attorney General says this does not give him a public 'kosher certificate'
- Case open - In the smallest case against Lieberman, the ambassador case, Weinstein decided to indict him for fraud and breach of trust; Foreign Minister likely to get to quick plea bargain in order to pave way to next Knesset; Political establishment calling on him to quit
- Yedioth/Dahaf poll: Elections 2013 Likud: 35; Labor: 19; Livni: 11; Bennett: 11; Lapid: 8
- Once upon a time - First story ever written by Hans Christian Anderson discovered: "The milk candle"
- My soldiers are waiting for me - Givati Captain Ziv Shilon lost hand...but plans to return to army.
- Till my last breath - Playwright Anat Gov recorded a discussion about life and death 10 days before she passed away
- Lieberman: "I don't plan to quit right now" - Main case closed, indictment in affair of ambassador from Belarus
- Maagar Mohot Poll: Right-wing bloc keeps his strength, Kadima doesn't pass the threshold - Likud-Beiteinu: 38; Labor: 20; Shas: 12; Habayit Hayehudi (Bennett): 11; Hatnua (Livni): 9; Yesh Atid (Lapid): 8; Kadima: 1 (Hebrew with graphs)
- "Operation Pillar of Cloud" effect - On Gaza border tense quiet; in southern communities repairing the damage; in Gaza Strip, areas IDF bombed turned into tourist sites; in Judea and Samaria Hamas getting stronger and holding show of force at mass support rally
- Making changes to minutes, problematic transcription of investigation - behind the scenes of the case of Adv. Yisrael Perry and the "German Pension" affair
- After the indictment: Attorney General to determine whether Lieberman must quit - State of Israel vs. Lieberman: To be indicted for fraud and breach of trust in ambassador affair
- Heating up in Hebron: Threats to life of Border Policewoman who shot (dead) Palestinian (teen)
- Israel Hayom/Hagal Hahadash Poll: LIkud Beiteinu leads with 39 mandates
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman: is he in or is he out and what do the polls say about the effect of his indictment on Likud-Beiteinu's strength? These were the big questions following his indictment for fraud and breach of trust on a minor case yesterday. Meanwhile, a Border Policewomans' life was threatened on a Palestinian website, Hamas held a mass rally in Nablus, heavy clashes continued in Hebron and Yedioth reported that the military is working to avoid the outbreak of the Third Intifada.
The first few pages of all the papers dealt with the indictment of Lieberman on a minor case known as the 'ambassador affair' and the closing of a complicated case over a straw company. Haaretz has prepared an 'Everything you need to know: Lieberman graft case 101.' Despite the dropping of the first case, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein stressed that does not clear Lieberman's name. Opposition leaders have called on him to resign. But Israel Hayom reports that Weinstein will make that decision. Lieberman has said he is not resigning as of yet as he gets legal advice. He is expected to make a plea bargain so that he can continue to run in the upcoming elections as the head of the powerful Yisrael-Beiteinu party, which is now a partner of Likud.
The polls (see results in Front Page) taken after his indictment show that it made no dent in the strength of Likud-Beiteinu and the right-wing bloc remains strong. Israel Hayom reported that (only) 40.7% of Israelis believe that Netanyahu is the best man to be prime minister; 62% believe there is not partner for peace on the Palestinian side; 55% support disqualifying Arab MK Hanin Zouebi. Less than 40 days to go till election day.
A Palestinian website published photos of and a death threat against the Border Policewoman who shot to death Mohammed Salima in Hebron Wednesday, a Palestinian teen waving a fake gun. But the young policewoman says she is not deterred. Maariv interviewed her mother, who said she is proud of her daughter. Interestingly, Haaretz reported that "preliminary reports on the incident from the Palestinian side said it was clear before he was shot that he was holding a toy gun. However, it was not clear what happened before the incident... Apparently, before the shooting he and the soldiers clashed for several minutes, although it is unclear over what." Heavy clashes continued in Hebron following the boy's funeral. Soldiers shot another teen who threw a Molotov cocktail at troops near a checkpoint. He is severely wounded. The Palestinian police are struggling to contain the violent demonstrations in Hebron, writes Haaretz.
**Meanwhile, in Nablus some 5000 people came out to the mass rally to celebrate Hamas' 25th anniversary and its 'triumph' over Israel in the IDF's recent military campaign, the first Hamas rally in the West Bank in five years. Ynet's excellent Palestinian affairs correspondent, Elior Levy, was the only reporter for an Israeli paper on the ground in Nablus and noted that not only Hamas, but "leaders from the northern West bank, Nablus Governor Jibrin Bakri and Fatah official Amin Maqbul addressed the crowd from a stage erected at the square." He also noted that the "speakers spoke of the need to establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital but did not name its borders, They also hailed President Mahmoud Abbas' diplomatic achievement at the UN." An unnamed Fatah leader told Yedioth after the rally: "You could be letting the Hamas genie out of the bottle. Once, Gaza wanted to be part of the West Bank. Today the West Bank wants to be part of Gaza. And that's the big difference in the feeling of the public." One of the Hamas heads in the Nablus/Shchem area warned, "If Israel builds in the sensitive E-1 area it will be the end of Abu Mazen and the beginning of the Third Intifada," Yedioth wrote.
"The conditions for the outbreak of another Intifada in the West Bank are ripe and all that is needed is the spark to set it off on the ground - this is the working assumption behind the discussions being held recently in the defense establishment, including in a key discussion the Chief of Staff held two weeks ago," writes Yedioth's military commentator Alex Fishman.
- Abbas: Meshal approved an agreement recognizing two-state solution - Speaking to reporters during his visit to Turkey, Abbas criticizes Meshal saying he won't recognize Israel; Abbas to Livni: Hamas must accept two-state solution principle, reject violence, in any Fatah unity agreement. (Haaretz)
- Abbas blasts Mashaal: We already recognized Israel - Palestinian president counters Hamas leader's assertion last weekend that his group won't recognize Jewish state; 'We recognized it in '93,' he says, noting Hamas agreed to two-state solution. (Ynet)
- Significant jump in requests to serve in Kfir Brigade (W. Bank-based unit -OH) - In November, twice as many soldiers requesting Kfir as there were available places. The Brigade, which was founded only 7 years ago, attributes this partly to the fact that in last 1.5years, the brigade operated in Lebanon and Gaza area. (NRG Hebrew)
- Draft orders instead of 'price-tag' for 'Hilltop youth' - Following a series of meetings, the commander of Bakum (the IDF draft center) succeeded in changing the views of the youth about the state and the military. Dozens have already been drafted into combat units, some in elite units. (Maariv, p. 11/NRG Hebrew)
- The secret trip of the Military Intel chief - General Aviv Kochavi returned from a visit in Europe where Israel and the West are discussing how to prevent Syria's chemical weapons from falling into enemy hands. (Yedioth, p. 12)
- Israel's High Court orders state to find alternative to separation fence at West Bank village - Battir's 5,000 residents own about 3,000 dunams on the Israeli side of the Green Line. (Haaretz)
- The 'parliament' in the (Arab-Israeli city of) Umm al-Fahm votes for Livni - Hatnua party is the surprising star of the regulars at the local coffee shops. Haneen Zouebi? "She doesn't represent us. We oppose racism from both sides." Some of them voting for Hadash. "We support Jewish-Arab fraternity." (Maariv, p. 10/NRG Hebrew)
- Watch: Obama lights Hanukkah candles at White House - US president hosts leaders of Jewish community for festive Hanukkah ceremony. (Yne
- Rice withdraws as US secretary of state candidate, citing tough Senate battle - In letter to Obama, ambassador to UN says convinced confirmation process would be 'lengthy, disruptive and costly'; decision increases odds that president will turn to Senator Kerry. (Agencies, Ynet)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.