News Nosh 07.23.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday July 23, 2014

Number of the day:
--Number of Palestinians killed as of last night.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only) Israel Hayom

The IDF confirmed an Israeli soldier was missing, foreign airlines suspended flights to Israel and Israelis buried their fallen making top stories in today's Hebrew papers. Also in the news, the European Union called on militants in Gaza to disarm.

**The papers were once again filled with the personal stories of the Israeli soldiers who were killed and whose names were released. The Palestinian casualties barely were mentioned in the Israeli press, with the exception of Haaretz and Maariv. More than 620 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the Gaza operation. According to the IDF, the total number of militant gunmen killed since the offensive started is 210. Maariv's Yasser Ukabi quoted Palestinians, who said that "Because of the bombings, we are burying our dead in mass graves."
Ynet writes that some 20 Palestinian militants of different ranks were detained in Gaza and taken to Israel, where they have been questioned by the Shin Bet. The information they gave helped the IDF to find tunnels. "For now, many of them are providing the defense establishment with useful information. "They're providing the information they're meant to provide," a senior army official said. Ynet published a photo of four detained Palestinian men shackled and blindfolded walking across a street in Israel. Haaretz has an excellent review of what happened on Day 15 of Operation Protective Edge.
After previously denying that the soldier Oron Shaul was missing, Israel now has admitted they have not yet identified his remains from the bodies that were removed from the APC hit by an RPG in Shujaiyyeh. Interestingly, the IDF says that they believe that Shaul died inside the APC with the other six soldiers and that only the officer and his radio operator, who left the APC survived. However, Israel Hayom reported yesterday that there was one other soldier, Shilo Hadad, who survived the APC attack because he stayed inside, while all the other soldiers got out. That is what he told his parents, whom he was allowed to leave Gaza to meet. 
Shaul's family refuses to accept he is dead until conclusive evidence is found. Hamas, on Sunday, said it had kidnapped him and gave his name and showed his ID and dog tags.
The commentaries were more combative today. Many commentators, such as Maariv's Ben Caspit and even Yedioth's moderate Nahum Barnea, wrote that Israel must continue to fight to the end and harm Hamas. Interestingly, Yedioth's hawish Ben-Dror Yemini wrote that Israel should accept Hamas' conditions for a ceasefire, and lift the siege, on condition that Hamas disarms. (See Commentary/Analysis below.)

After a rocket damaged a home in Yehud, some two kilometers from Ben-Gurion airport, foreign airlines suspended flights to Israel, deeply upsetting the Israeli government, which called it a gift to terror.
[Ironically, the Meir home originally belonged to an Arab family when Yehud was an Arab village, prior to 1948. - OH]
On the diplomacy front, both Haaretz's Barak Ravid and Yedioth's Itamar Eichner and Orly Azulay wrote unequivocally that Hamas 'continued to reject a ceasefire' and Yedioth quoted a political source who said, "Hamas is presenting demands that don't allow us to reach a ceasefire." [The reporters did not explain that Hamas was refusing the Egyptian offer of last week because it did not give the Gazans an end to their suffering by ending the siege on the Strip. -OH] Israeli sources told Yedioth and Haaretz they were not optimistic that a ceasefire would happen before the end of the week. But Maariv reported that political sources said the operation will be limited to three more days.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Israel, met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and then travelled to Ramallah to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu said Hamas must be held accountable for rejecting truce offers and compared Hamas to ISIS. “What grievance can we solve for Hamas? Their grievance is that we exist," he added. Ban Ki-moon urged Israel to exercise restraint. US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Egypt meeting with Egyptian President Abdul-Fatah al-Sisi Tuesday and is in Israel today. The papers did not discuss much about the negotiations taking place in Ramallah. The news agencies wrote that Abbas proposed a Gaza truce followed by 5-days of talks

Quick Hits:
  • European Union: Hamas, other Gaza terror groups must disarm - 28 foreign ministers of EU member states condemn rocket fire into Israel, call on Hamas to renounce violence. EU statement also said, "The EU is particularly appalled by the human cost of the Israeli military operation in Shuja’iyya." (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom
  • UN Security Council to vote on resolution calling for immediate cease-fire in Gaza - Draft circulated by Jordan condemns 'all violence' and expresses 'grave concern' at civilian casualties inside Strip. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • For second time, UNRWA finds rockets in one of their Gaza schools - Last week, the UN agency found 20 rockets in a different educational facility. (Haaretz)
  • Workplaces discipline Israeli Arabs for Facebook posts against Gaza incursion - Doctor, nurse and two municipal employees fired or suspended; Lod worker expresses joy over death of 13 soldiers. (Haaretz+)
  • UN Human Rights Council expected to launch probe into alleged Israeli war crimes - Despite Israeli lobbying, Palestinians have managed to call for a vote on Wednesday on severe condemnation of IDF operation in Gaza. (Haaretz+) 
  • Watch: Soldiers back from Gaza celebrate in song and dance - Dozens of IDF soldiers serving in the ground incursion in Gaza took advantage of their leave to join in a dance with Breslev Hassidic Jews. Removing their arms and bulletproof vests, the fighters enjoyed a short reprieve before entering the Gaza Strip later on once more. (Ynet+VIDEO
  • Thousands bid farewell to French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza - Jordan Bensemhoun, 22, had immigrated at age 16 from his native Lyon and later joined the army, serving in an elite unit of the Golani infantry brigade. (Haaretz+)
  • Thousands of care packages sent to soldiers serving in Gaza - Israeli citizens and companies band together to support soldiers in Gaza and residents under constant rocket fire in the south. Some 12,000 care packages from joint initiative between Israel Hayom and Rami Levy supermarkets have already been donated. (Israel Hayom
  • Israeli seriously wounded in suspected shooting attack in Shomron - IDF preliminary investigation reveals terrorist fired from moving vehicle towards young man standing at Rechelim junction, not far from Ariel. (Ynet
  • No charges against soldiers suspected of attacking Palestinian - Military prosecutors rescinded intention to prosecute "Lavi" Brigade after a military court ruled that there is weak evidence in the case. Lawyer: "Police investigation was negligent." Palestinian from E. Jerusalem said he was beaten by soldiers in the middle of the night at the Halhoul junction, near to where the bodies of the missing three yeshiva teens were found. (Maariv
  • Well-known Italian philosopher: 'I’d like to shoot those bastard Zionists' - Gianni Vattimo says Europeans should raise money to buy Hamas better rockets. (Haaretz+)
  • Right-wing rabbi’s ruling: Israel may totally destroy Gaza if necessary - 'Deterrent measures to exterminate the enemy’ are allowed in some cases, Rabbi Dov Lior writes. (Haaretz+)
  • Private jets, restaurants, luxury hotels: the good life of senior Hamas officials - Hamas leaders are facing criticism inside and outside of Gaza, mostly by groups aligned to Egyptian President Al-Sisi, for enjoying a comfortable lifestyle while Gazans suffer. (Ynet
  • Israeli high-tech is great, but not yet for finding Hamas’ tunnels - Geology experts, however, say radar, microphone and sensor technologies already exist, it’s just that the army hasn’t adopted them. (Haaretz+)  
  • Citing incitement, Facebook closes page of group that fights intermarriage (between Jews and Arabs) - The organization, Lehava, is led by a man who defended teens who attacked three Arab youths in 2012. In recent weeks, Facebook has removed pages belonging to far-right Israeli groups bearing names like the Al-Yahud Gang, Death Penalty for Terrorists and Rescind Leftists’ Citizenship. Facebook also closed the page of right-wing activist Baruch Marzel and former MK Michael Ben Ari. Facebook and Twitter have already closed the accounts of Hamas’ military wing, Iz al-Din al-Qassam. (Haaretz+)
  •  Ex-NYC mayor Bloomberg to fly to Tel Aviv in solidarity with Israel, despite U.S. flights ban
  • Bloomberg urges FAA to permit U.S. airlines to fly to Israel, says restrictions hand Hamas 'undeserved victory.' (Haaretz+)
  • FIFA's Blatter raises alarm over Gaza crisis - Head of international governing body of soccer tells Palestinian Football Association chief he is 'heartbroken to learn that people from the football community have been killed.' (Agencies, Ynet
  • Israelis canceling Turkey vacations in droves after Erdogan's anti-Israel remarks - Following violent protests and Turkish leaders' accusations that Israel is barbaric, Israelis are opting to go elsewhere. (Haaretz+) 
  • CNN poll: Most Americans support Israel's Gaza campaign - Support for Israel has ebbed since February, but is still three times higher than support for the Palestinian Authority. (Haaretz+)
  • IDF clipping wings of creators of rocket alert apps - Concern over reliability of info keeps army from cooperating with developer who invented app to alert citizens about rockets. (Haaretz+)
  • The Jew and the Muslim mapping Hamas' missiles - Belgian-Israeli Jew and Dutch Muslim have developed Israel Under Attack, a new computer tool for mapping rocket trajectories from Gaza. (Ynet)
  • Army rolls out SMS-based rocket-alert system in areas near Gaza - App issues real-time warnings on cellphones, including in Bedouin communities that don’t have any sirens. (Haaretz+)
  • Wounded Israeli soldiers crowd into hospital, surrounded by parents and politicians - Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva is treating most of the fighters injured in Gaza, as well as civilians hurt by rocket fire. (Haaretz+)  
  • N.Y. Knicks star nixes Tel Aviv b-ball camp due to IDF op - NBA's Amar’e Stoudemire, who says he has 'Hebrew roots,' says he did not want to endanger campers or coaches. (Haaretz)

Israelis may not be ready for a cease-fire in Gaza (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Jerusalem afraid of public scorn should it accept a truce with Hamas before achieving enough in Gaza fighting to justify IDF losses, continuous rocket fire.
Why Israel should accept Hamas' terms (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) In order to win public opinion, Israel must adopt all of Islamic organization's conditions for ceasefire and add sections benefitting Gaza's residents – in exchange for Strip's demilitarization by an international force. 
Gaza, Israel deaths cannot be in vain (Alex Sinclair, Haaretz+) When the siren blared, I saw my children realize some of their neighbors wanted to kill them; Palestinian suffering is a hundred times worse. Can we really restrain our hate and retain our liberalism under fire? 
The road to a cease-fire goes through Cairo (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) An end to the war doesn't depend only on Israel and Hamas. Any solution must also take Egypt’s agenda into account.
Facing a religious war, we cannot compromise (Amit Halevy, Israel Hayom) To overcome is to deal, first and foremost, with the ideology that is raging against us.
Will the threat to Israel's only international airport be a game-changer? (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Whether or not flights in and out of Israel are suspended for any length of time, the suspension of flights by several major air carriers is Hamas' first major achievement of this conflict. 
Hot mic, cold shoulder (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) As always when Israel engages in "two-state-solution" talks with the ‎Palestinian Authority, terrorism against the Jewish state ensues. 
Israel looks to Lebanon model for Gaza endgame (Barak Ravid, Haaretz+) Doubting a cease-fire can be reached through Egypt's mediation, Israeli officials consider turning to UN Security Council.
Israel's attack on Gaza is revenge for the Palestinians' refusal to accept occupation (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Say what you will about Hamas' rocket fire, at least they managed to scratch the surface of Israel's faith in the normalcy of its domination of another people.
Go in peace, dear Sayed (Mira Awad, Haaretz+) My friend and Haaretz columnist Sayed Kashua has left me behind in the circle of sanity here. Despite the hateful discourse, I will still try to be a bridge to togetherness.
Arab elite, you're Israel's fig leaf: Don’t run away (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) We on the superficial left need you. Just stop protesting against the Gaza war and forget about the Nakba, O.K.? 
Four brave women in a fearful time (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz+) How did it happen that 'opinionated' women have suddenly become witches, that they, of all people, are now being hunted? Their statements have a common denominator: At a certain moment, they became ashamed of their Israeli identity – all of them together and, above all, each one individually. One became ashamed when the spirit of revenge began sweeping through the land and terrorizing it; another became ashamed when four children were killed while playing on a beach in Gaza; a third became ashamed when thugs rained blows on demonstrators as policemen simply stood there, just as they did in notorious pogroms; and the fourth became ashamed when Bedouin were killed and wounded in “open spaces” as transparent, unrecognized citizens.  
Despite Gaza strife, Leftists mustn't become estranged from Israeli society (Avirama Golan, Haaretz+) We have a right to be here. Far better leaders than our current ones have not managed to convince our neighbors of that. 
Tighten the siege (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Israel must not agree to a cease-fire as long as Hamas continues to terrorize the Gaza Strip. 
Israel’s hollow victory over Hamas (Brent Sasley, Haaretz+) Israel is far from having lost the strategic war to Hamas. But the real cost has been to its social cohesion: violence and intolerance both domestically and toward the death of Palestinian civilians. 
The eternal Jew in nationalist Israel (Carolina Landsman, Haaretz+) The Israeli left, which has come under attack in recent weeks, is simply fulfilling its civic obligation to Israeli society by trying to protect the state from itself.
Perhaps I was wrong (Aharon Lapidot, Israel Hayom) Gaza truly is hell. And when you're looking into the gaping jaws of hell, maybe you should reassess reality. 
Hamas wanted an Israel in mourning. Hamas got its wish (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) Much of Israel is in quiet mourning over an unthinkable possibility: That this horrible reality is the way things are going to be, off and on, forever.
If Gideon Levy wants occupation to end, he must back Israel's right to self-defense (Kobi Richter, Haaretz+) Without accepting the necessary evil of civilian casualties, Israel cannot afford to withdraw from the areas it occupies.
Tunnel threat must be eliminated (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Hamas' tunnel infrastructure is a strategic threat that has grown undisturbed for years. It must be destroyed prior to a cease-fire. 
Hamas’ threat to Israel’s airports threatens two-state solution (Alan M. Dershowitz, Haaretz+) Israel is fighting for the entire civilized world against those who would shoot down civilian airliners, whereas Hamas’ rocket fire is condemning more Palestinians to death.
Top six reasons why I hate Hamas (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Because it is a cruel, defiant, hate-filled terrorist group that has murdered hundreds, terrorized millions, undermined peace and infected Israeli society with its evil.
No country can force a cease-fire (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) What happened to the days when former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would come to the neighborhood and get things done?
Israel’s leaders were either soft on Hamas’ tunnels or ignorant of them (Haaretz Editorial) If Benjamin Netanyahu knew that the tunnels posed such a strategic threat, why was he pushing for 'quiet in return for quiet’?
VIDEO: Interview with Gaza journalist Abeer Ayoub'
It was a miracle that we survived last night's attacks... it was random,' Gazan journalist tell Ynet, but refuses to denounce Hamas as even partially responsible for ongoing conflict, but offers rare glimpse into Gaza Strip. (Interviewed by Atilla Somfalvi on Ynet VIDEO)

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