News Nosh 06.22.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday June 22, 2014

Quote of the day:
"A doctor is a human, before being Jewish or Arab."
--MK and medical doctor Ahmad Tibi writes open letter to Israeli physician who expressed his reservations over caring for Palestinians following kidnapping affair.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
Israel Hayom
  • Turning over every stone - On the diplomatic front: Israel considering expelling UN representative for helping Hamas; On military front: Our forces are scanning every meter
  • Working around the clock to reach the youth // Major Eran Krass personal diary from the field
  • The example of the mothers, the baseness of the critics // Dan Margalit
  • Tragedy at Reading Beach
  • The summer only just begun - tragedies are already here
  • Enormous fire in Cesaria
  • Not in fashion: Warehouse in flames, giant internet clothing company ASOS disabled

News Summary:
As the operation to find the missing Israeli teens in the West Bank comes up empty, the Hebrew papers share today the diaries of military commanders and report on searches of wells and caves. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continued to blame Hamas for the kidnapping while Palestinian Prime Minister Riad al-Malki told him to prove it. Maariv reported that some of the coalition and some of the opposition parties want Netanyahu to return to peace talks. And Yedioth ran a 2/3-page report about the Palestinian detainees on a mass hunger-strike who are waiting for a solution.
Meanwhile, the southern front has heated up with continued exchanges of rockets and missiles between Israel and Gaza.
Maan reported that the ongoing arrest campaign as part of the operation brings the total number of Palestinians in jail to 5,700. Those detained in the campaign have not been tried. Around 370 Palestinians have been detained as of Saturday.

On Friday numerous Israeli reporters published their diary of spending a night with the troops raiding Palestinian towns and villages. Here is Ynet reporter Yoav Zitun's report and Israel Hayom's Lilach Shoval. Shoval quotes an IDF commander who speaks of IDF collective punishment: "Palestinians will not enjoy a good night's sleep until the boys are back," he said.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said Netanyahu should show proof of Hamas' involvement. He added, that if it is true, it will be a blow to the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas and would harm the unity government. 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' statement calling for the return of the kidnapped Israeli youth has gotten positive reactions from Israeli commentators as well as centrist Israeli ministers and opposition MKs. Yedioth devoted a large article to the condemnations Abbas received, including from Palestinians who have called him a 'traitor.' MK Hanin Zouebi accused Abbas of 'betraying' the Palestinians. Abbas told Haaretz that Netanyahu's reaction dismissing his words shows he does not want peace.
However, Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister and former chief negotiator Tzipi Livni as well as Meretz party chief Zehava Gal-On called on Netanyahu to return to the negotiation table with AbbasMaariv reported. Livni said "the attack on Abu Mazen was a mistake" and Lapid noted, "Abu Mazen said things that one could get killed for in the Middle East." Gal-On said the military operation "has turned into collective punishment and revenge against the Palestinian Authority, which only strengthened Hamas against the moderates." Opposition and Labor party chief MK Isaac Herzog said, "I told the Prime Minister that it was a mistake to put the blame on (Abbas)."
In an article titled, "Hungry for a solution," Yedioth reported that 200 Palestinians, who were hunger-striking in solidarity with the 77 administrative detainees still on hunger-strike in protest of being held without charges - some for years - have returned to eating. The majority of the 77 still on hunger-strike are hospitalized. Moreover, thirty Israeli intellectuals have called to stop the force-feeding bill.
Meanwhile, Israel and Gaza continue to exchange rockets and missiles and some analysts say that if this turned into another military operation against Gaza, that would only strengthen Hamas (see Commentary/Analysis). One rocket exploded Saturday in a southern Israel community with no injuries or damages reported. Late Thursday, Iron Dome intercepted a rocket over Ashkelon. Israel responded firing on Gaza from Israeli jets.
Kidnapping Quick Hits:
  • Thousands attend funeral for Hebron teen killed by Israel - Thousands of people on Friday took part in the funeral procession of Mahmoud Jihad Muhammad Dudeen, 14, who was killed by Israeli forces early Friday morning during a military raid. Dudeen was struck by live bullets in the chest. (Maan
  • Palestinian dies of heart attack as Israeli troops raid home - Palestinian security sources said Israeli soldiers refused to allow family members of Jamil Ali Abed Jabir to take him to hospital for treatment after he suffered a heart attack and he eventually died at home. Jabir had a heart attack during a heated argument with Israeli troops who broke into his house in the village of Haris in the northern West Bank. (Maan)
  • Israel rejects responsibility for elderly Palestinian's death - The Israeli army on Saturday denied responsibility for the death of an elderly Palestinian earlier in the day, saying that he had passed away in an unrelated incident during a raid on his village. (Maan)
  • UN Mideast peace envoy condemns Israel's arrest campaign - "The Special Coordinator is deeply concerned by reports that Israeli security operations in the West Bank since the abduction of three Israeli students have resulted in over 300 Palestinians arrested, many injured, and three Palestinians killed, including one minor..." said Robert Serry. (Maan
  • More penalties against Hamas-affiliated prisoners - Punishments include changing family visits from once a week to once every two months for 45 minutes, allowing prisoners only one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening in the prisons yard, shutting the canteen and allowing only 400 shekels to be spent monthly. Israeli authorities informed other prisoners who live in the Hamas prisoners’ sections that they will be punished too if they do not move out of these sections, according to the official. (Maan
  • Birzeit University condemns Israeli raid on campus - One of most prestigious West Bank universities condemned a Thursday night Israeli raid on its campus, calling it a "blatant attack on the right to education" by occupation forces. (Maan)
  • Israeli troops raid Bethlehem's biggest charitable society - Large numbers of Israeli soldiers broke into the building of Bethlehem Charitable Society for Orphan’s Care and “stole” electronic equipment and paper files. (Maan
  • Hebron losses '$10m daily' during siege - Productivity in the Hebron marketplace has decreased 50 percent after a week of Israeli siege in search of three missing settlers, according to a Palestinian businessman. The city suffers around $10 million in losses daily, while laborers are losing around $2 million, said Mohammad Nafeth al-Herbawi, head of the Palestinian businessmen forum in Hebron. (Maan)
  • Netanyahus meet with parents of kidnapped teens - Yifrach, Frenkel, and Shaer families ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step up efforts to find their sons. PM tells them locating teens is his top priority. Sara Netanyahu: The entire nation awaits the return of your boys. (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinians cynical as Israel mobilizes #BringBackOurBoys campaign - With more than 5,000 Palestinians currently sitting in Israeli prison cells, many Palestinians view the Israeli media campaign with deep skepticism. "What is three among thousands?" Ali Qaraqe, asked a Palestinian political satirist. (Maan)
Quick Hits:
Nablus sit-in tent on 58th day of hunger strike - Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visited a sit-in tent for Palestinian hunger strikers on Saturday in Nablus. Around 125 Palestinian prisoners launched a hunger strike on April 24 in protest against Israel's continued use of detention without trial, known as administrative detention. (Maan)
UN envoy denies claim he tried to funnel $20m to Hamas behind Israel's back - Robert Serry calls Avigdor Lieberman's accusation 'baseless' and 'crazy'; FM sought to have Robert Serry declared persona non grata for supposedly trying to direct $20 million to Hamas in Gaza via Qatar, to pay the salaries of government employees there. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
Bill seeks to revoke pardon of Schalit deal prisoners - Likud MK Zeev Elkin seeks to expedite legislation changing status of terrorists released as part of 2011 prisoner exchange from "pardoned" to "paroled," to facilitate their reincarceration. "It's high time we changed the rules of the game," he says. (Israel Hayom)
Israel to re-sentence prisoners released in Shalit deal - Israel's public prosecution on Friday transferred seven Palestinian prisoners released in a 2011 swap deal to Haifa's central court for re-sentencing, a prisoners group said. The court will review violations of the prisoners' parole with the aim of reinstating their previous prison sentences, the lawyer added. The seven are all from (E.) Jerusalem. (Maan)
Hundreds perform Friday prayers in streets of Jerusalem - Israeli forces prevented those under 50 years old from entering the compounds of al-Aqsa for Friday prayers and also prevented participants in a funeral from entering the compound; instead the guard of the mosque took the casket inside of the mosque. (Maan)
Israel accepts first delivery of disputed oil from Iraqi Kurdistan's pipeline - Tanker reportedly delivers disputed crude oil from Kurdistan's new pipeline despite legal threats by Iraqi government. (Agencies, Haaretz
Nation's land for the land - In an attempt to correct a mistake that has continued for years, Treasury prepared law to nationalizee the revenues that the Israel Lands Authority transfers to Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemeth L'Yisrael). If bill is passed, billions of shekels a year will enter state's coffers. But JNF elite are already putting pressure to thwart the bill. Even some of the ministers may oppose it. (Yedioth, p. 1)
UNESCO recognizes Palestinian village as world heritage site - The emergency nomination process is meant to block the construction of the security barrier through the farmland of Battir near Jerusalem. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
Guns and camouflage: Welcome to Hamas' summer-camp' - Israeli incursions into Gaza force Palestinian to learn basics of firearms for self-defense,' says Hamas official regarding terror summer-camp set to host some 100,000 kids this summer. (Ynet)
Justice for Hamas, Fatah victims costly, elusive - Next step in Palestinian reconciliation is compensation for hundreds killed and wounded in the internecine fighting that culminated in the 2007 Hamas takeover of Gaza. (Ynet)
Jewish groups anticipate rupture after Presbyterians vote to divest in protest of Israel - 'Decision will undoubtedly have a devastating impact on relations between mainstream Jewish groups and the national Presbyterian Church,' says president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. (JTA, Haaretz an Ynet
Lebanese official accuses Mossad of assassination attempt - Suicide bombing targeting Abbas Ibrahim kills 1 and wounds 37; Ibrahim: 'Terror has many faces, Israel is one of them'. (Ynet
Egypt court confirms death sentence for Muslim Brotherhood leader - Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie's death sentence confirmed together with that of 193 other Brotherhood activists. (Agencies, Ynet)

Abbas outstretches his hand, but Netanyahu wags his finger (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) The Palestinian president's condemnations of the kidnapping fall on deaf ears: Netanyahu refuses to give up paradigm that no treaty can be reached with Arabs.
Hamas, Israel looking for fight in Gaza (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) With nothing left to lose, Hamas will hope to improve relations with Egypt while Israel will attempt to deal death blow to Palestinian terrorism.
By condemning abduction, Abbas proved he's a statesman (Dr. Ido Zelkovitz, Ynet) Palestinian president chose to go against Palestinian public opinion courageously, knowing that Israeli teens' kidnapping could put an end to peace process and ignite a third intifada which only Hamas stands to gain from. 
Israel struggling to tie Hamas to West Bank kidnapping (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Without providing proof of a Hamas link, Israel will have a hard time getting the PA to renounce the reconciliation deal.
The vicious circle goes on and on (Yaron London, Yedioth/Ynet) No matter how the current crisis ends, it illustrates what our routine life will look like in a state where powerful Jews and powerless Arabs live side by side. 
Stung by the scorpion (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' hope that the unity deal with Hamas would embarrass Israel was short-lived. The abduction of the Israeli teens exposed Hamas as essentially plotting to depose of him.
Prolonged Israeli operation risks violence with Palestinian citizens (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) As its West Bank operation enters a second week, Israel ramps up its Hasbara efforts, while Gaza busies itself with producing mid-range rockets.
The Israeli settlement slowdown (Elliott Abrams, Israel Hayom) Criticism of Israeli settlement construction has grown in the last five years, despite the fact that Israel has been focusing more of the construction in less of the West Bank.
Wary of a quagmire, Netanyahu launches a war of words (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) More than previous prime ministers, today’s incumbent is deathly afraid of an operational entanglement, of photographs of fallen soldiers in the media, of mounting public protest.
Far from optimistic (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Even with no official timetable, Operation Brother's Keeper is clearly close to exhausting its course on the ground. 
Escalation on the Gaza front (Elior Levy, Ynet) Facing pressure from both Palestinian Authority and Israel, Hamas is expected to open a front against Israel in the Gaza Strip, a conflict that is sure to make Islamic organization stronger. 
Why the BDS movement is such a colossal flop (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) The boycott movement's newest claims are the Presbyterian Church, Sinead O'Connor and Bill Gates. But there's no need to be worried.
The master-slave dialectic (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) Certain parts of the Israeli media, academia and culture don't like the settlers. So what? 
From a Jewish mother to an Arab one (Bambi Sheleg, Yedioth/Ynet) Connection between mother and son is an important characteristic of Arab culture. So why doesn't mothers' love serve as a shield against growing violence?
The Schalit precedent (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) Let us pray our boys are returned home quickly, but through the type of operation for which Israel used to be famous -- not by spending the next several years kowtowing to kidnappers. 
West Bank kidnapping exposes Israel's disjointed security establishment (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) The thick layers of clichés made by Netanyahu, his ministers and uniformed top brass highlights the disaster, rather than covering it up.
Hamas will pay (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) The kidnapping of three Israeli teens was carefully and masterfully planned. How did it escape the Shin Bet radar? IDF walking fine line between cracking down and avoiding escalation. An interim report on Operation Brother's Keeper. 
**A letter from an Arab doctor to a "settler" doctor (MK Dr. Ahmad Tibi, Ynet) If you can't treat Palestinian kids, go back to your settlement. Dr. Ahmad Tibi writes open letter to Israeli physician who expressed his reservations over caring for Palestinians following kidnapping affair.

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