Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.
UN media official’s responsible for a false tweet about Israel-Gaza violence. Meir Dagan and Henry Kissinger disagree on Iran — or do they? And what was the wisdom of Kofi Annan’s talks with Bashar Assad?
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Israel and the Palestinians
• As today’s Israel Daily News Stream goes to press, here are the most recent updates on the Israel-Gaza fighting.
- Northernmost strike yet: Grad lands near Gadera
- Beersheva Under Fire: “It’s Like Living in a Jungle”
- Sirens Wail Farther North, Near Rehovot
• Times of London botch up accuses Israel of firing rockets at Gaza.
• Palestinian rocket hits empty Beersheva school. IDF to Haaretz: Iron Dome ain’t flawless.
HonestReporting has learned that the false tweeter, Khulood Badawi, is the Information and Media Coordinator for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
HonestReporting CEO Joe Hyams says:
The halo-effect enjoyed by the UN, where the public trusts the integrity of its staff and its Mission, demands higher professional standards than we are seeing. The UN owes the public, no less than this young girl’s family, an apology. The immediate dismissal of Khulood Badawi on the grounds of incitement is expected.
• Tit-For-Tat/Cycle of Violence Watch:
1. “The comments suggested little hope of a quick end to the clashes, which began on Friday afternoon with Israel’s killing of the chief of the Popular Resistance Committees militant group, and quickly spiralled into tit-for-tat violence.”
2. “The cycle began with the targeted assassination by Israel of a Palestinian militant who it says was planning an attack.”
3. “But Israel warned the tit-for-tat strikes were likely to continue for the next few days.”
• Rockets are reaching as far as Ashdod and Beersheva, but The Scotsman thinks it’s just border violence.
• Despite Patrick Martin’s tone, I’m glad to see the IDF took precautions before taking out al-Qaissi. The Popular Resistance Committee doesn’t do anything to protect Gaza civilians ahead of their attacks. The Globe & Mail correspondent writes:
In reporting the assassination of Mr. al-Qaissi late on Friday, Israeli officials said he was in the final stages of preparing an attack on Israel and his killing was in order to foil an immediate threat. Yet Israel must have known for some time that it was going to find that immediate threat on Friday, since Israel’s southern military command deployed the Iron Dome batteries and filled the area around Gaza with a large number of unmanned observation aircraft well in advance, knowing full well the kind of response the killing would trigger.
• Don’t think Iron Dome’s rave reviews will embolden Israel to attack Iran. Israelis in the know told Time:
Experts caution, however, that the skies are not nearly so clear as they seem. Israel has only three Iron Dome batteries, enough only to protect the cities closest to Gaza (Ashkelon, Ashdod and Be’er Sheva). At least three times as many would be needed to shield other population centers, and even with a special grant from Washington only three more are in the pipeline, for a total of six.
Nor is Israel’s umbrella against medium-range missiles yet on line. That system, known both as Magic Wand and David’s Sling, is due to deploy in about a year. It would aim to stop missiles fired from beyond about 50 miles, the outer range of Iron Dome. A third system, dubbed Arrow and already in operation, is designed to intercept ballistic missiles such as Iran’s Shahab-3 . . .
Nor is it clear how well Iron Dome would perform in genuinely warlike conditions – that is, with missile barrages not in the dozens, but in the hundreds or even thousands.