Hamas’s Very Busy Day

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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. Times of Israel: Hamas is considering fielding a presidential candidate, and Maan News reports Islamic Jihad wants a role in the new unity government too. But as long as a “technocrat cabinet” fronts for Hamas and Jihad, Israel’s expected to engage the PA, right?

2. Israel busted a terror cell in Kalkiliya. According to the Jerusalem Post, the group was financed by Hamas, which was also going to provide the cell with more recruits.

3. Israel returned the bodies of four Palestinian terrorists to the PA, including the suicide bomber who killed 15 people in the Sbarro bombing of 2001. Hamas marked the return with a rally in Ramallah (yes, Ramallah) which Reuters reports was attended by 1,000 people.

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5. BDS Activist: Confront Confuesion about Anti-Semitism: BDS activist questions the movement’s response to anti-Semitism after a Hungarian neo-Nazi party adopts BDS language.

6. Media Minimizing Hamas Impact on Negotiations: Hamas-Fatah reconciliation didn’t happen overnight. Abbas dallied with Islamists even as Israel and the US sought to salvage the peace talks.

7. Reuters’ Bungled Headline: Israel demolished some illegally built structures, but Reuters suggests it was vindictive.

8. Sky News Misreads Mainstream Israelis: Sky News underestimates the values of mainstream Israelis.

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Israel and the Palestinians

Mahmoud Zahar: The unity deal won’t lead to Hamas recognizing Israel or placing its gunmen under Abbas’ control. The Jerusalem Post writes:

Looking to reassure Western allies, Abbas said the new government would recognize Israel and honor previous treaties. Zahar dismissed this as a hollow gesture, saying the ministers would be academics with no political authority.

“Abbas is not telling them the truth. He says ‘this is my government’. But it is not his government. It is a government of national unity. He is marketing it in this way to minimize the pressure,” said Zahar, who took part in the unity negotiations.

Ron Dermer

Ambassador Ron Dermer

• Ambassador Ron Dermer discussed with NPR (audio/transcript) why Israel won’t negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas:

Well, if you had a reformed Hamas that accepted Israel, that abandoned terrorism, then a unified Palestinian society would be good, because that would be unity for peace. But what you have is this unreformed Hamas. Hamas is a terror organization. They call openly for Israel’s destruction. And two weeks ago, on the eve of the Seder, when an Israeli citizen was gunned down on a way to a Passover Seder with his pregnant wife and children, Hamas praised the murderer. That happened two weeks ago. So, Hamas hasn’t changed at all.

 Strategic patience is the new buzzword of note for Mideast watchers. That’s how Kerry’s camp describes the Secretary of State’s months-long “pause” in Mideast peacemaking, according to YNet/Reuters. “Strategic patience” also describes the Obama administration’s approach to North Korea’s nuclear program. Lt. Gen. Robert Gard calls it “tantamount to doing nothing,” but draw your own conclusions.

 To avoid the “blame game” Israel delays advancing settlement plans

It’s important to maintain the focus on the problem of negotiating< with a terrorist group and not sideline the situation with news of more building plans that would only make the international community point a finger at Israel, the official said.

On the next page:

  • Big Media’s post-mortems on the peace process.
  • Exactly what unilateral options does Israel have in the West Bank?
  • Syrian dissident: Israel is our last hope.

Continued on page 2


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