Israel Daily News Stream 05/01/2012

Iranian Atomic Urgency

James Fallows and Jeffrey Goldberg are debating whether war with Iran is imminent.

Why Israeli Challenges to Netanyahu on Iran May Help Obama’s Nuclear Diplomacy

Arab Spring Winter

The Gaza aid convoy spearheaded by George Galloway is splitting apart because the overland route passes through Syria. The Times of London (paywall) reports:

In February, leaked e-mails between Mr Galloway and President Assad’s media adviser were published in which he referred to the Syrian President as “His Excellency” and the Baathist state as “the last bastion of Arab dignity”.

The Syrian Government has responded brutally to a popular uprising in the country, leaving more than 9,000 dead and leading to widespread diplomatic condemnation. Opponents say that the Viva Palestina mission will lend credence to the regime.

The move has caused a rift with other groups due to take part in the convoy, two of which have pulled out in protest at the “sudden and unilateral decision” by the UK group’s sister charity Viva Palestinia Arabia to travel via Syria . . . .

Abdul Wahab el-Sayed Omar, of British Solidarity for Syria, said: “They could easily go through Egypt instead. The only explanation I can see is that this is a propaganda move aimed at helping the Syrian regime.”

Rest O’ the Roundup

The IDF’s building a security barrier near Metulla to protect the border town from Hezbollah gunfire. The Jerusalem Post says Israel’s coordinating construction with UNIFIL. Meanwhile, YNet reports that Hezbollah has boosted it’s own drone unit. I wonder what UNIFIL has to say about that . . .

Hezbollah is equipped with Ababil (“Swallow”) drones, which are manufactured and provided by Iran.

The Ababil has several models, including one that can carry a warhead packed with several dozens of kilograms of explosives.

Defense establishment officials expressed concern that Hezbollah would be able to send multiple drones into Israel’s airspace and have them crash into targets in the country’s north.

Israel’s jobless jumped after the Central Bureau of Statistics changed the way it surveys the nation’s labor market. The first quarter jobless rate is 6.7 percent, compared to 5.4 percent last quarter using the previous system. More at Reuters.

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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