How Well Do PA Forces Control West Bank?

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Today’s Top Stories

1.  According to the Times of Israel, Hamas has significantly boosted its stockpile of rockets capable of reaching Jerusalem:

This means that the next round of conflict with Gaza will be focused on central Israel, with the Israeli military braced to defend the heart of the country against unprecedented salvos of M-75s directed at Tel Aviv, the rest of central Israel, and Jerusalem.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

2. Just when it seemed that Israeli-Turkey ties appeared back on track, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan linked the rapprochement to Gaza. The Jerusalem Post writes:

“The compensation talks on behalf of the victims of the Mavi Marmara, which are taking place between Ankara and Jerusalem, have not concluded,” Erdogan said. “In the final stages, there will be a need to include a clause in the protocol that calls for the lifting of the siege on Gaza.”

The premier’s statements were all the more surprising given that just two days ago his foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, was quoted as saying that Turkey and Israel are as close as they have been yet to ending the long-running saga over the Mavi Marmara incident.

Israeli officials said the demand is out of the question.

3. PA forces are struggling to maintain security in the West Bank, especially in the refugee camps, according to the Washington Times.

4. Daily Telegraph Multiplies Palestinian Refugees: Accuracy prevailed in the end after the Daily Telegraph initially flubbed some figures.

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Israel and the Palestinians

• Israel ranks at 96 in Reporters Without Borders’ annual Press Freedom Index. It’s actually an improvement because last year’s index threw the book at Israel for killing Palestinian “journalists” associated with Hamas.

Israel improved its standing in the UN Human Rights Council, and also got observer status in Latin America’s Pacific Alliance. Details at the Jerusalem Post. The Wall St. Journal adds that the Latin American push is to  reduce Israel’s dependence on European trade and “avoid the political baggage over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and concerns about economic boycotts against Jewish settlements.”

I hope this puts Cruella de Vil on notice:

Disney drops Arabic Donald Duck over anti-Israel tweet

 NY Times bureau chief Jodi Rudoren takes a nice big-picture look at the BDS issue.

Quiet stories of Israeli-Palestinian co-existence tend to fly under Big Media radar, so the BBC‘s Israeli-Palestinian cancer support group knocks down walls is a welcome reminder of normalcy in the Mideast.

For more commentary/analysis, see Al-Quds U. Professor Muhammad Al-Dajani Al-Daoudi (Palestinians need to moderate negotiating positions), Abdel Bioud (why an Algerian Muslim supports Israel), Forbes (Jordanian anxieties over the two-state solution), and Tom Friedman (the peace process).

Rest O’ the Roundup

Syrian crisis overshadows aid to the Palestinians

Imagine the outrage if Israel did this:

Wall St. Journal

(Image of Erdogan via YouTube/Cihan Haber Ajansi, Donald Duck via YouTube/Scenes on Screen)

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

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