Hamas to Privatize Gaza Border Crossings?

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Ouch: A Fatah official in Lebanon admitted that the PLO and Fatah have lost control of Lebanese refugee camps. Maan News explains why it matters:

The Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are technically under the control of PLO since a 1969 agreement, and as a result the Lebanese army largely refrains from entering or policing them.

Indeed,  one of the two suicide bombers outside the Iranian cultural center in Beirut last week was identified as a Palestinian. According to AFP, Nidal Mughayer was a 29-year-old follower of the radical Sunni cleric Ahmed al-Assir. The candor also calls into question Mahmoud Abbas’s ability to “deliver” a peace deal — especially if he makes any politically incorrect compromises on the “right” of return.

2. As the Gaza unemployment soars to 38 percent, Hamas suggests placing the strip’s border crossings under the control of Palestinian private entrepreneurs. Different Hamasniks raised the same trial balloons through Reuters and Xinhua.

3. With unrest in the Ukraine following the Jewish Agency is sending emergency aid to the Jewish community. And Ukraine’s chief rabbi is urging Jews to get out of Kiev.

“I told my community to get out of the city and if possible out of the state . . . there are many warnings about planned attacks against Jewish institutions,” Asman said, adding, “We have been told by the Israeli Embassy to not go outside.”

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Israel and the Palestinians

Germany will offer consular assistance to Israelis in countries where the Jewish state isn’t officially represented. That’s one agreement Angela Merkel will sign during her visit to Israel this week, reports Reuters.

 Deutsche Welle discussed  the state of Israeli-German relations with former Israeli diplomat Avi Primor.

I think German public opinion is actually worse than what’s shown in the polls because Germans don’t publicly state their opinion, they play it down,” said Israel’s former ambassador to Germany and the European Union, Avi Primor.

Australian activists are still dealing with lingering issues related to recent reports accusing the IDF of mistreating Palestinian minors in custody. Julie Nathan takes ABC News to task for allowing rabidly anti-Semitic comments to remain online:

Four Corners created six posts related to the program. These posts elicited more than 470 comments. About 100 of these comments were overtly anti-Jewish in one way or another. Several comments referred to Jews as a cancer and called for Hitler to return.

Some of the comments were deleted or edited by ABC moderators. However, many anti-Semitic comments have remained online for more than a week, spewing forth the gamut of traditional anti-Semitic themes.

By the way, the army and human rights groups disagree on how to interpret new IDF statistics on the number of arrests and complaints. Lastly, Yehuda Shaul, one of the founders of Breaking the Silence, felt compelled to address something with an op-ed in The Australian (via Google News).

 Imagine the outrage if Israel did this:

New Zealand Herald

Turns out NBC is going to film “Dig” in Jerusalem anyway — despite PLO ire. Haaretz coverage.

Israel Apartheid Week is still a week away, but YNet‘s already reporting opening salvos on campuses.

• Tunisian poet Amal Mousa hits the nail on the head:

Has the Arab Spring silenced the Palestinian issue?

Rest O’ the Roundup

Wendy Sherman, the State Department’s number three person, was in Jerusalem briefing Israeli leaders on last week’s international nuclear talks in Vienna. Haaretz reports what she had to say.

Syrian opposition leader Muhammad Badie publicly thanked Israel for setting up a field hospital to treat wounded Syrians. And Aboud Dandachi a Syrian refugee blogging from Turkey (via Elder of Ziyon), sheds light on Syrian attitudes towards Israeli medical care.

The Financial Times (via Google News) introduces readers to Avi Hasson, one of the key figures in Israel’s Start-Up Nation success. Reuters adds that Finland’s taking note.


Will Obama turn on Turkey? According to the The Daily Beast:

More than 80 top foreign policy figures from across the political spectrum wrote President Obama Thursday and asked him to end the U.S. government’s tacit approval of what they describe as the anti-democratic actions of Turkish Prime Minister Racep Tayyip Erdogan and his government.

For more commentary/analysis, see Doyle McManus (US leading from behind in Syria)

(Image of Ukraine via YouTube/Bredear Tonly)

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

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