News Nosh 12.24.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Tuesday December 24, 2013

Quote of the day:

"We hereby notify you that your children are involved in terrorist attacks against citizens of the state of Israel...Stop them before it's too late."
--IDF warning printed on leaflets hung in a Palestinian refugee camp. The leaflets displayed the photos of nine fathers of Palestinian boys.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Terror raises its head - Palestinian armed with long knife stabs (Israeli) policeman directing traffic at entrance to Adam settlement
  • Frustrated // Alex Fishman
  • "Today is the happiest day of my life" - Court ruled that Ethiopian child remains with foster family and not given to relative
  • Rape of little girl: Number  arrested reaches 15
  • (Arik) Einstein Prize to be awarded to artists annually
  • Where is the logic: Chief of Staff earns less than the Chief of Police


Israel Hayom

  • Israel: Extend negotiations by year
  • Day after explosion on bus in Bat Yam, another attack near Jerusalem: Palestinian stabbed policeman in back, missing his heart - and escaped
  • PM makes condition: Release of Pollard
  • Man who invented Kalachnikov rifle died
  • "And suddenly the balcony flew" - Balconies on new building collapsed
  • Child to remain with foster family
  • Who are the civil servants with record salaries in 2013?


News Summary:
A Palestinian stabs an Israeli settlement policeman and Israeli analysts and officials wonder whether a third Intifada is beginning. Another round of releasing Palestinian prisoners nears and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delays the announcement of more settlement construction, but reportedly conditions the release - or possibly progress in the negotiations - on the release of the spy Jonathan Pollard.

Maariv's Eli Bardenstein writes that while the Israeli political sources told him that the stabbing by a Palestinian of a policeman directing traffic outside the settlement of Adam, north of Jerusalem, was an act of frustration, due to the lack of progress on the peace process track, the Israeli security establishment claims the escalation is a scenario that repeats itself almost every time there are talks of peace. However, the security establishment still does not believe that this is the beginning of the third Intifada or and, with the exception of the bomb that exploded on the Bat Yam bus Sunday, it believes that these events are the work of individuals and not an organization. Indeed, the Shin Bet released statistics showing a sharp rise in attacks on Israelis since negotiations began in July. (NRG Hebrew) [Note that the Shin Bet and the Israeli papers count attacks on Israeli security forces as 'terror,' although the Geneva Conventions say occupied people have right to attack security forces of occupier. - OH] Hours after the stabbing, the IDF shot a young Palestinian man in the northern Gaza Strip, seriously injuring him. Israel claimed he was attempting to place an explosive along the Gaza border fence. A spokesperson for the Palestinian security services accused Israel of trying to create 'chaos' in the Palestinian territories by claiming that the increasing number of attacks recently indicates that a "Third Intifada" is underway. "They are using confrontations with the Palestinians as a pretext to quit negotiations and to solve their political and factional disputes," Adnan Dmeiri explained.
The third release of Palestinian prisoners is expected to take place on December 29th and many feared that Israel would make another announcement of the marketing of new settlement homes, as it did with the previous two releases, which would end the peace talks. Maariv/NRG Hebrew reports that a settlement announcement will be made, but it will be postponed by two weeks. An Israeli political source said the decision was a result of US and European pressure. Officials in Jerusalem warned: "A real security flare could put an end to the negotiations."

However, the papers report that Netanyahu is expected to demand from the US the release of its spy Jonathan Pollard. Yedioth writes that Pollard's release will be in exchange for the release of the Palestinian prisoners, in the wake of the revelation this week that the US was spying on Israel. But Maariv suggests that Netanyahu is conditioning the progress of peace talks for Pollard's release. According to Maariv/NRG Hebrew, in exchange for the prisoner release Netanyahu will agree to sign the US framework peace agreement that the US is expected to present very soon. Maariv also writes that, according to another scenario, Netanyahu will agree to the release of Arab-Israeli prisoners. Maariv/NRG Hebrew also wrote that the US is expected to oppose the release of a terrorist who murdered an American citizen. Over 100 Israeli ministers and MKs have signed a petition to US President Barack Obama calling for Pollard's release.

Meanwhile, Israel Hayom writes that Israel wants to extend the peace talks by another year out of fear that the disputes over the core issues will break up the negotiations. The paper also writes that Netanyahu asked US Secretary of State John Kerry not to 'put any document on the table,' out of fear that it will force the sides to adopt it and changes will be impossible. Political sources told the paper that Kerry came with the document on his last visit here, but Netanyahu asked him not to put it down, but just to present its main points. However, Palestinian leaders ruled out the possibility of extending peace talks with Israel beyond their nine-month timeframe, chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said on Monday. "We turn down any extension," Erakat told the official Voice of Palestine radio station, adding that some of his recent remarks about the matter had been misinterpreted.


Quick Hits:

  • **Israeli leaflets warn Palestinian parents of their 'terrorist' kids - In an unprecedented move, Israeli forces on Sunday night put up posters in a refugee camp near Hebron featuring photos of locals Israeli forces claim are the fathers of those who commit "terrorist attacks." (MaanPOSTER)
  • Israeli forces raid Samer Issawi house, 'ban' release celebration - On Monday, Israeli forces barred the family from organizing any celebrations. Soldiers said that no march celebrating his release would be tolerated in the neighborhood at any hour of the day, and that they intended to prevent neighbors and friends from welcoming Issawi home in the traditional way. (Maan)
  • Israel releases Palestinian hunger striker Samer Issawi - Administrative detainee formerly released in Gilad Shalit deal and imprisoned again in August 2012, to return to East Jerusalem neighborhood. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Jerusalem Municipality issues demolition orders to displace 19 Silwan residents - Inspectors of the Jerusalem Municipality handed a demolition warrant to a Palestinian family on Monday notifying them that two residential buildings are scheduled to be demolished. (Maan)
  • Abbas in Christmas message: Jesus was 'Palestinian messenger,' role model - 'We celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem under occupation,' the Palestinian Authority president said in his statement from Ramallah, reiterating commitment to peace deal. (Haaretz)
  • PLO releases animated Christmas video (highlighting Palestinian suffering) - Video posted on YouTube depicts what appears to be the pope travelling through Israel and the West Bank, passing by scenes of Palestinian suffering: a religious settler with dog scaring old Palestinian man, Palestinian people standing in line at Israeli military checkpoint in West Bank, the Separation wall. (MaanVIDEO)
  • Guest of honor for Christmas Mass in Bethlehem: Catherine Ashton - EU foreign policy chief stresses private nature of visit, but she will be seated next to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Church of the Nativity. (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu on U.S. spying allegations: There are things friends mustn't do - PM responds for first time to reports the Americans intercepted emails of Israeli officials; White House: U.S. reviewing the way it gathers intelligence. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Rabbi combats girls' enlistment to IDF - Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safed, announces establishment of educational-informative body which will visit religious girls' high schools to warn students against 'dangers of military service.' (Ynet)
  • Defense Ministry budget to grow in 2014, despite government attempts to cut it - Over 54 percent of defense spending in the coming year will be on various human resource items - an all-time high. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Yeshiva students get reprieve from IDF draft for third time this year - Defense minister pushes conscription of Haredi students back to April; High Court expected to discuss issue this week. (Haaretz)
  • Suspect found dead at Palestinian Authority detention center in Bethlehem - A suspect being held in Palestinian Authority custody committed suicide Monday evening at a detention center in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, sources told Ma'an on condition of anonymity. (Maan)
  • In video: Gaza streets still flooded a week after storm - A video shot on the streets of Gaza City shows extensive flooding more than a week after the region was hit by a massive storm. (MaanVIDEO)
  • American universities: Boycott of Israel violates academic freedom - Association of 62 American and Canadian universities calls on scholars worldwide to oppose ASA boycott, approved a week ago. (Haaretz)
  • Rita: No quarrel between Iranians, Israelis - Iranian-born Israeli singer tells CNN's Christiane Amanpour about her recent album comprised of songs in Farsi, which she describes as an attempt to talk 'people to people.' (Agencies, Ynet VIDEO)
  • Netanyahu joins Western leaders in rejecting Sochi invite - Visit to Russian Winter Olympics never considered, Prime Minister's office says. (Haaretz)
  • Russia sends armored trucks to Syria for chemical arms transport - Russian aircraft delivered 50 Kamaz trucks and 25 Ural armored trucks to the Syrian port of Latakia on December 18-20. (Agencies, Haaretz)

The Palestinian sabra: After his death, an artist's legacy is up for grabs
After dying of cancer at the young age of 23, Asim Abu Shaqra's work was received as part of the canon of Israeli art. A new book and exhibition offer a different angle on the Israeli Arab artist. (Haaretz)
Rare photos of Maghreb Jews surface
The late Yani Avidov, a Mossad operative who helped bring Jews to Israel from North Africa, left behind a collection of 300 photographs of the daily life of the Maghreb Jews. Avidov's grandson donates the collection to the National Library in Jerusalem. (Israel Hayom)


Israel should support Palestinian reconciliation (Nimrod Goren, Haaretz) Few in Israel see Hamas as a natural peace partner. But without a reconciliation between the Palestinians that would bring Hamas into the peace process, there is no two-state solution.
Sign of loss of control (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Abbas must realize that 'popular uprising' he initiated may jeopardize peace talks, as well as PA's survival.
Attack on Tibi is not just tempest in a teapot (Moshe Negbi, Haaretz) The tradition of using violence to silence leaders who speak out against abuses of human rights must be rooted out.
The rewards of peace (William Hague, Israel Hayom) The current negotiations are a unique opportunity to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which must not be squandered.
Bad sports: Tuning in to racism on the radio (Alon Idan, Haaretz) 'You hate Israel' and 'You are racist garbage' are just a couple of the taunts that made for interesting listening.
An unwise ban (Dr. Aviad Hacohen, Israel Hayom) The IDF's prohibition of "Bethlehem" will have the opposite of the desired effect.
Amid the anarchy of Jewish leadership, can we ever have our own Pope Francis? (Joel Braunold, Haaretz) Sure, we're a stiff-necked people that can't seem to agree on anything. But it's the rigorous debate that unites us.
Alarm bells going off (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Sunday's terror attack in Bat Yam was most likely the work of a terror cell. Intelligence clearly indicates that the overall security situation is changing.
Is Israeli drone dominance waning? (Gili Cohen, Haaretz) Greater competition from U.S. and European firms and global military budget cuts contributing to fewer Israeli drone sales.
Hey Pixies, Israel's been trying to meet you (Ron Ben-Tovim, Haaretz) Israeli music fans need to understand why it is that acts they love and that help them deal with the local insanity won't ever come.
Palestinians give up on reciprocity (Eli Hazan, Israel Hayom) The Palestinians have basically been destroying everything we have worked so hard to build.
Otherwise Occupied: The unbearable burden of checking data (Amira Hass, Haaretz) How many soldiers does it take to extract one statistic from the Israeli military justice system regarding the policy of putting Palestinians on trial?
Release Pollard (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) It's time to strike while the iron is hot, and only on one point: Pollard, Pollard, Pollard.
Keeping quiet will help Pollard (Haaretz Editorial) Successive Israeli governments have worked against their own interest and that of Pollard, against common sense and against the always preferable diplomatic etiquette.
Palestinian attacks: A double message (Amir Rappaport, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) "Yesterday's stabbing attack at Adam junction, a mere one day after the attempted terrorist attack on a bus in Bat Yam, and after two months of dozens of Jewish and Palestinian killed and wounded, does not attest to the outbreak of a third intifada...There is still a significant difference between the events of recent weeks and September 2000, which saw the outbreak of the second intifada: Over 13 years ago, the Palestinian Authority was controlled by Yasser Arafat, who ignited the intifada out of faith in the Palestinian struggle. The second intifada cost the Palestinian side (and the Israeli side) dearly and ended in a ringing failure vis-a-vis the public in the territories and Gaza. The pain still rings. According to all current IDF and ISA assessments, the Palestinian public and leadership are not interested in a third intifada. Moreover, intelligence cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces has continued in recent days as if there was no terrorism." Rappaport writes that the Palestinian Authority believes that rising, albeit low-intensity, violence serves a general Palestinian interest and adds that the fact that, "The diplomatic negotiations are - according to all opinions - going nowhere," stokes an atmosphere of unrest that is conducive to violence. But Rappaport believes that the third phase of the prisoner release, which is scheduled for next week, will go forward.
The right to spy in a time of war (Seth Lipsky, Haaretz) Whether the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the NSA's snooping is unconstitutional or not, Angela Merkel's allusion to the communist-era Stasi is plain wrong.
Anarchy taking over (Alex Fishman, Yedioth) "The four Palestinians who have been in killed in clashes with the IDF recently are the hot wind that is fanning the flames of terrorism...If, up until last month, the level of violence in the West Bank was defined as three on a scale of one to ten, the current wave of terrorist attacks has raised it to five. It is still not an intifada because it is not a popular resistance that includes the Palestinian public; rather it is a fawda, anarchy in certain areas...In the Palestinian areas, the assumption is that the current negotiations with Israel have already failed. This frustration is leading to a sense of disgust with the Palestinian Authority and is encouraging vigilantism, which we call 'the lone attacker syndrome.' Despite the Kerry initiative, Israel and the Palestinians are entering a very tense period; therefore, the IDF should reconsider whether or not to increase the size of the forces currently stationed in the West Bank."
What more can be said about playing Wagner in Israel? (Noam Ben Zeev, Haaretz) When it comes to the debate about whether to boycott the composer's music, it's hard to tell who is forcing what on whom.


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