News Nosh 07.29.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday July 29, 2014

Quote of the day:
"I don't want to liberate my land. I want the Palestinian people to live without occupation." 
--Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal tells CBS' Charlie Rose he can live in co-existence with Jews - and gets a few lines in the bottom of articles in Israeli papers.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
  • Within Israeli land, in broad daylight: Terrorists attacked from a tunnel that was blocked; (also) 4 killed from mortar on (Gaza) entry point in Eshkol
  • Expand the responsibility // Ben Caspit
  • Determination demanded // Yuval Diskin
Israel Hayom

Four Israeli soldiers were killed by a mortar that landed inside Israel adjacent to the Gaza fence and five Palestinian militants had a firefight with Israeli soldiers after entering Israel through a tunnel making top stories in the Hebrew papers today. The UN called for an
'immediate unconditional' truce
 in Gaza, to which Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded saying that it answers the needs of a 'murderous terror group' and said there would be no solution without demilitarization of the Strip.
The Americans are still fuming over how the Israeli media, including Haaretz+'s Barak Ravid and Chemi Shalev, all attacked US Secretary of State John Kerry's ceasefire proposal, using the same claims that Netanyahu said: that it does not include demilitarization of Gaza and that it requires Israel to leave the Gaza Strip before it is ready to stop destroying tunnels. The White House was convinced that Netanyahu or his advisers primed Israeli reporters to make the attack against Kerry, Haaretz+ reported.
Meanwhile, ceasefire efforts made no headway. A senior Palestinian official told Haaretz+ Palestinians feel the issue has been taken out of their hands and picked up by the international arena, where power struggles between the nations are blocking a serious discussion of the Palestinian demands for a cease-fire.
Possibly for that reason, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is forming a 'joint team' that he will head for Gaza ceasefire talks. It will include representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and will meet with Egyptian leaders in Cairo.

**Hamas' political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal gave a fascinating interview to CBS News' Charlie Rose, which received only a paragraph at the end of news articles in both Maariv and Yedioth. In the interview, Mashaal said he was "ready to coexist" with Jews and Christians, but not with the occupation. That sentence was reported on only in Haaretz+ and Maariv. Yedioth reported that Mashaal said: "I don't want to liberate my land. I want the Palestinian people to live without occupation. We don't want our daughters and sons to be killed, but without the opportunity to achieve our goals in a peaceful way resistance is legitimate." Maariv did not print that quote and insinuated that he wanted Israelis kicked out of the country when reporter Haim Asrovitch wrote: "(Mashaal) made clear that if the world does not help end the Israeli occupation, the Palestinians will throw out the Israelis from 'our lands.'" Maariv also reported that Mashaal said that only after an independent Palestinian state is founded will it be possible to determine if it can live in peace with Israel. "We are not radicals or fanatics. We don't fight Jews because they are Jews. We are fighting the occupation. I can co-exist with Jews, with Christians...However, I cannot live with the occupation. Mashaal reiterated his stance regarding a cease-fire and criticized the international community for neglecting the Gaza Strip.
The killing of 9 children at a park in Al-Shati refugee camp and a hit on nearby Shifa Hospital that killed more people, including children, and injured dozens yesterday in Gaza has turned into another media battle. The Palestinians accused Israel of the blast, but the IDF says it was the result of a failed rocket launch. Yedioth took the IDF version as fact with a big spread that called it "Hamas' brutality," while Maariv said responsibility remained in question. [Vanity Fair has an informative piece on the media war over explosions at locations in the Gaza Strip that there is no arguing cannot be targets - but were hit anyway. - OH]
Israeli commentators for the most part were gung-ho today about continuing the campaign in Gaza. (See Commentary/Analysis below.) Haaretz has an excellent review of Day 21 of Operation Protective Edge.

Poll: 86% of Israelis oppose a ceasefire unless Hamas surrenders (Maariv)
Poll by Degem Institute shows that about half of population believes that results of operation so far are 'mediocre.' Only less than 10% of the public believe "it's time to stop." Men (89%) support continuing fighting more than women (84%). 

Quick Hits:
  • UN issues images showing Gaza before and after IDF offensive - U.N. images show 604 buildings destroyed, 236 badly damaged and 46 mininally damaged in northeastern Gaza, including Shujaiyya. IDF finds Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades manuals, teaching how to carry out suicide attacks, use civilians as shields. (Israel Hayom)
  • B’Tselem petitions High Court to allow radio ad naming 5 dead Palestinian children - Human rights group argues that Israel Broadcasting Authority’s decision to reject ad undermines freedom of political expression. (Haaretz+) 
  • Hamas clip warns IAF pilots: Stay out of our skies - Al-Qassam Brigades releases animated video threatening to shoot down Israeli warplanes that enter Gaza airspace. (Ynet)
  • Doctors condemn Israeli 'crime against humanity' - Twenty-four physicians and scientists publish open letter against IDF's activity in Gaza in leading medical journal The Lancet. Health Ministry demands removal of letter's online version. (Ynet)
  • Israeli doctors mobilize against anti-Israel letter in The Lancet - Open letter accused Israel of masquerading a massacre. (Haaretz)
  • Anti-Gaza war demonstration (in NY) dwarfed by pro-Israel rally - Anti-occupation Jewish demonstrators protest 'implicit support American Jewish leaders gave to the Israeli offensive in Gaza,' but passersby are not impressed. (Haaretz)
  • Survey: Americans blame Hamas over Israel for war by 2-1 margin - But they're split along age, racial/ethnic lines. (Haaretz+ and Pew)
  • TGI report: Israel Hayom is Israel's No.1 daily! - New Target Group Index poll reveals Israel Hayom's weekday market share has grown to 39.8 percent, widening its lead over chief rival Yedioth Ahronoth. Weekend readership rises to 34 percent, cementing Israel Hayom's position as the leading newspaper in Israel for the fourth consecutive year. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel Police launches special unit to combat rock throwers - Field officers and detectives from the Kedma Police Station with an "exceptional combat past" try to defuse clashes peacefully. Some of the police operate in uniform, while others go undercover, says Chief Insp. Dudi Rosenthal. (Israel Hayom
  • Israel police won't probe Israeli Arab MK Zoabi for kidnapping statements - Deputy AG says Arab MK expressed ambivalence about, not support for abduction of three Jewish teens in the West Bank. (Haaretz
  • Erdogan asks Turkey Jews to condemn Israel, but says 'won't get hurt' if they don't - Turkey's Jewish community should condemn the Israeli government, but that they won't be harmed if they don't, Turkish prime minister says. (JTA, Haaretz)

Gazan tries to answer his son’s question: Who broke the house?
The 4-year-old son of a Gazan artist who happens to be related to a Hamas commander wants to know why he doesn’t have a home anymore. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) 
Meet the IDF's 'Foreign Legion'
Not only young immigrants travel a long way to fight for Israel. A number of IDF reservists living and working in Europe, Africa, and America have dropped everything and have rushed back to help make Operation Protective Edge a success. (Israel Hayom

A bad peace is better than a good war (Gil Harpaz, Haaretz+) Israel lives in a permanent Catch-22: When there is violence there is nobody to talk to, and when there’s quiet there’s no reason to talk.
They are fed up (Ron Miburg, Maariv) You cannot forget how much the world admired us after the Six Day War and after the Entebbe Operation. But you cannot ignore the fact that it is totally fed up with the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. And there will be consequences to that.
Take initiative, don't wait for Hamas (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Israel should be the one to decide on a truce. If Hamas violates it again, it would afford Israel new international legitimacy to expand the operation.
Netanyahu still anxiously looking for exit sign (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) The prime minister is facing increasing criticism at home and abroad about reaching a cease-fire with Hamas, but for completely opposite reasons.
A prayer to the God of Social Media (Fania Oz-Salzberger, Yedioth/Ynet) Almighty master of cyberspace, help us to maintain our sense of humor, and save me from having to unfriend or unfollow anyone.
Hamas' media strategy is faltering (Prof. Eli Avraham, Israel Hayom) Hamas' use of gory images from the Gaza Strip to increase international pressure on Israel backfired when it became clear it was using civilians as human shields. 
Israel's moral defeat will haunt us for years (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) We have passed 1,000 dead Palestinians. How many more? The trophy also goes to the Startup Nation, this time to the startup renowned for knowing and reporting as little as possible with as many international media and available websites as possible. "Good morning, it was a quiet night," the Army Raido host announced. The IDF killed 80 Palestinians, of them 64 civilians, in the day preceding. 
Kerry wounded in action in Middle East (Alon Pinkas, Yedioth/Ynet) US secretary of state could have avoided unnecessary insults had he been as sharp and eloquent as President Obama.
Obama's anger means he is wrong (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Khaled Mashaal figured that if he could only convince John Kerry to embrace his cease-fire draft, the secretary of state would manhandle Israel into a truce.
Arbitration by a dwindling empire (Orly Azoulay, Yedioth/Ynet) The Israeli-Palestinian peace process is in search of a responsible adult to guide it. 
Destroying the tunnels is our victory (Uri Heitner, Israel Hayom) War against terrorists does not end in surrender.
Paying the price of a justified war (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel's decision makers never imagined that after 10 days of a ground operation in Gaza, the military death toll would cross the 50 mark.
Israel's spat with Kerry fueled by Turkey, Qatar (Ron Kampeas, JTA) Israel prefers to have Egypt as the main interlocutor because the country's current military-backed government has a deep antipathy toward the Islamist Hamas movement.
The unilateral route: A third option against Hamas (Maj. Gen. (res) Israel Ziv, Yedioth/Ynet) Active Egyptian involvement in Gaza Strip after Israeli withdrawal could be even more effective and intimidating than IDF tank barrels in Saja'iyya (Shujaiyeh). 
As fighting continues, Israel looks to be in it for the long haul (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Hamas attacks eradicate any chance for period of calm. The IDF appears to be planning to expand its ground operation.
Tumbling into Gaza, and climbing out again (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel and Hamas found themselves falling into a cycle of escalation, writes Nahum Barnea, but after Israel spent years ignoring the tunnel threat, will it really be so willing now to leave a fight it is winning while even one still stands?

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