News Nosh 07.31.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday July 31, 2014

Number of the day:
--Number of Palestinians killed Wednesday, probably the highest in a single day during Operation Protective Edge.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Hamas tunnel, Gaza - Yedioth reporter, Yossi Yehoshua, with Givati Brigade commander and his soldiers inside Gaza
  • [Main photos: Givati Brigade commander at entrance to tunnel, reporter with notebook at entrance to tunnel, mug shots of three killed soldiers]
  • 3 soldiers from Meglan unit killed in booby-trapped building
  • Fear in north: Hezbollah also digging attack tunnels
  • The last kiss - Day before he was killed, SFC Adi Briga met his girlfriend and prophesied his death when he said to a Yedioth reporter: My biggest fear is of a mortar
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links) Israel Hayom

The house that collapsed on soldiers, killing three, reports by Israeli journalists with Israeli troops inside Gaza and discussions in Cairo over a ceasefire were today's top stories. News about the 130 Palestinian deaths, probably the highest in one day, were reported deep in the papers.

Three Israeli soldiers were killed when a booby-trapped building was blown up remotely and collapsed on them. Israel Hayom erroneously reported that the building was a UN medical clinic. The soldiers reportedly identified the house as one with a tunnel shaft. IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said yesterday that the tunnel threat had been 'solved' and that it would no longer serve Hamas. (Maariv) But another IDF commander told Haaretz+ that locating tunnels will take time and patience. Lt. Col. Yoav, added, “The ones who suffer the most, even when we try to avoid it, are the civilians. They’ve abandoned everything here. 
An Israeli delegation, including the the prime minister’s advisor Isaac Molho, Shin Bet Chief Yoram Cohen and the head of the Defense Ministry’s political-defense desk, Amos Gilad, returned from Cairo after a quick round of truce talks with Egyptian intelligence officials. Maariv reported that Islamic Jihad and Hamas delegations also arrived in Cairo yesterday to discuss "a ceasefire, ending the siege and opening the Rafah border crossing into Egypt." Meanwhile, the Palestinain Authority chief negotiator flew to Qatar to meet Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal.
And, Maariv reported that a Turkish envoy arrived in Israel to advance a ceasefire and that Israel approved allowing humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. The Turkish Foreign Minister said that Hamas gave Turkey the power to represent the organization and that Israel rejected a ceasefire. 
There was continued discussion over the Hamas video about its operation that killed five soldiers, after militants infiltrated the border and attacked an Israeli military installation. The video exposes that the IDF gave erroneous reports about what had happened there, writes Haaretz+. Maariv also reported on it.
**The two most painful attacks on Gazans yesterday received various levels of reporting in the Israeli press. The triple strike on the outdoor market in Shujaiyeh neighborhood, which killed 17 people and wounded about 200 and the shelling of another UN school that killed 19 people taking refuge there. The Palestinians said the strike on the market was a "deliberate massacre" at an hour when the market is filled with people buying food for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, Israel Hayom reported. [Outside reports say that the IDF struck the market three time at intervals, so each time when people came to rescue the injured, they too were killed. - OH] Yedioth started its article on the two attacks saying, "The civilians in Gaza continue to pay the price of Hamas' aggressions." It noted that the US administration's condemnation of the attack on the UN school was the most harsh since the beginning of the military campaign. 130 Gazans were killed Wednesday.
Meanwhile, after visiting wounded IDF soldiers on Wednesday morning, former president Shimon Peres called on the cabinet to end the Gaza operation. The war in Gaza has "exhausted itself," Peres said, "and now we have to find a way to stop it." 
Haaretz has an excellent review of live updates of Day 23 of Operation Protective Edge, without paywall.

Quick Hits:
  • UN says 'enough is enough' after another Gaza school attack - After fifth attack on UN school, senior officials say Gazans have 'few places to go'; Ban says latest attack that killed 16 at school in Jabalya refugee camp 'demands accountability and justice.' UNRWA says it had told IDF exact location a number of times. White House also condemns shelling, does not mention Israel in announcement. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet
  • Watch: UNRWA spokesman bursts out in tears during an interview - because of the situation in Gaza - Chris Gunness had difficulty to withstand the terrible scenes in Gaza and at the organization where he works. He called on the world to act to end the "ongoing massacre." (Maariv+VIDEO
  • Abbas declares 'humanitarian disaster' in Gaza, urges UN to provide relief - The Palestinian president accuses Israel of depriving Gazans of the right to life, asks the international community to step in. (Haaretz+ and Ynet
  • Israel and Hamas fight over Gaza casualty list - In era in which public opinion is part of warfare, Israel and Hamas fighting additional war over the identity and number of causalities in Gaza, and Israel charges Hamas with turning militants into innocents in quest for world sympathy. (Ynet
  • Three Jewish men arrested over assault of two Palestinians in East Jerusalem - 20-year-old residents of Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem beaten unconscious by Jewish mob that attacked them with iron bars Friday. (Haaretz
  • IDF: Cement used by Hamas for tunnels could build 100 kindergartens - GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Turgeman says 'we are only a few days away from destroying all terror tunnels.' (Ynet
  • Hamas trained for an aerial attack in Malaysia - Elite forces cell commander admits under interrogation that Gaza group planned on using paragliding equipment to execute a terror attack on Israeli border towns. (Ynet
  • 'Let IDF complete Gaza mission, 14 years of terror are enough' - Mayors of Israel's southern communities demand IDF be allowed to continue Gaza campaign until terror threat is fully eliminated. "If they reach a truce before the tunnels are taken care of we won't be able to go home," says resident of Kibbutz Nahal Oz. (Israel Hayom)
  • Bolivia: Israel is a terror state - President Evo Morales rescinds agreement allowing Israelis to visit without visa in protest of IDF actions during Operation Protective Edge. (Ynet
  • US Senate: Israel has right to defend itself - U.S. Senate unanimously passes resolution supporting Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks, terror tunnels. U.S. allows Israel to tap local U.S. arms stockpile in the past week to resupply it with grenades and mortar rounds. (Israel Hayom
  • Hillary Clinton: "Hamas puts rockets inside neighborhoods because Gaza is a crowded place" - Former U.S. Secretary of State spoke in an interview about the situation in Gaza: "Israel warned several times, and then discovered the tunnels. Must strive for a ceasefire." (Maariv)
  • Amb. Dermer: Criticism of Kerry due to Israel's rambunctious democracy - Ambassador to US stresses 'Israeli press' and not Prime Minister Netanyahu behind critique of Kerry's efforts in brokering ceasefire. (Ynet
  • Suspect arrested on suspicion of scratching swastikas on carsin Lahavim - A 20 year old (Bedouin) from Rahat admitted scratching 11 swastikas on cars. Commander of the Negev police: "These actions harm the good relations between Rahat and Lahavim." (Maariv)
  • Italian philosopher apologizes for saying he wanted to 'shoot those bastard Zionists' - Gianni Vattimo had told Italian radio that Europeans should buy more missiles for Hamas. (Haaretz+) 
  • Rabbis to cancel summer break for yeshivas if Gaza war persists - Senior rabbis from the largest Orthodox streams say instead of beginning a three-week vacation next week, yeshiva students will instead pray for the success of the military operation in Gaza and the welfare of Israeli soldiers and southern residents. (Israel Hayom
  • Elkin against the destruction of illegal structures in the territories during the operation - Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Likud MK Zeev Elkin, asked to stop the demolition of [illegal outpost - OH] houses in communities names after the three teens who were kidnapped. MK Yogev: "If there is a time to engage in the demolition of buildings, I demand to hold a hearing on it." (Maariv)
  • Military dog killed in Gaza blast saved handler's life - IDF canine Tamara took the worst of the impact in house explosion. Her handler, Staff Sgt. T., was moderately wounded. "She was his best friend; he's grieving for her," says his mother. Oketz Unit holds ceremonies for dogs killed in action. (Israel Hayom
  • Knesset takes summer recess as Gaza war rages - The kidnapping and murder of the three teens and the current conflict in Gaza has kept MKs busy in TV studios. (Haaretz+)
  • Newsweek devotes cover story to probe anti-Semitism in Europe - Article details attacks on Jews in the EU, with particular focus on recent anti-Israel rallies in Paris and the fatal shooting at the Jewish museum in Brussels in May. (Haaretz+)
  • Rockets be damned, Israelis head back to the malls - Three weeks into Protective Edge, more are risking short trips out of their homes, retailers say. (Haaretz+)

The Arabs want to stay in Israel - but does Israel want them?
Some 77% of the Arab population here defines itself as Israeli to some degree. The state must decide whether it’s prepared to make them feel loved. (Haaretz+) 
Aboard a Navy ship, sailing across the Gaza shore
Ynet reporter Yoav Zitun joined the Israeli Navy, where sailors are prepared for any contingency; 'They could try to get an image of victory of our ship on fire,' troops say. (Ynet)
Once flourishing, Gaza border communities now virtual ghost towns
The tipping point for many residents who have chosen to flee was the discovery of Hamas-built tunnels virtually under their homes. (Haaretz+)
Israel and Europe: A picture of the situation: Who supports (us)? Who is attacking?
The EU issued an aggressive statement last week against Hamas, but the continent really is not united in its attitude towards Operation Protective Edge. Who is outwardly giving us their support, who is expressing a balanced relationship and who is not hesitating to criticize us? (Maariv
The lexicon of war
A guide to some of the vocabulary you need to guide you through the Israel-Gaza war. (Haaretz+)
Bar-Ilan University’s McCarthyist values (Haaretz Editorial) The condemnation of a professor who dared to link together all the war’s victims without distinction emanates extreme nationalism and insensitivity. 
Hamas’ PR tactics (Elior Levy, Ynet) Terror organization advances propaganda objectives with rocket-shaped cookies for Eid-al-Fitr, imprecise death tolls, social networks.
It’s all Hamas’ fault, right Israel? (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) More than 1,200 Gazans have been killed, about 80 percent of them civilians. But Israelis’ hands are clean and their consciences are quiet - so quiet you could cry. 
The Left too shall sober up (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) From the perspective of the Arabs in Gaza, Judea and Samaria or the rest of the crazies in the Middle East, there's no difference between Kibbutz Nir Am and Tel Aviv. 
Israel’s tarnished moral calculus (Don Futterman, Haaretz+) We used to shoot and cry, as the old Si Heyman song says. Now we kill and justify. Hamas is out to kill Israelis, but when did we lose our interest in minimizing brutal tactics? 
Battle for the image (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Hamas' recent media ploys may signal its desire to gain the coveted "victory image" ahead of a cease-fire. 
Gaza myths and facts: what American Jewish leaders won't tell you (Peter Beinart, Haaretz+) Myth: Gaza is free. Fact: it has been under Israeli occupation since 1967 to this very day. 
Don't get upset about the tension with the U.S. (Shmuel Rosner, Maariv) Conflict with our ally? (Tzipi) Livni also was blasted by Condoleezza Rice (in Operation Cast Lead). John Kerry and Barack Obama might not listen to us, but they are our real friends.
Israel's conflict bogeyman: The 'dangerous', 'disaffected' left (Vered Kellner, Haaretz+) Israelis with conciliatory leftist views are used to being treated like cold-hearted traitors, but the Gaza conflict has polarized opinion against them even further. 
Gaza demilitarization is vital (MK Shaul Mofaz, Israel Hayom) Israel must exhaust all military actions against Hamas and force it up against a wall. 
Hamas looking for an opening to the West Bank (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) By demanding that Israel lift the siege on Gaza, Hamas signals willingness to renew ties with the West Bank. Israel is not pleased.
How does a terror cell enter Israel, kill 5 soldiers? (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) After Hamas releases chilling video documenting how they entered Israel through a secret tunnel, killed five soldiers and returned to Gaza almost completely unscathed, the question is how did the IDF not see them coming?
An inhuman war: Stop the killing in Gaza (ICRC Chief Jacques de Maio, Haaretz+) International Red Cross: In the face of the enormous human cost of the Gaza conflict, talk of blame or rules of war or collateral damage seems inadequate and ineffective.
Gaza cease-fire dispute is another bitter twist in Israel-U.S. relations (Itamar Rabinovich, Haaretz+) The Gaza conflict has further exposed and aggravated the tense relationship between Netanyahu and Obama, as well as the consequences of America's diminished role in the Middle East. 
Tunnels and rockets, but no top brass: Why Hamas' leadership is still alive 
(Elior Levy and Yoav Zitun, Ynet) While past operations saw quick targeting of group's top military and political leadership in Gaza, the current op has been almost completely devoid of high-profile targeted killings; why can't the IDF take out Hamas' top commanders?
Israel’s Gaza woes are taking it back to the bad old days (Ari Shavit, Haaretz+) For four decades Israel hasn’t been exposed to a real threat. For three decades it hasn’t experienced a full ground war.
'Perfidious America': Behind Netanyahu's hostility to Kerry (Gershom Gorenberg, Haaretz+) Behind the hyperbole and fury of Israel's right, including its prime minister, against the U.S. secretary of state, lies a basic belief in the serial treachery of superpowers towards Zionism.
Israel will weather this war perfectly well (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) For one thing, if tourists didn’t have short memories, they wouldn’t have planned an Israel vacation anyway.
UNRWA spokesman in Gaza: "People who bring rocket school betrays his people"
In an interview with Army Radio, Adan Abu Hassan told about the difficult situation in Gaza, attacked Hamas and said that an IDF shell hit the UN school.
"Whoever puts missiles (into our schools) is a traitor to the interests of his people, to the people who defend him and the innocent... The fantasy is that all this destruction, that people will rise up against such organizations, (but) this is a fantasy. Noone in Gaza is not talking about politics. All they demand is an end to the siege on Gaza, that's all. Give them a chance to live. If there is electricity, there isn't electricity, there's no water - no one can live like that. There is no future, no tomorrow. Do not talk to people about democracy when they have nothing in life." (Quoted in Maariv online)

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