News Nosh 06.24.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday June 24, 2014

Words of the day:
"Patently immoral."
--Prof. Rafi Walden, Deputy Director of Sheba Hospital and co-director of Doctors for Human Rights speaks his mind about Israel's force-feeding bill.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Released and murdered - A year after Hamas terrorist Ziyad Awad was released in Shalit deal: He already began planning the attack in which he murdered Baruch Mizrachi
  • Hand in hand on the way to Geneva - Mothers of the kidnapped youth left last night to try to draft UN Council for Human Rights to help release their sons
  • Bleeding injury // Alex Fishman
  • Wretched decision // Shimon Shiffer
  • The Israeli ethos // Ariella Ringel Hoffman
  • No money for the week - Debate begins after submission of report to decrease poverty: Where will the billions come from?
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
A prisoner released in the 2011 Shalit deal is re-arrested on murder charges, reigniting a storm over prisoner exchanges, Hamas' political leader praised the kidnappers of the three youth, but said his movement has no information on the kidnapping, and Syria was furious over Israel's violation of its sovereignty, after Israeli air force jets bombed Syrian army targets causing casualties, making the top three stories in today's Hebrew papers as Operation Brothers' Keeper entered its 12th day with no leads to the three kidnapped youth.

**Meanwhile, both Yedioth and Maariv dedicated a full-page to the question of force-feeding. Yedioth ran two Op-Eds, one by the deputy attorney general, Raz Nizri, who drafted the force-feeding bill and one opposing the bill by Prof. Rafi Walden, the joint chairman of Doctors for Human Rights and the deputy director of Sheba Hospital. There was also a Q&A about the bill and why Israeli doctors oppose it. Walden said force-feeding was defined as 'humiliating and brutal' and that he believed the bill was "patently immoral." Nevertheless, Nizri told a Knesset committee that allowing hunger-striking Palestinian detainees to be force-fed has 'appropriate checks and balances.' A Yedioth SMS POLL published today asked: Do you support the Force-Feeding bill: 33% yes, 67% no. 

The IDF is concerned it has almost completed its scanning of the Hebron area and done everything having to do with 'cleaning the Hamas infrastructure' in the West Bank (Maariv), but nothing has turned up leading to the three kidnapped Israeli teens. One senior commander was under the impression that the Palestinians in the West Bank population understand Israel's reaction: house raids, clashes, tear gas, and mass arrests that have led to the unintentional deaths of five Palestinians. "The Palestinian public understands that the kidnapping was an aberration and our response was predictable. They know that we are not working against them but rather against Hamas. The Palestinian public understands that a red line has been crossed," he told Ynet. Another senior IDF officer told Haaretz that Israel still has no indication of the condition of the abducted teens, but the operation to locate them has not run its course. 

Yedioth's Yossi Yehoshua reported that the Shin Bet interrogations of the hundreds of detained Palestinians did not bring about any breakthrough and the IDF is frustrated. "Without intelligence, finding the kidnapped is an almost impossible task," one senior IDF officer told Yehoshua. The IDF is also narrowing its arrests. The night before last the IDF searched 80 buildings in the West Bank, arrested 37 suspects and closed seven Hamas charity organizations, known as Dawa, Maariv reported. The majority of those arrested are affiliated with Hamas.
Indeed, commenting on the kidnapping for the first time, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal said Hamas does not have information about the kidnapping. Ynet's Elior Levy shares interesting details of Mashaal's interview with Al-Jazeera yesterday. Mashaal called the kidnapped youth "recruits who are connected with settlers who make hostile actions against the Palestinians." Mashaal also said: "...if it becomes clear they were kidnapped for bartering purposes that will lead to the release of Palestinian prisoners, may the kidnappers be blessed. That is their national duty."
However, such prisoner exchanges may become less likely now after the arrest of a former Palestinian prisoner released in the 2011 Shalit deal. Ziyad Awad was re-arrested on suspicion of killing Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi when he opened fire on a convoy of cars traveling to Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron. The arrest puts Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in an embarrassing situation for agreeing to the Shalit deal and right-wing politicians are slamming him for it, write the papers. (See Commentary/Analysis below.) The victim's widow called for the death penalty for Palestinian militants who murder Israelis and said she prayed for the safe return of the teens without the release of any additional prisoners.
Kidnapping Quick Hits:
  • Autopsy proves slain Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in Ramallah - 30-year-old Muhammad Ismail Atallah Tarifi, who was found dead on the roof of a commercial building in Ramallah Sunday morning, died of a bullet from an M16 rifle, which is used by Israeli forces. Israeli soldiers were in the area at the time and clashed with Palestinians amid home raids and detentions. (Maan)
  • Israel Police recommend indicting MK Zoabi for incitement - Balad MK defends her 'kidnappers not terrorists' comments, saying she's simply 'fighting against oppression and for justice.' (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • UN Security Council fails to agree on statement on Palestinian deaths - US and Jordanian Diplomats fail to agree on the wording of a condemnation after disputing the strength of language and potential direct references to Israel. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Appeal over dismissal of Arab Knesset employee, who claimed "Occupation is terror," was rejected - Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein rejected MK Ahmed Tibi's appeal to cancel the firing of Nur Hussein, the Knesset tour guide who wrote on Facebook that "Israel also kidnaps Palestinian prisoners." Tibi pointed out that a (Jewish) Knesset employee posted extreme right-wing views on her Facebook page and no one said anything about it. He noted that since Hussein's dismissal, she deleted her posts. (Maariv, p. 9)
  • Israel 'doubles' administrative detainees during arrest campaign - Israel's military has fast-tracked over 100 administrative detention orders during a mass arrest campaign, nearly doubling the number of Palestinians held without charge. (Maan)
  • Palestinian prisoners 'assaulted' before being detained - Detainee Faraj Ghaith, 57, told a lawyer that three settlers raided his house, assaulted him and his family before the Israeli police detained him and his two sons Ahmad and Omar. Ghaith lives near the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arbaa. (Maan)
  • 4 Palestinian women from same family detained - The detained from the Palestinian village of Taybeh were identified as Fathiyah Ahmad Aghbariyah, 52, her daughters Nevine, 25, and Haneen, 18, and her 21-year-old daughter-in-law, Daa Aghbariyah. (Maan)
  • Israel re-arrests one in six Palestinians released to West Bank in Shalit swap - Security services officials assert dozens of former prisoners have violated release conditions, but one ex-prisoner says Israel using kidnapping as excuse for roundup. (Haaretz+) 
  • Mother of kidnapped Israeli teen to address the UN - All three mothers headed to Geneva to meet with Human Rights Council as well as Red Cross in bid to enlist international help. (Haaretz and Ynet
  • IDF drone crashed near Hebron, remains were collected - The IDF said reason for crash on Sunday was a technical glitch and that its handlers tried to return it but failed. Palestinian Authority claims it found it. (Maariv)
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli settlers open fire at mourners in Ramallah, 1 hurt - After the funeral procession Sunday of Muhammad Tarif, who was killed by errant IDF fire, settlers from the Psagot settlement opened fire at mourners, injuring one of them. (Maan)
  • Israeli settlers shoot at Palestinians near Ramallah - Two settlers opened fire with an automatic rifle Sunday at nine men who were working in a quarry near the village of al-Mazraa al-Gharbiya. The Palestinians fled and after being chased for nearly two miles, reached the village unscathed. (Maan)
  • Anti-Arab graffiti sprayed on 12 cars in East Jerusalem - Attackers slash tires, spray-paint slogans such as 'revenge' and 'every Arab is an enemy' on cars and school bus. (Haaretz and VIDEO and Maan)
  • Israeli forces detain 18 in (E.) Jerusalem and nearby villages - Israeli forces raided East Jerusalem and nearby villages overnight, arresting 18 Palestinians, local officials said Monday. (Maan
  • Israeli forces re-arrest hunger-striker Issawi - Undercover Israeli forces arrested Samer Issawi in his home in E. Jerusalem Monday. Issawi was released from administrative detention on December 23, 2013 after a nine-month hunger strike, for which he won international recognition. (Maan and Maariv)
  • Palestinians to push for full EU recognition by end of year - And, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expresses concern over the "mounting violence, mass arrests and restrictions of movement" in Judea and Samaria. (Israel Hayom)
  • Stormy Knesset debate over Jews visiting Temple Mount - Chairman of Interior Committee, MK Miri Regev, asked Jerusalem District Police commander: "What are you afraid of?" Commander Yossi Pariente: "This is insulting...I won't let you run a discussion this way...Respect the uniform." (Maariv, p. 11)
  • Approved: November 30 - National Day marking the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands - According to bill sponsor MK Shimon Ohayon (Likud-Beiteinu), "too few people are aware of the issue in Israel and the world even less. Starting this year each child will learn and recognize Israel, a tragic episode in Jewish history." (Maariv)
  • Sheldon Adelson to give $25m to Ariel University - This will be the first donation to institution over Green Line by Adelson, (conservative US Jewish tycoon and publisher of Israel Hayom), who says contribution is intended to strengthen the West Bank. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Witnesses: Israeli military vehicles enter Gaza neighborhood - Locals said soldiers in military vehicles scanned land belonging to residents in the al-Shajaiya neighborhood and "fired shots," without causing injuries. (Maan)
  • Israeli activist arrested for allegedly insulting police officer on Facebook - The activist, attorney Barak Cohen, took issue with the activities of a Jerusalem intelligence officer. (Haaretz)
  • J Street denounces Presbyterian vote to divest - The dovish pro-Israel lobby says divestment won't bring a two-state solution any closer. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli colonel charged with sexual harassment - Military prosecution charges that having sex with female soldiers under his command created a 'conflict of interest' and damaged army's reputation. (Haaretz+)
  • Former Arkansas governor visits missing teen's family - "I am here not just as an American, but as a father," former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says. Israeli Formula 3 driver Yarin Stern waves "Bring Back Our Boys" sign after placing third at Euroformula Open in Spain. (Israel Hayom)
  • Egypt court sentences Al-Jazeera English journalists to seven years for 'publishing lies' - Three reporters are found guilty on charges including helping a 'terrorist organization.' (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt under pressure to pardon Al-Jazeera journalists - Australia's award-winning journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy each got seven-year terms in a Cairo court, while Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed received two sentences of seven and three years. (Agencies, Maan)
  • Parents of Australian journalist jailed in Egypt 'shattered' - Peter Greste, two other Al Jazeera journalists, jailed for 7 years for 'aiding terrorist organization'; family says 'this is slap in the face and kick in the groin to Australia.' (Agencies, Haaretz
  • Jordanians may be employed in Eilat hotels - Tourism, interior ministers hand proposal to government to allow employment of 1,500 Jordanian workers in southern resort city's hotel industry, due to serious manpower shortage. (Ynet)
  • Watchdog: Syria hands over last of its declared chemical weapons - Fact-finding mission into use of chlorine gas as a weapon during civil war still inconclusive following an attack on the mission. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Middle East expert Fouad Ajami, supporter of U.S. war in Iraq, dies at 68 - Ajami was known for his criticism of the Arab world's despotic rulers, among them Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gadhafi, and Hafez and Bashar Assad. (Haaretz)
  • ISIS showcases operations, suicide attacks in info-graphic - Al Qaeda-inspired group currently involved in massive Iraq offensive has published an annual report detailing the number of suicide attacks, houses burnt and bombs planted in meticulously organized, designed report. (Ynet)
  • Kerry arrives in Iraq to press for inclusive government, as Sunni militants make gains - U.S. secretary of state also to discuss U.S. actions to assist Iraq in dealing with spreading ISIL insurgency. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Stop the politically motivated probes (Haaretz Editorial) Police has sunk to new low with arrest of lawyer over poem he posted on Facebook, recommendation to open investigation against MK Zoabi. 
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.
Syria civil war again spilling into Israel, but this time it's deliberate (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Assad loyalists likely shot the missile that killed the Israeli teen; the rebels hold only a short strip near the border and the anti-tank missile was considerably advanced.
Blowing up from inside (Ben Caspit, Maariv) "When it became clear to him [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] that freeing Shalit would neutralize the major (social justice) protests of the summer of 2011 and instantly turn him into the darling of the masses on the Center-Left, Bibi did not hesitate." Caspit urges a halt to such exchange deals and asserts, "As long as Israel agrees to go down on its knees and crawl backwards in the face of a photograph of an abducted soldier or youth, all of the terrorist organizations will continue to invest all of their energy, creativity, daring and murderous inclinations in order to abduct them. When we stop paying, it will stop...In order to stop, we need a leader with backbone, fortitude, an iron will and true principles," and calls on the government to immediately approve the recommendations of the Shamgar committee.
We are not united (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz+) Israel heals our wounds; the Land of Israel is opening them.
The implicit goals of renewed Israeli aggression (Nasser Lahham, Editor of Maan News Agency) Several major news outlets have repeated the Israeli government's announced goals of the ongoing military operation across the West Bank. I do not believe these announced Israeli goals, but we can deduce a number of clear, unannounced, goals behind the crackdown. 
Navigating uncertainty (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) As tensions run high on three fronts, the defense establishment seeks to curtail the potentially volatile situation.
As Israel overturns the West Bank, who will protect the Palestinians? (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz+) The IDF may be set to continue fighting the entire West Bank, but the Knesset, at least, has decided to preserve Arab life – by force-feeding prisoners.
The wretched decision (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth) "Netanyahu did not stand up to the public opinion (that demanded prisoners be released in exchange for Gilad Shalit), despite the warnings he received from senior figures in the security establishment to the effect that the wholesale release of over 1,000 murderers whose hands were full of blood would encourage the abduction of Israelis as a proven tool for releasing more prisoners...The Israeli government must now deal with results of its miserable decision: Those released under the Shalit deal are taking leading roles in planning the next campaign against Israel from Gaza and the West Bank."
Signs of intifada emerge, but this time it's aimed at Abbas, too (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) The Palestinian president will soon have to decide whether he's in favor of Israel or his own people. 
No to talks now (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) How could talks with Abbas be renewed while the fate of the kidnapped teens remains murky?
Charging of released Hamas activist ups heat on PM (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The revelation that a prisoner released in the Shalit deal murdered police officer Baruch Mizrahi helps the right-wing pressure Netanyahu to be tough with the Palestinians. 
How a radical anti-Israel Jewish group colluded with the U.S. Presbyterian Church (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) When the church desperately wanted Jewish backing as cover for its pro-divestment position, Jewish Voice for Peace - known for cloaking extremist principles in ambiguous language - stepped forward.
Syrian army position shot the missile (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Military establishment certain the anti-tank missile that killed Israeli teen on Golan Heights was fired by
End the occupation, then we'll speak out against Hamas (Maher Mughrabi, Haaretz+) Peter Beinart's use of the word 'abduct' to describe the relationship between Hamas and the Palestinian national movement is denying Palestinians agency and demeaning their choices.
Abbas' acrobatics (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) The zigzagging PA president is now accusing Israel, which has been removing the Hamas thorns from his side, of trying to topple the unity government that Israel openly opposed from the onset. 
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.
Fence may have prevented abduction (Shaul Arieli, Yedioth/Ynet) Under pressure from settlers, defense establishment failed to complete separation barrier in area where teens were kidnapped.
The world’s cruel indifference to Israel’s plight (Thane Rosenbaum, Haaretz+) For Americans and Europeans, there’s no room for sympathy for Israeli children when Palestinian suffering is regarded as the human rights abuse du jour.
We have to show Hamas all bets are off'
New Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee head MK Zeev Elkin says it is time for new rules in the war on terror. "Hamas has to understand that those who abduct children are not immune to anything, even targeted assassinations," he says. Several committee members have recently complained that Elkin has failed to convene the forum for a briefing on Operation Brother's Keeper, but the issue, he said, is simply too sensitive. (Interviewed by Gideon Allon in Israel Hayom)

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