News Nosh 01.09.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday January 9, 2017  
Quote of the day #1:
"None of you should dare compare a semitrailer traveling 100 km/h to a terrorist who is lying down, incapacitated."
--An incensed IDF officer cadet who was present at the truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem wrote afterward on Facebook in refute of allegations that her fellow soldiers hesitated to fire for fear of prosecution, following the conviction of Sgt. Elor Azariya, who executed a wounded and prone Palestinian assailant.*
Quote of the day #2:
“Bibi found it necessary to call a family whose child – because of a militant education he got at home or because of incitement - fired at a terrorist laying on the ground, but he didn’t call my daughter, who endangered her life and shot the terrorist in real time according to the rules of engagement, as one is supposed to, and she saved a lot of people...(My daughter) knows exactly how to differentiate between a neutralized terrorist lying on the ground for 11 minutes and between a terrorist who in another moment will harm her troops."
--Yifat Peled, mother of Lt. Maya Peled, an IDF officer who shot the assailant in the truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem yesterday, responded to claims that soldiers did not charge the assailant because they feared they would be convicted of manslaughter, like Sgt. Elor Azariya, who executed an incapacitated Palestinian assailant.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
News Summary:
A truck ramming attack by a Palestinian man that killed four Israeli soldiers and sparked a storm over whether the other soldiers present charged or escaped, and if they ran was it out of fear of being prosecuted for opening fire, stole the attention and the headlines of today's Israeli newspapers from the news that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was being investigated for trying to negotiate an exchange of favor with a businessman - whom it turned out was Yedioth newspaper publisher Amnon Moses.
A 28-year-old Palestinian father of four from the nearby E. Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukaber plowed into a group of soldiers getting off a tour bus at the Armon Hanatziv Promenade, killing four and wounding 15. A tour guide told the media that he was the one who shot dead the assailant and that the soldiers were slow to respond - a claim that infuriated soldiers. What was most incendiary was that the tour guide said the soldiers were slow to shoot because they feared prosecution following last week’s manslaughter conviction of Sgt. Elor Azariya, who executed an incapacitated  Palestinian assailant. Soldiers are not allowed to give interviews so the tour guide was one of the few at the scene who could speak to the media. But soldiers found other ways to dispute what the tour guide said, either through Facebook or through their mother, as in the case of Lt. Maya Peled. Her mother, Yifat, told Maariv that Maya shot the assailant. “I'm proud of her for shooting and not thinking twice. This has nothing to do with Elor's case. He shot a neutralized terrorist and my Maya fired at the right time, in real time, as was expected of her,” she said, adding, "She should have gotten a phone call from Bibi, and not Elor Azaria. (Netanyahu) should have called those who shot the terrorist instead of the parents of a guy who violated every possible IDF regulation." The IDF also rejected the claims that the Azariya verdict made soldiers hesitate to shoot. Netanyahu said the truck-ramming attack was related to ISIS and that the attacker, a father of four, was a supporter of ISIS. He and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the reason for attack was that 'we are Jews, and we live here in the State of Israel.’ Israeli forces detained five relatives of the attacker, Fadi Qunbar, 28. His family said he was religious, but not affiliated with any group and they were surprised by the attack. “We don’t know what happened with Fadi. He called his wife (before the attack) and told her to prepare lunch,” said his sister. Following the attack, the security cabinet decided to demolish Qunbar’s home.
The IDF’s Personnel Division released data that 41 Israeli soldiers died during 2016, most of them during active duty. Fifteen committed suicide, four were killed in action, nine were killed in military accidents, seven were killed in civilian traffic accidents, Maariv reported. 
The timing could not have been better for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu after the scandalous revelations in Haaretz+ Sunday morning about a recording of his attempts to make a deal with a businessman. Channel 2 revealed later in the day that the businessman was none other than the publisher of Yedioth. Netanyahu asked for a more positive coverage of himself in exchange for weakening Israel Hayom, the paper that is his mouthpiece and the biggest competition to Yedioth. Netanyahu said the suspicions were unfounded and that it was the media who was pressuring the law enforcement to investigate him. Meretz MK Zehava Galon called on the Attorney General to resign over a conflict of interest.
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli Embassy Official Caught on Camera Discussing 'Taking Down' British Lawmakers - Undercover Al-Jazeera reporter films London embassy employee Shai Masot talking to British civil servant about 'hit list' of members of parliament, including Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan, a vocal supporter of Palestinian state. (Haaretz and Ynet+VIDEO)
  • Israeli Embassy in London Attempts Damage Control After Staffer Caught in Sting Operation - Israeli officials insist matter is closed after public and private apologies to Deputy Foreign Officer Minister Sir Alan Duncan and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and with Shai Mascot fired and sent home. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Ministers Back Bill Seeking to Bar Anti-occupation Group From Schools - Bill bars representatives of groups that 'defame Israeli soldiers' from appearing before students, but Breaking the Silence says it questions government policy and not the legitimacy of the IDF. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israeli settler group takes over Palestinian building in East Jerusalem neighborhood - Nearly a dozen guards Israeli settlement group Elad raided a two-story residential building on al-Ein Street in Silwan belonging to Hani Sarhan on Sunday morning while its owners were away in Jordan. At least 500 Israeli settlers reside in the Silwan neighborhood. (Maan)
  • PM rep. tells Amona settlers they 'should bow down before Netanyahu' - During a meeting intended to reach a compromise between the government and Amona settlers, PMO Bureau Chief Yoav Horowitz loses temper and yells at settlers, 'We've been working on this night and day,' calling on them to be more grateful. (Ynet)
  • Despite BDS, (Israeli-owned) West Bank industrial zones are booming - With EU labeling decisions and BDS pushing for international boycotts, West Bank industrial parks are seeing a boom, with a new park set to be built soon; regional council head: companies marketing to Africa, India, China. (Yedioth/Ynet
  • Video: Palestinian officers push back Israeli army jeep from entering Qalqiliya - For the second time in recent weeks, Palestinian security forces early on Sunday morning blocked Israeli troops from entering a city in the occupied West Bank and forced them to leave. A Palestinian officer is heard asking his commander, "These are our borders, right?" to which the commander answers, "Yes, these are our borders. Let him go back." The Israeli jeep eventually moves back. (Maan+VIDEO
  • Israeli forces deliver demolition orders to Palestinian homeowners in Salfit district - The homes are in the town of Burqin, along an Israeli bypass road connecting illegal Israelis settlements and which is located in Area C – which is the more than 60% of the occupied West Bank that is under full Israeli control. (Maan
  • Palestinian Prisoners’ Society expresses concern over treatment of Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody - Iyas Rifai, 32, has suffered dizziness, fainting, bleeding, vomiting, and low body temperature, and said the doctor in charge "only gave me a strong painkiller.” Palestinian officials and rights groups have long accused the Israel Prison Service of medical negligence towards injured and ill Palestinian prisoners. (Maan
  • Bodies of killed terrorists returned, contrary to policy  -Diplomatic-Security Cabinet decides to consolidate inconsistent policy of returning bodies of terrorists • Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan: Do not return bodies. Return approved by political leadership. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian farmland in Gaza - Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers stationed at military posts across the border fence opened fire at Palestinian farmland in the eastern outskirts of Gaza City and near the village of Khuzaa east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported in both incidents. (Maan)
  • Entry of fuel into Gaza slightly eases dire electricity shortages in besieged enclave - After Israeli authorities allowed the entrance of fuel Sunday into the Gaza Strip, the Strip’s energy authority said it had been able to re-operate a second generator that shut down Friday due to lack of fuel in the besieged coastal enclave’s only power plant. (Maan)
  • Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani Dies at 82 - The influential politician supported the country's current president, Hassan Rohani, and headed the council that advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Fuel truck blast kills dozens in north Syrian border town  - Turkey's privately owned Dogan news agency reports explosion was the result of an Islamic State car bomb, group has not claimed responsibility. Around 14 of the dead were rebel fighters or courthouse guards, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports. (Agencies, Israel Hayom
  • Iraqi Troops Reach Tigris River in Mosul as ISIS Attacks Hit Baghdad - The elite counterterrorism force has spearheaded efforts to recapture the city, which is the Islamic State's last major stronghold in Iraq. (Agencies, Haaretz)
Don't blame soldiers fleeing Jerusalem truck attack on Hebron shooter's verdict (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) It’s hard to believe that in the seconds after the truck killed four soldiers, their colleagues stopped to think about the legal consequences of shooting the assailant. 
No ‘Azaria effect’ in East Talpiot attack (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) The cadets’ response to Sunday’s vehicular attack in Jerusalem exposed a professional failure in military training that has nothing to do with Elor Azaria’s faulty conduct in Hebron. 
Netanyahu Is the Media That Persecuted Him (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) Netanyahu benefitted twice, from persecuting himself and being persecuted by himself.           
Netanyahu found himself in a strategic dilemma: now he has no one to blame of “politically persecuting" him (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Contrary to reports, there aren’t “two cases” regarding the Prime Minister that are being investigated. There is a series of stories that branched into a very large number of investigations. Another billionaire who will be questioned soon is Australian James Packer.
Netanyahu ignored the lessons of history regarding wealthy friends (Ido Baum, Haaretz+) In 2000, an Israeli statesman was forced to resign over the receipt of cash from wealthy businessmen. Will the prime minister suffer a similar fate in the ‘cigars and champagne’ gifts scandal? 
Vehicular attacks - not an ISIS patent (Yossi Melman, Maariv) The Azariya trial has no connection to how the soldiers functioned. The Jerusalem attack is reminiscent of those committed by supporters of the "Islamic State" in France and Germany, but the Palestinians did them before that. This is a continuation of the "Lone-wolves Intifada,” which rises and falls in waves. 
Behind Netanyahu's Secret Tape Scandal: A 25-year War (Eytan Avriel, Haaretz+) Since the early 1990s, Yedioth’s publisher 'Noni' Mozes has been determined to bring Netanyahu down – not because of politics, but because of business. 
Netanyahu has been seeking favorable coverage from media mogul for years (Gidi Weitz, Haaretz+) The recordings of Netanyahu negotiating favorable press coverage with the publisher of the Yedioth daily are fairly recent, but the two have been trying to negotiate such a deal for years. 
East Talpiot attack inspired by Ramallah, imitated Berlin (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) The Palestinian Authority started a blitz against the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem and threatened violent repercussions; while it's not yet clear if Abbas and Erekat's pronouncements directly influenced the truck driving terrorist, we can certainly surmise that they set the timing; similar attacks in Europe provided a template to copy. 
As It Turns Out, Netanyahu Is Willing to Negotiate With the 'Evil Empire' (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Jaw-dropping revelations about PM's secret talk with Yedioth Ahronoth's publisher undercut fundamental assumptions that the political and media worlds have been operating under. And did Sheldon Adelson know? 
Secret Tape Scandal Hits Netanyahu Where It Hurts Him the Most (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) If the revelations about the prime minister's talks with the owner of Yedioth Ahronoth are true, it will be just the latest twist in a crazy story. It’s too early to say whether there will be plain and simple justice in this story, but there is already poetic justice. There’s no arena that preoccupies Netanyahu more than the media: In his efforts to rewrite the truth about the behavior of his brother Yoni in the Sayeret Matkal elite special-operations force; in his ride eastward to the political sunrise on the back of U.S. television during his years as a UN ambassador; in his obsessive preoccupation with any mention of him on the air and in print; to his clutching the reins of Facebook and Twitter. 
Battlefield shades of gray (Smadar Bat Adam, Israel Hayom) Azaria's verdict was given as if his motives and intentions were clear-cut, but the reality is very different. In a case where the whole world got involved, a boy who could have been anyone's son was convicted.
Why the Latest Palestinian Attacker in Jerusalem Was Not Deterred (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Fadi al-Qanbar knew all the consequences of his actions - he'd seen it many times before - but the Palestinians see Israeli retaliations as a natural part of the general policy toward them, not as a response.
The remarks by the tour guide who shot the terrorist were inappropriate and incorrect (Noam Amir, Maariv) Security camera images taken seconds after the attack - in which dozens of soldiers are seen running in all directions - does not look good. "You cannot expect a young soldier to operate like an infantry soldiers at the scene of an attack when he never received such training," an IDF source said, and he’s right. But the images are adding fuel to the fire. Still the reality on the ground is completely the opposite of those images. Just last year, 874 IDF fighters disarmed terrorists. 
The Real Scandal Surrounding Al Jazeera’s Exposé of 'Senior Israeli Diplomat' (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Not an insidious plot or an anti-Semitic smear. The Al Jazeera expose is just a story of breathtaking incompetence. 
Time to settle scores (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) After abandoning its allies and failing to forge alliances with the enemies it courted, a friendless Obama administration bids adieu to the Middle East.
Back Off, Mendelblit (Haaretz Editorial) The fact that these recordings were in the hands of the attorney general, Avichai Mendelblit, for several months raises serious questions about his functioning in the case. 
Increasingly, Supporting Israel No Longer Serves America’s Interests (Brent Sasley, Haaretz+) Obama’s UN abstention was only the most recent manifestation of ongoing strategic changes that Trump too won’t want or be able to reverse. 
And Then the Kentucky Radio Presenter Said, 'What’s Palestine, Anyway?' (Sayed Kashua, Haaretz+) I couldn't believe that there's a place called Louisville, and the radio presenter couldn't believe that Palestinians are a people. To each his own.
Blaming Religious Zionism for Elor Azaria Is Pure Demagoguery (Jeffrey R. Woolf, Haaretz) The case that has polarized Israeli society demands us to respond with nuance, precision and caution, not irresponsible and vitriolic declarations like those made by Rabbi Daniel Landes. 
Jerusalem of Blood and Tears (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) Now is precisely the time when all forces of peace should go into the streets and point an accusing finger at those who have perpetuated the occupation for 50 years in defiance of the world’s demand.
Suddenly the Right Is Quiet (Raviv Drucker, Haaretz+) Are there no reporters from the right who have anything to say about a prime minister who gets hundreds of thousands of shekels in benefits from tycoons? 
Are You Allowed to Fire Guns on Shabbat?' (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) A story about a camera that was seized 18 years ago, shots fired by settlers and an imaginary conversation with an editor. All will become clear below... 
Akbar Rafsanjani's Death a Blow to Iranian Reformists Ahead of Elections (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Iranian President Hassan Rohani suffered a shocking blow with Rafsanjani’s death and he wasn't alone. 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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