Hezbollah Deputy Leader Killed in Syria?

Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.

Today’s Top Stories

1. Satellite images obtained by the Daily Telegraph show that a heavy water production facility in Arak is now operational. Steam and the unusual level of security is the big giveaway. Oh yeah, international inspectors have been denied access for 18 months.

The striking image of steam over the Arak heavy-water complex is a vivid demonstration that the regime has more than one pathway to a potential nuclear weapon. . .

Other images of the area around Arak show that numerous anti-aircraft missile and artillery sites protect the plant, more than are deployed around any other known nuclear site in the country. . .

According to the Institute for Science and International Security, a US think tank, if the heavy-water plant reaches full capacity, it would produce about 20 lb. of plutonium a year.

That could be enough for two nuclear warheads if the plutonium was reprocessed.

The Telegraph also published a related staff-ed pointing out that military action “may be the only way to prevent a still greater disaster.”

Arak heavy water facility

The Arak heavy water facility, for the production of plutonium. The plant is operational, as indicated by the steam (circled).

2. A really rough day for Hezbollah: Its number two man was ambushed in Syria while denying rumors that Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has cancer. Meanwhile, damning investigations in Cyprus and Bulgaria aren’t going away.

As the Israel Daily News Stream goes to press, Nasrallah was due to give a televised address from an unknown site that could be anywhere in the world. See page 2 of this roundup for more.

3. EU consuls based in Jerusalem and Ramallah advocate economic sanctions against Israeli settlements. Haaretz got a peek at the EU’sHeads of Mission report” for 2012. Among the harsh recommendations:

  • European divestment from settlements.
  • Strict application of Israel-EU free trade agreements.
  • Labeling settlement products.
  • Sanctions against businesses and organizations involved in settlement construction.

This nonbinding report’s easily sexed up when leaked to a like-minded newspaper. Indeed, last year’s leak went to The Guardian.

4. Inmate Death: What the Media Chose to Ignore: When is a terrorist not a terrorist? Apparently, when it doesn’t fit the media’s narrative.

5. HonestReporting’s latest shareable graphic’s up on Flickr. If you want others to care, remember to share.

Throwing stones is an act of violence. Don't let the media tell you otherwise.

Israel and the Palestinians

It’s a familiar dance: The PA called for an international inquiry into Arafat Jardat’s death, Israel brushes off the idea. But the Jerusalem Post says the government may allow an international observer to join the Israel’s inquiry.

Egyptian court ordered Gaza tunnels destroyed. Reuters coverage.

Times of Israel: Hamas is thundering against rumored plans for President Obama to visit the Temple Mount, while the Islamic Waqf set several conditions for any such plan.

On the next page

  • Hezbollah’s no. 2 man ambushed in Syria, possibly killed.
  • Another Iranian satellite launch goes bust.
  • Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood still trying to amend Camp David agreement.

Continued on Page 2