Israel Daily News Stream 03/14/2012

Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.

Arab columnist accuses Hamas and Islamic Jihad of cheapening Palestinian (and Syrian) blood. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards accused of plotting attacks on Israeli and US embassies in Azerbaijan. And why are Iranian hackers targeting the BBC?

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Israel and the Palestinians

HonestReporting’s exposure of the UN connection for false photo tweets from Gaza attracted some nice media attention.

Our work was noted in the Jewish Chronicle, Jerusalem Post, JTA, Times of Israel, Israel HaYom, The Blaze, Washington Times, and the Ottawa Citizen. See also the Washington Post. Thanks to all our readers for helping spread the word. This is still unfolding, so watch this space.

Great moments in Palestinian medical sources. This tragic death will be lumped along with the other Palestinian casualties as if Israel was responsible. AP writes:

A Palestinian boy accidentally struck by a bullet when militants fired in the air during a funeral died of his injuries Wednesday, family members and witnesses said.

Palestinian health official Adham Abu Salmia initially said that 8-year-old Barka al-Mugrahbi died of wounds sustained in an Israeli airstrike on Monday.

Must read: Tariq Alhomayed (Asharq al-Awsat) accuses Hamas and Islamic Jihad of cheapening Palestinian (and Syrian) blood:

I challenge anybody from Hamas or any other Gaza organization to come out with a compelling answer about why “tinplate” rockets were fired into Israel in the first place, and whose interests are served for the lives of the Palestinian people to be lost in this saddening manner? There is no balance of power between Hamas or Islamic Jihad and Israel, whilst the Arabs are all preoccupied in attempting to protect the blood of the Syrian people from the tyrant of Damascus; this is not to mention the fact that most of the Arab states are preoccupied with their own affairs today, and the entire world is also preoccupied with stopping the massacres that are being carried out against the Syrian people.

. . . the attempt to set fire to Gaza at this time indicates that Hamas and others do not care about the Syrian blood and the massacres that are being carried out against them, something that has shocked and dismayed the Arab and indeed the entire world. This also indicates that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and all Iran’s allies in Gaza do not even care about the blood of the people of Gaza . . .

Despite the cease fire, rockets hit Netivot. Israel responds with another air strike. Details at the JPost.

Back to school for 207,000 kids in communities near Gaza. But not Netivot. And Evelyn Gordon points out Palestinian kids haven’t missed class at all.

They know Israel actually makes great efforts to avoid hitting civilian targets, and therefore, it’s perfectly safe to send their children to school. In contrast, Israelis can’t safely send their children to school, because Palestinian terrorists really do use indiscriminate force, making a school full of children an invitation to a mass-casualty incident.

Professor Eyal Zisser explains why Islamic Jihad replaced Hamas as Iran’s Palestinian lackey protege. Related analysis in the Christian Science Monitor, JPost and YNet.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz

Put yourself in Benny Gantz’s shoes: Why the IDF Felt It Had to Strike at Zuhair al-Qaissi

Yet when word reached him that al-Qaissi had gotten into his blue Opel along with another two combatants, meaning they were out in the open and verifiably not surrounded by family members or other civilians, he authorized the hit. Tuesday morning, speaking before new recruits to the Kfir Brigade, he explained why. “The planned terror attack in the south could have had strategic implications,” he said.

This is vague army talk for game-changing results and, based on previous experience with the PRC and the current situation in Sinai, likely meant a combination of two things: a defensive strike in Egypt, perhaps shedding Egyptian blood and damaging the ever-more brittle peace with our neighbor to the south; and the possibility of a kidnapping, either to Sinai or through the porous border to Gaza.

Both possibilities, in today’s reality in the Sinai, were all too likely.

Fascinating praise for Iron Dome in this National Post staff-ed:

Iron Dome is more than just a life-saving weapon system. It acts as a sort of technological metaphor for the Middle East conflict as a whole. While Palestinian militants in Gaza waste what few resources they have on smuggled weaponry that kill citizens indiscriminately, the Israelis produce life-saving high-tech refinements that one day will be protecting American military bases in the Gulf – and who knows what else besides – from attacks by Iran and its proxies.

You can sleep better tonight: Abbas will not threaten to dismantle PA

AFP: Israel supports Palestinian plans for a Gaza water desalinisation plant. You knew this question would be coming:

Asked whether the desalination plant could also get caught up in the violence, Landau said, “it’s an excellent question.”

“But an underlying or even more important question is why we have the terror in the first place. Without terror, many good industries, including the desalination plant, should long be in place,” he said.

More EU meddling?

Reuters picks up on an NGO’s look at Palestinian children in Israeli prisons. It’s an issue sporadically popping up in recent months. See Israel Responds to Guardian Child Abuse Charge.

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