News Nosh 03.16.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday March 16, 2014

Note: News Nosh will be off tomorrow for Purim!

Quote of the day:
“His father’s a drunk, and his mother has cancer. They don’t have 700 shekels to release their boy, so he’ll remain in custody until the end of the legal process. It’s a farce.”
--Lawyer of a Palestinian minor who was caught in Israel without a permit. The boy is one of 60 minors held in Israeli custody during legal proceedings, despite not being a danger to the public.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • "The (Malaysian) plane was hijacked"
  • The death of a legend - Meir Har-Tzion
  • Purim           
  • How the circumcision industry in Israel turned into an supervised field           
  • The Belgian businessman who testified for Dankner talks about his meetings with Ben-Moshe
  • not published today
Israel Hayom

Peace Talk Highlights:
Today's top stories focused on the missing Malaysian plane and the death of a legendary Israeli fighter. Today Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas travels to the US to meet US President Barack Obama and the papers reported on the crisis in the talks, the US frustration with the Israeli insistence on Palestinian recognition of a Jewish state and the negative remarks made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon on the possibility for peace. Meanwhile, Palestinian groups urged Abbas to end the peace talks and turn to the UN. And the Palestinian Authority wants to call the 'Green Line' the 'Red Line.'

Abbas heads to Washington as both sides remain pessimistic about the chances for achieving a breakthrough and the deadline looms closer. Haaretz+ writes that with the Arab League and Russian support for his stance against recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, he will not change his position.  Yedioth's Itamar Eichner reported that US sources said that the peace talks are on the verge of collapsing. Eichner also wrote that the US administration's frustration in Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's insistence on Jewish state recognition was reflected in US Secretary of State John Kerry's statement Thursday that there was no need for Palestinian recognition of a Jewish state, which was "solved already in the UN resolution of 181 in 1947. There there are more than 44 mentions of a Jewish state." Eichner wrote that Kerry's remarks should be seen not only as increasing the pressure on Netanyahu, but also raising the pressure on Abbas.
Left-wing Palestinian factions have urged him to declare the failure of the peace talks and turn to the UN for state recognition instead, saying accepting Kerry's framework 'is like committing suicide.' 
Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told Israeli Channel 2 Saturday that Abbas is 'no partner' for peace and that conflict won't be resolved in his generation. He said that "Hamas is good for us in Gaza" and denied the Palestinians lived under occupation. 

The Palestinian Authority plans to ask the United Nations to change the color of the demarcation line that represents Israel’s pre-1967 borders, replacing the Green Line with a red one, Haaretz reports. The new border would be called the 'Red Line and it would be visible from space.  “Green means go, right? But what about the color red? Red says stop. For all these years those settlers have been pouring over the Green Line. Now we want the UN to deliver a clear message to Israelis: Stop when you see red," a Palestinian official told Haaretz.

Quick Hits:
  • **Israel Police jailing thousands during trial - At least 2,000 people, 60 children now in custody until end of legal proceedings; police commissioner says practice serves as deterrent. (Haaretz+)
  • 12 Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli prisons - The prisoners were on hunger strike to protest being held without charges. Akras al-Fseisi, Moammar Banat, and Waheed Abu Maraya have been on hunger strike for 66 days, and Amir al-Shams has been on strike for 64 days. (Maan)
  • Settlers uproot 30 trees near Yatta - Settlers from the Israeli settlement of Susiya raided the area and uprooted 30 trees belonging to the Shatat family in the village of Khirbet Zanuta. (Maan)
  • Israeli soldiers 'shoot, critically injure' Palestinian teen - Mohammad Abu Ayyash, 16, was shot with a live bullet near his ear, which penetrated his head, during a protest in Beit Ummar. (Maan)
  • Nearly 40 injured in clashes across the West Bank - 
  • The injured included 35 Palestinians in the Abu Dis and Eizariya neighborhoods of East Jerusalem as well as two Palestinians in Beitin, all injured when Israeli forces opened fire on demonstrations across the central West Bank on Friday afternoon. A Norwegian activist was also injured. (Maan
  • Peace Now: 'How great it is to be right-wing!' - Peace Now launches satirical video poking fun at right-wing, slamming West Bank policy and new legislation. So, is it so much fun being part of the right-wing? (Ynet +VIDEO ENGLISH captions
  • 4 Border Policemen hit by Palestinian driver - Driver says he accidentally stepped on the gas instead of the breaks, and did not intend to harm the soldiers. (HaaretzYnet and Maan)
  • Meir Har-Zion, epitome of the Israeli soldier, dies at 80 - In 1954 his sister Shoshana was murdered with a friend while on a hike in the Judean Desert. Out of vengeance, Har Zion, together with three 101 Unit members, went to the same area and murdered four Bedouin. The political hard-liner believed to the end that a Palestinian state would spell the end of Israel. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Village: Israel to confiscate land in Salfit village - Haris village council said that Israel had sent a notice saying it would confiscate 100 dunams (25 acres) of the village's private land. The land will be used to expand the illegal Israeli settlement of Revava, the statement said. (Maan)
  • Gaza's only power station shuts down due to lack of fuel - Israel's Defense Ministry ordered closing of the Kerem Shalom crossing following a rocket attack on Israel's south that began Wednesday. (Haaretz and Maan
  • Just before Purim, Peres reveals 1970s disguise - President posts images to Facebook of him donning mustache, horn-rimmed glasses wig and fedora. 'This is the disguise I wore when I met with King Hussein of Jordan.' (Haaretz)
  • Jordanian boy has successful kidney transplant in Israel - After suffering critical kidney failure, 7-year-old boy receives his mother's kidney at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Doctors say boy is recovering well. Complicated procedure was not possible in Jordanian hospitals. (Israel Hayom) 
  • Gaza truce appears to be holding amid rocket fire - Despite a mortar rocket falling Friday morning, both the IDF and Gaza-based terror groups seem to be attempting to maintain peace after two days of violence. (Ynet)
  • Israel strikes Hezbollah after bomb targets soldiers on border - Roadside bomb explodes near Israeli soldiers on border with Lebanon, none wounded. IDF responds with tank and artillery fire at "Hezbollah positions and other suspicious locations" in southern Lebanon. IDF: Hezbollah had a hand in the bomb attack. (Israel Hayom)
  • Lebanon: Policy statement allows citizens to resist Israel - Declaration is compromise between Hezbollah, seeking to guarantee right to fight Israel and maintain weapons arsenal, and Sunni-led opponents seeking to emphasize state's role in carrying arms. (Ynet)
  • Jordanian PM visits family of judge shot to death by Israeli soldiers - Witnesses who allegedly saw incident last Monday say Judge Raed Zueter didn’t try to steal soldier’s gun, as IDF claims. (Haaretz+)
  • Hundreds call for expulsion of Israeli ambassador in Amman - Demonstrations Friday were organized by leftist, Islamist, nationalist, and youth parties, and protesters called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and the cancellation of the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel in protest of the Israeli killing of a Palestinian-Jordanian judge earlier in the week. (Maan and Haaretz)
  • Jordanian who killed 7 Israeli girls goes on hunger strike, demands release - Ahmed Daqamseh, who shot a group of schoolgirls in 1997, says his father demands release from prison after Jordanian-Palestinian judge killed by IDF. (Haaretz)
  • Tunisia says Israelis welcome, following charges of discrimination - Israelis aboard cruise line were denied entry because they had not prearranged their visas, tourism minister says. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Iconic Jerusalem painting by Palestinian artist unveiled in Dubai - Newly-painted version of 1973 painting by Suleiman Mansour depicting an elderly porter struggling to balance Jerusalem on his back was believed to have been destroyed in a U.S. air strike on Libya. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Aliyah up 6.7% compared to last year - 1,218 new immigrants arrived in Israel in January 2014, compared to 1,141 a year earlier, according to data collected by the Central Bureau of Statistics. If the trend continues, immigration to Israel could top 20,000 by end of the year. (Israel Hayom)
  • Celebrities press UN on Palestinian refugees in Syria - Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Sting, Bryan Adams and Annie Lennox among celebrities demanding the UN creates safe spaces and local ceasefires to allow emergency supplies to reach besieged people. (Ynet)
  • Egypt says it killed mastermind of 2011 Eilat terrorist attack - Conflicting reports on death of Abu Abdullah, with Egyptian forces saying they killed him and Sinai-based terrorist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis saying he died when a bomb went off accidentally. Violence continues, with six soldiers killed outside Cairo. (Israel Hayom)
  • Report: Syrian rebels offer to sell Golan to Israel in return for military aid - According to Al-Arab newspaper, Syrian opposition willing to give Israel the Golan Heights. In return, Israel will use its air defense to enforce a no-fly zone over southern Syria. (Ynet)
  • Sinai militant said to be behind 2011 attack in Israel killed by own bomb - Tawfiq Mohammed Freij, one of founders of Sinai militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, was responsible for cross-border attack that killed eight Israelis, group claims. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  •  Israel preparing for new missile threats - Arrow 3 missile interceptor, still under development, seen as answer to threat of long-range Iranian Shahab-3 missiles. (Ynet)
  • Iran says sabotage prevented at nuclear facility - Iran's nuclear organization security chief says attempt to sabotage the country's heavy water nuclear reactor neutralized before damage done. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran defense minister: Palestinian missile power '1,000 times' stronger - Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqa praises Palestinians for firing on Israel and says they have yet to display their actual missile capabilities. (Haaretz)
  • White House posts Purim message - complete with hamantaschen recipes - Message calls on people not only to celebrate, but also reflect on the holiday's 'more serious underlying themes.' (Haaretz)

In bleeding Sinai, Bedouin caught between two fires
A rare journalistic visit to the northern Sinai peninsula, where Egyptian militants are successfully playing a cat-and-mouse game with the Arab world's biggest army. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Kerry is right about Netanyahu's unnecessary Jewish state demand (Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu’s insistence on the declaration of Israel as a Jewish state is designed to push Abbas into an impossible position. 
Kerry's framework not pro-Palestinian enough? (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) For the hard Left, any framework that gives Palestinians less than they were offered a decade ago doesn't meet muster.  
Kerry tries to defuse 'recognition as Jewish state' time bomb that threatens talks (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) In testimony before Congress, Kerry exposed his belated awareness that Netanyahu’s spotlight on the issue has returned Israelis and Palestinians to the intractable core of their conflict. 
The goal: To turn Herzog into Begin (Shalom Yerushalmi, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Opposition leader marks a new goal after a successful week of managing the protest against the coalition. Shimon Battat, who nearly brought Mofaz to victory over Livni, is trying to make us believe that Herzog will be the next Prime Minister.
Abbas and 'right of return' will defeat Kerry (Elliot Abrams, Israel Hayom) Abbas' maneuver kills the chances for a peace deal. 
To whom does the referendum law refer? (Aeyal Gross, Haaretz+) In a departure from Israel's republican form of government, a new Basic Law gives the Israeli public the direct authority to decline a peace deal, but not to block settlement construction.
Prisoner release in limbo (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Israel is tormented by the prospect of yet another group of terrorists walking out of prison just for the sake of unrealized progress in the peace talks.
 A company commander who outshone Israel’s generals (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) The late Meir Har-Zion's Zionism was the Zionism that thinks with a paratrooper’s red beret. 
A good week for Abbas (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) Ahead of his U.S. trip, Abbas needed something to take the heat off his rejection of Kerry's "framework for peace." His prayers were answered.
Israel’s nation-state talk means the return of the yellow star (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Israelis are judging people by their ancestors and withdrawing into a ghetto-state whose nature will be determined by its purity. 
The Iranian weapons ship, ad nauseam (Yoel Marcus, Haaretz+) Israelis didn’t need four days of the same TV footage to be convinced that their guys are great. 
A man of law and truth (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) Justice Edmond Levy understood that for historic, religious and, yes, legal reasons, Israel is no "occupier" in the heart of its homeland.
Who are they to tell us who we are? (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) Jewish Israelis don't need the Palestinians, or Netanyahu, to define their national identity for them.
What lies beneath the glory (Emily Amrousi, Israel Hayom) Apartment ads plastered across construction sites, promising shopping malls and country clubs mock the Tel Aviv lifestyle, while the ancient natural beauty of Israeli settlements conceal a hidden danger.
Israel's real leader and navigator: Naftali Bennett (Friday Haaretz Editorial) Israelis have cause for deep concern as Bennett, at the end of a year’s term, appears to be well on his way to achieving his dangerous goals. 
Hezbollah's thirst for revenge will not end (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Recent explosive targeted at IDF soldiers is part of ongoing revenge for attacking of Hezbollah-bound weapons convoy. The system: An eye for an eye against military targets only. 
How many times must the Palestinians recognize Israel? (Hussein Ibish, Haaretz+) Netanyahu’s new 'Jewish state' mantra negates the fact that Palestinians recognized Israel more than twenty years ago. They’re still waiting for Israel to recognize Palestine.
Analysis: Hezbollah, Assad taking gloves off in fight against Israel (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Previous incidents on the border were attributed to extreme Sunni organizations. This time, the IDF is pointing the finger at their rival, Hezbollah.
'Palestinians are impeding peace talks'
Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) in Israel Hayom interview: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu understands the need for a peace agreement, but the Palestinians are not showing a willingness to compromise. (Interviewed by Shlomo Cesana in Israel Hayom)

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