News Nosh 9.15.20

APN's daily news review from Israel  - Tuesday September 15, 2020

Quotes of the Day:

"But if anyone thinks that relations with the Gulf countries will develop without diplomatic compensation with the Palestinians in exchange for the normalization (agreements), let him look at our relationship with Jordan. There are gas exports, there is cooperation in routine security arrangements, but other than that there’s really nothing. This flower of a treaty with the Emirates can either bloom or wilt. It all depends on us."
--Former Israeli minister and retired Brigadier General, Efraim Sneh, writes in an Op-Ed today.**

"Those who fight corruption, on the one hand, and on the other hand abandon the (Israeli) Arabs and do not protect them from Netanyahu's incitement, are stuck in a Gordian knot that cannot be untied. They will be rescued from being stuck only if, like Alexander the Great, they draw their sword and sever the knot once and for all: by declaring aloud that they are proud of the Arab population, by demanding a commission of inquiry into false accusations against Yaakub Abu al-Qiyan (Israeli-Arab who was accused by law enforcement of being a terrorist, when he wasn't), and by demanding to cancel the eviction of all the residents (of the unrecognized village of) Umm al-Hiran."
--Odeh Bisharat writes in an Op-Ed today.

Front Page:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • WAR - 72 hours till lockdown, Israel is trying to stop the epidemic
  • Half done job // Sever Plocker writes there are more 'holes' in the restrictions than Swiss cheese
  • and PEACE - Tonight at 19:00: Historic ceremony in Washington
  • Two faces // Nahum Barnea (Hebrew)
  • They stayed behind // Ben-Dror Yemini (Hebrew)
  • It's permissible to celebrate // Ari Shavit (Hebrew)

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

Israel Hayom

  • Good signing - Historic agreement
  • In praise of the quiet peacemakers // Dr. Miriam Adelson
  • Peace midday // Boaz Bismuth
  • Peace with the Palestinians will come // Amnon Lord
  • Let’s move towards peace between us // Haim Shine
  • The president (Trump) who changed the face of the Middle East // Prof. Avraham Ben-Zvi
  • There will be a lockdown (play on words for ‘it will be okay’): Guide to restrictions

Top News Summary:
In today’s Hebrew newspapers, the normalization agreements signing ceremony taking place today, pushed the imminent lockdown on the country from the top story. What barely made news was a suspected Israeli airstrike on Iran-backed fighters in eastern Syria Monday that killed ten fighters, including eight Iraqis.

Also of interest was the coverage of the sentencing of the Jewish-Israeli terrorist, Amiram Ben-Uliel, 26, who got three life sentences and an extra 20 years for the murder of two parents of the Dawabsheh family and their infant and the injury to their other child, Ahmed, for the 2015 torching of the their home because of hatred for Arabs. Worthy of noting was that while a similar act by an Arab against Jews would mark him as a ‘terrorist’ in the Israeli newspapers he was referred to as a ’murderer.’ Haaretz+ put the article on its front page. Yedioth gave it all of page 16. The online Ynet and ‘Israel Hayom’ referred to Ben-Uliel as an ‘extremist.’ and ‘Israel Hayom’ put it on page 22 and called the sentence “heavy,” even though it is common for Palestinians who murder to be sentenced to one life sentence for every person killed. Maariv gave it all of page 12 and didn’t title Ben-Uliel. Maariv’s online edition posted an interview with Hussein Dawabsheh, who is raising his grandson, Ahmed. (See Interviews below.)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu landed in Washington and he signs the deals tonight with the United Arab Emirates and with Bahrain in Washington, but the details are being kept secret. Israel Hayom quoted Netanyahu saying, “I hold in my hand a historic peace agreement.” JPost/Maariv reported that 1000 people were invited to the ceremony and there was much excitement. In Ramallah, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called the ceremony “a dark day in the history of the Arab nation and a defeat for the Arab League,” adding that it means the death of the Arab Peace Initiative. The Palestinian Authority's government called on President Mahmoud Abbas to "reconsider" the PA’s ties with the Arab League . Shtayyeh urged Arab countries to boycott the signing ceremony. The Palestinians are planning protests across the Palestinian territories and some 50 US, Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic organizations have called for a demonstration in Washington. Europe welcomed the agreement, but stressed the importance of resolving the Palestinian issue, Maariv reported. the only European country to send a representative to attend the ceremony was Hungary, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban sparked criticism in the EU for the erosion of democratic standards in the local media.

Back in Israel, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi gave an interview to the Emirati newspaper, Al-Ittihad, saying, “I call on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table” (Maariv). Defense Minister Benny Gantz spoke by phone with his Bahraini counterpart (Maariv). And Regional Cooperation Minister Ophir Akunis (Likud) spoke with his Bahraini counterpart. The two agreed to meet with the aim of tightening cooperation between the ministries (Maariv). Akunis criticized Netanyahu’s decision to travel to Washington alone. (Maariv). The Bahraini Interior Minister said the deal with Israel protects Bahrain's interests amid Iran threat, but that it is not abandoning the Palestinian cause. And, Emirati schools are already teaching about the peace treaty with Israel in textbooks.

The lockdown news focused on who is allowed to break it (anti-government demonstrators and High Holiday worshippers), who declared they would break it (privately-owned daycare centers), who declared they would rebel (restaurant owners will break plates, they demand to be allowed to sell take-away food), which hospital declared it won’t accept the infected (Nahariya Hospital), and how many unemployed there are estimated will be (1 million).

Corona Quickees:

  • Israel posts 4,812 daily coronavirus cases in new all-time high - Health Ministry reports the record for hospitalized COVID-19 patients has also been broken, with 1,145 people currently being treated in hospitals; Gamzu says real number of sick much higher than official figures. (Ynet)
  • Israel's 3-week lockdown explained: The dos, don'ts and the open questions - Retail businesses other than those providing essential services will be closed and the public will be limited to the vicinity of their homes, other than to go to work or for other essential reasons. (Haaretz+)
  • COVID unemployment cheques may be cut despite imminent lockdownHundreds of thousands of Israelis could face substantial cuts to monthly cheque as country's unemployment rate reportedly drops under 10%, but 2nd lockdown may see numbers go right up. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israeli diagnostics startup awarded millions to help tackle COVID - Israeli start-up Sanolla has been granted EU funding under the Horizon 2020 program to help tackle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic using its artificial intelligence (AI) based innovations in acoustic digital diagnostic systems and healthcare platforms. (Israel Hayom)
  • European Union donates €500,000 to support UNRWA in containing Covid-19 pandemic in West Bank - This vital donation will contribute to the UNRWA's efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, by providing much-needed hygiene items to Palestine refugee families in quarantine. (WAFA)
  • Turkey's coronavirus death toll exceeds 7,000 - The total number of cases in the country rose by 1,527 on Sunday, for a total of 291,162 cases, the data showed, with 258,833 people recovered from COVID-19. (Israel Hayom)


Quick Hits:

  • Rights defender says Israel holding military exercises in inhabited Palestinian areas - Israeli army is holding military exercises in inhabited Palestinian areas in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley, said Aref Daraghme, a human rights defender. The army used heavy machinery in the exercises inside cultivated land and near the residential tents of local dwellers, putting the lives and livelihood of people under threat. (WAFA)
  • UN: Unlawful Demolitions in the West Bank Spike During Pandemic - United Nations’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that in the six month period from March 1 to August 31, Israel demolished or confiscated 389 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank, on average, 65 per month, the highest average destruction rate in four years. (IMEMC)
  • Report: 297 Palestinians Detained by Occupation Forces in August - Twelve were children, 10 were women, one-third were from E. Jerusalem. The Palestinian prisoner population in Israeli prisons during August reached nearly 4,500 prisoners: 41 female, 140 children, while 340 administrative detainees [held without charges -OH] remain. 34 new Administrative Detention orders were issued, while 38 orders were extended, with a total of 72 Administrative Detention orders being issued against Palestinians. (IMEMC)
  • Israeli police storm Jerusalem’s Bab al-Rahma prayer area - Israeli police Monday barged their way into the prayer area inside Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and took photos of it, a step that provoked Palestinian worshipers inside. In 2019, tension escalated over this section of the mosque compound when Israeli police closed its gate with chains and locks, a step that was perceived by Palestinian Muslims as a harbinger to the division of the mosque compound and allocation of the eastern section for Israeli Jewish settlers. (WAFA)
  • Public Security Minister Slams Israel's Top Prosecutors Over Handling of Netanyahu Probe - Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, former State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan engaged in 'lies, illegal leaks, extortion of witness,' says Amir Ohana. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu's lawyers request information they say could lead to acquittal in bribery case - Police investigated claims against Netanyahu before being given approval by attorney general, lawyers argue ■ Co-defendants request material about police methods to pressure witnesses. (Haaretz+)
  • Black Flag Activists to Stop Attending anti-Netanyahu Protests in Jerusalem During Lockdown - Justice minister says will not allow lockdown to harm right to protest. Other groups behind protests in front of the prime minister's official residence say will continue demonstrating. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Police Seek to Use Press Photos Against anti-Netanyahu Protesters - Court to hear whether confiscated pics near the prime minister's residence are fair game. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Chief Justice Calls on Attorney General to Probe Leaks in Netanyahu Cases - Supreme Court President Esther Hayut says leaks are 'a worrying trend that undermines the public’s trust and the prosecution.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Bank Hapoalim and Dubai's Emirates NBD sign MoU - Both nations' top lenders agree to cooperate in an effort to further ties following the establishment of financial and economic relations between Israel and the UAE. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Israeli court rules against Twitter, calling social media firm ‘sexist’ - An Israeli journalist sued the social media site after sexually offensive tweets were made against her and now the judge is demanding Twitter cover her legal fees. (Haaretz+ and Calcalist)
  • Prominent Anti-asylum Seeker Activist Arrested After Confrontation at South Tel Aviv School - Sheffi Paz and another right-wing activist suspected of pepper spraying guard at school for children of migrant workers ■ Paz claims guard sprayed, not her. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli regulator approves Chevron takeover of Noble's gas fields - Israel's Petroleum Council gave its approval on Monday for Chevron Corp to take over Noble Energy's stakes in Israeli natural gas fields, which are a key component in Chevron's $5 billion acquisition. (Israel Hayom)
  • U.S. to challenge World Court's jurisdiction in case against Iran sanctions - Iran has argued that the sanctions violate a 1955 bilateral friendship agreement, asking the court to order Washington to lift them. (Agencies, Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Iran reportedly plotting to assassinate U.S. envoy to South Africa over Soleimani killing - Politico reported Sunday that Iran is seeking retaliation for the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani by targeting Lana Marks. (Haaretz)
  • IAEA in wide-ranging talks with Saudi Arabia on tougher nuclear checks - Saudi Arabia has a nascent nuclear program that it wants to expand to eventually include proliferation-sensitive uranium enrichment. (Israel Hayom)


Israel Is Using a Legal Trick to Expel a Jerusalem Native
In 2005, Salah Hamouri was given a choice: To leave Israel for 15 years or serve seven years in prison. He chose prison over exile. Now he's facing expulsion again. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)

Top Commentary/Analysis:
Inhuman Apathy to Israel Border Police's Brutal Assault of Palestinians (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) They entered the hotel room one at a time and committed their despicable act, and the country roiled with shock. They ordered them to strip and beat them, one after the other, with a bamboo stick and brass knuckles, as they lay helpless and bleeding on the ground. Fourteen cases of such cruel abuse – and Israel yawned with disinterest. In Eilat, it was the shocking gang rape of a helpless teenage girl by a number of young men, four of whom raped her, according to the indictment. At the Meitar checkpoint, the men in question were five uniformed Border Police officers who carried out their abuse in the name of the state, in the name of all Israelis, against helpless Palestinian laborers whom they hunted down in the dead of night, far from prying eyes, then assaulted and robbed of their money…They are of the same generation, the accused from Eilat and from Meitar. They are all from the same hometown – Israel circa 2020 – whose language is violence. The rape in Eilat might not be the outcome of the wild behavior of Border Police officers at Meitar, but a direct line connects the two types of incidents: the line of cruelty toward those who are weaker than you. The occupation is not to blame for everything, but its spirit is the spirit of Israel: What is acceptable in Meitar, is acceptable in Aya Napa and Eilat…
The united opposition (Alex Fishman, Yedioth Hebrew) What they didn't do over years of intifadas, tons of bombs that fell on the Gaza Strip, and thousands of Palestinians injured in clashes with the IDF, one small peace with the Emirates and Bahrain succeed in doing: Fatah, Hamas and other Palestinian organizations joined forces and established a joint headquarters to fight the Israeli peace process Arab - a cooperation that is of great concern to the security forces in Israel. The normalization agreements between Israel, the Emirates and Bahrain have led to a great rapprochement between the Palestinian organizations. The Israeli security establishment fears the strengthening of Hamas' terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank...
*Netanyahu is braver than those demand to replace him (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz Hebrew) Instead of saying a single word of criticism about the misguided conduct of the former State Attorney, Shai Nitzan, in the case of the assassination of Yaakov Abu al-Qiyan in Umm al-Hiran, Avi Nissenkorn, the Minister of Justice with a white brush, stood on the Knesset podium and defended it with his own body. Nissenkorn claimed, and rightly so, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is cynically exploiting this tragedy. But what were you thinking, Nissenkorn, that Netanyahu wouldn’t squeeze the most out of Nitzan’s severe act? In the meantime, let us admit, this time Netanyahu showed a thousand times more courage than the members of your party (Kahol-Lavan), as well as members of Yesh Atid-Telem, and bypassed you on the left in a storm. You, on the other hand, were silenced when Netanyahu incited venomous words against the Arabs, as if their leaders were supporters of terrorism, and you swore, accept with a committee, that you would not receive the Arab parties’ support, even as cheerleaders from the stands. That’s the difference between a determined leader, even if three cases of bribery, fraud and breach of trust hang around his neck, and a group of cowards, who jump as if bitten by a snake whenever they are accused of being allies of the Arabs. Thanks to the fight against Netanyahu, Kahol-Lavan won hundreds of thousands of Arab votes, but in the moment of truth, when the time came to protect the memory of Abu Al-Kayan and his family, Kahol-Lavan had nothing to say but attack Netanyahu's cynicism. Well, you were cynics too; What's more, this time the things that were said, despite the cynicism, were true for real. But things are deeper. Nitzan's declaration that it is impossible to determine whether or not there was a terrorist attack in Umm al-Hiran is based on the implicit assumption that the Arab is a terrorist until proven otherwise. After all, a terrorist does not wait until they come to kill him in his house, a terrorist will not go into battle without carrying at least one firearm. If the police had a different job assumption in relation to the essence of the Arab, one could expect a message in this language: In the clashes, a policeman and a local resident were killed. But when the assumption is that an Arab is a terrorist until proven otherwise, a minute after the incident everyone jumps - the top police, the Minister of Public Security, the Prime Minister - and declare the horrible accusation without hesitating. It was Netanyahu's greatest enemies at the moment, (State Prosecutor) Nitzan and (former police commissioner) Roni Alsheikh and the entire law enforcement system, that provided Netanyahu with this lifeline - that every Arab is a potential terrorist; Thanks to that Netanyahu was able to form a government after the last election. But then the monster rose up against its creator, and the police and the prosecutor's office, as well as the patriotic media, who enthusiastically encouraged the message that Arab leaders are potential terrorists, became Netanyahu's punching bag. Those who fight corruption, on the one hand, and on the other hand abandon the Arabs and do not protect them from Netanyahu's incitement, are stuck in a Gordian knot that cannot be untied. They will be rescued from being stuck only if, like Alexander the Great, they draw their sword and sever the knot once and for all: they declare aloud that they are proud of the Arab population, they demand a commission of inquiry into false accusations against Abu al-Qiyan, and they demand to cancel the eviction of all the residents (of the unrecognized village,) Umm al-Hiran. There are no shortcuts, neither in life nor in politics. They must do so, and if not - Netanyahu will drag in his struggle for survival, the ruling establishment and the entire country with all its citizens into a destructive black hole. It is not easy. Generations have grown up on the saying, that a good Arab is a dead Arab. How they will change direction now? It may be difficult, but if not they face a difficult choice: Arabs or a rule of corruption. There is no choice but to choose the Arabs. It's a life order.
The cultural genius of the Abraham Accords (Michael Sussman, Israel Hayom) To restore and maintain "mu-wazana," ("balance"), the rest of the Gulf States – and other Arab countries – will wish to follow Abu Dhabi's lead.
**No UAE peace without an Israeli political process with Palestinians (Ephraim Sneh, Haaretz+) Since one night in October 2001, when I traveled to the United Arab Emirates, the first Israeli minister to do so, I have both written and spoken about the establishment of a strategic alliance between Israel and the Gulf countries, headed by the UAE. I saw that as a crucial step for blocking the Iranian threat and for regional peace. It was clear that without progress with the Palestinians that wouldn’t happen…But the joy of peace shouldn’t interfere with our sober perception…But if anyone thinks that relations with the Gulf countries will develop without a diplomatic compensation with the Palestinians in exchange for the normalization, let him look at our relationship with Jordan. There are gas exports, there is cooperation in routine security arrangements, but other than that there’s really nothing. This flower of a treaty with the Emirates can either bloom or wilt. It all depends on us…
The Palestinians were left behind (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth Hebrew) Peace agreements will be signed in Washington today. This is certainly a reason to party, because these agreements express spirits of change in the Arab world. The Palestinians are angry. But reactions in the Arab world range from shrugging to support. There is no popular protest. Israel is no longer a dangerous monster, but a hope for a new future. Not a love story yet. But much less hate.
Will Oman take a calculated risk and make peace? (Daniel Siryoti, Israel Hayom) Arab diplomats think Oman will be next normalize with Israel, even though unlike other Gulf States, it enjoys good ties with Iran.
Israelis have no time to be happy about the the  ceremony in the US when they don’t know how they’ll finish the month (Lahav Harkov, JPost/Maariv) Israelis are happy with the agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, but they do not have the patience and time to get excited about the ceremony at the White House when they think about how they will make it through the holidays and keep busy their children who will be forced to stay at home.
Netanyahu at the White House: Big Triumph Abroad, Big Failures at Home (Aluf Benn, Haaretz+) The prime minister's resounding failure in handling the coronavirus crisis, his corruption trial and constant incitement and lying shouldn't take away from the significance of Israel's agreements with the UAE and Bahrain.
Three grooms, one bridesmaid (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth Hebrew) The southern lawn of the White House hosted all the festive stops in the long and winding process aimed at reconciliation between Israel and the Arab world. The road between celebration and celebration is littered with mines. It does not diminish in any way the historical feeling, the joy of achievement.
Every Saturday, a privileged group living in its own universe creeps out (Kalman Liebeskind, Maariv) Amid the severe restrictions that apply to all of us, the Balfour protesters have no corona, no contagion and no orders, and they are not interested in issues of national responsibility. They are allowed everything.
White House ceremony for historic Gulf accords fetes ‘Peace of the Knaves’ (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Dramatic breakthrough engineered by unscrupulous Trump and Netanyahu in collaboration with two of the world’s most repressive regimes.
The new peace (Ari Shavit, Yedioth Hebrew) The new peace is a strange peace. The left-wing has a hard time with it because it's Netanyahu's peace. And Trump's peace. And peace without Palestinians. The right-wing does not address its meaning. They try to believe that it is peace for peace. And a peace without concessions. A peace of Greater Israel. While the general public finds it difficult to get excited about a distant political process during difficult days. When the corona strikes us - it is difficult to feel elation. Few hear the flapping of the wings of history.
What Will Netanyahu Do After His Party in Washington? (Haaretz Editorial) These agreements will serve the interests of both Israel and the Arab signatories for many years to come, long after Netanyahu and Trump have left office. But it would be a dangerous mistake to also celebrate the Palestinians’ defeat and see the agreements as proof that the Palestinian problem no longer interests either Arab governments or the Arab public. The Arab states, including those that have signed agreements with Israel, haven’t abandoned the two-state solution, and they have gone to great lengths to stress this at every opportunity.
The event that will change the history of the Middle East (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Even in a pandemic, we can allow ourselves to rejoice at the first open, warm peace between Israel and Arab countries, and ignore the cynics who are seeking to play down the importance of today.
Behind Normalization With Israel Lie Lucrative U.S. Arms Deals (Hagai Amit, Haaretz+) Deals in the Gulf and the Balkans are a part of Trump’s arms marketing drive.
Israel's leadership has failed us (Limor Livnat, Yedioth/Ynet) Netanyahu believes his admirers can defend him even after hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been cast out with no jobs, income or prospects as a second lockdown in six months wreaks more havoc on an already struggling economy.
Manipulative Documentary on Olmert Plays Into Netanyahu’s Hands (Shany Littman, Haaretz+) The one-sided narrative in a new film about the disgraced former prime minister claims that a blend of right-wing plotting, overzealousness by the police and prosecutors, and a betrayal by close associates led to Ehud Olmert’s conviction.
New lockdown is test of public faith in government (Yuval Karni, Yedioth/Ynet) After showing discipline and adhering to health directives during the first nationwide closure, Israelis have become critical of the politicians and their motives in decision-making, and Netanyahu's latest TV appearance did little to rebuild their trust.
Netanyahu's Dream-come-true Kingdom (B. Michael, Haaretz+) Despite all the superlatives being lavished upon it, the hoopla in Washington is nothing more than a double campaign ad by two unbridled narcissists. Both are currently suffering some election anxiety, and so they fabricated a “historic event” to please their base. It wasn’t hard. A pair of tyrannical emirates – no bastions of human rights – were persuaded by Uncle Sam’s purse-strings and weapons store to expose their shadowy ties with a third tyrannical state. What was kept hidden under the rug for years has now been pulled out to be shown off for all to see. This is the whole reason for the big fanfare.
The decision-making process is appropriate for a 19th-century shtetl rather than a high-tech nation (Ben Caspit, Maariv) We deserve a pat on the back: Israel is about to break the negative world record and be the first serious country to go out of business for the second time. Assuming this is, indeed, a serious country.
In praise of the quiet peacemakers (Dr. Miriam Adelson, Israel Hayom) Today will be glorious, historic – a day of high rhetoric, large personalities and splashy headlines. But the road to this White House ceremony was paved by a very different kind of people, who made history in a very different way.
The Racist Tradition of Blackface Is Alive and Well in Israel (Leah Hylo, Haaretz+) The historical context is different, but the balance of power between Blacks and whites or brown people in Israeli society is similar to that in the U.S.

Hussein Dwabsha: "Whoever supports Amiram Ben-Uliel should be imprisoned"
The grandfather of Ahmed, the boy whose family was murdered by Amiram Ben-Uliel in the arson attack on the home in the Palestinian village Duma, told 103FM Radio hosts Anat Davidov and Golan Yochpaz about how much the surviving child misses his family, and expressed his opinion on the support project for Ben-Uliel, among whose supporters is also Yair Netanyahu. (103FM/Maariv)

Yohpaz: What do you think about the support project for Ben-Uliel? They collected almost half a million shekels within sixty hours, and among the supporters was also the son of the Prime Minister, Yair Netanyahu. What do you think about this mobilization?
HD: "I don't care about it. It is not my business, they do what they want. I know a lot of people support (Ben-Uliel). You have to run after them and put them in jail. After all, if he is not in prison, they will come like him and burn another house and destroy another family. We do not want such a thing to happen."
Davidov: How is the boy?
HD: "The boy is constantly thinking and asking about his family. Yesterday I tried to put a mask on him when he went to school, and he did not understand that he doesn't succeed in putting it on because he does not have an ear, and the mask does not sit on his face properly. It's a small thing, but not for him, and no one thought about it. What are we going to tell him when he asks us where his ear is? He used to be small, but now he is a big boy, 11. He is starting to look at himself compared to his friends, compared to the other kids at school."
Yochpaz: Does he understand what happened in court? Does it concern him at all?
HD: "I don't share it. I don't want to."
Davidov: Does he miss them?
HD: "Of course he misses them. He keeps asking about his family. Listen, a year and a half ago my son passed away. His wife was pregnant, and when the child was born she called him Ali [name of the Ahmed’s baby brother, who was also murdered in the arson attack. - OH]. My grandson says to me, “Well done, they gave me back my brother. He will be my support now. Instead of my brother.’”

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