News Nosh 2.6.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday February 6, 2018
Quote of the Day #1:
“We in the Gaza Strip live in a catastrophe. Total collapse. Have you ever heard of a people who wants to die? A people that is pushing Hamas to go to war? The situation is not ahead of a collapse, rather we are already at the heart of the storm. We're haven't yet started eating each other."
--Maariv published a letter to Israelis from Mohammed A., a resident of the Gaza Strip.*

Quote of the Day #2:
"Israel, in 99th place, is 24 rungs below Palestine, in 75th. The vicissitudes of fate. Some people occupy a top position, while others occupy another people."
--Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi remarks on Israel and Palestine's FIFA soccer ratings in an interview in Yedioth/Ynet.**

Front Page:
  • Father of four stabbed to death in attack at entrance to Ariel (settlement); Search for the terrorist
  • Number of women who freeze eggs in Israel grew 10 times within six years
  • US and Russia renewed the nuclear arms race // NYT
  • Poland canceled (Minister) Bennett’s visit after he said the Polish participated in the murder of Jews in the Holocaust
  • Municipality of Modiin Illit (religious settlement) rules: Women sit at the back of the bus, no casual conversations are to be held
  • Prime Minister of India will participate in a ceremony in memory of Arafat in Ramallah
  • Politics are turning the ballroom season in Vienna into a reason for demonstrating // NYT
  • We won’t forget // Naftali Stern on expulsion of asylum seekers
  • Most important the security - Some 20% of family expenses is on insurances - more than on food
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The terrorist from Tel-Aviv - homeless drug addict
  • The happiness that was cut off: Itamar was murdered, four children will grow up without a father
  • Hallelujah to 70 - Exclusive: The song that won us the Eurovision in ’79 will be the main song of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the state
  • Another concerning incident at Thelma Yellin High School for the Arts: The principal, the student and the bare-chested waitresses
  • Senior officer in Navy: “I would prefer that Egypt did not have a German submarine”
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
The murder in the West Bank of another settler rabbi, his murderer, a homeless 21-year-old Israeli Arab with a Jewish mother, a Palestinian father and a drug problem, who is on the run, the canceling by Poland of the Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennet’s visit to Poland after Bennet said Polish people murdered Jews in the Holocaust, (earlier in the day, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel expected its allies, including Poland, to help it protect "the truth" about the Holocaust), while Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman contradicted the IDF Chief of Staff and Gazans, saying there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and a senior Navy officer expressed concern that Israel allowed the German submarine building company involved in the scandal in Israel to sell similar submarines to Egypt, making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Maariv, Haaretz and Yedioth’s Ynet shared the Gazan’s humanitarian crisis and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s denial of its existence, while Yedioth and Israel Hayom ignored the subject altogether. Despite numerous recent Israeli security establishment assessments that the humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza is explosive, and the IDF Chief of Staff warned of the Gaza crisis on Sunday, but Lieberman insisted that while the situation is difficult for Gazans, there is no overall humanitarian crisis. Surprisingly, Maariv ran a number of articles that described how bad the situation on the ground and it also interviewed two Gaza Strip residents.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) slammed Lieberman, saying he is working to raise money for Hamas, but rejecting Katz’s plan to create an artificial island for Gazan commerce, which would alleviate the humanitarian crisis, MaarivOnline reported. "I warned in recent days that Gaza is on the brink of a humanitarian collapse and is turning into a ticking bomb," Katz said. "I think an absolute majority of my friends understand that an island should be created on the bridge to the Gaza Strip, and senior IDF officials support this clearly, but the defense minister is opposed." Ynet’s Palestinian affairs and military reporters, Elior Levy and Yoav Zitun, wrote a detailed piece looking at what is wrong in Gaza and why the situation is approaching a critical point. Maariv reported that three Gaza hospitals ceased to operate and public pressure on Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, is increasing. People are even pressuring Hamas to act against Israel in order to change the situation. (See Op-Ed by Mohammed. A. below). Maariv also reported that the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas did not improve the health situation in Gaza. A report by Physicians for Human Rights revealed that 45% of the essential drugs are still lacking, the medical devices are disabled and wages are continuing to decline. One Gaza resident told Maariv’s Yasir Ukbi: "We are in a real crisis, businesses are collapsing. This is not a poverty line like in Israel. It's a real hunger. Families don’t find bread, or they make do with just one meal a day.”
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli forces detain Palestinian journalist after assaulting him and his brother - Israeli forces raided the home of Ahmad Arabeed, 28, a journalist who works for al-Hurriyah radio in Ramallah. The forces reportedly assaulted Arabeed and one of his brothers and held the family in one room and seized their cellular phones. Arabeed was taken to an unknown location. (Maan)
  • Israeli soldiers assault Palestinian parents as they try to stop arrest of their son - Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron attempted to arrest Muhammad al-Muhtaseb, 27, when al-Muhtaseb’s father and mother intervened. Israeli soldiers then reportedly assaulted the parents, causing the mother to be sent to the hospital for treatment. (Maan)
  • Palestinian PM slams Israel for demolition of Bedouin classrooms in E1 - Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah condemned the demolition of two classrooms in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar on Sunday, saying "besides the fact that such a demolition contravenes international humanitarian law, this latest attack is directed against Palestinian schoolchildren, and is simply immoral.” (Maan)
  • Israeli bulldozer destroys Palestinian water pipeline in Jordan Valley - Israeli bulldozers destroyed water lines supplying tens of acres of land in the northern Jordan Valley that irrigate some 150 dunams (37 acres) of agricultural land belonging to local Bassem Faqha. (Maan)
  • Egypt Denies Report of 100 Israeli Airstrikes in Sinai Over Last Two Years - Egyptian army spokesperson insists only Egyptian military combats terror in the Peninsula. According to New York Times, Israeli attacked terrorist forces Egypt had trouble handling. (Haaretz)
  • Protesters in Switzerland demand Trump rescind his Jerusalem decision - Hundreds of protesters carried banners through the centre of the Swiss capital calling on America and Israel to respect international law. (Maan)
  • Prosecution moves forward on indicting alleged terrorist despite accomplice's acquittal - State Attorney's Office seeks to indict east Jerusalem resident Ashraf Salameh, 25, for planning to carry out a terrorist attack at an Eilat hotel, despite the fact his alleged accomplice, Khalil Nimri, was acquitted in November after the hotel clerk admitted to false identification. "It's a situation that according to past rulings, as a rule, should lead to an acquittal," Salameh's defense counsel said. [NOTE: After being detained and interrogated by the Shin Bet in 2015, Nimri made an admission that he had committed the crime he was accused of. But then the hotel clerk called the police back to say he made a mistake, it wasn’t Nimri, it was Salameh, who asked suspicious questions at the hotel. But the police continued to charge Nimri, changing its version of what it believed happened. At Nimri's acquittal, the court gave a severe criticism to the Shin Bet: “Your interrogation methods could make innocent people admit to guilt.” - OH] (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli Police Arrest Seven Suspected of Forcing Foreigners Into Prostitution - Trafficking network allegedly brought women from Ukraine and Moldova to Israel and forced them to work as prostitutes. (Haaretz)
  • Israel working to deport victim of human trafficking - 'Sofia' was lured to Israel and forced into sex work; now separated from her son’s Israeli father, she faces expulsion. (Haaretz+)
  • Sephardic chief rabbi rails against civil courts system, former chief justice Barak - Chief Rabbi Yosef says civilian courts are 'worse than gentiles' instances,' litigating before them is akin to 'kicking the Torah' and former chief justice Aharon Barak, who criticized a bill seeking to endow rabbinical courts with powers of arbitration in financial disputes, was a mere 'broken shard' to be cast away. (Ynet)
  • As work begins, Reform and Conservative Jews split over future of Western Wall prayer space - Conservative Movement takes a more conciliatory tone on renewed work on egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel. (Haaretz)
  • Lawyer of the driver who recorded Yair Netanyahu: "He went underground after being threatened" - Bogiz Kenig, who represents the security guard who allegedly transferred the tapes to the news company, revealed on Channel 10: "I am not in contact with him, he received terrible threats and disappeared.” (Maariv)
  • Prosecution accuses former deputy minister Kirschenbaum of giving away state budgets in return for bribes - Former Yisrael Beytenu deputy minister Faina Kirschenbaum allegedly gave away portions of state budget in form of coalition funds over which she was entrusted in return for bribes from public institutions, NGOs and private persons; unprecedentedly, prosecution says Kirschenbaum most senior official to solicit bribes, goad others to collude with her. (Ynet)
  • Hundreds of lawyers meet in Israel for conference to combat BDS - The first international conference aimed at combating boycott movement starts next week. BDS is a political, economic, cultural, philosophical war aimed at delegitimizing Israel, says anti-BDS pioneer. ‘Israel must fight BDS as it would any other war.’ (Israel Hayom)
  • IPOs slated for five Israeli government-owned companies - The sale of shares in Israel Aerospace Industries, the Mekorot national water company, Israel Post, Haifa Port and Ashdod Port, could generate billions of shekels in revenue for the government. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli-American Hacker Allegedly Behind U.S. Bomb Threats Attempts to Escape Police Custody - Arriving in Jerusalem detention facility, Michael Kadar evaded police and fled by foot but was overtaken by Prison Service officers. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Modi to 'honor' Arafat in 'historic Palestine visit,' three weeks after Netanyahu's India tour - Purpose of the visit is to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and India's commitment to 'deepening ties with Palestine.’ (Haaretz+)
  • (TV reporter) Tzvika Yehezkeli upsets in Arab countries: “He was sent by Israeli Mossad" - The new series by the Channel 10 journalist, “Under False Identity," in which he pretended to be a Muslim and infiltrated Islamic strongholds in Europe, aroused quite a bit of criticism in Israel, mainly because of claims that Yehezkeli exaggerated his descriptions of the threat by Muslims to Europe. But it turns out that the criticisms do not end in Israel and the series is stirring up the social media network in neighboring countries. "Why doesn’t our General Intelligence act against him?” one asked. (Maariv)
  • Arab media on Trump's peace plan: “Sure recipe for explosion" - Not only the Palestinian press has reservations about "Israeli bullying, supported by the United States." The newspapers in Iraq and Kuwait also warn of the resentment aroused by US policy. (Maariv)
  • Iran says Trump's hostility to 2015 nuclear deal scares off investors - After years of sanctions, Iran hopes to attract more than $150 billion in investments to rebuild its energy industry • Last year, Iran signed a $5 billion gas deal with France's Total S.A. and a Chinese oil company to develop a massive offshore gas field. (Israel Hayom)
  • Man shot and arrested in Iran after trying to break into presidential office - Man shrouded in white, carrying machete, shot in leg after attempting to break into the office of Iran's president; President Rouhani may not have been in building at the time; Possibly related to economic problems recently plaguing Iran as prices, unemployment rise, savings dwindle. (Agencies, Ynet)

These African Asylum Seekers Came to Israel Alone as Kids. Now They Could Face Deportation: 'Israel Is Part of Who I Am'
Some 350 African asylum seekers arrived in Israel as unaccompanied minors. Yet even though they go to Israeli schools, speak fluent Hebrew and see the Jewish state as their home, they face the threat of expulsion back to a continent they once fled. (Dina Kraft, Haaretz+)

The risk of war in Gaza (Haaretz Editorial) Israel must immediately initiate a major change in policy concerning Gazans. Otherwise, it will be directly responsible for the next war.
*“Gazans want war, but Hamas is not interested": resident of the Gaza Strip in a special column (Mohammed A., Maariv) "The Gaza Strip is in total collapse, but Israel must understand that the more it presses on Hamas, the Gazans unite around it," says Mohammed A. to Maariv Online, warning of the ramifications of the blockade. “We in the Gaza Strip live in a catastrophe. Total collapse. Have you ever heard of a people who wants to die? A people that is pushing Hamas to go to war? The situation is not ahead of a collapse, rather we are already at the heart of the storm. We just need people to eat each other. The Israeli government must understand that the more it presses Hamas, the more Gazans unite around Hamas. This is especially true in view of the full belief of the residents of the Gaza Strip that Hamas has done everything, in fact, to bring about internal Palestinian reconciliation. But the Palestinian Authority, headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, is not interested in reconciliation. Even those who used to defend the PLO stopped doing so. They saw that the PLO was not interested in reconciliation. Today commercial traders are going to put trading on strike. They are helpless. Tens of thousands of checks are returned, with banks empty of money, which caused many to sell their real estate, which they had bought on better days to keep their business above water. We are all drowning here. The situation is very difficult. Just like the patients at the medical centers, who because of (lack of) fuel, they shut down their resuscitation devices, this is how people feel. The number of divorces, suicides and robberies only increases. We are only short of people eating each other. And if that were not enough, then Donald Trump came up with his announcement about UNRWA, which holds most of the families a bit above water and wants to cancel the relief for those families. I want to tell you what is going on in the Palestinian street. For the first time, they turn to Hamas and demand, even beg it, to go to war. They are fed up with the difficult situation. Only the senior echelon of Hamas prevents a war with Israel. Hamas, for its own reasons, is not interested in going to war at this stage. I appeal to the Government of Israel and all the sane people there to act immediately to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip. Forget about Hamas releasing the prisoners and the soldiers without a deal. The Israeli authorities must act to reduce the pressure due to the severe humanitarian crisis. Hamas only will not only not be deterred by Israeli pressure, but it is growing stronger every day. Because of Abu Mazen who is not interested in appeasement and taking responsibility for the Gaza Strip, and also because of Netanyahu and his right-wing government.
The fate of the Arabs: Like drugged cockroaches in a bottle (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) Arabs are part of nature, too, but today Arabs are the object of abuse by none other than the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.
Civility and tolerance have disappeared in the face of ‘don’t be a sucker’ (Carmit Sapir Weitz, Maariv) I fear the moment there is no energy left to fight for decency and politeness, while on the other side the taxi driver yells, "You won’t sleep if you don’t keep the change? It’s just 10 cents!” [In response to asking him to give the change that he owes the passenger. - OH]
Corruption Alone Won't Lead to Netanyahu's Downfall (Uzi Baram, Haaretz+) Nothing is keeping Netanyahu from being removed from power over any issue. The question is whether the fight against corruption can create the energy necessary to change the government
The Left's successful failure (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) Those who say the Left's views on how to achieve peace are obsolete ignore the fact that since Menachem Begin's time, when the Right is in power it essentially adopts the Left's approach, making territorial concessions and supporting a two-state solution.
The two deadly attacks in a tense diplomatic period signify a direction towards further escalation (Tal Lev Ram, Maariv) The atmosphere on the ground, the political crisis, the anger at Trump and the ongoing incitement in the Palestinian Authority reflect in practice what the chief of staff meant when he spoke about the explosiveness of the Palestinian arena - and not only in the Gaza Strip.
The radical left-wing rejectionist front (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) The ‘forces of progress’ are repeatedly encouraging the Palestinians to radicalize their stance; they are turning the ‘right of return’ into the most important thing, although there is no such right and although it’s clear that the actual demand for such a right is an obstacle to peace.
Don't wait for the next murder (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) Outposts should not just be legalized as a response to terrorism, but out of a moral obligation to do right by settler families.
Netanyahu is out to beat the system - but Trump could destroy it (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) President’s claim that Nunes memo clears him is shameful if contrived and terrifying if it’s not.
Despite attempts to assassinate it, the two-state idea still prevails (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) The prime minister's conduct in the political sphere leaves the flood to those who come after him. Those, be they left or right, will have to deal with the cumulative Palestinian frustration.
Bidding farewell to a failed paradigm (Maj. Gen. (ret.) Gershon Hacohen, Israel Hayom) To think outside the box when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, you first need to be familiar with the box, and with the lid in particular.
'We' Will Stop the Expulsion of Asylum Seekers (Naftali Stern, Haaretz+) Israelis' collective shame, the awareness that this is not how a refugee nation should behave, can stop the deportations.
'Man, She's Pretty': Behind Syrian Rebels' Gruesome Murder of a Female Kurdish Fighter (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The joyful mutilation of the corpse of the female Kurdish fighter is part of the process of oppressing the Kurds, and of women who dare to go out to battle.
**Ahmad Tibi: 'I will not sit alongside Miri Regev in the stands'
The Joint List MK, who happens to be a diehard supporter of the Bnei Sakhnin Israeli Arab football team, is unimpressed with Betar Jerusalem's struggles against its own racist support, looks down on Sports Minister Regev's performance and needles Israel on being overtaken by Palestine in the FIFA standings: 'Some occupy top position, others occupy another people.' (Interviewed by Mickey Schwartz in Yedioth/Ynet)

Let's talk about Betar Jerusalem. Is the decision to hold it games against Sakhnin without supporters the right one?
"It's a badge of shame attesting to Israel's inability to eradicate the blight of racism. Some people are well-intentioned, but I highly doubt they'll succeed until significant, drastic measures are taken. The decision to close the eastern stands (of Teddy Stadium) is a step in the right direction, but by no means sufficient."
Betar Jerusalem has never fielded an Arab player. Is the team's management truly doing enough to sign an Arab player?
"I don't know, and don't think so. There's the roadblock put up by fans. The owner isn't the problem."
Israel is ranked below the Palestinian national team in the latest FIFA rankings. What do think about that?
"Israel, in 99th place, is 24 rungs below Palestine, in 75th. The vicissitudes of fate. Some people occupy a top position, while others occupy another people."

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