News Nosh 07.01.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday July 01, 2014

Quote of the day:
"They want blood."
--Yedioth's top commentator, Nahum Barnea, calls on the government not to heed the calls by far right Economy Minister Naftali Bennett's party, Habayit Hayehudi, for an extreme response to the murder of the three yeshiva teens.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The bitter end
  • Not to fear // Nahum Barnea
  • Respond from the head // Sima Kadmon
  • Not a kidnapping, a murder // Alex Fishman
  • Place to cry out // Hanoch Daum
  • Three mothers // Tami Arad
  • The time for deterrence // Yoaz Hendel
  • They were murdered in the car, moments after the kidnapping - The last moments of Gil-Ad, Naftali and Eyal
  • The blunder of the Hotline 100: Two officers and two police will be dismissed
  • Youth to be buried today; Ministers committee: Hold state funeral at Mt. Herzl
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
With the exception of Haaretz, today's papers ran emotional headlines about the "bitter end" of the three kidnapped teens, who were taken "at the prime of their lives," by "human beasts." But beyond those emotional headlines, the papers focused on what happened to the youth, how they were found and how Israel should and should not respond. In the south, the rocket-missile exchanges between Gaza and Israel increased - and for the first time since 2012, Hamas shot rockets.
The three bodies were found by a civilian volunteer search party around 6 pm Monday, north of Hebron, in a shallow grave dug 'quickly' by their abductors in the wadi between Beit Khalil and Halhul, after getting intel that they were in that area. At this point, it is believed the youth were shot shortly after one of them made the call to the police hotline, but it is not known why. The papers write that the kidnappers thought that the police were on their tail due to the call, not knowing that the police ignored the call, thinking it was a hoax. Haaretz+'s Amos Harel, however, writes that even had the hotline been more efficient, the youth would likely have been killed. Here's Ynet's 'Terror Timeline.'

After the news, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said what he has said all along: that Hamas is responsible and it will pay. But Hamas denied responsibility for the teens' murders. The killers remain at large. Netanyahu called them 'beasts.' President Shimon Peres said Israel's response will be harsh. See reactions of various Israeli leaders here.
In a meeting that lasted past midnight, Israeli security cabinet ministers could not agree on what retaliation Israel should take and against whom. Far right Economy Minister Naftali Bennett called for annexing the Gush Etzion settlement bloc to Israel. Likud Minister Gilad Erdan called to renew assassinations. And Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called again for the re-occupation of the Gaza Strip. Other steps being considered are the expulsion of West Bank Hamas leaders to Gaza and the imprisonment of prisoners released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner-exchange deal. Yedioth writes that Netanyahu is expected to demand from Abbas that he break off relations from Hamas and dissolve the unity government. At the same time Netanyahu is expected to be wary of implementing the sharp responses his right-wing ministers demand because it is Ramadan and the fear is that (another) wide military operation would spark sharp reactions among the Palestinian population, writes Yedioth. However, there is pressure from (part of) the Israeli population for a tough response, the papers write.

**In Yedioth's page 2 article, it's senior commentator Nahum Barnea said he hoped the decision-makers "think first of all about how to deal with the enemy outside and only afterward about the pressures from home." He writes that Habayit Hayehudi party, led by Bennett, wants "at the very least, an all-out-war in the Territories, a war that will endanger first of all its voters (the settlers), and to consider a 'reasonable Zionist response' - massive construction in Judea and Samaria. They want blood." Barnea writes that Habayit Hayehudi is counting onthe fact that the West is focused on terror organizations taking over parts of Iraq and Syria and soon maybe Jordan. "But the (party members') eyes are blinded from seeing the damage that the settlements are causing to the Israeli economy and the status of Israel there."
Israeli human rights NGO, B'Tselem, said Israel must refrain from "acts of vengeance...The deliberate harming of an entire civilian population as punishment for the actions of individuals is both illegal and immoral."

Haaretz's Uri Misgav writes that Israel received more proof of the limitations to the use of power and that the only real solution for Israel is an agreement with the Palestinians. “Without a diplomatic solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, there’s no easy way and no chance. The occupation has failed, the occupation is making us fail.” (Hebrew)

Meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza are bracing for an Israeli attack and Palestinian factions in Gaza have announced a high state of alert. Hamas warned that if Israel attacks, it would open the gates of hell. Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, said, "We don't want any military confrontation with Israel, but if it will be forced on us it will look like in previous rounds."
With the fear of a massive Israeli strike ahead, Hamas hinted that it might take control of Gaza again, writes Maariv's new Arab affairs reporter Yasser Ukabi. Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk said he fears Hamas will be required to return to being in charge of maintaining the security of the Gaza Strip, because at the moment, it is neither under the responsibility of the previous Hamas administration nor under the responsibility of the temporary unity government. The Palestinian Authority refrained from issuing any formal statement, but Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas convened an emergency meeting of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank on Monday night, wrote Haaretz+. Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal asked Turkey for help by drafting the international community's support against Israel, Maariv reported. 
But things are already escalating between Gaza and Israel. Sixteen rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel's south on Monday morning - and Hamas shot some of them - for the first time since 2012, the papers noted. They all exploded in open areas with no injuries. The Monday morning barrage followed an IAF attack late Sunday in Gaza, along the Israeli border, which left one Palestinian dead and several others wounded. The dead man was was identified by Palestinian media as a member of the Hamas military wing. Netanyahu responded, "If Hamas won't stop Gaza rockets, Israel will."
  • Operation Brother's Keeper continues in West Bank: 3 Palestinians arrested, 1 killed - Soldiers shoot and kill 16-year-old Yousef Abu Zagha who (allegedly) threw a grenade at them during a raid in Jenin refugee camp in the middle of the night. IDF source promises: Operation will continue until kidnappers are caught. (Ynet and Maan)
  • Three homes, three families mourning - Shaer family rushes home from Tel Aviv upon receiving news of son Gil-Ad's death; friends, extended family show up at Frenkel, Yifrach home in support. (Ynet)
  • Israelis meet in public spaces to mourn murdered teens - In squares and at junctions across the country, people converge to share national grief after discovery of murdered boys' bodies. (Ynet)
  • IDF demolishes home belonging to kidnap suspect - Soldiers search for weapons in remains of home belonging to Amar Abu-Eisha; Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon: 'We won't rest until the mission is complete'. (Ynet)
  • Israeli forces 'blow up homes' of Palestinian suspects - Soldiers surrounded the two houses, forcibly removed the families, and declared the area a closed military zone, before blowing them up. The two houses, which are both located in the same neighborhood in northwest Hebron, belong to the families of alleged kidnappers Marwan al-Qawasmeh, 29, and Amer Abu Eisha, 33. (Maan)
  • Obama condemns three teens' murders 'in strongest possible terms' - World leaders express condolences and condemn murders of the three kidnapped Israeli teens, whose bodies were found 18 days after they went missing. (Haaretz)
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli officers (and Jewish worshipers) fistfight with Muslim worshipers in al-Aqsa (Temple Mount) - Female Muslim worshipers confronted Jewish groups taking photos for which special Israeli forces assaulted one of the women and pulled off her head scarf and later hit the woman. Three other women were beaten, one hospitalized. Also, group of Israeli rightists prayed near Muslim worshipers, sparking heated argument that ended in fistfights. (Maan)
  • 'Price tag' vandals hit settlers' home being built by Palestinian laborers - Pipes destroyed, graffiti sprayed at construction site in Shilo while owner was at rally for three kidnapped teens. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian official: Israel treats prisoners as if strike didn't end - Israeli authorities' ban on visits to Gaza prisoners in Israeli jails for the third week in a row “is as if their hunger strike has not ended and as if there were no agreement,” a Palestinian official said. (Maan
  • One of last two Palestinian detainees quit hunger-strike - On Monday, Ayman Itbish, 34, a resident of Hebron, ended his hunger strike after 122 days. His lawyer said that the Israel Prison Service responded to Ibtish's request to improve his prison conditions and to determine the end of the period of his administrative detention. Ibtish is hospitalized in Israel. (Maariv)
  • Can Israel afford Netanyahu's plan for massive border fence with Jordan? With ISIS eyeing Jordan, Netanyahu wants massive fortification along Israel's eastern border, but defense and finance ministry officials are already squabbling over who will pay for it. (Ynet
  • Home of Baruch Mizrahi's (Palestinian) killer to be razed, court rules - Justices reject appeal, say relatives of Ziad Awad were far from innocent themselves; family given 12-hour warning. (Times of Israel
  • Knesset discussion on limiting pardons for terrorists stalls - MKs meet in a bid to impede the president's ability to pardon security prisoners convicted of murder. MK Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) said he feared the bill could prove an obstacle to an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank if such an agreement with the Palestinians included the release of security prisoners. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli hospitals and medical staff have highest workload in OECD - Israel has 4.8 nurses per 1,000 people, much lower than the OECD's average of 9.1. "Data shows just how important it is to implement the Committee to Strengthen the Public Health System's recommendations," Health Ministry official says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Zambian president had been at Israeli hospital is 'not in critical condition,' say Israeli sources - President Michael Sata left Sheba Medical Center on Thursday; may meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres later this week. (Haaretz)
  • Fatah demands release of detainees in Hamas prisons -  The Fatah detainees in Gaza started a hunger strike on Monday demanding their release, according to a Fatah statement. (Maan)
  • Israel trucking industry reaps benefits of Middle East unrest - The trade, though still small, is growing enough to encourage long-held Israeli hopes that it can become a commercial gateway to the Arab world. (Haaretz)
  • Gaza power plant no longer able to provide electricity for 8 hours - The company said in a statement that it was “doing its utmost” to provide power for water wells, sewage plants, hospitals and medical centers to prevent any humanitarian or environmental disaster [due to fuel shortage caused by Israeli siege on Gaza - OH]. (Maan)

Chronicles of Terror: the Kawasma clan doesn't pay attention 
For the Hebron family, one of whose members is suspected of abducting the youth, this is not the first time it's shaking the Middle East. In the past, when it seemed that the Hamas movement had lowered its head and lowered the fire, the clan made sure to ignite the area and blow up the truce. Chapter from the book "Meet Hamas." (Shlomi Eldar, Maariv)

The public demands revenge, but Netanyahu does not want long war with Hamas (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Bad blood between Jews and Arabs on rise in territories, Israel proper; 'price tag' attacks expected.
Israel must crush Hamas, but do it wisely (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) While destroying the organization's infrastructure in the West Bank, Israel needs to be careful that it does not shatter the status quo in Gaza.
Rockets show backlash of Israel's West Bank op has reached Gaza (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Israel-Hamas cycle of reprisals, Palestinian anger at mass arrests in West Bank and Gaza's economic woes could spell bigger conflagration.
Dancing to the extremists' tune (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Neither Israel nor Hamas is interested in a security escalation. Radical terrorists whose only ideology is wreaking havoc exploit this reluctance. 
Israel wants to go after Hamas, but doesn’t want all-out war with Gaza (Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel) The key Hamas leadership is in the Strip but an escalation there, in response to the killing of the three teens, would bring dozens of missiles down on Tel Aviv.
Sadness shared by all Israelis (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth/Ynet) Not a single person, regardless of political views, remained indifferent to the horrible death of three teens murdered on their way home from school.
Plan B for 'balagan' (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) Amos Yadlin's plan for unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria would lead to a dangerous security vacuum, and would not buy Israel any legitimacy for its borders. 
What Israel's confused diplomacy had to do with the kidnapped teens (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) There are a lot of loose ends, but one thing is clear: When Israel refuses to pay the price of peace, it can’t avoid paying the price of no peace.
Security coordination must be based on respect, not Israeli whims (Mahmoud Jabari, Maan) Over the past sixteen days, I have called multiple times to check on my family in Hebron, the scene of an intensive Israeli military operation to find the three Israeli students who are thought to have been kidnapped from a Jewish settlement nearby. 
In Gaza fighting with Israel, Hamas has gotten the message (Haaretz Editorial)  Israel’s two major Gaza offensives in recent years have made clear to both sides that military operations are effective for only a limited time.
Don't succumb to Hamas (Dr. Shaul Bartal, Israel Hayom) In the wake of the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens, a war of words has broken out among the Palestinians.
Horror at teens’ deaths won’t prevent future exchanges (Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel) The sense of solidarity seen in the outpouring of grief over the abductees is a defining characteristic of Israeli identity, the source of Israelis’ democratic freedoms, and the reason they can’t abandon one of their own in enemy hands.
Abbas has yet to prove that he's a partner (Noah Klieger, Yedioth/Ynet) Israelis praising Palestinian president should curb their enthusiasm and judge him by his deeds, not by his words.
The U.S. must inject life into a moribund peace process (Daniel Kurtzer, Haaretz+) Instead of engaging in a 'blame game,' the U.S. and the two sides in the conflict should make every effort to reach the two-state outcome. 
Peres' visit to the US: American longing for a sane Israeli policy (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) The outgoing President has never preached to Americans or advised them how to deal with countries hostile to Israel, and therefore the great honor he received on his last visit to Washington was a hint to Prime Minister (Netanyahu), and no less, to (Peres') successor (Ruvi) Rivlin: Whoever rejects the two-state solution should not expect the same treatment.
Shay Piron is homophobic? That's just the start of his party's problems (Barak Heymann, Haaretz+) Education Minister Piron's homophobic statement was a lot less damaging than the activities of the government in which his party sits.

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