News Nosh 03.28.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday March 28, 2014

Number of the day:
--Number of olive trees Yitzhar settlers chopped down Thursday in Palestinian town of Huwwara.**

Front Page News:
  • Zaken to become state witness against (former prime minister) Ehud Olmert
  • The puppet gets off the string // Gidi Weitz
  • Extension at the last minute // Ido Baum
  • Netanyahu and Bennett, Adelson and Ben-Zvi: Who is behind the acquisition of 'Makor Rishon'
  • Mysterious syndrome takes the lives of dozens of foreign agricultural workers - 43 Thai workers died after feeling pain and fatigue, but no one has investigated the phenomenon
  • An orphaned seat - Percentage of participation of MKs in Knesset votes fell this winter and the ministers are trailing behind
  • First brain researcher of the faculty for administration solves decision-making
  • 1/4 page ad: Come experience the day-to-day life in the West Bank - One state or two states for two peoples -
Yedioth Ahronoth
Israel Hayom
  • Investigation against Olmert on suspicion of obstructing justice
  • Police and prosecution intent to achieve "doomsday weapon" // Mordechai Gilat
  • Suspicion: The poetic 'black raven' is Olmert himself // Dan Margalit
  • Death of Cpt. Tal Nahman: Those involved were dismissed
  • Ashkenazi affair: 2 senior officials interrogated
  • Last minute delay in mega gas deal at the Leviatan field: Australians oppose the tax

Peace Talk Highlights:
The aide to former prime minister Ehud Olmert became a state witness against him making today's top story in Israel's Hebrew Friday papers. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe accused Israel of "playing an ugly game of blackmail" and said that if Israel does not release all the Palestinian prisoners included in the agreed list and on time, the prisoners would riot, there would be "anger" in the Palestinian street and the PA would join international organizations, Maan and Maariv/NRG Hebrew reported.
Maariv/NRG Hebrew's Asaf Gabor also quoted a Palestinian poll, which revealed that 76% of Palestinians in Territories believe that the peace talks will be extended.

Quick Hits:
  • Soldier supposedly stabbed by Arabs admits story made up - During police interrogation soldier says he was not attacked, but just fell down. Earlier the soldier alleged Arab assailants stabbed him in the leg, lightly wounding him in the E. Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev. (Haaretz+ and Ynet
  • Settlers destroy solar panels in south Hebron hills - A group of settlers from the illegal outpost of Mitzpe Yair on Thursday attacked and destroyed three out of the five solar panels providing electricity to the small village of Khirbet Bir al-Idd in the south Hebron hills. [The solar panels were built by Comet-ME, an Israeli-Palestinian NGO providing electricity and clean water to off-grid communities through solar and wind energy. - OH] (Maan)
  • Palestinian worker dies while being chased by Israeli officers - Magen David Adom paramedics told Ma'an they were alerted to the presence of a man lying unconscious in the old industrial zone in the town of Mitzpe Ramon in southern Israel. A Palestinian worker from the south Hebron hills died Thursday after he fell while being chased by Israeli police officers because he did not have a permit to work in Israel. (Maan)
  • **Settlers cut down 50 olive trees near Nablus - A number of settlers from Yitzhar chopped down more than 50 olive trees of Huwwara village. (Maan
  • EU diplomats warn of regional conflagration over Temple Mount - Israeli policies are aimed at cementing its unilateral and illegal annexation of East Jerusalem, report says. (Haaretz+)
  • Tension in Karmiel: Arabs holding "Land Day" demonstration today - Bedouins living in Ramia neighborhood in city center will demonstrate 1pM Friday along with MKs and Galilee Arabs claiming their they were dispossessed of their lands. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew
  • Call for general strike in Arab sector (of Israel) - Higher Committee of Arabs of Israel called for a general strike in the Arab sector Sunday to mark "Land Day." The strike will include all the local councils (municipalities), schools, the commercial sector and civil service employees. (Yedioth, p. 8)
  • Palestinian students visit Auschwitz in first organized visit - Visit is part of program that aims to teach Israeli and Palestinian students about the other side's suffering in effort to study how empathy could facilitate reconciliation. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli eyes over the World Cup - Elbit to supply the Brazilian Air Force with the advanced Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle within two months. Financial details have yet to be disclosed. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Leading Palestinian moderate retires as East Jerusalem university president - Sari Nusseibeh's announcement comes soon after Islamist rally at Al Quds University, but he ascribes decision to his lengthy tenure and age. (Haaretz+)
  • UN condemns Syria fighters' activity on Golan - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns that "heavy clashes" in the area of separation on the Israel-Syria border "jeopardize the cease-fire between the two countries."  U.N. Security Council expresses concern over Syrian regime's use of barrel bombs. (Israel Hayom)
  • After reaching deal with Olmert aide, State Prosecution asks to postpone verdict - State Prosecutor signs plea bargain Shula Zaken in Holyland graft case against former PM Olmert; she will serve 11 months in prison and testify again. (Haaretz+)
  • Ex-Olmert aide accepts plea bargain that includes jail time - Former PM's camp slams ex-bureau chief for giving police reportedly incriminating evidence against him, in bid to gain immunity. (Ynet
  • Olmert under investigation for obstruction of justice in Holyland case - Police opens investigation after Olmert's former aide Shula Zaken provided state prosecutor with recordings allegedly incriminating the former prime minister. (Ynet
  • Palestinian agriculture is disappearing - A disappearing world: expanding employment opportunities and high costs of agriculture threaten to make Palestinians fields into pit fields and a jungle of concrete. (NRG Hebrew
  • Israeli architects fight British counterparts' BDS call - Appeal to PM Cameron to back up Knesset pledge to oppose BDS. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel dismisses Turkish reports on Gaza flotilla compensation deal - Turkish papers say Israel to pay Turkey $21 million for deaths in 2010 raid on Gaza-bound ships and end Gaza blockade, after which Erdogan will visit. (Agencies, Ynet
  • Church official: Pope's trip to Israel in doubt - Foreign Ministry strike threatens Francis' visit to the Holy Land , though Holy See representatives say the pope would still stop in Jordan, West Bank. (Agencies, Ynet
  • Turkish foreign minister says 'gap with Israel closing' - Senior Israeli official involved in negotiations says notwithstanding media reports, talks between Israel and Turkey are 'frozen.' (Haaretz+)
  • In a gesture to Turkey, Israel allowing building materials and medical supplies into Gaza - Move signals progress in slow-moving reconciliation process between Jerusalem and Ankara following the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010. (Haaretz+ and Ynet
  • Egyptian army destroys 13 tunnels in Rafah - The Egyptian army reportedly destroyed 13 smuggling tunnels near the Rafah border and seized a number of vehicles and other goods that were intended to be smuggled across the border. (Maan)
  • Sheldon Adelson poised to buy Makor Rishon -Trustee manager of Makor Rishon picks casino billionaire to buy the newspaper and the nrg news website. (Haaretz+) 
  • Designing the 'Ceremonial Vniform' for the Palestinian Authority - "The Ceremonial Vniform" opened to the public at Birzeit University Museum on March 20. Created by Palestinian artist Omarivs Ioseph Filivs Dinæ, the design exhibition focuses on identity, gender, history and the materiality of authority in the Palestinian context. (Maan)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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