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Today’s Top Stories
1. Salam Fayyad offered his resignation to Mahmoud Abbas. But despite their tensions, it’s not clear that Abbas will accept it. Everyone’s referring to Reuters, which got the scoop. Elliott Abrams and Khaled Abu Toameh expect Abbas will accept it.
The chapter recommends that the government investigate the highest ranks of the military to determine who was responsible.
More than 1,000 people, including many prisoners, are said to have gone missing during the 18 days of the revolt. Scores turned up in Egypt’s morgues, shot or bearing signs of torture.
3. Hurriyet (via Elder of Ziyon) finds that Turkish Islamists are in disarray over Israel’s apology and Turkey’s detente. Ankara has bigger fish to fry in the region but the the flotillistas don’t realize that:
As if this was not bad enough, one of the principle activists on the Mavi Marmara, the actor Sinan Albayrak, came out in remarks to daily Ak?am after the Israel apology saying he wished the government had prevented them from trying to break Israel’s Gaza blockade in the first place.
“What is the importance of the apology? ‘We killed nine people and are sorry’ – of course it sounds ridiculous. I say this is what the state should have done. If only it had prevented this at the start. But we asked for it. We went there ourselves.”
4. Watch our latest video: Amira Hass’s Brazen Support For Violence.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Recent Palestinian polls show support for Hamas, violence, and the Oslo accords plummeting. More on the findings at the Jerusalem Post.
• Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird broke some taboos by meeting Tzipi Livni in her office in eastern Jerusalem and visiting an IDF outpost in the Golan Heights. Haaretz writes:
Most Western countries refuse to let their officials attend meetings at Israeli government offices in East Jerusalem, lest this be viewed as recognizing Israel’s annexation of that part of the city . . .
A senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official said that Baird made both visits despite opposition from diplomats at Canada’s embassy in Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, a Toronto Star staff-ed plugs Canadian aid to the PA as an investment worth boosting.
• Khaled Meshaal was re-elected as Hamas chief. An AP analysis examines his agenda:
Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal has set an ambitious agenda for his new term, seeking to transform his Islamic militant movement that rules Gaza into a widely recognized political force, but without making concessions toward Israel needed for international acceptance.
• Israeli and Palestinian merchants set up their own court to arbitrate business disputes. Christian Science Monitor reporter Josh Mitnick explains the significance of this quiet bottom-up endeavor:
Economic collaboration between Israelis and Palestinians has been hobbled by the lack of a neutral forum for settling disagreements between Israeli and Palestinian businessmen when they arise. Palestinians and Israelis face restricted access to each other’s territory and have little trust in courts lying across the border. Without any legal recourse for problems like a bounced check, transactions become riskier and less attractive, cooling commercial ties.
So they created the “Jerusalem Arbitration Center,” which is sponsored by chamber of commerce associations on both sides and slated to begin its work by the end of 2013.
More on the story at YNet.
• Palestinians laid the cornerstone on a “Naqba museum” in Ramallah.
• BDS fail of the day: Israel is on the verge of snagging another mega Indian defense deal, “to equip all the 356 infantry battalions of the Indian Army with third-generation anti-tank guided missiles.” The contract’s worth $2.76 billion.
• The Jerusalem Post picked up on a Palestinian non-governmental organization accusing Israel of “water apartheid.” It follows the script of how Palestinians use water as a weapon against Israel. ‘Nuff said.
- Syrian airstrikes have killed 4,300 civilians since last summer.
- Will Mossad terminators from the future target a time machine’s Iranian inventor?
- Syrian opposition divided as Islamists declare allegiance to Al-Qaeda.