France to Free Killer of Israeli, US Diplomats

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Mali is France’s Gaza, argues Ron Agam:

France is now going to war in Mali because it says “we cannot have a terrorist state at the door of Europe,” but when Israel launches a defensive operation to protect its citizens from missile attacks from terrorists in Gaza, all the French newspapers and television commentators scream about Israeli aggression.

The distance between Bamako and Paris: 6266 km. The distance between Gaza and Israel: 1km.

This situation starkly exposes the hypocrisy of the Europeans in their attitudes toward Israel, which drives me insane.

2. A French court is on the verge of freeing Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, a Lebanese national with some serious blood on his hands. He was convicted for the 1982 murders of Yaakov Bar-Simantov (an Israeli diplomat), Lt. Col. Charles R. Ray (US Army attache), and for trying to kill US consul Robert O. Homme in 1984.

The court already ruled that the release of Abdallah, now 61, would have to be conditional on his being deported to Lebanon. Ya Libnan says celebrations are already being prepared for the “struggler prisoner.”

3. Iran’s gathering intelligence on Israel from southern Syria. According to a US government report, we’re talking about listening stations supplying info to Hezbollah. The report adds that the Revolutionary Guards wants to establish additional sites. See UPI coverage and the full report in PDF.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Citing safety concerns after a recent winter storm, all Gaza smuggling tunnels are closed until further notice. Maan News coverage.

BBC News Moves to the Bunker

An aid group says Syrian refugees are citing sexual violence as the main reason for leaving their country. Reuters picked up on a new report by the International Rescue Committee.

Alawites are digging in for a last stand along the Syrian coast as the regime elites move their families to Latakia and Tarsus. The Times of London says they’re not just stockpiling weapons and preparing defenses:

Rebels also say that the regime is trying to purge coastal towns and cities of their sizeable Sunni populations. They say that shabiha thugs are kidnapping the children of wealthy Sunnis, that young Sunni men are being arrested at checkpoints and that the regime has cut electricity and water to Sunni districts. “If you’re stopped at a checkpoint and you’re military age they take you straight away. You either flee or you’re imprisoned,” said Thair, 30, a Sunni who fled from Latakia with his family two months ago.

Alawites

(Alawite map via Wikimedia Commons)

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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