News Nosh 1.28.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday January 28, 2019

You Must Be Kidding:
Not only did the Israeli soldiers allow the settlers who opened fire in the Palestinian village of Al-Mughayyir to leave the scene of the crime Saturday where a Palestinian man was shot in the back and killed, the Israel Police who are investigating the man's killing had yet to question any member of the settlers involved by Sunday night.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Special - The patient from the medicine store room - Even in the hallway there’s no room left: This is how the dire straits of the health system look
  • Expose - How easy it is to reach the Iron Dome - Who is protecting the system that is protecting Israel from missiles?
  • From the Western Wall to Caesarea: These are the sites that the tourists in Israel love the most
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

Elections 2019 and Netanyahu Corruption Cases News:
Former Israel police chief Roni Alsheikh said it would be hard to imagine that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu won't be indicted on bribery. (Also Maariv) “I think we can all see the evidence,' Alsheich said, infuriating the Likud party, which accused him of working with the left-wing to push for an indictment. The Netanyahu-supporting ‘Israel Hayom’ tabloid ran an Op-Ed by Haim Shine across the top fold of the paper with the headline “Alsheikh continues to contaminate the investigation” that made it look like it was an article, not an opinion.

Meanwhile, the right-wing has been increasing its attacks against the popular candidate, former chief of staff Benny Gantz, ahead of his first speech Tuesday, calling him a ‘leftists.’ Leaders of ‘Hayamin Hadash’ party, Ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, said he “preferred the lives of terrorists over those of soldiers,” Maariv reported. Israel Hayom reported that according to the internal polling that Gantz commissioned, merging the Labor party and the Israel Resilience Party candidate lists will not increase the overall size of the center-Left bloc and could strengthen Netanyahu’s Likud party. Maariv reported that Gantz and another former IDF chief of staff are close to signing an agreement to run together. Meanwhile, Palestinian film production company ‘Media Town’ said Gantz stole its drone footage of Gaza destruction for his controversial campaign video. "These stolen images were used to boast about the murder and destruction Gantz committed in Gaza,” said Ashraf Mashharawi, the chief executive of Media Town. “It is inhuman to destroy people’s lives and then say you are proud of it.” Mashrawi told +972mag that he also demanded YouTube remove the video but has yet to receive a response from the company. “Usually they take down the video within a few hours, but it has been two days and they have still not answered us.”

Other News Summary:
After days of silence, Israel acceded to the US request that it recognize Venezuela’s self-declared interim president as the official leader, for which Juan Guaido thanked Netanyahu.

*The papers reported that there were conflicting versions over who shot in the back and killed the Palestinian man, Hamdy Taleb Na'asan, 48, in his village Saturday, the Israeli settlers or the soldiers. The settlers admitted they opened fire but only in the air, and they changed what they said about the soldiers and now accuse them of opening fire, too. The soldiers say they didn’t open fire and the Palestinians say both opened fire at them, injuring numerous people and killilng Na’asan, a father of four. Only Haaretz+ took note that until the papers went to press last night, the Israeli police did not detain or question any of the settlers who entered the village. And, that the soldiers who were at the scene on Saturday did not stop or detain the settlers when it happened. And only Haaretz sent a reporter to cover the funeral and talk to the witnesses of the attack on the village. Amira Hass visited the village and interviewed the witnesses.
From the article:
“One witness recalls 10-15 settlers firing their guns, while another remembers Hamdi Na'asan being fatally shot in back as he went to help the wounded.” [There’s a video of that, as well. - OH] 
"Akram told his family and friends that settlers had approached and started to vandalize his tractor, and that he had hurried to the area’s army post asking for intervention. He said he told the soldiers that settlers had damaged his tractor, and the soldiers told him he should go to the police because it wasn’t their job to intervene. He and his son realized that the soldiers wouldn’t protect them, so they ran as fast as they could to the village to report that the settlers were approaching."
"Two of the settlers next to them fired their guns at the people. He remembers one Uzi submachine gun and two M-16 rifles. They fired separate shots, but they were accurate. One shot hit the large water tank on the roof of the house. The water burst out, near Faraj. There was a shout that someone was wounded. Hamdi ran to the first wounded man to rescue him. He took him to a taxi belonging to a member of the Abu Alia family. Then they heard shouting that there was another man hit by gunfire. Hamdi ran to rescue him too, Faraj said. By then it was 4:30. Hamdi bent to the ground, and when he began to rise, he too was shot. In the back, Faraj says. While they tried to take Hamdi to an ambulance, the soldiers on the roof fired tear gas canisters at the road."

And then, the IDF set up a flying checkpoint at the entrance of Turmusayya village and clashes broke out between the Palestinian youth who were awaiting the body of Naasan for funeral processions. One youth was shot in the foot. UN Mideast envoy Nikolay Mladenov condemned the settler violence and told Israel to 'bring those responsible to justice.’ Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi also condemned “the heinous murder of Hamdi Naasan” and said the “Israeli government was responsible for the rise in settler terrorism. “Under heavy protection from Israeli forces, these (settler) militias raided al-Mughayyir village near Ramallah, terrorizing the defenseless residents and wreaking havoc in the isolated village.”

Quick Hits:
  • Israeli forces assault Palestinian workers at Checkpoint 300 - Eyewitnesses said that Israeli forces assaulted a large number of Palestinian workers, who were making their way to work through the Bethlehem-Jerusalem checkpoint, causing fainting, suffocation, and bruises among the workers. (Maan)
  • Top Israeli rabbi should be indicted for condoning fatal stoning, rights groups say - Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu told students from the Pri Haaretz yeshiva, where the main suspect in the stoning death of Aisha Rabi studies, that they shouldn't fear prison because it's the path to political power. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli MK tours Jerusalem's Old City, as settlers storm Al-Aqsa - Miri Regev, the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport of Israel, toured the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem with a camera crew in order to shoot her elections campaign, as some 39 of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday. (Maan)
  • **Roseanne Barr Praises 'Burning Desire for Peace' in Visit to East Jerusalem Compound Owned by Right-wing NGO - Controversial American comedian also toured the Old City with Culture Minister Miri Regev and spoke about her connection to the Jewish faith. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Prison Service admits that the number of prisoners injured in Ofer Prison was three times higher than reported - Last week, the IPS announced that three prison guards and six prisoners had been injured in the clashes, and stood by that number even when the Palestinians reported a higher number. Today it announced that 17 prisoners had been evacuated to hospitals following the incident. The IPS refused to comment on the question of whether some of the prisoners were shot during the raid [in search for contraband cellular phones - OH] (Haaretz Hebrew)
  • Teacher at Israeli pre-military academy suspended for political cartoons criticizing right-wing on Facebook - David Palma’s political cartoons combine caricatures of right-wing Israeli politicians with Holocaust themes. One shows the famous gate at the entrance to Auschwitz, with the Hebrew words “The Likudiada will set you free” replacing the original German slogan. Another shows Hayamin Hehadash party leader Naftali Bennett in a Ku Klux Klan robe. (Haaretz+)
  • Survey: Israelis worry most about threats internally and from the north - The National Security Index shows how Israelis feel about major challenges to the country each year. The study found that 39% are concerned by external security threats, 24% by internal social issues, and 37% is equally troubled by both types of threats. (JPost and Ynet Hebrew)
  • Conscientious objector released from military prison after 104 days - Adam Rafaelov refused to serve in the IDF due to his opposition to Israel’s policies in the occupied territories. ‘My struggle for exemption is over, but the struggle for freedom and equality for all people between the river and the sea continues.’ (+972mag)
  • Police arrest two suspected of desecrating grave of Israeli attorney general’s father - One of the suspects is an activist in the weekly protests against Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit's supposed inaction in the corruption cases against Netanyahu. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli artist chains himself to Holocaust memorial in Tel Aviv square to protest treatment of Holocaust survivors - Controversial artist Ariel Bronz chained himself with a lock and chains to a steel beam that is part of a memorial sculpture by Igael Tumarkin. He was injured in the process and taken to nearby Ichilov Hospital. (Haaretz+)
  • Telecom Merger at Center of Netanyahu's Corruption Case Okayed After Snap Review - Hasty approval by Cable and Satellite Council in 2015 deal over Bezeq and Yes had been made possible with an expert report by a consulting firm with no expertise in telecommunications or media. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu Warns Hezbollah of 'Lethal Force' Following Nasrallah Comments on Attack Tunnels - PM refutes the group's leader recent comments on attack tunnels entering from Lebanon being obsolete, says the organization is 'embarrassed.’ (Haaretz and Yedioth/Ynet)
  • "Hezbollah claims of more cross-border attack tunnels are baseless" - Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot says IDF unaware of additional Hezbollah attack tunnels • PM dismisses Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's threat to strike Israel, says Operation Northern Shield has left the group "embarrassed" and "in distress." (Israel Hayom)
  • 'Israel Must Secure Its Existence,' Merkel Says on Syria Airstrikes - German chancellor told Israeli radio she understands concern over Iran, which has 'policies that are threatening to Israel.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Israel Is No. 1 Exporter of Academic Talent to the U.S., Data Shows - With enough researchers working in the U.S. to fill the entire faculty of two to three typical Israeli institutes, government fails to reverse brain drain. (Haaretz+)
  • Brothers in hope: Former IDF officer's comrades crowd-fund for his toughest mission - Maj. Gen. (res.) Ronen Magen fought skin cancer over 20 years ago, and went on to a flourishing IDF career. Now, the father of six is suffering from an aggressive brain tumor and his only chance of survival is experimental treatment costing NIS 90,000 a month, which his army mates are raising for him. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli fighter pilot who translated 'The Hobbit' from an Egyptian prison dies at 80 - Col. Rami Harpaz had become leader of the air force prisoners after being taken captive. To pass the time they translated J.R.R. Tolkein's fantasy novel into Hebrew. (Haaretz+ and JPost)
  • Remnants of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shivta were long believed lost in a fire. Then a letter surfaced - Objects from the Negev archaeology site, found through a 1938 letter from a customs clerk, are now on display at Haifa’s Hecht Museum. (Haaretz+)
  • Malaysia stripped of hosting Paralympics championship over ban of Israelis - The Muslim country had recently moved to impose a blanket ban on all Israelis from entering for any event. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Israeli cybersecurity firm denies tracking watchdog group - Citizen Lab internet watchdog reported that Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO's software was used to spy on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Citizen Lab says agents masqueraded as investors to quiz group members on work exposing Israeli surveillance. (Israel Hayom)
  • Shia LaBeouf Premiers Autobiographical Film, Written in Rehab and Directed by an Israeli - LaBeouf spent time writing the script for his semi-autobiographical 'Honey Boy' while he was being treated for substance abuse after a 2017 arrest. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli film to compete at Berlin festival for first time in 7 years - "Synonyms" by Nadav Lapid tells the story about an Israeli man who moves to Paris to try and shed his Israeli identity. Last Israeli film to compete was "Lipstikka" in 2012. Four other Israeli films to be screened outside of official competition. (Israel Hayom)
  • Moment of Truth: Congress Expected to Decide on Key Israel-related Legislation Within Days - Two bills show that Israel is a contentious issue less than a month into the current session of Congress, causing divisions both between parties and within them. (Haaretz+)

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
A Prison Raid for the Sake of the Likud Primary Election (Haaretz Editorial) The timing of otherwise unnoticed searches of Palestinian prisoners and the PR they received are no accident, as election season is an ideal time for populist measures Minister Erdan hopes would pay off.
The green candidates - an environmental security agenda (Amit Bracha, Yedioth) You want to vote for a security type who speaks about our existence here? So first recognize thatthe real existential dangers are in the water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat...In Israel 2019, our health security faces danger because more and more people die every year from illnesses related to air pollution than they do from terror attacks and traffic accidents together. In Israel of 2019 the health security of our children is in danger because the pesticides that are accumulating in their sensitive bodies while they eat fruit and vegetables are like a ticking time bomb that could explode in the future as terrible illnesses. (The writer is an attorney and the CEO of the 'Adam, Teva V'Din' organization.)
The General Coming to End the Netanyahu Era (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) A profile of Benny Gantz, the first politician in a decade to seriously threaten Benjamin Netanyahu’s ‘Mr. Security’ image.
Gantz Is Running – to The Hague (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) In Gaza destruction election videos, is Netanyahu contender subconsciously fulfilling the well-known saying that a criminal always returns to the scene of the crime?
Benny Gantz's Last Chance at a First Impression (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) On Tuesday, the former IDF chief will have to give the performance of his life. A young Likudnik initiated a crowdfunding campaign to fund Netanyahu's legal defense, and so far, the PM hasn't turned it down.
Education according to Bennett: More Judaism, less democracy (Or Kashti, Haaretz+) He’s proud of reducing classroom sizes, but he’ll also be remembered as the education minister who attacked academia and put Jewish identity before democratic values.

When the Rule of Law in the West Bank Gives in to Lawbreakers (Mordechai Kremnitzer, Haaretz+) Anyone who tries to bring settlers to justice risks delegitimization campaigns, but that mustn't keep Israeli security agencies from investigating the killing of a Palestinian as they would the murder of a Jew.
Europe's Jews vs Israel (Daniel Pipes, Israel Hayom) Israel sees parties that aspire to maintain Western civilization as its best friends in Europe, while Europe's Jewish establishment sees them as incorrigibly anti-Semitic. The Israeli voice must predominate.
In land of illegal outposts and hate crimes, another Palestinian life claimed (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Palestinian residents of a West Bank village are being targeted by hate crimes coming from two nearby Jewish outposts.
Three positive developments for Israel (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Jerusalem can breathe a momentary sigh of relief as certain events in Syria and Gaza seem to be working in their favor; but they know better than to take such a situation for granted.
When fury at the occupier is futile, Palestinians turn to our subcontractor (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) A Palestinian Authority minister dared criticize the leaders of the movement against the Social Security Law. It’s hard to describe the uproar that ensued.
Fragile silence: Islamic Jihad will continue to try to warm the area (Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv) It is all conditional: the transfer of Qatari money directly to the poor of Gaza is not a solution but merely a purchase of time - piles of dollars that delay the eruption.

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