News Nosh 6.23.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday June 23, 2014

Quote of the day:
"I've felt like I held the Middle East peace in my fingers, and no one is guiding me what to do - not the Health Ministry and not the government."
--Senior Israeli doctor who is treating 35 Palestinian hunger-striking administrative detainees (imprisoned without charges) at a major hospital in Israel.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Three fronts - While IDF is searching for the kidnapped in the West Bank, an escalation started in the north and the south. A youth, Mohammed Karakeh, was killed from a missile launched from Syria when he helped his father fix the fence in the Golan.
  • And around the Gaza Strip: Terrorist caught a moment before an attack
  • Buses instead of hitchhiking - Transportation Ministry will annex the settlements for offering buses (to) Jerusalem
  • Police recommend investigating (Arab) MK Zouebi for incitement
  • The plan to decrease poverty
  • "Mika, take care of Daddy" - Child and father buried after drowning near Reading power station
  • Danger of the mattresses with carcinogens - All mattresses to be sold beginning July must have anti-inflammable chemicals. Health Ministry: The chemicals could cause cancer
  • Ticking battery - this is how to know if the battery of your Samsung Galaxy is of the explosive series
  • Mr. Money - Meet the mysterious Israeli millionaire who gives out money across the streets of the world
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
With the exception of Haaretz, the main Israeli papers shouted that Israel was facing "three fronts," while noting that Operation Brothers' Keeper has almost exhausted itself without bringing back the three teens, although it has uncovered numerous tunnels and arms. Meanwhile, the Palestinian death toll at the hands of Israeli security forces reached five and the vote on the bill to force-feed Palestinian hunger-strikers was postponed - but some of the newspapers - again - did not report on part of the story.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the deaths of the Palestinians in the search for the teens were unintentional and in self defense and he did not express regret.. Meanwhile, the Palestinian street is beginning to turn against Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces, stoning a police station (video),angered at the continued security cooperation with Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned that prolonging Israeli raids on Palestinians villages and homes could "incite the territory and plunge it out of control." Some 400 Palestinians were arrested so far and half are expected to be placed under administrative detention, the prison-without-charges method that is causing dozens to hunger-strike right now.

**Speaking of hunger-strikers, Nahum Barnea interviewed an Israeli doctor treating 35 of them in hospital. While the Israeli press for the most part has ignored reporting on their protest and their plight, and [ironically- OH] the kidnapping of the teens pushed them off the agenda, the bill to force-feed them has indirectly brought their story back to the pages. Today's papers reported that Finance Minister Yair Lapid asked Netanyahu to postpone the vote on the bill that was to take place today. MK Ahmad Tibi asked to show a Knesset committee a video of force-feeding, but committee chairman MK Miri Regev refused to allow it. And 1000 Israeli medical people sent a letter yesterday to MKs calling on them to oppose the bill. However, neither Maariv nor Israel Hayom's articles explained why the detainees are hunger-striking. Yedioth wrote it in the second paragraph. 
Maariv reported that Israel-PA security coordination might already be in danger. Sunday, the PA announced it is trying to get an urgent meeting of the Security Council to put an end to Israeli aggression. A senior official of the Palestinian security forces accused Israel of sowing chaos to destroy the unity government. "The killing, destruction and aggression by the IDF against the Palestinians aims to cause chaos and incite against the Palestinian leadership and the security forces, and not in order to search for the kidnapped," he said. "This is in order to undermine the international recognition the unity government received."
Netanyahu said he has evidence of Hamas' culpability, which will soon be made public. He said Abbas' call for the return of the youth are only words and that it remains to be seen whether Abbas dissolves the unity government. But a senior PLO official told Ynet that Israel had failed to understand the meaning of Abbas' condemnation during such a sensitive period.  "Abbas not only says he want to stop terror, he also prevented no small number of lone terrorists. He is both willing and able," he said.
Even if Netanyahu does not understand how courageous Abbas' remarks were, Israeli ministers (see yesterday's Nosh) and media do. Yedioth's editorial cartoon today illustrated Abbas' humiliation by Netanyahu and the disdain of his own people. (See description in Editorial Cartoon below).
At any other time, catching a Gazan with a grenade near a moshav and the exchange of rockets would not necessarily be considered a military war 'front.' Nevertheless, most of the papers said it was today.
An anti-tank missile hit the car of a civilian subcontractor working on the Golan Syrian border for the Defense Ministry killing his son, who just began summer vacation. Israel responded shooting on Syrian targets and deploying massive IDF forces and drones deployed in the area. It wasn't known who fired: Syrian government forces or rebels. Ynet's Hassan Shaalan interviewed the father of the boy, who said: "My boy died in my arms." The IDF discussed how to retaliate.

Quick Hits:
  • Turkish pathologist: Palestinian detainee was beaten before dying in Israeli jail - Expert claims Arafat Jaradat’s injuries in early 2013 appeared to have been inflicted with a long, thick object, contrary to Israeli expert’s findings. (Haaretz+)
  • Government bill seeks to harshen sentences for rock throwers - Bill would allow conviction without a need to prove intent to harm car or passengers. (Haaretz+)  
  • Knesset committee recommends: maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount - Subcommittee of the Interior Committee that was examining the issue of allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount calls to allow entry on Saturdays, but stated: this should not lead to separate prayer (areas) for Jews and Muslims (as in the Cave of the Patriarchs). (Maariv)
  • Newly-banned Islamic charity rejects Ya'alon's charge that it funds Hamas - British-based Islamic Relief Worldwide says it works with needy children, cites European Commission, World Health Organization and UN Refugee Agency as 'key partners.' (Haaretz)
  • Israel allotting NIS 30 million to promote European aliyah - Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver says that given the growing number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, Jews there should be encouraged to immigrate to Israel. Tel Aviv University study reports 554 anti-Semitic acts in Europe in 2013. (Israel Hayom)
  • Netanyahu blasts Presbyterian divestment as 'disgraceful' - WATCH: On 'Meet the Press,' PM suggests church members visit Israel, then go to Libya, Syria, Iraq, but 'don't say that you're Christian;' On ISIS-Iraq battle, says U.S. should weaken both sides. (Haaretz+ and Ynet
  • Israeli sales to West Bank rose 50% in three years - Bank of Israel reports that sales to areas controlled by Palestinian Authority reached $4.7 billion in 2012, with figures continuing to rise. (Haaretz+) 
  • Peres vows to talk to Obama about freeing Pollard - Esther Pollard tells Peres her husband's health is deteriorating; MK Nahman Shai: Israelis from across the spectrum support calls for his release. (Ynet
  • Kerry in Cairo for talks with Egypt's new president - During his visit Kerry will press Sisi to release imprisoned journalists and will raise concerns about the mass trials and death sentences of Muslim Brotherhood supporters. (Agencies, Ynet
  • Israel, Germany to cooperate on Nazi-looted art - Under agreement signed by culture ministries, art experts from both countries will undergo training and coordinate formation of joint databases. (Agencies, Ynet
  • Netanyahu: ISIS crisis must not lead to Iran's domination of Iraq - In interview with 'Meet the Press', Netanyahu says US should act against ISIS but not at expense of Iran gaining nuclear weapons; ISIS captures Iraq, Jordan crossing. (Ynet)

Editorial Cartoon:
Yedioth Ahronoth
: A singing reality show.
Contestant on stage: Palestinian President Abbas, wearing a "Bring the Boys Home" T-shirt and holding a microphone.
Judges: Far right wing Habayit Hayehudi party leader Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, Likud hawk Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Audience: Angry Hamas supporters throwing tomatoes at Abbas,
Quote by Netanyahu: "The performance was fine, but it's still missing something on the emotional level." 

West Bank operation to locate kidnapped teens nears end in present form (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Concerned by increase of Palestinian casualties and fearing clashes will spill over into the month of Ramadan, the military prefers to shift focus to intelligence gathering.
Israel has a partner in Abbas (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Palestinian president passed the test by speaking against terror and kidnapping, in Arabic, in a way no Palestinian leader has ever spoken before. 
**What is the true aim of Israel's show of force? (Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu, seeking to justify a massive display of force, is loading more and more goals onto the search for the abducted teens. But at what cost? 
The hunger strikers don't want to die, they just want attention (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Law allowing force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners will join other hastily approved laws that put Israeli legislation to shame...In recent days, the hunger-strikers understood they lost the battle. Someone told them about the kidnapping of the teens. They took it hard. They understood that the kidnapping takes them off the agenda.
Peter Beinart, think before you speak about Palestinians and Hamas (Maher Mughrabi, Haaretz+) Using the word 'abduct' to describe the relationship between Hamas and the Palestinian national movement is denying Palestinians agency and demeaning their choices. 
Remember lessons of first Lebanon War (Sever Plocker, Yedioth/Ynet) Endless cleansing and destruction operation against Hamas in West Bank will not serve State of Israel's interests. 
His name was Nadim Nuwara 
(Hagai El-Ad, Haaretz+) When it is not documented on video, Palestinian suffering interests almost no one in Israel. And when it is documented, it is repressed as a conspiracy. 
The Operation in the West  Bank - to placate public opinion (Yossi Melman, Maariv) Israel's operation in Judea and Samaria is increasingly wearing the colors of punishment of those in the area. It would be possible to understand the need to weaken Hamas, if behind the move there was a desire hiding to strengthen the Palestinian Authority in an effort to reach an agreement with it. But this is not the logic of the Israeli leadership. 
If Israeli Jews were the conquered ones... (Alexander Yakobson, Haaretz+) There would be no occupation, because there would no longer be two peoples in this land. 
Syria will respond to Israel’s airstrikes, but won't dirty its own hands (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) It's unclear who carried out Golan strike that killed 13-year-old Mohammed Karaka, but all signs point to group allied to Assad regime.
America - lost in the Middle East (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Were Obama’s mistakes in the Middle East inevitable? Not necessarily. The U.S. had one friend in the area - Israel. A stable democratic country and a strategic ally.
Don't expect a happy ending from Israel's West Bank operation (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Instead of finding the abducted teens, the Israeli army is getting sidetracked into hunting down Palestinian flags and could soon find itself in an unwanted war.
A different spirit (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) Unlike previous kidnappings, this time there is a different dynamic between individual needs and the greater good.
Kurds re-discover their old ally Israel (Zvi Bar'el and Avi Bar-Eli, Haaretz+) Washington opposes Kurdish oil exports in principle since it detracts from Iraq’s unity, but it is unlikely the United States will object to selling oil to Israel. 
A mother's message: Don't break
 (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) No one is demanding that the mothers of the kidnapped teens be so strong.
Peres, use your last political bullet for peace (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) The president should give his auspices to a peace alliance ranging from the center to the left, against those who root for perennial war.
'Israel will try to maintain deterrence on Syrian border, without igniting region' (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet VIDEO) Ynet defense analyst Ron Ben-Yishai talks to Attila Somfalvi about who was behind the deadly blast on the Golan and what it means for Israel.

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