News Nosh 3.14.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday March 14, 2017
 
You Must Be Kidding: 
Police detained Jeff Halper, a prominent Jewish American-Israeli left-wing activist, for suspected incitement.**


Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • $15,300,000,000 – Everything you wanted to know about the exit of the country
  • We will also profit (a little): Following the sale of Mobileye – lowering of taxes to come
  • The end to the knock on the door - – Directors demanding that Education Ministry end (the policy of having high school teenagers knock on doors to ask for donations to charities) saying it’s “dangerous to children”
  • Took it to heart – At a performance in Los Angeles, the audience made noise and cracked sunflower seeds – and (musician) Shalom Hanoch left the stage
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • $15,000,000,000 – The new billionaires, the invention, and the employees behind it who will profit
  • An engine of happiness: pride and solidarity – and belief // Dan Margalit  
  • A badge of honor for the start-up nation // Chezi Sternlicht
  • Stabbing attack in Jerusalem: 2 Border Police were lightly injured at Lion’s Gate
  • In Mea Shearim they hung effigies of soldiers; Attorney General: investigate suspicion of incitement
  • Rutte leads in polls and Wilders leads in the street // Boaz Bismuth reports from Holland 
News Summary:
An Israeli start-up company makes history after being bought by Intel for $15 billion, the envoy of US President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for five-hours and the Border Police said that a Palestinian young man in E. Jerusalem was killed when he tried to attack two Border Police guards inside Jerusalem’s Old City making top stories in the Hebrew newspapers and omitting a key story in the Palestinian Territories.
 
Netanyahu and Trump envoy, Jason Greenblatt, spoke at length about settlements and peacemaking, but based on the dispute within the ruling coalition, Netanyahu tried to avoid making any drastic pro-settler moves.  The Likud party wrangled with Habayit Hayehudi party over a planned vote by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on a bill to annex the settlement of Maaleh Adumim. The vote was supposed to take place today, but was postponed to next week - after Trump’s envoy leaves. Tomorrow Greenblatt meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) Haaretz+ reported that Trump kept two of the Obama administration’s top experts on Israeli-Palestinian affairs. Yael Lempert is staying on at the White House, while Michael Ratney is still at the State Department − though it's not yet clear if this is for the long term, Haaretz+ writes. 
 
There were conflicting reports about a stabbing attack on two Israeli Border Police soldiers near the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem Monday. Ynet reported that Ibrahim Mattar, 25, a blacksmith from Jabel Mukaber in East Jerusalem, followed two police to their guard post near the Lion’s Gate, entered and tried stabbing them, lightly wounding them before one of them shot him dead. Maan News quoted the Police spokeswoman who said that the Israeli border police stopped him as he tried to walk through Lion’s Gate and led him into the police room to search him, when he “attacked” two Israeli border police officers that were inside. However, witnesses told Ma'an they saw a dispute inside an Israeli police post located near Lion’s Gate between an Israeli policeman and a Palestinian "who was carrying a stick” and that the Israeli police then forced the young man outside of the enclosure and “executed” him at point blank range with four bullets. The eyewitnesses said the police were “controlling the situation” and could have easily detained Matar without using lethal force. Matar’s family demanded that Israeli authorities release security camera footage of the incident, insisting that the 25-year-old was “executed in cold blood.” (Also Maariv) Fatah movement spokesperson Ziyad Khalil Abu Ziyad said that “the situation in the holy city,” referring to Jerusalem, “has became unbearable. There is no place left for condemning while Israeli forces continue conducting field executions against Palestinian youths in Jerusalem.”
 
Meanwhile in Ramallah, hundreds of Palestinians took to social media and to the streets to protest against security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which they believe led to the death of  Palestinian intellectual and activist Basel Al-Araj last week, was violently put down by Palestinian security forces. The protests centered on the killing of Al-Araj and the arrests of four other Palestinians by Israel, who together Israel said were members of a terror cell. They were first held in a Palestinian prisoner, but in September, after demonstrations over accusations of torture, the PA released them and it is believed it helped Israel locate them. (VIDEO) The PA opened a probe into the 'events' at the anti-PA rally where the police assaulted protesters and journalists and smashed equipment belonging to journalists covering the event. And the PFLP declared it was suspending participation in the May municipal elections amid its anger against the PA over its alleged aid given to Israel in Basel Al-Araj’s killing and the assaulting of protesters. Before his death, Basel al-Araj wrote a final letter pondering his looming death as he had been on the run from Israeli authorities since September, when he was released from Palestinian prison after being detained without charges or explanation for five months, during which he joined a hunger strike amid reports of torture and mistreatment. Al-Araj had been active in peace protests. Israel said its forces surrounded a house he was hiding in and a shootout ensued until he was killed. However, some Palestinians have raised questions about the possibility for al-Araj to return fire, and have highlighted that the man -- well known in his community as an intellectual and an activist -- did not fit the typical profile of an attacker.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Palestinian teen detained in Hebron as group with video claims Israeli forces tried to plant knife on scene - The footage from Sunday shows one of the Israeli soldiers approaching Muhammad Munif Yousif Qazzaz, 15, with a knife in his hand, after which Qazzaz was detained while passing through the Israeli checkpoint. Local Hebronite, Badi al-Dweik, another Human Rights Defenders activist, said the video was proof that Israeli forces were planning on planting a knife on the scene and claiming it belonged to the Palestinian youth. Al-Dweik claimed that Israeli soldiers would likely have killed Qazzaz if they had not noticed that the man who was filming the incident. (Maan + VIDEO)
  • Probe ordered into police shooting of Palestinian man who lost eye - Luai Abed was standing on the balcony of his East Jerusalem home when he was hit by a sponge-tipped bullet. (Haaretz+) 
  • IDF officer partially blinded by stun grenade during prison security drill - During a joint-training exercise between the IDF and the Israel Prison Service, a female IDF officer was blinded in one eye after being struck with shrapnel from a stun grenade. (Ynet
  • Four allegedly throw grenade into Israeli Arab woman's home in order to make her move out - Suspects from Tel Aviv suburb allegedly threatened the woman and her daughter out of racist motives, police say. (Haaretz+, Maariv and Ynet)
  • **Police Detain Prominent Israeli Activist for Alleged Possession of BDS Material - U.S.-born Jeff Halper, cofounder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, was held after leading a tour of the E1 area across the road from the Israeli settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim. (Haaretz+)
  • Ahead of concert, right-wingers seek to silence Israeli singer over 'anti-Zionism' - The effort to cancel her scheduled performance this week accuses Achinoam Nini of injecting 'political content in her shows.' Nini responds: 'I love my country and I'm a proud Zionist.' (Haaretz+) 
  • Right-wing activist who made "pulsa dinura" spell on Rabin says: "The three bullets that saved the world" - Avigdor Eskin, remembered for his extremist activities against the Prime Minister who was assassinated, made a video in which he claimed: "The same phenomena of nationalism and Brexit and Trump and Netanyahu and Putin would not have happened if Rabin had not been eliminated," said Eskin, pointing to comments made by Bill Clinton. Eskin is currently a journalist who writes for a number of important media networks in Russia and appears  on various panels on Russian TV channels.  (Maariv
  • State Gives Nonprofit That Guards Jewish Farms Millions to Run Schools Project on Judaism - Religious Services Ministry is cooperating with Hashomer Hachadash on project aimed at 'strengthening the link between the Jewish people, its heritage and its land.' (Haaretz+)
  • State Says Israeli Army May Not Have Killed Gaza Doctor's Three Daughters - State argues that explosives not used by the Israeli army were found in the building where Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish' children were killed, indicating that artillery fire may not have caused their death. (Haaretz+) 
  • Appeals filed in case of Protective Edge theft (by IDF soldier from Palestinian family) - Prosecution files appeal demanding a harsher sentence for the soldier convicted of theft during Gaza incursion, while the defense files an appeal for acquittal; defense cites prosecution’s reneging on an agreement for leniency in exchange for witness testimony. (Ynet)  
  • Israeli forces detain Palestinian writer over new novel - Israeli forces detained Palestinian writer Khalida Ghusheh on Saturday morning after raiding her home in the E. Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. The novel, titled “The Jackal’s Trap,” explores Palestinian collaborators with the Israeli occupation and will be published in October. (Maan
  • Israeli forces detain Palestinian journalist at Ramallah-area checkpoint - Wissam Abd al-Rabbu said Israeli forces stationed at the Beit El checkpoint-- also referred to as DCO -- in eastern Ramallah stopped his father Muhammad Abd al-Rabbu, examined his identity card, and then took him into custody and seized his private car. Wissam said he could get no answers as to why his father was arrested. (Maan
  • Committee: 7 critically ill Palestinians medically neglected in Israeli prison - The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs has expressed concern over the health of seven critically ill Palestinian prisoners held in Israel's Ashkelon prison, warning of a continuous deterioration of their conditions due to "deliberate medical negligence" by Israeli prison authorities. (Maan
  • Defense chief Lieberman suggests stripping Arab lawmakers of citizenship under deal with Palestinians - The only way to reach a settlement with the Palestinians is by a territorial and population swap, defense minister says. MK Ghattas: Lieberman is an immigrant, the Palestinians are the masters of the land. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom
  • Rocket sirens sound in Gaza border communities; army: false alarm - Local authorities said that no explosions were heard in the area. (Haaretz)
  • Effigies of hanged IDF soldiers displayed in Mea Shearim - In increasing displays of animosity against ultra-Orthodox IDF soldiers, anti-Zionist agitators 'hang' dummies dressed as IDF soldiers in Mea Shearim with signs around their necks warning religious soldiers to leave the neighborhood. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • For Gaza tailors, a booming business in religious Jews across the border - Mohammad Abu Shanab and his workers make their living tailoring kippot, religious Jewish skullcaps. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to be released -  After being overthrown in 2011, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was cleared of murder charges this month in his final court appearance and after six years, he will walk free this week. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Report: Iran sets up rocket production sites for Hezbollah in Lebanon - Decision to construct local manufacturing facilities follows alleged Israeli strikes against convoys delivering Iranian weapons to Shiite terrorist group, Kuwaiti paper reports. Sites built underground to protect them from Israel, Iranian officer says. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom


Features:
Israel's Gaza Island Mystery: Everyone Seems to Be on Board but Netanyahu
An artificial island would open Gaza to the world without jeopardizing Israeli security, and even enjoys the right's support. So why isn't it happening? (Sami Peretz, Haaretz+) 
Baby steps: The new generation that's transforming Saudi Arabia
More and more young people are having a hard time reconciling the tension between Islam and the pleasures of the West. (Michal Yaari, Haaretz+) 

Commentary/Analysis:
Analysis: Palestinian's Death Sparks Protests Against West Bank Leaders' Cooperation With Israel (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Basil al-Araj, 33, was killed near Ramallah by Israeli troops, who say he was wanted by security forces. Palestinian sources say otherwise.
Attack Outside Temple Mount May Herald New Round of Violence (Nir Hasson, Haaretz+) Ibrahim Mattar, who stabbed two police officers before being shot, prayed in Al-Aqsa Mosque every morning. For Palestinians, there's a rising sense of threat to Al-Aqsa, the result of a series of event Israelis don't see as connected at all. 
Can Trump's real estate lawyer really make Israeli-Palestinian peace happen? (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) Israel will be looking to see if Jason Greenblatt is up to the task, after he arrived in the country on Monday for nearly a full week of meetings. 
Trump rolls up his sleeves (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) Trump's phone call with Mahmoud Abbas proves the White House is giving the Israeli-Palestinian the highest priority. All that remains to do now is wait for a breakthrough.
The essence and example of Israeliness (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) After living in the south Hebron Hills for generations, the Abu Qubeita family stands accused of trespassing on its traditional grazing lands. 
The Israelis Who Cultivate Connections to Europe's Fascists (Nitzan Horowitz, Haaretz+) Misguided right-wing Israelis have convinced themselves that anyone who spouts hatred about Muslims is their ally.
Trump the peace processor (Richard Baehr, Israel Hayom) The U.S. president may be looking beyond PA President Abbas to raise the profiles of leaders who are more interested in cooperation than in conflict.
The Death of Israel's Left and Other Myths (Ido Sany Arazi, Haaretz+) Even though most of the public supports a diplomatic two-state solution, that same public is convinced it belongs to a minority. 
Can we still call it religious Zionism? (Prof. Kimmy Caplan, Israel Hayom) The vitriolic remarks coming from religious Zionist rabbis and educators in recent weeks actually reflect a deep-seated sense of failure. 
The Old Avigdor Lieberman Is Back (Haaretz Editorial) Israel's defense chief has been expressing moderate opinions on volatile issues over the past few months. And then came his Facebook post on Monday. 
Trump Has Scared the Jewish Right. But the Left Shouldn't Celebrate (Jonathan S. Tobin, Haaretz+) Trump's already send chills down right-wing spines with his settlements warnings and friendly outreach to Abbas. But the left can't bank on his 'negotiating skills' hubris - or on Abbas himself.
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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