News Nosh 3.29.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday March 29, 2018

NOTE: News Nosh will come as a truncated version during the Passover holiday beginning tomorrow, Friday, March 30th through April 6th.
Quote of the day:
“I can tell them, look, you’ve suffered a lot as Jews around the world, and there were issues of suffering and agony in Spain or Europe. Don’t repeat what has been. You were treated badly in Europe during the war and also during the inquisition in Spain. Don’t repeat what you have suffered. You are causing the Palestinians suffering by pushing them to the wall. This land, Palestine, is the holy land for all the people of Abrahamic faiths, who lived together through history for centuries. I think we can all live here in this land – Muslims, Christians and Jews – in this blessed land Allah chose for all the good people of Palestine, Muslims, Jews and Christians. This is my message to the Jewish community in Israel or to the Jewish people in Israel.”
Senior Hamas official Dr. Ahmed Yousef tells Haaretz journalist Nir Gontarz in phone interview, when asked what he would like to say to people in Israel.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
Israeli Border Policemen in Hebron detained a three-year-old Palestinian boy.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The fence failure - The border with Gaza: Symbol of security which turned into a weak point
  • BDS is against ‘Fauda’ show
  • The French kippah - 25,000 French marched yesterday (in memory of murdered Holocaust survivor)
  • 4-year-old forgotten in car and died
  • Protective wall: The program that will fill the horizon with Stars of David
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • “We won’t allow Hamas to disrupt the Passover seder” - Preparations ahead of the ‘March of Return’; Hamas also concerned about loss of control of situation: “We won’t allow confrontations”
  • An exemplary example - Fighter in the shadow: Chief of Staff lauded a medal of honor to a soldier in the special operations of Military Intel for extraordinary operations in enemy territory
  • America awaits them - (Pop music singers) Static and Ben-El talk about the contract for millions of dollars in the US and the difficult road to the heart of Americans
  • Tragedy in Netivot - 4-year-old forgotten in car and died
  • “Murdered because she was Jewish” - That’s what French President Macron said when he reached the funeral of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris
  • Hebrew labor: At a cost of 90 million shekels, 45 joint work centers will be established in the Negev and Galilee
  • A Palestinian state will create a demographic problem // (Senior Likudnik) Gideon Sa’ar

News Summary:
The Israeli military and Palestinian organizers prepared for the mass Palestinian march to be held tomorrow in Gaza (and three more Palestinians crossed the fence into Israel), French President Emmanuel Macron and thousands of others attended the funeral of a Parisian Holocaust survivor murdered for anti-Semitic reasons, and another child died forgotten in a hot car making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said Israel deployed 100 sharpshooters along the Gaza border and that they would shoot any Palestinians who breach the fence, while the Palestinians have bulldozed land to allow for five tent camps to be set up where families will stay till Nakba Day in solidarity with Palestinian refugees and in protest of the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but not Palestine’s. Friday was chosen for the march because tomorrow is Palestinian ‘Land Day.’ The IDF has given numerous warnings to Gazans not to participate and it even promised ‘personal' steps against the owners and families of bus companies if their buses transport Gazan protestors near the border fence. Hamas officials were quoted warning Palestinians not to breach the fence or start a fight with the Israelis. Nevertheless, it is thought that some young whippersnappers might do their own thing, which could set the situation alight. Some Israeli analysts thought Hamas wanted Palestinian casualties to bring attention to their cause. (See Commentary/Analysis below.) But in an interesting phone interview with Haaretz+, US-educated and Gaza-based Hamas official, Ahmed Yousef said the march and encampments were the attempt to get Israel and the world to see the Palestinians' plight. (See Interviews below).

A day after three Palestinians managed to infiltrate Israel from Gaza, one unarmed Palestinian was detained near a southern Israeli beach and two more Palestinians were detected trying to set fire to a platform of IDF engineering equipment near the border fence, for which Israeli tanks shelled Hamas outposts in response. Israel is imposing a closure on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for Passover, starting tonight and ending Saturday night.
Quick Hits:
  • In First, Settler Who Carried Out 'Price Tag' Attacks Convicted of Membership in Terror Group - Three brothers from West Bank Nahliel settlement receive prison time for assaulting a Palestinian, damaging properties. Court says terror cell 'set out to terrorize Palestinians.' According to the indictment, in 2015, the 16-year-old minor, who was sentenced to five years in prison, and his brothers, one who was serving in the army, threw tear gas canisters at a Palestinian house where a couple and their infant son slept, beat a 63-year-old Palestinian farmer and threw Molotov cocktails at a house in Mazra’a village. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Arab (Israeli) says 2 settlers attacked, robbed him in West Bank - Police launch investigation after man in his 20s from Umm al-Fahm claims two men blocked him off near Mevo Dotan with their vehicle and began attacking him and stole NIS 1,000; 'They called me a dirty Arab.' (Ynet)
  • Settler violence against Palestinians is on the rise, but goes regularly unpunished - The army argues that they don’t have the authority to arrest Israelis and that the police, who must do the investigating, don’t come in time, so the enforcement is ineffective. (Haaretz+)
  • **Israeli Border Police briefly detain three-year-old Palestinian in Hebron for allegedly throwing stones - A video posted online shows the father asking for the child back and not receiving a response for 30 minutes. The Border Police said the incident was a 'deliberate provocation.’ (Haaretz+ and YouTube)
  • Military Police probe finds double amputee wasn't killed by IDF snipers - Investigation reveals sniper fire was halted at least an hour before Palestinians say Ibrahim Abu Thuraya was hurt during Gaza riot; one of two Maglan fighters questioned under caution tells investigators, 'There's no chance we killed him'; intelligence investigation finds protestor bid farewell to his family as a 'shahid' the night before his death. (Ynet)
  • Moving to Judea and Samaria (West Bank): The mixed gender Karakal Battalion will operate between (E.) Jerusalem and Ramallah - In light of the differences of opinion between the rabbis and the IDF regarding the service of women, the mixed battalion leaves the relatively quiet border between Israel and Egypt and will spend five months in the Binyamin area (in the West Bank). (Maariv)
  • Intel soldier earns medal of honor, but the IDF can’t say for what - Elite Sayeret Matkal, Military Intelligence units also earn group commendation from chief of staff for bravery, resourcefulness and dedication. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinian caught smuggled into Jerusalem in trunk, behind stroller - Attempting to enter city illegally, a Hebron resident—aided by an Israeli Arab driver—hides behind stroller in car's trunk; man spotted and arrested, both him and driver taken in for questioning. (Ynet)
  • How many Palestinians live in Gaza and the West Bank? It's complicated - According to Palestinian statistics, by 2020 there will be 7.12 million Arabs and 6.96 million Jews living in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. But some in Israel consider the data unreliable. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics: 4.7M Palestinians live in W. Bank, Gaza - Latest report compiled by Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics confirms figures presented in a Knesset committee by IDF official that indicated that Muslim and Jewish population was reaching parity between Mediterranean and the Jordan River; 2.8 million Palestinians live in West Bank and east Jerusalem, while 1.9 million live in Gaza. (Ynet)
  • 'Jews are not missionaries,' rabbis attack Israeli plan to reach out to tens of millions of 'potential Jews' - 'According to Jewish law, Judaism has no interest in influencing someone to convert. There’s no such thing,' Rabbi Dov Lior tells Haaretz. (Haaretz)
  • Arab leaders deny coordination with police on 'Land Day' - Arab MKs and religious clerics rebuff Israeli police chief's claims that pre-arranged security coordination between the two sides is in place ahead of annual day marking Israel's 1976 expropriation of lands; MK Zoabi: 'To coordinate with the police on this day of struggle is a contradiction.' (Ynet)
  • The Central Bureau of Statistics report: The (large) gap between Jews and Arabs in access to higher education remains the same - According to the CBS, 68% of the Jewish applicants are Jewish, and only 48% are Arabs. (Maariv)
  • We won't open an investigation into every ultra-Orthodox teacher who slaps a student, Israeli police chief says - Roni Alsheich says there is evidence against Sara Netanyahu in some of the investigations against her, but public interest doesn’t make it compulsory to indict her. (Haaretz)
  • Most Israelis believed media hostile toward PM, poll finds - Survey held ahead of digital journalism conference says 58% of Israelis believe the media is biased against Prime Minister Netanyahu. 47% believe the media impact police investigations into PM. Netanyahu often says he is persecuted by the media. (Israel Hayom)
  • Best correction ever: Netanyahu did not claim Moses brought water from Iraq - The Wall Street Journal's original article made it seem like Israel's prime minister had been woefully misled about the Passover holiday. (Haaretz)
  • El Al files court challenge after historic flight to Israel through Saudi airspace - El Al claims that by permitting the Indian airline to fly the shorter route, which it's barred from, the Israeli government is improperly discrimination against it. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Croatia to purchase upgraded Israeli fighter jets - Squadron of 12 used jets set to replace old Russian-made MiG-21 fighters as Zagreb seeks to bolster defenses against Kremlin-backed Serbia. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • BDS Urges Netflix to Boycott Fauda for 'Supporting the Occupation and Israeli Apartheid' - The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement says hit TV series Fauda ‘legitimizes war crimes’ and ‘breaches of international law.’ (Haaretz)
  • In farewell interview, Sharansky declares BDS movement 'almost fully defeated' - Jewish Agency chief insists the battle for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall isn’t lost, declares Israel’s travel ban a ‘stupid law’ and dismisses as ‘absolute nonsense’ reports that Netanyahu has washed his hands of Diaspora Jews. (Haaretz+)
  • Bucking US pressure, PA vows to make direct payments to jailed terrorists - After US congress passes Taylor Force Act, halting economic aid to Palestinian Authority until it ceases paying money to families of terrorists, President Abbas incorporates $158 million of its 2018 budget for paying monthly salaries; "We will do what it takes for the Palestinian people," says Palestinian official, explaining that jailed terrorists leave families bereft of "primary bread winner.”  (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • First women's yoga training center opens in Gaza Strip - "We are trying to use physical activities to help release psychological pressures so that women here can form a support network for one another," activist Amal Khayal says. Everyone in Gaza needs yoga "because we live in a tough place," teacher says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel disturbed by Polish treatment of anti-racism activist - Foreign Ministry says it's concerned about online attacks prompted by a government official on anti-racism activist in Poland after he gave a presentation in Jerusalem, describing examples of anti-Semitic rhetoric since the country passed the Holocaust law. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • EPA signs agreement with Israeli company recommended by Sheldon Adelson - Water-Gen, which Netanyahu mentioned in his speech at this year's AIPAC conference, is owned by Russian-Israeli billionaire Mikhael Mirilashvili and aims to create drinkable water out of air. (Haaretz+)
  • Trump will not attend US Embassy dedication in Jerusalem - The American president will possibly be busy preparing for a historic meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, also likely to take place in mid-May. Trump had previously told PM Netanyahu he was "looking forward" to attending the embassy ceremony. (Israel Hayom)
  • European powers press for Iran sanctions to reinforce nuclear deal - Sanctions aiming to keep the Trump administration committed to 2015 nuclear deal have yet to secure full EU backing • New sanctions, including travel bans and assets' freeze may target members of Islamic republic's powerful Revolutionary Guards. (Israel Hayom)
  • Report: Israel's ‘Adir’ F-35 jets circled over Iran to search for nuclear activity - The Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida published an article claiming that the jets marked targets in the country's cities. They then quoted Eizenkot, who said in an interview, that "the Iranians do not dare approach the Israeli border.” (Maariv)
  • Intelligence expert: Striking Iran won't solve nuclear issue - August Hanning, who helped reveal the scope of Iran's military nuclear program in the 1990s, says Iran is likely to remain committed to nuclear deal if it faces continued pressure. On issue of fixing the deal's flaws, "the question is how the U.S. acts." (Israel Hayom)
  • Germany defends bid for Security Council seat against Israel - Israel, which has never served on the powerful U.N. body, is vying for a seat ahead of 2019 rotation • German FM: It is normal for a number of countries to compete for council representation, this does not diminish Germany's support for Israeli bid. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Rabbis and Imams Should Visit Schools Together, Germany's Muslim Leader Says - The head of Germany’s main Muslim association proposes sending the religious leaders into school to combat anti-Semitism after Jewish schoolgirl bullied in Berlin. (Haaretz)

The man who tries, and fails, to buy all of Israel's bread products each Passover
Each year, Hussein Jaber, an Arab Israeli, puts a $14,000 down payment for all of Israel's leavened products. Will he be able to scrounge up the remaining $300 million this year. (Nir Gontarz, Haaretz+)
"Few did so much": defenders of the Jewish Quarter in the 1930s return to heroic stories
During the Passover holiday, a new museum will be opened in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, with a story that is almost forgotten from the history of the Jewish community in Palestine: the story of the Western Wall Platoon, young members of the Beitar movement who protected the [Jewish] residents of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City as a reaction against the restrictions imposed by the British in the area, but their activities remained unknown.  )Carmit Sapir-Weitz, Maariv)
Standing with African migrants, former IDF fighters recall their ‘hell’
After suppressing traumatic memories for years, soldiers who greeted asylum seekers in Israel after their long journey in the deserts of Africa have decided to share their experiences; ‘While I was on guard duty, I saw the Egyptians placing them in a row and executing them,’ Staff Sgt. Nir Leibler recalls; ‘One woman was full of scars on her body from melted plastic and cigarettes,’ First Lt. Eliana Bastiaans says. (Amir Alon, Yedioth/Ynet)
The "March of Return" may be the opening picture for a particularly violent future confrontation (Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv) This coming Friday will signify a struggle over a narrative and local successes that are supposed to provide the Palestinian side with victory pictures that will fuel the motivation to continue such events.
Ahead of Land Day: The more casualties there are, the greater the chance of loss of control (Yossi Melman, Maariv) Each of the incidents this week is cause for concern. The IDF understands that every effort must be made to prevent casualties at the events this weekend, especially deaths, because this is perhaps what Hamas wants to achieve.
We can prevent escalation, for now (Daniel Siryoti, Israel Hayom) Hamas has an interest in keeping things relatively quiet so it can go on with its preparations for the next large-scale military conflict with Israel.
Disappointed With the Diaspora, Israel Is Now Looking to Replace It (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) After abusing and dismissing Jewish communities abroad again and again, a new government report recommends finding new Jews that Israel can take for granted too.
No, Israel can't import millions more Jews. Here's why (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) The Diaspora Ministry is eyeing tens of millions of quasi-Jews around the globes not just as potential Zionists but as potential immigrants. But it’s overcrowded here already.
In next war with Hezbollah, Israel should look to 1967 (Joshua Gleis, Ynet)  While both the Jewish state and the Shi'ite terror organization have declared themselves disinterested in war at this time, in reality the next war will come too soon. When it does, Israel will do well to remember the lessons of the Six-Day War and not just those of the Second Lebanon War.
Gatekeepers should protect our secrets (Meir Indor, Israel Hayom) The latest revelations on the Israeli strike in Syria prove that the Military Censor's Office often behaves in a way that is meant to curry favor with politicians and media outlets. It is time for a major overhaul.
As Donors Flee Palestinians, Israel’s Right Faces an Unpleasant Dilemma (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Aid has kept the West Bank and Gaza afloat. Without it, Israel may have to countenance real economic development and what that means.
Infiltration from Gaza is our worst fear (Matan Tzuri, Ynet) Tuesday's incident, where three terrorists managed to cross the border and reach an Israeli community armed with knives and grenades, clarified that our fears are justified. If terrorists really want to do something, anything is possible. Learn to live with it—otherwise, it is impossible to live at all.
Iran: Better now than later (Dr. Ariel Kabiri, Israel Hayom) Foreseeable and unforeseeable implications aside, conditions may have matured to the point where the potentially revolutionary notion of war with Iran can be considered.
*Senior Hamas official: 'I think we can all live here in this land – Muslims, Christians and Jews'
We asked Dr. Ahmed Yousef what Hamas is planning for the Passover holiday in Israel. (Interviewed by Nir Gontarz in Haaretz+)

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