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. John Kerry equated the Boston Marathon bombing with Israel’s raid on the Mavi Marmara raid. AP writes:
Mr. Kerry said he understood the anger and frustration of those Turks who lost friends and family in the raid. Mr. Kerry, a former Massachusetts senator, said last week’s Boston Marathon bombings made him acutely aware of the emotions involved.
“We have just been through the week of Boston, and I have deep feelings for what happens when you have violence, when something that happens when you lose people that are near and dear to you,” he said. “It affects the community; it affects the country. But going forward, you know, we have to find the best way to bring people together and undo these tensions and undo these stereotypes and try to make peace.”
Understandably, Israeli officials are miffed.
2. An Iranian man with a fake Israeli passport was nabbed in Nepal scouting out Israel’s embassy in Kathmandu and other tourist sites, according to the Himalayan Times. Some 10,000 Israelis visit Nepal every year — commonly backpacking across the country after completing three years of mandatory army service.
While we’re talking about Iranians scoping out soft Jewish targets, the Jerusalem Post reports that a few weeks after the Burgas bombing, Bulgarian police arrested an Iranian woman monitoring Sofia’s Chabad center. She was carrying a Canadian passport . . .
3. Jordan’s allowing Israeli drones to use its airspace for Syrian surveillance. The Jerusalem Post writes:
According to the source, the unmanned aerial vehicles are carrying out surveillance, but “they are also armed and therefore can hit targets anywhere in Syria.”
The Jordanian air corridors allow Israel to avoid accessing Syrian airspace through southern Lebanon, which it fears could draw a response from Hezbollah, Le Figaro added.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Hamas is pushing to be removed from the EU’s terror list. Ahmed Yousef explained to Maan News that you just have to overlook the rockets fired at Israel:
“Hamas will focus on convincing European countries to take its name out of the terrorism list. Hamas is certain that the US will not agree to take its name off the list. However, European countries set only one condition to do that — avoiding martyrdom attacks inside Israel, and Hamas hasn’t carried out any attack since 2004.”
• Globes has more details about the $3 billion weapons system deal the US and Israel are working out.
• G4S, one of the world’s largest security companies, plans to quit contracts for work in the West Bank. The BDS movement hoped G4S would end all its business with Israel. According to the Financial Times (via Google News), full divestment remains a very real possibility:
• AFP: Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon hinted today that Israel struck a Syrian arms convoy in January.
Speaking at a news conference with US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, Yaalon said Israel would not allow “sophisticated weapons” to fall into the hands of “Hezbollah or other rogue elements.”
“When they crossed this red line, we acted,” he said, in what was widely understood to refer to the air strike which a US official told AFP had targeted surface-to-air missiles that Israel suspected were en route to Hezbollah.
• How does Hezbollah now justify its activity in Syria? The Daily Star quotes a high-level personality in the terror group expanding scope of “resistance.”
A high-ranking Hezbollah official said the party’s fighters had every right to defend Lebanese in Syrian border villages . . .
• Worth reading: Michael Totten on The Beginning of the End for Hezbollah.”
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.