Today’s Top Stories
1. Arabs rioted in eastern Jerusalem after the burnt body of a Palestinian teenager was found in the Jerusalem Forest. Palestinian media reports are identifying the boy as Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped last night, but police haven’t yet confirmed the identity of the body or if it’s connected to the abduction.
Coming a day after the funerals of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach, speculation falls on a revenge attack. But police aren’t ruling out other possibilities, including a clan conflict or matter of “family honor” (though Haaretz reports that the missing boy’s father denies that). More at the Jerusalem Post, YNet, and Times of Israel live-blogging.
3. Tsk. A Pew Research Center poll found that Mideast support for Hezbollah and Hamas is falling.
Hezbollah, the militant organization headquartered in Lebanon with strong ties to the Shia-led Iranian government, is seen unfavorably in every Middle Eastern country surveyed . . .
Overall, most people surveyed have an unfavorable impression of Hamas, a militant Palestinian organization that is in control of the Gaza Strip and designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. This includes people who live under its rule.
More than half in the Palestinian territories (53%) have an unfavorable view of Hamas, with only about a third (35%) expressing positive views. Negative views are higher in the Hamas-led Gaza Strip (63%), up from 54% in 2013.
4. Three Murdered Teens: Daily Mail Gets it Wrong: Following the funerals of the three murdered teenagers, the Daily Mail utterly botches the aftermath.
5. Three Murdered Teens: Irish Times’ “Cycle of Violence: The Irish Times falsely depicts a “cycle of violence” despite Israel responding to the murder of three teens by Hamas terrorists.
6. Aryeh Green, director of MediaCentral, discussed media issues and the kidnapped teens with Las Vegas radio personality Alan Stock. MediaCentral is an initiative of HonestReporting providing support and services for foreign journalists in Israel. Give the interview a listen on YouTube.
7. Christian Science Monitor: Israel in a “Cycle of Revenge Killings”: Staff editorial misunderstands when it portrays Israel as participating in a “cycle of revenge killings” in response to three teens’ murder.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Eli Lake: While Israel bombs Gaza, the kidnapping’s real mastermind, Saleh al-Arouri, is living large in Turkey:
Now that the man who Israel believes has significant responsibility for the murder of the three teenagers is in Turkey, it could further complicate relations between Ankara and Jerusalem, two former allies that have tried recently to repair a broken relationship.
Turkey has cooperated at times with Israel and the west on contingency planning for Syria during its civil war. But the Turks also maintain close ties to the political wing of Hamas, a group Israel and the United States still designate as a terrorist organization. Indeed, Turkey’s foreign minister, Ahmed Davutaglu, on Monday talked to Khalled Meshall, the head of the Hamas political bureau, in a telephone call.
Senior Israeli officials confirmed for The Daily Beast that al-Arouri is the Hamas leader who has encouraged, funded and coordinated a campaign to ramp up kidnappings in the West Bank and that al-Arouri now resides in Turkey.
• The IDF destroyed the home of Ziad Awad, who murdered an off-duty senior Israeli police officer on Passover eve. Awad was one of the Palestinian prisoners released in the Gilad Shalit swap, but you wouldn’t know that from Reuters dispatches one or two. YNet coverage includes video.
• Hamas is burning mad over the reinstatement of PA civil servants in Gaza. Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah refuses to pay the salaries of Hamas’ 50,000 public employees.
• Clifford May: US taxpayers are chipping in to pay handsome salaries to Palestinian jailbirds.
• Why does this Christian Science Monitor staff-ed simply assume that Israel’s actions are motivated by revenge?
• Today’s best commentary was easily at the Daily Telegraph, where Alan’s Johnson nails why Palestinians must choose between Hamas and Abbas. See also Giora Eiland (Israel’s opportunity for a strategic blow to Hamas), Thane Rosenbaum (no moral equivalent to the murder of three teenagers), Rafael Ahren (Gaza invasion or home demolitions, Israel will likely still come under fire), and more takes by Amotz Asa-El, Anshel Pfeffer, Ben-Dror Yemini, Reuven Berko, Richard Behar, Michael Goodwin, Patrick Martin, and Alan Elsner.
Last but not least, The Wall St. Journal‘s Bret Stephens doesn’t pull any punches on what the kidnapping means for the Palestinians and peace efforts.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Just what is behind Israeli support for Kurdish statehood? McClatchy News looks into the history of Israeli-Kurdish relations.