News Nosh 1.20.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday January 20, 2014
Number of the day:
15 million.
--The number of Israeli taxpayers dollars disbursed to unauthorized settler outposts, even though it is prohibited.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Israel Hayom

Peace Talk Highlights:
US President Barack Obama gives an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement a 50-50 chance of happening, making a top story in today's Hebrew papers. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will meet today in Washington to discuss the 'framework' agreement, which Haaretz+ reports will not include the Palestinian Right of Return, nor does it mention Jerusalem as being the capital of the future state of Palestine. Also in the news, Israel tries to assassinate a Gaza rocket-shooting militant and injures a child and a young man. Now schools in Ashdod closed down in fear of the Gazan reaction. Gaza media has aired a video purportedly documenting the Israeli air strike. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lauded Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for being a great friend of Israel and for taking "a moral and steadfast position against attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel." Harper will address the Knesset this evening.

Quick Hits:
  • **Despite ban, illegal settlement outposts getting millions in state funds - Mateh Binyamin Regional Council in the West Bank has disbursed $15 million to several unauthorized outposts even though such actions are prohibited, Haaretz has learned. (Haaretz+)
  • Jerusalem Municipality issues demolition orders of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem - Municipality workers accompanied by Israeli police issued demolition notices for buildings in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem. Resident Said Nasser said he was handed demolition orders for three car repair shops he owns. The shops were built 20 years ago, he said. (Maan)
  • Israel's captains of industry fear boycott - Leaders from Israel's tech and banking industries will fly to Davos economic forum to support Kerry's peace effort, urge Israel and Palestinians to reach deal to save Israel's economy from looming boycott. (Yedioth, p. 1/Ynet)
  • Israeli forces arrest 4 Palestinian teens near Qalqiliya - Israeli forces late Sunday arrested four Palestinian teenagers near Qalqiliya, taking them to an unknown location, locals in the village of Azzun said. The four were arrested while walking along a road east of the village. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces summon newly-freed prisoner for interrogation - Israeli forces raided the home of a newly-freed Palestinian prisoner, Iyad Shawawrah, in the village of Shawawrah near Bethlehem early Sunday, handing him a summons to appear for interrogation in the Gush Etzion settlement. (Maan)
  • High-school teacher faces dismissal for expressing leftist views in class - In letter to education minister, student alleges that a teacher disparaged the State of Israel and the army. (Haaretz+)
  • Fight over vote threshold goes to Knesset as opposition cries 'racism' - Prime Minister says raising entry level to parliament needed for 'governability.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Israel to return remains of 2 Palestinians on Tuesday - Israel would deliver the be delivered to Taybeh checkpoint near Tulkarem at 8 p.m. Fathi Jihad Ameera, from al-Nasiriya village near Tubas, was killed on March 30, 2002. Ata Ibrahim Samhan Samahna, from Nablus, was shot dead in 2004 at the age of 60. The remains of Majdi Abd al-Jawad Khanfar, who was killed by Israeli fire in 2002, was returned Sunday. (Maan)
  • Israel frees prominent Hamas leader and father of Shin Bet informer after 2 years in jail - After his release from two years in an Israeli prison, Hamas MP Hassan Yousef said he would work with "Fatah and other Palestinian factions to achieve reconciliation." (Maan)
  • Palestinian official condemns Australia's FM for questioning illegality of Israeli settlements - PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi asks for Australian clarification after remarks by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop casting doubt on settlements' illegality. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli minister speaks at Abu Dhabi energy conference - Energy Minister Silvan Shalom gives speech at the 2014 World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. All Arab ministerial delegations remained in their seats during Shalom's speech, while the Iranian delegation moved to the back of the room. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli expert seeks ethics code for cyber warfare - Study by Col. Sharon Afek, former deputy military advocate general, predicts a cyber arms race, 'massive battle between East and West over the character of the future legal regime.' (Haaretz)
  • IDF plans laser interceptor Iron Beam for short-range rockets - System designed to deal with threats that fly on too small a trajectory to be engaged efficiently by Iron Dome. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Gas mask distribution suspended - The defense establishment says the threat to Israeli citizens has decreased due to the dismantlement of Syria's chemical weapons, rendering gas masks unnecessary. Homefront Command officials disagree with the decision to halt mask distribution. (Israel Hayom)
  • Lebanon says spying device found near Israel border - Hezbollah affiliated media report device, suspected to be used for espionage, found near Israel-Lebanon border. Lebanon has blamed Israel in the past for esponiage. (Ynet)
  • Saved from Saddam’s basement, Jewish treasure trove to return to Baghdad - Iraqi Jews are trying to keep the valuable archive rescued by U.S. intelligence officials during the occupation from going back to Iraq. (Haaretz+)

No bookstore branches in Arab towns?
Steimatzky and Tzomet both blame the absence of outlets on a lack of local Arabic publishers, and the hassle of importing from the Arab world. (Haaretz+)

Education for persecution (Haaretz Editorial) Instead of praising Verete for sparking interest in his classes, and in doing so possibly even educating students toward critical thinking, ORT is conducting a campaign of humiliation against him, at the end of which stands a possible dismissal.
Jordan preparing for all options (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) Abdullah-Netanyahu meeting had a lot to do with General al-Sisi's war on Islamists in Egypt.
The price of Ya'alon's gaffe: U.S. to pressure Israel on Palestinians, Iran (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The defense establishment didn't enjoy 'Wonderful Country's’ recent satirical take on the career army any more than the Americans appreciated Moshe Ya’alon's jab this week at John Kerry. Both insults will have their own repercussions.
Hamas losing control of Gaza Strip (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) The Gaza front is threatening to explode because of what intelligence officials refer to as 'gang brawls over control of the neighborhood.'
The Ariel Sharon we didn't want to remember (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz+) Someone must stand up for the families who lost their children, for the Palestinians of Sabra and Chatila, for the people of West Beirut.
From late response to preventative act (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Keeping Hamas in charge of Gaza is, paradoxically, in Israel's interest, as alternative rulers are more radical elements.
The attack was put on hold - not canceled (Amir Rappaport, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) The agreement between Iran and the powers that goes into effect this week does not take military attack option off the table. If Israel gathers evidence of continued Iranian enrichment, an assault seems entirely possible.
Not only in Micronesia - Israel: More legitimate than you thought (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) The State of Israel is more legitimate from every point of view than most of the states in the region, and than many others around the world.
A friendship like no other (Yaakov Ahimeir, Israel Hayom) Canada has always had Israel-friendly policies, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper's eight years in office have seen them reach unprecedented levels.
Oh no, the world is angry with us (Ziv Tidhar, Ynet) Israel has already learned that rushing into irresponsible agreements turns into an ongoing nightmare.
Kerry can survive failure, but can Israel? (S. Daniel Abraham, Haaretz+) John Kerry's peace plan is the very last time that Israel will be offered an agreement sympathetic to its concerns.
Going towards the unknown (Alex Fishman, Yedioth) discusses the major powers' nuclear agreement with Iran, the implementation of which is due to begin today. The author asserts that, "This agreement, in effect, gives international approval to the fact that Iran is allowed to be a nuclear threshold state, as long as it does not move on to actually producing nuclear weapons," and adds, "Israel needs to internalize this situation and learn to live with it." The paper says that a widespread Israeli assessment is that a permanent agreement will prove unattainable and that the sides, neither of which will want to see a complete rupture, will find a way to extend the interim agreement throughout the rest of US President Barack Obama's term.
Why the Jordan Valley is vital (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) Palestinian control of the Jordan Valley region would harm the joint security interests of Israel and Jordan.
Defense minister rises as U.S.-Israel relations plunge (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Moshe Ya’alon spoke insultingly off the record about Secretary of State John Kerry, and Prime Minister Netanyahu was in no hurry to come to the aid of his defense minister.

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