News Nosh 1.1.20

APN's daily news review from Israel

Wednesday January 1, 2020

Number of the day #1:
30%.
--Amount of Israeli children living under the poverty line, according to new national report.**

Number of the day #2:
100 million.
--The amount of shekels (= $29 million) that the settler organization, Amana, received from taxpayer funds between 2013 to 2015, to promote Jewish settlement on occupied lands, often acting illegally to achieve this goal.*

Quote of the day:

“The justices’ decision is a dramatic and significant step that sets bounds, at least for now, on the rampant criminality in the settlements and the illegal outposts. We hope that in this spirit, the court will rule that no public money should be transferred to Amana ... A situation in which Israel backs the transfer of public money for illegal activity is intolerable, and we urge the government to put a stop to it.”
--Peace Now reacts to the High Court decision forcing settlements to ask for government permission to transfer funds to the Amana settler organization.*


Front Page:

Haaretz

Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Good morning 2020
  • Optimistic // Nahum Barnea (Hebrew)

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

Israel Hayom

  • Time of immunity - Netanyahu expected to submit request to Knesset Speaker until midnight
  • Two fronts: In the army they understand that the arrangement with Gaza is necessary because of the threat of war in the north



Elections 2019/Netanyahu Indictment News:
**2020 arrives with Netanyahu boasting about Israel's economy, but the national poverty report showed that three out of 10 children live in poverty as do 18.8% of the elderly (also Yedioth Hebrew), the High Court decided not to decide whether Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has the right to form a government with three indictments on his head and Netanyahu has till midnight tonight to decide whether he to ask the Knesset for immunity from trial - making top stories on the first day of 2020.

The High Court decided that only if Netanyahu wins the next election will the High Court discuss whether he can be allowed to form a government when he faces indictments of moral turpitude. (Also Maariv and Haaretz+) Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin said that “there is a dispute between what the people want and what is legal and moral…These are things that must be considered carefully. Democracy is after all the will of the people but the people must want the right thing.” Netanyahu has till midnight tonight to decide whether to ask for immunity and Channel 11 KAN News reported Tuesday night that Netanyahu feared that an immunity request will hurt his party’s election campaign. He also expressed concern that the application would be rejected by the High Court. (Maariv)

Quick Hits:

  • *Settlement Group Will Need High Court Consent to Get Funding - Petition by Peace Now argued that all fund transfers to Amana are illegal because Amana doesn’t meet the Interior Ministry’s criteria for receiving government funding. That petition is still pending, but Peace Now also sought an injunction banning any fund transfers to Amana until the court issues its final ruling on the petition. New High Court ruling says settlement councils will have to inform the court of planned funding for Amana, a group that has established illegal outposts and been involved in property purchases using forged documents. Peace Now: “The justices’ decision is a dramatic and significant step that sets bounds, at least for now, on the rampant criminality in the settlements and the illegal outposts.” (Haaretz+, Times of Israel, JPost)
  • For the First Time in Israel's History, Jewish Fertility Rate Surpasses That of Arabs - Arab women had a higher fertility rate than Jews in Israel for years, but data reported by the Central Bureau of Statistics points to a change. The rate among Jewish women living in Israel and in Israeli settlement in the West Bank was 3.05 compared to 3.04 for Israeli Arab women. The data excludes Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, who aren't Israeli citizens. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Report: In 2019 Israel arrested over 5,500 Palestinians, including 889 children - The number of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in occupation prisons to the current date is approximately 5000, including 40 women, approximately 200 child detainees and 450 Palestinians held in administrative detention, which is Israeli imprisonment without charge or trial. (Mondoweiss)
  • Netanyahu Boasts That Israel's Economy Is Rising, but Poverty Report Paints a Very Grim Picture - National Insurance Institute's report shows an incline in poverty among children and the elderly as well as an increase in social inequality and gender wage gaps. (Haaretz+ and Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Israel's Secular Jewish Education Reverses Shrinking Trend, Study Shows - In lower grades, proportion of Israeli students going to secular state schools actually grew state since parents feel religious schools have become 'too extreme.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Most State-funded Hannukah Shows Had Male-only Casts - Of (the) 34 performances that included female performers this holiday season in Israel, nearly half were directed at female-only audiences. (Haaretz+)
  • Number of Work-accident Deaths in 2019 Is Highest in Two Decades - 86 workers died this year, most of them in the construction industry, marking a 23 percent increase over the previous year. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli 2019 GDP Growth Comes in Just Ahead of Forecasts - The statistics bureau says the economy expanded at a preliminary 3.3%, capping a 44% increase for the decade. (Haaretz+)
  • Galilee Wind Farms Approved Despite Environmental, Arab Residents' Concerns - Northern district planning committee ignores expert's objections that the installations will be noisy and block views of historic Jezreel Valley farmland. (Haaretz+)
  • Mother of slain soldier held in Gaza slams gov't for Hamas deal - Five-year settlement includes improved civil amenities for Palestinians in Strip and Hamas commitment to halt rocket fire on Israeli population centers, but does not mention two missing troops or two living Israelis captive in coastal enclave; 'I want my son back now,' says mother of Oron Shaul. (Ynet)
  • Watch: Riot broke out at Jerusalem City Council meeting - Activists of the Barbour Gallery, which must vacate the premises within 90 days [because the municipality opposes its art that is critical of Israeli policies - OH], and the city’s sanitation department's employees come to sit at the council meeting and protest against the planned moves. The employees shouted derogatory cries at the mayor for the dismissal of more than 100 of them. (Maariv+VIDEO)
  • Term of Israeli Ambassador to the UN extended until May - PM Netanyahu reportedly makes final decision on the matter just hours before Danny Danon's tenure was set to elapse. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Judge Suspected of Conflict of Interest Involving Ex-bar Chief Who Allegedly Promoted Him - Shortly after the senior judge was given the post, he presided over a case in which the firm of Efraim Nave, embroiled in corruption cases, represented one of the defendants. (Haaretz+)
  • 21 Israeli Judges Appointed Since 2015 Deemed Unqualified - Some of them were backed by the three Supreme Court justices on appointments committee. (Haaretz+)
  • Leviathan rig goes online, supplying natural gas to Israel - Despite government reassurances, some local residents evacuate as pipeline expels pollutants ahead of launch; Electric Corp. says consumers to see reduction in tariffs from Wednesday; Netanyahu praises new supply: 'Today we made history.’ (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Startup Employees Make Double the Average Israeli Wage, Report Says - A Monday report by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics reveals startup employees make an average monthly wage of approximately $5,780, with Tel Avivian startup workers earning on average approximately $1,550 more than their Jerusalem counterparts. (Calcalist/Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Turkey joins PA to undermine Israeli land claims in Jerusalem - Attorneys for the Palestinian Authority are already using archived Ottoman-era documents to claim the rights to lands across Israel, primarily in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. (Israel Hayom)
  • Fatah marks 55 years with West Bank marches - Some dozen masked and armed men lead the procession of hundreds through Ramallah, with similar events planned elsewhere in territory in coming days; supporters of movement founded by Arafat also mark occasion in Hamas-ruled Gaza. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Fatah, Hamas exchange jabs over Trump's 'deal of the century' - Fatah, the predominant faction in the Palestinian Authority, accuses the Gaza-based terrorist organization of siding with the US president and PM Netanyahu. (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian NGOs reject EU aid over refusal to renounce terror - The 135 organizations in question steadfastly decline to sign a European Union grant request that stipulates among its criteria that recipients must refuse to transfer any EU assistance to terrorist groups or entities. They claim Palestinian terrorist groups are merely “political parties,” according to a statement by Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry. (Israel Hayom)
  • Peace through sports? Qatar to let Israelis in for 2022 World Cup - As Gulf state prepares to host largest sporting event, senior official says: "We do not mix sport and politics, but we would hope that Palestinians are able to make it too." (Israel Hayom)
  • Arab League Warns Against Deployment of Foreign Fighters in Libya - Warning comes as Turkey seeks to send troops to support UN-backed government in face of general's offensive. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey Rules Out Evacuating Posts in Syria's Idlib Amid Russian-backed Assault - No withdrawal from military observation posts, defense minister says. Ankara fears another wave of refugees as it struggles to manage hosting 3.7 million displaced Syrians. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iraqi Protesters Break Into U.S. Embassy After Airstrikes; Ambassador Evacuated - Mourners march on Iraqi capital's heavily fortified Green Zone after funerals for 25 Iran-backed fighters killed in American airstrikes. (Haaretz)
  • Trump says Iran will be 'held accountable' after supporters storm US Embassy in Iraq -  Trump blames Iran for "orchestrating" incident. (Israel Hayom)
  • Trump Bringing U.S. Closer to War With Iran, Elizabeth Warren Says - Democratic primary candidate Elizabeth Warren says president's 'reckless decisions' endanger Americans, after U.S. embassy in Baghdad stormed by pro-Iran militiamen. (Haaretz+)
  • This Man Heads the pro-Iranian Militia the U.S. Targeted in Iraq, Syria - Jamal Jafaar Ibrahimi is the leader of militia Kataib Hezbollah, whose targets were struck by the U.S. With Iran's aid, he has amassed 25,000 fighters. (Haaretz+)
  • The straw that broke the president's back: "Trump responded disproportionately" - Commentator on Arab affairs, Shimrit Meir, commented in an interview with the US offensive in Iraq: "It looks like another one-off Trump campaign to punish Iranians." (103FM/Maariv)
  • Singer Linda Ronstadt says Trump is 'like Hitler' - "The Mexicans are the new Jews," the now-retired singer claimed while speaking to Anderson Cooper on CNN. (Israel Hayom)


Elections 2019/Netanyahu Indictment Commentary/Analysis:
If Netanyahu Gets Immunity With His Orwellian Doublespeak, There’ll Be No Stopping Him (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) When the prime minister proclaims that day is night, his disciples swear it’s pitch black outside.
Kahol-Lavan party is actually a supermarket of opinions and positions since its inception (Ephraim Ganor, Maariv) It is imperative to eliminate the foolishness of right-wing divisions and to place the state and its future above all else, especially when the ideological gaps between Kahol-Lavan and the Likud are narrow and insignificant.


Other Commentary/Analysis:
The Five-star Occupation: It's Still Hell for Palestinians to Go Through Israel's Renovated Checkpoint (Ahmed Alkhateeb, Haaretz+VIDEO) The reality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine is not always dramatic. On the contrary, it is often a collection of seemingly-trivial micro-aggressions spread out through one’s day.
Over the past decade, the IDF has taken significant steps to advance women and promote equality (Dr. Idit Shafran-Gitleman, Maariv) The issue of gender equality is also well reflected in the IDF's efforts to integrate women into its units, but alongside this line of achievements, this decade has also posed complex challenges regarding the women’s service. For example, in the summer of 2018, there was a case in which the female soldiers of the Bardalas mixed-gender battalion were taken out of a swimming pool during a recreational holiday so as not to hurt the sentiments of male religious soldiers who were also on the premises. But many times soldiers were affected by a foggy discrimination that sought to prevent future complications - so female (soldiers/officers) were precluded in advance from being candidates for positions that could have been open to them. For example, commanders refrain from deploying women to training positions that may cause difficulties for religious soldiers, or they prefer to refer female soldiers to units without religious soldiers, in contrast to their original inlay request.
They are pulling wool over our eyes (Meirav Betito, Yedioth Hebrew) Two important things we learned yesterday from the poverty report: one - the number of poor children and senior citizens is on the rise, and the other - that the state is trying to hide it from us. It is difficult to determine which is worse, a civil society that is alienating the most knowingly weak, or a blind community that is deceived by government announcements. It can be said with absolute confidence that both options are a very small source of pride. National Social Security and the the Minister of Social Affairs - now Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - were caught on in the act yesterday in an attempt to obscure media alertness. They built on the fact that in the country of oranges, you can’t see jams. The numbers are critical, and this is why those in charge of poverty in Israel - it is the duty of Social Security by law to care for the weak, disabled, unemployed, elderly, children - want to obscure them in well-worded statements. Once a year, in suitable cold December setting, the State of Israel's Office of Poverty - a formidable mechanism for thousands of workers and employees whose sole purpose is to help the weak person - presents to us the results of its work. Under the auspices of Israeli governments, who have never been able to stop the growing pandemic, mainly in the lower quintile among ultra-Orthodox and Arabs, Social Security has been forced to present dismal results year after year. This time, thanks to the upcoming election and the indictment that hovers over the head of former welfare minister Haim Katz, who was forced to vacate his position in favor of the prime minister, the poverty report was first treated personally by the Prime Minister's Office highly skilled photoshop team. Anyone who has doubled the crowd of demonstrators in the photo of Netanyahu's support rally and tweeted it as authentic documentation will not be ashamed to stir the public's consciousness and market the sad numbers as another dazzling success of a brilliant statesman. Real data on the dwindling middle-class muscle mass, hundreds of thousands of children sentenced to an unequal starting point, and hundreds of thousands of seniors sentenced to a humiliating endpoint were packed with shiny wrapping and marketed like a lovely American Christmas gift. Those who turned up at the annual press conference yesterday, in which they present the certificate of impoverishment, will not want to run and tell how in (Netanyahu’s) years in office he reduced the income allowance from 70% of the value of the poverty line in 2000 to 40% of its value in 2017. That same careful economist won’t reveal to you that despite the severity of poverty damage, and despite their increasing size of it from year to year, (Netanyahu) did not bother to increase the government's social welfare spending, which is one of the lowest in the OECD countries. Netanyahu, as is already familiar with other government ministries, has his own way of seeing things: Where you see poor children and seniors, he sees growth, and where there is poverty - an opportunity for public relations. The social welfare office is just another stop on the way to the ballot box.
Let the Jews – and Everyone – Launch the Soros Decade of the Open Society (Avraham Burg, Haaretz+) The decade now over was a revolutionary one: social dissolution, waves of incitement, ever-growing gaps in all areas. Racism and violence became the expression of a global phenomenon in which the model of a civil society driven by universal values is succumbing to tribalism with its attendant phobias and prejudices. In Israel, the land of the Jewish Giulianis, the decade ended in the same spirit, with a poll showing that only 37 percent of young Jews see minority rights as a supreme value. This is lower than the average in the Arab world.
That's how we are, optimistic (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth Hebrew) Last night we kissed. We forgot all the pessimistic predictions and we celebrated the good. Such are we, optimistic, lacking sourness, the kind that jumps for joy with every rising inch of the Sea of Galilee, even though it has been ages since they stopped letting water flow down the national water carrier to the Negev, and the changes in the level affect mainly the tourism industry in the north. Nicholas Kristoff, a columnist in the New York Times, mentioned in his column this week some joyful statistics from the Third World: Every day in the outgoing year 325,000 people are connected to electricity for the first time, every day 200,000 people are connected to the water network for the first time, every day 625,000 people are connected to the Internet for the first time. Child mortality, which stood at 27% in 1950, dropped to 4%. Contrary to popular belief, global poverty has been shrinking in recent years, not expanding. The United Nations definition of extreme poverty is less than $2 a day. In 1981, 42% of the world's population suffered from extreme poverty. In 2019 - 10%. At the same time, literacy rates rose: it is estimated today, worldwide, 90%. Economists had predicted that in 2019, the global economy would suffer a severe crisis, worse than in 2008. The opposite happened. Markets continued to flourish, despite scholarly predictions, despite President Trump's bombastic fight against international trade agreements. Trump threw the agreements out the front door and got them back, in a similar version, through the window. World leaders have learned to ignore the noise. Forecasts of an economic recession in Israel were also, how shall we say, premature. On the eve of each new year, we are told that the high-tech industry is collapsing, and at the end of each year we are told that the year has been blessed with exits. And the gas from the Leviathan gas rig drilling is also starting to flow, to the domestic market and to exports. It would have been better to have it at a lower price, it would have been better had the state, rather than (Israeli tycoon Yitzhak) Tshuva, celebrated the profits. But what can you do, Yuval Steinitz's optimism was more accurate than the pessimistic pessimism of "The Marker" economic newspaper reports. Every good news has a bad news. The world's extreme poverty is diminishing, but the gap between the very rich and the less wealthy is swelling to dangerous proportions. Global trade is thriving, but it brings with it a disgraceful exploitation of the Third World and social destruction in the West. Millions of new users connect to the Internet every day, but the growth of the network has a cost: the loss of privacy, the radicalization of discourses, the degradation of democratic institutions. There is no threat of war on the horizon, but global warming is no less threatening, and a series of populist leaders, social network creators, are denying its existence. The results are devastating. 2019 was a strange year in Israeli politics. We got used to living without an elected government: paralysis in government activity delayed the flow of vital budgets, but also delayed many government acts of folly. It allowed several municipalities to open bus lines on Saturday, a welcome initiative. Beyond that, it has taught Israelis, for better or worse, to lower expectations: no Knesset and no government, no coalition and no opposition, and the world continues to exist. In the absence of a government, the prophecy was given to the chief of staff. On the eve of 2020, he envisions a war with Iran. Everyone believes him, but no one takes him seriously. Everything mixes in everything: the new budget requirements of the military, the personal agenda of the incumbent prime minister, the urgent political interests of the new defense minister.  It is doubtful whether the Iranians understand what the Israelis are up to; it is doubtful whether the Israelis are showing interest. The immunity government vs. the anti-immunity government, that’s what they are going to elections for. Think positive, we reminded ourselves, en route to midnight. Just positive. There are, for example, Bedouins living in Khan al-Ahmar. The government decided to expel them. Human rights organizations objected. Residents of Kfar Adumim, the nearby settlement, were also opposed. The government, under right-wing pressure, insisted. The issue went to the High Court. The government hoped the judges would stop the move, and then they could be blamed. Surprisingly, the judges decided not to intervene. The deportation was prepared; nevertheless, Defense Minister Netanyahu did not expel: He feared The Hague court. The new Defense Minister, Naftali Bennett, is not expelling. Suddenly he is also afraid of The Hague court. So it is true that The Hague prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, served a cruel tyrant in her country, Gambia. But if there is no one left in Israel capable of stopping the dumb decisions of politicians, then let it be Bensouda. Have a wonderful year.
We Thought anti-Semitism Was No Threat to U.S. Jews. We Were Wrong (Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) Authorities and Jewish groups have been negligent in reacting to attacks on the Orthodox community in NYC because of a mistaken, reality-defying belief that anti-Semitism was a thing of the past.
No more sitting ducks (David Suissa, Israel Hayom) The Jewish state has survived for so long because it has understood that bullies are stopped not by reason but by force. It’s not pretty, but it’s reality.
Iran-Iraq Snowball Puts U.S. Mideast Policy to the Test (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) While Israel's leadership has been spouting somewhat fatalistic statements about Iran, it would do better not to be perceived as the one inflaming the atmosphere.
Iran at war could be good for Israel (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) Should Tehran decide to retaliate for the U.S. attack on its militias in Iraq, it would be playing into the hands of those in Jerusalem who are advocating the use of Iran's growing unpopularity in Iraq and its economic crisis at home to push it out of Syria altogether.
The big loss of the decade (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth Hebrew) The military understands that a wide-scale campaign is needed in the north, and that is why they want to buy quiet in the south. The Political Security Cabinet will convene again today for further discussions about the long-term arrangement with Gaza. In fact, it is a kind of unwritten peace agreement designed to allow the army to remain quiet on the southern front to enable it to prepare for significant threats in the north, against Iran in Syria, and possibly with the possibility of expanding the conflict to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The support of the IDF leadership for this calm should only be seen as such. This quiet should be a kind of small arrangement, one that will more or less bring us back to the days after Operation Protective Edge and before the beginning of the Marches of Return that began in March 2018. This quiet period does not solve the basic problems of Gaza, and the two main holes will remain: the strengthening of Hamas, as well as the issue of (Israeli) prisoners and missing persons. The easing of sanctions over the population should buy quiet and redirect the attention needed to prepare for the developing northern front. As for coordinating expectations with (Israeli) civilians regarding the campaign in the north, the army has already begun, but it is still clear to all of the General Staff that most civilians are not aware of the intensity of the blow that the home front will absorb. The army is only trying to discuss readiness in closed rooms, for example in meetings with Finance Minister Kahlon, in the Cabinet and of course with Netanyahu. Air Force commander, Gen. Amikam Nurkin, spoke at the Calcalist conference yesterday, referring to the extraordinary operations in distant arenas. They are worthy of taking note. But in the days of reviews of the last decade, it is worth noting the unimaginable failure of turning Hezbollah into such a threat to Israel, that it has 150,000 rockets. That is an unprecedented number for a terrorist organization that can launch about 1.500 rockets a day or more. It can cause great destruction, and even can easily conquer communities in the north. "At this time, we are in a very deep period of change," Nurkin said at the conference. "A period that is beginning to change globally in the security context, with increasing tension in many parts of the world, with an increase in defense budgets in a large number of countries, mainly due to the terror that has characterized recent years and that is projecting and affecting the IDF." "To win the next campaign:" The key to our success is aerial supremacy. The Air Force commander pointed out what he thought might help the IDF win the next campaign: “The key to regional stability, in my view, is aerial superiority. That is the key to regional stability. We need to radiate power, deter, strike accurately, defend against rockets and allow the IDF to achieve its objectives,” he stated. True, the blow that the IDF will land on Hezbollah and Lebanon will be tremendous. But that will not really change the picture of victory. At the beginning of a new decade, Israel must recalculate with Hezbollah and quickly, even in equipping and in preparing. In the end, the economy will recover from the many demolitions after such a war. Major Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin recently has been talking about a pre-emptive strike that will significantly offset much of the enemy's capabilities. This is a topic that ministers and security leaders need and must discuss secretly, and formulate clear policies around it. Others are not certain that it is best to attack in Lebanon in the next war because there will be no one to run things the “day after,” and the fear is that Iranians will enter the vacuum. At the same time, it is important to note that the internal Lebanese events did not leave Hezbollah too attentive and willing to enter into a campaign with Israel during this period, and this is a bright spot for us. The main problem is that Israel has been in a serious political crisis for a year, and these issues have not been addressed. It is our job to demand that all parties wake up to the latest regional developments and not trust the goddess of luck, which caused the anti-aircraft missiles to miss hitting the military vehicle in Avivim on September 1, an event that could have dragged us to war.
 

Interviews:
The Shadow Warrior
Col. A, deputy commander of Unit 8200, is considered one of the IDF's technological geniuses. In the next decade, he will be among the key men to wage cyber wars against the enemy. The wars of the future, it is already known, will take place in the wonderful world of cyber. And where computers are replacing the tank and the Internet is the main battlefield - Major General A. will have a major contribution in deciding the next campaign, against Iran or any other enemy. (Interviewed by Itai Ilnay in Yedioth Hebrew)
"The Intelligence Division is dealing with huge amounts of information coming from the air, sea and land, from a wide variety of sources, constantly engaging with several arenas that are forming at the same time," says A, deputy commander of Unit 8200 for Digital and commander of the Center for Advanced Processing. "Soldiers and divisional commanders spend countless days searching and analyzing vast amounts of information, each of which is only a small part of the complete intelligence puzzle."
To assemble this huge intelligence puzzle quickly and efficiently, he is currently heading one of the central projects of the IDF Intelligence Division - the information and knowledge enterprise.
"The information and knowledge enterprise is a project of the Intelligence Division, which aims to concentrate the entire IDF information on the enemy into one platform, to enable the most effective analysis of the information," explains A. "The project is a key part of the effort to address future challenges, including information congestion."

They say every Jewish settler is a 'war criminal'
Executive Director of 'UN Watch,' Hillel Neuer, talks about the challenges facing Israel in the international arena, where facts and common sense are ignored in favor of pro-Palestinian politics. (Interviewed by Eldad Beck in Israel Hayom)
"...The UN now sees any Jew living beyond the Green Line, even in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, as committing a war crime. There is no differentiation between Gush Etzion, Psagot, or Hebron. According to the UN, the settlements are a war crime. Israel and its courts do not see them as a war crime. Therefore, it will be difficult for Israel to argue that its legal system can investigate this matter. Here, the ICC can say, 'If you don't intend to investigate, we will.'"

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

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