News Nosh 11.18.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday November 18, 2018
Quote of the day:
"...settlement building in East Jerusalem: where national parks are valued not as pastoral picnic settings, but as tools, by which the state transfers to a private right-wing organization the power to manage and develop public tourist, archaeological and educational projects."
-Betty Herschman, Ir Amim's Director of International Relations & Advocacy, explains that Amendment 17, the settler-supported "Planning for Housing in an Existing Neighborhood in a National Park" bill, which only applies to the national park that Israel declared in the E. Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, is meant to permit the construction of settler homes and push out the Palestinians living there.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The elections snarl - Netanyahu makes effort to prevent dismantling of coalition
  • The next government // Nahum Barnea writes that Netanyahu is already building the next coalition
  • The Netanyahu question // Sima Kadmon looks at ‘who’s guilty’
  • Elections called for nothing // Sever Plocker writes that the elections are over how hard to hit Hamas
  • Wanted: A minister // Yossi Yehoshua writes that Netanyahu is not being a ‘responsible adult’ in leaving the Defense Ministry without a minister in this period
  • The (Army Radio) playlist storm - Sharp reactions after it was revealed that Mizrachi (‘Mediterranean’) music  was kept off the station
  • From Operation Protective Edge to the whole world: The reservist who invented the smallest coffee making set ever
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was trying to avert early elections, but his two main coalition partners have other plans, Hamas politburo chief Yahya Sinwar threatened Israel and ultra-Orthodox flight passengers rioted on a plane that departed late, forcing it to divert its landing to Athens in order not to land in Israel after the start of the Sabbath making top news in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also in the news, the CIA concluded that Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Following the resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the coalition has a weak one-vote majority and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Education Minister Naftali Bennet agreed they will go to elections in March unless Netanyahu comes up with a good bait to keep them in. (Maariv) On Friday, Netanyahu met with Bennett to discuss the latter’s demand to become defense minister, but Netanyahu said there wasn’t political support for it. (Nor is there public support for it. According to a poll, 51% of Israelis oppose it and only 24% think he's right for the job.) Today Netanyahu meets with Kahlon in order to convince him to stay in the government till the end of its term in November 2019. Now Netanyahu holds the three most senior posts in the government: prime minister, foreign minister and defense minister and aims to keep the government intact at least till the year’s end in order to confirm the appointments for the IDF and police chiefs.

The early elections option was the result of Lieberman resigning over how hard to hit Hamas. However, analysts noted that Lieberman was late in his reaction. When he was in the opposition he called for assassinating Hamas leaders and now Lieberman said he couldn’t remember whether while in government he called for their assassination.

According to Channel 22 News, because of early elections, Netanyahu is trying to delay the publication of US President Donald Trump's ‘deal of the century,’ for fear of the demands that will be directed to Israel or a possible confrontation with the US president, which he wants to avoid. (Maariv) Support for Netanyahu from his right-wing base living in the periphery of the Gaza Strip dropped following the latest ceasefire with Hamas, Maariv reported, and now Netanyahu has presented local mayors near the Strip with a $135 million aid plan over the next two years. In the meeting, he told them his Gaza strategy was better kept confidential, Haaretz+ reported. According to an Arab media report, progress was made in talks with Hamas over prisoner exchanges, which would include releasing Palestinian prisoners re-arrested after being released in the 2011 Shalit deal.

Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar made Israeli headlines today when he displayed a handgun he claimed was taken from the Israeli special force that entered Gaza last week in a botched secret mission and Sinwar said that the next Israeli infiltration will end with Israeli captives and the next campaign against Gaza will be met by rockets on Tel-Aviv. However, Israel Hayom noted that Hamas restrained the Friday Gaza protests and that Hamas was adhering to the fragile truce. Eighteen Palestinians were wounded by Israeli live fire in the protests.
Quick Hits:
  • Palestinian farmer shot, injured by Israeli forces in Gaza - Witnesses told a Ma'an reporter that Israeli soldiers opened fire targeting a Palestinian farmer, who was working in his land in eastern al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. He was hospitalized. (Maan)
  • Israeli Supreme Court’s Ruling on East Jerusalem House Is Expected to Lead to Eviction of Dozens of Palestinian Families - Some 40 members of family fighting eviction since 2008 must leave home in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood within months. (Haaretz+)
  • Muslim man to be buried in Jewish cemetery, Jerusalem rabbi rules - Muslim authorities in east Jerusalem refuse to give Alah Kirsh, killed in a car accident last week, a Muslim burial due to claims he sold land in Old City to Jews • Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Jerusalem Aryeh Stern: We must act to rectify this miscarriage of justice. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • In first, US to oppose UN resolution urging Israel to pull out of Golan Heights - U.S. envoy Nikki Haley says U.N.'s annual "Occupied Syrian Golan" resolution declaring Israel's jurisdiction in the Golan "null and void" is "plainly biased against Israel" • Haley: U.S. will no longer abstain when U.N. engages in its useless annual vote. (Israel Hayom and Haaretz)
  • Poll: 66% of the public believe the submarine affair (Case 3000) is very serious - Ninety percent of the public is familiar with the affair that led to police recommendations of severe indictments against senior officials, including those close to the prime minister, according to a survey conducted in recent days. (Maariv)
  • In video - Israeli forces suppress Palestinian journalists' protest - Several Palestinian and international journalists suffered severe tear-gas suffocation as Israeli forces suppressed a peaceful march organized by Palestinian journalists at Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem Saturday. They protested against crimes carried out against Palestinian journalists. (Maan+VIDEO+PHOTOS)
  • Brother and mother of Barkan terrorist faces indictments as he evades capture - Mother and brother of Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na'alwa, who murdered two Israelis at the Barkan Industrial Park in Samaria last month, learned of his plan to carry out an attack two weeks before the shooting, but did nothing to stop him, prosecution says. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Terrorist's home rebuilt 8 months after demolition - The house of Ahmed Nassar Jarrar, who headed the terror cell behind shooting of Rabbi Raziel Shevah, was reconstructed after being destroyed last February during a military raid without a demolition order; IDF says it's examining possibility of another raze. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • IDF to step up enforcement of terrorists' home demolitions - Military review of the execution of demolition orders issued for terrorists' homes finds that from 2015-2018, only one such order was fully enforced •  GOC Central Command tells High Court military plans to ensure demolition orders are executed. (Israel Hayom)
  • Chief of Palestinian police in Hebron suspended after helping Israeli soldiers change a tire - The picture of Ahmed Abu al-Rub helping the soldiers was leaked online and sparked outrage in the PA and renewed criticism against security coordination with Israel. (Haaretz+)
  • Family of Palestinian killed by rocket attack asks why rescuers overlooked him - Mahmoud Abu Asba’s body was found under the rubble by a passerby in Ashkelon after rescue crews had already left the site without noticing him, the woman beside him or another seriously injured woman. (Haaretz)
  • Victim’s mother removed from Knesset discussion on capital punishment - The mother of a terror victim was removed from a discussion on capital punishment Wednesday: She slammed MK Zandberg: ' if it was your child you would have behaved differently.' (Ynet)
  • (Minister) Hanegbi blasted for downplaying Gaza attacks on south - Minister Tzachi Hanegbi says Thursday that over 460 rockets fired from Gaza at southern Israel were a 'minor' response to the botched IDF mission in the Gaza Strip, noting there is a difference between attacking the South and attacking Tel Aviv; Netanyahu rejects statement. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Architects, activists slam Jerusalem Old City cable car plan - Proponents view the cable car as an innovative solution to traffic woes, while critics call it an eyesore, a Disneyfication of the sacred city or a ploy to further Judaize Jerusalem. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Macy's Parade balloons come to Jerusalem - The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is traveling from the streets of Manhattan to Jerusalem; ‘Together—walking with world Jewry’ will be a show of unity between Jews in Israel and Jews in the Diaspora. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli children from problem homes complain of abuse at boarding schools - Beatings, poor food and being called ‘whore’ are just part of the problem, according to a ministry report. (Haaretz+)
  • AG rebukes deputy for criticizing culture-loyalty bill, but allows her to represent him in Knesset - Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked rejects Avichai Mendelblit’s stance, says she will bar Dina Zilber from representing the ministry in the Knesset in the coming term. (Haaretz+)
  • Passengers furious as El Al flight diverted over ultra-Orthodox Jews' protest - News outlets accused religious passengers of violent behavior on a delayed El Al flight from New York to Israel last weekend, but Israel Hayom's Yehuda Shlezinger was on board and presents eye-witness details that paint a different picture. (Israel Hayom)
  • Nearly half of UK Jews consider emigrating, some to Israel - European Jewish Association say they’ve compiled a list of demands they intend to present to political candidates all throughout EU, in order to secure their commitment to fighting anti-Semitism; British representatives criticize Israeli government for its lack of involvement in light of possibility Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour might lead the next government. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Gazan caught trying to smuggle rare ancient coins to Israel - Two highly prized ancient coins from the times of Alexander the Great were seized when a Palestinian man tried to smuggle them into Israel; the coins date to the final years of Alexander’s reign and conquests in our region. (Ynet)
  • UN Palestinian aid agency narrows funding gap after Trump exit - Since U.S. pulled funding in January, EU has become UNRWA's largest single donor • Japan increases funding, and four Gulf countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and UAE – contribute $200 million • UNRWA chief: Funding beyond this year is still unstable. (Israel Hayom)
  • 'Facebook lobbied Jewish group to portray critics as anti-Semitic' - Responding to bombshell NY Times report, Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar voices concern that Facebook hired a firm to go after critics, including her • Klobuchar had pushed legislation that would compel Facebook to disclose sponsors of political ads. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Australia, Malaysia trade barbs amid Israel embassy move spat - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warns moving embassy to Jerusalem could increase terrorism threat • Citing Mohamed's history of anti-Semitic remarks, Australian treasurer insists Canberra will make its own decisions • Move makes sense, he says. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Israel recruits foreign interns to assist in public diplomacy - Jerusalem Institute of Justice hosts dozens of foreign legal interns as part of a program promoting human rights, the rule of law • Interns' work vital to JIJ's efforts to bring International Criminal Court charges against Hamas, PA leaders, CEO says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Kentucky governor signs order supporting Israel against BDS - Republican Governor Matt Bevin issues order that bans awarding state contracts to companies that participate in boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel • Kentucky condemns "repugnant" BDS movement and stands with "our friend, Israel," Bevin says. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Cost of supporting a small democracy: As Israel and China grow closer, Taiwan pays a price - Foreign Ministry officials won't meet with Taipei's envoy and Beijing fights legitimization of Taiwan. But some see it as the democratic version of what China could have been. (Haaretz+)
  • TechNation: Israeli researcher gets grant from WhatsApp to study fake news - Habana raises $75 million for AI-designed chips ■ Hippo pulls in $70 million for online insurance ■ Israeli researcher gets grant from WhatsApp to study fake news. (Haaretz)
  • Trump awards GOP megadonor, Dr. Miriam Adelson, Presidential Medal of Freedom - Presenting U.S.'s highest civilian honor, President Donald Trump lauds Adelson's philanthropic and humanitarian work and her efforts in developing treatments for drug addiction. Adelson, and Israeli-American, and her husband, Sheldon, are also the owners of 'Israel Hayom' newspaper. (Israel Hayom and Times of Israel)
  • UN committee criticizes human rights violations in Iran - Resolution expresses concern at the "alarmingly high frequency" of Iran's use of the death penalty, including against minors, persecution of minorities and "serious restrictions" on individual liberties • Iranian ambassador dismisses "political charade." (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Rohani envisions budding Iran-Iraq ties despite U.S. sanctions - Iraqi officials said they had agreed to sell foodstuffs in return for Iranian gas and energy supplies. Iranian trade officials denied that any food-for-gas scheme could be set up as Iran was a net exporter of food to Iraq.  (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iraq rail service back on track after war with ISIS - The revival in July of the daily service, once a feature of an extensive rail network dating back to the Ottoman empire, is a vivid example of Iraq’s attempts to recover from decades of unrest. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Saudi-led coalition reportedly orders halt in assault on Yemen's Hodeidah - The decision comes as key Western allies called for a ceasefire ahead of renewed UN-led peace efforts to end more than three years of war that have pushed Yemen to the brink of famine. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • In Yemen, a race to rescue a boy from Al-Qaida and a U.S. drone - Many families like Abdullah's had been caught in the middle, with thousands killed in fighting between Iranian-backed rebels, known as Houthis. (Associated Press, Haaretz)

Women on a mission to change Israel's decision-making process
A leftist activist, an actress, a bereaved sister and the mother of a combat soldier are promoting a bill that requires Security Cabinet members to examine all political options, including diplomatic ones, before going to war; 'The state should leave no stone unturned in making sure we only go on defensive wars.' The women are all active in the Women Wage Peace movement. They come from all political stripes—the Right, the Left, and the Center. This group of women is convinced that to reach an agreement with our neighbors, we must first reached an internal agreement. (Yifat Erlich, Yedioth/Ynet)
New tour of Jerusalem (or Al-Quds) offers both Israeli and Palestinian narratives
A new guided trip lets visitors hear both arguments about the Holy City - and promises to leave tourists confused. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)
Shopping and praying: half a chicken, some cucumbers and a prayer at the supermarkets
The new trend of building synagogues inside the large branches of the retail chains is gaining momentum: "Our estimate is that in the next two years, another 30-40 synagogues will be opened.” (Moshe Cohen, Maariv)
'Real music can overcome any political divide'
Ariel Cohen, conductor of the multiethnic Firqat Alnoor Orchestra has been fascinated by Arabic music ever since he was a child • Cohen will host a series of events on the genre at Jerusalem's Museum of Islamic Art next week. (Saar Gamzo, Israel Hayom)
The Middle Eastern particle accelerator is gearing up, handmade parts and all
Less than 70 particle accelerators exist in the world, nearly all in Europe and the United States. In May, Jordan got one. The idea of building this kind of research facility in the Middle East was an outgrowth of the Oslo Accords. Will it draw Israeli scientists? (Asaf Ronel, Haaretz+)
Israel's Suicidal Passion for Tribal Nationalism (Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz+) The fate of the Jews has been tied to the fate of liberal values, and yet the levels of racist tribal nationalism reached here are incomparable, even to those of the chauvinists in the West we increasingly treat as allies.
Curtain Up: Lieberman's resignation revealed the false culture that the Israeli government has developed in recent years (Udi Segal, Maariv) The resigning minister admitted that it was all a bluff. This is a crack that is hard to correct: Israeli citizens now believe more in Hamas and Nasrallah than in the Prime Minister's Office and the IDF Spokesperson.
*How Jewish settlers are cementing their rule over Palestinians in Jerusalem (Betty Herschman, Haaretz+) The Israeli state gives serial legal backing to the right-wingers running a national park next to Jerusalem's Old City, pushing out Palestinians in favor of settlers. That Israelization means control over the most contentious seven square kilometers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Snap elections are a better option than Bennett as defense minister (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Prime Minister Netanyahu’s indecision on Gaza gave Defense Minister Lieberman an opportunity to resign ahead of the inevitable early elections, where he will be able to take on a role of the opposition. Meanwhile, Bennett by threatening to quit the coalition if he’s not given the defense portfolio, proves he’s too childish to be a suitable replacement.
Elections for No Reason (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The coming election, just like most of previous elections, have become another internal ritual, lacking any great significance, in the fictitious rite of Israeli democracy.
The residents of the south became hostages of a cowardly government (Yossi Melman, Maariv) Netanyahu is not interested in war, but he is not willing to pay the price of alternatives. And also: How Israel helped Taiwan's efforts to develop a military nuclear program and the Israeli Foreign Ministry is against Trump.
Avoiding Early Elections Is Good for Netanyahu, Bad for the Country (Haaretz Editorial) It seems the Israeli public has become accustomed to the fact that the future of the government depends on the personal needs of the prime minister.
Averting early elections may be impossible (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would prefer not to call for early elections at this time, but as his coalition partners seem increasingly eager to dissolve the current Knesset, he may not have a choice.
Early Elections Will Limit Netanyahu's Room for Maneuver in Gaza (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) An election campaign will put the PM in a bind: The restraint he could afford with a stable government will be hard to maintain when his rivals outflank him from the right.
Walking on the edge: a few comments following a day of fire in the Gaza Strip (Jackie Hougy, Maariv) The IDF operation in Gaza almost created a hostage crisis, in which the Shalit affair would have paled in comparison.  It turns out that Israel and Qatar have returned to talking, and Hamas sees war also as a solution….Over the past few months, the Hamas leadership has come to understand that it must not be afraid of war. They know that this will be a war of may my soul die. In two conditions they will embark on such a campaign. If a real threat is posed against their existence, and if they can not apply their authority to the population. The Abu Mazen sanctions have brought them closer than ever to the second scenario. Their coffers dwindled sharply, bringing them closer to an emergency where they would become sovereigns without sovereignty. They recognized the growing unrest among the public, and predicted how Abu Mazen was determined to continue choking them. War suddenly seemed to them a good option for restarting the situation in Gaza. They do not want it, but it ceases to frighten them.
Hamas May Be Flattered by Hezbollah Comparisons, but the Challenges It Faces Are Far Greater (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) In comparison to Hezbollah, which faces no competition militarily, Hamas has armed competitors. The important similarity between the two organizations is that both have become part of the establishment.
If we had a pinch of deterrence against Gaza, Netanyahu erased it (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) During the last round of fighting, the prime minister and his government made clear to Hamas leaders that it could do almost anything it wanted, and Israel would not go to war.
Early Elections in Israel: It’s Not Just Hamas, Stupid (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Bibi has retained his hold on power thanks to a strong economy. He should be grateful to Lieberman for forcing an election before it all goes bust.
Hamas and Netanyahu Meet at the Crossroads of Common Interests: Hamas Rule in Gaza Only (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Hamas is boasting victory but as the sovereign it pretends to be it recognizes reality: Not one Palestinian in Gaza can bear the thought of another Israeli offensive.
The Hamas commander who kept a low profile (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) Nour Baraka, who oversaw Khan Yunis for Hamas, grew suspicious when he spotted the undercover Israelis in a van near his home. He went to investigate and was killed in the firefight that ensued on Sunday night.
Netanyahu and IDF vs. Israeli Ministers: How Gaza War Was Avoided at Last Minute (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Army chief presented cabinet with grim scenarios: A war in which Israel conquers the Strip, or weeks of violence after which the sides are back where they started.
Lieberman joins list of predecessors as electoral deadweight (Einav Schiff, Yedioth/Ynet) Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman accomplished nothing of substance during his tenure and his resignation, which was as cynical as his appointment, proves defense portfolio is no longer a quick pathway to premiership.
Lieberman's enemy number 1 was Abbas. Only one of them is still in the ring (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) It was after his appointment that Avigdor Lieberman began to grasp the strategic reality. Still, signs of relief were apparent when he announced his resignation.
Political opportunism at its worst  (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) In recent days, Israeli politics has become a bazaar, its "merchants" trading in mood swings and short-term gains • Do we really want to hand Hamas its single greatest achievement since its inception – toppling a right-wing government?
The Gaza defeat: Netanyahu has proved in his cowardice that he is not interested in fighting terrorism (Attorney Yoram Sheftel, Maariv) Hamas, well aware of the flimsy defeat of the IDF General Staff and the government headed by Netanyahu, succeeded in creating a new equation, according to which the killing of any of the terrorist operatives by the IDF leads to a barrage of missiles on the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.
After Gaza Debacle, Netanyahu Is No Wounded Lion but a Deer Caught in the Headlights of an Approaching Vehicle (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Unlike Ariel Sharon, who also defied public opinion by urging restraint, the current prime minister is prone to choking under pressure.
A national disgrace in the studio (Yifat Erlich, Yedioth/Ynet) Media diversity is important, but not if it means conducting a joking, pampering, dismissive interview with the likes of Yitzhak Gabai, the Jewish arsonist who set fire to the bilingual (Jewish-Arab ‘Yad Be’Yad’) school in Jerusalem.
Why the Timing of the Israeli Election Matters So Much to Netanyahu and His Rivals (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) The next Knesset election could conceivably take place anytime between February and November, but the prime minister’s party is one of the few looking to delay it as much as possible.
The belligerent declarations of the most right-wing coalition in the world are no longer valid (Lilach Sigan, Maariv) We are in the middle of a shift, which was not affected by any center-left party, by a Democrat US president, and it is no longer possible to blame the Oslo Accords or the disengagement withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. What will happen in the next coalition that did not happen in this one?
Populism and empty threats: Lieberman earned the public's disdain (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) The ex-defense chief, who once vowed he would assassinate Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh within 48 hours, will reap little benefit from his attempt to outflank Netanyahu from the right.
With the Death Penalty, Israel Shouldn’t Act Like a Street Gang (Yuval Shany, Haaretz+) A modern nation of laws isn’t supposed to act based on revenge. Its legal system is founded on decency, justice and equality, not primitive concepts like hatred.
Are American Jews disenchanted with Israel? (Elliott Abrams, Israel Hayom) According to conventional wisdom, the Netanyahu government's policies are ruining relations between the American Jewish community and Israel. A recent J Street survey suggests otherwise.
Gandhi of the Middle East (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) Winston Churchill, apparently, is evoked only when Netanyahu wants to persuade other countries to go to war for us, for example in Iraq or Iran. For avoiding war with Hamas, he recruits Gandhi.
Another type of anti-Semitic incitement (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) The controversy surrounding the nation-state law, which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, crops up at every junction because it touches on our very existence and identity in this land • Remember: Judaism was never just a religion.
Saudi Arabia and U.S. on Collision Course as Mohammed Bin Salman's Standing Ebbs (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Trump pledged not to whitewash Khashoggi's murder, and now it seems the CIA’s report will make it hard for him to be satisfied with the Saudis’ response. King Salman will have to consider his own son’s future.
In Palestine, World War I has never really ended (Seraj Assi, Haaretz+) Widely seen as a European war, WWI's impact on the Middle East was both devastating and transformative. But there's been no armistice: A century later, Arabs and Jews still fight over the land liberated from the Ottoman Empire
Anti-Semitism, Assimilation and the Paradox of Jewish Survival – an Interview With David Myers, New President of the NIF
A self-proclaimed 'tribal Jew,' historian David Myers explains why he'd be sad if his daughters married a gentile, and how anti-Semitism could end up fortifying the Jewish collective identity. (Interviewed by Yair Ettinger in Haaretz+)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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