News Nosh 11.15.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Friday November 15, 2013


Quote of the day:

'Regards from Eden, Revenge!'
--Graffiti spray-painted on wall of Palestinian home in Sinjil village in West Bank that was set on fire while children were sleeping inside.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Slowing down on the way to the bomb - AIEA report: Since election of Rohani, Iran has almost stopped the nuclear program. Obama: No need for more sanctions
  • "I never slept with a girl who I knew was 15-years-old" - Scandal of the star and the minors
  • The soft branch - 148-person delegation of IDF Home Front and Medical Corps arrived in Philippines yesterday


Israel Hayom

  • 65% of public: Opposes agreement that US is forming with Teheran
  • Behind the scenes of the singer: This is how they organized sex and drug parties
  • The Americans gave in - Egypt returning to the MiGs
  • IDF helping the Philippines


Peace Talk Highlights:
An Israeli minister says the US Secretary of State is no longer an honest broker in peace talks, chief Israeli negotiator continues attack against far right-wing party Habayit Hayehudi and its leader for preventing peace, while party member tells Congressmen and European MPs that there will be no Palestinian state.
An unnamed minister told Haaretz that the Netanyahu government no longer considers US Secretary of State John Kerry an honest broker in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks since his interview with Channel 2 last week where he blamed Israel for lack of progress in talks and warned that their failure would lead to a third Intifada. "This is a direct confrontation with Kerry, not Obama," said the senior minister. "The diplomatic talks are the secretary of state's baby. His ideas are simply not connected to reality. He preaches to us and threatens us with a combination of a third intifada, international isolation and legitimizing unilateral Palestinian applications to UN-related organizations. This man is providing legitimacy to Palestinian behavior that deviates from the framework of our agreements. He is not an honest broker."
However, chief Israeli negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni pointed to Habayit Hayehudi as the problem regarding peace talks. Speaking to law students at the Minhal College, Livni lashed out again (she did so on Facebook this week) at Habayit Hayehudi party and its leader Naftali Bennett and its member Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who sparked a storm this week when he announced tenders for 20,000 settler homes. "The struggle is between those for whom the rabbis are the ones who give the orders, and not the court. They are the ones that prevent us from achieving peace in the future," Livni said. "When ministers in Israel talk about a pain in the butt, they should look first at themselves," she added, referring to an infamous comment by Bennett, who compared the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to "shrapnel in the butt." (NRG Hebrew)

Meanwhile, in Washington, Habayit Hayehudi MK Ayelet Shaked said in a speech on Capitol Hill, "We will not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state from the Jordan to the sea." Speaking to dozens of friends of Israel from the European Parliament and Americans in Washington, she said that the Palestinian occupied Territories were not "occupied land" but "lands in dispute." She also said that a forced peace agreement would bring continued firing of rockets at Israel." (NRG Hebrew)

Iran-related News:
The IAEA said Iran has halted nuclear capacity expansion under its new president Hassan Rohani, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not believe it, US Secretary of State John Kerry tries to play down tension with Israel, but Minister of Home Front Defense blasts him and western negotiation efforts. Meanwhile, Netanyahu dispatches Economy Minister Naftali Bennett to Washington to continue the campaign against easing Iran sanctions.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency report, in the past three months, only four new centrifuges had been installed at Iran's Natanz plant, compared with 1,861 in the previous period. But Netanyahu said, "Iran does not need to expand its program because it already possesses the necessary infrastructure for building a nuclear weapon."

The tension between Israel and the US over easing sanctions on Iran continues. Kerry said a disagreement with Israel does exist, but the two countries share the same goal. However, Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan blasted Kerry saying, "He wants us to scream only when the knife is on our throat."

A senior Israeli minister said that Israel believes that Washington and Tehran have been communicating directly, in secret, since the Iranian presidential elections in June and perhaps even earlier, to 'cook up' a deal that fails to stop Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu dispatched Economy Minister Naftali Bennett to campaign against the deal being negotiated by western powers with Iran. Speaking at the Brookings Institute Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington, he spoke out against moves which, in a first phase, would apparently allow Tehran to halt but not dismantle its nuclear program. He accused the United States of gambling with Israel's security. He also said that Israel would love to sign a trade agreement with Iran. "There is no country wants an agreement with Iran more than Israel," but stressed that such an agreement must include the dismantling of all nuclear weapons.

Quick Hits:

  • **Suspected 'price tag' attack: Assailants set (Palestinian) West Bank house on fire, spray 'Regards from Eden, Revenge!' on wall - Five Palestinians suffer from smoke inhalation; Israeli military: Incident undermines regional stability; attack believed to seek revenge for murder of Israeli soldier by Palestinian teen. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • Barghouti rejected involvement in soldier's murder, prosecutors say - Indictment of suspects in Tomer Hazan's killing says imprisoned Palestinian militant refused to help plan or finance operation. (Haaretz)
  • PA security forces continue crime crackdown in Area C village - Palestinian Authority security forces continued a crime crackdown in an Area C village north of Jerusalem Thursday, confiscating illegal materials and detaining dozens. [Area C is under Israeli security control and off-limits to Palestinian security, but Israeli security has ignored crime there. - OH] (Maan)
  • Israeli forces cut down 100 olive trees in Jenin village - Israeli military forces on Thursday cut down 100 olive trees in the Jenin town of Yabad, despite a petition by landowners against the decision. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces impose checkpoint on northern West Bank village - Israeli forces set up a temporary military checkpoint on Thursday at the entrance of of Sabastiya in the Nablus district, stopping dozens of cars, questioning passengers, and checking IDs. (Maan)
  • Murderers of colonel 'wanted to give a gift to Palestinians and prisoners' - Shin Bet investigators say two suspects confessed they planned to rob Seraiah Ofer, but decided on murder after learning of his military background. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Indictment filed against murderer of Tomer Hazan - Military prosecutor says Nidal Amar planned to use IDF soldier's body to negotiate release of his Tanzim operative brother in Israeli prison. Inmate reportedly urged his brothers to get him out using 'Gilad Shalit 2.' (Ynet)
  • Some 30 thousand Palestinians sneak in to Israel every month to work illegally - So far 60% of the construction of the separation fence has been completed. Security establishment fears: holes in the fence along with the removal of checkpoints in the West Bank may facilitate the infiltration of terrorists into Israel. (NRG Hebrew)
  • Israel fast tracks construction of national park between two Palestinian villages - Israeli Nature and Parks Authority source says plan intended to block Palestinian development in Jerusalem area. (Haaretz)
  • New telephone system enables bugging of prisoners' calls - Despite claims to the contrary and a High Court ruling due in March 2014, the system is already recording calls placed by prisoners. (Haaretz)
  • Antiquities battle pits Old City merchants against inspectors - The stock of legal antiquities in Israel has not been depleted, despite 35 years of brisk sales; the Israel Antiquities Authority thinks it knows why. (Haaretz)
  • How the Israeli army is raising the next generation of cyber geeks - But Israel's military is bullish on a special after-school program for smart high school kids - from the country's outskirts as well. (Haaretz)
  • Indictment: Soldier shot himself in foot to get sick days - Combat soldier used personal weapon to shoot his left leg; required surgery, lengthy rehabilitation process. (Ynet)
  • Residents fear new war as Gaza marks 2012 anniversary - Palestinian families say they live in constant fear that renewed fighting will break out, as the Gaza Strip prepares to commemorate the first anniversary of Israel's war on the coastal territory. Israel's military bombarded the Gaza Strip for eight days in November last year, killing over 170 people and injuring at least 1,000. (Maan)
  • Hamas leaders stage parade marking year to battle - Gaza holds military parade marking one-year anniversary of Operation Pillar of Defense. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • NGO: Hamas torturing political prisoners - Hamas launches arrest campaign aimed at members of Fatah, other political entities; says arrests have been bolstered to try to pro-actively quell onslaught of protests coinciding with anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Israel Air Force strikes Gaza in retaliation for mortar fire - Israeli warplanes bomb two rocket launchers; Hamas threatens to respond. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • CIA declassifies Camp David Accords intelligence - American intelligence warned that Israeli premier Begin's failing health could complicate negotiations, files reveal. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Russian defense and foreign ministers arrive in Cairo - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov tells Egyptian outlet Al-Ahram: "We have made considerable progress in bilateral cooperation in regards to energy, agriculture, tourism, and infrastructure." (Israel Hayom)
  • Egyptian FM: Egypt not replacing US with Russia as top ally - Russia 'too significant' to act as America's substitute, says Nabil Fahmy after meeting with Sergei Lavrov. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Abbas son wins case against Al-Jazeera in Jordan - Yasser Abbas, the eldest son of President Mahmoud Abbas, said Thursday that a Jordanian court in the capital Amman had ruled in his favor in a case against the Al Jazeera satellite channel. (Maan)


Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.