News Nosh 10.25.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Friday October 25, 2013


Quote of the day:

"They reached out and I responded."
--IDF spokesman Peter Lerner on his Twitter exchange with Hamas's military wing.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth


Israel Hayom

  • 80%: Dismiss the mayors indicted for crimes
  • Ashkelon: Assassination at midday
  • History in IDF: Druze brigade commander of Golani
  • "It's too early to remove the sanctions on Iran" - France's new ambassador to Israel
  • Releasing terrorists - and continuing to build in Judea and Samaria


Peace Talk Highlights:
Israel is due to release 26 'hardcore terrorists' on Tuesday, but Habayit Hayehudi party plans to stop that with a new law while Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tries to soften it with the announcement of 1000 more settler homes.

On Sunday, the special ministerial committee for the release of Palestinian prisoners will meet to approve the release on Tuesday of 26 men in Israeli jails since prior to the Oslo Accords. Maariv wrote that the names of the men are being kept confidential and even the ministers on the committee do not know who is on the list and won't until Sunday. The family members of the victims will be informed on Sunday night. (NRG Hebrew)

However, at the government cabinet Sunday morning, Habayit Hayehudi will bring to vote a bill that will forbid future prisoner releases. Members of Netanyahu's Likud party have also expressed opposition to the release. Coalition chairman MK Yariv Levine is signed on the bill and Deputy Defense Minister Dani Dannon wrote a letter calling on the ministers to oppose the release, Yedioth reported
In what the Israeli media calls an attempt 'to sweeten' the pill, Netanyahu ordered that tenders be made for the construction of 1000 housing units over the Green Line. Some of them will be in E. Jerusalem. The pro-settler Habayit Hayehudi party reacted to the construction with anger: "The attempt to connect the construction with the release of murderers is cynical and morally wrong. It would be better if the Prime Minister would not release murderers and not build." (NRG Hebrew)
An Israeli political source told both Yedioth and AFP that American and Palestinian officials were aware of the plan to build. "The announcement of construction in settlement blocs and in Jerusalem will be done according to the understandings that were reached on the eve of the relaunching of peace talks. The Americans and the Palestinians were aware of these understandings in advance."

In addition, on November 5 and November 7, Israel will hand over the bodies of 36 Palestinians, who collectively killed dozens of Israelis.
Maan erroneously reported that seven bodies to be delivered to their West Bank families were 'killed by the Israeli army,' when at least two were suicide bombers.

The release is being hailed in the Palestinian media as a diplomatic achievement made in the framework of the peace talks. But Israel says that the move is simply the result of a petition to the High Court for their release.

Quick Hits:

  • Official: Israel forbids construction of public park in Jenin village - Tawfiq Qabha, a member of the Barta'a village council, told Ma'an that volunteers established the park - the only public park in the village - four months ago. (Maan)
  • Locals: Israel orders demolition of 2 Palestinian-owned buildings - The Palestinian owner of a building under construction in the Hebron district village of al-Shuyukh, said he found demolition orders for his building under construction underneath a rock near the building. (Maan)
  • Israeli rightists tour Aqsa compound under guard - Israeli rightists toured the Al-Aqsa compound on Thursday escorted by Israeli police, witnesses said. An Israeli rightist, who had recently been banned from entering the mosque compound, tried to enter the area to pray, but was stopped by Israeli forces. (Maan)
  • Amnesty slams 'harassment' of human rights lawyer - Amnesty International on Thursday urged Israel to drop all charges against a Palestinian human rights lawyer a day after he was released from military custody. An Israeli military judge ruled that confessions submitted as evidence from other detainees failed to prove Anas Barghouti was a security threat. "It is unacceptable for Israeli authorities to continue to prosecute activists because of their peaceful work in defense of human rights," said Amnesty International. (Maan)
  • **IDF, Hamas correspond on Twitter, inadvertently create dialogue - Major Peter Lerner tweets regarding hit, dragging response from Hamas, to which he in turn replies on social media website. 'It's not dialogue,' Lerner insists. (Ynet)
  • What I learned in kindergarten today about the Holocaust - Education Minister Shay Piron's controversial plan to introduce mandatory K-12 Holocaust studies has drawn a range of responses from educators. How do you teach the Shoah to preschoolers? (Haaretz)
  • 'Courageous' novel set in West Bank outpost wins Israeli literary award - Israeli author Assaf Gavron wins prestigious Bernstein Prize for writers under 50, for his novel "The Hilltop." (Haaretz)
  • In waiting mode: Israel grapples with unclear Iranian threat - At conference hosted by Tel Aviv University, even hawks see room for compromise over Tehran's nuclear program. (Haaretz)
  • Protesters shut down street in Qalandiya refugee camp - A group of men in Qalandiya refugee camp blocked a main road Thursday to protest the Palestinian Authority's continued detention of a political prisoner, Rabee' Hamad, a man who was released from Israeli prison 8 months ago. (Maan)
  • Ambassador's wife offers relief to Syria's civil war victims - and to Israeli hospital - Wife of Australian ambassador tells the world what Rebecca Sieff hospital in Safed is doing for children wounded in the Syrian civil war. (Haaretz)
  • Group: Israel accuses Hebron woman of trying to stab soldier, when she only slapped him - Israeli military forces claim a 20-year-old woman attempted to stab an Israeli soldier. Her father said Israeli forces stopped the car she was traveling in at a temporary checkpoint and searched her in a provocative manner, for which she slapped one of the soldiers in the face. (Maan)
  • Druze officer named commander of elite Golani infantry brigade - Col. Rassan Alian will command the Israel Defense Forces' Golani brigade, the second Druze officer to lead a regular infantry unit. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Minister: Major earthquake in Israel could kill 7,000 - Contractors aren't being offered adequate incentives to reinforce public housing projects, Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan admits. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Gaza students create energy-saving hospital cleaning device - Engineers hope device will soon be used to sterilize hospital rooms in Gaza. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran may be one month from a nuclear bomb, report says - 'Shortening breakout times have implications for any negotiation with Iran,' says new assessment by the U.S. Institute for Science and International Security. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Report: White House working to stop Congress from siding with Netanyahu on Iran - The Obama administration is reportedly worried that Netanyahu's warnings on Iran will be translated into action by the legislative branch.  Senators concerned administration will ease sanctions on Iran to facilitate talks. (Israel Hayom)


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